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Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Writing About: Angels

Angels have become increasingly popular in all book genres from romance to horror, and every sub-genre in between. If you’ve been contemplating a story idea with an angel as a character then this article is for you!

You can make your angelic character supernatural or human.

1.    Supernatural Angel

A supernatural angel embodies everything that being an angel entails: wings (visible or disguised), a charge he/she has to guide, and a boss higher in the angelic hierarchy.

One major thing you will need to decide is why and how the angel is sent to Earth. In my flash fiction story, Fallen, a man’s guardian angel crash lands in the woods to save his life. Does your angel appear on the welcome mat of your MC’s house with a smile and a hint of heavenly light? Or does someone find the angel naked in a parking lot like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator?

Is your angel there to save his/her charge, to carry out a mission, to kill someone evil, or to save the world from a demon? Think long and hard, because this will be the plot of your story, and once again . . . Yes, I am going to say it: Be creative and try something new!

When you’re writing about a supernatural angel, you will have to use the supernatural. Angels have powers, and so should yours! Does your angel have the healing touch like Leo from Charmed? Can he/she appear out of thin air? Or kill with the snap of a finger?
TIP: Do research into angels and supernatural abilities to figure out what types of powers you want your angel to have.
For more information on the supernatural see this post: Supernatural (How to Write)
Another thing you will have to keep in mind is that your supernatural angel shouldn’t look 100% human. Give him/her strange features that a human wouldn’t normally have: sparkling hair, orange/yellow/gold eyes, unusually long limbs, and/or glowing skin.

Make your angel memorable!

Meet my angel . . . my Grandma Clara.
And yes, that little thing is me. :)

1.    Human Angel

A human angel is obviously an angel in human form. He/she could’ve been sent down in human form or could’ve been born into a human body. Whichever option you choose, your angel will look, act, and talk as all other humans do. But he/she can still have angelic powers.

He/she also has to have a purpose, even more so (I think) than a supernatural angel, because to be in human form means his/her identity has to be hidden and his/her mission has to be top secret. What is the mission? You can keep it a mystery for a while, but eventually your readers will need to know.

No matter what the reason is for why the angel is on Earth, another human (a real human) should be part of the story as the angel’s charge, aide, or even love interest. Maybe all three at once! But at some point the angel will have to reveal what he/she is and why he/she is there, whether it’s done right away or after the charge becomes suspicious is up to you.

How does the charge react to the truth? Does he/she feel hurt, betrayed, or angry? Or does the charge deny it because it’s just too absurd?


At the end of the story, the supernatural angel can sacrifice him/herself or return to Heaven, while the human angel can have three possible fates: death, Heaven, or life on Earth. Choose whatever outcome best fits your story and your characters.

And I don’t think I have to repeat myself again, do I? Be crea . . . Okay, good! ;)


SHARE: Your tips for creating angelic characters.

QUESTIONS: Do you believe in angels? I do. :)
Have you written a story about an angel? Please tell me about it!


38 comments:

  1. I do believe in angels but I've never written a story about one.

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    1. Most people haven't, but they can be interesting characters to work with. :)

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  2. I have to admit, I've shied away from angels in my stories, mainly, I think, because of the whole, Heaven and Hell premise that comes with them - creatively, I haven't found a way to exploit that kind of premise yet. I was rather impressed by Legion with Paul Bettany, though, except the very, very end.

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    1. In my supernatural-thriller series, I have angels and gods. It was actually fun and interesting to write about them because I didn't use them traditionally. There is no mention of Hell in my books. Just a world that is a lot like ours and every once in a while there is a glimpse into the "outskirts" of Heaven. But not actual Heaven. I wouldn't even begin to know how to write that.

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    2. interesting - so angels are still messengers, but of gods - a different setting - I like that idea :)

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  3. I've never written a book about an angel, mainly because I'm not crazy about angel books in general lol. Angels/demons don't really appeal to me, but they are super popular!

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    1. Then that's when you could write your own kind of angel book. A book with angel characters that you could be crazy about. :) I have a human angel in my series but no demons. Demons don't appeal to me.

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  4. I've used a few a time or two, they can make for some fun additions to a story.

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  5. I added an angel to one of my Cera Chronicles. He was in the story only briefly, but he had wings and swords. I think if I was to write a serious story with an angel in it, he'd have to be the terrifying type, not the sweet Touched By An Angel type.

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    1. Oh, a terrifying angel can be great in a story! ;)

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  6. I've never written a story about angels, but they do intrigue me. So far, my favourite has been Constantine. I love that world and all the characters in it. It's fascinating.

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    1. I've never read Constantine, but I enjoyed the movie? Does that count? ;)

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  7. I love angel books. Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush, Hush series is one of my favorites.

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    1. I'm going to have to check that series out! Thanks, Kelly! :D

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  8. The angel Uri'el plays a significant role in Shadow Spinner. But since when did angels start becoming popular in books?

