Monday, January 5, 2015

The Divergent Maze Runner Games Saga Part III

We've written a few novels in our time, novels that have sold well and gotten acclaim from people that are not our mothers or close, personal friends. And through it all, we've dabbled in a few different genres. We've done post apocalyptic zombie humor, we've done literary satire, and we've even done a short horror story collection. And that's just our collaborative stuff. But one thing we haven't yet tackled is YA, or Young Adult fiction, specifically those teen thrillers that young and old alike can enjoy, such as the Hunger Games, Divergent, Maze Runner, and so on.


And for us, we just figured it'd be an easy paycheck since they're all the exact fucking same. So today we wanted to take you through our creative process* as we flesh out the next great American YA novel.

*drunken yelling

1. The Nobody That Saves Everybody

First off, we need a protagonist. Now, this can't be a buff, seasoned war veteran. That would be ridiculous. No, we need a puny teenage girl who's going to take down the entire muh-fuckin' establishment, and she's not going to do it with a gun or a grenade launcher. No, those kinds of weapons are for those peon soldiers that she's rebelling against. She needs to fight the system with something archaic and stupid like a bow and arrow, or throwing knives, or hey, I know, what about a slingshot?




Watch out, Big Brother! Your plated armor and assault rifles are no match for our protagonist's feisty teenage attitude!

2. A System In Which To Rebel

YA books are all about rebelling against the system, man, so instead of fleshing out something like a 'plot' we figured we'd just put them up against the meanest adults uh I mean government we could possibly imagine, who want to enslave teens and make them do housework uh I mean make them kill each other for our sick, twisted amusement.

And this will go on for hundreds of years, without question, until our protagonist steps forward and changes EVERYTHING.






3. So. Much. Angst.

Sure, there's going to be some kind of huge war going on, but at any given time that should take a permanent backseat to an angsty teenage romance that involves love triangles, forbidden love that is not to be, and an impossibly handsome, muscular farm boy that despite being built like a bronze god is never quite as good of a fighter as our puny teenage girl protagonist.

But worry you not, reader, what he lacks in fighting ability and overall personality he more than makes up for with sweet, sweet angst. Yes, that's right, we don't need a second protagonist, we need an angstagonist.






And in the end, the rebellious teenagers shut down an entire government with nothing but hand weapons and sweet, fiery angst, and they all lived happily ever after... until the next YA dystopian 'flavor of the month' book comes out. Then it starts all over again! Yay!

Cheers and stay angsty, folks!
-B&B

Beer: Sofie
Music: Jeff Beck




121 comments:

  1. The scary thing is that you could write that and it would sell big time.
    In reality you could do a parody. And better than the Scary Movie films.

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    1. Apparently they already made one of those terrible Scary Movie-style spoof movies called "The Starving Games" and it was absolutely terrible. Those movies singlehandedly ruined any kind of spoof/parody book we could ever write.

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  2. This is priceless. I have no clue about Maze Runner or Divergent but Hunger Games was really popular around my house for awhile until I pointed out how completely stupid it is that the adults were ok with this, and that it seemed like a lame version of the story the lottery. It doesn't help that both Katniss and Peeta are from here.

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    1. I loved The Lottery, which was perfect as a 10 page short story. The ending is a great punchline. But turn that into three 500 page novels full of teenage angst, and well... snooze.

      And of course adults are okay with this. An adult's only purpose in life is to make their teens' lives as miserable as possible because they thrive on the suffering of youth. GAWD, MOM.

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    2. I am surprised daily that my children have not written a story about the torture it is to live with me.

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    3. You can tell us all now that you make them fight to the death for your amusement. We won't judge you. We know now that all parents do that.

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  3. Those YA dystopian novels are still way WAY better than YA magic or YA romance novels. Those YA romance novels are the worst because they're giving weird ideas of interpersonal relations to impressionable idiots. I'd much rather have a thousand dystopian novels than one more sexy supernatural creature.
    Why is it always post-apocalyptic? Wouldn't a story set DURING the apocalypse be more interesting?

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    1. But the sexy supernatural creature is hot now. Just look at I, Frankenstein. "Let's make Frankenstein... but sexy!" Or Warm Bodies. "Let's make zombies... but sexy!" Reanimated corpses are hot now! And yet no one will pick up our screenplay about the "sexy mummy" that rises from his tomb to plow an average teenage girl who just has trouble fitting in at school.

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  4. It's scary that this is actually the plan for a perfect YA fiction. If you went with it you could be millionaires and that probably isn't an understatement. Who needs dignity when you have money amirite?

    At least in Battle Royale they explained that plenty of kids had tried to beat the game before but they failed, and they explained the huge psychological trauma put on the kids by The Game. Not everyone was a killer and a lot of people tried to fight the system and died, or just killed themselves out of desperation. Heck they had collars that killed them if they didn't kill anyone. I guess that's not exactly PG though. In Hunger Games there were literally no punishments for not playing other than "Oh well someone else might kill you because they're a fucking psycho because of teenage angst."

