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[heading style="2"]Paranormal or else…[/heading]


 

 

 

Dead Ever After

The Girl Who’s Knee Deep in The Paranormal

Is it just me, or is everything about the paranormal these days? Maybe it’s because I’m late to the game and didn’t pick up on the genre until the Sookie Stackhouse series, but it seems the more books I read the more prominent paranormal elements become. Sure, you can argue some fantasy can be called paranormal because they do incorporate the supernatural into their stories at times. But what I am referring to is the commonality among authors to throw a “paranormal” element into their story just for the sake of having it versus taking a chance and leaving it out. Is it to sell more books? Ride the Twilight wave?

 

This irks me to the core. Boils my blood and sets my hair follicles ablaze. Why, oh why would you add something unnecessary to your story? I was enjoying your novel. In fact, I was in LOVE with your novel. Then you changed the game and added a little “twist” to make it “more interesting”. Instead of drawing me in and giving me the WOW factor I deserve as a reader, you jarred me from the story taking me so far away from your imaginary world I don’t ever want to go back. I know that wasn’t you intention, and maybe you thought it would be cool if the secret love interest turned out to be some telekinetic werewolf, but it’s not. I would have enjoyed your story more if you kept it simple. Let me fall in love with the mystery or fantasy, without the crazy, random, unbelievable paranormal crap you just invented.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I adore a little paranormal. And it works when I know I am expecting it to be in the novel. When I’m told upfront, the hero has a dark supernatural past and hidden secrets. But don’t sell me short and think I won’t catch on when it’s something you added at the last second. I see your story hiding in there.  Obviously pissed off at you for making it into something it’s not. Not every good mystery needs a paranormal explanation. Not every decent romance needs a vampire love triangle. Be true to your novel. Be true to yourself. Moreover, don’t fool me with your synopsis or blurb into thinking I’m getting one thing and then I’m ambushed with something else entirely.

 

I love you dear author. Each and every one of you, and I want to worship your stories. State your case plainly in the beginning and we won’t have any problems. But that’s just my opinion…
 

 

 
 

Paranormal 1

Photo Credits: http://www.neprs.org/

 

 

 


Reader Question: What do you think; are books getting lost in the paranormal? Have you read a novel where those elements were just tossed in for the sake of having them? 


 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2013, Mother/Gamer/Writer. All rights reserved.

Names Diayll, I am a 31 year old country girl, living and enjoying life. You can find me representing the Xbox and anything else game related on Twitter at MomGamerWriter. But don’t take my word for it, check me out!
  • http://twitter.com/tmycann Tonya Cannariato

    I can’t say I’ve read anything yet where the paranormal feels pasted on as a gratuitous twist, but I have read other genres that throw in gratuitous twists. I suspect any genre can have them, based on that experience–and don’t disagree that some authors could be chasing “what’s hot” by pursuing the paranormal. For myself as an author… I’m so inspired by the magical potential in our world, I can’t think of anything I’ve written that doesn’t have that element baked into it. That said, I tend to write my protagonists as skeptics, who have a hard time being convinced of the magic they’re experiencing. My first series is based on the premise that the Communists drained their magical beasts to harvest their power and thereby remain in power. My protagonist thinks that’s all bunk, so when the beasts show up, eventually, it could be a surprise… but it’s definitely at the root of the trilogy.

    • Rae Z. Ryans

      I think magic can never be over done. There are just too many angles, and unique twists that authors can create. That is were it really shines. When an author builds their universe, and includes magic (to an extent the magical beings too) it becomes their own. Authors do strive to accomplish this with characters too, but you are still limited more than you are with world building and the magical potential in such worlds.Perhaps, though I just have a major sot spot for any and all works based upon such fascinations.

      I do hope to read your work. Communists draining magical beasts just sounds to darn awesome not to.

  • aimeekay

    Yes I have to agree with you that I’ve read some books recently that feel like the paranormal was thrown in when it definitely wasn’t needed. It really bugged me because up until the paranormal part I had really been enjoying the book. The paranormal part just seemed like the author wanted to try to appeal to a broader range of readers and so they put the paranormal in just for that.

    I’ve also read some paranormal recently that just seemed overly cliched. (is that spelled right?)
    It made me feel that the author decided they wanted their book to sell so they kept adding more and more parts from recently ‘hot’ selling stories. I mean really you have a teenage girl who has supernatural powers fine….she falls for a vampire….fine…she now is in a love triangle between a vampire and a werewolf….um…really? oh and now she gets turned into a vampire…..um…yeah.

    If a story is going to have paranormal elements I think it should be mentioned somewhere in the blurb or summery or something.
    As for if its going to be paranormal at least TRY to make it original…Sorry. still annoyed at the book.

    • http://empyreanedge.com/ Diayll – Mother/Gamer/Writer

      haha I feel the same way some times. I HATE when books do that. It adds nothing to the story, and makes it like every other story thats already been written. I think when it comes to paranormal, simple is better unless you have some original take on the supernatural that hasn’t been done before. And the odds of that are super slim.

      Idk but if I see one more vampire love triangle I might scream.

