I'm over at Spacedock 19 today with the wonderfully talented Mary Pax. We'll be talking about the paranormal and I'll be doing my best to resist touching the chocolate. Please pop on over and have a drink with us!
We read stories to provide an escape from every day life. There's nothing more exciting than adding something in that might seem impossible and making it real in the book. Wouldn't it be wonderful to find a family of friendly fairies in your garden or a playful ghost in the abandoned house down the street? Of course, not all the supernatural elements are so nice. They can terrify us, and we end up sleeping with the light on that night.
A paranormal book must have a supernatural element that is integral to the plot. Don't confuse imagination and magical realism with the supernatural. Readers will feel cheated if it doesn't turn out to be paranormal. They're expecting to be lifted out of their reality and into world where vampires are real or what goes bump in the night just might plop on you next.
Paranormal characters give you a broader range of conflicts to play around with in your story. They can have the every day problems of a boring job or smothering mother, but they also have to hide their nature, or if it's known, deal with the consequences of it. It stretches the writer's imagination to realistically deal with these situations, but if done well, the readers love the paranormal conflict.
Writing paranormal stories gives you the freedom to play around with extraordinary ideas. You don't have to explain where monsters come from or how magic works. You can stretch the every day boundaries and surprise your readers with something that will leave them in awe.
I like the escape. I like the infinite possibilities. The supernatural has always fascinated me, and I have no doubt that it will continue to do so.
Why do you like to read and/or write about the paranormal?