Wednesday, 3 December 2008

10 Things Every Potential UF Heroine Needs to Know

So this post comes with thanks to KMont over at Lurvalamode who told me I should write it. :) It's slightly tongue in cheek and based on sweeping generalizations. So here are 10 things every potential urban fantasy heroine needs to know.










1) Make sure you have good posture, as it's most likely your back that will be gracing your book cover. Tattoos would be a nice touch.


2) If you are beaten, mugged, murdered or otherwise assaulted do not be surprised if you wake up in the hospital with hitherto unrealized supernatural powers.

3) You will have no girlfriends. All the women you meet will either be a) passing acquaintances, b) bitter enemies or c) so powerful, you have no common point of reference. If you do have a girlfriend, she'll shortly be leaving to start a UF series of her own or worse see #10.

4) Do not be judgmental about the sexual practices of others. Chances are that at some point you'll find yourself:- a) with a harem or b) engaging in sado-masochistic acts with a demon. And no one likes to hear the words - "I told you so."

5) That vampire/werewolf/weird creature that you can't stand, but are strangely attracted to in Book 1 will be your husband/partner/significant other by Book 3.

6) You are not always right. You do not always know what is best for others. Decisions made when you think these thoughts are almost always destined to end badly. (This also includes the times you tell your allies that you aren't going to do anything, but are secretly planning to follow your own ideas anyway.)

7) If your vampire/werewolf/weird creature (see #5) has an ex-wife, either deceased or just out of the picture. He will NOT have gotten over her. Even if he says he has, there will be some sort of unresolved issue.

8) Be prepared because said wife will undoubtedly make a reappearance at some point in the series, and it won't be to wish you joy in your new relationship.

9) If you have not developed supernatural powers by your 24th birthday. Do not worry. Bestowal of said gifts often coincides with your 25th year and may not necessarily involve being beaten, mugged or murdered. (Though that isn't guaranteed.)

10) If you have a human boyfriend in Book 1. He will probably end up resenting you and running off with the woman you thought was your best friend. (see #3). Or become suspicious and resentful because you never tell him the truth and keep secrets. He'll decide to give you some space and you'll never see him again. Though he may miraculously reappear at the same time as the ex-wife (see #8).

Anyone got any others to add?

30 comments:

PopinFresh said...

All of these are so true. :p I'm not sure what else to add, you've pretty much covered them all.

~ Popin

little alys said...

LMAO, oh yes. The reasons why I've not been completely absorbed by UF yet. Too funny. Still chuckling.

Don't forget, even after the heroine comes into their powers, they'll continue to be beaten, mugged, murdered or otherwise assaulted despite any so called kick-a supernatural powers.

Carolyn Jean said...

This is funny. Totally true! The first esp - they do often have weird spinal tilt, and those girls need to work on that. And yes, that monster fella always ends up being the one.

kmont said...

I LOVE it! I'm totally pimping this on my blog!

Maybe this could work too: By the end of book one, you WILL be the biggest, most powerful bee-otch in existence, or very well on your way. (append to #9 maybe??) And everyone will want to either kill you, sleep with you. Or both.

LOL, Actually, I think you really did cover it all. Great list! As you know, I just love the genre. The similarities do leap out, but when done well and just differently enough I really love 'em.

I think #9 is my fave ATM. Just finished The Devil's Due by Jenna Black and the boyfriend is indeed resentful of the heroine keeping secrets. Actually, I wish he'd go away...

LesleyW said...

PopinFresh - Thanks, I came up with the first on KMont's site in a comment to one of her reviews. I thought I might struggle coming up with ten... but nope. :)

Little Alys - I am so into UF despite the cliches. It is still my favourite genre, and so worth it when an author turns your expectations on their head.

LesleyW said...

Carolyn Jean - I don't know what it is about UF covers that the heroine has to be facing away. I know it doesn't happen on all of them - the Mercedes Thompson series immediately comes to mind - but I think it's a definite trend.

KMont - Lol - pimp away! I would never have written it if you hadn't told me to go for it. And I'm jealous that you've got The Devil's Due, it isn't out in the UK yet. :( I keep reminding myself patience is a virtue. :)

Renee said...

Awesome list!

