Urban Fantasy and My Collision Course with NaNoWriMo

One of my favorite genres is urban fantasy.  Urban fantasy being where the modern world meets magic and creatures of myth and shadow.  The wizard carries a staff, a Colt .45, and fights werewolves kind of thing.  Jim Butcher’s Harry Dresden is one of my favorite characters.  The world of Twilight or Harry Potter doesn’t appeal to me much but Harry Dresden is that kind of world on steroids and definitely for adults.  Harry Dresden also has that Phillip Marlow – private eye feel that adds to the story.  If I am truly bored, a dark shadowy urban fantasy starring Harry Dresden can clear my cobwebs in a hurry.

It is early October here in my world and the reminder of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) hits my email with a thud.  If I participate this year, it will be my sixth try with no success in the previous five.  Last year, I hit 37,000 words of the 50,000 goal so it was my most successful run to date.  However, I look at this year with a sigh and not excitement.  The question is: do I try again?  I am looking to get my outline and my main characters down in draft form before the fun begins November first.  I am thinking urban fantasy this year.

I have to give NaNoWriMo credit, it has become a monster event.  50,000 words sounds like a lot and it is when your trying to get them down in a month.  The novel you write will not be polished, it will be an ugly duckling type of novella that will need lengthening and polishing, but it will be down on paper and that is the main thing.  The beauty of NaNoWriMo is not the wonderful novels that come out of it but the deadline.  1667 words per day is not all that difficult if you set some time aside for it each day and use days off from work to your advantage.  It the end you have a beginning.

How about this?  A modern pastor, possibly one who is questioning his faith, finds a 1st century roman sword in a chest only to discover that it originally belongs to Longinus Brutus – the centurion who was at the foot of Jesus’ cross.  He then discovers the sword has mystic powers along with its four companion swords that are hidden in various places.  Each of the four swords originally belonged to the four roman soldiers who diced for Jesus’ robes.  He finds himself on a quest to recover these swords and give them to the right people who form an order to protect the world from the forces of evil (which in urban fantasy can be anything).  I like it because it has sequel value and I can use my knowledge of the Bible as well.  It will be wondrous bad theology, but a heck of a lot of fun to write.

Politically and socially people who participate in NaNoWriMo tend to be all over the spectrum.  That will be the other fun part — the theme.  But what to pick? Perhaps some of you would have an idea for a conservative / libertarian theme that would go with urban fantasy.  I will leave it in your hands.  I know a brave thing to do on my part, but I will risk it.

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I tried NaNoWriMo one year and didn’t really even get started. While I think it is a good idea I have way too much going on this year at least.

Ed Raby Sr says:

Understand. I am more of a writer than anything else so NaNoWriMo is right up my alley. I just hope I can focus enough to win this year.