A good while ago now, I wrote a post on ‘trends I would like to see more and less of in the book world’ and this covered a whole bunch of different elements and genres. Today, I want to talk about things I would like to see more specifically, in Fiction. You know what I mean, the huge, mainstream, popular books which are on the shelves in all Tesco’s around the country and in the windows of all the Waterstones chains from the biggest and the best of publishers.
Emotional books which aren’t romantic: The thing about fiction is that it can represent real life situations and you can relate to certain elements and plotlines in these sorts of books. I love that and, inevitably, not all parts of life are happy and rosy. We obviously all go through harrowing, difficult and sad times in our lives and the beautiful thing about fiction is that that can be represented fairly accurately but… the majority of emotional, ‘pull at the heart strings’ type books that I’ve come across mostly all revolve around romance. And that’s just not realistic. Because there are other upsetting things which don’t revolve around a romantic relationship. I am not a romantic person and I don’t read romance novels any more. I used to but our book tastes change and that’s okay and I would love to see this genre of “emotional, un-romantic fiction”. Of course, I’m not eliminating all romantic relationships from the books, I would just like to see more of a varied of focuses, rather than on that relationship in order to make us bawl our eyes out.
Not romanticising illness: Are we done with this one now, please? Not only is this done to death (pardon the pun) but it’s incredibly damaging and insensitive and quite frankly, unrealistic. Which is rich because the very genre it’s under is supposed to represent the ‘realism’ of life more so than ‘Fantasy‘ or ‘Sci-Fi’ or even the vast majority of ‘Thrillers‘. It’s no secret that I adored the Fault in Our Stars when I read it. I thought it was the greatest piece of literature I’d ever stumbled across and whilst I’m still a huge fan of John Green’s work, although noticeably, his other books, I’ve learnt over the years of blogging and being more involved and interested in book blogging and the different opinions of people that in fact, the romanticisation of the illnesses in The Fault in Our Stars is quite… problematic. And I hate that word.
Less long winded titles: I did mention this in the post that I did last year but alas, the long-winded title craze, fad, trend, whatever you want to call it unfortunately hasn’t fizzled out. I don’t know whether it’s just me it winds up but I just don’t see it necessary for a 9 word title of a book. Obviously, it has no reflection on the actual book, which is great but seriously man… enough! I find this is more common in chick-lit than any other genre and I’m not sure why that is but a overly long title, made up of a concoction of words which often include words such as, ‘little’, ‘bookshop’, ‘teashop’, ‘café’ or ‘cake’ is so over-done and I just feel a bit unnecessary.
Less missing people: More noticeably in Mystery and Thriller, we see the theme of missing people over and over and over again. It’s an interesting topic and one that can most certainly be explored and maybe ‘m just looking for the wrong types of stories here but I’ve finding missing people quite tedious at the moment. The thing that stands out in a mystery or thriller for me – including those that include missing people elements – is shock factor. And I feel that maybe I’ve read so many missing people type stories, which have had so many outcomes and reasons for why these people have been missing that just nothing is shocking me any more. I would just love to see Mysteries and Thrillers go a different, new and more shocking direction than someone going missing.
More LGBT+ in standard fiction books: The only books I have read where there have been gay characters or bisexual characters are The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (and even so, it was a tiny, minute part of the story), One Day by David Levithan and Will Grayson Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan. All if you notice, all of these are Young Adult. In Fiction novels, the types of books you see everywhere, are published all the time by the biggest and best publishes, LGBT+ characters are practically non-existent and if they are, they’re either a minor character or it’s made into a “thing”. Why? I would love to just pick up a standard, Fiction novel from the shelf in Tesco and find more varied sexualities within the characters without it being a huge deal or without the “gay best friend” stereotype. I don’t know what it will take for this to happen.