Sunday, 29 May 2011

WRITING ADVICE: Writing the Paranormal Novel - Steven Harper

Release Date: 25/03/11


Writing a paranormal novel(those with ghosts, telepaths, vampires, werewolves, fairies, witches and more) takes more than tossing in a sexy vampire or adding a magic wand. It takes an original idea, believable characters, a compelling plot, surprising twists, and great writing.

Broken down into four parts, Writing the Paranormal Novel explores:
Prewriting - what a paranormal book is, how to choose supernatural elements, deciding what impact the supernatural will have on your fictional world, research tips, and how to deal with cliches;
Paranormal Character Building - techniques for creating different types of supernatural protagonists and antagonists, supporting players, and - of course - the non-human;
World Building - developing a strong plot and complementary subplots, controlling pacing, writing fight scenes and flashbacks, using dialogue, and much more;
Submitting - tips for preparing your work for submission, polishing sample chapters, and more.


As a part time writer I do spend a certain amount of my free time going through advice titles to make sure that area’s that I know I’m weak within I can improve not only through hard work but through words of wisdom from people who have trodden the same path before.

In this title by Steven Harper you get a lot of advice pertaining to the Paranormal novel and whether you like the elements or Kelley Armstrong’s Werewolves or you want Stacia Kane’s Ghosts or even perhaps the Wizarding world of JKR or Jim Butcher it helps you identify what you need to do in order to keep the rules constant so that the book wouldn’t be one singular element or character to place it within the genre.

What really works for the majority of these books from the Writers Digest, in my opinion, is the fact that they’re written clearly, they have some great pieces of advice that can take years to learn and even the pieces you do do well can be improved and worked upon almost as if you were creating a mural with words as your paint.

Finally add to this helpful information for what some would term as standard writing practices such as character growth alongside dialogue and it’s a book that has taught me more than a few lessons as well as giving me a greater understanding for why some of the writing I do works well whilst others don’t.

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