Friday, March 2, 2012

Love triangles: so hot right now

I lazily gaze across the YA genre and I cannot help noticing a pattern emerging. The story is usually about a heroine who secretly pines for an aloof stranger and has a best friend (that she ignores) who is also, coincidentally, hot. Turmoil ensues and both her friend and the stranger admit their love for her whereupon she finally chooses her suitor. What drama.

When I was a young lad, my choices were a little more varied. Authors wrote what they wanted to write, rather than who their target demographic was or whether vampires were, like, sooo hot right now.

It amuses me to see authors explicitly stating the age of their hero/heroine (sixteen or seventeen). I shouldn't need to know their age to be able to relate to the story. If it was well-written, you would be drawn in irrespective of whether you secretly pine to be the protagonist or happen to be the same age. I think if JK Rowling were to write Harry Potter now, her agent would ask her to focus on Hermione (who would coincidentally be seventeen) and revolve around the dilemma of choosing between the affections of a mysterious older man with piercing blue eyes (whose name we shall not speak) or her best friend Harry.

I can see it now. The public would love it and we would all get a blow-by-blow account that transpires across seven books until the magical moment that she finally decides. And she would be seventeen throughout the story, even though many years of angst and drama would pass (they live in a magical land where time stands still) ... because adults are gross.

Doesn't that make your skin crawl? Anyway, this is more of an impetus towards the authors out there. Ignore your agents, ignore the trends, write what you are passionate about and the result will be spell-binding. The readers will love you for it and I will too.