Writers Republic
Published in

Writers Republic

What is Urban Fantasy and how could you write it?

urban fantasy

If you are thinking of writing a book of your very own, and you want to come up with a great story, you should try writing urban fantasy. This fantasy sub-genre is a great way to jumpstart the writing process, and impress your potential readers as well. If you are thinking of writing in the urban fantasy genre though, you should know what it is, and have a set strategy. In this article we will delve into the urban fantasy sub-genre, and learn how to write it the right way.

What is urban fantasy?

The urban fantasy genre is a subgenre that uses fantasy elements in an urban setting. This is a great concept because it revamps the fantasy theme, and is fun to write about. The sub-genre often uses fantasy elements such as monsters, gods, and magic. They are also usually set in a more modern timeline, which makes the contrast between fantasy and modern conveniences more striking.

Tips on how to write urban fantasy

Now that you know what an urban fantasy is, you should get started in writing a story. Here are some tips on how to write urban fantasy.

1. The story must take place in an urban setting

If you are going to write in the urban fantasy genre, it is important that you set it in a modern setting. Resist the urge to set the story in a forest or a grove. You may be writing fantasy, but remember that you are specifically writing urban fantasy. As a rule, you should always set your story in a metropolitan setting.

2. Establish a set history

A key aspect of writing urban fantasy is the history. Remember that you will be creating an entire world. You should make sure to establish a set history, and create figures that directly affected this history. By creating a set history for your urban fantasy world, you will be able to add more depth and nuance to your stories.

3. Root the conflict in modern issues

Remember that you are writing a fantasy set in the modern era, this means the conflict should always be rooted in modern issues. There should be no marauding hoards of orcs from another clan, or outlaws from a forest. Instead you should utilize modern issues. Instead of a marauding hoard, you could write about a gang war between orcs and elves. You could also write about more subtle issues such as racial discrimination, economic inequality, and gender roles.

4. Stay away from cliché fantasy character tropes

The usual fantasy character tropes are wizards, warriors, rouges, etc. While these character tropes are good enough for traditional fantasy stories, they are not really a good fit for urban fantasy. Instead, you should use commonplace character tropes, and add fantasy elements to them.

5. Integrate modern and fantasy themes effectively

You should make sure to integrate modern and fantasy themes flawlessly. The main goal is to create a world where modern convenience and fantasy elements are intrinsically linked. You could write scenes where people are riding cars to work, while a fantastical beast like a Minotaur or a Cyclopes is doing construction work in the background. Your main goal should be to create a world wherein fantasy and modern concepts are so heavily enmeshed that people don’t even pay it any mind. By doing so, you will be able to create a believable world where the modern and fantasy worlds converge seamlessly.

6. Utilize magic realistically

If you are going to use magic in your urban fantasy story, you should make sure to use it as realistically as possible. You should explain how magic works in an otherwise modern world. Magic does not exist in our world, however, in your urban fantasy world, it does. It is your responsibility to explain how magic exists and where it is derived from. Take the time to explain how the magical elements function in the world you have created.

7. Start your main characters young

If you want to build even further on your urban fantasy story, you should start your main characters young. This will give you time to have your characters grow, and explore the urban fantasy world you have created. Having young characters will also make your story more flexible. You could have your characters look at the world with wide-eyed wonder, and this makes the exploration of the world you have created more authentic and organic. Just make sure that you have your characters grow emotionally, physically and mentally as the story goes on.


When it comes to writing in the urban fantasy genre, you should make sure that you know the key characteristics of the genre, and a strategy on how to write it the right way. This article will help you to do so effectively.

Posts you might also like:

How to Publish a Book in 2022 (Your Ultimate Guide to Success)

Ultimate List of Character Flaws for Writing Your Story

Have you ever thought of self-publishing a book? Take a look at Writers Republic Reviews, and learn all you need to know about self-publishing!



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Flynn Hannan

Flynn Hannan

Bibliophile , Senior Indie Editor at Writers Republic