Monday, April 16, 2012

Gimmie, gimmie, gimmie some more!

I follow a ton of authors, agents and publishers on Twitter. It helps me keep my fingers on the pulse of publishing while getting to interact with some really cool people. As a writer (hopefully to be published some day!) and avid reader, I particularly enjoy when people throw out what they'd like to see more of (as well as what they've seen too much of).

Last week, someone (an agent, I believe) mentioned that they were tired of paranormals, especially YA paranormal. Immediately, several other people chimed in with the same ennui. Now, as agents and those involved directly in the publishing process, I don't doubt they get tired of seeing the same genre over and over long before the buying public does. But I have to say, I was a bit surprised by how many said they wanted something different--they really didn't want to see YA paranormals anymore unless, of course, they were the stand-out-in-the-field-and-dance kind of books with absolutely amazing writing (and who doesn't want that, no matter what genre). 

This made me sad. I love the paranormal genre. The magic, unusual creatures or powers, the twists on the natural world, and the stories that surround them. I love shifters and empaths, mind readers and witches, Fae and grimoires. I love when there's a fun romance in the story, turning an average paranormal into a paranormal romance (except leave out the triangles and insta-love. Make both the characters and readers work for it). I want MORE-MORE-MORE. 

I think of the paranormal genre as one that can be compared to the romance genre. It has staying power. It has the potential to twist and change and, even if it's been around forever, to still entertain the reader. I mean, how many of us have read a romance and, even though it's the same basic story (girl meets boy, connection, fight and break-up, reuniting and forgiveness, HEA), we still pick up another romance to enjoy? *raises hand*

So, why the boredom with the genre, especially in the young adult realm? Is it because it's the same story over and over? Or is it just that people have had enough of faeries and magic? 

I say, "Gimmie more! I'm not bored yet!" What say you?

17 comments:

  1. I'd love more paranormals, but those really good ones. It does feel like, to me, that paranormal is the go-to genre for YA, especially in the self-publishing world, so I think I'd like to see some new genres, or at least some new types of plots and subgenres within the paranormal. Because I agree, I do like paranormals when they're done well. I think I'd most like to see some more ghost stories! =D

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  2. I don't think paranormal will ever go away. But I do think it may be a cycle. It has times of extreme popularity (like now) and times where it's perhaps not so popular. And I think that right now especially there is kind of a paranormal overload. I don't mind it, because I've only been reading paranormal for a year (and YA paranormal specifically even less). I'm always up for more well written stories.

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  3. Oh, I'm totally with you on this Mary. I mean, look at me. I'm not tired of vampires yet, not in the least. In fact, I'm often out looking for more books with bite. LOL

    Amanda makes a good point in her comment. Popular genres cycle, just like fashion, but it's not truly going anywhere.

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  4. You know, we had the same realization the other day: PNR is for teen girls what Romance is for women. And that's why we agree with you that it's probably going to stick around. But even so, we can understand why agents are getting sick of it. There's probably more supply than demand at this particular moment in time; it just needs to equalize out.

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  5. Hmm, I'm definitely not bored with YA paranormal but I don't want to see the same uncreative thing over and over again. I don't think I'll ever get bored of it, either. As long as there are amazing stories in the paranormal genre, I'll keep reading them!

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  6. I'm a little tired of it but I think that's because so many don't stand out. But when its unique with awesome writing then yes, more please! I do think paranormal is something that will always be popular but I want strong UNIQUE stories.

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  7. I can't imagine the paranormal going away, too many people love it. But I do understand the frustration of wanting something a little different. I mean, how many times can basically the same story be told over and over, but with different creatures? I think it's the repetitiveness it old, not the actual paranormal genre.

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  8. I don't have a problem with the genre.The problem is the fact that the stories are sometimes too similar.There was a time I was fed up of vampires and I had picked up the Morganville Vampires series and I was so glad that I had because it was DIFFERENT (Vampires were evil and humans were the focus of the story).I guess we need more quality and less quantity .


    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

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  9. I read in cycles but I don't want publishers to publish in cycles. There is plenty of space out on those shelves---if the story is good it should be put out there to be devoured. I get that dystopian might be selling better than vampires but there is still a huge market for vampires so go for it. I am like you....if I want something, I want a lot of it :)

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  10. I agree! There are so many paths to take in the paranormal genre. It's multifaceted. You have to sift through the dirt to find the diamonds. Love this post!
    Jeannette
    www.walkingonbookshelves.blogspot.com

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  11. NOOOOOOOOOOOO! This makes me so sad too! Paranormal is my genre, I love everything about it:) While I do sometimes tire of one particular paranormal creature when I've read 4 books in a row that feature them, I never tire of them forever. Usually I just switch gears to a different type of paranormal read and then my love for whichever one I tired of comes back just as strong as before. There are just so many different types of mythologies in the paranormal world, and I love seeing how different authors construct their versions and bring them to life. I for one sincerely hope that paranormal YA continues to be as strong as it has been for the past several years:)

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  12. Well, I'm kind of on the fence with this topic. I'm not a huge fan of paranormal. There had been a lot of paranormal books that I've loved but I do feel like whenever something becomes popular there is such a surplus of it that yeah, I kind of get tired of it sometimes.

    At the same time, I don't think it's the whole genre of it, more like parts of it. You know? like yeah, right now I'm over angel and vampire books, but there are tons of other paranormal books I still love reading.

    I agree with what you say about how paranormal is kind of similar to romance, because yeah it is. And in romance happens something similar. One day is all about regencies and you can't find stuff from other time periods even if you look under the rocks, and right now, for example, in contemporary is all "Small Town"

    But they are just trends, and trends come and go. It's the genre that stays.

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  13. I think in any genre you get the same stuff over and over again. I personally am not a huge fan of romance in stories, but it shows up in almost every book regardless of genre.

    I'm a huge paranormal fan. When I was a kid, I read adult fantasy books because there wasn't a lot of fantasy available for kids. YA wasn't like it is now. So now I'm having a great time reading YA, getting my fill of vampires or fairies or whatever my pick is that day.

    You just have to sort through it to find the amazing books, but again, that's the case with any genre.

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  14. I totally agree! I think paranormal has staying power, so I'm sure we are going to keep seeing it for a long time to come. :)

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  15. I haven't read the other comments on this but I don't know if you heard about how they're not leaning more towards YA thrillers/mysteries. I read this in some news conference a few months ago. I do love paranormal still but it's becoming really rare to find one that sticks out.

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    1. Where did you hear this, Giselle? I LOVE YA thrillers and mysteries, so I'm psyched to hear it.

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  16. I think the problem is that publishers sometimes think all a book needs is a paranormal hook and that's it. While it's true to that I'll give any book with a #NakedWerewolf slightly more than due consideration, I'm not going to read it if that's all it has going for it. In my opinion, people have gotten bored with paranormal stuff because publishers flooded the market with it, thereby increasing our chances of coming across mediocre (and less than) titles.

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