Saturday, March 03, 2007

Is this Vampire Romance Jumping the Shark?

As soon as a TV series start's parodying itself you know it is all downhill from there. In a way this is sad because these episodes can be the best--riffing of the established mythos. Remember the episode of Angel where he became a puppet? The Stargate Episode based on the TV series within a TV series "Wormhole Extreme"? It is undeniable, however, that this is the point where a show starts to disappear up its own....

So when I see the shelves at my local Borders filled with the like of the covers shown below--(and I mean filled--there are so many variations on this theme that paranormal romance writers are starting looking like some kind of hive mind)--I have to wonder....

Is this the beginning of the end for vampire romance?





6 comments:

Barbara B. said...

I don't know if it's the beginning of the end for vampire romance in general. I tired of paranormal heroes after less than a year of reading them. Particularly vampires. I read mostly historicals and ordinary contemporaries for over 20 years before I tired of historicals. I know that historicals and contemporaries can be boring, too. The gimmickry of paranormals makes the lack of originality stand out more for me somehow. Vampire heroes are decidedly lacking in variety in general. I know that there are always great writers who can take make an old story new again but they very rare in vampire romances. The mythos always seems to get in the way. It's like the vampire hero is an archtype unto itself and doesn't need any further development.

With vampire and other paranormals, many writers don't seem to be very concerned with originality. When I first noticed this I was shocked. I wondered if author A knew that author B had practially cannibalized her entire story to write her own. All the mythos, the characterization, the storyline, and even the names were astoundingly similar. I actually puzzled over this for a while until I read more and realized it was par for the course. Why the hell would a writer deliberately write practically the same story that has been written hundreds of times already? Is it possible that so many writers could be unaware of how utterly derivative their stories are? I desperately want to know the answer to this question. I'd love for someone to address this topic. I'm baffled by this phenomenon. I know paranormals are a big seller these days but does that preclude any originality?

Jules Jones said...

And I hadn't even got around to writing a vampire chicklit yet. Must write faster, before genres disappear out from under me.

Emily Veinglory said...

I do think a lot of vamp romance is the same old, same old. I used to collect the genre in the 80s but in the early nineties I wasn't finding enough new in the area as a whole, although I still pick up promising examples :)

But I thing many readers are getting exactly what they want with "classic vampire alpha TM" and so these stories continue to sell and so to be written. But I prefer my vampires with a twist.

Kis Lee said...

i was a big fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer (well, except for the very last season). yet, i never really got into vampire/paranormal romances.

i never thought Angel was as good as the Buffy series. he's pretty good in that show Bones now.

kis said...

I loved both Buffy and Angel, but I never got into vampire paranormal romances, either. The coolest thing about Angel was that he was unique. Even after Spike got his soul, he was different enough to be, well, different. And those shows were more like Star Trek than a romance novel.

I'm hoping this whole vampire thing is finally petering out. It's depressing. Just when I find a nice cover with a promising title, I go to read the blurb and--bam, it's just another freaking vamprotica. And I'm just so not interested in reading the same exact story over and over. Not to mention that the few I've struggled through were so poorly written (and by authors I've trusted to do decent work, too, which is a total bitch), they made me wonder if the editor was stoned on NyQuil. There was this one I got halfway through and wished the heroine was real so I could strangle her for being such an idiot. I gave that one to a friend of mine, wondering if it was bad enough for her to disregard her policy of always finishing a book she's started. Almost. She finished it, but wouldn't speak to me for a week.

Julia Temlyn said...

Vampire meets Chick Lit? That's interesting. I knew about vampire romance, but the chick lit element seems kind of funny.