Monday, October 29, 2012

The Most Underrated Genre is....

Lit Fic.

Yup. People say it's a tough market; it doesn't sell; it has to be incredibly, incredibly wonderful to be published traditionally.

Well, every book (we hope) has to be incredibly, incredibly wonderful to be traditionally published.

The thing is, Lit Fic is on the undeniable rise, and I would venture to say that, if done well, it is one of the most popular genres out there. (One of. Not the. DEFINITELY not the.)

"What?" you all say. "Lit Fic? What of paranormal romance, and fantasy? You lie!"

Well, here is the catch. Lit Fic is on the rise in one specific category:

YA Fiction.

Yup. I said it. YA Literary Fiction is on the rise. Teenagers have always been smart and strong; only now is the publishing industry really understanding that. And, most teenagers want to know how to navigate this world. That's a fact.

You've never heard of this genre pairing, I bet. I actually feel YA Lit Fic is hiding under the skirts of something called "coming-of-age" stories or "adolescent" books. (The Catcher in the Rye, The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and.... The Perks of Being a Wallflower.)

That last book recently made its movie (amazing, amazing movie) debut and is causing currents through the teenage audience. Almost every teen is talking about it; almost every teen has watched the movie. And, that book is an epistolary literary fiction novel. (I think.)

Teenagers are smart, and they want to know about this world even more than adults do because they are being flung off the cliff into the adult world; of course they would want to know more about know the world, and their frustrations are caught in YA Lit Fic.

YA Lit Fic is on the definite rise, but one must write it well for it to succeed; that's why there aren't loads and loads of Lit Fic on the shelves. Teenagers are experts at picking out false voices and phony messages.  It must be done well, but once done well, they succeed. Most of the most famous YA novels are in fact of the Lit Fic variety; The Catcher in the Rye, for instance.

Lit Fic is probably my most favorite genre... eh. I don't really have a 'favorite' genre. But I LOVE LOVE LOVE books with aspects of Lit Fic. If a book does not make me think in the way Lit Fic does, that book probably won't be in my favorites. I love Lit Fic themes -- I doubt I ever will write something without Lit Fic themes.

I do, sincerely, believe Lit Fic can become more successful in the adult market as well because there are so, so many more technical, 'adult' themes (like politics, health care, etc.) that can be explored. The current bubbling American social climate is just ripe for this. There hasn't been a 'classic' American novel written of this time period. Why don't we write it? It's amazing, this genre, and I'm just waiting for its rise.

So if you are a fellow tragedy, character, Lit Fic lover, don't give up yet. It's coming back; we just have to write something that makes Lit Fic come back. I might do a post on the Secret to making Lit Fic work later on, so subscribe, and keep in touch :)

Do you love Lit Fic? Do you feel there is a niche for it in YA literature?


  1. There''s a niche for just about every genre. I don't read any young adult books, so can't comment on that genre specifically.

  2. I read YA contemporary books, but I have no idea how to figure out which ones are YA lit or not. The ones you list make sense.

  3. I don't read a lot of lit fic... only when I have to, LOL! It's not my first choice---but I respect it a great deal. And I didn't think of you as a lit fic guy, SC. Interesting! I suppose it was the Potter stuff that made me think you're more of an UF guy. Very cool though!