We know that a supernatural novel is a story about a character or characters that are ‘beyond natural.’
In other words, such characters have certain abilities beyond an average person. Not to be confused with paranormal, a novel about the supernatural, in my view, would be a story on something God-like, or something about God Himself, and maybe digestible by anyone who wishes to read them, whether they believe in God or not.
These are the types of novels that I mint at Omega Inscribe – Hence, this is the reason why I love to talk about ‘the supernatural’! If you have not yet seen the blog about the difference between a paranormal novel and a supernatural novel, check it out here.
The point of this blog is how unrelatable we may find supernatural characters, compared to us, and our own experiences. Think of Superman, for example. The guy is from another planet, he can fly, he is super strong…and he seems quite cute too. Not your average Joe. A regular person would probably hate him because he seems to have all those things going for him that they could only dream of. However, this is the reason why Superman’s creators gave him human traits: He gets a job, he falls in love, he can feel emotions, and so on.
As a writer of supernatural novels, this is one thing I keep in mind when creating characters for my novels – How can you make a supernatural character likable? The answer is simple – Make them relatable to a normal person.
In my novels, a supernatural character is like Superman. However, instead of getting their supernatural abilities from ‘kryptonite’ or some tangible thing, the supernatural character’s ‘super’ abilities are derived from faith and the Bible. If you are wondering what this means, check out my blog about “How to find super abilities from the Bible for characters in your novel.”
On that note, what are the 5 things that your supernatural character should have to make them likable? Let us count the ways to make this happen:
- Transparent emotions: One thing I have heard people say to me over the years, in relation to faith, the Bible, and beliefs is that things of faith and things of Christianity are hard to understand. Yes, there are the surface quotes like ‘Love your neighbor’ which seems pretty straightforward – However, some people agree that faith in the God of the Bible goes deeper than the surface text they read from the Scriptures. Therefore, when creating a supernatural character whose abilities, life and all they stand for is revolving around the God of the Bible, you want to make your character as emotionally transparent as possible so that people will not think they are reading about someone they cannot understand. What makes the character angry? What makes them sad? How do they deal with disappointments? You want to make these known. It will be bonus points for making your readers fall in love with them.
- Approachable: Let’s use the superman example again. If you saw something in blue and red tights, flying down from the sky on a normal day, would you be likely to approach them and say hi? I would tell you the truth – I would run for the hills. You want to think of your supernatural character in your novel as that blue and red guy flying, who is so different from anyone else because there are something’s about him or her in that story that are unique and…alright, divinely derived. From afar, they may seem intimidating. But you want your reader to get a glimpse into their character, and how approachable and open they can be. Therefore, consider adding this element into one or other of your supernatural characters in your supernatural novel
- Relationships: Have you ever read the story about Elijah, the Tishbite, in the Bible? The man was said to be a mighty prophet who could call down fire from the sky. Talk about scary ability. Throughout the story of his life, I did not read anything about him having a family, a wife, or even kids. Therefore, it made me wonder how he dealt with normal relationships, if he did not really have one. True, he had a servant, Elisha, who he related very closely with – But Elisha was a prophet apprentice, so let’s just say they were birds of the same feather, relating together. Therefore, it begs the question – Can such a powerful character have relationships that would make people want to draw nigh to him and be friends? Probably not. I doubt he had any friends, and that is okay. People on a mission like him were not intended for friendly tea-time relationships. However, if you want your supernatural novel character to have some element of likability about them, you probably want to surround them with one or more relationships that a reader can have a glimpse into and feel like they could relate to the character too.
- Cut down on the relentless nature: It is often the case that people who have the advantage of power on their side – Be it a big position, or even – Superman – may use the power to their advantage and make others bend to their will always. This is the purpose of power, after all. You want to use it to make things happen the way you want it to happen. However, for a supernatural character in a novel, this nature may come off as very selfish to the average reader. It is true that you may have read in other places that a character who is relentless in their pursuits in a novel or movie is a character who is likable. This is true for the average, everyday Joe. The opposite is the case for a supernatural character. The fact that they have abilities beyond normal is the very reason why they should back off from time to time in making others do their bidding. Such a stance will make your supernatural character more likable.
- Make their language understandable: Think of Einstein. He had the supernatural ability of ‘genius.’ When he was formulating his equation on relativity: E = mc2, I am pretty sure that there were many individuals around him who were thinking he was speaking in a different language and they could not understand him. A supernatural character is like that. They tend to know things that the average people do not know. Therefore, to make your character likable, even though he or she may speak or think in terms that are beyond the average person’s comprehension, make sure the novel breaks down the background or the root behind how they came to become such complex personalities, able to speak and understand such complex things. Think: Deconstructing the E = mc2 equation. That ought to be fun. But in this case, you are trying to deconstruct the divine equation that makes your character the way they are, the way they think, the way they speak.
Have you written a book, or even a movie about a supernatural character? Drop a note in the comments to publicize it! Let us get to know this complex person!