Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Research Part Two: Demons, The Church and the Bible

The Arcana Chronicles is considered 'Urban Fantasy'

What the hell is 'Urban Fantasy', you ask?

Wikipedia has a brief description: Urban fantasy is a subset of fantasy defined by place; the fantastic narrative has an urban setting. Many urban fantasies are set in contemporary times or contain supernatural elements. However, this is not the primary definition of urban fantasy. Urban fantasy can be set in historical times, modern times, or futuristic times. The prerequisite is that it must be primarily set in a city, rather than in a suburban or country setting, which have their own genre subsets.

Basically a story with fantasy elements that takes place in a city.

Part one of the research diatribe a few posts ago was location-based. T and I wandered around the city of Boston, where Symon's adventures take place (at least initially).

Part two, dear reader, discusses some of the fantasy elements in the story.

As someone who has been taught magic by the Catholic Church, I've spent a lot of time not only researching the modern Church, but also the history of Catholicism in general. I guess a point I should make here is that I'm not Catholic, however my children are...that's a discussion for a different post.

Second, I've been reading different versions of the Bible. There is a boatload of material in the 'good book' to play with....and a even larger amount on non- canonical work. In fact I use the Book of Enoch and some elements from it in a rather twisted way in Book Two.

But the series isn't religious per se. In fact, Symon is agnostic. There is very little in the way of preachy, Church doctrine in the books. That's not the story I'm telling.

BUT...I need the background to write properly about certain Church elements. What does a Cardinal wear? What is the hierarchy of the Church? Is there really a Pontifical Commission for Sacred Archeology? (The answer is Yes, BTW)

And of course if you're gonna have the church, and Angels, You have to have demons too. I reference the Clavis Salomon (Lesser Key of Solomon) to find the first two 'bad guys' of the series.

Research is so critical to give depth and color to the story...especially if you are going to write fantasy. By definition you are already writing the fantastical. Grounding the fantasy with bits of well-researched culture and history provides a pretty good 'one-two' punch.

Besides, it's fun!


Post a Comment