Humanity in the Non-Human

Writing preternatural characters is FUN.

Really, it’s as simple as that. Writing for someone that is paranormal in some way is like opening up a gigantic writer’s playground of character traits and things you can do with them, both in their character arcs and in story arcs, and even in world building. The possibilities really can be endless, and for a creative writer, that’s just a whole lot of fun.

For me, though, the joy comes in finding the humanity in the non-human. Because with this great wealth of lore and literary toys comes the risk of taking your characters so far away from being human that your reader can’t find anything in them to relate to. That doesn’t mean everyone needs to humanize them as much as I do in the Blood Rights Series, but it is the price for all the fun stuff.

In my series, the premise and the world built is that a federal law has been passed that makes all preternatural creatures legal. They are out in the open–although not always in the sunlight, of course–and trying to fit in to a society that until now only thought they were nightmares and myths.

Now they are fighting to be allowed to be who they are, free and clear, but also having to “fit in” with the human world. It forces each non-human, or “human plus,” character to deal with their humanity on levels that they might not have had to before.

But if one half is finding the man in the monster, I also get to examine the monster in the man: the human anti-preternatural hate groups that rise up against the country’s newest citizens, and often back the paranormal into a corner of having to defend themselves by more human means or else be branded as monsters and risk losing what they’ve won.

Why do I like writing preternatural characters? Because it’s fun, and it’s an excellent way to study the human condition through non-human eyes.

And maybe because I like making werewolves go to the office nine-to-five and vampires do laundry. I’m kind of a mean like that.