What are the challenges you face as a writer in your genre?
Writing in the urban fantasy genre, and all it encompasses, the worry is getting type cast. “Oh, she only writes about vampires” or “Oh, all of her books are too scary.” It’s a big part of why I let my stories take whatever direction they want. I have books that are horror, urban fantasy, epic fantasy, romance and mystery. Then there are some that cross and blend those genres. My feeling is that in the past, the traditional publishing world authors often (and still do) get boxed into a certain “type” of writing. One only has to look as far as JK Rowling and the debate her new book is stirring up. It’s not a children’s fantasy, it won’t have magic or dragons, wands and wizards. Readers are freaking out that they might not like it, and some comments I’ve seen have gone as far as saying that they won’t read the book for fear of a let down.
To me, that is just silly. For all we know, Rowling’s next book could be a total success in the adult fiction world, perhaps even surpassing the Harry Potter books. But if she were to let herself be type cast, we’d never know.
Another problem IMO in the world of urban fantasy is the tendency for the writing to become just a re-hashing of other stories. If you want to stand out in this genre, and really get readers attention, then you need to write something unique, and this can be difficult. I’ve stumbled over this myself and have had to check my progress in my writing, step back and re-write sections that were becoming predictable.
The third thing I would say causes difficulty writing in this genre is not being taken seriously by other writers. There is still the mentality that if you write fantasy of any type you aren’t a “real” writer. Meaning that fantasy is sort of the McDonalds of the writing world to a lot of people.
My gut reaction to this is, people with this mentality haven’t read as much as they think they have. Authors of fantasy have some of the hardest storylines to write. We build worlds, new races, legends, along with everything else that is important to a storyline. Character arc, plot, theme, motivation and the prose itself.
But, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and I would never back down when someone asks me what I write. I like a challenge, I like feeling that I am growing as a writer and writing fantasy, urban or otherwise, is one way for me to do that.
So say it with me folks! "I am a writer and I write Fantasy!"