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Writing The Paranormal Novel

Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story by Steven Harper

Do you aspire to write a supernatural novel? Perhaps you’ve got a dynamite premise for one, but you haven’t the slightest idea on how to proceed? The best place to start, in my humble opinion, is Steven Harper’s Writing the Paranormal Novel.

Although it sounds counterintuitive, there ARE a few rules to keep in mind when crafting a supernatural story. But we won’t call them rules.

I hate rules! Instead, we’ll call them guidelines, parameters, supernatural norms, or even paranormal etiquette.

Whatever you call them, this book has it all – everything you need to successfully weave a variety of paranormal elements into your story. 

Writing the Paranormal Novel book review

The book tells you how to make the unreal seem real to your readers, without resorting to cliches. The author does an extremely admirable job explaining the challenges inherent in creating for readers a believable story based on an unbelievable premise.

As anyone attempting it knows, creating entire worlds from scratch – worlds possessing their own rules of physics    takes an awful lot of effort, particularly if you want that world to be realistic, to possess its own soul, its own culture.

Lots of readers out there LOVE the idea of magic. Real magic!

The idea that it’s somehow possible for certain people to have superhuman powers, or for vampires, werewolves, or dragons to actually exist.

There’s plenty of exercises and checklists in the book to assist you in keeping your magic consistent with the world you create from beginning to end.

A few of the sections included are:

  1. the pros and cons of prologues
  2. the importance of researching the paranormal – where do you go to find this stuff?
  3. the need for limits in supernatural elements
  4. the paradox of cliches – what they are, and how to avoid them 
  5. the various folklore behind angels, demons, zombies, vampires, werewolves, ghosts and fairies

Like any other good book on novel writing, Writing the Paranormal Novel has sections on plot and subplot, dialogue, voice, pacing, and characterization. There’s even some brief but excellent sections on flashbacks and writing fight scenes. And finally, after leading you through the entire process of creation and completion of your paranormal novel, Harper leads you through the arduous and often treacherous terrain of finding an agent and getting published.

A must-have edition for any aspiring author of supernatural novels.  

Spencer Lane Adams - Author - Crime Thriller Novel Book