RSS Feed Print
What types of books are you tired of seeing on the shelves?
MB Mulhall
Posted: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 3:38 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

Had enough of vampires? Can't handle one more plain Jane being lusted after by the hottest guy in school? About to toss your cookies if you see one more fairy tale revision? Ready to have a book burning over fallen angels? 

What are you tired of reading about?  Better yet, any prediction on what the newest "it" thing might be?

Mahesh Raj Mohan
Posted: Thursday, March 24, 2011 9:28 PM
Joined: 2/28/2011
Posts: 60

Good topic, MB. I'll draw a distinction between sub-genres that don't interest me and books I'm tired of seeing. Most of what you mention above I'm okay with seeing since they seem to have staying power and people dig them, except me.

I'm tired, however, of the gimmicky Literary Character + Zombine/Robot/Vampire type books (like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). It's kind of a one-note joke thing and not very interesting.
MB Mulhall
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 12:02 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

Gaaaaaah. I'm not much of an English lit fan but when i saw Pride & Prejudice & Zombies I thought OH! Maybe this is how I can enjoy it! But nooooooo. I hated it. So much so, that when I was a zombie librarian for Halloween 2 years ago, I cut it up and covered it in blood as a prop. I agree. Enough of those.
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 1:39 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 103

I am done with vampires and pretentious literary fiction. Take it off the shelves!
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 5:56 PM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

See now, I have a concept im working on, Teddy Roosevelt: Intergalactic Bounty Hunter , that kinda falls in that vein.
MB Mulhall
Posted: Friday, March 25, 2011 10:35 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

Is his brother the arch enemy? cause that might be cool...
Posted: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 7:51 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 227

Vampires!!! But then, I've never been a big fan of those books. Twilight was a fluke-y thing for me. Maybe cos they weren't "real" vampires?
MB Mulhall
Posted: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 3:18 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

I like GOOD vampire stuff (and yeaaahhh I'm OK with Twilight) but I could do with a break from them. I'd love to see some more books based on gods and goddesses from Greek/Roman and Egyptian mythology. I love RIch Riordan's stuff but I could stand to see some more!
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 4:05 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

Paranormal romance. (Sci-fi is okay, though.) If the YA kiddies want their vampires and werewolves, I'm cool with that, as long as I don't have to see T-shirts with "Team ____" on them for the next decade.

I never liked the “preggers romance” and avoid them at all costs. Yet they continue to thrive and breed. I realize they will never go away, but a gal can dream, can’t she?

Memoirs written by cutters, former meth addicts, (insert bad thing here) survivors and other emo types. Life is depressing enough, so I want to read about this … why?

Haute literary fiction. I’m over grad school. I want my brain candy now.

Chick lit set in New York, L.A., London or another big metropolis in which the protagonist works in publishing, fashion, entertainment, etc. Seriously, I am so tapped out on these. Chick lit in Montana or Louisiana? Small town? Protagonist is a manicurist or bank teller? Oh, yeah … I’m there.

Finally, running screeds written by pundits from either the far right or the far left. I don't drink anybody's Kool-Aid.

The new "It" thing will be mermaids and other paranormal sea-humans. Possibly muses (Greek or Roman gods), too.
Danielle Bowers
Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 1:02 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 280


Funny you should say that about the Team____ shirts. I got one the other day that says "Team Guy Who Almost Hit Bella With His Car"

I hope the YA paranormal theme doesn't run its course soon, I have a series to publish! Witches better be the next big thing.
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 9:18 AM
Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 2

Unsurprisingly, Lisa covers most of mine.

I'm completely and totally burned out on vampires and have been since way before the Twilight craze hit. I think I'm also beginning to burn out on YA Dystopias. However, if something new comes out that is fresh and exciting, I'm not beyond reading it. I think I have a love/hate relationship with them at this point.

Sign me up for being burnt out on the meth/cut/pick your poison here memoirs, as well. Actually, I wasn't so much burnt out as I just didn't ever really care in the first place.

I also tend to avoid a lot of "women's fiction" of the brand that features lonely beach settings on the cover. Usually with a discarded straw hat somewhere in the picture. The one that screams,"the protagonist has an ailing sister/long lost mother/will fall in love with a handsome country doctor!"