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    1. I've read a lot of books with angel characters, Andrew. And take a look at the comments above yours. So have others. :)

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  9. As far as I can remember, the only supernatural creatures I've written about are ghosts. Although one of the characters in my WIP was given an ikon of Archangel Michael by her parents before she left on what was supposed to be a year of study abroad in France in 1939, and has kept this ikon of the angel with her as a kind of protector through everything that's happened since.

    It's kind of amusing how so many people have this popular image of angels as cherubic beings sitting around on clouds and playing harps all day, when the Bible is full of stories about angels doing some pretty destructive and evil things.

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    1. Exactly! Angels are not little cherubs. They wield such power and can be such marvelous beings are even frightening. In my series, my angel does quite a lot of things that aren't "angelic". ;)

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  10. I agree that when done well an angel can be a great addition to a fiction book. When they seem to appear unexpectedly in non-fiction works, it certainly stirs my interest as well . There is an excellent book entitled "Ten Degrees of Reckoning.." about a woman who lost her family while sailing around the world. Their ship was run over by another boat that did not stop for help. The woman, Judith Sleavin, was the only survivor, and she really should not have survived. Pilots that saw her swear that there was someone else with her (angel?) that caught their attention--but she was found alone and unconscious.

    Also, I clicked over and read Fallen, Chrys. Excellent and what luck for me that it was about crime and a former police officer--definitely stuff right up my alley.

    Keep up the good work.

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    1. You're the first one to say you read Fallen. Thank you so much! I'm glad you liked it. It was my first published short story. :D

      Thank you for telling me about that book. It really does sound fascinating. I'll have to check it out some time.

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  11. I definitely believe in angels! Love this post :)

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  12. I have never written about angels, but the afterlife has always fascinated me and I think it could be tackled in that direction. I just have to find a way to work it into a children's story!

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    1. Working angels and the afterlife into a children's story can be hard, but it's doable and I think you can do it! :)

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  13. I love this post and I certainly believe in angels. Your advice reminds me about two movies... City of Angels and Date With an Angel. I remember growing up, I used to love that 80s movie! I remember when the angel came from Heaven, down to Earth, she loved French fries. This and the fact that she was absolutely stunning! I thought she was one of the most beautiful angels.
    I've been saved several times by my guardian angel... my Daddy C. Once, when I was driving my one-year old niece, home after picking her up to babysit her for the night, these asshole teenagers were throwing bricks over the underpass on a highway. One of the bricks slammed into my front windshield and shattered my entire window. I swerved off the highway (this was a major one right outside of Philadelphia) and almost smacked into other cars. Somehow, I don't remember exactly what happened, but I managed to make it to the other side of the highway safely with my niece sitting in her car seat, unharmed and looking at me with her angelic grin. She was never a big crier and I was definitely more frightened than she was. I truly believe deep down in the depths of my heart that Daddy C saved us. I think he pushed the other cars out of the way so no one would get hurt... especially us. I was also in a car accident right after he passed away when I was 17. I totaled my car in the rain and walked out with a few bumps and bruises. I seriously shouldn't be here, lol. I think I'm going to blog about this!! Thanks for stirring up some creative thoughts=)

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    1. I love the movie City of Angels! But I've never seen Date With an Angel. I'll have to add that to my must-watch list. Oh, so many lists. lol

      WOW! That is amazing! Thank you for sharing those stories with me. You and your niece were certainly being watched over by Daddy C. I hope those teenagers who were throwing bricks over the underpass got into a lot of trouble. They could've killed someone by doing that. Some times, actually a lot of the time, I don't understand teens and why they think certain things are fun/funny.

      I'll definitely be interested in reading that blog post!

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  14. I have an angel in one of my stories... In the form of a gray cat. :)

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  15. When angels and demons became all the rage about three to five years ago, I was totally on the wagon. I couldn't get enough. Now I'm rather picky about angel books. If it has a plot I've seen before, or even one that's somewhat similar, I'm probably not going to pick the book up. So, my advice is, if you're going to write about angels, do it in an unconventional way.

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    1. Exactly, Crystal, which is why my saying is always to "be creative and try something new." :)

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  16. I like to think my main characters would be good people to have around, but they couldn't be called angelic.

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    1. Not many of my characters would be called angelic neither. ;)

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  17. I love the idea of angels and one appears in my short story "A Pathway Home." She is disguised as a human and is my helper in this piece that is in the genre of memoir. In my newest novel, "Out of the Blue" the MC is visited by something she cannot reconcile and she wonders if indeed it is an angel but it is far from it. This particular MC is very religious and thinks she sees angels quite frequently. In my novel, I use angels as a familiar vehicle to introduce other types of supernatural and mythological beings to my teenaged, sheltered protagonist.

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    1. I love that you frequently use angels in your stories! Thank you for telling me how you used them for each one. I really like the idea of angels introducing other supernatural beings to your teenage protagonist.

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  18. I've had plenty of demon characters, but never an angel. I've written about Santa Claus a few times though--does he count? Anyway, very enjoyable post. It actually made me want to write about an angel. :)

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    1. Santa Claus would be more of an elf. ;) Thank you, Colleen! I hope one day you do write about an angel. :)

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