Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wicked Wednesday + IWSG


Wicked Wednesday is my day of the week to talk about my favorite genre, paranormal romance.

The Insecure Writer's Support Group (IWSG) is Alex J. Cavanaugh's brilliant idea for writers to share their insecurities and encourage one another. The IWSG posts the first Wednesday every month. Please visit the other participants and offer up your support.

I'm combining both posts this month because of my fears about paranormal romance being a trend and that it's losing popularity. I'm sure you've heard this from several sources. Vampires and werewolves have been done one too many times. Publishers and agents are less likely to pick up your manuscript if they see it's paranormal romance, especially if it's about vampires.

Right now, the popular trends are dystopias and steampunk. There's been a rise in interest of fantasy and science-fiction too. While I do enjoy those genres, my passion is paranormal romance, and I feel like I'm coming in on the end of the trend. Should I even bother still writing in this genre? Am I hindering my career as a writer by writing a genre that is losing popularity? Am I over-thinking this?!

I know people say write what you love. If it's a brilliant story, no one will care what genre it is. I know these things. I tell say them over and over again in my head. But there's always that little snooty voice in the background talking about trends, what's best for me and my writing, etc. I try to smother that little voice, but it always creeps back.

I'd like to think that with the love readers have for paranormal romance, especially young people, that there is an audience there for life. I still love my first favorite genre as a child which was horror.

Do you think paranormal romance is losing its popularity? Do you think I'm wasting too much time thinking about trends?

30 comments:

  1. I think you need to write what you love. If you write well and tell a captivating story, I think that matters more than whether the genre is what's hot. Then again, that could just be my wishful thinking.

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  2. I have never been one to follow trends. I hear chick lit is dead over and over, but I won't give it up because it's what I do best. You have an exceptional talent, and no matter which trends are current, you have the skill to write work that demands to be read!

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  3. I will always pick up and read paranormal romance no matter what. I don't follow trends. I don't listen to critics. I don't care how many books are out there. I read what I like. Keep writing paranormal and we will keep reading it!
    Heather

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  4. I write PNR. It is the air I breathe. I agree with previous statements that you have to write what you know and love. I tried Contemporary Romance and it was a pinched and painful as a literary fart. When I got back to my roots, the words and the story flowed. We are getting the publishers/agents perspective when it comes to PNR. If you take it to the readers, they want it now and they always will. Consider that the Twilight film saga is officially coming to an end and within the next year, there is at least one major PNR writer who will release a book that fans have clearly said will make or break their loyalty to her particular brand. Readers LOVE PNR and will continue to flock to it. Keep writing what YOU love and others will follow suit.

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  5. I think many people read following the latest trend, but those truly enjoy the genre don't disappear when the trend fades.

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  6. I read about a weresloth the other day ! Do write what you love and I really believe there's a strong, constant following for paranormal (I'll never leave it, romance or otherwise). If there wasn't how could someone like Karen Marie Moning sell so many?

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  7. I've read you should just write what you love and what you're inspired to write. If you go chasing the trends, they'll have shifted again before you can get THAT story written and submitted.

    Just write. if a query is getting you nowhere, then sub another of your stories until something gets picked up. Or self-pub if that's your choice.

    My WIPs (including some not posted in the sidebar) are all over the map. I have everything from paranormal to HR to dystopian. LOL

    Great post! :)

    IWSG #179 (At least for today.)

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  8. Yep. What they (^) said!

    I've written both a paranormal romance and a fantasy romance (thought both are light on the romance part) because that's what I wanted to write. I loved the ideas I cam up with and loved the characters and story that came out of the ideas. As long as you love writing it, it shouldn't matter. Your love for whatever genre you write will shine through in your MS and make it sparkle (which is much better than a sparkly vampire, lol!)

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  9. I always have these questions in the back of my mind. One thing I also keep in the back of my mind is that trends are cyclical. So while one genre might not be "popular" now, it will be again soon enough. Good luck to you!

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  10. I think there are still lots of people who love to read paranormal romance. And "write what you love" really is good advice!

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  11. Every genre has readers! My neices (three) love paranormal romance, have loved it for years, and will continue to love it. Write what you love is the best advice out there. Don't let the whole "trend" thing get to you.

