Saturday, October 18, 2014

Parantnormal, the Second One

Finally thinking I had absolutely nothing to complain about anymore, you sigh in relief. You slip into the lull of safety. But it's not true. I'm here to bristle about all the things I forgot in the last Parantnormal. So here we go.

1. There are only so many ways to spell 'fairy'

Fairy, faery, fairie, fair folk, faerie, faeiry, fayry, fayrie, faiery... There are probably more. There should not be more. With every mutation of the word, my Irish heritage aches. Look, the concept is the same. It doesn't matter how you spell it! But it needs to be readable. It's okay to say 'fairy'. I get it that 'fairy' evokes images of small children's dolls, but it's just how it's spelled. Faery is okay too.

People sometimes shorten it to just "the Fay/Fae/Fai". Fine. That's okay. It sounds more modern that way. However, please, stop acting like the word "fairy" will suddenly destroy your story. If the story is good, it will be fine.

And stop spelling vampire "vampyre". Replacing every "i" with a y doesn't help your case.

2. It could be any mythology in the world... Surprise, it's Greek

Hey, I'm a mythology geek. All mythologies are cool. But Greek mythology is everywhere, from English classes to YA novels. Is it because everyone knows about it? Well, that's your problem. It's not new, it's not fresh and interesting. If you're writing something focused on Greek mythology, try to think about it a little harder. For the plot, does it require being Greek? Or could it just be any pantheon? Really consider it.

If your first thought is that it wouldn't require as much research, or that everyone would know what you're talking about, stop having that thought. All mythologies require research. And most books, based on any mythology, explain the myths they reference. So you could use anything. Really.

Is the story about a child of Zues that controls storms? Is it vital that it's Zues, Zues, and nothing but the Zues? If not, look- other storm gods! Thor, Set, Oya, Taranis... I just googled 'storm gods'. There are plenty more than that.

3. The vampire/werewolf war

Forever wondering about this. Werewolves are German, vampires, well, vampires range, but most people go with the East European ones. But I get it, you want them in the same place. Okay, okay. Why are they fighting?

I swear, it's never explained past 'it's alway's been this way, so...'. There's nothing contradictory about werewolves and vampires. They can be friends. Really. Or do you just need a reason to make your romance forbidden? As always, it would be fine if it was just explained.

4. Failed pack structure, the only female werewolf, and other weird tropes

Writing about any were-blahblahblah society will take research on the species. Wolves are not exempt from this. No matter how much you think you know, you have to look a little farther. First of all- pack hierarchy isn't just "two ton muscle wolf rules all with lady wolf, all other wolves are under them". There's a breeding pair (the alphas), their kids, and maybe their kids' kids. Wouldn't werewolf society be at least close?

The last lady wolf phenomenon is one of the strangest, but also really common (and cissexist). Tell me again why it needs to happen. There's thousands of werewolves, but long ago all the girls died. But-but!- now heroine comes along, and she must hide from society because all the guys want to mate with her. Then Love Interest comes along, teaches harder that not all men are animals (I'm ao hilarious), somehow managing to be the only man that doesn't immediately treat her like breeding stock. But still proves his point.

Another, "the inner wolf" thing. So, there's you. You are the narrator. You are human. Then there's your inner wolf, who's also you, but is a wolf. And talks to you. And when you change, you're still you, not that inner wolf. I'm confused. Why don't you consider that inner wolf to be you, since you are a wolf? What is that inner wolf? If, when you transform, you don't become that inner wolf, what's the point?

She's going to find her mate, she's the Omega, it's- gasp- the Alpha. Who has abs of chiseled smoke. And he's possessive and, honestly, kind of terrifying. Or he rejects her, she mopes, then he comes around and is possessive and terrifying. He uses the dialogue tag "growled" a lot. His name may or may not be a version of "Zack" or "Jack". An ack name.

5. Destinope

This happens in every genre, but it's particularly common in paranormal stuff. Here. I'll even script it out for you. You'll know what I'm talking about.

(MC enters)

Hi, I'm the main character. I'm plain. So plain. My eyes are puplegreenyellowrainbow and people call me a freak because of that. 

(MC wipes away a single tear, though not seeming affected emotionally)


You're special. You have a destiny.

Whhhaaaaaaaaattt. That's so weird and horrible.

(200 pages of nothing)

(Suddenly AUTHOR remembers something)

Oh, crap. Right.

I have a destiny. I shall do that now.

(40 pages of actual plot)


The two hundred page snog sessions could easily go away. It needs to go away. We might like the filler, but not as much as we'd like to hear the plot.

6. The villain is SO hot

Do you need a love triangle but have only one good guy? Do you not want to just write in a new character? Well, do I have a solution for you! Just take your villain, the murderer, the monster, and make him hot! Buy Villain-Good Guy-Heroine Love Triangle now and get a free bottle of Creepiness! Buy now!

Have you considered not doing that.

(Also, did anyone else already finish Blood of Olympus? Because I did. Solangelo YEAH.)

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