Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Everything Paranormal...

October is such a grand month for everything paranormal. There are so many lovely blog entries here on all the scary aspects of Halloween. So in staying with our paranormal theme, I’d like to tell you what I think a Paranormal Romance really is, and maybe isn’t.

To begin with, writing a Paranormal Romance isn't the easiest kind of writing to do. I find it requires even more attention to plot development, conflict and detail.

One of my favorite publishers of the Paranormal Romance (Silhouette Nocturne) likes it this way:

Dark life threatening action packed high drama adventures with escalating conflict, heroes and heroines fighting together for their lives against demon foe, while the developing highly sensual romance is woven into the conflict and plot of the story...

Whew! Now that’s something. Not all paranormal romances have to be as intense as Nocturne. Yet following a few simple guidelines can help. Here's some of the basics I use.

-Even if I create complex worlds different from anything seen or experienced, I use the senses to help readers see, feel, hear, taste and smell my constructed world.

-I always keep the focus of my story on the romance. Even if I build the ultimate world, the story is still about the development between hero and heroine no matter what form they take or where they live.

-If I’m writing a paranormal, it is more than likely my hero or heroine, maybe both, will have some type of unusual or special powers. I make sure the details about these powers are consistent throughout my story.

-Writing paranormal romance can give me enormous possibilities for conflict. Not only is there the usual conflict between hero and heroine, but there is also the struggle inside a different environment. The twists on conflict can be infinite, the plot curve endless.

Well there you have it, my take on writing Paranormal Romance.

I hope you will all go out and write the best story ever written, sell millions of books and become famous as authors of the Paranormal Romance!


Shelley Munro said...

Great post, Kaye. I like the Nocturne line too. I think remembering to use the senses is a great hint, and something I try to keep reminding myself when I'm writing.

Chelle Cordero said...

Although I didn't think I would enjoy them, I've recently read a few paranormal romances and they really are quite enticing.

Thanks for sharing a bit of the formula.

Lindsay Townsend said...

Super post, Kaye! Lots of useful hints and tips. Excellent explanation, too, as to what paranormal romance is.

Linda Banche said...

Hi Kaye,

I like your point that the main focus is the romance. I've seen paranormal romances where there was too much paranormal and not enough romance. Fine for urban fantasy, but we want romance!

Catherine Bybee said...

Kaye... great post, as usual. I like your big about the senses. I don't make an effort to do that. I'll have to go through my WIP and see if it's even there.


Kaye Manro said...

Hello to all!

Shelley--I know, I sure do have to keep reminding myself and characters to use the senses too!

Chelle--I'm so glad you are enjoying paranormal reads now!

Lindsay--Thanks! It took a great deal of time, research and reading to put together the hints that work for me. I hope this helps others as well.

Linda--Yes, you are so right. The romance has to actually be first and be woven throughout, no matter how extensive the plot, else it would be called a paranormal with romantic elements, and not paranormal romance. That's okay, but I feel a you should know this before you write!

Catherine--oh those wonderful senses again! I think we all have to remind ourselves to use them, no matter how many books we have written.

Debs said...

Great post, thanks very much.

Savanna Kougar said...

Fascinating about Nocturne and their view of paranormal romance. Thanks for sharing. And the senses are vital. I have to remind myself of that constantly.

My books are labeled paranormal romance, however, they don't follow that particular formula, certainly not to the letter.

Kamie Myles said...

You nailed the paranormal romance tips and good. Thanks. I too need to work on using the senses more. I agree about Nocturne. They have specific guidelines for their writers to follow, and they expect your MS to be exact.(Maybe why it is so to break in with them?)

Dianne said...

Hi Kaye. What an informative post! Thanks.

Helen Hardt said...

You know I'm big on sensory detail ;). Paranormal romance gives a writer even more latitude in incorporating the senses, I think. Wonderful post!

Kaye Manro said...

Thanks Debs.

Savanna, I don't think there really is a formula for writing paranormal. Just some pubs have more set guidelines like Nocturne.
Your books are great the way they are!

Thanks Kamie and Dianne!

Helen, you write sensory detail the best. We could all take lessons from you!

Christina Phillips said...

Great post, Kaye. I love paranormal romance, whether it's dark and edgy with demons and vamps or whether the paranormal aspect is more interwoven with gods and goddesses and ancient myths. Anything a little out of the ordinary, and I'm all over it!!

LK Hunsaker said...

Hi Kaye, nice overview of paranormal romance. :-) I agree, sensory details are SO important!