8 Urban Fantasy Archetypes You Deal With Every Day

Urban Fantasy is a great escape from reality.

Yet if you think about it, you face the following Urban Fantasy archetypes every day.

Challenge

Okay, so maybe you aren’t a soldier in an ancient vampire war, or facing an impending demon horde.  But everyone faces challenge. A challenge can be anything from fighting an illness to finishing a project. Maybe your challenge isn’t as life-threatening as a literal demon trying to physically kill you, but we all have our own figurative demons to wrestle.

City

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Cities put the Urban in Urban Fantasy.

Settings are as   in normal life as in Urban Fantasy. The City may be your workplace, your school, or your neighborhood. The City is the geographical place you call home, with its buildings, natural landmarks, dangers and delights. Your City might not be hiding werewolves underground, but you know how to navigate it to survive and fight evil nonetheless.

Monster

Monsters in Urban Fantasy can be easier to spot than in real life. It’s hard to miss a three-toed demon aiming right for your head. Yet a monster in real life can be just as devastating as one threatening a heroine of Urban Fantasy.  Modern monsters are difficult to slay—I’m talking bills, a flat tire, those last ten pounds. You know what it’s like to go up against an adversary. Take heart.  Monsters are destined to be vanquished eventually.

Two-Faced Frenemy

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Yeah, one face is plenty. Two-faced chicks are terrible.

In many Urban Fantasy adventures, the monster hides behind a mask. Everyone can think of at least one person who seems nice but is just flat out untrustworthy. This can be a faithless lover, or a friend who is nice to your face, but then talks smack about you behind your back. In my own Urban Fantasy THE ARROW, two-faced frenemies are a major problem, and that’s all I can say without a spoiler alert. I’ll put it this way: I drew on a lot of bad memories from junior high for inspiration.

Helper

Every hero has at least one Helper, and so do you. An Urban Fantasy Helper can be a protector, a sword sharpener, the person with the keys. As a high school teacher, I like to think of myself as my students’ Helper.  During finals week, they mistake me for the Monster.

Guide

A Guide is an Urban Fantasy hero or heroine’s mentor. The Guide has advanced knowledge that comes from study and experience. You know when someone is your Guide when you find yourself going to that person for advice when you have no idea what to do. If you don’t have a Guide, consider finding a good mentor. Any Urban Fantasy protagonist knows that an excellent Guide is a valuable friend to have.

Supernaturally Attractive Heartthrob

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Modern incarnation of an ancient god? Yes, please.

I’m such a fan of the Supernaturally Attractive Heartthrob that I gave my own main character two. She’s caught between her relationship with a rock star god that she has adored since they were kids, and a surfer biker half-demon who was bred to kill her, but who now is devoted to protecting her.  Did I mention they are both Supernaturally Attractive? Yeah, I love my job.

Hero

Every Urban Fantasy has a hero or heroine, and so does your life. You are the hero of your own journey, navigating your City with your own Challenges, Helpers, Monsters and hopefully at least one Supernaturally Attractive Heartthrob (if not more!) as a gorgeous distraction.  Looking at it this way, Urban Fantasy isn’t just an escape. It’s a reflection of your own courage, strength and magic as you conquer evil in a world gone mad.

As much fun as it is to escape reality through Urban Fantasy novels, it’s great to realize that you are just as awesome as the heroes and heroines you love to read about. No wonder we love this genre.

THE ARROW is on sale today, if you want to see what I mean about Frenemies and Supernaturally Attractive Heartthrobs (two of them).

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