Also, anything that involves someone being transported back in time to some place in Scotland when it was apparently all kilts and muscle and everyone looked like Gerard Butler. I love a lot of time travel tropes, but this one irritates me to no end.

Honestly, there are a lot of things I tend to pass over, but will give a shot if it seems either fresh or just interesting.
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 9:40 AM
Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 9

This is a weird one, but it seems that almost every YA series of the moment has some sort of love triangle in it - girl protagonist who has two boys to choose from, and no matter what else goes on in the books, there is a guaranteed bulk of pages devoted to angsting over her "choice".

Maybe I'm being a silly feminist here (and obviously the market disagrees with me), but why can't a girl be interesting, independent and (shock!) uninterested in what the boys think of her, or even whether any of them are interested in her or not? It seems like male interest (in these books) is used to bolster the fabulousness of the heroine. I guess it comes largely from paranormal romance where it's a standard trope, but I'd love to see a YA series with a kick-ass heroine who is not "torn between two lovers".

I'm also very, very tired of the insertion of zombies and vampires into the classics. Yeah, it was funny - but just that one time.
Posted: Friday, April 1, 2011 2:03 PM
Joined: 3/31/2011
Posts: 5

I would love to see fewer books written by celebrities. I considered crying the day that Snooki got a publishing deal.

Clearly these things must make money or else publishers wouldn't be so thrilled to purchase them, but it always depresses the hell out of me.
MB Mulhall
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011 4:59 PM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 81

I really haven't read any of the celeb written books, but I know the Lauren Conrad series does well (she was from the show the hills I think?) and I think Hilliary Duff just wrote a book? I have no idea if they're any good, but just because a celeb wrote it doesn't mean it's automatically bad, although I find it hard to believe Snooki really wrote that book...but I digress. The only reason I like those books? They are getting more kids to read.

Teen girls see a book written by their favorite actress and they're going to want it. I don't mind that. Maybe it will lead them to other/better authors after.
Alexander Hollins
Posted: Sunday, April 3, 2011 11:14 AM
Joined: 3/13/2011
Posts: 416

Orlah, I want to see , at least once, the love triangle resolved with, You two boys will have to SHARE me, and if you have a problem with that, YOU guys figure it out, I'll be over there, not caring what you do to each other.
Posted: Sunday, April 3, 2011 7:17 PM
Joined: 3/30/2011
Posts: 9

Alexander, not a bad idea. The only YA I can even see that as a possibility in is STRANGE ANGELS, but I'm not holding my breath for it.
Posted: Sunday, April 3, 2011 9:47 PM
Joined: 3/4/2011
Posts: 16

"Under cooked" novels that are released in a rush before they've reached their full potential.

Books broken into trilogies that don't have enough material for a trilogy, and that end on very weak or non-existent cliffhangers.

"Band wagon" books, written strictly to profit off of a trend in a genre that an author is not familiar with, not good at, and doesn't care enough about to write a good story for.

"The whole world is white, straight, vaguely Christian or atheist, and middle or upper-class" books. These constantly show up in every genre I read and writers use all sorts of excuses to defend them, but a majority of the time, it's lazy writing not to diversify one's cast. IMO.

Fantasy and SF written by non-genre authors who treat those two genres like they are nothing more than window dressing for a mainstream novel, primarily because they don't understand what those genres are capable of accomplishing. Also, Fantasy and SF books written by authors who don't actually read those genres and as a result, end up repeating every trope and cliche already glutting the shelves.

Sinnie Ellis
Posted: Monday, April 4, 2011 6:16 PM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 67

Sick of Vampire anything I think it needs to be put to rest literally. The zombie craze is bland as ever. I am sick of constant remakesof well known books to fit the zombie craze.

I want something down to earth that makes me think.

I want a good murder mystery but not the dried up kind where the detectives are all insanely boring whiners.

Celebrities that can't spell their own names and have ghost writers obviously doing the work really? Does anyone read the drivel about people wanting bigger cars and more shoes.

Robert C Roman
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 11:30 AM
Joined: 3/12/2011
Posts: 383

"Bad Boys" that aren't really. Effeminate whiny emo guys. Women who fall for either or both. Characters (either gender) who are free to 'explore themselves', but expect their partner to remain steadfast and true. Double standards in general.