    Still Mythbusters proved that trees could crush an AT-AT so I'm not mad about the evil teddybears being able to defeat the Empire's machinery in Star Wars anymore.

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    1. Someone who actually read Battle Royale. Bro fist! And yes, I like that Battle Royale actually had a sense of control over everyone, whereas Hunger Games was pretty much just like, "Well, we're holding a public lottery and now you have to all kill each other, so that's just the way it is." You know, while a crowd of thousands stands before like 50 guards and doesn't do a single thing.

      Now... if only Mythbusters could prove that a bow and arrow can't save the world from a government army that has full body armor and assault rifles.

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  5. I wish I could barf up money. I could retire, goddammit!

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    1. I hope you barf up enough money for stomach surgery, though, because after a while that kind of thing HAS to take a toll on your body.

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  6. I wish there had been a vampire. Ancient vampires who go to high school and pick up underage chicks are sexy.

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    1. It's even sexier when they finally consummate their relationship and have such brutally painful sex that the bed shatters and the room is practically destroyed. The bed's a total loss, but the vagina's fine... man, those things are tough.

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  7. I don't know if I should laugh or cry, because this was spot-on!

    There seems to be about 3 different plots for YA novels that keep getting regurgitated with only the names being changed.

    And the impossible Hero Chick is not only prevalent in YA novels but even in the sloppy books and movies made for so-called "adults" today. Don't believe me? Here's a list of movies to watch:

    Any movie made in the last 20 years.

    Oh, and not just movies, of course, but TV shows too.

    It's just "Idiocracy".

    And it's not just YA novels, movies and TV shows for so-called "adults". It's Sci-Fi, too. Nuttin' but regurgitated plots and mash-ups of more famous stuffs.

    Wait! I have a brilliant idea! Why don't we borrow some from Star Wars and some from Star Trek and some from Battlestar Galactica, mash it all up and wrap it in a story about two alien cultures at war with one another, and two ace fighter pilots - a hunky guy and a hot chick - who team up in a Lightning Sabre Ship and take on one million bad guys led by the wicked, buxom cyborg Cindy Lu Who-A02.

    We'll sell forty million books and turn it into a Summer blockbuster movie with two more installments promised to follow.

    Damn! I must be a literary genius to come up with an idea like this! We'll call it 'Planet Wars: Book One'.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. That is brilliant! Can I steal that and write it as my own? Don't worry, I'm sure you can just come up with another one after a few beers and 47 seconds of thinking.

      Idea for book two: hunky guy is abducted by the enemy alien race, and Cindy Lu Who-A02 must risk her life to save him, only to learn that the two alien races aren't really all that different. Then she and she alone unites them in peace, because they never once thought about not fighting.

      studio audience: AWWWWW

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    2. I LIKE IT!

      Now, Book Three...

      The War Lordess, X-Box-69, whom everyone thought had perished in The Great Conflagration of 3336, somehow managed to survive (Surprise! She's Ba-aaa-ck!) and leads her Nazi-like SStarTroopers in an attack against the now-united alien races.

      Ace fighter pilots, Hunky Guy and Hot Chick, are forced out of retirement from their domesticated life, and have to defend the alien races against X-Box-69.

      The only problem is that there has been so much peace for so long that their old Lightning Sabre Ship has sat rusting in the backyard. So they have to quickly restore it with duct tape and wire. Thankfully MacCATver is there to help.

      In the first aerial battle against the SStarTroopers, Hunky Guy is seriously wounded. After Hot Chick saves his life with a duct tape and wire tourniquet, she goes on to fight alone against X-Box-69 and her SStormTroopers. Naturally she maneuvers her flying junk pile with masterful skill - the skill that only she possesses - and she conquers the baddies and saves both alien races... because that's just what hero chicks do, ya know?

      OK, the money is just sitting there waiting for us. Let's get to work on these 3 Books.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    3. Nuttin' but regurgitated plots and mash-ups of more famous stuffs.

      Stephen-

      I have heard an argument made (somewhat convincingly) that you could make that statement for most works post-Shakespeare.

      I don't even mind the regurgitated plots when it is done well, but that's getting fewer and further between....and you add to that remakes of movies that do not improve on the original (and sometimes are of an original that wasn't so hot in the first place-for example, not one but TWO 21 Jump Street movies), there's an awful lot of drivel coming out of your home turf.

      But your Cindy Lou Who-02 maybe pure genius...I'm thinking if you cast the blonde girl who was in that Abba movie, you have an instant hit...

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    4. I never saw the Abba movie, but "blonde girl" is a good enough description.

