Top 5 Musts Every Paranormal Romance Story Should Have by Amanda Meuwissen


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Amanda will be awarding eBook copies of all three books in the series to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Top 5 musts every Paranormal Romance story should have

I am a huge fan of paranormal romance—with LGBT themes especially—as I think there is something in the genre for everyone. For all of the different types of paranormal romance out there, I believe there are a few things that every installment in the genre should have.

1. Relatable Side Characters

Whoever your romantic interests are in your story, you can’t have an entire book or series about only two characters, and side characters need to be just as compelling as the protagonists to drive the story forward. Whether that means family, friends, past lovers, or even the villains, every character needs to be as full in your mind as whatever drives your main characters. They might not get as much time to shine, but when they do, let it be meaningful and memorable.

2. Strong Plot Beyond the Romance

It’s not that the romance can’t be the main driving plot—how your characters end up together, what pitfalls their relationship might face—but there have to be other plot elements to keep readers interested. Personally, I strive for the main plot and the romantic plot to go hand in hand, equally important with neither overshadowing the other, but unable to stand without the other either. You’ll know the best balance for you and your story, but whether the romance is forefront, or some other conflict is the main point with the romance as a subplot beneath, make sure that whatever the other important story details are in the story, they are just as compelling and interesting as getting the couple together.

3. An Interesting Villain

Now this actually goes back to the basics of storytelling. The antagonist in a story isn’t always a person. It could be society, or events, or a character’s own shortcomings, but whatever it is, and especially if it is a character, make that villainous element powerful and unique. If the reason behind why the characters are facing conflict is weak, the entire story is weak, and the plot and any desire to care about the romance suffers as well.

4. Flawless World-building

Any writer will tell you that this part of building a story is the hardest, especially when dealing with a world unique from our own. A paranormal setting, with sci-fi or fantasy aspects, whether completely removed from reality or with a few scattered details that are different from the norm, needs to have the scene set right from the start to make it clear to the readers what sort of world they’re in and what rules apply. This can be difficult because readers don’t want a straight up exposition dump, but they also don’t want to be floundering for chapters after chapter with too much information withheld. The trick is to sprinkle in the world-building at a steady pace, giving all of the details a reader needs when they need it. This is important for all stories, but especially paranormal and like genres.

5. Something New

Let’s be honest, this genre is over-saturated right now, because so many people love it. That’s great! But that also means that there are a lot of similar plot structures, basic storylines, and paranormal elements getting reused. Make your story stand out from the masses and tell a unique tale. Maybe your way of describing vampires is different from any others before it. Maybe your character has a never before seen backstory. Maybe the sexuality of your romantic interests explores things others haven’t before. Whatever it is, make sure your story has something that sets it apart.

All types of stories can benefit from these tips, but these are definitely 5 things for a paranormal romance story that are an absolute must.

MediaKit_BookCover_Book3_SidheNathan Grier returns from the Veil a changed man. The consequences of his time with Malak, the dark sidhe king, and the deal made to free him may be more than he can bear. The weakening of the Veil and new enemies foretell of a greater battle still ahead. With Nathan’s brother Jim now an Awakened changeling, and Nathan’s role in Malak’s plans finally revealed, Nathan’s love for fae hunter and incubus, Sasha Kelly, may not be enough to save him after all.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha tried to say calmly, inching closer with hands held up in seeming surrender. Jim did the same.

Nathan knew he had to be a pitiable sight with that weakly held knife, but he’d use it, damn it, he would. Somehow he’d use it.

His back hit the corner of the room.

“Playing that game?” Nathan scoffed. “I know better. You haven’t been them in…in so long, I…I don’t even remember. I don’t remember…”

“Nathan,” Jim pleaded, moving closer with one hand outstretched. He looked so strange to Nathan, almost believable with those dark blue eyes so caring, so concerned. “I can’t imagine what it must have been like, but it’s over. You’re not in the Veil anymore. We got you out. You’re safe. With us.”

“Please believe us, Nathan,” Sasha said. “Just look at us.” He gestured to himself; to Jim. Sasha too looked so normal, so honest and how Nathan remembered him. “It’s really us. You’re safe, Nathan. Please recognize us…”

He recognized them. But it had to be a trick. Another damn trick like all the others.

“I gave you what you wanted,” Nathan said again. He was so cold. Nothing looked right. Nothing felt right. He couldn’t understand why this was happening when he had finally given in.

“Nathan, it’s us,” Sasha said more firmly, like maybe Nathan just couldn’t hear them.

“Malak took you and we’re so sorry,” Jim said. “We wish we could have gotten you out sooner, but you have to know us. Please tell me you still know us…”

“Malak…?” Nathan glared at the false images before him, knife still held firm, warning them not to get closer. “It had nothing to do with that, you know that, you know. I didn’t…I didn’t go to the Veil.”

Jim and Sasha stopped their progression toward him, their eyes wide and disbelieving. They shared a pained look, not knowing what to say until finally Jim spoke, slow and gentle.

“Nathan, don’t you remember? Malak said killing the spriggan instead of banishing it broke the deal. That’s why we couldn’t win, why we couldn’t save you. You went to the Veil, Nathan. You’ve been in the Veil. But you’re out now. I don’t know what Malak did to you there, but we got you out.”

It almost made sense, as if a second reality were trying to push into Nathan’s mind: memories of what Jim was saying, memories he knew weren’t fabrications, and yet…how could he remember things happening two different ways?

The Veil? Had that been the Veil? To him it had felt like life.

About the Author: MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_TheIncubusSagaAmanda Meuwissen is the author of The Incubus Saga and The Collector. Amanda also serves as COO and Managing Editor for She oversees editing and series selection, and is featured as a narrator for several BWN series. Amanda lives in Minneapolis, MN, with her husband, John, and their cats, Helga and Sasha (no connection to the incubus of the same name).

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  1. How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

    • Really amazing actually, especially for the first book in the series. I think the most exciting part of doing a trilogy is how much certain reviewers just clamor to get their hands on the next installment. I definitely had a list of people who had to get review copies immediately once each new book was ready. I have over 80 reviews for this trilogy with an average rating of over 4 stars, which is so humbling and remarkable, I just beam every time I see a new positive review. It’s really all about finding those people who live and love in your genre, and even the thoughtful criticisms are so helpful for where I plan to go with my writing in the future.

  2. Thank you so much for the chance to post this guest blog as part of my tour and book release. It was tons of fun to get across some of the things I think Paranormal Romance should always have. I hope you enjoy these little words of advice, dear readers, and that a few of you consider checking out my series. Thanks again!

  3. I am not entering the contest because I already have all three books. I just wanted to comment that it is an interesting/entertaining series. 🙂

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