As writers, we strive to constantly hone our craft and improve our skills. Preferably without spending too much money or taking a lot of time away from our current manuscript. Online writing classes are the perfect solution. Most of them are fairly inexpensive, and you can devote as much or as little time as you chose. (Candace Havens even hosts a number of fabulous FREE workshops on her WriteChat loop. Check it out!)
I’ve taken a number of great workshops, many of them from the Low Country RWA chapter. A couple of years ago, they asked me to teach one based on my nonfiction witchcraft books from Llewellyn. The result was “Witchcraft for the Paranormal Author.” The class was fun to teach and went really well, so they asked me to come up with a second workshop.
At the time they asked me, I’d spent months working on the world and character building for my urban fantasy, PENTACLES AND PENTIMENTOS. I started out by asking myself a simple question: What kind of paranormal characters can I use to people this world, without resorting to those that are currently somewhat overused. In short, NOT VAMPIRES.
Don’t get me wrong; I love vamps. And werewolves, and such. But I wanted to create a world that was completely different from anything already out there. And that meant coming up with unusual paranormals. Hence, the workshop—
Beyond Fangs: Creating New & Interesting Paranormal Characters
By Deborah Blake
Want to write a paranormal romance or urban fantasy, but don’t want to be just another Vamp in the crowd? Yearning to create a completely original paranormal character, but don’t know where to start? Author Deborah Blake moves beyond Vampires to delve into a wide range of paranormal folk who don’t need to hide from the sun. From Witches to Weres, Fae to Phantasms, this class will explore the alternatives to over-used supernatural stereotypes and help you to create your own unique paranormal character. The class will include a discussion of current trends, suggested reading, hints for character building, and an overview of authors who have successfully gone beyond the traditional.
The class will cover what’s already out there and a few ways to make the more common your own. It will also explore some alternatives, as well as suggest a few helpful resources for creating something new and different. And it will give an example or three from PENTACLES AND PENTIMENTOS, in case you’re curious.
If you want to know more, feel free to join me for this class. Check it out at http://lowcountryrwa.com/online-workshops/