With: P. L. Kurup
Create An Interesting World for Your Characters
A paranormal romance is more than just the characters and their relationships. It must also feature an interesting and deeply profound world or setting for readers to imagine themselves in.
A good example is the world J.R.R. Tolkien created for his Lord of the Rings series, Middle Earth. Tolkien’s abilities at world building is one of the biggest reasons why his series achieved such success. They allowed readers to leave their usual routines, and enter into a world where elves, dwarves and wizards were very real. The same is also true for other popular paranormal and fantasy novels. Their characters are interesting, because they live in an interesting world or universe.
Therefore, a good paranormal romance novel needs to take place in a world that is separate and distinct from the world of the reader. For example, if your novel involves vampires then you should create your very own vampire society. On the other hand, if one of your characters is an alien or wraith, discuss the world they came from, and use that to make your story more interesting. Also, if one of your characters has supernatural powers, discuss how such powers came to be, and how it affects the world around them.
Remember that although the paranormal romance genre focuses on character relationships, such relationships need great settings to make them truly interesting. So before you write your novel, take the time to build up the setting. If you get stuck, look at ancient myths for inspiration. On the other hand, if you have already built your fictional world, examine it again and again for flaws until you’ve developed a truly great setting for your story.
Set Up A Complex Relationship Based On Your Setting
Okay, so you now have a great setting to work with. That’s great. The next step is to use that setting to influence your characters and their relationships. What makes the paranormal romance genre different from conventional romance novels is that they add more dimensions to otherwise ordinary relationships. They ask questions like: “How does a relationship with a vampire, a wizard, an immortal or a werewolf differ from a relationship with a normal human?” or “What kind of relationships do people have in a society of dominated by magic?” or “How does a romantic relationship between a ghost and a living human play out?”
Paranormal romance authors ask these kinds of questions because they allow them to make their characters’ relationships more interesting. Furthermore, such questions also allow them to develop their characters’ motivations, passions, strengths and weaknesses.
Consider the award winning Twilight series, for example. Stephenie Meyer’s novels weren’t just about the complicated relationship of a vampire and a mortal girl. They also involved the complexities of vampire and werewolf societies as well as the restrictions imposed by such societies on the main characters’ relationships.
So write your novel based on how your fictional world works. For example, if your novel features the romantic story between two people with supernatural powers, consider how their friends and family treats them because of their powers. Likewise, you can use such powers as a means to create tensions, secrets vendettas and many other plot devices.
Create Challenges or Conflicts for Your Characters’ Relationships
Now that we’ve established the setting and the nature of the novel’s relationship, the next step is to create the obstacles and challenges that will drive the plot.
Romance novels feature complicated relationships, but paranormal romance novels take it a step further by using such relationships as catalysts for conflict and danger. Consider, for example, the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series by George R. R. Martin. Most of the character’s relationships are entwined with plots, secrets and politics. Likewise, there are many paranormal and fantasy romance novels that use magical items or events as catalysts for sub-plots and relationships.
The best way to create conflicts and challenges is to look at your setting’s social and romantic norms and use them as a plot devices. For example, you can create certain laws or taboos that your characters will have to surmount in order to be together. Likewise, you can create conflicting tribes, families or clans for your various characters, and create a paranormal version of Romeo and Juliet. There are plenty of options to choose from. Just be creative.
If you have a hard time developing conflicts or obstacles for your story, look at what other supernatural romance writers have done, and use their examples to develop some of your own ideas. Conflicts can come from a wide variety of sources, including war, family feuds, politics, love triangles, ancient curses, a great nemesis, ancient prophecies and many more. So look at your novel and figure out a way to shake things up for your characters.
Book 1 by P. L. Kurup available to buy on Amazon
Count Samuel and his wife Alexandra flee for their lives. On route they are captured and thrown into the notorious Leo Prison. Knowing death was round the corner, Samuel wishes to be saved from their terrible fate at any cost. Soon a mysterious individual answers his prayers.
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