Thursday, March 3, 2011

Is Paranormal Done?

With so many books out in the paranormal market, has the genre become so saturated it is no longer hot to buy?
I'm going to tell you why I think the answer is no to that. And bare in mind, I am an unpublished author (hopefully that'll change at some point in my life) and have no real experience in the publishing world or an editor house.

The great thing about the paranormal genre and even urban fantasy, depending on how in depth you want to go, is how much you can bend reality to fit your story. How much you can take one aspect, switch it around, and create something original. Okay, you might decide a vampire is what you really want to have as your main paranormal focus. But what you do with that vampire is completely up to you.

I hear a lot of negative feedback regarding a few 'done' paranormal aspects. Vampires, werewolves, fairies, ghosts, demons, angels... You name it, it'll get a bad rap at some point. Right now I'm seeing a lot of Greek retellings. However, the paranormal aspect might be the same, but the plot should definitely not be.

Just because there are a lot of vampire books, doesn't mean you can't write one and make it your own. You migh want to do something with them that hasn't been done before. You could do the same with fairies and angels etc. And the best thing about the paranormal is that we KNOW it doesn't exsist, and while my next point may be met with some argument, you don't have to stick to the rules in paranormal books. You could switch up your werewolves a bit. You could have an angel who doesn't actually have physical wings. Or, like a book I recently read, the angels could actually be the bad guys.

See, the possibilities are endless. Paranormal/fantasy gives readers a chance to be in a world they can never be in otherwise. We all want to get away from bills, or husbands, or kids for maybe half an hour a day, and what better than into a world so unlike our own? I think a lot of appeal lies behind that. Which is why I don't think we'll have anything to worry about when it comes to the paranormal genre. There's always going to be a demand for it because there always has.

What do you guys think? Is anything so 'overdone' it's taboo?? And why? How can we change this?

Oh, and don't forget to check out my twitter pitch contest going on over at my personal blog, Beyond Words. Hope you join in!!


  1. I'm with you on this. I don't think Paranormal is overdone or "over" by no means. I love the genre and always will, and as long as people keep writing about vampires, werewolves, faeries, ghosts, demons, angels...and the rest, I'll keep reading them!
    Thanks for an excellent post!

  2. A year ago, I would have said not much more could be done with zombies. but then "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" came across my desk and WOW!!!
    So I think fantastic writing can trump overdone subject any day.

  3. When I was querying last year, I saw a LOT of agents who specifically said, "Please, no vampire stories." But I'm always willing to read new ones if they have a fresh, new twist. Paranormal, just like General Fiction, has to be done thoughtfully and creatively. Paranormal is alive and well, and here to stay. :)
    Thanks, Chanelle!

  4. I don't think that all the vampires and werewolves and demons/fallen angels you're talking about are really paranormal, but more supernatural. Paranormal deals with the paranormal (like ghosts), but supernatural deals with supernatural creatures.
    But yes, I hope it all ends soon. Really I'm sick of not being able to find many unique things out on the shelves anymore. But it'll always be like that, depending on the popular genre. xD

  5. It's nice to read something you're familiar with but even nicer to get surprised by that little twist that makes it unique. I always look for it when I'm reading a paranormal story or even watching a movie. Authors should be more conscious of the points you wrote in your post, for sure. Luckily, there's always a new visionary ready to break conventions.

    Doesn't mean you should turn your vampires into sparkling faeries, though. :p


  6. I don't really think that paranormal should be done and over with. Even before it got super popular, that's almost all I ever read. And authors are very creative people. I love when there's a little twist in the mythology that makes me sure that the author's a genius. But some things are a bit over the top. I miss evil blood sucking vampires. I think I'll read an old book...

  7. Maybe I'm biased because I write fantasy (different sub-genres) and that's mainly all I read, even before Harry Potter made it the "it" genre - but I think there's always a place for paranormal. It may have hit a crescendo, but it won't go away.

    I talk about this a lot with friends. I think in YA especially, it will always be important because of the "other" concept. Most teens feel like they are the "other," like they're different from everyone else, and paranormal creatures are the ultimate representation of "other."

  8. In a YA twitter chat a high profile editor responded to a tweet of mine and said she no longer gives the advice that she has dished out for the last twenty years of "don't write to trends". I take that as current trends are here to stay, you just need to bring something new.

  9. I think paranormal is here to stay. There are just too many options and I think it adds to the escapism factor to enter worlds or our world with other creatures.