On Writing & Publishing by Robin D. Owens

Personal notes on writing techniques, writing a novel, my writing career and threading your way through publishing a book.

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Location: Denver, United States

RITA Award Winning Author -- that's like the Oscar, folks! Futuristic/Fantasy Romance and Fantasy with Romantic Subplots.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Writing Paranormals -- 2nd Genre "Rule"

Image hosting by PhotobucketThe Second Genre Rule:
Know the magical worlds/rules of others in your genre and MAKE YOURS FRESH AND DIFFERENT: This can best be seen in the various Vampire "worlds." Maggie Shayne's Vampires and Christine Feehan's Vampires/Carpathians are DIFFERENT, as are Janet Miller's and Susan Squires', Angela Knight's, Charlaine Harris'. Some of the comparison questions you can ask to define your world are: Are your vampires dead? Do they accept their nature or hate it and fight against it? What caused them to be vampires (a virus? basic nature?) How do they become vampires? How do they react to sunlight, crosses, holy water? The two rules I think you should keep in writing a vampire story is that blood is food and that vampires live longer than humans. That's my take.

Werewolves: Ruth Thompson's and Nora Robert's and Emma Holly's and Mary Janice Davidson's and Rebecca York's are DIFFERENT. Again, do they accept their nature? What is the culture and set up of the pack? What happens to their clothes when they change? Is the change painful or ecstatic?

And I may get around to doing a were-panther-tiger etc. but trying to make up a world for vampires just makes my head hurt...

May all aspects of your world be fresh and fun today.



Blogger Maura said...

How very true.... I have a magick series and a shapeshifter series in the works and part of my preparation was to know and understand the rules of my worlds and how things worked. Then I tried to make sure that my world isn't the same as the other major works.

My were-cats are different than Feehans.

My magic world is different than any other I read.

I am sort of the opinion that some familiarity is necessary to allow people to relate somehow but so little of that is needed to ground the reader that you get a terrific opportunity to play with the rest!

The thing I always plead for, though, is internal consistency. I hate when I read a book in a series taking place in the same universe and the rules changed somehow. Makes me nuts.

3:48 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Ah, I'll be talking about that later!


6:22 PM  
Blogger Diana Peterfreund said...

The two rules I think you should keep in writing a vampire story is that blood is food and that vampires live longer than humans. That's my take.

Is that how you like your vampires or is that how you think all vampire stories should be? And why? What if it's not food, but instead some sort of way to get human immunities, the way people with particular diseases need blood transfusions, etc...

1:29 PM  
Blogger Robin D Owens said...

Ok, Diana, I guess I should have said that vampires need blood and probably only survive on blood.

This is about READER EXPECTATIONS, and I think readers definitely expect sexy blood sucking in a romantic vampire book, and they want the vampires to be older, more experienced, world weary.


7:15 AM  

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