      Yeah, that Cindy Lu Who-A02, she's a real grinchy cyborg!

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    5. You had me at "blonde sexbot." Wait, someone said that, right?

      Delete
  8. YES, I can relate. My unfair society expects me to Pay Taxes and Wear Pants, so reading this steamy angst will soothe my soul. TAKE MY MONEY!
    Seriously though, I would buy and read that. It's already better than 101% of the moronic shows on TV, which aren't even meant for tweens. I think they're not anyway.

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    1. The "man" just keeps us down, and no one is willing to rebel. Will you be our Katniss? Will you take up your flimsy bow and arrow and say, "No, I will NOT pay taxes and put on pants! And you can't stop me!"? Because I'm a mindless grunt and I won't actually take action unless a strong female guides me.

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  9. These type of movies make me sad, what am I saying........really angry!

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    1. Knowing that there are folks my age, and even your own age, that are diehard fans of these movies... that's probably what makes me the saddest/angriest.

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  10. Yeah, but it's a guaranteed movie deal, so there's that.

    But I do like a lot of dystopian novels. Battle Royale is still one of my favorite books, and Z for Zachariah was one of my favorites growing up. Ready Player One (although it comes off as a 70s fan-boy's wet dream) was a pretty fun read. But, I've definitely learned to stay away from the dystopian YA trilogies. I'd find it funny trying to see the author find new ways to stretch out the plot if it weren't for the fact that I paid $7.99 for the damn book.

    But, I got your next big plot idea. Hear me out. The it's a dystopian future. Houses, shops, hospitals, everything is made out of paperback YA dystopian trilogies. Computers have taken over every aspect of living, leaving only dystopian YA authors employed. Some have tried to strike movie deals, but most just donate their publications toward construction. One day Tylisia decides that she's had enough, and puts her efforts into writing a mystery novel. The government then tries to stop her or something. She does something with the help of a sidekick or something and the future changes into something else. The End. You can send me my check in the mail.

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    1. TAKE MY MONEY! IT'S BRILLIANT!

      Don't forget that everyone has to meet Tylisia being "different" with mass resistance and mock/try to kill her, because characters in these stories are all one dimensional and firmly believe that being different is bad... until the end, when they suddenly realize it's good.

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  11. Uggg they are all the exact same thing and people flock to them over and over again. Like teenagers would ever really be able to do half that crap. I was soooo tempted to write one and then put out a second book that said "it was all a teenagers wet dream, the end" But not sure how well that would go over haha plus not sure my mind could handle the loss of iq writing the first one

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    1. I don't often use LOL but when I do I truly mean it. LOL. It really is a teenager's wet dream, which scares me that these things are written by 40/50 year old men and women.

      I'm all for underdog heroes, and I'm all for strong female characters, but please don't tell me that all it takes to bring down a cruel, totalitarian government with army grade weaponry is an angry teenage girl who's "different."

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  12. I know I might be mixing metaphors, but shouldn't there be a vampire in your story somewhere? Or at least "Dirty Hairy Rob Lowe" playing a werewolf?

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    1. Man, Twilight was so last year. People are over vampires. Now it's all about teen girls bringing down the government. Which is sad, because I'm sure having a vampire would help you out with that task infinitely more than a sling shot.

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  13. At least we can be thankful baby geniuses never caught on and babies aren't out over throwing governments between diaper changes

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    1. I wouldn't mind that, though, because then I could achieve my lifelong dream of punching a baby in the face without having any legal repercussions for doing so.

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  14. Seriously- thank you for writing dark humored twisted adult stuff because I sincerely do NOT get the thrill of the YA dystopian trend...for all the good reasons you pointed out.

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    1. We both like dystopian fiction, but something about having one teenager save humanity from the oppressive government while simultaneously landing the boyfriend of her dreams just screams "teenager's improbable wet dream."

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  15. Surely I wasn't this lame as a teenager. Yeah I hated the "establishment", but we were too busy getting high and listening to Pink Floyd through headphones to do anything about it. No, those books wouldn't have gone over Movies were our stock and trade. Cheech and Chong and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Those at least were based on things that could actually happen. God we were soooo classy.

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    1. I'd like to think I wasn't this lame as a teenager, either, but who knows? Our high school experience was a lot like yours. While the others were listening to Backstreet Boys and watching American Pie, we were listening to AC/DC and also watching Cheech and Chong. Dave's not here, man. Stoner comedy - so much better than teenage angst.

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  16. "Angstagonist." Yes, I think you just added a valuable new word to the dictionary.

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    1. I'm picturing even broader applications, like say, Sawyer from Lost. Someone who's not the enemy, but they're still a pain in the ass.

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    2. As long as he's devilishly handsome and only uses his sex appeal to hinder the heroine during her quest, why not? A true angstagonist does nothing to help the situation, only hold it back.

