Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dreams, Parnormal & What Is It?

Happy Wednesday Everybody,

I'm really excited. Today The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is out in theaters (I hope to see it this weekend).

I'm also a little bit puzzled. I had another one of those weird dreams I'm always talking about...one that if I could just get a handle on what the dream was about, rather than these vague flashes, I might be able to take some of it and turn into a story. (It definitely had paranormal aspects in it!)

Speaking of paranormal, awhile back agent Scott Eagan was talking about what he will and won't take regarding Paranormal queries. It's made me sit down and wonder exactly everything that constitutes a paranormal. Things I thought of I wondered if they were strictly fantasy or if they could branch into paranormal (we're talking about nymphs, muses, sirens, mermaids, dragons, and things like that).

Now, I know that MaryJanice Davidson and her husband, Anthony Alongi have a paranormal series for YA out dealing with dragons and shape shifters and it's definitely firmly entrenched in the paranormal genre.

But, let's explore:

The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines "paranormal" as "Not scientifically explainable."

Well that leaves things wide open.

Agent Scott Eagan isn't looking for vampires or were-things, or angels or demons or psychics (based on what he says on his blog and site). 

But there's other things, right?

I don't know about you, but I don't think mermaids have been scientifically explained.

But when do you cross from Paranormal into Fantasy? When you reach fairies? Or when you start having a knight fight a dragon?

Author Ciara Gold took Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Romance, and probably a bit of even Paranormal and sewed it altogether when she published Celestial Dragon.

There's time travel.

Author Lynn Kurland has done a lot with time-travel and ghosts in her MacLeod/de Piaget series. (my computer is acting up and doesn't want to select certain words so go here for her site: http://www.9kingdoms.com/ ).

I remember when I was a kid reading the Half Magic series by Edward Eager (http://www.amazon.com/Half-Magic-Edward-Eager/dp/0152020683 ). And the other books in those series.

There was time travel in one of them called The Time Garden ( http://search.barnesandnoble.com/The-Time-Garden/Edward-Eager/e/9780152020705 ).

I don't know how much scientific explanation dreams have. I know there's a lot of interesting research on it...ranging from Psychological to things like psychics, but you know, nobody truly understands the human brain. Part of it because everyone is different. Nobody is exactly alike, so what's true for one person's psychological make up, might not be true for another. (I got into this a bit in high school when I took Psychology I & II...we studied dreams, abnormal psychology, the history of psychology and even illusions, it was incredibly interesting...fascinating stuff the way people think!)

Being a how and why type of girl the world of psychology held quite an interest. Not enough to become a counselor a doctor (although one of my sisters does have her Ph.D. in psychology), but enough for me to be really interested in what drives people. I often ask people "why?" or "how did that happen?"

It's the type of questions we ask as writers and the type of questions Paranormal writers have to ask when world building.

You have to know why something is paranormal. You have to know how it works.

You have to be prepared to make it believable. (I mean not in the sense that a person would walk down the street and enter the next dimension or see a Witch turn someone into a frog). But in the sense that it has to make sense. Someone who's reading it has to be able to believe that these characters and this story matters and why it matters. (Not just because you had an insanely good idea, but because it's actually something a reader desperately wants to read).

These are the things that ramble around in my brain when I'm working on a manuscript.

So...what's your take?

(P.S. For those of you going to go see The Twilight Saga: Eclipse I hope you enjoy it!)

Have A Winsome Wednesday!


Stephanie Faris said...

That's the tough thing about paranormal. Making the unbelievable believable. I generally don't do paranormal and if I do, they involve ghosts but are from the perspective of non-ghosts, so I guess I write more about reality, which isn't quite as tough.

Bethany said...


Yeah...I expect unless it's something you can "see" it would be hard. But all writers have their strengths and weaknesses.