Writing for the Paranormal: Part One

So, I’ve been MIA, actually I had a couple of nephews  over for a while and was unable to blog when I wanted to.  While I’m still trying to keep up with the 30 Days of writing, I happened upon a rather interesting exercise. Since the genre that I’m writing is in the paranormal/fantasy genres, I thought that finding genre related exercises would be more productive towards my writing goals. 

Today’s challenge: create a paranormal object.

Pick an ordinary object and infuse it with some kind of power (eg shoes that make you invisible). Now describe its physical appearance in minute detail: How big is it? Color? Shape? Texture? Etc.  Then give it a background. Where/when/who made the object? Everything you can think of. How did the object get to where it is now? What is this supernatural power? The object must have rules: strengths and limitations. How and who can access these powers? Ready? Go!

So here’s what I came up with: “sunglasses” that can let the wearer see souls, living and dead. Creepy? Now put it in the hands of a psychologist. Picture this: small, round spectacles with a gold-toned metal frame. The top half lens is light blue, and the bottom half is a slightly darker blue. They look much like the bifocals of Benjamin Franklin’s time.

It was made by an optician, Stephen Louis Walker, in the 1840s on the same day he died. They were meant to be bifocals that would also protect against the sun for the mayor’s wife. However, Stephen Walker died before getting these bifocals to the intended recipient, and his son-in-law, a pastor, found the bifocals and sent them to the mayor. However, when the mayor’s wife placed them on her face she saw the living and the dead. She fainted, and returned them to Walker’s son-in-law demanding repayment. The pastor gave the money back and soon realized why they had been returned. He exorcised them, thinking them of the devil, locked them in a box and threw them into a river.

The box lay at the bottom of the river for some time, until one day it was found by a psychiatrist on a fishing trip. At first she was just going to throw away the box, but something about it called to her. She took it home as a souvenir and eventually opened it. She took them to the appraiser, who had never seen anything quite like them. When the appraiser looked through the glasses, the psychiatrist seemed a greyish-green, and there was someone else there as well. Someone who was not really in the store. Thinking that they were defective, but still old, the appraiser gave it a smaller value. And that is the story of how the glasses got to where they are now. 🙂

As for powers: The glasses help you see the true souls of the living and the dead. But in addition, the souls’ appearance changes on whether they lean towards good or bad, and health or death. The more translucent the soul, the better the person. The color of the soul shifts depending on the health of the person, black is dying, white is dead, green is perfect health, while reddish/brownish spots indicate problem areas, and yellow is sickly (something that cannot be located in just one part of the body, like the flu). There is no way to communicate to those already dead through the glasses. It is unable to tell what it was that made the person good or bad.

So there you are, a pair of old, and rather odd-looking, sunglasses that let you see into someone’s soul. What do you think? Good idea? Bad idea? Would you like to see into another’s soul, their essence? What powers would you imbue upon an ordinary object?



Filed under Writer's Digest 30 Day Challenge, Writing

3 responses to “Writing for the Paranormal: Part One

  1. Hmm… So, translucense is related to goodness. Wouldn’t that mean that a very, very good person – a true saint- would be, like, invisible in these glasses? I wonder what that might mean?

    Cool idea, I like it. You should write a story with it.

    • I’m glad you like it. I would never have thought of it had I not literally stumbled onto that writing challenge. But yeah, a true saint, would be invisible. I’m really turning the idea around in my head and want to write a story with it. I’m working with the psychologist idea at the moment, because an item needs an owner, and the idea of a psychologist with these is just on this side of creepy and I like that idea. Now I’m filling out the story, and I’m hoping to have it ready by the end of the month.

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