I was perusing Romancing the Blog today when I came across a post about paranormals versus historicals. This sentence caught my eye: “How is an author going to know the rules of shape shifting without first doing some research?”

LOL, that made me giggle. You can research that? I thought it was up to the individual author writing the story how this stuff worked. Man, talk about your basic ignorance (me).

But isn't it true that different writers have employed different rules on their vampire worlds, fer instance? Some let them be awake during the day, others are more traditional. I don't know how they decide this, truthfully.

I'm not a big paranormal reader, but I was first on the boat with Linda Lael Miller's vampire romances back in the day. Who could ever forget Valerian??? I admit to not sampling them much today. Heck, I don't know where to start. When Ms. Miller was writing her trilogy (or whatever it turned out to be), they were fairly unique on the market. I was sucked into the first one, Forever and the Night, and read the next three. None got to me as much as Time Without End (Valerian, sigh). I never felt the urge to write them, however, much to my everlasting regret. Still don't. But a lot of folks do.

Do you think paranormals are the new historicals? I'm not sure I agree, though OTOH, I mostly stopped reading historicals a few years ago. Too much sameness and too many damn lectures about the workings of the medieval castle or the Regency ton. (There are always exceptions, or writers who are so brilliant they can describe hay drying in the field and I'll read it.)

I know the writer has to set the scene, and I sure enough did it in Lord of the March, but to the regular reader it gets old fast. I guess it could get old in paranormals too. I read a contest entry that spent 30 well-written pages telling me how the heroine traveled through time. It was nice writing, but boring as heck. If it'd been a book, I'd have skipped to the action.

How do you get past that stuff when writing? Do you imply it and hope the reader follows? Or do you think it needs in depth explanations? I'm in the implication camp, but that's my preference. Do we face the same issues in contemporary novels or do we have it easier because readers are already part of our “story-world”?

[PS I'm off to *gasp* a work-like situation for the rest of the week! Okay, so there's no work involved, but I am required to wake up, get dressed in casual business attire, and be somewhere at 0800 sharp every morning for the rest of the week. This is shocking to my system! Therefore, my posts will probably be somewhat more scattered and goofy than usual. Or not.]