Other folks have hit my other ones, like ghostwritten celeb books and memoirs. 'True Crime' books can join that pile for me.
Posted: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 7:50 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


"Celebrities that can't spell their own names and have ghost writers obviously doing the work really?"

Yes. I know of one who hired a ghostwriter for 100 percent sure. The book got good reviews. Can't say anymore.

"Does anyone read the drivel about people wanting bigger cars and more shoes."

Oh, the million-dollar question. I think that writers being ... well, writers, we tend to see books much differently than the median reader. Why are people hooked on reality television shows like "American Idol" and the crap on MTV? You'd have to poll them, but I suppose a lot of it's because they secretly (or not-so-secretly) want to be rich and famous, and those books make them feel close to that world.
Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 6:22 PM
Joined: 4/6/2011
Posts: 31

"@ AudryT "Under cooked" novels that are released in a rush before they've reached their full potential."

That seems to me to be a primary sin these days. Too many books I've picked up in the past year or so have a neat concept or a good voice, but the plot or structure is a mess. One hears all over about how editing is becoming a lost art; I don't like to think it's true, but I do wonder.

I'm tired of hearing about YA in general, to be honest -- maybe it's not as overwhelming as twitter makes it look to me, but it seems like everyone and her sister is writing a YA paranormal something or other.
Posted: Tuesday, April 12, 2011 9:37 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

@ Rebecca & Audry

I'm not sure if "undercooked" is the right word I'd use, but I've found it very difficult to find books that actually have meat on their bones. I dunno, the plots often seem very flimsy in structure compared to what I'm used to reading. It's like there's only one, and the rest is done with mirrors.

I really like single title romance novels with strong female protagonists, for example. So ... where are they? Sticking a character in a white collar profession does not a "strong female protagonist" make.

I was never into YA lit even when I was a YA. Don't understand this, either. All I can think is that it has crossover appeal to adults. Which is kinda creepy, when you think about it ...
Ava DiGioia
Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 4:28 PM
Joined: 3/7/2011
Posts: 39

Not so much don't want vampires as the sparkly, I'm misunderstood, I really have a heart of gold type vampire and the ripped "I never wear a shirt so you can see my abs" werewolf types. A good bit of the urban paranormal that's out there.

I would like to see new twists on these kinds of characters.

It seems once a type of book becomes popular, there's a lot of jumping on the bandwagon for many writers. YA does seem to be drowning in this trend right now.

I do think there is a glut of YA writers in the market (says the person who has plans to write a YA series.)

Having two YAs in the household, I end up reading many YA books. Thankfully, mine want the meaty stories with strong characters, especially female, but they have to search to find those.

I do like well-done fairy tale revisions. Again, have to search for them. My older one is a big fan of Gail Carson Levine.

Not just celebrity books but autobiographies of celebs who are under 30! I didn't get that or read them even when I was in my teens and 20s.

I would like for the newest "it" thing to be time travel stories.
L R Waterbury
Posted: Friday, April 29, 2011 10:32 PM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 60

I don't mind vampires, as long as they're not 100+ year old vampires lusting after teenage girls. Does no one else find that supremely creepy? We're so obsessed with the appearance of youth that as long as the guy LOOKS like a teenager, it's okay. Ick! And speaking of Twilight, can we also do away with 19th century heroins stuck in 21st century books? Bella has about as much spunk and character as the whiny, annoying, prude Fannie in Mansfield Park.
Alex Hollingshead
Posted: Friday, May 6, 2011 10:03 PM
Joined: 5/2/2011
Posts: 61

I am admittedly a bit tired of bandwagon zombies or steampunk, as someone who is a fan of both zombies and steampunk. Needless to say, Boneshaker just about caused an aneurism. I love the genres, I want to see more of them, but when they hit their peak popularity, we got a lot of crap to sift through.

