Author Topic: Genre Expectations and conventions.  (Read 23028 times)

DeDanann

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2008, 10:11:14 pm »

I'm sure it helped pick up some of the romance crowd.  It may even have a wider appeal.  But it was a fantasy investigative monster kicking story with a side love interest.  Now I don't know what it is.  Anita's Pregnant.  5 potential fathers.  Oh no who could it be?  'Gag me!'


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I know this is a silly little nitpick, but just to clarify, it is Merry Gentry who is pregnant, not Anita Blake.  However, I do agree that the Anita series got very muddied with all the romantic/intimate entanglements.  It was a much better series in its earlier days.  With the Merry series, I expect the intimacy and advancement in the character's relationships and would be disappointed if it were not there.  So for me, it's not so much genre expectations per se, but whether the book lives up to whatever expectations the publicity hype, first couple of chapters or previous books in the series has promised me.  I only get fed up when the hype turns out to be wrong and the story doesn't deliver what was promised.

The thing that bothers me more is when the paranormal aspects of a paranormal romance are trite, poorly executed or obviously derived from much better fantasy works.  Some romances read as though the author was a decent romance author, but when she tried to work fantasy elements into the mix, she didn't know how to do it properly and then everything fell flat.  Good romance/bad fantasy = a disappointing book, just as good fantasy/bad romance also = a disappointing book.

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2008, 11:55:06 pm »
I know this is a silly little nitpick, but just to clarify, it is Merry Gentry who is pregnant, not Anita Blake.  However, I do agree that the Anita series got very muddied with all the romantic/intimate entanglements.  It was a much better series in its earlier days.  With the Merry series, I expect the intimacy and advancement in the character's relationships and would be disappointed if it were not there.  So for me, it's not so much genre expectations per se, but whether the book lives up to whatever expectations the publicity hype, first couple of chapters or previous books in the series has promised me.  I only get fed up when the hype turns out to be wrong and the story doesn't deliver what was promised.

The thing that bothers me more is when the paranormal aspects of a paranormal romance are trite, poorly executed or obviously derived from much better fantasy works.  Some romances read as though the author was a decent romance author, but when she tried to work fantasy elements into the mix, she didn't know how to do it properly and then everything fell flat.  Good romance/bad fantasy = a disappointing book, just as good fantasy/bad romance also = a disappointing book.

You know I started teh merideith gentry books and fell off them because after the first one they just failed to hold my interest.  Liked the first one though.  But it just didn't compare with my sense of betrayal of anita the character.

Merideth started out as a sexual entity whose powers hinged on that so I had no problems with how much hot and sweaty action was thrown in.  With Anita though she started out and for 9 books held onto her virtue as an integral part of her person.  No she wasn't virginal and certainly didn't intend to be single her whole life long, but she wasn't into hot trampy action either, self control was part of the watch word when dealing with vampires and the supernatural.  So when the character abandoned 9 books worth of moral code in one hot encounter that just kept going on and on and didn't include either one of her two potential love interests she'd agonoized over picking for several books, I could only take it as either the author had betrayed the character she'd created or else the character had quite simply been corrupted by the very monsters she'd been out fighting against.  In short she must have been seduced and turned into a monster.  I don't think you have to be a monster just because you were turned into a were-leopard.  But a monster is as a monster does.


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white_unicorn

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2008, 12:20:57 am »
Merideth started out as a sexual entity whose powers hinged on that so I had no problems with how much hot and sweaty action was thrown in.  With Anita though she started out and for 9 books held onto her virtue as an integral part of her person.  No she wasn't virginal and certainly didn't intend to be single her whole life long, but she wasn't into hot trampy action either, self control was part of the watch word when dealing with vampires and the supernatural.  So when the character abandoned 9 books worth of moral code in one hot encounter that just kept going on and on and didn't include either one of her two potential love interests she'd agonoized over picking for several books, I could only take it as either the author had betrayed the character she'd created or else the character had quite simply been corrupted by the very monsters she'd been out fighting against.  In short she must have been seduced and turned into a monster.  I don't think you have to be a monster just because you were turned into a were-leopard.  But a monster is as a monster does.
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Excactly what I was thinking. In a way it was like she was 'paying up' for the long years of no romance in a few months (I am not sure it was even a year). The whole "trying to choose" thing was irritating, then we got all the others involved and I amn not even sure how the author keeps track of who is and isn't in her bed....

I agree that just because you survived an attack (she had quite a few attacks I think) you don't become a monster. It takes a 'death of the soul' to leave your humanity behind and become a monster.... Even Edward in the 9th book shows some humanity (even if he doesn't accept it). I could actually follow the series till the previous book, it had a story I could follow. The very last one though.... I can't believe it took it  year to come out... It felt like it could be done in a few months... totally flat, tottaly uninspirired IMO at least....

