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DISCUSSION: How Close to Home Should Your Urban Fantasy Be?

It’s been a while since I’ve hosted a discussion, but I couldn’t resist today’s! If you write urban fantasy or want to start, brew a tea and make yourself comfortable!

As some of you will have seen, I’m plotting an urban fantasy novella series for after the BLOOD WISP trilogy. While I’ve always written fantasy, I’m new to this specific sub genre.

I’ve read plenty of urban fantasy novels and novellas, but I never thought I’d write one! It always struck me as a genre that I wouldn’t be able to do well or in an exciting way.

DISCUSSION: How Close to Home Should Your Urban Fantasy Be?

You see, writing epic fantasy is easy. You create a whole world from scratch, you invent all the towns and businesses and people. But when you write urban fantasy, you work with things that already exist.

For me, that’s a lot harder.

It’s true that every author puts a bit of themselves into every book they write. Somehow, with this sub genre, that’s a tad more daunting.

Do I set my urban fantasy where I live or grew up? When my character gets a hot chocolate from her favourite place, do I name the cafe? How vague should I be? How detailed is too detailed?

As you can probably tell, I’ve been wondering just how close to home my urban fantasy WIP should be. I thought why not open a discussion?



  • how do you decide on a setting?
  • how much do you reference real places you’ve been to?
  • should you draw on your own experiences and memories more than for other genres?
  • does writing urban fantasy differ in any way to writing other sub genres?

And if there are any other aspects of writing urban fantasy you’d like to discuss, go ahead! This discussion is a playground, so bring all your author mates to join in <3

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Published inA Writer's Musings

One Comment

  1. Ruth Miranda Ruth Miranda

    So far, I’ve written mainly Urban Fantasy – there’s a mystery romance, too, but just the one – and while I did use REAL places for my first series (London, Port Eynon, Swansea, New Orleans, Helsinki, Rovaniemi and Sintra all exist, and I did do extensive research on these places – except for SIntra, I live so close to it, I should know it well), I also invented a small town in Maine. As for my following works, while I reverted to using Port Eynon and London again (all my Urban Fantasy novels end up being tied together inside a sort of universe of beings I created) for parts of the action, I also invented a village in Scotland in connection with my current WIP, so I tend to mix it all up, using real places and ones I invented. I decide my settings according to plot, the story will drive the settings, usually. If it differes from other genres, I have no idea, on my novels, the stuff that mostly happens to my characters could happen to me and you, I think, except we’re not vampires nor witches and we don’t have Fey blood…

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