      "We have to kill the leader, Annifer! He's RIGHT there!"
      "I know, but they took Tomas! We can't leave him behind! I love him!"

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  17. [YA Fiction Publishers, reading this post]: "Damn it, Bill, they've cracked the code! They know the EXACT recipe for a best-selling YA novel series! Call it in!"

    [Secret Publishing Agent Leader at Secret Publishing Location]: (On the phone) "Sir, yes sir. Right away, sir." (Hangs up, and turns gravely to address the rest of the room) "It's as we feared, Ladies and Gentlemen. The public has figured out the dystopian novel formula." (Collective gasp of horror from the crowd) "It's all over. Time to start combing the Internet for the next big YA novel fad. Let's get to work, people! Remember when we took too long to act when the Twilight series cloning process went south? We cannot let that happen again! "

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    1. CEO: "Johnson, give me an idea! NOW!"

      Johnson: "Uh, uh, what about a sexy werewolf that has sexy magic powers? He's the new kid at school, and he hooks up with the nerdy girl that doesn't talk much? And no one knows he's a werewolf but her?"

      CEO: "Johnson, you're fired. Send yourself through the trap door."

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    2. Yeah, I would have pushed the Trap Door button before he was halfway through that garbage. Johnson is the worst idea guy ever! I bet he was the guy who came up with Jar Jar Binks!

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    3. He was also the guy that came up with Percy Jackson and The Weak Harry Potter Ripoff.

      His life is better spent as alligator food for those poor starving gators down at the bottom of that trap door.

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  18. I vote Yes on you guys writing a YA parody (series?). Imagine the rate at which dosh would flow in, what with hipster culture and people reading it "ironically" because they still think the real deals are the greatest. That's how marketing works these days, right?

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    1. Hey, we'd happily sell out like that. Money's money no matter how you earn it. Well, unless you earn it sucking dicks. Then in that case... pass.

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    2. Also hey (wanted to say this earlier, but forgot), this basically makes Caves (or at least the (intended-to-be) plotline with Warren being a dick and getting "overthrown" by Mitchell) a generic YA novel, right? Not sure how to proceed: mad amounts of dosh, or throwing away the pen forever.

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  19. YA is the only genre I've never read. Never will either, unless you guys write it. Then, it would be because you wrote it. I'd also read it to feed my fantasies of that impossibly hot blond hunk with kissable lips and stuff...to see him get eaten alive by the villainous zombie establishment before the angstopolypse hits.

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    1. I think "angstocalpyse" may be the best word I've ever heard for YA fiction. I wish we had thought of that prior to this post. Dammit!

      We've written many ridiculous things. We've written about a drunk janitor and black Elvis saving the world from zombies. We've written about the homeless saving humanity when the Internet goes down. But even WE scoff at the idea of a 90 lb 14 year old boy/girl saving the world from an army of soldiers with nothing more than a styrofoam sword/water balloons/whatever other stupid toy weapon they have them using in these stories.

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  20. With such formula . . . I mean talent . . . how could you not have a bestseller on your hands? Don't forget to add a clearing somewhere in there. All the supah dupah YA books have a clearing, specifically for that make out scene between to God-like-chiselled looking dude and the innocent sweet badass savior chick.

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    1. Oh, well of course! Wars don't take place EVERYWHERE. There's always sporadic clearings, untouched by man and beast alike, where angsty teens can go get their sex on. And don't hate! - it totally drives the story, you guys, OMG.

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  21. I guarantee y'all could write a better series than the Maze Runner, since you have mastered things like basic character development.
    ^_^

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    1. You know, we researched The Maze Runner books before writing this post, and were VERY surprised to see that for having 5,000 solid 5-star reviews all of the top rated reviews were 1 or 2 stars, stating that the writing was just terrible and the author is miserable with plot development. WTF? How do books like this A) sell millions of copies and B) turn into movies?

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  22. You forgot the all-important love affair with a vampire of werewolf-no YA novel is complete without it.

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    1. Man, bestiality and necrophilia was so last year. Now it's all about strong pretty boys that let the woman do all the fighting while he just stands around looking pretty.

      Progress has finally arrived!

      Delete
  23. I'm really all over the teen angst thing - and I mean all over in the fact that can we please get on with something else. To me it just seems all drama, Drama, DRAMA and Boring, Boring, BORING. I really wouldn't mind something believable, but all of this seventeen year old girl saves the world and falls in love at the same time is just getting under my skin like a bad rash.

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    1. Yeah, to us, that's one of the most ridiculous parts. A girl's embroiled in a war to save humanity but still has time to get caught up in some longwinded love story with the gorgeous guy who grew up in her hometown but somehow she didn't notice until a war broke out.

      You know, it takes a special kind of author to make a war boring.

