Editing Rant: Para the Normal

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Editing Rant/Review for a DNF (did not finish) book I read.


If you are going to write a paranormal romance, remember to PARA the NORMAL. And RO the MANCE.

This book was barely paranormal. The paranormal was told, not shown. Basically the plot was a Christmas Romance Direct-to-TV-Movie.

We got the cute dog, we got the plucky friend, we’ve made cookies, we’ve been embarrassed in front of our potential male which he finds cute and he is already in love with us. I was going to say “distilled” Christmas Romance Movie but that means it has been concentrated, but this was just the normal watered-down stuff. In fact, I think it was even more watered-down than a 90-minute Movie (plus commercials).

Don’t get me wrong, I eat paranormal romances up normally. But when I read this, I was just not in the mood for romance so “sweet” it wasn’t even sweet. It didn’t do ANYTHING to make me fall in love with anyone. The “weird” and “cute” were so bland as to be tapioca pudding. Sometimes I want that type of pudding, but not in my paranormal romances. There I want something a little more spicy – some action, some magic worldbuilding, some strong romance – anything to add some “para” to the normal.

Not a “save the bunny from a dog” moment to make me like the main character.

Really?!? It’s a romance! I should not need a “Save the Cat” moment to identify with the romantic interest.

In addition, a big thing happened off-screen. Supposedly the couple was exposed to a love potion before everything began — and it seemed to have NO impact on their relationship. They were already going that direction. Why were we even talking about magic? The worldbuilding for this magic town had NO SPARKLE. So you go to a healer instead of a doctor? Big whoop. For the first date, they go to a NORMAL mini-golf situation.

Make me believe this is a magic town.

No Zing, No Sparkle, No Wonder.

No Wonder I didn’t finish. Needs better worldbuilding, better characters, and a better relationship.


Take away for writing – paranormal romance needs Magic. Make us believe not only in the magic of love, but just plain magic – shifter and vampire, witch and warlock. Spell it out for us.

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