Kill City Blues: Writing Dark Urban Fantasy with Richard Kadrey

Take your audience on a wild ride through the mean streets that straddle the line between darkness and light.

Your Instructor: Richard Kadrey, author of author of THE SANDMAN SLIM SERIES, BUTCHER BIRD, and THE GRAND DARK

Where: Online — Available everywhere!

When: This class is not currently enrolling. To be notified when it is offered again, Click Here


Price: $350

Class Description

Dark urban fantasy isn’t about shocking your audience.

It’s about showing real characters in difficult situations in strange worlds that are both dangerous and fascinating. The more extreme your world, the more you have to ground it in emotional and sensory reality that means bringing together the characters, setting, and prose style into a seamless whole.

Over the course of the class, we’ll learn how to construct stories in your own personal world inhabited by characters both human and inhuman.

What This Class Covers

Week One: What is Dark Urban Fantasy?

What is dark or noir urban fantasy and how does it differ from horror? Who lives there and why? And why do we want to bring the strange and the dark into the world?

Assignment: Sketch out the world you want to work in. Who are the characters? How does your world work? What’s special about it and explain why you want to write about it. 500-800 words.

Week Two: Dark Urban Fantasy Characters

Who lives in these strange, invented worlds? How do you construct characters that walk the line between good and evil? Even in the most extreme world and stories, there must be some core of truth to it. How do you make that happen?

Assignment: Do a short character sketch of your protagonist and write a brief situation in which they might find themselves. Show why your particular character handles the situation in a unique way. 800-1000 words.

Week Three: Dark Urban Fantasy Settings

How do you create a realistic and compelling world for your characters to inhabit? How do you world build without being sucked into the eternal problem of getting so caught up in the setting that your forget what your readers came for: an exciting story about real characters.

Assignment: Sketch out your world and how your characters fit into it. What are the details that will draw people in? What’s special about your world?

Week Four: Dark Urban Fantasy Style

How you tell a story is as important as the story itself. The prose style most fit your world and characters. Should you write it first person? Third? Second? Present tense or past? Do you need chapters?

Assignment: Write an opening to your story or novel. Make it unique. Make it compelling. Make it yours. 500-1000 words.

Bonus: The Writing Life

How do you get inspire yourself so that you don’t bog down and end up repeating yourself? How do you get past writers block? How do you create work time for yourself while maintaining a regular life? We’ll wrap up the class with a Google hangout where you can ask questions and talk about what keeps you writing.

Assignment: Talk about something that inspired you or changed the way you see the world and how it affected your work. What are your secrets to keeping sharp? We’ll share the best ideas with the whole class. 500-800 words.


Goals Of This Class

  • To learn the basics of what dark urban fantasy is and isn’t.
  • To create convincing, complex characters in a dark urban fantasy setting.
  • To build a plausible world for your characters to inhabit.
  • To develop a unique prose style.
  • How to keep yourself inspired and excited so you can always create new work.
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