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Writing the Paranormal Novel

Techniques and exercises for weaving supernatural elements into your story.

Writing the Paranormal Novel
Techniques and Exercises for Weaving Supernatural Elements Into Your Story
by Steven Harper
Writer's Digest Books, 2011
ISBN: 978-1-59963-134-9
$17.99, paperback, 272 pages

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Read an excerpt
Novelist Steven Harper (In the Company Mind, Corporate Mentality) gives you some great tips for using interviews to research your fiction.

Read a Q&A with the author

Harper discusses what sets writing supernatural fiction apart from other fiction writing as well as his thoughts on writing advice, the publishing industry, and more.

About the book
Writing a paranormal novel takes more than casting an alluring vampire or arming your hero with a magic wand. It takes an original idea, believable characters, a compelling plot, and surprising twists, not to mention great writing.

This helpful guide gives you everything you need to successfully introduce supernatural elements into any story without shattering the believability of your fictional world or falling victim to common clichés.

You’ll learn how to:
• choose supernatural elements and decide what impact the supernatural will have on your fictional world
• create engaging and relatable characters from supernatural protagonists and antagonists to supporting players (both human and non-human)
• develop strong plots and complementary subplots
• write believable fight scenes and flashbacks
• create realistic dialogue
• and much more

Complete with tips for researching your novel and strategies for getting published, Writing the Paranormal Novel gives you everything you need to craft a novel where even the most unusual twist is not only possible—it’s believable.

About the author
Steven Harper is the author of In the Company of Mind, Corporate Mentality, and books based on Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, and The Ghost Whisperer, among others.

Table of contents

part i: Gathering the Elements
Chapter 1: The Nature of the Paranormal
Chapter 2: Elements and Elementals
Chapter 3: The Paranormal at Large
Chapter 4: Seeking the Paranormal
Chapter 5: The Paradox of Clichés 

part ii: Summoning the Characters
Chapter 6: Supernatural Characters
Chapter 7: Magic and the Superhero
Chapter 8: Keeping It Real

part iii: Casting the Words
Chapter 9: Thinking Big and Small:
Arc, Plot, and Subplot
Chapter 10: Fight Scenes and Flashbacks:
How to Handle Paranormal Pacing
Chapter 11: Language and Dialogue
Chapter 12: Paranormal Polish
Chapter 13: The Real Challenges

part iv: Banishing the Book

Chapter 14: The Reality
Chapter 15: Destruction and Creation

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