Author Topic: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves  (Read 16089 times)

Offline the neurovore of Zur-En-Aargh

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #45 on: May 07, 2013, 06:09:33 PM »
I don't mind first person at all, but UF is kinda overrun with first person stories and something different is always nice.

I can't think of a contemporary UF Novel that isn't in first.

What I would like to see myself is more of the sort of things you can do with really strongly defined and interestingly unreliable first-person narrators that you see a lot in UF (Felix Castor, Jayne Heller, "Bob Howard", possibly Sandman Slim though I have no extra-textual reasons to believe that one's being done on purpose) being done in other streams of SF.   Am working on it in the current project, but I can't write everything I'd like to read.
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Offline Spot

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #46 on: May 07, 2013, 06:27:57 PM »
My biggest pet peeves in UF:

  • Unwanted romance. Not just sex, romance. When I read a book with a strong character, be they male or female, they don't necessarily need a significant other for the story to progress. And even if they did have a romantic partner, that relationship doesn't need a front and center description all the time. It's like in real life, how often do you go on and on about your amazzinnnnnnnnnng relationship at work? Because in an urban fantasy story, whatever the character is doing (fighting bad guys or hunting down clues to something that the bad guys did) it's all "work".
  • Detailed descriptions of sex. Accepted that sex is something authors like to write about and people like to read about, but not in urban fantasy. Given the number of books out there with such scenes, we almost need a new sub-genre "Erotica with urban fantasy elements".
  • Predictable use of other author's ideas. Let's talk about sparkly vampires for a minute. Those books have sub-par writing and a very horrible story line, but that aside, at least there's a different reason for vampires not going out in the sunlight. Take also for example, the Toby Daye books by Seanan McGuire. There's a whole dark side to the older Fae myths that is just fascinating. The stories are different and that's what makes the books so awesome. If the author has taken a species or a myth that has been done a million times before and changed nothing about it, I lose interest in the books.
  • Lack of a sense of humour. I don't expect all books to be funny. Far from it. But I do expect at least the main character to have a sense of humour. Twisted jokes? Perfect. Silly jokes? Wonderful! After all, we read to get away from the humdrum reality of life. What better way than if you can chuckle at something?

I could go on and on, but that would make me sound like a whiny puppy. So I will stop. ;D
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Offline the neurovore of Zur-En-Aargh

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2013, 06:46:31 PM »
   
  • Detailed descriptions of sex. Accepted that sex is something authors like to write about and people like to read about, but not in urban fantasy. Given the number of books out there with such scenes, we almost need a new sub-genre "Erotica with urban fantasy elements".

I've heard them called "vampire shaggers"; I prefer the term "nosferotica" but I can't seem to get it to take off.

Quote
   
  • Lack of a sense of humour. I don't expect all books to be funny. Far from it. But I do expect at least the main character to have a sense of humour. Twisted jokes? Perfect. Silly jokes? Wonderful! After all, we read to get away from the humdrum reality of life. What better way than if you can chuckle at something?

It depends on the characters, but certainly, there is a specific flavour of humour that people in dangerous jobs often develop  to help cope, and more of that among urban fantasy characters in similarly dangerous situations would be appealing to me.
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Offline Spot

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2013, 06:49:27 PM »
I've heard them called "vampire shaggers"; I prefer the term "nosferotica" but I can't seem to get it to take off.
I'd much rather we didn't have to call them anything at all. ;) But yes, if there was a genre called Nosferotica, I may be tempted to pick one up one day.

It depends on the characters, but certainly, there is a specific flavour of humour that people in dangerous jobs often develop  to help cope, and more of that among urban fantasy characters in similarly dangerous situations would be appealing to me.
Exactly. And that sense of humour is what helps us in real life, when things are not going exactly the way we want them to. Why should any character in a book be different? Because that's how you care about characters in books, when you can identify with them, be it one trait or all of them.
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Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2013, 08:41:38 PM »
I rather like the term "nosferotica' Neuro. 
Maybe it's too high class for those who like that kind of thing. ::) ::)

I agree with all you said Spot and I don't think you're being a whinny puppy about it.

"Lack of a sense of humour. I don't expect all books to be funny. Far from it. But I do expect at least the main character to have a sense of humour. Twisted jokes? Perfect. Silly jokes? Wonderful! After all, we read to get away from the humdrum reality of life. What better way than if you can chuckle at something?"

A lot of cops and emergency responders have, what they call, gallows humor.  They have to find
the funny in what are often grotesque and tragic circumstances - in order to stay sane.
I'm reminded of hearing the cockpit recording of a pilot trying to bring in a damaged plane.
The plane's complete hydraulics system messed up and he could only turn the plane in right hand
circles.  Traffic control told him that they'd cleared one of the runways for him.
This calm voice from the plane - "Oh you want me on a specific runway - I was hoping just to
hit Kansas."  Side note - they brought the plane down in a crash that looks horrific but a vast majority
of those on board, including the cockpit crew, survived.  Further note: - in every test simulation
they've done of that particular crash - NOT ONE PERSON SURVIVED.