One thing I am sick of is upper class characters who can afford literally anything. I say this as a girl who grew up on the east side of Long Island. The rich do have some limits. They might live in luxury, but that doesn't mean they can afford to, willy-nilly, commit federal offenses, buy cars for their short term girlfriends, fly to Italy every weekend, give their dogs mansions, etc. Yeah, some people are that rich. Most of them really aren't. They have many luxuries and the sensible ones don't need to worry about the necessities (here including health care, education, etc.), but I wouldn't mind seeing a rich character who just helps you pay off your debt instead of buying you a house and sending your kids through school, or even one who does all these things and ends up losing their house because of it. Knew a couple of guys in that latter category, that's for sure.
Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 3:35 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

The YA craze is about the book market in general. YA is, I believe, the only category in bookselling that is increasing in sales each year, lately, rather than holding or falling.

Personally, I think it's because the U.S. in particular is a rather adolescent culture and we perma-teens can't ever grow up. Because it's not just teens themselves reading the stuff. Lots of adults read it too.

I am not going to hate on any particular genre, sub-genre or category, because everybody is different and that stuff wouldn't be out there if someone didn't love it.

BUT, I would like to see more "mainstream" books (of any genre) that include queer elements. Queer characters, queer plot points, etc. And I'd like to see them written by anyone--not just LGBT-certified writers. I am tired of having to hit the "LGBT" section to find ghettoized small press books with lesbians in them.

This is an especially annoying problem in the U.S. The UK seems to have gotten past the hurdle in which they realize that queers are people and people who aren't necessarily queer might like to read about them. This seems to be true in television as well as in books.

And I am not interested in reading only a bunch of angsty coming-out stories, either, in which the queer element of the story is a or even THE central problem. I'd like to see ordinary, out, grown ups who are dealing with overall life problems, like anyone else.

When I read threads here about sex scenes, or heroine stereotypes, all I can see is the great potential that throwing a few lesbians into the literary mix could hold. Lesbians make different sorts of heroines than straight women. Lesbians have a broader range of sexual possibilities than are typically included in straight sex scenes (though, hey, straight people, you too could do lots of other things!).

The culture is not segregated into sections like the bookstore. I'm sitting in church (yeah, CHURCH) every Sunday with queers and heteros, teens, adults, Blacks, whites, and all kinds of other people, and we are all sharing our lives over coffee and donuts and learning from each other afterwards. I'd like to see the literary world reflecting that diversity and complexity a bit more. Okay, a lot more.

Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 8:42 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


“And I am not interested in reading only a bunch of angsty coming-out stories, either, in which the queer element of the story is a or even THE central problem. I'd like to see ordinary, out, grown ups who are dealing with overall life problems, like anyone else.”

I’m in a minority demographic too (childless by choice), although we are growing in numbers. I too would like to read more books with nonparents who are just living their lives, and I’d especially like to see this in romance novels (NOT just paranormal romance) without it being a huge issue. But what I think we have to consider is that big publishing can’t take a risk when it comes to diversifying – especially not now, when things are so tenuous. If publishers conduct market research and discover that the largest percentage of people who buy books are married, caucasian hetereosexuals with children who are of a certain age and make a certain income, then they will publish books that appeal to that group of consumers. That’s the way it works in freelance writing, too. The magazines I write for look at the groups of consumers who are spending the most money on, oh, makeup and personal care, for example, and tailor articles to that group that promote their lifestyle.

From a business perspective, this makes sound sense. But the problem with this is that by ignoring all of the other people who purchase the most, publishers project a very static picture of the world. My biggest fear is that if publishers cut the number of books they release as dramatically as projected, there will be absolutely -0- diversity on the bookshelves.

As for the YA phenomenon, I think that the popularity of this genre is a combination of factors. As you mentioned, there’s the protracted adolescence that Americans seem to cling to. But if you’ll notice, YA really took off right about the time the recession/depression hit. One thing about the characters in YA is that they don’t have the very real life problems that most adults face – foreclosure, bankruptcy, job loss, etc. Their lives are tidy; they’re taken care of by their parents. I think that YA takes readers back to a “safe” time of life. The finally, factor in decreasing literacy rates, and you have a lot of books that are written at a reading level that’s appropriate for most Americans (which is, for the most part, eighth grade).

Posted: Saturday, June 4, 2011 9:41 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

I realize this is what U.S. publishers may be thinking. But I think they are wrong and the UK has proved it. You can do a t.v. show or a book with major gay themes and garner a huge popular following.

