Saturday, November 2, 2013

Urban Fantasy vs Paranormal Romance

For those familiar with these genres, you know the style. It can vary based on series, but generally speaking, Urban Fantasy typically is told from 1st person POV and Paranormal Romance is 3rd person. Because paranormal romance relies heavily on the chemistry between two people, third person allows the author to give perspective to each character. Typically it's done in chapter or section breaks that flip-flop back and forth, but the Dark Hunters series was one for me to get used to because it shifts POV within the same page.The thing is, I think readers will adapt to any style, as long as they are connecting to the story.

I prefer writing 1st person. I do have a series to publish one day that is paranormal romance third person, but I'm still searching for my voice in that style so there isn't a disconnect. When I wrote the Mageri Series (Urban Fantasy), I went with 1st person, but really wanted the POV shifts, so I incorporated them into the story as needed in new chapters. I do it in 3rd person, and it allows another slice of the story to be discovered by the reader that is outside of the protagonists POV, so you are learning and hearing things she doesn't know about.

The Seven Series follows the same pattern and I went against third person. But writing these two books feels completely different, despite their similar styles. The continuing POV told from the same person in the Mageri books feels like putting on those comfy old slippers, sitting beside your sofa. They're snug, familiar, and you know what to expect. But with Seven, each book will focus on a new character and storyline, so that feels more like putting on those brand new shoes with the sleek heel and sexy curve. It takes a little getting used to, but it feels great to put them on. Each book of Seven is a challenge and a breath of fresh air for me to write. In a strange way, it's also giving me a break, and I think this will be extremely helpful for when I select my next urban fantasy series and settle into a new pair of slippers.

It's given me a greater appreciation for the writing style an author chooses in each book I read. There are many times an author begins a project and struggles with deciding which POV will tell the story best, and sometime we have to write a few chapters in before completely switching it. Readers seem to have their preference, regardless of what genre they read. So the next time you dig into a book and the style doesn't seem to flow with what's in the norm for the genre, give that book a chance and see how it works out. There are no set rules when it comes to style, there is only "commonly used". I honestly think indie authors have broken a lot of boundaries in the past few years with storytelling and are sometimes setting the trend, and I love that! It's why NA seems to choose the flip flopping 1st person POV between the two leads, giving each character their own chapter name. It's now the trend, but remember, it's not the rule.

There are no rules.

1 comment:

  1. Honestly I was not really aware of the difference between genres, thanks for sharing. Ido not necessarily care which POV is used, to me its about the story and the connection, sometime a story is just told better from the outside looking in, and others needs the first person POV. As long as it is well written and I can connect with it, it is good to me.