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Angels, demons, fairies, occult, vampires, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters, grim reapers, ghosts and just about anything else that’s not quite human are all within the paranormal realm.
A few exceptions include aliens, which are Sci-Fi, and Greek gods, which tend to be viewed as mythology/fantasy. Oftentimes, there’s a romance involved (though that’s not mandatory) and there’s nearly always tons of action—which is part of the reason I love it so much. :)
Pros/Cons of Writing YA Paranormal:
- Tons of variety. When most people think of paranormal, they tend to jump straight to vampires, but that’s just one option available in this huge world that is YA Paranormal. The list I had above include just some of the options available to paranormal writers—the possibilities really are endless. For example, one of my CPs wrote a pretty awesome YA Paranormal about Dreamcatchers who fight Nightmares, which is releasing later this year—like I said, there are loads of possibilities.
- Everyday life with a (huge) twist. This is the other part of paranormal novels that I adore—more times than not, the books are set up so that it seems like our everyday world, except for this often hidden element of whatever flavor of paranormal the book has. Many paranormal books even operate under the assumption that the paranormal aspect is there, but most people don’t know about it, which I personally love, because it allows me to imagine that paranormal stuff operates IRL.
- Exciting reads. Paranormal books tend to have pretty exciting plots, because the element that makes them paranormal also tends to be rather dangerous. If you like to write fast-paced novels, YA Paranormal definitely qualifies.
- Very tough market. I’ve already written about dead genres here, so I won’t go into that again, but YA Paranormal is very much considered a dead genre. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to sell or find representation for a YA Paranormal manuscript, but it’s definitely tough. If you have a great idea for a YA Paranormal manuscript, however, I don’t think this should deter you from writing it—it’s just good to be aware of the state of the market.
- Some stigma. The whole Twilight effect is still in play with paranormal, so many people tend to automatically equate YA Paranormal with Twilight and make judgments. This is especially true if your book has vampires or werewolves (which is a shame, because there are plenty of awesome vampire novels out there). Again, this shouldn’t deter you if you’re passionate about YA Paranormal, but chances are you’ll encounter this when you tell people what you write.
As I’ve said before, reading in the genre you’re writing is not optional. No really.
Note: While I haven’t read all of these, the ones I haven’t read I either want to read, have heard good things about, or were rating highly on Goodreads (or all three).
- The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black
- Ink (Paper Gods trilogy) by Amanda Sun
- Hourglass (Hourglass trilogy) by Myra McEntire
- The Immortal Rules (Blood of Eden trilogy) by Julie Kagawa
- Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy) by Laini Taylor
- Pivot Point (Pivot Point series) by Kasie West
- Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush series) by Becca Fitzpatrick
- Unearthly (Unearthly series) by Cynthia Hand
- Let the Sky Fall (Sky Fall trilogy) by Shannon Messenger
For more books, Goodreads has a whole section dedicated to paranormal books, with breakdowns for each category (angels, ghosts, werewolves, etc.) and a list dedicated solely to YA Paranormal.
- YA Common Clichés series: Paranormal Romance by S.E. Sinkhorn at Maybe Genius
- Writing…How to Write Paranormal Romance—7 Tips to Remember by nighthag on Hubpages (Note: Some of the points only apply to paranormal romance, but it’s still worth a read).
- Writing Tips: Creating the Paranormal by Shannon A. Thompson on her blog.
Do you enjoy reading or writing YA Paranormal? Share your experience!
Thinking about writing YA Paranormal? Writer @Ava_Jae shares some tips, recommendations and more. (Click to tweet)
Do you write YA Paranormal? Share your experience at @Ava_Jae's So You Want to Write series. (Click to tweet)