Paranormal Urban Fantasy, while a young genre, has been around long enough to start gathering clichés. Some of these clichés are the same ones that plague every other genre as well, especially romance. Paranormal Urban Fantasy is rich ground for new paradigms. Some of the old ones need to go.
Stalking (as a form of affection)
When a guy stalks a girl, even if he thinks it is for her protection, he is invading her privacy. He is limiting her freedom. He is being gross. This is not good guy behavior, not even in Fantasy.
The point of Urban Fantasy is to root the fantastic in the real. It’s fun to engage with characters who wrestle with at least a few of the same problems as the reader. A main character who hobnobs around the world in a private jet and fancy boots without ever having to worry about earning income defeats the purpose. Get a job, Faery Werewolf girl. Live within your means like the rest of us.
I’m being a hypocrite here because in my novel The Arrow (Children of Brigid, Book 1), main character Fynn Kildare magically knows immunological science. But at least she went to college to get a PhD. She’s killer in a fight, but that’s after years of archery and combat practice when she was growing up. No fair just being born with a bunch of radical skills without earning at least a few of them.
Enough with the bad-ass babes who fall into puddles at the sight of the handsome love interest. Enough with the clumsy and the clueless, stumbling into danger by making a string of lame decisions. How about a woman who knows what she’s doing, and saves the fellow for a change?
Centuries-old men and very young women
I’ve heard the argument calling for a reversal of this trope with centuries-old women and very young men, but that’s awful too. If one side of the love match could be the other’s great-great-great grandson or daughter, what are the couple supposed to talk about? It just speaks to a few unresolved psychological issues on both sides. Not sexy.
This is a call to Paranormal Urban Fiction authors to continue to blast the limits of genre, and design some new tropes. Where else can you weave a story about the modern incarnation of an ancient fertility goddess fighting a corporate pharmaceutical conspiracy to enslave humans and Divine alike with an addictive demon drug forged in hell? If we can dream in Paranormal Urban Fantasy, we should be able to blast the old clichés with our authorial faery dust, easy.