Well, it worked. I went back to my old writing prompt; basically a blank sheet of paper with three sentences written at the top:
Good morning, Pandora. What do you love to read? What would you like to write about?
This my actual response to that first, blank page:
I’m thinking about URBAN FANTASY. Write what you love to read, and I love good Urban Fantasy. This is what I like about Urban Fantasy:
- It’s a world I’m living in today, plus it’s got magic and scary creatures
- I like to be scared by the scary creatures
- Urban Fantasy (at least the stuff I like) has a STRONG, heroic protagonist who always beats out the bad guys, but you’re never sure how until the end.
- There is always a mystery or two to solve
- The supernatural characters are interesting and VERY DIFFERENT from the regular people you meet in normal life. They have different goals and priorities from humans.
- Lots of danger, darkness, weapons, and fear to overcome
- The protagonist is usually sort of an anti-hero. Heroic, but not (known) to the general public. They are heroic only in the mien of disposing of the (bad guy) predator or solving the problem.
From there, I started doing a little market research. Basically, I defined the current space in Urban Fantasy. I looked at the authors, series, main characters, locales, magical elements and creatures, and tried to find out if there is room for something new. That activity sparked some good ideas, and even an inspiration: I’ve got the setting for the next story, and a basic background for the main protagonist. Yay!
Next step, I started doing a little research on the location and some of the background for the protagonist. That research sparked additional ideas for other characters, some really meaty beginning conflict, and a very basic story arc. I fleshed out the main story arc/conflict, and developed four potential secondary conflicts (which in turn generated character roles).
Yesterday, I figured out a couple of alternative scenarios for the opening scenes of Part I. I also developed a one-sentence blurb about the story and pasted it to the border of my PC monitor, so that it will be right in front of me. The protagonist doesn’t even have a name yet, but I know what the story is about. I’ve got at least 6 scenes solidly described, and several more in my head. I know how it ends, but there is a big blank space between chapter 7 and chapter 40 which I still need to fill in. Boy is this fun. Every day, new ideas are sprouting!
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