1. waveofmutilation
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    waveofmutilation New Member

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    supernatural characters in fictional work

    Discussion in 'Character Development' started by waveofmutilation, Dec 31, 2011.

    A dilemma:
    In writing a piece of fiction, I am torn between articulating a character as truly, without-a-doubt supernatural or just special (deserving of exceptional description and conveyed fascination but not necessarily defiant of the statutes of human nature).

    As an amateur writer I have been told to not worry about the marketability of my work. I can agree with this bit of advice but at the same time I will be disappointed if using a supernatural character coupled with my mostly undeveloped writing voice will be detrimental to the potential reception of my work amongst readers at say a ninth grade reading level and above. I don't want readers tossing my work thinking I'm trying to craft a ghost story.

    Deep down I'm really striving to paint my supernatural characters in the same vein as The Judge in Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. That being said, I fear that I do not have the raw writing ability of such an author and will be unable to grip readers from beginning to end -- I fear they will dismiss my work as nonsense at an early stage.

    I have considered varoius methods of implying that the supernatural characters are illusionary but I really want to avoid painting my main character as a mad man. I have much to ask about different possibilities but I don't want to get carried away until I can read or hear someone else's thoughts.

    Any responses are truly appreciated... Many thanks in advance...
     
  2. -oz
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    -oz Active Member

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    I think it depends on the type of story you're going to write. If you're writing a superhero type story, it makes sense to write your characters as supernatural. If you're writing a more-or-less realistic piece of fiction, you want your characters to be simply special, since those type of people do exist in real life. If you're writing something like fantasy or science fiction, either approach could work. Another part of this is to simply write what you want to and are good at. If you want to write your character as supernatural, do so; it will probably seem more realistic in the*story if supernatural things are day-to-day.

    Just my four cents; do what you want though.
     
  3. Mystique23
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    Mystique23 Member

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    An unfortunate side-effect of the recent deluge of vampire and supernatural fiction seems to be that readers expect any "special" character to be supernatural. That is, they may ascribe supernatural elements or powers to this character even if they're described as being a normal human.
    If you're writing a supernatural story, then write a supernatural character.
    If you're writing a 'slice-of-life" story, then my advice would be to describe them specially, but don't overdo it. Try to tone down any ghost-ish characteristics. If it were me, I would maybe have only one other character see this character as "special", while everyone else treats them normally.
     
  4. LTC
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    LTC Member

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    I would write the character the way you see fit, but without having it explicitly stated or too heavily implied that the character is a supernatural being. From a reader's perspective, I would much rather prefer that sort of thing left to my own imagination. As long as that doesn't interfere with the story, anyway. Is it necessary to establish that aspect of your character or can you keep it open to interpretation?

    That would add a subtle(or perhaps not, depending on the character's involvement) layer of mystery and uncertainty to your work, which is an effective method of keeping the majority of the audience interested. People generally like trying to figure things out, and they will probably be inspired to pay closer attention to your work and search for clues to determine the true nature of the character.
     

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