samedi, décembre 26

I Want To Be A Paperback Writer

"It's a thousand pages, give or take a few
I'll be writing more in a week or two
I can make it longer if you like the style,
I can change it 'round and I want to be a paperback writer"
-Paperback Writer, the Beatles
Happy Black Friday! I don't know, is it Black Friday? Or is Black Friday the day after the Thanksgiving? Oh, what am I saying? Today is Saturday! (over here at least). Okay. Well. Er. Happy Day After Christmas! What do you mean it's already the 27th in my part of the world? *sigh*. Just have a happy day, alright?
I open this blog with a song from the Beatles cd I got for Christmas - Paperback Writer. I was so astonished to see it there. It was a sign from God, really. Or something of the sorts. Of course, I can't possibly write a book that's a thousand pages long. Why, I need to get writing, I really do. I'm only at 2K words. And I also have to write another 2K for a completely different story for my creative writing club.
*smacks forehead*
Confound it!
(AquaTip: Agents are wary of novels over 100,000 words long)
Today, I will rambling on about cliches. I'll make it into a list, then discuss each one. Hmm...these cliches will be trends I've been seeing and things I think will become popular. At the end, I'll explain my reasons for choosing these as cliches. Of course, I might be adding more in later posts when I get to thinking of it, but till then. Now in no particular order...

1. Vampires (or, as some people like to be unique: vampyres)
2. (Fallen) Angels
3. Greek Gods & Goddesses
4. Romances set in Ireland and Scotland
5. Theme: Comingof age
6. Fairies (or, as some people like to be unique: faeries)
7. Pirates
8. Werewolves
9. Haunted Houses
10. Child Abuse

1. Do I really have to explain vampires (vampyres)? The only vampire books I will accept and not judge are Dracula, Anne Rice's books, and Twilight. You might be surprised at the latter. So why do I save it from critique? Because Twilight, though not the greatest book around, was the one who started this whole vampire mania, and therefore is not a copycatter. No doubt the craze (or should I say craving for blood?), has always been there, but now it's bigger than ever. The new books section at my local library is filled with vampire books. I don't know if it's because people have really become attached to these vampires or if they just want a share of the vampire glory. If you're going to write a vampire story, please, please make it somewhat different from Twilight! I swear I am NOT going to read another book about a goth girl with no intelligent thought whatsoever fall head over heels into an extremely-goth-but-handsome-looking vampire's arms because they're the only ones who understand each other in this lonely, lonely world. I will NOT tolerate anymore stories about a girl finding out she's a vampire (le gasp!) and having to go to an academy of vampires, whilst she gets entrapped in a confusing vampire-human-love-triangle . And I will NOT pick up another book at the library with a storyline eerily similar to twilight, involving werewolves (Oh, you know the ones).

You might have heard of the TV shoe, I mean show, Vampire Diaries. Now, the pros about this series is that it is unique in its own because it has a witch (& not those broom-riding kinds, Dead is the New Black) and some background history in their town - mystic falls. Stephen likes Elena because she looks like his old, OLD girlfriend, Katherine. And Stephen doesn't turn sparkly in the sunlight, and their eyes do these really cool bloody effects. Oh, and they aren't afraid to kill people. (Though I am quite displeased that the writers of the show had to put in that oh, "twilight has this vampire thing all wrong" scene. COME ON. It's Meyer's book, her world. She's not wrong, 'cause it's fiction. And she never meant it to be true either. So live with that, screenwriters. That is a sad way to try and be realistic.) But if you really think about it, isn't the plot line a lot like twilight: The girl falls in love with the vampire, the vampire is trying not to suck her blood. Isn't it?

