In the genre of supernatural or ‘extraordinary’ novels, it is sometimes the case that readers may think that the story or plot is incredible, maybe even ridiculous.
This is usually true only when the writer has not managed to create a story that can still be believed by the reader as existing in the realm of possibility.
When writing a story that is of a kind that would not usually happen in everyday average society, there are some things to bear in mind for making such a story believable.
How do you write a believable plot or story for your supernatural novel? The best way is to write a story that is grounded in reality, even though it contains supernatural elements. The ways to achieve this are:
- Write the story using a place that is believable: For instance, your character may originate from London, England or Columbus, Ohio, or Vancouver, British Columbia. These are places that many people would know as existing in the real world. Perhaps, readers from those areas may even be able to relate to the characters in the story because the book is based in their home town! It is not always the case, however, that you will write a book with a known place. You may want to create your own world, like Star Trek writers created Vulkan, another planet somewhere in the interplanetary system. I have a blog about how to write a supernatural novel with fictional settings, and you can check this out for how to go about such plots.
- Research the place: If you chose a place like Columbus, Ohio, for your novel, as an example, you want to get to researching your city of choice. What are the hot spots, or what do people do there for fun? What are the landmarks? What is its history? You want to inject these tidbits into the story line as you go so that readers can relate with a real place, even though your story has extraordinary, supernatural, characters.
- Ease or shock your reader into the supernatural facts about your story: Let’s assume that the main character in your story can see visions, like the disciples of Jesus in Biblical accounts. You can make and keep your plot believable by dropping hints about the character’s ability in the preliminary chapters, in which case, the reader is slowly introduced into what to expect about this extraordinary gift the character has. The reader would most likely want the unveiling to continue and will keep hunting for more tidbits about this supernatural character’s abilities in the book. Or you can shock the reader by dropping the revelation, particularly at the beginning of the story. It has your reader hooked. They have discovered something that is typically deemed ‘out of this world’ and the shock will most likely keep them wanting to know more.
- Surround your story with typical everyday elements: For instance, the main character in the story may be a scary prophet who could call down fire from the skies. However, in the midst of this incredible fact in the story, there are mundane things. This extraordinary character likes avocado toast for lunch, or he drives a shiny new pick up truck, or he is an accountant at a company downtown. That is totally believable in everyday life.
Using these small tweaks would help your story gain believable support so that the storyline is more realistic for the reader even if you are aiming for an inspirational story of the supernatural. Don’t forget to drop some comments below on how ways you may have made your stories believable and come alive!