Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Isn't it a little dark in here?

This should have posted yesterday, but didn't.

I've noticed a few things recently and it leaves me wondering. An agent that I follow just opened up to YA and listed what she is looking for. She said fairy tale retellings,  which got me all excited. After all, I have two of those with unique twists in various stages of polishing. Then I read these two words: "dark and edgy." Dark and edgy? Shoot. I'm not really a dark and edgy sort of writer. I sat and thought through my projects and, for the life of me, could not figure out how they could be darker or more edgy.

I've been reading a lot lately. Lots of books have those two words associated with them. "A dark take on ..." "An edgy new story from ... " Is this what people want to read? Maybe the world is darker for teens than it was for me. I wanted to real about happy endings and things gone right, so that's what I tend to write. I have to admit it. A cold fear went through me. Will any one want to read my "things aren't dark or edgy" stories? And if no one wants to read light, carefree, happy stories, then what will I do?

So, friends, what do you think? Is dark and edgy the way to go? Do you write with that in mind? Do you read books that fit that bill?


Krista V. said...

I've noticed the same thing, Kayeleen. Everyone wants dark and edgy, it seems. But I think you have to write what you think is best, what you feel comfortable with. In the end, if you haven't pleased yourself with your own writing, you probably won't please anyone else.

If you haven't already, you might add Alyssa Eisner Henkin of Trident Media Group to your to-query list. She's one agent who says she wants more light-hearted stuff.

Elle Strauss said...

I think there's room for it all, if the writing is good. I write light, entertaining YA and it got me an agent. So I think it's a matter of just finding the right fit for you.

Shalona said...

I would love to see a little less dark a dark and edgy to be honest. There's enough of that in everyday life. I'm one of those crazy people that likes to go to Disneyland because it doesn't feel out of place to skip down Main Street while singing along to whatever classic Disney song is playing. Yes, we do this many other places too, but carefree and happy seems to becoming more of an enigma as we all try to wrap our heads around the busyness that has become life. I say keep it light, that is who you are.

Ben Spendlove said...

I'm not even sure what they mean by dark and edgy, anymore. Lord of the Rings is dark. The Dark is Rising is dark. But I don't think that's what they mean. Edgy? Does that just mean sex and swearing?