My point is that even people who are in the majority population are living lives with considerable diversity and they DON'T necessarily want to read about little bubbles in which only people like them exist.

After all, minorities participate in and enjoy culture and entertainment that isn't about them and no one blinks an eye. It isn't like I only want to read books about white lesbians with adopted Black children. In fact, I don't know of a single story in the mainstream world that reflects even 10% of what my life is like. But I enjoy lots of things that are not at all about my life, obviously.

I'd give the general public much more credit. Readers in particular are more likely to enjoy and crave stories that take them OUT of their own experience and introduce them to difference. That's the biggest factor in why many people love to read, after all.
Ravenna Gray
Posted: Tuesday, June 7, 2011 5:33 AM
Joined: 5/21/2011
Posts: 9

I agree with both LisaMarie and LilySea. White, hetero, middle class, 2.5 kids, blah, blah, blah, is getting REALLY boring

And, on a lighter note, as a previous (like 20 years ago, during the Anne Rcie fad) megafan of vampire fiction, I have to say I'm over it. Feminist issues with current vamp fic aside, if I have to read one more scene of a vampire boy telling a human girl to run because he's dangerous and she says, "No. I'm staying because I believe in you," I'm gonna puke. If a lion is starving, telling it how much you love it isn't going to stop it from eating you. Just saying.

And the whole "blood as a drug" thing is played out as well, if you ask me. Can we please get back to the days of Nosferatu and Dracula, when vamps were monsters instead of cracked-out junkies, jonesing for their next nip and constantly asking for forgiveness? Give me a monster any day. Less angst.

Sorry. Vamps are a hot topic for my ire lately. :>
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 5:58 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


I had a nightmare a few weeks ago. I dreamed that I walked into my neighborhood bookstore, and all of the books were written by celebrities -- even fiction. I woke up feeling really strange and depressed, because I can foresee that in the future. Last night, I saw a novel on the shelves by Nick Cave. Oh, please.

Another thing that I am totally sick and TIRED of in nonfiction are commercial diet books. The Zone. The Atkins Diet. The Rice Diet. The Coconut Diet. Blah, blah, blah, turnip, doorstop, mailbox, postage stamp. Many of these are ancient fad diet books with expired copyrights rewritten by twenty-first century authors.

So, I can think of certain acquisitions editors whose common sense should be tested. I'm a health writer, and all of this pseudo-science is troubling; what's even more disturbing is that credentialed professionals who really should know better are trying to make a buck and get their face in the limelight by commandeering the results of highly flawed clinical studies.

Publishers? Just say NO to commercial diet books based on junk science.
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 3:11 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

Yeah, but those books are cash cows. Realism.

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 7:16 PM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216

Yup, I know, LS. And with more than 65 percent of Americans overweight, there's a HUGE market -- no pun intended.

It still does bother me that publishers are selling these "magic bullets." The truth about weight loss and dieting is that it's very difficult. It requires a complete turnaround in way of thinking and living. It's easier for people to think that if they gobble a cup of sesame seeds every day, that's somehow going to turn things around for them. It rankles me to no end every time I see the next new solution!!! sitting there on the shelves.
Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2011 9:58 PM
Joined: 5/12/2011
Posts: 241

Totally agreed. Changing the way you eat is hard. But people love their quick fixes.
Casey Kir
Posted: Sunday, June 19, 2011 2:46 AM
Joined: 6/19/2011
Posts: 2

Celebrity, Politicians, enough already. I really do not want to read your memoirs.
Zombies have become tiresome as well.

Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 4:29 AM
Joined: 3/16/2011
Posts: 216


I don’t think that I’m too far off base with the celebrity books … or celebrity novels, for that matter. Look at celebrity perfumes. The girls/young women who buy these are under the impression that Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Gwen Stefani, etc. actually create these fragrances, which this is far from the truth (yes, it’s true; I read way too much Chandler Burr). Some poor aspiring perfumer is told that a celeb likes X, Y and Z notes and to put something together that smells like a “fruity floral with a hint of vanilla,” and that’s the extent of the celeb’s input.

I look at perfume-making as I do any other type of art. I’ve also ghostwritten a celeb book before, and I can tell you, the final project was 99 percent Pure Me. I had almost -0- input from the person whose name is printed on the cover. Seriously, I was at the point where I was just making stuff up to fill space. But it sold. The Name on The Front sold it – not me -- and to this day, I find that strange and amusing.

