Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The Supernatural Story World

As a writer of paranormal thrillers, the world of the occult fascinates me.  On looking at the dictionary definition of the word 'occult', I see it can mean 'esoteric knowledge', 'secretive mystery' and/or the 'supernatural'.
To me the world of occult is mainly associated with the supernatural. It can include such things as Extra sensory perception, spirits, special powers, demons and devils, doppelgangers, possession and special powers (such as telekinesis, telepathy etc.). All these things are great themes/plots for the supernatural thriller writer. However one thing that is uppermost in my mind when I write is that, irrespective of the supernatural elements, the story must still hold together as a well plotted tale with good, believable characters. It must have the elements of a thriller with rising tension, conflict and suspense and a character in jeopardy.
I also do believe that stories centred on the occult world should grip readers and the supernatural element should be unnerving, scary and even a little terrible. Readers of these kinds of stories expect to be transported to an alternate reality where supernatural abound and yet are still pretty scary.
In the reader's minds a little voice poses the question, at least for the duration of the story, ”could this possibly happen?” Suspension of disbelief is what keeps horror and supernatural writers going, as well as the enjoyment of heightened sensations if the story scares as much as it should. The fear, I believe comes from the not knowing.
After all, we really don’t know what awaits us in the afterlife and the possibility of spirits, ghosts etc is not that unbelievable to many people. And lots of perfectly rational folk do indeed believe in the Devil and Demons (for that matter many religions do too). I guess it is this notion of belief and the outside possibility of these things actually happening that captures the imagination of so many supernatural thriller readers – including me!

So can you suspend disbelief to read a supernatural thriller?



  1. I'm your newest follower, for now. Looks like an interesting place you have here. I like a touch of the supernatural. Thanks for the follow at my blog!

  2. Oh, you bet I can! I can suspend it to write it, too. I'm not going to lie, I've scared the bajeebers out of myself while writing late at night. I love that delicious and terrifying thrill.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

  3. I can suspend it for a while . . .

  4. I'm willing to believe anything I read (or see in films)... at least while I'm reading/watching! But you're absolutely right that whatever you write has to have an internal logic and people have to behave like people or it's impossible to do so.

  5. As a horror writer myself, I think that the reader can only go along with a paranormal story of any genre if the characters are believable. The plot most be interesting and tight, the paranormal scary, but if the characters are not believable, then the reader can't picture him/herself going along for the ride. Even more so than in non-paranormal stories, the weight is heavy on paranormal writers to connect with our audience on a human level. That in itself will amp the fear factor and leave a mark on our readers.

    Great article!

  6. I know why I am fascinated by them stories . It is because I want to experience the horror and the chills of this inside the safety of my world which wont really hurt me