The Differences in Writing Suspense and Paranormal Romances ~ by Darlene Kuncytes

As a paranormal romance author, my usual research is very minimal at best. Every so often, I’ll want to look into something for a story that I’m working on, but I will more often than not just end up reading a true crime article that has absolutely nothing at all to do with the tale that I’m currently working on.

I love true crime. I grew up reading practically everything I could
get my hands on, and devoured book after book on the subject.
Now…well, I’m a certified Investigative Discovery Channel addict. Lol 

Perhaps it’s because I have always loved a good mystery. Maybe it’s because all through High School and after, I hung around with law enforcement officers.

Or, perhaps it’s because years ago I had to serve on the grand jury, and part of that process consisted of touring the Crime Lab - which was absolutely fascinating to me, and my inner profiler and crime scene investigator was clawing to get out.

Whatever it was…I have always loved all things having to do with true crime.

It enthralls me.

I’m amazed by the advancements. The know-how. The clues.

The only problem? I absolutely HATE blood. Lol 

I would so be the special agent who would walk into a crime scene all confident and cool, only to promptly dash back through the door to toss my cookies at the first sign of gore!

As an author, I’m lucky enough to be able to weave many different types of tales. I can create any kind of world I choose. But there is a huge difference between writing paranormal romance and a romantic thriller.

At least there is for me.

The romance aspect isn’t much different. You have characters, and your job is to convey the attraction, that desire and need, in a way that will have your readers breathing a little faster as the heat between them grows and builds until it finally ignites and bursts into flames. You want to make it unique and sexy.

Where the difference lies is in the details with a thriller. You have to be very careful that timelines and things make sense. And herein lies the challenging part. The main difference between the two genres.

Can subject “A” be at said place, when subject “B” is being preyed upon? Would they have been able to commit the crime when they were doing this? Would an investigator be able to do that, and not have their ass handed to them on a platter?

With paranormal, I have the advantage of a bit more creative license with what my characters can and cannot do. I thankfully have the freedom to create my characters with the abilities to do and be whatever my crazy mind imagines.

I can make them have the ability to compel someone if I choose. Or morph into whatever being that I want.

Or, flit to different places in the blink of an eye.

With romantic thrillers, you have to be a bit more careful in making sure that the stories mesh and make sense. That things are more accurate.

And as an author, I love every single difference!

I love having to make sure the puzzle pieces fit without revealing
too much. It’s a challenge that I enjoy, and when it does all come together at the end, it’s such a rush!

But I also love weaving supernatural worlds with characters that are fun and unique. Characters that I can play with their backstories, legends and myths. After all, magic can only be confined by the author's own imagination.

And as I always say, write what you love, and love what you write!

Thanks for reading!


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  1. I am not a crime scene person, but enjoy the metaphysical and paranormal stories. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Thanks for your post, Darlene. Sometimes the lines between genres are pretty gray.



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