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  24. As someone who's read the Divergent series and The Hunger Games series, I think I can explain the appeal (but that would get all serious on your funny post). The reason post-apocalyptic stuff is selling is because everyone knows the world is in the crapper, but most don't know why. So, it's actually not a stretch to believe that something really terrible is just "out there" and we all want to know what it will look like when the smoke clears.

    The reason the protagonists are appealing are because they are pretty much normal girls (for a teenager, that would mean a girl like HER). In Divergent, Tris doesn't fit into the social class her parents live in. She "failed" the test that should've placed her into one of the classes of society, and that makes her life in peril (right off the bat). She chooses the most gutsy of the clans for her own (which scares her and thrills her at the same time). She's not great at doing all that stuff they do (like throw knives and jump on and off moving trains), but she's brave. She's willing to try. She doesn't cry in her mattress every night. So, we want her to succeed. I think Veronica Roth wrote a pretty kick ass story (particularly given it was her first, something she started in college, blah blah blah). I didn't like every choice she made with this story, but the characters were always true to themselves. As a story progresses, sometimes you'd like to change a past event so your current event comes out the way you want it. Doesn't work like that...

    In The Hunger Games, Katniss is another unlikely heroine (which is damn appealing to a teenage girl who all feel like they don't fit in their own skins). She lives in one of the poorest sectors of the country, and the only reason her small family doesn't starve is because her father taught her to hunt for game (even though it's illegal). She doesn't want to start a revolution or change things for the world. She volunteered so her 9-year old sister wouldn't have to... which would have been a surefire death for her. Peeta isn't stronger than her or hunkier. Heck, he's the baker's son. His talent is that he's an artist. He decorates the cakes and such, but he really has a talent for art. So, he saves himself during the games by using his talent (he paints himself to blend in to the scenery after being wounded). And their "handler" who was played Woody Harrelson in the movie, and who won the games many years ago, knows that this really is a game in the larger sense. Everyone else is smarter, faster, and more willing to kill than these two. So, he sets it up so that there is a love story for people to root for and to make donors help them. In the process, Katniss and Peeta actually learn to like each other and we find out that he's always had a thing for her (even though she didn't know). And she begins to like him, too. And by gaining the support of the people, they actually subvert the game and change the rules. And by showing compassion for a little girl her sister's age, she gains the love of another sector (because everyone is forced to watch this atrocity). And she starts a war. She didn't mean to start a war. She just wanted to live. And that is why the books were popular. When unlikely people do amazing things, it reminds us that we can, too. Because we feel unlikely and not all that amazing. That's why people love these stories. It's why even though Gale is/was a better fighter than Peeta, I still hoped she'd choose Peeta in book three. Katniss was a lot of sharp edges and Peeta was a sandstone. We should all be so lucky to get someone who gets us and makes us just that much better than before we met.

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    1. Also... Gale much better looking and VERY hunky. Peeta's pretty average. And still... he's good people.

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    2. Oh now you've done it, you went and made the conversation all serious. Come on now! Why'd you do that?

      So we're both familiar with the Hunger Games story, and yes we did still have to make fun of it for being ridiculous because even if stories about people who are unlikely heroes is gold it's also funny. I mean, it's really no different than 60 year old Sly Stallone beating up 1,000 young guys in an Expendables movie. It doesn't make the story bad, but it is funny to point out.

      For the record, we're not anti-Hunger Games or anti-YA. We just think it's funny that once something takes off, like the Hunger Games, that a slew of knock offs have to follow. This is now the big thing. We mentioned those 3 above, but there's plenty of others. Off the top of my head, Marie Lu's Legend... we met her at a writer's conference. Chick is nice as hell. But her book still just screams "Hunger Games knockoff."

      This was lifted directly from her Amazon 'about' page.

      STARRED REVIEW from VOYA: Legend will give Hunger Games fans something worthwhile to read.

      FROM SARAH REES BRENNAN, author of The Demon Lexicon trilogy:
      [If] you liked the Hunger Games, you'll love this.”


      YA fads: where originality goes to die.

      A few years ago vampires were the big thing. Publishers rushed to find ANY vampire romances they could. Now they've been beaten to death and people are disgustingly sick of them. So enter the Hunger Games and the dystopian 'teens save the world from a broken system' fiction. The publishing industry is already saturating the market with it, and I'm sure in about 1-2 years people will be disgustingly sick of it as well. Then onto the next fad!

      So long story short, the Hunger Games is a cool story, but dear publishing houses, can we maybe focus on something else instead of beating the same story to death over and over again until the people are sick of it? I promise, there's other ways to make money that doesn't involve lazily milking a fad until it's dead!

