I really had fun when I challenged myself last year to write a flash science fiction short story each month. I enjoyed the excitement of writing a different type of story each month and I think I managed to stretch my writing skills a bit, trying out some new writing styles and coming up with some fun story ideas. (If you want to see how I did and get a brief look at the stories I wrote, check out my previous blog recap.)
So, I had so much fun last year that I decided to continue the challenge again this year. But instead of writing science fiction, this year I will be writing fantasy. This should be fun as I (along with Coy) already write fantasy novels. The Constable Inspector Lunaria Adventure series is detective fantasy, and our Saul Imbierowicz vampire trilogy is paranormal (supernatural) historical fantasy. (Say that five times fast.)
As I started contemplating the themes I might try my hand at this year I did some searches to see what is considered to be part of the larger fantasy genre these days. Wow! I found several websites each with their own lists of fantasy subgenres and themes. There were many that were repeated between lists, but several finely curated subgenres. I’m not going to argue the merits of what might or might not be a “fantasy” subgenre. But I did collect a list of twenty-two different subgenres and fantasy themes. I’m sure there may be more, but twenty-two was plenty to allow me to pick twelve to write on this year.
January: Sword and Sorcery
February: Urban Fantasy
March: Gaslamp Fantasy
May: Paranormal Historical Fiction (I smell a Saul flash fiction story here.)
June: Detective Fiction (What? I’m not going to do a fantasy writing challenge and NOT write a story featuring Reva.)
July: Anthropomorphic Fantasy
September: Dragon (Dragons may not necessarily be a subgenre, but they are definitely a theme, and I’ve always wanted to write a story with a dragon in it.)
October: Swashbuckling Fantasy
November: Weird West
December: Heroic Fantasy (with a spy/thriller twist featuring a new character that Coy and I have been developing)
As with last year my goal is to keep these stories around 1500 words. I know flash fiction is generally considered to be under 1000 words, but sometimes you need to be able to tell the story. And keeping it under 2000 words is still a hard challenge at times.
My first story is already done! (It is nearly February already – no, you’re procrastinating) and I’m looking forward to writing more stories this year.