Discussion

{DISCUSSION} Genre Overload

Have you ever read too much of a single genre?

In a previous week, we discussed branching out into other genres. After all, if we only read in a select handful of genres, there is the possibility that we’re limiting ourselves, we’re limiting our imaginations. Yet, as I’ve continued reading in my preferred genres over the past few weeks, I’ve noticed something along those lines that’s… a little curious.

I have been really trying to catch up on books on my bookshelf and the few ARCs or books I’ve received for review. Oddly enough, most of those books happen to be fantasy (even though I consider myself more of a scifi geek), but the truth is that much of YA leans heavily into the realm of fantasy. As such, it’s been flooding my TBR lately. While I enjoy fantasy and there’s never anything wrong with reading fantasy, I’m starting to notice a couple of unfortunate things.

1) Repetitive Plots

2) Repetitive Character Types

3) Repetitive Worlds

Now, I’m not saying I’ve seen this inย all the fantasy books I’ve read as of late, but there have been some trends. Worst part, it starts to seem like all the fantasy books are… well, the same. :/ I see too much of the same stuff across a variety of different fantasy books and authors and writing styles. This is awful because each of those stories is great, but I can’t stop myself from comparing them to the previous books I read. Or worse, growing excessively bored because it feels like a story I literally just read. But it’s not! *sigh* Yet, it’s because of this frustration that I have to ask myself:

Am I overloading on fantasy books?

I ask this because while most readers have a small niche of books they read, I know of very few (if any) people that read only a single genre. They at least dabble in a couple of other genres, right? That keeps it a little fresh, doesn’t it? Or perhaps I’m just reading in the same fantasy niche and that’s why? I mean, most of the books I’ve read have been high fantasy and it seems like high fantasy draws in a certain plot and certain characters. Maybe if I read a little low fantasy or urban fantasy or portal fantasy or something? I dunno.

Or maybe I just need to get my nose out of the fantasy realm for a while. Don’t get me wrong, though! I love magic. I love fantasy. But I think there comes a time when people just get sick of reading in a particular genre. (Personally, I get sick of writers writing about the same plots in that genre. Like… this is a brand new fantasy world and all you can come up with is a royal person and a war? Come on! Where’s the originality? Where’s the magical creatures and… I dunno, the depth!) Anyway! I guess what I’m trying to ask is, do you think it’s possible to just get tired of a genre?

What do you think?
Have you ever overloaded on a genre?
Leave your thoughts below!


And check out my discussion from last week:
Shelf Overflow

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57 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Genre Overload”

  1. Strange, I remember typing up a comment on this, but I guess WP ate it. ๐Ÿ˜…

    Long story short; I tend to read different genres depending on my mood, so I don’t get too burn out, plus I’m one of those who don’t mind predictability too much and prefer the emotional impact of stories. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See! And I know a lot of people said the same. They’re mood readers, but I’m not. :/ I also have a schedule I stick to to ensure I’m always going to finish a book. I don’t have the time to be a mood reader. :p

      Ah. I like a well-rounded story, I guess. So predictability bothers me (also originality. Though, I look at it coming also from a publishing stand-point. Too many books being published the same and the original concepts are being pushed to the wayside. You know? has personal issues with this :p )

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Of course, when you’re on a time crunch, I understand there’s no time to indulge the mood. ๐Ÿ˜›

        A well-rounded story is nice! Though I get the whole originality being pushed aside thing, since publishers want to publish books with a formula that already work and they don’t want to take the risk of originality flopping. The same goes with video games too, where a lot of AAA games are similar, and yet some of my favourite games are made by individual studios! ๐ŸŽฎ

        Liked by 1 person

          1. Yeah, thatโ€™s true. To tell you the truth, thatโ€™s one reason Iโ€™m hesitating about publishing (I mean, itโ€™s not like I have a current completed novel I could publish but still ๐Ÿ˜…), Iโ€™m a bit worried about being limited by whatever editors and publishers think will sell. ๐Ÿ˜•

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Yeah… it’s a difficult toss-up between self-pub and traditional. Self-pub, you can publish whatever you want, but you do alllll the marketing and up front money work and it’s very difficult.
              Traditional can be easier, but getting your foot in the door (and then praying your book actually sells well to meet the publishers quota) is going to be the hard part. :/ What do you feel more comfortable doing is really the key question here.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Yeah, thatโ€™s tricky. Iโ€™m comfortable writing free novelisations, and while Iโ€™m wondering if thatโ€™s the right thing to do, Iโ€™m certainly having fun with the stories, but theyโ€™re a tribute to my favourite games. ๐Ÿ˜€

                Liked by 1 person

  2. It is easily done with so much easy access to books in all formats.

    I wear two hats here.

