|Hello fellow creatures, I would like to talk to you about the WORLD of Supernaturals.
There are some basics that need to be stated. Most readers of the Supernatural have some pre-knowledge of this world. They have read the classics and are now devouring the flash fiction that is being published. What I've noticed about the the stories I've read on WDC and a few that are published, is a lack of the basics.
The first thing about supernatural writing is the WORLD. Every story must have the perimeters set up for the reader to follow. What are the supernatural’s limitations and what are their powers or gifts? You can’t have a vampire running out in the sun if you haven’t established that they have some kind of defense against the sun's rays. Everyone knows and expects a vampire to burn in the sun. If your character has abilities that are not what the reader is expecting you must define that up front. There are supernaturals that have many combinations of abilities. While it may be fun to mix breeds, the new writer must be careful that it is done within the confines of the world you have created. Too many conflicting actions confuse the reader. One time a werewolf can control his changes and the next cannot. Keep your world as simple as possible for the reader to follow. Combining breeds leads to redefining the combined perimeters that limit or expand that characters abilities. If you choose to create a vampire that can change into a wolf or a werewolf that suddenly sucks blood, chances are you had better have a great story because you might lose your reader.
If a human started drinking blood and growing fangs, sleeping during the day, we would assume they had been bitten, but if the writer didn’t say so, we would be confused as to why this was happening. To do something because it is different or cool may be your story, but chances are it won’t be published and won’t get a good review.
What many readers like are books such as the Twilight series, Charlene Harris’ series and all of Christine Feehan’s series. Each author has set the world for their supernaturals. In each subsequent book, the characters act within the confines of that world. You, as the reader, are drawn into it and know what the characters can and cannot do. You are comfortable knowing what to expect from the characters.
Everyone has a weakness or flaw. Superman had Kryponite. Characters need a weakness or we, as readers, cannot sympathize with them. That weakness may only be a sympathy for a weaker animal or a desire to see justice, but it is what the villain of your story plays on.
Keep a journal about your world. Who lives in it, what the characters can and cannot do. Make sure if they can fly you explain how and why they can defy gravity. If they can transport, are they the only ones that can do it? Why is that? Jo Rowling kept extensive journals about her world. Always look at what has made others successful.
Writing about supernaturals is fun because there are no limits to what you can dream up. Remember everyone lives somewhere and that world has perimeters. You just get to be the one to set them.
Challenge yourself to write about the world your characters live in and share it with us.