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  25. Our love for the unlikely hero is rooted as far back as the Bible. Look who God chose. Abraham and Sarah: old and barren. Isaac and Rebekah: old and barren. Jacob: the younger son who cheated his elder brother out of his inheritance and blessing. Moses: a stammerer was chosen to lead the people out of captivity. G-g-gather r-r-r-round. I've g-g-g-got a m-m-m-message for you. David: an adulterer and murderer. Before that he was just a kid with a slingshot. So, never underestimate the power of a slingshot. Lastly, Jesus: child of a carpenter.

    In all seriousness, if you understand that people love an unlikely hero in any genre, you could write a YA novel. I bet it would be very good. I like YA for several reasons. People come with less baggage. Teens are (generally) more hopeful. Life hasn't knocked them around as much. Less graphic language and sex. Pretty much no sex is the YA rule. So, with sex off the table, it requires that there be substance in any romantic entanglement.... unless they are just put into a coma by looking at the other one.

    So, I say you should do it. Who doesn't want the money to pour in? Plus, you guys deserve it!!!

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    1. So if I'm reading this correctly, you want us to write about a teenage slingshot wielding Jesus? Because that sounds every bit as awesome as it is blasphemous.

      We might very well write YA one day (we have too many projects on deck right now to write any at present moment) but if/when we do, it won't be a fad story. It'll be a unique, breath of fresh air, with well developed characters and no needless angst... and because of that it will certainly be the best book that no one ever reads.

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    2. Oooh. Please write about a slingshot-wielding Jesus. :) :) :)

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    3. Okay, but only if he can celebrate each slingshot kill by doing the Carlton.

      Delete
    4. What I find amusing is I have a friend (a woman) who makes fun of me because I enjoy the Hobbit/Lord Of The Rings movies (she says they are ridiculous), but when I commented that the second Hunger Games movies was essentially the same plot as the first she got all defensive.

      The Hobbit was published in 1937 and is still in print, and still sells. I wonder if people will still be reading (or watching) The Hunger Games in 8 years, let alone in 80.

      I still think that series needed a vampire romantic lead character...plus a young kid in wizard school. And then we could have Catnip get bitten by a radioactive spider....

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    5. I just want to go on record as saying that I DID read the first 'HUNGER GAMES' book, only because I wanted to see what all the hoopla was about.

      The book was crap.

      ~ D-FensDogg
      'Loyal American Underground'

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    6. Stephen, I had no idea you were so well read. Or... I guess in this case... poorly read?

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    7. I want some of what you guys are smoking.

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  26. Ha ha, angstagonist! That's perfect. And in my romance novel, it would be a romangstagonist. I'm gonna go get on that right now.

    But in all seriousness, I think you guys could actually write an amazing YA novel. Your humor, toned down a bit in the adult sense, would be exactly what would appeal to teens and young adults. Just saying...

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    1. This is probably incredibly hipsterish to say, but I feel like if we wrote a YA novel with light humor, well developed characters, and a unique story unlike any that's out there right now that it'd be almost guaranteed to not sell. Books like that almost never do.

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  27. No vampires that sparkle?

    would make a villain people who love to see defeated.

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    1. "And then Katniss loaded up her bow and shot Edward through the heart with a silver arrow so strong it painted the entire village in his black, sizzling viscera."

      And with that, The Hunger Games was officially my favorite novel of all time.

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  28. Lol. Read it more then once and you do not have to purchase the rest:)
    I was never much into the newer books. Still a classic fan.

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    1. New books can be good, you just can't buy the bullshit trendy mass produced ones. In other words, BUY OUR BOOKS. THEY'RE NEW AND THEY DON'T SUCK.

      Sorry if that was a little too subtle.

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  29. By George, I think you've got it! With that formula of yours, you could totally write a best-selling YA book.

    Funny, but I never read YA when I was young. Come to think of it, we didn't HAVE YA when I was young. We just had... books... and my parents gave me free reign over what I read. But over the past year, I've read and reviewed a lot of books characterized as YA, and much to my surprise, I LIKE a lot of them. You're right about there being a certain sameness to a lot of them, though. I'd like to think young readers would like to read something new and fresh, but even if someone writes a book that'd fill that bill, I reckon a dozen other writers would follow suit in short order, and turn it into another same-o, same-o.

    Happy New Year!

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    1. Hey, it's true, if a story's good, a hundred people are going to copy the crap out of it. I don't mind if a story's retold... some say (even in this post) that all the stories have already been told in one form or another. I just care if it's good. And frankly, a lot of these Hunger Games knock offs are just really, really bad.

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  30. B&B:
    First off...ROFLMAO...!

    I think you might be on to something here, however...it all depends on how you decide to "pitch" it to those who can make you the most moolah.
    (I'm thinking a LOW AND INSIDE pitch might work...IF they're a lefty)

    I just wonder who found all my discarded (creative writing) stories from the 70s when I was in high school English class, and rolled them up into some MAJOR scratch ...LOL.
    (many of today's YA flicks seem written by peers...or younger)
    Can you say "puerile"?

