question mark

I have a story idea I’m turning over in my head, which I may use for National Novel Writing Month. (It’s important to plan ahead, if you’re at all that kind of writer.) Right now it’s just a bit of a character, and part of the plot, but unusually for me, I’m not sure of the setting. That’s generally one of the first things that comes to me, but in this case I could see it working in:

a) a fantasy setting in the past, or an alternate world that’s like the past

b) urban fantasy

c) futuristic fantasy

Urban fantasy is one of my go-to genres, because I like the mix of the world we live in and something else, but I’m not sure this time. It doesn’t seem like a perfect fit.

The real issue is how to decide which one, because it affects the story development a great deal. How would you decide?

About Caitlin Stern

I have a MA in English, and have so many fantasy/urban fantasy WIPs it's not even funny. I'm an avid reader of science fiction, fantasy, mystery, romance, biography, fiction, and anything else that catches my interest. I collect books, and bookmarks I find that are visually appealing and useful.

7 responses »

  1. Marcia says:

    I’d let the character tell me. Usually, I’m so deep in their heads, I know where they want to live. I say, pick your character’s brain a bit more, even if it means developing him beyond “a bit.” See how he feels about the life that surrounds him, and what his goals are, and it might point you in the direction you need. (Just a thought, of course.) πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  2. Ed Hoornaert says:

    To extend what Marcia said, it may help also to know what the character needs to learn (i.e. the character arc). Which environment is best suited to teaching that life lesson?

    But enough about the character. At this stage, the choice may be more about you than the character. What kind of story do YOU want to write?

    • Marcia says:

      I agree with that, too, Ed. If one of my characters was convinced he belonged in a sci-fi novel, for instance, I’d have to introduce him to another writer. πŸ˜€ That’s not something I’d likely be able to write convincingly. Nor would I really be comfortable trying to do so. Caitlin, on the other hand, probably could go in many more directions than I. So, good point!

      • The only thing I have difficulty with is what you write, Marcia. I try to write in the real world, and more and more weirdness seeps in, until it’s some kind of fantasy. πŸ˜€

        • Marcia says:

          You mean like the ghost of Lloyd Carter, a little boy with ESP, and the Black Dog? πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ Okay, so Riverbend is mostly the Real World, but I suspect some of the stuff that happens on that Ridge in North Carolina, really should STAY on the Ridge. (So the rest of us won’t run screaming into the night.) πŸ˜€

    • The different setting wouldn’t really change what the story says, in the end, but I’ll think about it. This may simply need more mulling over before it comes clear. πŸ™‚

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.