The Staple Elements Of Urban Fantasy

Part One: Seen and Unseen by Karen Eastland.

What are the staple elements, or writing techniques necessary for the creation of Urban Fantasy that ensures what you are writing fits within the genres most basic requirements?

The main element of Urban Fantasy is the seen and unseen worlds. Urban Fantasy should contain these elements for a story to work. Every academic writing about Urban Fantasy, Ekman (2016), Beagle (2011), Burcher et al (2009), Guran (2011) to name a few, begin by outlining the importance of these two worlds.

World one:

World one should be a familiar setting and must be familiar to your intended audience. It should represent the common world we live in, were the humdrum of human life passes day by day without any known magical beings to make those human days fantastic.

World two.

Word two is the hidden world where the unseen, the unknown, are all around, or beneath (Subterranean), us, and if only we had the gift, or ability, to know it is there our lives would be so much better, or, so much worse than the author imagines.

Many, at some point in their lives, desire to see that secret or, hidden world. To become lost within its imagined beauty and empowered by its magic, to become strong and able to stand in the real urban world that we call Earth.

I began disappearing into the fantasy to escape the urban when I was a small child. I could imagine that secret world, hidden from everyone but me, and although it was just a thought, the emotion behind that thought somehow made it real enough for me to feel safe, if only for a little while.

Urban Fantasy has the ability to create one of two possibilities, it can transform fear into fantasy, or the bad into so much worse. It is no wonder Urban Fantasy has become a preferred genre for authors and young adult female, and female identifying, individuals. Every one is trying to escape something, even if they do not know it.

FaceBook Karen Eastland FaceBook Writing Urban Twitter


Beagle, PS 2011, ‘Introduction’, in PS Beagle & JR Lansdale (eds), The
urban fantasy anthology,
Tachyon Publications, San Francisco, CA, pp.

Burcher, C, Hollands, N, Smith, A, Trott, B & Zellers, J 2009, ‘Core
collections in genre studies: fantasy fiction 101’, Reference & User
Services Quarterly
, vol. 48, no. 3, pp. 226–231.

Ekman, S 2016, ‘Urban Fantasy: a literature of the unseen’, Journal of
the Fantastic in the Arts
, vol. 27, no. 3, pp. 451–469.

Guran, P 2011, ‘Introduction: a funny thing happened on the way to
Urban Fantasy’, in PS Beagle & JR Lansdale (eds), The urban fantasy
, Tachyon Publications, San Francisco, CA, pp. 137–145,
viewed 24 October 2019,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *