Writing Dark Romance in Fantasy Worlds

dark romance

Hello all! Welcome back to this blog!

Today I want to talk about some of my favorite writing genres.

Writing has its tricks. Writing in some particular genre, or cross-genres as is more frequent, also obeys to some rules. It has a certain way it should be done, it has tropes, it starts, progresses and end, in a certain way.

Even if we think we are writing something different from what is considered mainstream for the genre, truth is that it can go in one of two ways:

  • Or we are writing something that doesn’t have readers interested in it;
  • Or it fits some genre that already exist we just weren’t as well read as we thought we were, and weren’t able to categorize it properly.

Either way, we seem to be at a lost to whom our books may be of interest.

For example, I love to write romance. I love to write romance in different genres.

About this theme, I truly think that life without love isn’t easy… or worth it. I also don’t think that loving is easy. It is hard work and a discovery process that is painful enough.

But I do believe that, it is the search for love that helps us cope with the ugly demons of this world… us.

So I love to write romance in Contemporary, Fantasy, Urban, Supernatural genres. It is not fluffy, next door vibe kind of romance. It’s painful, gritty, pain induced, self-discovery journey, which Love helps set right.

I believe that a story is as compelling as characters try to chase their inner demons out of their lives or, at least, invite them to tea and lay out the ground rules for coping in the same body and mind.

Throughout the years, I have been writing some tragic short stories, some of them quite supernatural themed. I always seem to gravitate that way when I write short-stories and I frankly don’t know why.

But it’s on the longer fiction that I find solace in delivering some satisfying endings. I put them through hell but in the end they find meaning in their sufferings… The eternal hope for those that, no matter how much they suffer in life, just have to keep hoping to find some meaning in all of it.

While growing up, and learning about stories in books, films and series, I always thought a story benefited greatly from a good, sometimes not achieved but always latent, love interest.

Some of those stories weren’t romances at all. In some of those we were not supposed to follow that thread except as a backstory that accompanied throughout the pursuit of some main quest. Several crime series come to mind.

But, truth be told, it was in those snippets of almost conquering something that shouldn’t be (and weren’t) the main concern of the story that picked my interest. I do remember this clearly in lot’s of series and films, through my teenager ears. That and a great interest in sci-fi, supernatural and drama.

I keep trying to find my way through these genres and personal tendencies while I write my stories. I keep seeing the plots and sub-plots as worlds that are worth exploring. Worlds of pain and grief, and expectations unmet, betrayal and pure unadulterated love… or not so much. Finding demons to subdue through the oh so human need to love and feel loved.

Does this give me an all fluffy, next door vibe kind of romance? Not quite. But it gives me some dark personal universes to work with.

And I enjoy every moment of it. If I could just make it darker, as it should be… 

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Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼


Hello NaNoWriMo and lots of ‘Shapeshifters’

Hello NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo is here!!!!

Let’s make a resume of this project during all of it’s existence.

A few years ago, I plotted, planned, and wrote a book in a Universe I called ‘The Shapeshifters’. It was 2012 and it was entitled ‘The Pariah’.

I devoted a lot of time thinking about this concept which, being far from a novelty, I wanted to work out in my particular way.

Fast forward a few years… in the beginning of 2021

Freshly out of writing a Vampire Story… I decided to enter The 100 Day Challenge. 

During the development of some short texts, which were my #the100daychallenge object, and with some twenty days in, I started to write this story in the Shapeshifters Universe.

I began in it’s middle and then, worked my way through until the end, and then wrote the beginning.

The idea to write about a particular scene, in ‘The Shapeshifters’ Universe had been there for a while. I had a vivid snippet of events that kept coming back, and didn’t stop until I got it on a page.

Finishing the #the100daychallenge I kept going, until the first rough draft was finished.

Then I gave it a rest.

On November of 2021

I got back to it, writing the Portuguese second draft during NaNoWriMo. With 50 412 words, just in time to accomplished the word count.

And then, it went into the back burner again. There was something about this story which seemed to be incomplete. It just felt pale in comparison to what I wanted to convey.

I’ve kept thinking about it, and spending a lot of time trying to work it all out in my mind, after all it’s a project into which I had put a lot of my faith into.

June 2022

With the approaching of June, entering in my first Camp NaNo ever, getting back to ‘The Shapeshifters’ seemed the right thing to do. So I started to rewrite a third draft, but…

Suddenly I noticed I had been reimagining a new first scene in another language. Going with it, I thought ‘I’ll change this later…’

Then it got me thinking again. Maybe this was my opportunity to strike another milestone on my path: to write a book in the English language.

Why? Quite frankly, because it seemed exciting, adding several more complex layers to this task.

I know, it isn’t some big deal but, to me, it was a strange and almost providential turn on this life’s project.

Now I had a new draft to rewrite, in a new language, in his full right of existing separately from the previous drafts.

Camp NaNo didn’t saw my expectations of advancing on a third draft fulfilled. Instead I added more layers to the complexity of this task.

But, at the same time, it got me thinking in all that I wanted to do with it; All the backstory I missed including; All the characters which were appearing shallow and unidimensional; The entirety of a Universe that palled in its previous versions.

In September…

I got really focused on polishing my notes for this project. From polishing notes to expand on the things I thought were missing, was a short step.

And then, with the proximity of this year’s NaNoWriMo event, it grew exponentially. I went from having a sketch of a story, to plotting a trilogy with all it’s flair.

On the 1st of November of 2022, I’ve started to write ‘The Shapeshifters #1’ which already has another title, but it will remain with this one until the trilogy is completed.

I am stoked by all of this process. I’m loving to bring to life the ideas I plotted for this story. I’m focusing on meeting my writing goals and in the task of building a good story… and trying to ‘never mind the rest’.

Are you entering NaNoWriMo? Let’s be buddies?

(I’m sara-farinha from Portugal)

And, please let me know how’s your project going. 

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Bye and Keep writing! ✍🏼