1. Tangerinne
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    Tangerinne New Member

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    Urban Fantasy Genre

    Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Tangerinne, Apr 6, 2016.

    So, I have an aspiration to write an urban fantasy novel. Does anyone else share my love of this genre? I love reading authors like Laurell K Hamilton, JR Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Diana Rowland etc. I think my hangup so far though has been I'm not confident that I have an original idea. It feels like a lot of people have hopped on that particular bandwagon (especially in the YA section), and I want to do something that will help me to stand out from the rest I suppose.

    Does anyone else struggle with this?
     
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  2. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, the YA Fantasy (usually urban fantasy as a setting) is insanely popular and desirable at the moment.
    So, it'll be hard to standout as YA has, generally, some very restrictive limits (age of characters, deals with growing up, teen problems)

    I think the best way to stand out is to create original issues, make it funny (doesn't have to be haha humor, but quirky and witty at least)
    Try to have an "original" fantasy flair (Don't do european or medieval or fairies... everyone does that. Do Slav fantasy or german folklore. That'll stand out)
    Maybe try to not have all white kids dealing with white kid problems.
     
  3. Simpson17866
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    Simpson17866 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having just started an Urban Fantasy WIP a few days ago:

    My favorite novelist of all time is Jim Butcher, and my favorite novel series of all time is The Dresden Files ;) I should probably get around to reading the most recent book now that I mention it.

    Wow :D Thank you!

    Would you like to see how I'm adapting a Slavic species to my own story? http://www.writingforums.org/threads/introduce-us-to-one-of-your-original-races.145067/#post-1429920
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2016
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  4. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I like urban fantasy, but the only author I know from the OP is Hamilton, who I didn't care for.

    Some I like:

    Jim Butcher
    Caitlin Kiernan
    Emma Bull
    Charles de Lint
    Seanan McGuire
     
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  5. A.M.P.
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    A.M.P. People Buy My Books for the Bio Photo Supporter Contributor

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    For my next WP, I'm doing research in slavic mythology online and thinking of picking up a book.
    It's so fascinating considering half of the world is slav so everything is jumbled and some things are plain mysterious since there are no records of the deities but there are statues.
     
  6. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Why does it have to be YA? Did she say SHE was doing YA? No, she said other people are. Don't assume.
    @Tangerinne, I'd advise against following that trend. Teen fiction is popular among authors to do, it sells, and it's fun, but a lot of teen fiction is kind of annoying. Especially when it comes to empowering teenagers and telling them they are all mature and stuff. It's kind of irresponsible. Teenagers should be avoiding dangerous stuff so they can live on to be the next generation. Please at least do adult characters if not an adult audience. You don't have to do what I say, but that's my advice.
     
  7. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    I don't agree about the stated limits to YA, other than age. You'll find just about any problem and issue you can think of in YA works.
     
  8. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Whose stated limits?
     
  9. A.M.P.
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    I actually read she wants to do a YA novel not an urban one.
    Guess I got caught up and didn't realize I misunderstood.

    I did.
    I said the genre limits you to age, teen problems (It ain't YA without it imo) and there has to be lots of growing up.
     
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  10. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    Both of them that state that subject matter in YA books is limited.
     
  11. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    That's fine. Honest mistake.:agreed:
     
  12. Tangerinne
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    Tangerinne New Member

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    Yea, sorry for any confusion. I don't want to do a YA novel per say, I was just using that as an example in my original post. I would prefer to do an adult novel because I feel like I would have a little bit more freedom I think.

    I actually thought about doing my main character as a selkie. Irish/Scottish folklore, although I also like the idea of checking out slavic folklore as well. I think I just require a little bit more research and delving into mythology and history before I decide really what I want to do.

    Thanks for all the input so far guys! :)
     
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  13. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Something to stand out would be too do every mythos. Like American Gods. That's not very common. I had an idea involving that premise in an epic-scale urban fantasy. The main theme was how this ancient magical stuff wouldn't fit with our world anymore. I may be trying to live it out vicariously through you. :D
     
  14. Tangerinne
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    Tangerinne New Member

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    lol! I'm alright with this :p That's an intriguing thought though. When you say American gods, do you mean like Native American?
     
  15. plothog
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    plothog Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    American Gods is a novel by Neil Gaiman. It's set in modern USA but it's got characters from all sorts of different mythologies, including a number of gods, that have got transplanted into that setting.
     
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  16. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    No, as in, every mythos like the book American Gods which has many gods and spirits.
     
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  17. Tangerinne
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    Tangerinne New Member

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    Ah, ok. I understand now.
     
  18. RavenHeart
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    RavenHeart Member

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    HUGE Urban Fantasy fan! Really like Laurel K Hamilton's earlier books, Rachel Caine's Weather Warden series, Charlaine Harris' Harper Connelly series and have just discovered Jim Butcher's Harry Dresden books (have just finished reading Bk3).

    Actually finding the JB books has been somewhat of a relief as I've noticed more and more UF titles seem to focus really heavily on the romance/erotica stuff, which is just not what I want to read/write.

    I have a few ideas for UF short stories/novellas/novels that I'm really excited about writing, though I sgree its really difficult to not cover the same ground as other authors, especially in terms of the types of folklore/supernatural characters.
     
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  19. marshipan
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    I don't necessarily think going for less used folklore is the best idea unless it's something you want. It makes the job harder (research) and doesn't improve the story. Another option for standing out is your world's rules. Like the Kate Daniels series, in which magic and technology don't coexist and magic comes in waves.

    Not that I think you should pick out a "what makes mine different" aspect.

    I love urban fantasy too! So more power to you!
     
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  20. Oscar Leigh
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    Oscar Leigh Contributing Member

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    Indeed. Completely original or at least highly unusual concepts are all fine and good, but you shouldn't rely on them because you don't need to be brilliantly different. Just different enough. The main focus should be good characters, good story, good themes, and good writing. Originality is a shiny bauble. It makes it more attention-grabbing if you have a big one. But it's not what makes the tree good.
     
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  21. RavenHeart
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    RavenHeart Member

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    Totally agree, intriguing characters, their interaction and relationships are make a story great!
     
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