Thursday, February 3, 2011

Sharon's Throw-down Thursday
Tips & Tricks--Planning and Working with Paranormal

It really gets up my noise when I read a paranormal book and find inconsistencies. It makes me want to wack myself in the head with the book. Seriously! Reading a story when all of the sudden the MC does something that has previously been stated as impossible for him/her is so annoying. And I’ve seen it in one of my favourite series.

So how can you avoid this when you write? There are two things you can do.

Create rules
Whenever you introduce a paranormal being/power into your story create a list of rules (this applies for supernatural beings too). For example, if you have a ghost you might want to consider things like this when putting together rules:
1. When can your ghost actual touch things? If so, what triggers it?
2. Can your ghost pass through all objects or is there a material it cannot pass through?
3. Does your ghost walk or float? And if it can walk on the floor, why?
4. Does your ghost’s appearance change, and if so in what scenarios?
5. Is there anything that can be used to drive the ghost away?
6. Is there something holding the ghost here or is it just here eternally?
7. Does your ghost appear as a regular person? If so, how are they dressed?

Character Profiles

Character profiles can be good for any story, but I think they are even more important when dealing with paranormal storylines. Paranormal stories tend to be more intricate with their plot. It is important to list the powers, strengths, weaknesses, their back-story - important things in their past, their relatives, along with regular character information that describes their looks, likes and dislikes, favourite things and important relationships.

A paranormal story is one of the most important genres to plan for. Without strong plotting and planning you could end up with errors in your story that take away from the readers’ experiences. It can be tedious, especially if you are not a natural planner, but it will be worth it.


Serena said...

Thank you, Sharon!!
I wrote down and answered all those questions in my little story notebook so I can make sure I'm following the rules when I'm writing it. :)
This helped me so much!!!

Andromeda said...

Thanks Sharon! I've written down all those rules in the back of my writing handbook. (Which says nothing about ghosts.) :)

Marisa said...

Great first post Sharon! And super helpful! Yay!

Kate Anders said...

thanks for the tips sharon! :D

Nella Rosmarino said...

I'm writing down tips for naive =D
Def helps!