Agent wanted more 'paranormal romance' in my novel
One of the agents who had my full m/s got back to me with a no but full of praise, though one thing she said piqued my interest. She said she wanted more of the paranormal romance element, less of the thriller / action. I've heard from other YA authors that this is being said a lot lately - this and a desire for gothic stuff too (one and the same, I guess?).
In your view (know it's difficult without knowing my book), what makes a book more paranormal romance and less thriller / action?
I won't go revising my book based on this unless other agents say the same, am just curious. Overall, happy with her comments and will see what other agents with full and partials have to say. :-)
I think you just answered your question - more romance, less action! It sounds like the agent wants the romance element to be more important to the story than it currently is.
Originally Posted by TrixieLox
It's good that she was full of praise for it otherwise, good luck!
Worried I'm going to run into this as well (providing I can finish my WiP and get it in shape). There is some sexual tension but no outright romance.
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Thanks. Yeah, it certainly feels like agents are looking for some good ol' fashioned lovin'! My novel started as that but then I thought 'heck, I better inject some action' as I was reading how strong plots and action are king and angsty love numbers aren't so hot. But now it looks like my first instincts were correct. Will see what the other agents say.
I've been torn on this too. Do I amp up the action and risk putting the romance on the back burner as a secondary plot element, or make the romance first over everything else. I'm trying to strike a balance, but it always seems that the action takes over.
Oh hey, I've been here before...
Well this is good news for me LOL I always feel as though I need to reign in the romantic side of the story in favor of action and suspense. But then I'm a hopeless romantic personally ;-) I wonder if this trend was in the works long before Twilight appeared or if that had a direct role in the change?
Hm, I'm hoping to inject a pretty equal amount of action and romance. So we'll so how that works. That's interesting, though - I was assuming that the paranormal romance market is getting pretty saturated.
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My feeling has always been what separates paranormal romance from urban fantasy is whether the most important aspect of the book is the relationships of the mc, or the other problems s/he may face.
Think of Twilight. Despite all the action going on, the heart of the book is the relationship between Bella and Edward. Which is one reason for its phenominal success.
Paranormal romance will almost always outsell fantasy, imo. That's why the agents want you to pump up the romance element. But books can and do succeed with a minor romantic subplot, or even none at all.
Really useful comments. Keep in mind this is a UK agent - she said in a recent interview that the UK is NOW starting to catch onto the whole Twilight / paranormal romance vibe (tch, if only I'd read that before I submitted my stuff to her ;-). UK YA is usually about the grittier stuff, straight fantasy or the chick lit stuff. So we're a bit behind you folks with the whole paranormal romance vibe. I've pitched my novel as an urban fantasy. We'll see, two other agents looking at it, will be interesting to see what they say.
Which agent was this, Trixie? If you dont mind me asking.
I've PMd you :-)
Originally Posted by Chanelley
Trixie- I just finished revisions on my YA Paranormal MS. My agent said I needed to decide which would be forefront- the romance, fantasy or horror b/c all three got equal time. I chose romance. So far, she's happy with it.
YA Paranormal: subbing
YA UF: revising
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I've run into a similar attitude in querying. My paranormal romance MS got over 75% partial request, while my edgy love story (with no paranormal elements) got only 1 request for full and 1 for partial despite sending out double the amount of queries.
practical experience, FTW
eh...seems like with the *success* of Twilight, more agents might be looking into the whole romance paranomarl genre. I, for one could care less about the sappy, naive, cruhses of tween girls. I mean, if it's a sexy, perfectly beautiful male they're looking for they need to watch the Soap Channel. Or The Hills. Something.
A year and a half ago, I wrote a plot outline for a paranormal novella whose basis was a love story. I wrote a few first drafts of another one last year, this one a paranormal/romance/comdey. One of these days, when pregnancy doesn't have me feeling so exhausted.....I can continue work on both of these. I love the whole genre of gothic/urban fantasy/paranormal. ONe of my favorite books that has the elements of modern fantasy and paranormal is Ron Currie Jr's, God is Dead. I wish I wrote that book....
I better EMO mine up a bit!
I think it really depends on the agent. All of the agents who I spoke to in regards to my novel said the reason they wanted to rep it was because it's not a teen high school drama, had very little romance and was non-stop adventure. I'd say, it's a personal preference on the agent's part.
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Yes, emo it up! haha. I like that. I might have finally found a home for my edgy teen romance, but we'll see. I'm a bit sick of the paranormal to be entirely honest. I like to read about real gorgeous boys.
Originally Posted by JamieB
Yep, my friend has this view too. She's like 'Trixie, leave your bootiful novel alone, don't pansy it up'. Ha ha! But fact is, it started with more emo angsty romance but I ramped up the action side cos of all the research I'd done which suggest that's what teens want.
Originally Posted by Blondchen
We'll see huh? Thanks guys.
practical experience, FTW
I actually would rather read books with action in them than books with romance in them, even if it's paranormal romance. Maybe it's just me, but the whole time I read Twilight I was thinking, 'make something HAPPEN already.'
I think the issue with my book is that the 2 MCs get it on too quick so have been working on prolonging the friendship / delaying the first kiss and already feels tonnes better. Anyway, some other agents have it now, promised to get back to me this coming week so will see what they think.
it's good to know that agents vary and don't use the same mold even though I've been noticing many trends these days. there are many paranormal/romance books and due to meyer, many vampire books.