Offline Spot

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2013, 10:13:16 PM »
I rather like the term "nosferotica' Neuro. 
Maybe it's too high class for those who like that kind of thing. ::) ::)
Yes, they'd enjoy the vampire shagging. ;D

I'm reminded of hearing the cockpit recording of a pilot trying to bring in a damaged plane.
The plane's complete hydraulics system messed up and he could only turn the plane in right hand
circles.  Traffic control told him that they'd cleared one of the runways for him.
This calm voice from the plane - "Oh you want me on a specific runway - I was hoping just to
hit Kansas."  Side note - they brought the plane down in a crash that looks horrific but a vast majority
of those on board, including the cockpit crew, survived.  Further note: - in every test simulation
they've done of that particular crash - NOT ONE PERSON SURVIVED.
Wow, just wow.
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Offline Wordmaker

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2013, 10:20:19 PM »
Nosferotica may be my new favourite word.  ;D

Offline LizW65

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2013, 10:44:09 PM »
Nosferotica may be my new favourite word.  ;D
Are the nosferotics neckromantic?
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Offline 123456789blaaa

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2013, 10:47:56 PM »
Are the nosferotics neckromantic?

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Offline Wordmaker

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2013, 10:50:32 PM »
I just threw up a little in my brain...

Offline 123456789blaaa

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2013, 10:51:33 PM »
I just threw up a little in my brain...

I am honor-bound to repost it whenever the slightest chance presents itself.
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Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #56 on: May 08, 2013, 02:15:46 AM »
Sigh, rolls out several 55 gallon drums of Super Duckie Strength Brain Bleech.
Help yourself folks.

Offline arianne

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #57 on: May 08, 2013, 04:43:59 AM »
Quote
Unwanted romance. Not just sex, romance. When I read a book with a strong character, be they male or female, they don't necessarily need a significant other for the story to progress. And even if they did have a romantic partner, that relationship doesn't need a front and center description all the time. It's like in real life, how often do you go on and on about your amazzinnnnnnnnnng relationship at work? Because in an urban fantasy story, whatever the character is doing (fighting bad guys or hunting down clues to something that the bad guys did) it's all "work".

Sometimes I wonder why it is people can slay vampires, hold down two part-time jobs on the side to pay the rent, untangle Fae politics, investigate mysterious murders on the side, and STILL have a romantic life....

I've heard people say that you should always add some romance to a storyliine to draw in the female readers, but speaking as a female reader myself, I'm fine with a story that doesn't have any romance in it.

Quote
Detailed descriptions of sex. Accepted that sex is something authors like to write about and people like to read about, but not in urban fantasy. Given the number of books out there with such scenes, we almost need a new sub-genre "Erotica with urban fantasy elements".

I've taken to skipping most of these. They're probably endlessly interesting to write, but seriously, after about the third "urban ero-fantasy" novel, you begin to realize that there really are only a number of things that can happen, and they very very seldom make any difference to the plot whatsoever.

Very very seldom = never.

Quote
Predictable use of other author's ideas. Let's talk about sparkly vampires for a minute. Those books have sub-par writing and a very horrible story line, but that aside, at least there's a different reason for vampires not going out in the sunlight

I keep hearing people say that this is original, but I could never see it myself. Sure, I've never heard of any other fictional vampires who sparkle (although I'm sure if I went digging hard enough I would probably find something similar somewhere--nothing new under the sun etc), but it didn't seem to make THAT big of a difference to me. I mean, the rest of the 99% of traits are still borrowed from someone else or mythical sources or wherever. JB's vampires feeding on lust felt more original to me than the sparkly-sparkle.

Quote
A lot of cops and emergency responders have, what they call, gallows humor.  They have to find
the funny in what are often grotesque and tragic circumstances - in order to stay sane.

This makes total sense to me. If everything in your life is going crazy, something has got to give sooner or later. Either it comes out in gallows humor or your brain blows apart into piles of mush. And honestly in really bad situations what sort of horror/sympathy/pain/fear can you express that hasn't been expressed before, or can truly do justice to what has happened? Sometimes all you CAN do is be sarcastic or make sick jokes.
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Offline the neurovore of Zur-En-Aargh

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2013, 03:03:48 PM »
Sometimes I wonder why it is people can slay vampires, hold down two part-time jobs on the side to pay the rent, untangle Fae politics, investigate mysterious murders on the side, and STILL have a romantic life....

I find it no less plausible than holding down a full-time job, a happy marriage, a complex and busy social life, several fairly active internet presences, a couple of other incidental hobbies, and still having time to write a new chapter or do equivalent amounts of other writing-related stuff about 85% of weeks (and catch up before or after the weeks that's not possible.)
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Offline Galvatron

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Re: Your Pet Urban Fantasy Cliche Peeves
« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2013, 03:50:14 PM »
One thing I could do without is a main character that is broke/down on their luck, working dead end job, not sucessful.  That sorta thing.

Seen it, its been done, can we move on.... its almost as annoying as stories about "the chose one" 
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