The only one I can think of to add, is:
If you have a sidekick, he's gotta be be ready with snarky comments at all times. (Like Jenks from the Hollows, Abbadon from Aisling Gray, or PB from the Retrievers)

little alys said...

I know, Lesley, UF is actually very good, but I seriously hate waiting for books that never end. O_o I've been barely stopping myself from the Mercy Thompson's series. It's soooooooo tempting. And Sookie...oh, I swear I added the books in my cart like three times before bailing at the last second.

Naomi said...

Don't forget that those women from #3 will be bitter enemies because they're insanely jealous of your powers/lovers/tattoos etc.

Tracy said...

lmao!! Those were great!

Li said...

LOL excellent list. Love #1.

I've just read Devil's Due btw, and love it. Much better than the second one, IMO.

LesleyW said...

Renee - TRUE! Any sidekicks must be fully conversant in snark. :)

Little Alys - Give in to the Mercy Thompson series - join us on the dark side - you won't regret it.

Naomi - yeah this is true. There is UF out there where the heroine has female friends but you need to look for it. (Cue loads of title recommendations).

LesleyW said...

Tracy - thank you. :)

Li - Devil's Due isn't out in the UK yet - so I'm a little jealous. I'm trying to decide whether to be patient or whether to try and get hold of it from the US.

JenB said...

Bwahahahahaaa! *rolling*

OMG, I adore this list and I love you for writing it!!

Darlynne said...

Lesley, you nailed UF with this list, great job. I'm still a huge fan of the genre, but not blind to the cliches. Number 6 is the one that makes me grind my teeth; it's right up there with secret babies and the sheik's virgin administrative assistant.

Word ver: alkie. Not so much, thank you, just a cider occasionally.

LesleyW said...

JenB - Thank you. :)

Darlynne! - Number 6 is a bugbear of mine too. Mainly because I find myself almost screaming at the book - DON'T DO IT! But they never listen.

nath said...

Love your list! It's so true and hilarious!

LesleyW said...

Nath - thank you! Had great fun writing it. :)

little alys said...

Noooooo, you can't make me. Granted, I'm pretty sure I'll cave when the next book comes out. Maybe. Just maybe. In the meantime, I'll just OD on chocolate when I get tempted.

LesleyW said...

Little Alys - Chocolate my other great weakness. I had a tub of Kirsch Chocolate cherries which I was going to save. But succumbed tonight and now only have 3 left, and those three are calling to me. lol

Naomi said...

Lesley - I'm trying and I can't think of any that I've read where the heroine has close, intimate female friends. They have work colleagues or partners, or casual acquaintances, but they're never given as much page time as male friends.

I know there must be some - recommendations?

LesleyW said...

Naomi - the exception to the rule about female friends that I'm thinking of is the Mercy Hollings series by Toni Andrews.

The friendship is much more developed in the second book but she is close friends with Sukey. And Sukey although just a normal person plays a large part in the series. She isn't just there to make the tea if you like, she has a role to play. She's also not there just so Mercy can say 'I've got a friend.'

:) I thought if I said there are no UF books where the heroine has a female friend then the thread would be flooded. But really I think it is pretty much the rule that a UF heroine doesn't have female friends.

Nicole said...

*giggles* Great list!

LesleyW said...

Nicole - Thank you. :)

Jackie said...

This is freaking AWESOME. Love this list! **scribbles notes**

(Might I just add that there's nothing **wrong** with having a demon as a pillow partner...)

Sarai said...

Fantastic list really made my night. OMG You are so right on all of these LOL

LesleyW said...

Jackie - lol I think you're a little biased, but with the number of gorgeous demons who popped up in UF this year I don't think you're wrong.

Sarai - thank you. :)

Naomi said...

Lesley - on female friends in UF. I'm currently reading Howling at the Moon by Karen McInnery (sp?), in which the heroine not only has a female best friend, but her friend is just as attractive and succesful as her and they never fall out about it, lol.

LesleyW said...

Naomi - lol, I knew there would be other exceptions to the rule, it's just finding them that's the difficult bit. :)

Anonymous said...

#11 You will stubborn, always want to run into danger alone, and refuse help from everyone, to the point that you end up badly hurt and repeatedly admonished by your wise, hovering friends. You will ignore this advice, and attempt to protect others by running into danger alone again.