Americans are just funny that way. They love their idols.

Katie Kerr
Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 8:46 AM
Joined: 6/28/2011
Posts: 5

@LisaMarie: Patently false! Serena van der Woodsen actually blended her own perfume in the Gossip Girl novels (wait, that counts, right?).

As for books, I'm a bit bored with vampires, too. And where have all the sexy werewolves gone? Kelley Armstrong's "Bitten," anyone? Yum! I want to bite into something like that again.

And, I know I may catch some hate on this one, but I am WAY over anything that ends in "-punk." Seriously.
L R Waterbury
Posted: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 11:24 PM
Joined: 4/28/2011
Posts: 60

Ugh (shudder), celebrity books. And I use the term "celebrity" very loosely. I reserve my annoyance, however, not for the publishing industry, but for the dopes who buy those books. Don't get me wrong, I like some autobiographies and memoirs, but only when the person has actually accomplished something. "West With the Night" by Beryl Markham is one of my all-time favorite books, which brings me to the ghostwriter issue. Since she never wrote anything other than aviation logs and personal letters, Markham's authorship of her memoir has been questioned. Maybe it's wishful thinking, but I've extended her the benefit of the doubt, especially since she wrote in an age somewhat more insulated against celebrity-mania.

I don't have any problem whatsoever with ghostwriting in general, but I just wish the ghostwriter actually got some of the credit for it. An occasional "written with" appears on some books, but not on the majority. Are we really expected to believe Snooki can write anything more than a text message, and a highly abbreviated, incomprehensible text message at that? And while I'm in a ranting mood, what the hell is it with 20-somethings like Bristol Palin writing memoirs? Unless you've hidden out from the Nazis in an attic then you have no right to be publishing anything memoir-ish when you're younger than 20.
Tabetha Waite
Posted: Wednesday, June 29, 2011 3:12 AM
Joined: 4/26/2011
Posts: 22

I agree with most comments about vampires and zombies getting a bit tiresome, but being a history buff, I can't say I would totally disregard one with a setting in the past -- something along the lines of Dark Shadows. Or even a good gothic mystery would be nice, like those classic stories of the terrified girl running down the hill away from a spooky castle. But then, I am a sucker for a good romance But for the most part, I can't seem to get enough of Regency/Victorian England, though novels set in the US during the time of the Civil War are equally compelling to me.
Stevie McCoy
Posted: Wednesday, September 28, 2011 6:05 PM
Joined: 5/5/2011
Posts: 38

As opposed to what I don't want to see, I think I'd like to contribute what I would like to see. A good ghost-story would be nice.
But not just any ghost-story more like a realistic haunting that could be within the mind of persever or mistunderstandings leading to creepy situations. And mash a romance in there with the ghost story and I would be sold.

Ghost stories will never be old and as @ tabetha waite says above me good ol' classic spooky castle and historical periods are just that - Classic. Can't go wrong.
Kenley Tan
Posted: Thursday, September 29, 2011 11:05 AM
Joined: 4/27/2011
Posts: 27

YA. Period. I hate it. It's too cheesy. Honestly, I wouldn't have any problems with YA if almost every single YA did not feel like it was a big sell out. Seriously.

Everyone here obviously knows how it feels to be a teenager, so you guys would have noticed that almost every single YA novel felt like clones.

Maybe, I need to read more YA novels, but the only YA novel I read that didn't feel like it was selling out was Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Maybe it's because he gives it away for free. Maybe it was the geekiest YA novel I have ever read.

Also, I read through all four Twilight books to have the right to say the next statement. IT SUCKS! What's worse is that it made vampires look bad. It's probably the main reason why vampire writers go to the genre where you sell out. YA.

I disagree with everyone here why says that vampires and zombies should be taken off the shelves. I recommend I, Vampire, iZombie, The Strain Trilogy, American Vampire. They are good vampire and zombie books. Yes, 75% of the recommendations are comic books, but they are still books.

I only hope books like Little Brother increase exponentially. It makes me happy that LARPers, DNS tunneling and caller ID spoofing are reaching the YA crowd. It makes me happy that there are authors brave enough to tell interesting narratives that involve hacking to a younger audience instead of exploring the lust of teenagers.

