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Would you read a supernatural mystery/thriller?

Poll closed Sep 15, 2015.
  1. I would really enjoy a mystery/thriller with supernatural elements.

    66.7%
  2. No, I prefer mystery/thriller without supernatural elements.

    33.3%
  1. Steven Bishop
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    Steven Bishop New Member

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    To add supernatural elements or not to

    Discussion in 'Setting Development' started by Steven Bishop, Sep 1, 2015.

    I am at the crossroads of developing my storyline. I can go one of two directions.

    1. to directly add supernatural aspects to the overall world concept I am creating or.

    2. to leave the mystical/supernatural out, which would shift my overall story.

    I am concerned that if I were to add the supernatural aspects to my concepts, it may detract from the adult audience I am focusing on.

    I am curious what other's opinions are on this, I know its ultimately up to me, but I would still like some feedback on this.
     
  2. uncephalized
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    uncephalized Active Member

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    Adults like supernatural stuff just fine. Neil Gaiman writes for all ages--always with supernatural elements. He's super popular. Stephen King comes to mind as well. Just write what makes the best story.
     
  3. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's hard to answer without more information. What overall mood are you seeking?

    I see a few categories or levels of supernatural content:
    1. Strictly reality based stories.
    2. Primarily reality based stories with tiny hints of the supernatural. I recently read a mystery about a house where there had been a decades-old murder, and a protagonist that investigated the murder for largely conventional reasons. But he did have a history of, several times in his life, waking from sleep to see brief visions of things that had happened in a place, and the visions turned out to be a bit more accurate than you'd expect by chance. Brat Farrar, by Josephine Tey, was essentially all "real" except for the protagonist's theorizing that a dead person was encouraging him to do something and that perhaps that was why he felt welcome while doing something that would otherwise be strongly against his principles. So, very small easily dismissed supernatural elements.
    3. Reality based stories with more than hints of the supernatural, but the supernatural is still just a temporary (though huge and perhaps deadly) episode in the characters' lives, an episode to get through. The movie The Shining would be one huge example. Barbara Michaels' Georgetown series (with the exception of one that's totally reality-based) is a smaller one. And the movie The Dead Zone.
    4. Reality based stories with one sustained element, or a limited number of sustained elements, of the supernatural. The TV show Forever, with the character who never dies, is one example, as is the TV series The Dead Zone.
    5. Stories in something that looks like the real world, but they embrace the supernatural eagerly and make it part of the structure. The Dresden Files and Buffy.
    6. Stories in a world packed with the supernatural. Lord of the Rings, the Oz books, Star Wars, etc.
    Which category would you see your story in? And what's the general desired mood of the story?
     
  4. Steven Bishop
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    Steven Bishop New Member

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    I am between 2 and 3. I think. As for mood, I am still working through this but I am leaning towards dark/suspenseful. I will be writing from the protagonist's perspective.
     
  5. Steven Bishop
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    Steven Bishop New Member

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    Thanks for that, I am caught up in my world creation, because I am planning to use the real world and its history, but I am changing many things in the overall layout. My story will not touch all these aspects initially, but layer's of my world will become known to the protagonist, as the story develop's.
     
  6. ManOrAstroMan
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    ManOrAstroMan Magical Space Detective Contributor

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    I know this is completely unhelpful, but fo what feels right. If you're considering adding supernatural elements, obviously there's some appeal in that to you. However, don't just shoehorn it in.
    I love mixing mystery and horror and fantasy and all that stuff. It's pretty much all I write and most of what I read. That being said, if you feel like you have to bend your story into this new shape to accommodate ghosts and ghouls and long-leggity beasties, then don't. You won't enjoy writing something you have to force and the reader won't enjoy reading it.
    The opposite is true, too. If you're having to seriously rework things to avoid supernatural elements, just stop avoiding it and let it happen.
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    My feeling is that between 2 and 3 can support an adult audience. Which is not to say that full-on fantasy can't support one, but it seems harder.
     
  8. Steven Bishop
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    Steven Bishop New Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback, I am really happy I joined this forum, everyone here has been extremely helpful and it only reflects well on the entire community.
     

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