Ill make this brief and leave this open. With the popularity of mainstream, predictable fantasy novels rising (Twilight and Harry Potter, I apologize for any offense I cause, this is after all a discussion of opinion.), are authors who prefer to write seedier and more shocking, dark fantasy going to have a chance to make it big in the world, in this current age of pop culture writing?
I personally have faith. I have to; I consider myself a "grim and dark" writer, though the only Hub I have posted certainly is far from dark. But Im more interested in hearing what you all have to say. (And check out episode 1 of "Crusades and Holocausts" if you're into the fantasy writing thing)
Let me know your opinion!
You should remember that Twilight and Harry Potter are for kids....and, lol, (sorry), others who want to read at that level. I cannot imagine the appeal personally, and haven't read any of either series. The chick who wrote the Twilight stuff I KNOW was packaged as a business deal...she lives in Phoenix, AZ.
I think there will always be a market for good writing of any genre. You might not have the above kind of "success," but frankly, would you want it anyway?
I think reality is 'grim and dark' right now for a lot of people and we're all just looking for a light at the end of the tunnel.
Has dark fantasy ever actually made it big? I don't think so. I suppose Clive Barker might be considered dark fantasy, but then again I'd only say that about the Books of Blood. His novels usually end fairly upbeat.
And what is your definition of grim and dark?? Everything Dennis Lehane writes is incredibly grim and unrelentingly so (too much so for me) and yet he's a top selling novelist and his books will all wind up being adapted into films.
But these are crime novels, not dark fantasy. If I want grim and dark, I usually look in the Crime section at the bookstore, not SF/Fantasy section. Hell, I consider most episodes of L&O: Special Victims Unit to be pretty grim and episodes often end on a very downbeat, hopeless note... and it happens so often I stopped watching.
Or how about movies like Saw or Hostel? Do they count?
Generally, I'm looking for escapism, not depression. I think that's how most people feel about their entertainment.
Have you read Harry Potter? I've read the early books and thought they were far less "grim and dark" than a lot of traditional fairy tales.
Remember the main protagonists in Harry Potter are on the side of the light,and good triumphs over evil.
I agree with rsmallory comment. In that if ones reality is perceived to be dark and nasty, then people will ant to escape that realty and into light and warm fuzzy world. My own feeling is akin to this line of thinking. War movies, why would I want to watch them ? if I want to see war I just turn on my television for the Main News broadcast.
Tradinal fairy tales were very dark and Grim, many of the Brothers grims tales. were lightened and the grimness removed. so the Modren versions of these classics are watered down so much they no longer really give you the taste of the dark side.
A side note as I can not resit the Harry Potter books. The first books are fairly light, however they do grow a lot darker as Harry himself grows up. as far s Kid Books, and reading at that level. I actually found the Series to be a good read, you can see J K Rowling world behind and between the lines,Its complete, its been well thought out and mapped and I personally found it a much better read than many so called "grown Up " Novels of trash that is published. Just in case you are wondering, What I watch and what I read is based solely on its on content and merit. I do not follow the flock, just because something is popular doesn't mean its any good.
Just as a different frame of reference, I love fairy tales and I love the Brother's Grimm. There was much truth and wisdom (and light and darkness...in short, reality) in the stories told in the middle ages...and traditionally, these tales weren't for children.
I'm not the only one who thinks this way. So did the poet Anne Sexton. And I believe there are quite a few quality fiction writers who took as the bones for a plot fairy tales like Beauty and the Beast, etc.
I agree Lita, a different frame of referrence.
One of my favorite authors is Clive Barker... not for his horror, but for his fantasy. I say fantasy for lack of a better term, since it isn't the typical swords & sorcery type of fantasy. His works such as The Great and Secret Show and Imajicka are very dark; he just seems to use elements that I recognize as part of a realistic apprehension of life's shadow aspects. I am attracted to that not to glorify the dark, but in recognition of its reality. Whereas other, lighter writers paint an unrealistic picture of good vs. evil -- it's not that black and white. I think writers that exemplify the ambiguity & interplay of shade are vilified because of popular belief in black and white contraries.
Sexton -- one of my favorites. And Emily Dickenson, who was far more dark than we were led to believe in grade school! Camille Paglia writes an amazing treatment of the cthonic trends in "Sexual Personae: Art & Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickenson"... I highly reconmmend it!
I work in a book shop and I can say that hundreds of authors have written vampire romance novels recently thanks to 'Twilight'. It has drained any origional romance from the true horror days and make it cheesy and corny...and trust me on that - I'm a true horror fan.
The only way you can make things grim and dark now-a-days is to pour your every sinew into a piece of work and see what comes out.
Just judging from the responses I see here, I do believe there is a market for "grim and dark," even among people who want escapism. (It's just that for those, good still has to triumph.)In comics, the belief is at the moment that the supply of escapist tales like superhero stories is actually exceeding the market. The pendulum is swinging toward more crime and horror.
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