The other day, I read a blog article from Lisa Childs about her favourite part of paranormals and I think that she's on to something. For me, I'll take great characterization over the overall plot any day. Give me a character to fall in love with, one that will make me cry when he/she is hurting or smile when a joke is cracked. Give me a character that is 3d and comes alive in my mind. The great thing about paranormals is that anything can happen. Shifters, magic, psychics, etc, it doesn't matter as long as your mind is able to create it. Anything goes.
I'm not saying that the plot isn't important. It is. But for me, the plot is there to drive the characters to change and force them to overcome challenges. It shouldn't take over because a great plot is a great plot but if the characters are cardboard, they aren't going to stand out and become memorable.
Give me a character with internalization- I want to be in their thoughts, to feel what they are feeling. I want to get lost in the story through them. There will be those who will disagree, who think that the plot is most important and for you, that's great. There are certainly a lot of authors out there who write like this. To me, the characters are the main focus point because it is them that I'm going to be following from page one and hoping for a happily ever after (HEA) or at least a happy for now (HFN).
Lisa brought up an important point as well. Paranormal characters are often all shades of gray and sometimes, even border on villain. They are often edgier, with doubts and flaws, fighting to do what is right...and sometimes, even doing what is wrong. This is what makes things interesting. A clear-cut admirable hero is all good and well, but sometimes, I want a variety. I love dark, tortured heroes, those fighting not only for the heroine and to keep her safe, but with himself.
What about you? What part of paranormals do you like? Or maybe don't you like?