Monday, July 16, 2018

Hot Genres - Darkness and Desperation

Dark and Desperate is always HOT, isn't it? The yearning, the unreachable, the unattainable, the struggle to find happiness in a horrible, twisted world.

Blech. Sorry, that's just not my cup 'o tea. Personally, I read more to escape my own dark & desperate, stressed-out, real-life chaos! Though I do like a little darkness with my escape, it's definitely more interesting, just not a whole book of it.

I mean, just read these titles from Amazon's top fiction list... For the most part, downright depressing!
And the covers. No hope, no happiness, just bleak, blurry, distant, nothingness! I've always wondered how some covers have so little on the front, yet they're best sellers?? Some of these are eye-catching, but some are almost bare. No fair! (Then again, I guess it depends on the genre. Scifi/Fantasy needs more fascinating covers...)

So, how do these books sound to you? Why do you think readers are drawn to darkness and desperation? Why do so many people want to read these intriguing tales of woe? And many times, they have sad or mysterious endings, far from fairy tale positive ones too. Is it just me? Could be!

Well, here's a theory or two of mine for the popularity of dismal dismay:
  • It mirrors life, people can relate
  • It shows life could be worse
  • It gives hope, if there's a good ending
  • It gives insight to others' plights
  • They like their heartstrings pulled
  • They like to feel hope for the characters
  • The triumph is that much more triumphant
And here's a SURPRISE SURVEY - Tell us what you really think.



Now for my SHOUT OUT of the WEEK!


I love this woman! We've been blog buddies forever. It was her sarcastic wit and hilarious haiku talents that drew me in. She's also an awesome author. EFFIGY is the first book in her epic fantasy series, and I've been dying of anticipation for the second, which is so close: SECOND NATURE.

M.J. blogs about the books she reads and the books she writes, the shows she watches, the music she listen to, and only occasionally about her pets. She's also an insomniac.


So writers, who can relate? Check her out if you haven't. Don't miss out any longer!


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Since I will be on vacay next week, I won't post again until Aug IWSG. This will also give folks time to fill out the survey... pass it on!

Happy Mid-Summer Dreaming!

8 comments:

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Yeah, MJ. I hate books, movies, TV shows, and anything else where the leads aren't the good guys or at least trying to be the good guys. I despise those movies that are about thieves and paint them as cool, good guys. Like all those Ocean movies. I hate thieves.

Christine Rains said...

I do write some dark stuff, but there is always light to shine upon it. Great survey this month. I'm curious as to what people will say. And yay for M.J.!

M.J. Fifield said...

Uh...yeah. I like to both read and write dark stories. I love the emotion involved. I agree with Christine—I'm super curious to see the results of the survey. :)

Thank you so much for the incredibly kind shout-out! Here's hoping that Second Nature makes it out into the world soon...

Enjoy your vacation!

The Silver Fox said...

I don't usually write stuff that's dark and depressing. But there has to be some conflict, so things will go wrong for my characters, of course.

Heather R. Holden said...

Horror is my absolute favorite genre, as both a reader and writer, so...bring on the darkness, LOL! I struggle with depression, so I find tragic stories cathartic. And because I tend to read things with supernatural elements, they're just plain fun and thrilling, too!

And hurray for MJ! I agree, she's an awesome author and blogger. ^_^

H.R. Sinclair, Southpaw said...

I mirror your thoughts! I like to escape in books--sure darkness is there but not reality darkness.

Carrie-Anne said...

I've long been drawn to dark, macabre subjects and periods of history. Real life isn't flowers, puppies, rainbows, and glitter. I've come to realize I'm pulled to these tales because the first book I ever read, at three years old, was Grimms' Fairytales. I knew early on life is dark more than light. I also love a good book full of Sturm und Drang, and how things like hope, love, and friendship can survive even in those bestial circumstances.

Juneta Key said...

I do like some dark urban fantasy and anti-heroes but there has to be redeeming something about them. No crossing hard lines.