Lastly, if you're going to put a twist to a vampire story, please don't have ghoul community full of witches and skeletons in it. It completely threw me off track and I had to repress a laugh at the incredulousness of it all.
Though not to name names here...
This is IMO. I'm sure other people may differ in opinion. But you have come here to me, and my views you shall read.
2. At Nanowrimo I've been seeing a lot of stories about angels. Also, when I read queries at agent's blogs, I see a lot of them on angels. I can't say I've seen them at the bookstore or library much, but be ready for them. They're coming!! Falling from the sky and bumping your head, all in a flurry of heavenly feathers.
3. I can't say I've seen these much either. But yesterday, I watched Avatar and there were two sneak previews of movies relating to this stuff - and obviously geared towards the YAs. (Oh, and also one on fallen angels). I read maybe two queries about Gods, also. So watch out, they're coming down with a lightning bolt!
4. Really? I mean, really. There are other places in the world, you romance writers know. Other places than poor Scotland and Ireland, so worn down by all your character's love. How 'bout Egypt? I'd love to read that one.
5. Coming of age. It's something we read in English class. (House on Mango Street). But I'm getting tired of this also. We all come of age, some later than others. Though I'm tired of reading it. Teenagers finding themselves is actually kind of boring on its own. First of all, teenagers do not want to read about someone else coming of age. Teenagers are to busy coming of age themselves. Secondly, if there is no romance or supernatural events or puppies, then it will just be a girl or boy walking around, thinking-much-too-deeply about the world. And we, well, I don't want to read that.
6. Ah, fairies. Has Tinkerbell inspired us now? I'm not against fairy stories, nor have I read any. But I'm seeing a steady growth....
7. I never get tired of pirates. In fact, pirates will make a special guest appearance in my own novel. Though, there's been quite a lot of 'em lately...ARGH YE MATEY...
I do horrible impressions.
(Did you know that real pirates never had any talking parrots, nor did they make their forlorn captives walk the plank? It's all Hollywood, people. Think about that while your writing.)
8. Werewolves pretty much are forever entwined with vampires. I've been seeing some unique twists on the concept of werewolves. Such as, werewolves coming of age in a city where they have to learn to deal with their horrendous shape shifting and find love in the meanwhile. I mean really, why can't they shape shift into a cat or a horse? Why is all this wolf stuff special anyways, oh, yes. Twilight. DO YOU SEE THEIR ENTWINEOSITY....(and I know that's not a word...)
Anyways, I'm tired of werewolves. Give me something else, and I just might read the book. Anyways, I was always on Team Edward. ;)
9. This is how the story goes: A girl has to stay in a haunted house JUST CAUSE SHE HAS TO. Maybe it's because if she does, then she can own the place (who would want to do that?) or maybe because she doesn't have a home to go to (I'd rather sleep on the street in a cardboard box to be truthful). But it's always the same: JUST CAUSE SHE HAS TO BECAUSE THAT WILL DEVELOP THE PLOT. (Aquatip: Never put something in your writing just because it will "develop the plot" so to speak. Your characters do things for a reason, not just because you're God in their world and you want them to. Learn from my mistakes.) Then the story goes that she meets some cats or an old witch lady in the basement and finds love along the way, possibly the current landlord.
If your characters don't have a solid motive, your book will become more 2D. I do not want to read a book about a girl wandering around in a haunted house, muttering, "Oh my, look at that rather unusually large kitty!"
10. I know happy endings are also becoming somewhat overused, but we still need them. Once in a while we do want to read a story with a happy ending, just so there's an iota of hope that happiness really can come true. Child abuse only rarely has happy endings, because in a lot of cases the child turns into the abuser when he/she grows up. But anyways, there is a lot of child abuse going on in books. I know you want your YA book to be angsty, but you have to know I don't want to read a book about drugs-alcohol-sex-child abuse-bullying-gangs-depression-suicide all in one freaking story! It will make me depressed. It also makes the agents tug at their collars, because child abuse doesn't sell that good. Why? I just told you from the perspective of a young adult, a prospective buyer.
That's all for now folks. I'm tired and I have images of vampires in Scotland chasing around rather unusually large kitties in my head. This blog session has officially tired me.
After the break,
"If there's a book you really want to read, but it hasn't been written yet, then you must write it." ~Toni Morrison
(This is what S.E. Hinton of The Outsiders did)
P.S. I'm having trouble with my blog layout, just ignore the READ MORE links. I might get it fixed. Maybe not.

2 commentaires:

  1. I know this post is a few days old, but I couldn't help commenting...I bet one of the previews you saw for the Gods/Goddesses was for The Lightning Thief, right? It's actually based on a five-book YA/MG series by Rick Riordan that's been out for awhile (and it's amazing!) So it might be people trying to piggyback on that success, similar to how they've been piggybacking on Twilight's success. I don't really know any other books, but that one is very successful.

    But I'm happy to report that none of the things on your list are in my novel :)

  2. That's alright, I always enjoy a comment. :)
    Yes, it probably was. I'll have to find that series since I now know it's original and not trying to climb in the popular bandwagon.

    Yay! That's always good, the kinds of things on that list are not things I'll be eager to read.

    Thanks for visiting. :D