Category Archives: young adult

Why Dystopian

Introduction
From the Hunger Games, to The Divergent Series and shows like The Walking Dead, dystopian fiction

image by Piotr Pawel via sxc.hu
image by Piotr Pawel via sxc.hu

is riding a wave of popularity, but what is it about this genre that draws people to it?

Uncertainty 

Given the times we live in it’s easy to picture how things could go wrong. While the US economy has recovered from the crash in ’08 many people still struggle to make ends meet, and fears abound about the implications of the Chinese economy slowing down, as well as the possible exit of the UK from the EU.

Moreover, the cost of going to college continues to rise, saddling students with thousands of dollars in debt that must repaid after graduating into a ever fierce job market. It’s gotten so bad some people forego college all together and instead go into the skilled trades. And it seems everyone is fed up with the state of American politics and the direction the country is going  in to becoming a plutocracy.

Where There is Life There is Hope
Given all these issues it’s no wonder people turn to stories about how bleak the future will, but at their core dystopian stories are about the strength of the human will to endure the darkest time and fight for a better future. Even in the most crap sack world there is hope for the future otherwise there would be no point to the story. It’s this hope for a better tomorrow that people find comfort in and gives them a renewed outlook on life.

Viva La Revolucion
Often times in these stories it falls on the protagonist and his/her cohorts to take on the powers that be and reform the society. And we root for these underdogs because secretly we wish we could too take on the status quo and shake things up, but we’re afraid of the consequences. History has shown revolutionaries have short lives. But still we wish to have the power to change the world, which is another reason we turn to dystopian stories.

Conclusion
While dystopian stories appeal to readers for different reasons, at their core they celebrate the endurance of the human spirit and the will to find hope in the darkest of times, and fight for what you believe is right.

Phoenix Diaries Update

Good morning,

I hope all is well with you this Friday as you’re gearing up for labor day weekend. I’m going to my parents house and I’m a bit scared because I’m going to show them my writing for the first time.

I’ve been sharing more my writing with the critique group I’m part of and figured it was about time my family read some of my work. It’s part of what Jeff Goins calls performing in public.

Anyone can write but the only way to get better is by showing it to other people. This is why I’ve set a goal to finish the first draft of Paligenesis, book one of the Phoenix Diaries by my birthday which is in a bit over two weeks’ time.

After this I plan to switch over and rewrite/edit my first book Pinky&The Brain and then begin work on Phoenix Diaries Book Two: Ouroboros. Also I have two pieces which I plan to submit to Writer’s Digest Magazine for their column Five Minute Memoir.

For those of you who have been keeping up with the story thus far expect chapter 15 and 16 to be posted to silentbutcudly.com this weekend. Instead of making you guys wait so long between chapters I’ve decided to break each chapter into smaller parts and post those every other day or so at nifty.org so as to build a following and get my name out there more.

Well later and again enjoy the weekend.

 

No Man’s Land : The Case for More Male Protagonists in YA

When you look out at the Young Adult market you see an over saturation of books  about females. As a male reader I have no problems with female protagonists, as long as they’re likable, independent and the story is enjoyable. However the majority of Young Adult novel I’ve seen have all been about contrived relationships, as if that’s all the matters.

Sorry but I can’t stomach another paranormal romance, or a girl who moves to a new town and meets the hottest guy ever. Maybe it’s because I’m approaching my thirties and am too jaded by this point. But would it kill you to have stories without trite tropes like the ubiquitous love triangle, or the girl who falls for the bad boy or the deep, mysterious guy?

The reason I like stories with male protagonists is because they don’t get bogged down in pointless soap opera dramatics over who likes who, unless its a male/male romance which I have tons of issues with for the same reasons, but that’s another post for another time.

If female readers crave  these types of stories, OK more power to you, but don’t expect me to like them. I have zero patience for characters whose only obstacle is which hot guy to go out with. Give me a rock solid, humorous, and enjoyable story that’s well written and I couldn’t care less if the main character were a gelatinous blob from Uranus.

What I do take issue with is this notion that males don’t read as much as females thus why the YA market is dominated by books about females. Has it ever occurred, that this is only true of a segment of males and not the group as a whole. And that the reason could because there are so few YA books for them?

It’s not just the romance angle or books about cancer and dying that turn many guys off. It’s the lack of stories about what it means to be a male in our modern society.

This isn’t a call for women to “Get back in the kitchen and make me a sandwich.” It’s a call to all those out there who want to criminalize male behavior as inherently sexist. Just as women needed and have created their own spaces, so to do males. The problem is any space designated male only is now labeled misogynist.

When guys get together it’s not the He-man women hating club that many make it out to be. By and large we just want a place we can be ourselves without worrying about saying or doing something wrong and being branded the worst person in the world, ever. Yeah we can be rude, crude, and idiots at times, but at our core we just want to have fun.

I’m all for equality which is why I think female authors should be more inclusive of male readers. After all male authors are expected to do the same with female readers. Sure keep the romance, but make it a subplot to an interesting story if you expect us to read it.

copyright silentbutcudly 2013 at silentbutcudly.blogspot.com