Richard Kadrey is a New York Times bestselling author and a friend of this website. His dark, horror-tinged urban fantasy books have been a fixture in bookstores and libraries since 2009. 11 books (and counting) into his Sandman Slim series, his novels have been optioned to become a film directed by John Wick’s Chad Stahelski. To say that he’s a success as a writer would be an understatement.
Now, he’s looking to help you build the skills to hone your literary talent as well.
Starting in March, Richard will be teaching a four-week online course on writing dark urban fantasy. Speaking to him from his digs in San Fransisco on Wednesday, he told me, “...during the class, I want to help students get a strong beginning to a story or novel. More importantly, I want give them the skills they need to keep creating new work.”
In order to do that, he’s laid out a clear road map to help get the asses of potential authors into gear.
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?
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?
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 you forget what your readers came for: an exciting story about real characters.
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?
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 question and you can talk about what keeps you writing.
And, because there’s a price for everything, all of the sweet knowledge he’ll be jamming down your throat will be balanced out with demanding, but enjoyable weekly assignments. If that’s not enough to get your prose headed in the right direction, I don’t know what to tell you, pal.
To learn more about the course or to sign up, head on over to Litreactor.
Image via Litreactor