Sunday, June 17, 2012

YA Gender Rant

What I'm Reading: Theft of Swords - Michael J. Sullivan
What I'm Listening to: Boys & Girls -- LM.C (kind of ironic)

ヽ(#`Д´)ノ <-- This is the face I make when I peruse the teen section at the Barnes and Noble. I am sick, sick, sick of looking at paranormal romance, teen drama, and any other "girl fiction" novels. It's gotten to the point where I pass the teen section entirely and go straight to the adult fantasy and science fiction section, where I can find a book that has something of interest in it.

Statistics show girls are the biggest audience of teen fiction. That's really not hard to believe since there are so few books coming out for boys. At least, I haven't seen many. A vast majority of the YA writers out there are now women, which is great, but the lack of difference in the novels being published is kind of scary. When I read through the descriptions of their books, they all seem to have similar premises. Of course strong female protagonists are necessary, but male protagonists are beginning to disappear, I fear.

I've heard girls tend to lean more toward fantasy (I'll admit I'm one of them) and boys are more into science fiction. Girls tend to read character-driven novels, whereas boys read plot-driven novels. Honestly, I don't care what the book is. So long as it holds my attention, I'm happy. I don't like it when people label a book for boys or girls. It's stereotypical. As a girl, it's expected that I read romance, drama, and books on female empowerment, right? But I don't. I can't stand it. Makes me wanna vomit. Most of the novels on my bookshelves (and there are quite a few) tend to have guys as the protagonist. In my honest opinion, males are more interesting. It doesn't hurt that it's easier for me to fantasize about them when I can get in their head. Perhaps that is too much information? :B Is it weird that I only like romance in novels when it comes from the female perspective? Usually if it's from the male perspective, I get jealous and overprotective. I don't want the main guy to be in a relationship because they're MINE! (Yeah, I know I'm psychotic).

One of the writing tips I've read is to have some sort of lovey dovey stuff in your story so that it will appeal to female readers. I'll admit my novel The Kingdom's Champion does have romantic elements in it, but it's not the sole focus of the book. I'm all about action and adventure. Blood and guts. Magic and swords. I'm hoping my book will appeal to both boys and girls. However, if I had to choose which of them to market to, I would pick boys. Five of the six point of views are males. The one female protagonist is a tomboy who has, at times, bigger balls than the others (sorry, I can get kind of vulgar). However, in all actuality, I would just be content if someone read my book and liked it, regardless of their gender or age.

Some authors find it difficult to write from the opposite gender's perspective. Perhaps that's why, since YA writers are now mostly female, there are so few male protagonists. I really have no problem writing from a male perspective. It comes naturally. Perhaps I just think like a guy. *strikes manly pose*

As a female, it's great to see that there are so many successful women writers. But I think the industry is beating the genre, especially paranormal romance, to death. There should be a nice, healthy balance. Right now, there isn't.

All I can say is, "Damn you, Twilight!"

(/ω\) <--And this is the face I make when I admit I actually liked reading Twilight. Shh.

Do you have a preference when reading or writing in regards to male or female protagonists? Do you prefer male or female writers? Or do you simply not care?

5 comments:

  1. Wow! I was writing a post on this topic last week, which I'm considering merging into a blog series of other YA-related topics. To admit, I got a little sick writing it since it's one of my bigger complaints of YA as a whole.

    As a male, I want to see more male protagonists. Most of the protagonists jumping around in my head are male, and I want them to get into YA without the market shooting them down.

    Oh, and they don't need a female POV with them--wait, I have a female POV slated for Book 2. Darn.

    Still...

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    1. I do think we need more male protagonists in YA, but I also think guys should be more open-minded and willing to read female POVs and novels written by females.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. Holy crap, you are my writing twin! My bookshelf is mostly male protagonists and all my planned stories I want to publish are in the male POV. Female POV just gets on my nerves because they all seem to follow the same formula: Girl meets perfect mystery boy.

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    1. lol, yay! Though I admit I enjoy the "girl meets perfect mystery boy" formula once in a while, it's getting way out of control.

      Thanks for sharing!

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    2. For a while, it was all I saw displayed when browsing YA. Now, I can only finish those books if the female MC doesn't call the boy perfect all the time. lol

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