Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bringing Conflict, Tension, and Quirk Through the Paranormal

Posted by: Danube Adele
Psychic characters are not a new phenomenon to literature and film. Characters that can peek into the future or have an extra sensory leg up have been an added spice or the main enchilada to many famous literary works over time. When used well, they've added an extra layer of depth and complexity to a story, inviting the audience/reader to be more than passive spectators. As the witnesses to this extra sensory knowledge, the audience is challenged to remember what they've been told and to try and piece together how this extra knowledge will shape character action and plot twists. Many strange and wonderful plot points have wowed readers and movie goers through this paranormal/sci-fi convention.

"Double, double, toil and trouble Fire burn and cauldron bubble." Can I get an "amen!" from the Shakespeare club? Think back to the shortest but bloodiest of all Shakespeare's plays, MacBeth. In this tragic tale, we watch the three Weird Sisters caution MacBeth with signs to watch for that will mean his doom. No man born of a woman will ever hurt him, and until Birnam Woods comes to him, he will be safe. But what does this mean? How should we interpret this? We struggle with MacBeth and watch with horror as he commits murder after murder of innocent people. The sisters never told MacBeth to kill, but they planted the seed of conflict and let MacBeth nurture it with his own fatal flaws. They toyed with him and let us all watch him go down in flames.

There are so many fascinating psychic characters that have driven the plot with their gifts. Dead Zone with Christopher Walken has been a favorite of mine since I first saw it as a child. It had me spellbound, alarmed by his visions and on the edge of my seat when he tried to keep horrible things from happening around him. The Sixth Sense gave us all the OMG moment at the end of the movie if no one spilled the secret in advance. But let me share a character that is more quirky and lighthearted from my own genre. Nix the Ever Knowing or Nucking Futs Nix. She's part of Kresley Cole's exciting world in the Immortals After Dark series where she's in high demand from all of the powerful creatures of the lore. The twist? She's adorably spacy, but in a very calculated way. Absolutely love her.

Using psychic characters in my own writing seemed to occur naturally enough. In fact, I find it difficult to write characters who have no paranormal abilities, which is where Dreya comes in. She's the seer in my Dreamwalkers series, working to give knowledge as it is revealed to her, in order to help the people of Te're find peace from their generations old war amongst themselves. The Brausa and the Sunan have lived with bloody enmity as far back as anyone can remember, but the gods have determined it is time for change.

In Quicksilver Dreams, book one of the Dreamwalkers series,  Dreya invites Taylor Lane to discover who she really is in the universe, introduce her to the new power that will be hers to develop, and train her to be the next seer. Of course, it doesn't hurt that Dreya's grandson Ryder is tall, dark and dangerous to her senses. It's a rocky road when they both have trust issues along with very hot chemistry. In Dark Summer Dreams, the second book in the series, Dreya forces Shandry, her granddaughter, to risk life and limb breaking the number one enemy of her people out from a Sunan prison. Instead of being grateful, the Braussian warrior takes her back to his camp where they both feel the reluctant spark of a passion that's beyond their control. As the spice, Dreya is a mystical conductor of plot twists, and she has much left to do before she can rest.

Carina Press
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The third book in the series is Dreams of a Wild Heart. Ceci has dreams that allow her to connect with a long lost love, but being a doctor of medicine, she's in constant conflict, but that all ends when she finds herself unwillingly transferred to another planet for the use of her doctoring skills by a dark, brooding, Braussian warrior. There's been little joy in his life, and Ceci finds she wants to help him find it again.

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The war is not yet over. As the characters dig deeper into the past, they'll begin to uncover more of what happened to bring such hatred between the two nations, and it will take the bravery of our heroes and heroines to reach for the heartfelt dream of lasting peace. Stay tuned for Book 4 in the Dreamwalkers series.

Thanks for tuning in. Who are your favorite psychic characters?

Carina Press
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