Monday, October 17, 2011

Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want

No, this post isn't about my love for the Spice Girls, which I have mentioned once before, and despite the fact that there is talk of another reunion. It just so happens that the lyrics from their famous hit "wannabe" fit perfectly with what I want to discuss today.

I'm curious, I want to know what you, as writers AND readers, want more or less of in the market. Here's the thing, I don't write for trends, I write what I'm most passionate about. I will say that when I first began writing I worked on a Vampire story. Not in the trend we've recently seen where the girl falls for a Vamp, but rather the whole "wow these are bad mothereffers and we better haul a** if we don't want to end up as soulless, blood sucking monsters." I shelved the idea after the fire fizzled out. It's still an interesting concept because I really want to see more creeptastic vampire stories, but I have other projects that are calling to me right now.

Here's what I would like to see represented more often in the books I read:
- Boys with feelings. What's wrong with the guy who cares, who doesn't act like a douche one second and a witty charmer the next just because he can? Sure he may have daddy issues (and maybe a few mommy ones) but that doesn't mean he can't be nice. That's not to say I want a guy who cries every time he watches The Notebook, but someone who feels and cares enough to be there. I hate it when the nice guy gets pushed aside for the cocky jerk. Ladies, there's nothing wrong with going for the guy who treats you with respect.
- I also want more smart girls. A girl who gets good grades, that isn't labeled as a nerd for arming herself with knowledge, a girl who can kick butt and save the guy every now and then. I've heard so many complaints about Mary Sues, and I second that proposal to stop the insanity. A girl can be awesome way before a boy walks into her life. Adding some eye candy can just be a plus.
- I'll be the first to admit that I'm a sucker for romance. I'm much more likely to enjoy a story if there's some kissing involved, but let the characters fall in love over time. They can be attracted to each other before L-O-V-E factor comes into play, but saying "I love you" after only a week or month, and sometimes even a day of knowing each other isn't realistic. Work with the tension, the growing feelings, I think the pay off is much better when you take this route.
-Maybe you don't care about any of these things but would much rather see a specific genre represented. I love sci-fi and high fantasy and there's not enough in the YA market. And of course, books targeted for boys.
Okay, so maybe I missed something that you feel very strongly about, I want to know what that is. So, I ask again, what do YOU want, what do you REALLY REALLY want?


  1. I want more down-to-earth intelligent women who have a secure life and a set of smart friends. I want to see less brawn in the men and more brains. Emotions, too. That's a good one. Slow burn romances are definitely better.

  2. Hi there. *waves*

    Since you say you like high fantasy YA, I thought I'd recommend Finnikin of the Rock. It's very good.

    Oh, there are so many tropes I get burned out on, in YA, in adult fiction...every genre has their abused tropes and trends.

    What I always want to see more of, no matter the age group or genre for which it is intended, is:

    layered, complicated, believable characters
    strong writing and mechanics
    LESS cliches...lots less

    Also, I'm so glad you're doing Nano. You can find me as: the-sharp-pen, if you like.

    And, OMG, Pumpkin Chocolate Chip cookies sound divine!! *drools*

    Have a lovely week,

  3. Hi Lola! Thanks for stopping by. I'll have keep a look out for you during NaNo, heaven knows I'm going to need some support!

  4. Christine- Yes, smart guys and girls who are REAL!

  5. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog. I haven't read much YA, but I intend to fix that soon. So as a reader of adult fiction, I want to read more books like Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna. The writing just blew me away: theme, imagery, character, plot. It's a work of genius.

  6. All of those things sound great to me, actually :D

  7. I would definitely agree on the more smart girls. It would be great to see the girl saving the guy for a change.

  8. Hi. I found you on the Pay it Forward blog hop. You've got a pretty good list here! Good luck with NaNo!

  9. I think the more depth they have the better, so firmly agree, although it's always nice to just have a douche bag of a bad guy once in a while..haha blog hopped here a little late.

  10. Hey Prerna! I answered your question on my blog:

    Click here!

  11. Great list! I agree with all of them, especially about the boys. My son is getting to the age where it's hard to find books that he wants to read. YA is aimed more at girls than at guys.