I have something I have to come clean about with my young adult paranormal romance, Emotionally Charged.
The inspiration for it came from two sources.
The first was a vivid dream. I often have awesome dreams where I’m quite lucid. Many play out entire storylines like watching a movie, but only sometimes do I remember the whole thing, and rarer again are they actually a storyline that’s still cool when I’m awake*. This particular dream gave me the ideas for the empaths and their powers, although they worked a bit differently in the dream. The empaths absorbed the emotions of others to fuel their powers, but they could also teleport. When there was a natural disaster, the high level of emotions would sort of suck empaths through a wormhole to the location (in the dream they called it Torrenting, heh). I decided that was a bit beyond the level of “supernatural” that I wanted for the story, but the rest of the dream was cool and I got a lot of the storyline, and even some quotes, from it.
The second source of inspiration for my story was based on me being sick of seeing the same thing happen in young adult novels over and over.
I had just read so many stories where the following happens-
- There’s an average high school girl
- She meets OMIGODSOSMEXY guy who likes her right away
- OMIGODSOSMEXY guy lives in super rich mansion-like luxury
- OMIGODSOSMEXY guy has a whole group of OMIGODSOSMEXY friends who “adopt” little Miss average high school girl.
- Guy and Friends often have some kind of supernatural secret or power which is all “ooh, dark and dangerous and our only possible flaw because we’re perfect in every other way.”
- Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
- City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare
- Switched (The Trylle trilogy) by Amanda Hocking
- Die for Me by Amy Plum
- Deception by Lee Nichols
I bet you can probably name others, too. For the record, I still really enjoyed some of those books. And I can see why this trope is appealing, as a variation of the “rags to riches” story.** But after a while the feminist in me started getting grouchy. Why always with the rich guys saving a girl who really was living pretty comfortably anyway?
My admission here is that Emotionally Charged is pretty much a blatant attack against that storyline.
My main character, Livvy, starts out in a very similar situation as above. Without giving too much away, the situation rears up and smacks her in the face for being a naive, selfish little twit and swanning off with a bunch of people she didn’t really know. The story is about her having to become the hero herself, and realising the outward appearances and riches of others don’t count for much. I tried not to make it too much of a heavy handed after school special, but it was fun to have a go at switching around that slightly overused storyline.
There it is. I’m glad I got that off my chest! Have you read Emotionally Charged yet? What did you think, was my attack on that sort of story obvious?
* A whole total of TWO dreams I’ve remembered have been complete, awesome storylines that I plan to turn into books. This one (Emotionally Charged), and another that I plan too write in the future, about dream magic, Lovecraftian horror, and soul mates.
**Disclaimer- ok, so Memory’s Wake has a lot of attractive people and a variation of a rags to riches storyline, you got me.