Monday, November 5, 2012

National Novel Writing Month

I forgot to mention that I am participating in NaNoWriMo this month for the 6th year! With only one "win" under my belt, I am looking forward to finishing another yarn. This one involves an orphan, a mass murder, and an amateur ghost hunter. We'll see where it ends up! I'm never too sure until the characters tell me their tales.

If you want to know more, go to If you are a member already, look me up as a writing buddy - divinerebel - and let's go! It's not too late to start. 50,000 words in 30 days will give you a solid piece of clay to sculpt and refine as you wish. I've learned so much from doing this each year; the experience is invaluable. And yes, It's only the very wee hours of Day 5, but my word count is 2 days ahead. So far, so good! Although I'm sure much of the first two chapters will get cut later... that's for later. NaNoWriMo is the month when you kick your Internal Editor to the curb. Send your Inner Critic packing. Just write, write, write, and before you know it, a story starts to form and take shape. It's wonderful!

Hope to see you there! (~_^ )b

Urban Fantasy vs. Magical Realism, Part One

Top image: cover to Jim Butcher's Proven Guilty.

I'm making a note to myself to remember to check out this publisher. Perhaps you would like to check them out, as well? They specialize in Urban Fantasy.

I'd also like to discuss the topic of Urban fantasy vs. Magic Realism. Wikipedia describes the difference thusly:
Urban fantasy is a sub-genre of contemporary fantasy defined by place: These stories are set in urban landscapes. Its use of existing contemporary locations like New York and Los Angeles set this genre apart from other sub-genres of fantasy and even science fiction also set in cities. Although some notable exceptions exist, like the fictional city of Newford, which is the setting of the Newford Series by Charles de Lint.

The urban fantasy's focus on plot and action distinguishes it from literary stories that fall under magical realism, which also includes speculative elements and sometimes urban settings, like Aimee Bender's The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake.
I wonder about one of my favorite authors in childhood, Edward Eager, and if his books would qualify as urban fantasy (granted, for the younger reader), despite being written well before the moniker had been claimed as a style of fiction. I definitely remember being favorably impressed in my early twenties by Emma Bull's writing, especially "A War For The Oaks". Very enjoyable and memorable read, for me.

I believe some of my past work would qualify for this genre, and would like to explore it further. But is Urban Fantasy a lesser cousin to Magical Realism? I'm hard pressed to settle on that conclusion, as of yet. "Winter's Tale", by Mark Helprin, was the first novel that I read knowing that it was categorized as Magical Realism. I quite enjoyed it. But John Crowley's "Little, Big" had been a favorite of mine years prior... Would that cross-generational tale of faeries and magical realms in an architect's house in the twentieth century fall in the MR camp? I'm not exactly sure.

Thoughts? Opinions? Questions to further ponder? Please comment below.

Thursday, November 1, 2012