Much of the draw of a paranormal romance novel is the ‘setting’ or world the author shares with the reader. This alternate reality, history, or future is imperative to the reader’s experience with the characters.
As authors we’re often told to ‘make the setting a character’ and in world building for a paranormal romance novel, this is especially important. You have to set the ground rules, to carefully construct the framework your characters will play in.
That doesn’t mean you inundate the reader with the type of brick and number of windows in each building, but you need to give them a flavor and overview of the environment that will work for or against your characters as the story progresses.
Additionally, in world building for a paranormal romance novel, the supernatural element – whatever supernatural element you choose – must be planned out thoroughly. Whether you put your own spin on a Roman or Celtic pantheon, or create your own death and taxes system for vampires, werewolves, or ghosts, you need to be sure you stick to your set up.
In the Sixth Sense, in keeping with the rules of the story, director M. Night Shyamalan only dressed certain characters in red. Most viewers didn’t even realize it as they watched the movie, but it sent a signal, it was a clue vital to the development of the charactes in the story.
This is the sort of thing that matters when world building for a paranormal romance novel. The overview is important, but the details, make or break it for the reader. If your hero can’t fly, but needs to, there has to be a valid reason and plot progression to help him overcome and succeed.
A reader won’t buy into magic wand theory in a paranormal romance novel unless you prove the wand was there and endowed with power that the characters could access after they completed the right challenges.
As odd as it sounds, the world building for a paranormal romance novel has to be more logical and more structured than reality or it won’t be believed.