The Writers' Helpers

Hi, can you give any advice on writing urban fantasy? Whenever I look for any book of that genre at the local bookstore, they all seems to be Twilight clones.

(Okay so someone asked this a while ago and I answered it but it didn’t post and then either someone else answered it and I haven’t seen that post (my computer is being silly I’m afraid) or tumblr then ate it, but anyway. Here’s the answer I originally gave that then disappeared into the ether.)

Ugh, I feel your pain. Twilight spin-offs are everywhere these days.
Urban fantasy as a genre tends to be darker than paranormal romance, though, so that’s usually a good starting point. What I would say is develop your world, and then develop it some more. Decide what’s possible and then stick to it. Be consistent. Be imaginative. Be crazy.
Personally, I would recommend staying away from vampires, werewolves and angels, simply because they’re currently being done to death. If you want to go down the supernatural creatures route, try searching for some more interesting supernatural creatures. Maybe consider demons - they’re always fun. There’s a fab list of urban legends and creepy things that might get your creative juices going here: 10 Wikipedia Entries to Read in the Dark. But also remember that supernatural creatures aren’t an essential part of an urban fantasy - it’s fine to have urban fantasy with no weird and wonderful beings at all. But in that case, you will probably need some form of magic (but it needn’t be as obvious as abracadabra - I always like hedge magic, pagan beliefs, and the darker forms of Christianity - like the whole idea of selling one’s soul to the devil etc etc). The above link has some magical stuff on there as well, which might be useful =]
Here’s some links to interesting/helpful stuff:
Some urban fantasy novels I can think of off the top of my head include:
I can usually find urban fantasy in my local bookshops under ‘fantasy’ (avoid anything labelled ‘paranormal/dark romance’ like the plague), and there are some lists on Goodreads as well.
I hope this is helpful! Good luck =]
-M
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