Sunday, April 18, 2010

Guest Blogger: Lynda K. Scott

The winner of Lynda's book is: Linda Andrews. Congratulations, Linda!
Eight Rules for Writing Paranormal Romance

1. No matter what you're writing, Characterization Is King. No one wants to read about ho-hum characters who dither and wander aimlessly. They must have a goal and you, the writer, must give them a real personality complete with strengths and weaknesses even if they’re covered with fur under the light of a full moon.

2. No story happens in a vacuum. There must be a setting appropriate to the story, the characters or, at a minimum, the underlying truth you’re trying to express. However, you must be careful to only include the interesting little tidbits of the world you’ve created that are pertinent to the plot/story. Likewise, you must include that one tiny tidbit that explains why your scaled and clawed hero character exists or you’ll leave your reader shaking her head.

3. A story doesn’t happen to nobody. Or to everybody. If you can take a character out and replace that character with another character, then you probably don't know enough about that first character. Keep digging. The lead characters must be unique and appropriate to the story.

4. Books are like out of body experiences for your audience. When you create the story and characters, you are giving readers a variety of sensory perceptions to pull them into the story or to create a sense of empathy between them and the characters. Don’t be stingy, give the reader everything you’ve got.

5. Paranormal material is interesting as long as it's relevant to the story. Don’t toss in a werewolf or dragon just to make the story a paranormal. Do yourself and your readers a favor and spend a little time thinking about the paranormal rules in your world.

6. Chances are somebody's already thought of it. In the world of paranormal romance, there are a lot of crazy, oddball ideas. That means the ones you come up with have a good chance they’ve been used already. Accept this, and understand that it is your unique take on that concept that will freshen it and keep it relevant. There have been a million werewolf or vampire stories already told, but they haven't been done your way, and that's what makes it interesting.

7. For the romance - Never shut down the playground. Your imagination must always be at work on some level. Romance is not about following a recipe, it is about emotions. About bringing those emotions to the front and showing them in a new way.

8. Expect some explosions or deadfalls. Paranormal Romance fiction is about winging it, sometimes. About trying new things and doing odd things to familiar ideas. Some of those odd things will make those familiar ideas act awkward, feel vulnerable, and not want to call you the next morning. But that’s okay. If you're not risking something, then you're not in the running for the big payoffs, either.

Since Heartstone isn't available yet, I'd like to offer one of your readers a copy of Wild Blue Under by Judi Fennell. To enter the drawing, please leave a comment here AND send me an email (lyndak.scott @
gmail.com no spaces) with Wild Blue in the subject line and your address in the body. You have until Wednesday to email me. That evening I'll put all the names in a box and have my fluffy buddy, Wookie, pull the winning name. Oh, you can see a picture of Wookie on my myspace site :-)

To join my newsletter and learn more about me and my books (and be eligible to enter more drawings), send a blank email to:
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My Website: http://www.lyndakscott.com (under construction at this moment)



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25 Comments:

Blogger mariska said...

Hi Linda,
it's great knowing a new for me Author, and you are one the new Author for me :)

"Paranormal material is interesting as long as it's relevant to the story", I AGREE about this !

uniquas at ymail dot com

9:17 PM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

mariska.

I've read so many books where the paranormal element was just tacked on. It could have easily been removed and the story would still have stood. That's just not right :)

7:50 AM  
Blogger Pauline B Jones said...

Great advice, Lynda! here's hoping your book will be out soon!

9:41 AM  
Blogger Plain Americans said...

Great article! I'm a reader, not a writer so I don't have anything to add except that I agree.

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Nara Malone said...

I especially like rule number eight. :)

9:54 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks Pauline!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

American,

Readers have great input for writers. Trust me, we all value your opinions :)

9:56 AM  
Blogger Caroline Clemmons said...

Great comments, Lynda. And you are so right--writers value and need to hear readers' opinions.

10:36 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Nara! Yes, rule #8 is one of my favorites too. Thanks for stopping by!

11:43 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Caroline! Thanks for stopping by :-)

11:44 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Anita, thanks! I'm sure there are other rules that I haven't included but these seemed like the basic to me.

11:46 AM  
Blogger Richard said...

Lynda
I agree with your 8 rules, especially number 1. Nothing worst than a wimpy Main character.

2:06 PM  
Blogger Lise said...

Great, succinct, practical rules and advice which I think everyone will be better for following or revisiting. Thanks for the "reminders" and great success with Heartstone.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Linda Andrews said...

Great advice. I especially liked 4. Reading is an out of body experience. How true, but only when done right, otherwise it's like whiplash.

6:22 PM  
Blogger Julie LaLonde said...

Thank's for the advice, Lynda. I especially like your character advice in #3. I'm using it as my writing quote of the day.

6:59 PM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks Richard. Yes, wimpy characters can certainly be boring.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks Lise! And thanks for stopping by!

8:32 PM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks Linda. I like the out-of-body image for reading since I immerse myself so deeply in the book. I forget who I am and where I am, lol

8:34 PM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Julie, thanks for stopping by. Glad my advice was helpful :-)

8:35 PM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi Julie! Glad to help :-) Thanks for stopping by!

5:48 AM  
Blogger Karla said...

Very interesting article, lynda, with things I never thought about.

6:43 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Thanks for stopping by, Karla!

12:40 PM  
Blogger J K Maze said...

Lynda,

I love the paranormal and, in fact, have written 5 novellas, not finished, but working on them. I especially love those with dragons and big cats. I also have a mystery out with a psychic protagonist. I'd love to read anything you've written.

Joan

12:25 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Hi JK, 5 novellas? Wow! Finish them up and send them out. There's a lot of us paranormal lovers out here who'd love to read them :-)

Thanks for stopping by!

5:42 AM  
Blogger Lynda K. Scott said...

Just a reminder, you've got until noon to leave a comment & email me (lyndak.scott @ gmail.com no spaces) to be put in the prize drawing. Put Wild Blue in the subject heading and your snail mail address in the body.

Hope to hear from you!

5:45 AM  

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