Urban Fantasy – Pass or Fail.

I am taking the Urban Fantasy Masterclass, and I have just read the first section of the very first email, and it talks about Urban Fantasy conventions and rules that apparently most UF writers live by. The teacher of this class also says that “it would take an exceptional book—and a brave editor—to bypass them”:

  • Urban fantasy is told in first person. (Fail. Not even close. Told in 3rd Omnicient.)
  • You need a strong willed and feisty female protagonist. (Yeah? No. Fail. She’s more of the antagonist.)
  • Urban fantasy must have an urban setting. (Mostly Achieved. Apart from trips to Antarctica and the Amazonian forest)
  • You need lots of action. (Well… I hope that I have achieved this. Let’s wait and see….)
  • Sex sells. Give your protagonist a love interest multiple love interests. (Um. Fail. Antagonist apparently likes sex though.)
  • You need a compelling villain. (*sigh* I have no idea if they are compelling or not. I can no longer see the forest through the trees. But I’ve got my fingers crossed.)

Apparently a few of these conventions can be broken, which is kind of a relief considering I have obviously already done that. Might just make this trilogy a little harder to sell…. apparently?

Oh, and one more rule that every Urban Fantasy novel should have: Magic. Of some form.

So… I guess that in terms of taking this class, I am hoping to seek some sort of guidence with world building, action scenes, and anything else that I can possibly glean from this course. I would like to start the first major edit of Talent -Book I soon, and anything will help considering I have never written Urban fantasy before.

Who knows what will happen to my imagination after this. It may run rampant with future Urban Fantasy stories… or I may just quite while I’m ahead. Writing Urban Fantasy, that is. 🙂

Oh, and just for the record – there will still be no stoned fairies in this series. Just saying…


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  1. OK, rule number one would have me backing out of the class ASAP. What a load of total shit. I’ve read countless urban fantasy novels that are in third, so … somebody doesn’t know what the hell they’re talking about.

    The only thing that quantifies whether a novel is urban fantasy, is whether the fantasy novel you’re writing takes place in an urban setting, that’s all. Nothing else. And the contention that it would take a brave editor or exceptional book to make breaks work is also total shit.

    Just write from the heart … that’s the most important thing.


    1. 🙂 Thank you Ms Chancellor!
      I think I might just do that. I am certainly not going to conform to societies view of how UF should look like. Hell no.
      Once a rule breaker, always a ball breaker. Oppers – I mean ‘rule’ breaker.


      1. I’m going to second jschancellor. Stacia Kane has two different UF series out in third person and she’s just the first person off the top of my head. Good luck with your book, but I really don’t think there are any hard and fast rules with UF. Even the ‘urban’ category is sometimes up for debate in a few series out there. Some of them aren’t very big cities…


  2. Hey Leigh,

    So I’m a total follow-the-rules chick but from what I’ve learned over the years as a writer is that there really are no rules. I don’t know what your urban fantasy series will be about, but I’m sure it will rock socks off people’s feet 🙂 I hope you enjoy the class but be aware that what works and sells for one person doesn’t work and sell for someone else. Plus, one of the biggest controversies in the writing world is this whole fit-in-a-box, rules-of-steel, cannot-wiggle mentality a lot of people who “teach” writing insist must be. They are usually the people who cannot see past writing as anything other than a structured, scientific process.

    PS: J.S. is right. It’s total s—!!


    1. Yep, I tend to agree with you.
      I’m not usually one to pay much attention to the rules anyway – as you can tell. I think you are dead right about the ‘rules’ that teachers abide by. But I also think that they have to have some sort of rules that they follow and teach by. Ah well.
      We will see. Depending on how I feel, I’ll keep everyone up to date on here with this UF course. I’m just more than happy to delve into someone else’s knowledge on the genre that I’m currently writing.


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