    "ANGSTY"..I .LOVE it. Now part of the old lexicon.

    You guys never fail to get my week off to a smiling start.
    Thank you both.

    Have a great week out there.
    Cheers, and stay safe.

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    1. Low and inside? Man, that's beyond me. I throw like a crippled toddler. No wonder we never land those pitches. I can't even get over the plate.

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  31. YA doesn't interest me. Granma read all of these romance novels and they were so syrupy.

    In fact my first read of a "romance" novel was called, "The House of Borgia." Not teen material, but there I was in my favorite hiding place reading and wondering, "what the heck does that mean?" I'd ask my older brother and he was like,"where the heck are you getting these questions from?" The only way to get him to tell me was to confess about the book I "found" in the back of my Dad's underwear drawer.(True story.)

    The brother didn't tell me shit, except to say, "stay out of the drawer, 'cause the book is nasty!' Sneaking around to read this book became a mission. Imagine my surprise when I discovered there was a "House of Borgia, part 2?"

    I guess I got a bit off subject there. Go ahead and write what you want. You like arrows, sling a few. Pretty blonde boys - haul 'em out. But when you decide to market it, post on the book's cover: "Not for teens 'cause it's nasty." They'll read it every time.

    Question # 2 - how did you get that song link to post in the comment box at my place?
    Okay thanks.

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    1. If you want to read something really messed up, check out The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade*. I don't know what inspired me to poke through it, but that's the kind of thing that would make the Borgias look like a clan of showtune singing nuns.

      *do not. EVER.

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  32. The only YA books I've read are Twilight and Tomorrow When the War Began. And Animorphs, is that YA or just kids?

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    1. All of them are kids. Twilight most definitely included. You poor, poor soul. Did your testicles ever grow back, or did that story rob you of them for good?

      (We had to read it to make fun of it in a post. My manhood has since never been the same, and my Man Card was forcefully revoked)

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    2. It would have been good if you'd taken out Bella and Edward. Then it's just vampires fighting werewolves. But then again, that didn't make Van Helsing any good...

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  33. Is this why House and Spinner don't count as YA?
    Maybe Tib should have a slingshot in the next book? Or a... a... harpoon! Yeah, he can have a harpoon!

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    1. Yes! But only if he uses it against an oppressive, tyrannical government. Without that he'd just be a magical kid swinging around a harpoon, and well, that's just crazy.

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    2. Hmm... He could use it against the Angels!

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    3. I'm pretty sure a story about a child harpooning angels would be grounds for a book ban by the Catholic church... which, I hear, is just fantastic for sales!

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  34. I have an image of one of the undead freak twins who were in that horrible comedy with John Stamos and MacCauley Caulkin (how does one spell that name) playing in this film. I have not hungered to see that film(s). Love the illustrations and the beefy arms of the boy/kid. You should have your own film critic show

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    1. If we had our own film critic show we'd just be like The Critic. "It stinks!"

      I had to Google that movie reference, and I think you mean Party Monster? In which case I say thanks, I never wanted to sleep again anyway.

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  35. One of these days you'll find a YA novel about a mean mom who forced her daughter to become a brilliant mathematician and make lots of money. I don't know yet if I'll write it, or The Hurricane will.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. It only counts if the brilliant young mathematician rose up against her mother's tyrannical army and shot them all down with blow darts. All while romancing her dreamy new boyfriend, of course.

      Delete
    2. No, no, no. She realizes Mom was brilliant all along, after experiencing a brief period of angst, during which Physicist Boyfriend helped her see the truth..

      Delete
    3. Awww, that's very sweet... but here at big giant publishing industry, we're going to have to pass. Test audiences 18-35 want to see 110% more boobs and explosions, which your book has none of.

      We love your story, but please change everything.

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  36. Sooooo, where do I pre-order, like, I'm thinking, you know, like, maybe it'll be, you know, um, ready for next, um, Christmas…

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    1. Oh no, this stuff comes, like, easy! How's next week? Oh, wait, you mean the WHOLE trilogy? ...How's next month?

      Delete
    2. Um… like okay, I'll just ask mom for my allowance, like, you know, now. She's cool, like, for an old person - yuck… old sucks.!!

      Delete
  37. You've pretty much nailed it. Don't look at me! I write for middle grade.

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    1. And until Black Jack Pepper brings down an entire army with her bare hands I'm afraid we just can't take her seriously. :)

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  38. Love Mattheus' upside down box costume! You could cut the sensual tension with a butter knife in that poignant love scene! I would be first in line to buy an autographed copy of your Young Angst trilogy, or at least the 92nd!

    Julie

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    1. Will you settle for a stamp that looks like our signature? With all of that signing, I don't want to get carpal tunnel! How will we ever write the prequel and the pre-prequel?

