Then you’ve got settings like New York City and London, two popular places we may haven’t all visited yet, but we’ve seen enough to form an image. That’s where urban fantasy stories, City of Bones and Rivers of London come in. For me, the settings make and break these franchises. On the one hand, City of Bones plays it safe with New York. We can picture it which makes the action form into place easily, but it’s never played out of tune. The book never takes a chance, and instead of becoming a character on its own it’s nothing more than a battleground for the characters to clash on. Rivers of London takes London and turn it into an urban fantasy paradise. There is so much folklore surrounding the city, and all the make belief that Ben Aaronovitch can think up that he can bend, mold, and twist together to create these insane magical storylines. Instead of playing a typical tune, he comes up with a whole new one, finding notes nobody’s heard before, and before you know it he’s created a symphony, powerful enough to inject admiration into your veins, and jealousy that you couldn’t play the music.
In short, settings can make all the difference. If that’s unavailable, then the characters have to shine. I guess it depends on the genre or the story itself, and we all work in different ways and prefer different things. Whatever the way you choose, you can bet there’s an audience out there for whatever you’ve got cooking. For me, engaging settings are a must, but if a book or a game hasn’t got that, then hopefully the story and the characters can make up for it. But ultimately, the story, cast and setting should all work together. Especially for those off-world stories like fantasy and sci-fi. Locations come with the package. Creating places is one of my favourite parts of writing, even if I’m not writing anything weird. I want to know what the street looks like, and if there is anything special about it. I want to know everything.
Songs of the Week:
- 'Blow Your Trumpets, Gabriel' by Behemoth
- 'Ov Fire and the Void' by Behemoth
- 'Messe Noire' by Behemoth
- 'Ora Pro Nobis Lucifer' by Behemoth
- 'Rage and Red' by Anaal Nathrakh
- 'Unleash' by Anaal Nathrakh
- 'People Live Here' by Rise Against
- 'The Good Left Undone' by Rise Against
- 'Stars' by The XX
- 'Infinity' by The XX