    • Rae Ryans

      I can get past a lot if it’s original and good. A lot of what i’ve read lately felt more like fan fiction, which is awesome, but now what I expect from a published author.

  • Rae Ryans

    As a writer (and reader!) of both fantasy (epic FTW) and paranormal, I think it should only be included when necessary to your story. If there is a reason “A” needs to be a paranormal, then that is fine, but if you toss it in when they could have just been human, and it never ties in…well then you’ve sold yourself short. With that being said, the exception would be a series/trilogy where “A’s” story/backstory is further explained.

    As a reader, I hold authors to that very standard. As a writer I try to achieve it too, but there are times we fall short. However, that is where beta readers and critique groups come in.

    Now for Paranormal as a genre… Will it ever go away…No…Is it done to death as far as vampires go? No, not for me. I am a bit over the vampire/shifter/werewolf love triangles, but if the story is good enough that is all that matters.

    There is a fine line between paranormal and fantasy. It is so thin and minuscule that many authors won’t realize they have crossed it. This is due to the generalized genre where anything unexplained is lumped into it (by readers, and the industry too). This is more true in how we then lump romance into it, typically lightening the mood of the whole story, and thus stepping away from the deep adventure and suspense.

    I’m biased of course in my opinions, but I have not written a straight paranormal romance either. I prefer more world building, touches on mythology, and more mage-like magic and less witchy foo-foo (no offense). I want blazing demi-gods battling over the Earth (spoiler), and having a woman fall in love, thus having lots of toe curling, disastrous relationships that could undo all the good in the world.

    Love triangles, I love them, even when they develop further into squares. It is a conflict we can relate to as human beings. As a married woman of …a long time… I can relate to the notion of falling in love with more than one person, and at the same time. It is human, and a very primal nature…

    Now that I’m totally off topic…I do get what you’re saying. I honestly do. There have been plenty of books where something is kind of just tossed in, and the reader is left with “why” or “wtf”.

    I had a book i recently read that was similar (no, not for you lol). When I closed the book, I was kind of in a big WTF daze, and it took my brain days to even figure out what they story had been about. Was it the fantasy or was it paranormal. Why did such and such need to be (insert whatever).

    Authors need to realize these fine details. Even in PYR there should be world building and explanations of why your character is a (insert it here). If your book is about multiple supernaturals this is a must. If your story is about witches, and you start tossing in other supes make sure the dots are connected…

    Darn… I should of done my own rant!…I think in the future of PYR I’d like to see less vamps in sexy BF/GF roles, more of the cunning and cruel nature, with subtle humanity…and I want to see more ghosts/ethereals etc…”Mulder and Scully investigate paranormal activity…”

    • http://empyreanedge.com/ Diayll – Mother/Gamer/Writer

      This –> ” I want blazing demi-gods battling over the Earth (spoiler), and having a woman fall in love, thus having lots of toe curling, disastrous relationships that could undo all the good in the world.”

      sounds awesome…

      I totally agree with your point of authors understanding the lines between fantasy and paranormal. Sometimes, I think they’re trying to make it fantasy and end up on the paranormal end of the spectrum. Often times not on purpose. What I don’t like, is unnecessary crap that doesn’t add to the overall story or “filler”, or bits that were just thrown in. As a wirter (soon I tell ya, soon!) I think I’ve struggled with this. And once I took the paranormal OUT of my story, it started to work. It was better. Sometimes regular people can have as much fun as shifters, weres, vamps, faes, and all those elven creatures!

      But if it works for YOU, then by all means do it. It just has to work for the story. If it takes away from the story or point you are trying to tell and make, its probably not meant to be.

      Just IMO :-)

      • rae ryans

        I don’t want to give too much away…

        But i did include vamps in my story…BUT…and its a big one. They are integral to my story line. I needed a human to bridge the gap into my world, but the thing is…they couldn’t be human, but they could not be magic based either…I was left with vamps. The upside is that they are a very minor role, and in no way, shape or form connected in a romantic way to the story. I knew going into Prophecies that, while i’m itching to tell George’s story, that I did not want him romantically involved with my heroines.

        In my world, vampires become accepted by the magical community because they A) can’t kill them, and B) they risk exposing the world of magic, and C) Who wouldn’t want the undead assassins on their side. Vampires are neither human nor magical, but it was clear they needed to be policed out of the human world. In return they protect the secret of vampires, making it mostly (haha) a win-win for both sides.

        Could I have written my story without the vamp angle? Sure, I would of thought of something, but I enjoyed the roles of Merric and George. I’ve grown to love them like children, even with their vampirism and the issues it creates for them. They are not self loathing about being vampires, but bits of their humanity to allow them to feel during times of crisis…but they are both diabolical in their own ways.

        I don’t see myself ever writing a vampire love story, or if i do it will be between two vamps, or a vamp and an elf (coughs). At this point i do not see myself bringing in any new vamps either apart from dream sequences or futuristic moments (coughs again).

        and Yes… you better let me read your writing when you’re done. It kills me to know you’re cooking up something over there.