After the global recession. I think more fictional books that speculate about the economy should be more mainstream. The government will screw up the economy at some point, so we need more dystopian/utopian books about the economy. It should introduce these concepts to readers in an exciting way and scare us about how bad it could get just like how 1984 scared the crap out of us about how the government may be watching our every move.
Timothy Maguire
Posted: Friday, September 30, 2011 12:28 AM
Joined: 8/13/2011
Posts: 272

If I'd have to name one trope that currently annoys the heck out of me, it's got to be urban fantasy covers. A few months ago I walked into Forbidden Planet London and realized that every shelf in the new release section had at least one book whose cover could best be described 'hot badass woman in black with her midriff bared'. Now I'm not saying that these books were bad, because I honestly haven't read most of them, but the general implication (just in it for the sexiness) just kind of annoyed me (as an aside, my nanowrimo novel for this year is an urban fantasy where the two female leads both hate this style of dress).
Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2011 4:48 AM
Joined: 3/14/2011
Posts: 46

I've yet to understand the demographic to which those UF covers are supposed to appeal, Timothy. I read UF and I like much of it, but the covers often showcase the female MCs in ways they never appear inside of the books. I find it misleading in an unappealing way.
Elsa Maria
Posted: Thursday, October 20, 2011 7:22 PM
Joined: 10/20/2011
Posts: 1

My prediction is that soon, the classic plot with time shenanigans will become cliche. This is when the author plays with time travel, where one of the characters turn out to be a time traveller with limited ability and is trapped in a 'loop'. The time-traveling character is not revealed as an important character until the end of the initial timeline, where all the other characters are all doomed, thus introducing the fact that the initial timeline is merely another 'doomed' or 'unsuccessful' timeline to the time-traveling character. The time-travelling character is trying to save the protagonist and all the rest of his/her friends from the supposedly inevitable event that leads to them all being doomed. Then, in the end, all the characters are saved anyway by some variation/miraculous event/determination of the protagonist/etc.

I hope I didn't sound all too confusing, but I have a feeling that this structure of plot will soon become cliche.
Sinnie Ellis
Posted: Monday, February 6, 2012 2:50 AM
Joined: 4/3/2011
Posts: 67

Is it me or is the publishing industry putting all their eggs in the celebrity basket. I was told my book was really great but she thought it needed more pop. I asked if I should write that Lady Gaga licked the main character and she got excited. Yeah, I'm keeping my soul thank you and moving on.

Colleen Lindsay
Posted: Monday, June 18, 2012 10:44 PM
Joined: 2/27/2011
Posts: 356

Bumping this up for the new members to see!

Sneaky Burrito
Posted: Sunday, August 5, 2012 10:51 AM
Joined: 5/28/2012
Posts: 43

In fantasy, which is most of what I read, I'm tired of two things.  One may burn itself out, but the other is probably here to stay.

First, the one that'll probably burn itself out (eventually): thief and/or assassin stories.  There have just been too many of these lately, and while some of the earlier ones were good (Scott Lynch, Brent Weeks), some of the later ones have the feel of having been cobbled together in a hurry to ride the bandwagon.

Second, the one that's probably here to stay: the hero's journey of a farm (or kitchen) boy who is really the long-lost rightful king.  Sometimes you can just pick up a book like this and know exactly how it's going to end up after only reading two or three pages.

Ian Nathaniel Cohen
Posted: Monday, April 28, 2014 11:36 AM
This goes across all genres and multiple forms of media - villains and supporting characters being much more interesting than the main protagonist, and the tendency for writers to equate tragedy with interesting to the exclusion of other possibilities.  I'm tired of protagonists who are continuously haunted by a past tragedy, who are always serious, and who don't have a life or hobbies outside of their job or their crusade.  Meanwhile, the sidekicks and the villains get to do all the fun stuff, get the best lines, and are just more interesting to follow than the main character.

