Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Wicked Wednesday - exceptional abilities for exceptional characters?

Many people argue that for the main characters to be interesting in a paranormal romance, they must have fantastic supernatural abilities. Readers don't want a Doug Ramsey. (And if you knew who that was without clicking on the link, a thousand geek points to you!) They want characters with unique gifts like mind control and shape changing.

I disagree. I believe if a writer can create a character that makes the readers fall in love with them, they don't need to be hyped up on super powers. While having great abilities makes them stand out and gives them extraordinary experiences, a writer can write an amazing character with no supernatural gifts and still have a fantastic tale.

I love to read stories where the protagonist is human and must deal with paranormal events. I also love to read about characters that have lesser abilities and find some amazing uses for them. Passive abilities like empathy or third tier super powers like nauseate. It's great fun to read about the underdog.

What do you think? Do you think heroines and heroes in paranormal romances need to have exceptional abilities to make them spectacular characters?


  1. I agree with you. I don't think they need exceptional abilities to be spectacular characters. I always love an underdog.

  2. I completely agree with you! If a character has no depth, all the superpowers in the world aren't going to make them interesting.

  3. I'm really an anti-hero kind of reader. I love 'em with weaknesses and vulnerabilities. If they can just fly or see into the future what fun is that?

  4. I think your opinion fits with mine. A finely written character doesn't need to have super, super powers.

  5. Can't agree more... it's the underdog we all love to see succeeding.

  6. I totally agree with you. I'm pretty sick of every mc having some super-power or being an angel/devil/shape-shifter. I think the tension and fear in a novel come when a regular person must fight extraordinary things.
    Great post! :-)

  7. The Marvel fan in me is ashamed to admit I didn't know who Doug Ramsey is. :(

    I agree, IF a person has superpowers/ magical abilities it should just be one facet of their character, not their defining characteristic. If they've got depth, and they're a well rounded person, the superpower shouldn't matter at all.

    And now you're making me want to write a story about someone in a paranormal world, who hasn't got any abilities!

  8. I agree! Right now I'm writing one of those type of stories where my protagonists are human dealing with paranormal events. It roots it much more in reality. (I think it's harder to write, too)

  9. I agree with you, Christine; a spectacularly written character with modest gifts outshines an amazingly gifted dude or gal, for me.
    Some Dark Romantic


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