Saturday, July 3, 2010

Urban Fantasy and Breaking The Rules

So I'm biting the bullet and going with my daughters to see the new Twilight movie. One is on Team Edward, and the other is all for Team Jacob. I'm a big fan of vamps, but I think I'm leaning toward Team Jacob, even though he looks like a child to me. Yeah. Feeling kinda dirty here, and not in a good cougar way.

So many people have blogged about how crappy the movies/books are, and that Bella whines too much, blah blah blah. Listen, Stephanie Meyer is laughing her ass off all the way to the bank, so I'm not jumping on the 'this sucks' bandwagon. I am, however, going to focus on the drama of a love triangle. Something I've never put into my books until recently.

While I was writing my last book, I had a slight problemo. By the end of the book there were two heroes, and I'm still not sure which one to go with. I can still remember reading the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris and being shocked to my core when Sookie and Bill broke it off and she had sex with Eric. A die-hard romance fan at the time, I hadn't yet read a book where the main romance was questioned. Sure there were 'misunderstandings.' The heroine might think the hero was sleeping with someone else, but it just so happened he was rescuing his sister from the prostitution ring and got caught by the heroine while untangling himself from two naked prostitutes. However, he wasn't there to score. LOL And once the 'misunderstanding' is resolved, you have your HEA. But with the Stackhouse series, Sookie actually WENT there. And that HEA was destroyed (for me, anyway). But like a trooper I read on, and then I was hooked on Eric as the hero. How easily I am led.

So I went on to edit my WIP, and my heroine has now slept with both men in the book. I know, right?? I'm not supposed to do that. My creative side is just going with the story as it unfolds, while my 'you-can't-do-this-in-a-HEA-romance' side cringes. So I guess I'm writing an urban fantasy. At least that's what my crit partner said.

I think authors can get stuck in that 'rule' side, and they write their stories accordingly. Then you have other authors who shout, screw the rules!, and they write best sellers. (Um, not saying this WIP is going to be a best seller, just saying I threw away the rules lol) Take JR Ward, for example. M/M books are hot in the e-book rounds. But she took the M/M subplot in her book to New York, and holy hell are readers gobbling it up. I'm all for Team Blay/Qhuinn. I had never read a M/M book before, but I'm all for reading theirs.

So, back to my problemo. Originally I had decided to pick one hero and stick with him. Then I sat back and asked myself - why? Why can't the heroine be torn between two heroes? Hell, that's a pretty awesome place to be - having two alphas fight over you. Isn't that what all the tweens are drooling over in the Twilight saga? Team Edward VS Team Jacob. Of course, Bella doesn't sleep with them both. This is a YA. Instead of sex, we get angst. Which works when you're dealing with tweens.

So why am I fighting the funk? If I throw away the 'rules' I have endless possibilities. She could go with what's behind door #1 - the first hero. Door #2 - the second hero. Or door #3 - Not a HEA, but an urban fantasy.

Urban fantasy is centered around the female protagonists. UF's are normally told in first person, but not always. I went to a panel comprised of urban fantasy authors at RT, and they all had different elements in their books. Some heroines had only one hero, and each book followed them through another conflict. Another UF author had a few heroes thrown in her books, just like the Stackhouse series. Hell, Jessa Slade has a kick-ass UF series out, and each book has a different H/H.

UF...let me count thy ways...

So, I'm not so freaked out about my problemo. I'm going to go with it and see where the heroes take, the heroine. I meant heroine.


  1. Now I understand the difference between urban fantasy and paranormal. So, if I understand correctly the HEA factor is what determines the genre border line between the two. Interesting. Having read all your books-loving each one just as much as the other-I really look foward to reading this one. Thanks for sharing your problemo, it shed light on my own WIP!

    Happy writing..

  2. Thanks Talina. :) UF always happens in the modern world, & the heroine's life is usually the central plot. (Plus she can have more than one boy toy. whhheeee!) LOL