WriterDojo S2 Ep18: Urban Fantasy

It’s been a while since we dove into a specific genre, so this week Hosts/Authors Steve Diamond and Larry Correia will be discussing Urban Fantasy. What exactly qualifies as Urban Fantasy and why on Earth do they call it that?

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This week’s episode is brought to you by Craig Nybo’s Dead Girl. (The podcast would not exist without Craig loaning the guys his studio, so a huge thank you to him!) Also, big shout out to Nancy Frye for the awesome job on the ad- if you’re ever in need of a professional VO actress, I highly suggest you give her a shout! http://nancyfrye.mystrikingly.com/

We Dare 4: Wanted Dead or Alive - my daughter has a story in this anthology
Out now -Abbott in Darkness, a new novel by D.J. Butler

14 thoughts on “WriterDojo S2 Ep18: Urban Fantasy”

  1. Hearing Steve talk about Franklin Blvd brought back memories. The first place my spouse and I lived together 12 years ago was at Sacramento on Mack Rd , a block from Franklin Blvd. We were new the area at the time and it was the cheapest place we could afford close to Cosumnes River College. It was seedy then and I can’t imagine it got better since.

    My favorite familiar book setting is S.M. Stirling’s”Emberverse Series”, set in the Oregon area, specifically Portland/ Willamatte Valley, at least for the first 3 books. I lived near Corvallis and he is almost perfect in locating the different roads, towns, streets in towns, even the landmarks where I can say “I know where that is!” Every time I re-read the series it makes me miss the Oregon, though with the politics now I would never move back.

  2. I really enjoyed today’s episode. Thanks Steve & Larry!

    I’m finding that Alt-history is quite similar to your definition of Urban Fantasy, that is taking our world, changing something, and seeing the consequences of that change. In my case, that change was Texas remaining independent.

    That branches out in all directions, like the cliche about ripples from a stone in a pond. Figuring out how and where the ripples interact is half the challenge in creating a good alt-history.

    Please keep up the good work, and I’ll keep listening each week.

  3. I do appreciate that you two basically came up with the premise of Trigun, just off the cuff.

      1. You would probably get a bit fed up with the main character’s strange brand of pacifism. Granted you would probably agree with his statement that the VERY last thing he does is draw his gun because “It’s too wasteful. For the price of one bullet I can have an entire meal.”

        Now was that statement made far in the future on a desert planet, or today?

        That and the design of his revolver would probably make you have an entire liter of kittens. It’s like a Schofield and a rhino(may predate the rhino actually) had a retarded baby.

        Also I doubt you are that much of the anime type. I mean I liked it at the time but I was like 16 and hadn’t touched a real gun at that point.

        1. The revolver in the anime is based off of the Mateba Autorevolver. They’ve just got it wrong, but that’s what it’s supposed to be. It is a truly weird gun.

          Honestly, he’s one of the few pacifist characters that doesn’t really bother me. All to often, I’ve seen authors use it as a magic wand to get everyone to agree to stop fighting, but as far as I can recall, the Trigun writer never did that. It was never free moral posturing points; if he wanted to keep that code, he always had to pay for it.

          You remember the guy who could remote control people? I think it was mind control in the anime, but strings or something in the manga.

          I think that’s the real difference. The author is not advocating that code; instead he is asking what does it cost to live like that, and is not afraid to say that the cost can be extremely high, and sometimes higher than can even be met.

          I wonder if that is also part of the difference between an author monologue and a good story?

      2. You should change that. It’s not only a great series, but the mangaka is the only openly Christian one in the industry I’m aware of.

      3. As I understand the plot, humanity has powered its journey to the stars by making sentient power plants, and the process of extracting their power slowly drains them of life.

        A couple of them get loose. One decides that he hates everyone and is going to kill them all. The other one decides that he doesn’t want anyone to die and his goal is to survive without that and try to stop his brother from killing everyone, or anyone.

        None of that is stated up front, but that’s the real core conflict.

        Now it’s from Japan, so all revolvers are breaktops and trashcan lids will stop bullets. They don’t know how guns work, so, that’s just a thing.

        1. Unless you are the autistic mad-lad that did gunsmith cats.
          I watched the OVAa long time ago and just started on the manga, and not only does the guy tell you the maker, model, and caliber of the guns he often tells you what they are loaded with.

          I assume he wrote this some time ago as in the first chapter some lady loaded her .38 with black talons and they haven’t been sold under that name since what early 1990? The main chick has absurd marksmanship skills though. I think she two TWO people’s thumbs off to disarm them in the first story. IIRC one time with a .25 auto, looked kind of like a baby browning she had in like the old flip arm rig up her sleeve.

          Now THAT I can ENTIRELY see Larry digging. Trigun is a maybe, Gunsmith Cats is almost a certainly he’d like it.

          Well if the grenade girl doesn’t sour him on it though. It doesn’t really get into her… exploits in the OVA though- it’s a lot cleaner.

          Oh and he’d laugh his ass off at the idea of a gunsmith/gunshop probably half an hour drive from Chicago getting any business that isn’t like 99% police. Also while the author got a lot of stuff right I heard they didn’t actually have bounty hunters in Illinois after like what the early 70s or maybe late 60s?

  4. Blackberry was also Hillary Clinton’s phone of choice. You may apply bleach to your brain now.

    Wait, you’re saying the senator from Nevada Earl mentions in Legion was NOT supposed to be Reid?

  5. So, writing question, if you’ve got multiple characters following different paths, how do you organize and lay out their threads?

    I know when they were last at the same spot at the same time, and I know when they are next at the same spot at the same time, and one of them, at least have very clear scene breaks to their thread, but not sure how to handle the other thread.

    Do you typically write their stuff in separate documents and then splice them together into the final document? Or do you keep both threads on the same document and cut/paste them around when they are both more or less complete?

    So far I’ve just had a WIP and a notes document, and if I had scenes written early, I’d keep them in the notes document until their spot came up in the main WIP, but I’m not sure that works here. One of the threads is drafted, but the other one isn’t, and I’m not sure how long it will be or what that one’s pace will be.

    Maybe pull the B thread into it’s own notes document, write the A thread, and then find the right spots to insert the B thread scenes?

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