This is from a guest blog I posted at Ella Gray’s, The Speculative Salon in late 2011.
1) Remember even if your hero is a six foot genius vampire with huge pecs and perfectly rugged features who single-handedly has saved humanity three times…he has to have a flaw somewhere. And no…being too kind, endowed, or brilliant don’t count. My favorites are when the character has to fight his own flaw, usually in the nick of time to beat the bad guy.
2) Remember that your reader probably isn’t a six foot genius vampire…nor is she dating one. So it’s crucial to find a way for your reader to relate to the characters. I have two sisters and a strong family life, and so my vampires deal with family life daily. The Dark Protector Series is about five brothers and how they not only find love but work together to save their race.
3) Remember that whatever exciting, complex, deep world you build in Book 1…you’re stuck with for the rest of the series. Leave yourself some wiggle room. Also, you don’t have to build your entire world in book one. You just need enough of your world for that book to make sense.
4) Remember that there are tons of paranormal books out there—make your world different. Put your unique spin on it. I’m a lawyer and things have to make a sort of logical sense to me. So I had to figure out HOW a male vampire (who in my world is very much alive) could make his mate immortal—turns out genetics and the mutation of chromosomes made sense. It was a different spin, at least enough of one that my editor was intrigued.
5) Finally, don’t hold yourself back. As writers, we often stop and think about how the next editor/reader/reviewer/our first grade teacher/our neighbor…etc. will react to our secret little worlds. Don’t worry about them. Let yourself go and have some fun with creating.