Do urban fantasy cliches work?

Do Urban Fantasy cliches work?

Sometimes yes; sometimes No.

If things arent going smoothly with your UF WIP, maybe it’s because you know you’ve hit that wall of unorigionality that jams us all up from time to time. To help, author William Meikle gives us six no-nos to consider when writing Urban Fantasy.

  • Receiving tutoring from the old wise man
  • Learning to fight
  • Parting from everything you ever knew
  • Being abducted from Earth to a different world
  • Multi race bar room
  • Discovering hidden family truths

I’ve been guilty of at least one of these. Don’t worry, not in Messy Death thank GAWD! William makes a lot of good points in this post and while I agree with his parting comment, “Clichés still have their place in popular culture. Just don’t take that as an excuse to use them yourself. At least not too often,” it was that very last sentence that sealed the deal. These no-nos have saturated the industry; they’ve infected your writer brain to the point of absolute confusion. These clichés have been done so much they’re not even dead anymore. They’re urban fantasy Zombies. Shambling around eating the new, fresh ideas right out of our brains.


You did it as a teenager (hopefully); now do it again.

Now, I’m going to paraphrase a quote on the TV show Scandal recently. Keep it in mind when you’re writing. It might save you from those UF Zombies.

All roads should lead to your unique prose. Nobody elses. 

The last piece of advice I have to offer is something I came across so long ago I don’t remember who said it or where it came from.

The important part is it stuck.

If you write yourself into a jam, write yourself out. I believe the same theory be applied to clichés.

Here’s the Link to William Meikle’s article. http://urbanfantasywriters.com/index.php/fantasy-writing-six-cliches-to-avoid/

Live. Write. Read.



2 comments on “Do urban fantasy cliches work?

  1. Good points. I’ve been reading some of the early UF from the 1980s which looks different from a lot of what is popular today to get a better understanding of how the genre has evolved. I’m learning cool stuff and different ways to tackle UF by reading things like Bordertown anthologies in between Jim Butcher and other popular UF as well as indie authors of today. Reading reviews of anthologies put together by an editor who has been involved in UF for 20 years makes for fascinating reading also.

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