I asked beloved Patrons which post they’d like to see next, and it looks like the beloveds would like some urban fantasy prompts this time around!
Whether you write tons of urban fantasy and are just looking for some new ideas, or you’re brand new and looking to get inspired, I’m bringing you 54 urban fantasy story prompts for your beautiful brain meat.
I’ve done this before with other genres. A couple times, actually. But this time, instead of an article, I’m about to just rapidfire hit you with a whole bunch of urban fantasy ideas to (hopefully) get the gears turning.
What Is Urban Fantasy?
Urban fantasy is the merging of magic and the modern world. Often taking place in an urban setting like New York or Chicago (though you can also find many urban fantasy series set in small towns), they allow the reader to envision an alternate version of our own world where the supernatural exist.
Popular urban fantasy series include Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy, Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series, Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, Kevin Hearne’s The Iron Druid Chronicles, and Seanan McGuire’s InCryptid.
Some of these series are also a fantasy kitchen sink, meaning that, in their respective realities, magical creatures from many vastly different origins exist. Gods, fae, vampires, werewolves, demons—if it’s mythical and magical, there’s a good chance it’s real in this world. Others only focus on one mythical creature—Vampire Academy and vampires, for example.
Many urban fantasy worlds have a masquerade or a glamour, where the magical world is concealed from humanity. These kinds of stories often have a human protagonist who suddenly sees through the masquerade, or a human protagonist who finds out that they’re not so human after all. It’s a great way to introduce your world to readers by having them experience it right alongside the protagonist.
Now that we’ve gone over what urban fantasy is generally all about, let’s dive a little deeper with some urban fantasy writing prompts to inspire you.
(Magical) Life in the City
- The city’s subway system is pretty normal during the day. But at night, the monsters start their nightly commute.
- No one ever understands what’s happening on Wall Street, so no one ever notices all of the souls that are traded every day.
- A magic university that exists in the heart of the city has made it a diverse, colorful, chaotic, and magically-advanced megacity.
- When trying to find an apartment in the big city, always remember that the Night District is great for partying with the undead—but not so great for living.
- Write about a NYC busker whose music is magic.
- Legend has it that if a bodega cat takes a liking to you, it may bring you something magical.
- The city’s biggest club is run by demons who feed on the seven deadly sins.
- Write about life as a sex worker in the magical part of the city.
- Train operators make stops at every part of the city. Every part of the city.
- A druid who has run the same produce market for decades offers a job to a local kid.
- Everyone knows the best food carts are the ones run by spirits.
- Most human New Yorkers hate Times Square. But the supernatural New Yorkers love the easy access to so much food.
- Shoebox apartments suck, unless you’re a witch with a pocket dimension. It’s great for parties.
- A lonely spirit spends their time returning items lost on the subway.
General Urban Fantasy
- The local park has been experiencing disturbances lately, thank to a fairy-pixie turf dispute.
- Experienced bartenders know when to look out for monsters hunting for prey.
- Write a bookstore meet cute at a witch’s spellbook signing.
- When the red moon is out, don’t be alarmed by the more unusual commuters.
- Write about a group of magical college students hanging out after class.
- Supernaturals have quietly watched human civilization grow and expand since their creation. They usually stay out of human affairs, but things have been getting so crazy lately that they feel they must intervene.
- “Befriend your local crows. You never know when you may need them.”
- Write about a game show where humans can compete for the chance to be turned into a supernatural being (vampire, werewolf, etc)
- Write about monsters who feed on greed. Their favorite hunting ground is the nicest neighborhood in the city.
- A wise witch has their work cut out for them when the local fairy population and the local centaur clan begin having territorial disputes.
- Dragons are actually really chill and do not appreciate being associated with greed. In fact, lots of them support switching to your local credit union, voting in your local and national elections, and shopping locally.
- Magitech has been all the rage lately, but the bugs are still being worked out. Write about a magitech-related incident.
- Write a meet cute that takes places at a club. The problem: it’s a monster club, and only one of them knows it.
- Gods walk among humans to meddle in their affairs when the fancy strikes them, but rarely take an interest in individual mortals. Write about a god who breaks the mold and meets someone interesting.
- Vampires and werewolves exist, but they’re far from foes. In fact, wolf packs and vampire covens swear eternal loyalty in the fight against the monster hunter crusader.
Small Town Vibes
- “Never walk alone at night in this town. They say the shadows’ll eat you right up.”
- The magic is strongest when the carnival comes to town.
- The mayor is a soul-sucking demon. You have to prove it—which is weird, because it’s pretty obvious.
- The town is not very welcoming to outsiders. But not for the reasons you might think.
- Write about an ancient beast that has protected the people of a tiny town for generations.
- Write about life on the farm—if the farm grew magical crops and bred magical beasts.
- Write about a protagonist whose family moves to a small, insular town. The inhabitants seem to be a little…unusual.
- A busy and successful witch/wizard from the big city moves to a tiny town where magic is unheard of. It’s a difficult adjustment.
- A tiny town in the middle of rural Pennsylvania also happens to be the home of the local werewolf pack. The town’s mayor is the pack leader.
- Write about a cop who—just kidding, ACAB. Write about a conservationist who moves to a small town to study some…rather unusual and elusive creatures.
- Write about a cozy little town that also serves as a safe haven for magical beings.
On the Grind
- Working tech support is a little more bearable when you can send curses through the Internet.
- Community advocates have been pushing for alternative ways to handle non-violent crises. A young healer joins a community crisis response program.
- Vampires love working the night shift at the hospital. Dealing with all the blood takes some adjusting, though.
- Write about a bartender who knows the locals really well—human and otherwise.
- Write about working at a pet store. The magical underground part of one, I mean. You know, the one that sells mythical creatures, strange familiars, and magic pet food (organic).
- Write about the owner of a spellbook shop. Lately, dumb kids with tripods have been coming in to try out some of the spells.
- A witch who works as a reporter keeps the supernatural community up to date on what the silly humans have been up to lately.
- Dealing with an angry customer is bad enough; it’s much worse when the customer is a banshee.
- Life as an influencer in the big city is not easy—especially when you’re a gargoyle.
- If you seek the aid of magic, the librarians at your local library might be kind enough to lend you some.
- Most indie bookstores are run by witches, who sell magical items to their supernatural patrons. And also books. 🙂
- Write about an apothecary that exists in modern times. What kind of magical medicine does this apothecary provide?
- Write about an air elemental who works for the post office.
- Write about a gargoyle charged with protecting a very wealthy and very spoiled celebrity.