Twitter is good for so many things. In fact I put up a Twitterview today over here. But among it’s uses, you can set words to pop up to your phone or twitter program that you are interested in. So for example, anytime anyone posts anything about urban fantasy I get a twitter showing me where the word was used. Today one popped up by Paul Jessup. That led me to his twitter, which led me to his website, which led me to an article on what’s wrong with Urban Fantasy these days. (read the comments too..they are useful)
It was an extremely useful article in two ways. One..it’s always good to know what is bothering readers out there so that perhaps you can fix it. I admit, I was slightly overwhelmed when I read the “problem” which didn’t have very much in the way of “HOW” to fix it, until I read far down into the comments.
Vera Nazarian‘s main contention was that most UF these days is the same ole same. But here were some points she mentioned to fix those issues.
– Evocation of genuine wonder requires subtlety.
– Evocation of wonder requires genuine enthusiasm for the object of wonder on the part of the author first and foremost â€” before any of that can be transmitted on to the reader (or to the characters, or to whoever).
– Wonder and humor and smart attitude are not mutually exclusive.
– Humor of the non-wisecracking non-streetwise kind is an option â€” give it a try (put an ordinary non-funny person with little-to-no attitude in a crazy situation).
– Fast pacing can detract from a sense of wonder; slow down.
– Show donâ€™t tell: present the right details to the reader and that will elicit the wonder regardless of what the characters perceive (regardless of whether they are jaded or not).
– Take it a step further â€” make the familiar unfamiliar, alienate the reader from the ordinary.
– The pleasure of NEWNESS comes from the re-configuration of the FAMILIAR. No need to discard the familiar and comfortable, just reupholster it (who was it that said there were only 10 plotlines in the world?).
– Attraction is a reaction, to be elicited only, and only from a combination of specific elements that may all be different from reader to reader. There is no other real way to make it happen; no one leather vamp hunk fits all.
– Attraction is a kind of sense of wonder in itself.
– Flimsy facades of wood laminate paste board masquerading as the numinous in fantasy are overdone; give us the paranormal real thing, solid through and through.
– Unexpected real events can be just as striking or more so that banally presented fantastic events (bird poop versus boring fairy).
– Cliches jade not only the reader but the author who is writing them.
– Fairies [other “monster” types] can be very different â€” we havenâ€™t seen your unique version of them yetâ€¦
Stay tuned, coming up in a podcast I’ll talk to Paul Jessup about what he thinks is wrong with Urban Fantasy and how to fix it.