--edited by Ian Nathaniel Cohen on 4/28/2014, 11:38 AM--

Posted: Monday, July 7, 2014 9:46 PM
Joined: 11/27/2013
Posts: 4

The era of bondage and light porn smut has arrived apparently. There are too many of them out right now and they are, in my opinion, just one step away from those Harlequin Romance Books from back on the day. I am not a fan of 50 Shades, or the others. Also, vampires. Whether they are space vampires, ancient vampires, urban vampires, etc. So many 'other' supernatural beings to write about. I try to mix at least three genres to keep it interesting. My latest is a Sci-Fi, Horror, Fantasy, Drama with a tiny bit of Romance thrown in. I think all avid readers are waiting for something new to dive into; that doesn't fit the mode.
Elizabeth Moon
Posted: Tuesday, September 9, 2014 5:49 PM
Joined: 6/14/2012
Posts: 195

Something  to remember when talking about what you (or your group, or a critics, reviewers, or editors) are tired of.


New readers enter the wide-open fields of fiction every day.   Some young, some old, from all kinds of backgrounds.  What is a tired old trope to you may be a new WOW! to a reader who's never met it before.  If lucky, they'll run into it first in a really good book.  If not, they may have to read their way up from one of the lesser works and (if really unlucky) by the time they read the great one, they'll be burned out on the trope and may even think the great writer just plagiarized the bad one. 


And within experienced readers, not all are looking for the same kind of payoff for reading a book.  So what you're tired of, or think badly done, may be someone else's cuppa, including predictable plots.  (I still read murder mysteries.  Is there any more predictable plot than a detective going after a killer?)    I knew someone who loved books about the superrich, especially women.  She didn't care what they were doing (were they gold-diggers with sugar daddies, businesswomen who had carved out their own empire, rich widows, heiresses?  Didn't matter.)  What she wanted was the ambiance, the setting of wealth--she wanted to read about fancy dinners, expensive gowns, fabulous jewelry, expensive cars with chauffeurs, vacations in exotic places.  She wanted the brand names, the specifics of these things; she enjoyed fantasizing about being one of those women with the Givenchy gown, the Rolls, the mansion here and the "cottage" there, lovingly described in expensive detail.  Her disdain for the books I liked were based on the dearth of extreme wealth and luxury in them.   (Spaceships and exotic planets were not good enough.) 


So I'd caution that one's own preferences are not a guide to what's good or bad in any real sense, though they ARE a good guide about what to write (and write better than the shoddy stuff you don't like.)   Write what you want to write, and write it better, and better, and better.  What's written with passion and increasing skill will eventually find its readership.


Lisa Li
Posted: Sunday, November 16, 2014 1:39 PM
Joined: 12/8/2013
Posts: 10

I agree with Elizabeth Moon.


Personally, I have no idea why a single "Twilight" book sold, but they did and then some.


For me, being married to a traditional Native American man from an Indian reservation, I have to say that I get tired of reading stereotypes of Native "warriors". Sherman Alexie does the characters a lot of justice in his novels such as "Smoke Signals" and I would love for writers to do their research and go meet the people if they are going to write historical pieces - even if they are romances.


I don't particularly care for romances - but that's my personal preference and nothing against the genre as a whole. I enjoyed "Outlander" as presented on television, but did not like the book.


The term, "dystopia" is dysfunctional to me. I think this is where I become negatively judgmental and should probably read more to get a better feel for the genre. Our times today and in the future are not/will not be ideal (whatever that means), but good grief they are depressing stories. At least when F. Scott Fitzgerald and Hemingway were falling to bits, you couldn't tell from page one. If I want to be modern and depressed I'll turn on FOX or CNN LOL


"Chick Lit" apparently attempts to address a 20/30-something audience, but Sex in the City was never my lifestyle when I was in that age group. Bridget Jones' Diary is hilarious and much more realistic, however, so the jury is still out. But showing fluffy women kind of makes me mad because I am an attorney and have personally witnessed the effect these types of stories have on males in my profession. It's not a positive one, especially the "you have to wear short skirts and fanny about the office to get ahead" bit. If any fannying around is to be done, it will be with someone I am with, not opposing counsel. LOL


Finally - MOST political editorials disguised as bestsellers. All you have to do is read the ANTI-federalist papers (really good reading, folks) to realize what the problems in the U.S. government are, since every one was anticipated by the opposition to the Founding Fathers prior to the first Constitutional Convention.












Jump to different Forum...