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Monday, May 5, 2014

Dystopian Trends

I started reading Divergent last week. You know the book, right? A new dystopian tale brought to us by the talented Veronica Roth. At 487 printed pages, it is quite the tome of reading joy. Especially if you love dark dystopian tales (and we know I do).

Currently, several Young Adult (YA) Dystopian novels have made huge inroads in the book and movie world. They are of course The Hunger Games trilogy and Divergent, which is also a trilogy with its companion novels Insurgent and Allegiant.  I have read all three of the first set, and am just about done with the first book in the second trilogy.

The popular trends seem to be YA oriented. I guess this gives a greater, mass appeal for selling books and movie tickets. But here's the slight rub – it's Young Adult. Better stated, it's about teenagers. With lots of teen issues and teen angst. As a 50+ reader (and movie goer) I sometimes get a little tired of teen angst, teen love triangles, teens in general. I raised three children of my own. Trust me when I say their teen years, though well over now, are still etched permanently in my mind.

I bring this up because I read an interesting article the other day about the apparent decline of this particular genre; the Dystopian genre - my genre.

I'm new to the game, just got in. I published my first novel (WWIV - In The Beginning) on March 28th of this year. It has sold well in its first six weeks. Far beyond any of my estimates and expectations. But then I read that the Dystopian genre is on the decline? That is troubling news for me. I just put my uniform on coach; I'm not even sweaty yet.

A little further research was necessary on my part. I couldn't walk away from the genre I love that easily. I can't (repeat in bold letters – CAN'T) write in many other genres. Romance is the number one slot out there. And my writing is far from romantic. Like Earth to the Moon far. Maybe even Earth to the Sun.

Alas, I found what I needed in several other articles. Good News! Very good news. When others speak about the Dystopian genre beginning a slow descent, they are speaking specifically of the YA portion of the genre. Not the 1984, Brave New World, Cormac McCarthy portion. There's always room for classic lit within each and every genre. It seems, there's just only so many sub, sub, sub plots the any genre can hold. After too long, the story becomes old, cliche. Whew, saved me there.

I have one novel and four manuscripts written thus far in the Dystopian world. Book two of the WWIV series will be ready for publishing by mid-summer. I want it to be as well received as book one has been. There is room for all authors I have learned. I read a lot of new, self-published Dystopian novels. Too many have teens are their main characters. I suppose, if you believe what I read earlier, they may not find the success they are searching for. Or maybe they will.

Remember Mark Twain's definition of an expert – "An expert is anyone more than 20 miles from their own hometown, carrying a briefcase." Some people say every creative thought has already been written in one form or another. It's my goal, now, to prove those people wrong. Chins up fellow Indie Authors. Keep writing and never, ever give up!


Until Thursday, read a dystopian novel. It might be more entertaining than you ever though.


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