M. K. Theodoratus, Fantasy Writer, blogs about the books she reads--mostly fantasy and mystery authors whose books catch her eye and keep her interest. Nothing so formal as a book review, just chats about what she liked. Theodoratus also mutters about her own writing progress or ... lack of it.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Magic Systems and Urban Fantasy

Do you need an introduction to the world of urban fantasy?  Stumbled across a list of ten top writers/protagonists at Book Chick City.  Take a look at "Laura's Top 10 Fantasy Series". 

'Twas nice to see someone agree with me. I've read and enjoyed most of the series though I ofter despair. I don't think imitate their achievement. [Good thing I'm not ambitious.] Still, the important piece here -- if you like to play with the supernatural -- the list gives you some of the genre's template characters. Actually, I read much more urban fantasy than I review. A lot of it seems highly repetitive.

Who stars in your favorite urban fantasy series? 

Kalayna Price's Grave Dance isn't repetitive, even though it's second in the Grave Witch series, featuring Alex Craft. She takes some conventional forms of magic and the world of Fae, puts them in the mixer, and comes up with some unique twists on the templates. Price's twists on magic flows in logical patterns that're internally consistent. Quite an achievement that.

The plot twists and turns too. Price has Craft caring about four to six secondary characters, each and everyone of them fleshed out enough to make Craft take actions that no one in their right mind would do. If friends don't motivate her, then the monsters do. Price even gives an interesting take on monsters. Example: I've read many stories that use kelpies as a danger. Price manipulates the trope, and the kelpie, while still threatening, helps Craft achieve a goal.

Price has a way of shading menace into even relatively safe situations. The ability promises a long career ahead of her. Grave Dance is a keeper.

Writing Urban Fantasy -- Or Anything Else
You should check out E. J. Wesley's blog about getting lost in your writing. It's not only your characters who get befuddled as you write. If they aren't getting befuddled, you should double check. You might not be writing something intriguing or exciting.
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