      Delete
  39. That was hilarious! You've got the formula down for how to write a best-selling Y/A novel! (or 3)

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    1. Thanks! Maybe next we'll figure out the formula for a best selling romance novel. I mean, how hard could that be? We've already mastered angst...

      Delete
  40. You are missing a huge point. It is not about making money selling books by rehashing basic uninspired formulas, it is all about social engineering. Same with movies. They made like 20 during the 90s where terrorists hi-jacked planes. Were they shitty? Hell yeah! But it was about something else.

    Same here.

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    1. Oh yes, I remember Executive Decision. Those terrorists never stood a chance with Steven Seagal's smug, slovenly martial arts skills.

      So, in all fairness, to the publishing industry it IS about making money with easy, guaranteed sales. They're much less likely to take a gamble on a new, unique premise over a familiar, trendy one because they know it's a guaranteed sale, especially in an industry where they're losing numbers to publishers like Amazon and Smashwords every day.

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  41. So funny! I especially love 'this side up' :)
    I'm writing a trilogy, but it's not YA. Darn!

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    1. It's not too late to change it. And if you throw in a huge government entity that everyone's fighting against, well, that's just guaranteed money!

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  42. I was just mentioning to Pearson the other day on how much that genre has overtaken a certain thing (of which I will not discuss here) and how it would be tough for me to compete in a certain thing that is heavily overburdened with YA crap. So I thought "fuck it" I'll do it anyways and if I get voted out right away then I'll know the story might be pretty good!

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    1. I don't even say this jokingly; "fuck it" is one of the best attitudes you can have toward writing. Fuck the trends, just do what feels right and write what you want to write.

      Delete
    2. I second the "fuck it" attitude… and third it too!

      You Beer Boys sum it up nicely with "write what you want to write" and "fuck it" (I thought it sounded really cool to use "fuck it" at the end, for added emphasis - so I did) :P

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    3. Hey, sing it from the mountains if you feel like it. Fuck it.

      Delete
  43. You know what's even easier? Chick lit. all you have to do is pull out a Taylor swift song and write an entire book off of it. Bad boy meets good girl, they get on each other's nerves, eventually fall in love, because obviously. They bring out the best in each other. And then it all goes awry. They break up. Then somehow they get back together, and finally they live happily ever after. Throw in a school dance, And you'll have an entire hoard of pre-teens barfing up money to get your book. Ta-da!!

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    1. Good God that's brilliant. And with those, you can pump one of those out once a month. You know what also helps? Having the guy be a billionaire. Just go and search "billionaire romance" on Amazon. I have an old coworker who writes "billionaire romance" and is making almost "millionaire money" to do it... it's fucking bullshit. :(

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  44. Hilarious. But sad too because it's so damn true. I can't even watch Hunger Games, it's just too stupid. Now, if I could perhaps rake in millions of dollars, I'd toy with the idea of writing a YA battle royale. But, my weapon of choice: 15 year old girls the week before they get their period. Nightmares on two legs. Trust me. I have one in the house. A bunch of teen girls like her could overthrow this house in about eight minutes. Plot over. No sequel because I don't want to deal with that shit again!

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    1. So is it sexist to say that someone like Katniss is highly successful in her government uprising because she's just on her period? I mean, it's sexist, but... I'd buy it.

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  45. I'm pretty sure I read/watched this already. It was called the hunger games. No wait, it was called divergent. No wait, it was called the maze runner. No wait....

    (ps catching up on your blog now. Speaking of angst, my craptop broke TWICE in two weeks. Now that's some damn angst....)

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    1. Wait, I thought it was Stephen King's The Running Man? Or was it Battle Royale? Who the hell knows?

      (Welcome back! I eagerly await the day they make a laptop that doesn't break after only a few years of very light use)

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  46. Yep, you pretty much summed up all the YA movies that are out for the past few years.

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    1. And, sadly, probably a few more years to come...

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  47. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. Guys, this post was hilarious. I wrote a long comment and then it had all these weird spaces which drove me crazy so I deleted it. Anyway, these books and movies sell well as they go against the establishment. If the candidates didn't kill each other in the Hunger Games the plot would be lost as the government would just kill them. The end of story.

      David killed Goliath with a slingshot so you might be on to something. That story has been around for a very long time.

      Wishing you both a wonderful new year!

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    2. I kinda wish I had seen your long comment, but I also have a vivid imagination so I'll just pretend it was the longest, most elegant comment we've ever read, and it also featured a knock knock joke that was laugh out loud funny.

      Hey, David and Goliath, no one's rehashed that in a while. We could easily turn that into a bestselling YA series. So David is an angsty teenager, oppressed by the government of giants, run by Goliath, whose angsty daughter wants to help David, and...

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