I’ve just started working on a brand new urban fantasy idea. It’s a great time – there’s all sorts of possibilities and you can be as outlandish as you like, because at the moment there’s no restrictions.
Slowly and surely, as the ideas come together and start to link, the restrictions that make conflict interesting in any new world start to form.
One of those possible restrictions in urban fantasy is the question – do humans know or not?
It’s an important question because it sets up a lot of rules. In my gadda world, I didn’t want humans to know so then I had to work out how do the gadda exist in this world regardless, why don’t humans know, what would happen if they did.
If humans do know, then you need to decide if you’ve got an explanation for this or not. For example, the invention of TrueBlood in Charlaine Harris’ Southern Gothic series, which lead to the vampires outing themselves and living openly.
If you don’t want to have an explanation, then you’re getting into presenting an alternate reality. It looks like our real world. There are humans, and they are living normal human lives. Only, there’s also – well, whatever non-humans you want to have. Like the Harry Potter world, for example.
I’m not entirely sure how to go with my new world. In the past, I’ve always preferred an explanation (not that I didn’t love the Harry Potter books, but that idea of some humans knowing the wizards were real always sat a bit weirdly in my psyche). But it seems that what I’m developing will work better as an alternative reality.
Maybe I should step all the way over, and not set it on Earth as well but create an entirely new world. Only – the few scenes that I’ve got playing over in my head are set in
There’s a saying in writing – “sometimes you have to kill your babies”. This love I’m feeling for an urban fantasy set in Sydney may be one of the babies I have to kill, in order to make this new world work.
What do you prefer? Humans to know or not know? And if they do know, do you want an explanation or do you just float away in the alternate Earth?