It's always amazing to me how much goes into writing paranormal. I've been working on this project, off and on, for about 4 years..however, I've been plotting and piecing info on this world for at least a dozen years. First off, this is a world that encompasses Eastern mythology and integrated into Western life which I hope will be believable in the paranormal way. I'm not going to lie--It's very challenging and in order to get it just right, I have to know when to see it as 'campy' and when it's 'bland' or too close to someone else's worldbuilding.

This creation of a new world is absolutely amazing when you're on a role...and you can make it whatever you want it to be. You can have your own set of rules or you can break them, and it's all up to the writer. That's the fun part, writing a world in which you can visualize in your head. For me, I see my storyline as if it where a live action movie. I walk through the scenes and figure out if it may be too far out there, or not far out enough. Often, I re-read my chapters and realize that what I find is believable may not be for my readers. It doesn't hurt me to scrap pages anymore and I think when the puzzles just click, you'll know.

Wanna know a secret? It took me a while to figure out the difference between Paranormal or Urban Fantasy. I'll gladly wear the Dunce cap. To me, I see only a slight difference, but there are a lot more similarities. In the world of Paranormal romance, there's a HEA (happily-ever-after). From what I've gathered from Urban Fantasy, there is no need for a HEA and often there aren't. Which is a shame. Maybe it's me but I don't like the main characters to be with another love interest in every new book in the series. Some people are fine with that but that's when I realized what I wrote is paranormal. Yes, I write paranormal and I'm darn proud of it! In a way, I compared it to the distinction between the Contemporary romance genre versus the Chick Lit. I think a lot of readers were disappointed that Chick Lit didn't have, for one. IMHO, I love the Chick Lit voice, don't get me wrong, but when you've invested time on 400 pages, you want the happy ending!! Not to say some of them didn't have HEA, they did...just more of them didn't. Personally, I'm a sucker for the hero and heroine to get together. And I still enjoy those books because I've gotten smart, I flip to the last page and if it looks like they're getting together...I'll buy it.

Sorry for the rambling....I've been drinking too much coffee to jump start my week!

Thank you Wikipedia for the clarification:

Urban fantasy is a subset of contemporary fantasy, consisting of magical novels and stories set in contemporary, real-world, urban settings--as opposed to 'traditional' fantasy set in wholly imaginary landscapes, even ones containing imaginary cities, or having most of their action take place in them. The modern urban fantasy protagonist faces extraordinary circumstances as plots unfold in either open (where magic or paranormal events are commonly accepted to exist) or closed (where magical powers or creatures are concealed) worlds.

Paranormal romance is a sub-genre of the romance novel. A type of speculative fiction, paranormal romance focuses on romance and included elements beyond the range of scientific explanation, blending together themes from the genres of traditional fantasy, science fiction, or horror.

Paranormal romance may range from traditional category romances, such as those published by Harlequin Mills & Boon, with a paranormal setting to stories where the main emphasis is on a science fiction or fantasy based plot with a romantic subplot included. Common hallmarks are romantic relationships between humans and vampires, shapeshifters, or fantastical beings (the Fae, Elves, etc.).

Beyond the more prevalent themes involving vampires, shapeshifters, ghosts, or time travel, paranormal romances can also include books featuring characters with psychic abilities, like telekinesis or telepathy.

Paranormal romance has its roots in Gothic fiction. Its most recent revival has been spurred by turn of the century technology, e.g. the internet and electronic publishing. Paranormal romances are one of the fastest growing trends in the romance genre.

Comments (7)

On March 16, 2009 at 11:39 AM , Maria Geraci said...

I've never understood the difference between paranormal and UB, but your definition makes sense. I'm one of those people who flips to the last page too;)

On March 16, 2009 at 11:46 AM , Naughty Nikki Duncan said...

LOL, the best definition I'd heard of UF was that it was the kind of story where it was accepted that other creatures besides humans lived in our world among us. Or something like that.

It's getting more clear, and more muddled, all the time, but good job clearing it up some. That's why you're Jenius Jax!!

On March 16, 2009 at 1:02 PM , Jax Cassidy said...

Well, heck, if I can't figure it out--there's a problem. I don't read nearly as much paranormals or UF but I am one of those weird people who doesn't want to know the new concepts out there or I'll be depressed someone beat me to it! LOL

On March 16, 2009 at 1:04 PM , Abigail McKenley said...

Thanks for breaking it down for us Jax. I can't wait to read your new WIP :)

On March 16, 2009 at 1:19 PM , Kristen Painter said...

Great post!

On March 16, 2009 at 5:46 PM , Clover Autrey said...

Good definition, Jax. I always thought of paranormals as a big umbrella for romances peopled with supernatural, otherworldly, or gifted characters that could be good, bad or ugly, whereas UFs are set in a modern city setting, usually the dark rough part of town where those those supernatural characters are more likely to mug you before they get their butts kicked by a fiesty most likely supernatural heroine herself.

On March 16, 2009 at 6:42 PM , Jax Cassidy said...

That's true Clover. In publishing, it's easier to ask and sound stupid than go through the process feeling stupid. I would hear people reference my story as Paranormal and then someone else would say Urban Fantasy and I didn't know the difference. Basically, I thought UF was more grittier and darker. But then I've read some paranormals that contain the exact same thing. See why I was so confused. :)