Metaphysics in YA Fiction
We all read books with metaphysical, supernatural or paranormal elements these days. It’s really hard not to unless you’re a contemporary or dystopian exclusive fan. Most stories have some element to the characters that falls under the umbrella of metaphysics.
And I think that’s really cool, except when it goes too far.
There’s a big difference between making the metaphysics believable, and making them satirical and making them unbearable.
I’ve read books in all three of those categories and as a Metaphysical Therapist, I have to tell you, most of the YA Authors out there are doing an awesome job. Most notable is one of my favorites, Cassie Clare.
The reason I loved The Mortal Instruments so much is because I treated it more like contemporary fiction than urban fantasy or paranormal romance. Reason being? I know people who can teleport stuff from grocery stores too. (Magnus Bane and the coffee) While there are no blue sparks when they do it, I have been happy to benefit from the few small things that have appeared out of nowhere. (And this is about the most I can tell you about the top secret world of me, sorry!)
Other authors have gone part of the way, halfway or all the way and I love them for it. Only a few have gone to cheesy places or completely inaccurate places and I still love them too.
I think what everyone has failed to realize is that LOTS of teenagers and young adults are actually experimenting with their own psychic abilities, or metaphysical nature. Some of them are waking up to past life memories where they were an elven or a therianthrope (shapeshifter) or a faery or mermaid or some other creature. Others are learning how to see auras, sense energies, and use their natural healing abilities. Other still are on forums talking about their empathic nature, or their clairvoyance, or astral projection capabilities.
I’m definitely not the only one out there reading YA and thinking that these books are more like reality than they’re intended to be.
And that’s why I put a contemporary spin on my metaphysics. You heard me, CONTEMPORARY SPIN. Contemporary books don’t have metaphysical elements right?
Well that’s where I’m going with this.
In The Ferryman and The Flame I combined metaphysics, the supernatural, the paranormal, and even some magic. I went with what I know, so for the most part my characters have abilities they can’t control. When I was a teen I had abilities I couldn’t control. My characters are lucky to have mentors where I didn’t, and they’re lucky to have natural abilities. They’re also lucky to live on a hidden mystical island that has magic of its own.
I stayed away from the impossible as much as possible, and I made the characters struggle with their abilities. I made sure that they didn’t just get cool abilities, but that they gained wisdom from having those abilities. I also made sure that the story could still exist WITHOUT the metaphysical, paranormal or supernatural elements.
You’re right, I could have wrote this as a contemporary story and stripped it of everything that made it enchanting, alluring, intriguing, and mystical. You think it would have nothing if I did that, but it would still have passion, drama, and tragedy. I’ve always thought of the metaphysics as an additive, not as the main focus of the story.
And I hope you like what I did with it, because while it’s normal to go over the top with the metaphysics in fiction, it’s not normal for me to go there. I like to keep it real with the metaphysics, the supernatural, the paranormal and the magic. I like to write about things that can actually happen in reality . . .
It makes the thought of me writing an urban fantasy kind of scary because readers would never know which scenes came from real life experiences of mine, or just from my creative mind.
Then again, who says The Ferryman and The Flame isn’t a true story?
Author Bio: Rhi was never a normal girl. She tried, but she couldn’t get rid of the visions, the voices in her head, and the hallucinations. When she was on the edge of crazy someone pulled her back and explained it all. She wasn’t insane. She was psychic, really psychic, too psychic. Her life was an urban fantasy wrapped in a paranormal romance and served with a side of horror. To escape her everyday weirdness she began writing fantasy. She frequents twitter and facebook, but if you really want to get to know her you should visit her site: http://www.rhiannonpaille.com/
Her book FLAME OF SURRENDER (The Ferryman and The Flame #1) Comes out November 1st, 2011. Check it out here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11841693-flame-of-surrender
Author Contact Info:
Facebook: Rhiannon Paille
*Rhiannon is my pen name*