A sub-genre of romance with roots in Gothic fiction, paranormal romance novels may focus on the love story yet take place in a sci-fi or otherworldly setting. They are very similar to science fiction and fantasy books, in that the love story often feels like more of a subplot as the ultra-imaginative settings can drive much of the plot. While the genres often blend together successfully, there are some elements to writing paranormal that set it apart and can, at times, make it more difficult to do well.
When writing supernatural and horror themes, it’s important that the mythology is solid and well thought out. While the sky is your limit, especially when writing young adult novels, the history still needs to be thoroughly established. While the Twilight series was clearly about vampires, author Stephanie Meyer still created her own particular brand of vampires with their own unique mythology.
A good practice for all types of young adult novels is to write full bios for the main characters. When writing paranormal romance novels, it’s good to delve as deep as you can when creating their “culture.” Delve into the origin of the supernatural characters’ powers and weaknesses. How many of their kind are there? Are they good or evil? What motivates them? Are their powers obvious to humans or are they hidden? What causes them to lose their powers? Do they have emotions similar to humans? What do they like and dislike? Answering questions like these will add layers of complexity, both for the characters and the plot.
While vampires and wizardry may be losing some of its allure, readers still flock to the paranormal. As with science fiction and fantasy books, originality is essential to the appeal of paranormal romance novels. Competition is fierce, and unless your vampire story is extremely innovative and told in a way that’s never been done before, readers may pass your novel up for one of the extremely popular dystopian novels saturating the market right now. Make your concept as fresh and new as possible. Tell it from a different POV, create a society like no other or find another way to make your novel shine with originality.