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  12. I can only speak for myself, but I read all over the map. Some days I'm steeped in non-fiction, but others a good ghost story or thriller is exactly what I want. I love paranormal, but I read it when I'm in the mood and sometimes when I'm in the middle of an historical fiction. I guess what I'm saying is similar to Tyrean's comment. There will be readers for all kinds of books. You have to write what you enjoy writing.

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  13. Well, it is true that you should write what you know and love most. But if you see a downward trend, then you should mix things up a bit. Paranormal romance doesn't mean just vampires and werewolves. Pick a different species of protagonist and weave your story around that. I think you're just pigeon-holing yourself in a small sub-category and that's what makes it a hard sell. If you write, then you're creative. So create a new supernatural being and create a new trend. Having said all that, I think there will always be a desire for this genre.

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  14. I agree with the comment above. I think there will always be a desire for the genre. Personally, I was reading vampire stories way before the current popularity and will long after, I'm sure. It may be worth your time to stretch yourself a bit though. I've had the same thoughts, as I'm trying to break in as a new author and I love Paranormal romance and Urban fantasy. I recently completed a YA steampunk fantasy though, and I LOVED it. I think it's my favorite story so far. You might find there is a genre that you didn't know you loved creating :)

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  15. my dil writes that genre too--i don't know if it is waning in popularity but i do think you should continue to write what you love :)

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  16. Well, on the plus side, trends are cyclical. I know that isn't much of an answer, but in the mid to late nineties we were all reading these books by Anne Rice. They had hot steamy vampires in them. Then almost exactly ten years later, there was Twilight. My guess is that by 2016 vampires will be hot again.

    Having said that, just ignore trends. They'll make you tear your hair out. Write what you love. Make it better. Make it stronger. Try everything. Eventually you'll get there, and you might be surprised by where "there" is.

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  17. Yes, I think you're wasting too much time thinking about trends, but no, I don't think paranormal romance is losing its popularity. Maybe people are a bit tired of vampires and werewolves, but there is a lot more to paranormal romance than those two types of creatures.

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  18. Thank you everyone for your advice and words of encouragement. You guys are awesome!

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  19. I don't think so. I love it. I'd read it. And keep reading it. =)

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  20. I think you need to write what you want to write. I've always written fantasy, even when it wasn't so popular. Things come and go, but there are always readers looking for their kind of book.

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  21. I think write what you love because that way the voice and passion and zing will come through - and I think that's what makes an agent take it.

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  22. I just found your incredible blog through IWSG. I love the header. My toddler has too much energy. So do my protagonists. I need more sleep.

    I say write what you love. Sure the market is saturated, but if you write well, it'll rise to the top!

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  23. I vote for over-thinking!
    Everything said science fiction was dead when I wrote my first book. I wrote it anyway. Glad I did!

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  24. You've heard this from me before - you've gotta write where the spirit takes you, Dude. You've *gotta*. (You know, unless someone's willing to pay you big bucks to try writing "outside the box," in which case, why the heck not?) :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

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  25. Go with what you love to write, and don't worry about the so-called trends. If it's a good story, it'll get picked up eventually.

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  26. Thank you all so much. It makes it easier not to get stressed about trends when hearing you all feel this way. :)

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  27. I'm from Bloomington, too! My mom worked at IU and I went to BHS North. (I don't even think it exists anymore - I left in '79.) I'm also a Paranormal writer - though darker, more horror really. I'm also afraid the paranormal trend may be fading. We'll just have to see...

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  28. Write what you love and the audience will find you. Sci Fi and Fantasy sell steadily even when they are not trending because the core audience is always there. I have to assume that this is going to be the case with paranormal romance ;) Especially since romance (in all forms) tends to sell better than most other genres.

    Keep doing what you love.
    *~MAJK~*

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  29. It is virtually impossible to write for trends! Because as you said, certain genres are hot now, but they will be overdone soon. Writing a book takes longer than the current trend will last! So console yourself that even if you tried writing for trends it wouldn't work, it wouldn't help your writing career.

    Oh, and I have read & recommended paranormal romances during my publishing internship that have been taken on, so I can confirm that a good story will be bought, no matter the genre!

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  30. I'm going to second some of what MAJK said. Romance will always be a big sell, so I see no reason why paranormal romance wouldn't continue to sell. Of course, I can see why werewolf and vampire romance books are dying away - they're all beginning to sound the same. If you do something original, I can't imagine you'd have any problem with the genre.

    BTW, Welcome to the IWSG. It's a good place to meet fellow writers.

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