Merry's series keeps a shorter pace and leaves you wondering what will come next, plus even from the 1st book you knew what to expect from the series and the Magic is still building, it didn't just explode all trough one book.... (Sorry to type so long, but I am not so good in expressing my self in small sentences....   :-X)


Cerulean

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2008, 11:50:12 am »
Is there an LKH thread here? If not, maybe we could make one and move that discussion over there ;) Although the series is a classic example of changing expectations ...
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white_unicorn

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #19 on: June 15, 2008, 10:17:24 pm »
Sorry, I get pretty carried away with that theme. I guess it's because it is the only series I have read that does it... I have JR Ward on my TBR list but it's still a bit down the line.  :-X


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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #20 on: June 16, 2008, 11:18:41 pm »
Is there an LKH thread here? If not, maybe we could make one and move that discussion over there ;) Although the series is a classic example of changing expectations ...


My posts here originally started off in the Werewolf revolution thread, then were moved here to Genre Expectations and conventions.  I have no objections to being moved further on if that's what's needed.   Its not what I'm used to but I have no objections.

Personally I've been on a couple other forums and I suppose I'm just used to a bit more thread drift occuring before meandering back to being totally on topic.  I've never seen such purity of posts for the thread before but I'm not really complaining.  Just not used to it is all.


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Patti L.

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #21 on: June 16, 2008, 11:29:30 pm »
I noticed your name over on Baens.  Real thread drift over there. ::)
Here, we pander to genre expectations in thread content.  Since we use back posts as referrences fairly often, it makes more sense here. 
There, how's that for answering the last comment and keeping on subject?  :D
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The Deposed King

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #22 on: June 17, 2008, 12:19:19 am »
I noticed your name over on Baens.  Real thread drift over there. ::)
Here, we pander to genre expectations in thread content.  Since we use back posts as referrences fairly often, it makes more sense here. 
There, how's that for answering the last comment and keeping on subject?  :D


Quite good actually.  It met the expectation of an answer while keeping with the convention of the board to make every effort to stay on topic.  hehehe.

And yeah I poke around over at Bean a fair bit.  Different conventions and expectations here vs. there.  But here's smaller and has more mods so its probably easier to keep track of everything.


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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2009, 09:10:54 am »
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Garfield

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2009, 04:42:52 pm »
Now maybe 6-12 months ago I think I would have been a really stron supporter of the theory that genre expectations and their fulfillment are directly responsible for me enjoying or not enjoying a book. I used to read almost exclusively traditional fantasy, with all the other genres being well below 1% of my books. Over time I got more and more tired of it, nothing really new here, everything was so like I expected, the few books that weren't were trying so hard to be different that they were more or less the same just with switched roles. Some Authors died, some fell in love with their own fame and rambled on way beyond turning boring, some went senile. So I finally turned to new things. I tried Urban fantasy, dark fantasy and things the like. Still at that time I developed some kind of expectations for the genre and preferred them to be met. Until I came upon J.R. Ward that is. Her Black Dagger series I expected to be urban fantasy. But it turns out to be more of a paranormal erotic romance. Still the series got me hooked. And even though it does not meet my expectations in any way, and did not do that from the very beginning, I am still following the series. That leads me to believe that the quality of a story is what gets people interested, and not the expectations.

Now, people come in more different varieties than genres or even books, so I guess it is different for everyone. Still, if I can enjoy an erotic romance series, while usually absolutely despising graphic "love" scenes in books, then I guess that genre expectations, or maybe I should call them prejudice, can be overcome.

Avarel

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #25 on: August 26, 2009, 07:10:06 pm »
Genres are good for booksellers. It tells them where to put the books without having to read them.

Garfield

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #26 on: August 29, 2009, 11:11:54 am »
What? They actually manage to put books in order of genre where you are from? Here in germany most can't even make the difference between fantasy and science fiction, don't even mention the other genres ... It is quite sad actually, I usually have to dig through loads of crap til I get to the interesting books.

Patti L.

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #27 on: August 29, 2009, 11:30:12 am »
Not well.
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Avarel

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #28 on: August 29, 2009, 04:02:53 pm »
what patti said. they think they know where to put them, but most of the time I have to check sci-fi, fantasy, romance, teen/young adult AND popular authors (seems to be a catch all)

Garfield

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Re: Genre Expectations and conventions.
« Reply #29 on: August 30, 2009, 01:35:23 am »
wait a sec, are you saying you go to a book store and sort the books there?