Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Has the paranormal bubble burst?

I’m pretty sure most of us have wondered if the paranormal popularity bubble is going to burst any time soon. Like the moment we finish writing our epic break-out vampire novel. And like me, I'm sure you're desperately hoping they're not going to stop trending any time soon.

Personally, I think paranormals are going to remain popular for some time to come, and I have two good reasons why..

It’s New

Yes, I know it seems like Twilight has been around forever, but in relative terms five years is not long. Romance novels have been around since before Jane Austen’s day, and since then pretty much everything you can think of has already been written. Every historical period has been covered, and even outer space is no longer new, since two generations have grown up on Star Trek and Battlestar Galatica.

So what’s left that hasn’t yet been explored?

The places and people that exist only in our imaginations. And guess what? As long as we keep dreaming up new worlds and new super-beings, this genre will stay fresh and interesting.

It’s Believable

I recently stumbled over a thought-provoking blog post by The Ardent Writer in which she spoke about a documentary on women’s films in Hollywood, entitled From Weepies to Chick Flicks.

What particularly intrigued me was the point that in our technologically advanced superior so much of the ‘romance’ has been taken out of romance. In a world where we have instant messaging, internet and email , it just isn’t believable that two people can be kept apart by a lack of information. And in our tolerant society, where race or class are no longer barriers, what great, believable conflicts are left to modern writers?

Yes, there’s internal conflict, which every story should have, but there are also only so many internal conflicts. In an age where readers want fresh, innovative stories, paranormal romance is the one genre still able to deliver on that. I’ll believe that an angel and a demon are going to struggle to find their Happy Ever After way sooner than I’ll believe that a secretary can’t date her CEO!

So as long as we writers keep our ideas original and innovative, paranormal will be alive and kicking for a long time to come.

What do you think?

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Rae Summers writes short, sensual historic romances set in the 1920s. But she also has this idea for a series of paranormal romances ... You can find out more about her here


Tabitha Blake said...

As a paranormal writer I hope the genre stays hot. But I also write them because I love reading and writing them. I am not writing the genre because it is what is hot right now. If the genre crashed tomorrow I would continue the write my para stories. You have to write what you love. I also believe if you have a really great story it will get published even if the genre is lagging. You just have to come up with a unique story that will knock the socks off a publisher. Easier said than done I know but if you pour your heart and soul into a story then your vision will shine through. I don't write paranormal because I jumped on the ban wagon. The paranormal worlds are what fuels my imagination. Great blog!

rbooth43 said...

I read my first modern day paranormal romance, OUT OF THE DARKNESS by Lilly Gayle. Vincent Maxwell is a vampire who wants to be human again and discovers that Dr. Megan Harper has discovered a possible cure to vampirism, so he worms his way into her research and into her heart as well. Can a vampire and a mortal find a way to blend their lives and in the process find happiness together?
The plot turns, the familiar settings and the sexual scenes between Megan and Vincent were a fantastic, a can't put down read and the surprising ending was superb with supporting characters such as a compelling vixon (Sonia), and a best friend (Tina). Of course, as an added attraction there were very chilling villains.
OUT OF THE DARKNESS is Lilly Gayle's first novel, and my favorite book of 2010.

A.R. Cummings said...

I think paranormal will stay hot as long as authors keep pushing the bar. They can't always be a vampire/werewolf/demon(et cetera, et cetera) love story. There are thousands and thousands of creatures beyond that worth exploring. And thousands of ways to shake them up. Not that there's anything wrong with the favorites. There are some damn good stories on the shelves out there.

Anonymous said...

Tabitha - you are so right that you need to write what you love. It's the coming up with the unique that's the hard part!

Rebecca - glad that you've discovered paranormal romance now. And thanks to Lilly Gayle for introducing you to the genre.

AR - I get so excited when I read books that 'push the bar'. I've read so many great paranormal and fantasy novels lately that have just blown my mind!

Historical Writer/Editor said...

I think so too, Rae.

Zee Monodee said...

Great post, Rae!

I agree with what you say, but I think writers, authors mostly, will always be able to bring 'fresh' to the table. Why? Because no two authors are the same and each one brings his/her own voice and particular style to the mix.

Still, there is a big element of 'push the bar' that will help break through, but voice wil be a determinant part of what makes it across in the future.

Was great to see you on here! Hugs

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your comments, Historical Writer and Zee.

Zee - I agree that writers can always bring something fresh to a story, but they face an even bigger challenge I think in contemporaries where it's all been done before.