The World as We Know It: Believability and Character – originally posted August 24, 2012


One of the most essential aspects of writing paranormal, fantasy, sci-fi, horror, or any type of novel that steps out of the realm of realism is making it plausible. I found in crafting my characters that often have extraordinary abilities it is also important to balance them with a hefty dose of real life.

In An Uneasy Traveler the main character is Aubrey Mason, a woman who is extremely private, concerns herself with making ends meet, has questionable health and is also a sensitive/psychic — a fact that she chooses to keep private. The novel chronicles how for her these gifts are a blessing and a curse making what one would call a “normal” existence next to impossible. Aubrey struggles with fears, stress, and a desperate need to retain control over things in her life which of course to her great panic goes completely out the window once she meets her “soul-mate” Jacob Wyss. And then she must walk the precarious edge of how much to trust him with the truth of her life. As a character living with her psychic abilities and integrating them into an everyday existence gives Aubrey a “real” factor that I wanted in order to make the paranormal aspects of the story plausible. For her living as s sensitive is very normal so hopefully the reader would feel that way also.

The character of Julia Moreau in Treading on Borrowed Time is juggling more than a normal life and her psychic abilities. She is also managing a lifetime of Type I diabetes. For anyone who has experienced a life-long illness they understand that living with the care of it becomes part of the fabric of your everyday life. It is normal for her to worry about what she eats, about low blood sugars, about taking insulin. In a way, integrating this unusual aspect of her life mirrors the way these characters integrate their psychic sensitivities into everyday living. It is their “normal.” They believe it and live with it on a day to day basis so it establishes the bar of what the reader should accept.

In crafting a novel characters need to be relatable, people we can know, whose struggles although unique we can still empathize with.



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