Monday, August 13, 2007

Same old, same old... or not?

I participated in a discussion recently at Urban Fantasy Fans, and someone brought up their opinion that so many--perhaps too many--female focused UF books are centered around a powerful kickass heroine whose main focus in the story, or series, is to grow her supernatural powers and/or abilities to kick badass.

There were a number of great responses, by some who agree and some who don't, but my thoughts are that any time you see a lot of similar concepts appearing as popular among readers, I have to wonder if the authors are responsible for the trend? Or is it the publishers.

You occasionally hear readers complain that authors write too much of this, or too much of that, but I honestly believe there are writers out there writing a wide variety of stories that may never make it into print. And not necessarily because the book falls below publishable standards, though that may be so. I'm guessing many of these stories break new ground, offer new concepts, new story lines, and let's face it. That's gotta be scary for a company that makes its profits from literature. Does it make sense for publishers to take a risk on something not tried and true? I think so. But I'm an author.

If you don't try, you can't fail. That goes for writers as well as publishers. A lot of us write outside the box, but by the same token we can write so far outside that it's difficult to tell what the box is. Still, I'm certain there are hundreds of fantastic stories written by unknown authors that won't get published as quickly as they deserve. It will take a maverick acquisitions editor to take that chance. I hesitate to bring up the headline-making series of the past few weeks, but Harry Potter is an excellent case in point. It took a risk-taking agent and a risk-taking publisher to unveil a goldmine. Doesn't it make you wonder what other treasures are out there waiting to be discovered? Could it be yours?

1 comment:

Paty Jager said...

I honestly believe there are writers out there writing a wide variety of stories that may never make it into print. I agree! Everyone I talk to about my paranormal NA story thinks it sounds great, but the editors and agents only tell me that kind of story isn't selling. I just think they don't want to take a chance on something different.