Ever wonder why you might be drawn to a particular type of Paranormal Character?
Writing Paranormal Romance (And Horror, Science Fiction, Fantasy, etc.) requires a vivid imagination. By its very nature, there is an element of suspended reality- creatures, beings, settings, and cultures that are ‘not of this world’. That is part of what makes them so enjoyable for fans- not knowing what you will uncover between the pages.
As I mentioned in my earlier post, many themes or tropes have been used over and over again. Some legends simply capture our imagination, and each author puts their unique spin on it. Vampires, for example have been popular figures of legend since antiquity. Several cultures, including Mesopotamia, the Hebrews, even the Ancient Greeks and Romans, had tales of various blood-drinking entities. There are also similar legends throughout history from India, China, Africa, and Europe, so vampires have been a source of fear and fascination for centuries. Of course, our modern image seems to have been modeled after the 1897 version, as described by Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’. Today we have thoroughly modern, twenty-first century versions in uncountable books and movies.
Werewolves, another popular mythological creature, have their origin in ancient history too. Also called Lycanthropes, they are the most popular of all human-to-animal shifting legends. The ancient Greeks and Romans had tales of humans that became wolves, but Europe, and eventually America, is where the legend really took hold.
Fairies, elves, gnomes, and their ilk were common in Celtic Folklore, one of the most famous (though by now, cliché) being the leprechaun. Animals such as unicorns, gryphons, and gargoyles are present in various forms in many culture’s folk tales.
One of my personal favorites is witches (and wizards), and here’s why: they are usually portrayed as humans, but with extraordinary abilities. Maybe it is not as exciting as “shifting” from a human to an animal, or as terrifying as drinking someone’s blood (eww), but I like it precisely because it is closer to reality. Humans today can perform all sorts of “magic” compared to what humans a thousand years ago thought was possible. Right? The fact that magic utilized by witches, wizards and other sorcerers in fiction is remotely possible, makes it even more interesting to me. (But I am a skeptic, as I explained here). Seems like there is more a chance I could learn some extraordinary “magic”, than turn into an animal or die and come back to life, right?
Much of the time, witches and their related beings use the powers of nature and/or the powers of their minds to conduct feats ordinary humans cannot. That intrigues me, for as my earlier post, pointed out, we do have the power to create our own reality. If we can learn to use it wisely.
So it turns out there is a veritable goldmine of ancient legends, urban myths, and folk tales from which authors can draw from. Peruse Amazon or Goodreads sometime and you may be astounded at all the variations of these paranormal legends that have been created.
What is your favorite paranormal creature or being? Have you ever wondered why that particular one ‘speaks’ to you?