What if your destiny lay on the other side of death?
The annual Culling ceremony is a day every coming-of-age novice looks forward to within the Primeval Coven. It’s the start to being initiated into the Night Watchmen, humankind’s protectors, and it’s the long-awaited day when novices discover if they’re a Hunter or a Witch.
But this day is not a happy one for Faye Middleton. Not when she’s known her whole life that she’s a Defect and is about to face banishment in front of her fellow novices. She’s forced to attend the Culling with little hope for her future, but what she discovers about herself is far worse than she could’ve imagined. And far more dangerous.
Thrown into training and separated from her friends, Faye must learn to adjust. She struggles to find her place within the Coven, and with Jaxen Gramm, the darkly handsome and extremely unnerving man assigned to watch and protect her. Emotions run high, and when she discovers a deadly secret about him, her struggles deepen. As corruption within the Coven begins to unravel, Faye pieces together her role in saving the future of her people, and within Jaxen’s life…but will the truth save her, or be her undoing?
How to torture your characters and... your readers
One of my favorite parts about writing is the different twists and turns a plot can take, and setting them up subtly so when they finally do come to light, the reader can be blown away with surprise. Getting there though, isn’t always easy though.
When you’re writing a series about a certain group of characters, there’s always going to be more than one plot happening, be it the main plot, or all the subplots surrounding the MC. And sometimes, the main plot is strewn across multiple books, which is where foreshadowing comes into play.
Foreshadow is what makes a book, I believe. I love looking back and realizing the answer was staring me right in the face. And I think that foreshadowing can be a form of torture for both the readers and the characters. When a subtle hint is given and overlooked or doesn’t make sense at the time, I think it’s the most fun having the reader go back and realize all the small details that hinted at the ending. And realizing all the torture the character went through could have possible been avoided had they only seen the signs.
But that’s only a small part of what makes a great paranormal romance. Watching the characters struggle, sometimes fall, and then eventually overcome is where the heart of every story is. Just like in the real world, a character can’t grow without failing at some point. We learn from our mistakes, and it’s important for the characters to make them. It’s what helps connect them to the readers. They become more real through the real-life choices they make. And watching them deal with the effects of these choices, which inevitably ends up being torturous in some way or another, is the icing on the cake.
Speaking of torture, in paranormal romance, fight scenes are a must, and an easy way to bring some torture to your character. But it doesn’t always have to be physical torture. It can be mental, like a tough choice in a chaotic moment that affects someone they care about, or the world they’re in. And this also drags the reader along with them, because they can see just how impossible the situation can be, and sympathize for the character.
Wrapping it up though, is always the hardest part. To cliffhang, or not to cliffhang. If you’re writing a series, I think no matter what, there will be some form of agitation from the reader at the endings because you can’t fully wrap up the story. You can wrap up the main plot for the book, but not the plot that carries over throughout the series, therefore it leaves the reader feeling slightly gipped. In my series, I wrapped up the first book, and used a cliffhanger for the second. I had to. It’s essential to the progression of the story.
And it’s fun. *rubs hands in evil manner*
About the author:
Candace Knoebel is the award-winning author of Born in Flames-book one in a young adult fantasy trilogy. She discovered in 2009 through lunch breaks and late nights after putting her kids to bed, a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. And an outlet for all the voices residing in her head.
Published by 48fourteen in 2012, Born in Flames went on to win Turning the Pages Book of the Year award in February of 2013. In January of 2014, the last book in the trilogy, From the Embers, was released, thusly completing the trilogy. She now works on the Night Watchmen Series, while guzzling Red Bulls and pretending to be a ninja on Heelys.