how do we know this? sales records. why is this? video games.
therefore if you write a book for boys (which is exactly what me being me and my ever unpublishable ideas is doing) the current thought is that it must be as exciting as video games. otherwise it won't hold their attention. thus it won't sell. thus it'll never make it out of the gate.
there is no way i can hope to win this battle. in my novel hundreds of zombies/aliens/nazis are not killed every minute. my plot line is not crafted into life-like graphics. you can not level up. (though by goodness this should be happening in my novels!)
since we all know boys are dumb (oops, sorry, the boys i'm talking about are solely the ones in my dating pool) the boys don't read thing worries me for mainly one reason. what happens when these boys turn into men? if good reading habits are established in our youth, then poor poor adult book market. in about fifteen, twenty years, you're in for an even bigger decline.
|let's take a break in the action. this is what happens when you get over-zealous |
and order library books online. they all come at once.
ok. i lied. boys not reading worries me for another reason. that means that only girls are reading. and again, looking ahead, that means goodbye brilliant fiction (wait. is anyone writing brilliant fiction anymore? recommendations please.) hello romance novels.
no seriously. if you've tried to write anything YA lately, i'm sure you've heard: "That is the most ground-breaking, thought provoking novel for teens i've ever read. Except, erm, one problem. Where's the sappy romance plotline." and not just romance. they need ROMANCE.
so if the publishing industry is to be believed: boys are only interested in blowing things up and finding hidden treasures/mob bosses/racing car upgrades. and girls are only interested in, well, boys.
for shame! i say. and also, fo 'shizzle and word 'em up dun dun dun dun. if we pander only to the market that exists we risk alienating one that could exist. we stop producing new, inspiring, creative books. we ensure that boys will never read and that girls will get bored and burn out on cheesy romance plotlines and they'll stop reading too.
in one of the books pictured above a main character is IMing her best friend who's asking about the boy she just met. "do you love him?"
wtf? would have been my response. we met a week ago.
a few chapters earlier, a total stranger told the same girl: "i like this one. keep him." argh! thanks author. you're dooming generations of girls to have the unrealistic expectation that the very first boy they meet ought to be/will be the person they keep. that's like binding a girl to her very first cellphone. nevermind upgrades or that her needs for the phone will change over time. nope sorry, you picked the one with the flippy uppy keyboard. just forget about all those other models. for life.
am i veering off track? is the chip on my shoulder that obvious? yes? apologies.
i should go anyway. i need to focus on the edits for my boy protagonist novel. because it's kick-ass and the few days it would take someone to read it are well worth setting aside the controller. even though no one swoons or stays in love forever. (though a few people do die. dun dun dun.)
ultimately, these sale driven shoulds just raise the bar. it makes those of us who aren't writing specifically to what sells, write better. inturn this means in the future when that lone boy does pick up a book (my little cuz alex has picked up lots in his life, so there!) he is going to be BLOWN AWAY.
or, at least, here's to hoping.