My Kind of Urban-My Kind of Writing
Good morning everyone. Today I thought I would discuss how I write creatively and how I came to write in the Urban Fantasy genre.
I didn’t sit down one day and say, ‘I think I’ll write an Urban Fantasy story.’
I sat down one day and wrote a novel. I didn’t even know I could. My background in writing had been more poetic, and academic, in nature. I completed a BA in Cultural Studies (2017), and for much of my study of culture, it revolved around writing; journalism, hoaxes, plagiarisms amongst other types of writing. So when I saw CQUniversity was offering a Master of Letters in creative writing, I was ecstatic to say the least. And… it was by distance education.
I went into the course with a desire to write children’s stories. I have nine grandchildren and wanted to write something for them. After discussing with my supervisor about what genre I wanted to write in, I was shocked when she said, ‘So there’ll be sex?’
Now I’m not a prude by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m pretty certain I must’ve looked shocked. I felt it.
‘No,’ I said, and saw my expression mirrored on the face of one of my class mates.
‘But, it’s expected,’ my supervisor continued.
Now there was a miscommunication and it was my fault for not expressing myself clearly enough that the age group for my children’s book was for 3-7-yrs. That miscommunication was like divine intervention because without it, I might never have found my inner deamon.
It was clear, after writing several short stories during the first unit of the course, that my taste lay way beyond children’s stories. They were dark, horrific tales that made some squirm in their seats. The more I wrote, the more I came to understand myself, but it wasn’t until the second unit of the course when I found my true self.
I wrote the story, Jerrymanders. As I already said in a previous post, it was two weeks before my artefact was due in when I decided to alter the story and turn it into a beats type recitation in poetic form. Then, with found footage, I turned it into an avant-garde movie.
My writing ability took off from there, before the next year, I’d written a complete novel, Josephine Marlin (Is getting a rewrite at the moment). I can’t tell you where it came from. I sat, and I wrote.
Once I completed my MLitt, I began to reread some of the literature I read for the exegetical component of my dissertation. The more I read, the more I realised I was drawn to many of the greater Urban Fantasy writers, and of course, Stephen King.
The author I most enjoyed, the author who wrote in much the same vein as I, was Neil Gaiman. Josephine Marlin is about gods and monsters, but also, suits and Fae. It’s about an unseen world within the world where we live and it is dark. Urban Fantasy is about the darker side to the worlds.
For my final artefact, I wrote The Book of Matthew. It’s a very dark Urban Fantasy, littered with elements found in other genres, such as SciFi. I am not a plotter. I put my fingers on the key board and from my head to my finger tips the words flow. They go nowhere near my understanding until the story comes to its natural end. It’s the editing where I get to read the story.
I came to understand I truly was the sum of my experiences, and I was in a dark place for a long time (This is a link to my digital Memoir). It was only natural I’d eventually find my way to Urban Fantasy. I used fantasy and nature to escape the real all my life, and with my writing, with the help of a supervisor who apparently knew me better than I knew myself, I now revel in the darkness that is Urban Fantasy.