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Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Mayhemic Monday!

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

I know I appreciated our first glimpse of warm weather we up here in Wisconsin had on Saturday. It was nice to be able to sit outside, grill and drink some good beer with friends. Before I get started, I'd like to offer a huge round of applause for Claire, the winner of our Saturday drawing! Be sure to email Gracen at to claim your prize.

As a beginning writer, I started getting curious as to what the future story trends will be. I know that there are places on the Internet where I could find the answer, but I thought I would try a different route. As a longtime reader, I often wondered if the book market often works like the TV and movie markets. I'm not sure if you noticed, but there happens to be an awful lot of cop/law/crime related dramas and comedies out there, including the new ones. If it isn't crime related, it's medicine or a combination of both. If it isn't that kind you have home life (comedies and dramas) or some supposed "reality" TV show. [Note, I'm not including cable channels like DIY, Food Network or any of those specialty channels because not everyone gets those channels.]

Even though I like many of the shows out there, I feel like the markets are just over saturated with these types of shows and, while I might enjoy them, I find myself screaming for something new and different. I find that I am spending more time on the Internet or reading books and less time watching TV these days. I'm wondering if anyone feels that something similar is happening in the book world.

Since readers really determine what books will and won't sell, I decided to ask our audience to talk about their feelings of the types of books currently on the market. I would greatly appreciate it if you would take the time to answer these questions in your responses. Feel free to add anything that I might have missed.

Do you feel that books and stories are getting too predictable? Do they feel too formulaic to you?

What about variety, is there enough to keep you happy or do you find yourself searching for something more? If so, what are you searching for? What need are you looking to satisfy?

Are you able to easily find a book to read or do you struggle to find something that strikes your fancy?

What does strike your fancy?

Is there any type of story that you feel is played out and boring or that the novelty of the type has worn off and you'd like to see something new?

Is there any type of story that you'd like to see more of or something you feel is missing? What would you like to see more of? What types of stories are missing?

What is your favorite kind of story, you know, the one you just can't get enough of no matter how many books you read?

How adventurous are you? In other words, do you stick with what you know or do you like to try new and different styles from time to time?

In general, as a reader, what type of story do you want to read and what do you want from the book you read?

Just for fun, do you get enough mayhem in your reading? If not, why not? What kind of mayhem do get in your reading?

I don't know about you, but I think that's enough questions for you today. Thanks for visiting and I look forward to hearing your thoughts! I'm curious to see what direction our discussion will take us.....

4 Moonbeams (comments):

Sheila Deeth said...

Wow. Quite a list of questions...

Predictable, formulaic bookstores? - not really. I like wandering aisles and guessing why books are displayed together.

What do I search for? Something that might make me think. Something that won't treat me as being totally predictable.

I can always find way too many things I want to read (but can't afford to buy them).

I like it that there seem to be more cross-genre books out there. The ones that I'd particularly like that seem to be under-represented are ones with non-formulaic church-going characters that aren't trying to convert me to their point of view. (Any church.)

I like trying new authors, new genres, new styles. I want to be entertained, and I want to have enough to think about that something of the story will stay with me. As to mayhem? Is that when things are happening so fast I can't take my eyes from the page? But it has to be purposeful mayhem to make me look for a second book by the same author.

Carrie said...

Thanks for your input Sheila!

The point is to try to find what readers want to see in books.

I honestly need clarification here, when you say any church, does that include the Church of Satan or the Church of Deneir (a role-playing god with a neutral-good alignment) or are you more specifically referring to Christian-based churches? [Really, I do need to know because hopefully this post may help other aspiring authors trying to find a niche or deciding which story to work with first.]

Thanks again Sheila for following along with us and I look forward to your response.


Margay Leah Justice said...

Believe it or not, Carrie,I am finding a lot of fascinating stories in the YA category. Reading the Twilight series really opened my eyes to a group of fantastic writers and stories that I might never have explored if not for the fascination of the Twilight books by my two daughters. I think a lot of "adult" books are getting pretty formulaic and not offering the variety that YA authors are. I think it would be a good exercise for all authors to explore the books teens are reading - and seeing how they fit into their own world. Because I took that leap, I have come up with my own YA book that I hope to put on the market some day. Doing this has allowed me to take some risks - reading and writing - that I might not have taken if I'd continued to read only in the genre I was comfortable with (i.e., romance).


Carrie said...

Thanks Margay,

It's weird that you would mention the YA. When doing research for my Leader column, I found an article that mentioned that YA books had become so predictable and formulaic that teens were getting bored and that's when things started to change for them. It was also noted that YA for girls tends to follow a similar pattern that women's fiction does (chick-lit, romance, etc.). Gee ya think!