Other Cool Blogs: Epicstream 12/27/2015

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Jake Vyper asks What is the main difference between Urban Fantasy and Horror?

That is a good question, because a writer needs to deliver a product matching the expectations of the reader. On the surface, they seem very similar. Both are contemporary settings, have monsters, and have the protagonist dealing with the monsters. What is the hair that separates the two?

Mr. Vyper says it is the competency of the protagonist. In Urban Fantasy, the reader/watcher goes – Oh, yeah, that is exactly how to take on the monster. In Horror, the reader/watcher goes – What are you doing, you fool!

But there is more to the different genres than the competency of the protagonist. In a Horror, at the end, even if the monster is defeated, the final chapter hints at its eventual return. The monster is never wholly defeated. In an Urban Fantasy, the monster is either defeated or ends up in the bedroom. (We got a weird culture.)

In Urban Fantasy, even if initial denial of the monster concept happens, acceptance and fitting it into the main character world’s view is possible. In a Horror, the monster remains half-hidden until it comes in and rends what little sanity is left. There is no acceptance possible, no fitting it into the two-story house and white picket fence of real life. In fact, often, real life seems permanently destroyed.

Another trope difference, in Horror the person is isolated, no one is around to help, and, often, the person is a fish-out-of-water, unfamiliar with the environment. In addition, the monster is focused on the victim personally. In Urban Fantasy, with the Urban environment, the monster endangers the crowds. Not only that, but as the relationship between the hero and monster grows, the monster goes after … the hero’s family and friends (not the hero). Through it all, the main character remains in the familiar environment of where they live even if the magic veil has been pulled back. Isolation and unfamiliar verses danger to others.

Again, you can read the full article here: http://epicstream.com/features/The-Main-Difference-Between-Urban-Fantasy-and-Horror

WRITING EXERCISE: What other trope differences can you think of between Urban Fantasy and Horror? Are Horror, Disaster, and Apocalypse stories different genres – where do they overlap and where do they diverge? How about the trope differences between Fantasy and Science Fiction? How could you use some of these differences to play with reader expectations? Have you ever written a story where the genre lines have blurred, and what tropes were used?


My flash, One Soul Per, initially seems a standard Fantasy – maybe even an erotica fantasy, but it changes toward the end. The protagonist made some stupid mistakes for a solider, and his life takes a turn from hero to horror.