    I tend to have a genre that I enjoy returning to as a kind of reset button, when I feel fatigued from reading other stuff, and here I quite like a familiar story arc.

    However, I also feel that OD feeling if I read too many books in any genre that all ‘feel’ the same.

    As an avid reader I’m always searching for that golden nugget of a book, the one which takes any genre and gives it a new twist or turn.

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  3. I definitely think there are certain conventions of a genre that tend to influence most stories, but I think the bigger issue is that in any genre there are going to be the few innovators, who really do it well, and the many imitators that follow in their wake.

    I once read an article that talked about how, in the wake of Lord of the Rings, there was a sudden and rapid hunger for more high fantasy, and to meet the demand many authors rushed to create their own epic high fantasy quest story, featuring some kind of powerful but mysterious McGuffin, and a shadowy dark villain who returned from a past so long ago most thought it was nothing more than a legend.

    I also think that many authors who rush to create something for the sake of creating something run into the problem of crafting their story around their audience, rather than building on an idea that came to them organically.

    I do believe in story diversity though. Often what I find helps is to spread myself across many authors, and many time periods. I think fantasy, like all genres, has its trends and fads, but if I go back and read fantasy or science fiction stories from 10 or 20 years ago, they feel different from what’s dominant today.

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  4. Totally depends on the genre I think. I usually stick to YA because it has a huge variety of sub genres, so I have yet to get bored, but I think if I kept reading the same sub genre I would eventually need a break. Sometimes I need a break from seeing other people read the same genre over and over. I honestly get tired of seeing someone ALWAYS reviewing “steamy romance” novels with half naked people on the covers.So, I know if I were always reading that genre I would definitely get tired of it, lol.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha! I could imagine getting tired of seeing reviews for the same types of books all the time, but I would like to point something out super quick. YA isn’t a genre. It’s an age-group. The genre is determined by the setting and elements of the story. YA simply means that it’s ‘geared towards’ a younger audience. Saying YA has lots of variety is like saying there’s lots of variety in books in general. ๐Ÿ˜‰ But you don’t read any particular genre, then, Adrienne?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I consider it a genre, lol. So does Good Reads, haha. I guess I do read certain genres, but don’t really pay that close attention when its YA. I avoid romance and erotica and sometimes avoid contemporary unless I am in the mood. I guess I read sci-fi, steampunk, horror, fantasy, and historical fiction.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Hahaha! Yeah… it’s a weird not-genre-genre thing. Some people consider a genre. Some don’t. And all across the professional and casual spectrum, too. Very strange.

          That’s still quite a wide variety. I don’t dabble enough in horror yet and historical fic tends to be a bit longer than I can handle at the moment. Though, I do love the genre! (Despite having hated and failed history class! BAHAHAHA!)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. It is strange and I can see why some people, like me, consider a genre, and why some people don’t. I consider it a genre because even if it is YA horror, YA contemporary, or YA Sci-Fi there are certain expectations when you see the term YA.

            I haven’t read a lot of good horror books yet, but I am on the hunt.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Mm. That is true. You expect certain tones, certain topics to be covered in YA. So I do understand it and I used to call it a genre too until someone kind of bit of my head on Twitter about it. >.> So, I try not to consider it a genre since every YA book does technically have a genre. YA is an age-group that lets you know other non-world-building aspects, you know? :p But everyone can decide on their own.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Very true. I totally see both sides of it. I hate that someone bit your head off for it though. Not cool. It’s one thing to have a good, well thought out or researched argument, its another to just be rude about it even when there are differences of opinion.

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  5. This has been on my mind a lot lately. I even attempted a post about it on one of the sites I’m associated with. You can burn out on a genre, and too many stories resemble each other. We’re lucky as authors if we can twist an element or two into something fresh. Redesigning everything is darned near impossible.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Exactly, Craig. Honestly, there are only 7 major plot lines in the entire world. So, every story is going to be a spin off of one of those, but it’s the details of the story and the world that make them unique. Well, that and the writer’s style. That’s a huge point. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  6. Well yes you can overload on a genre! That’s why I try to switch and read steamy adults then fantasy YA then contemporary adult then… If I have to read too many books of the same genre back to back I will only get bored except if I’m reading a whole series.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mm. I really should look at bouncing between age groups as well as genres. I don’t read nearly enough adult books, but they are generally longer and I’m barely able to finish a 300-page YA novel in a week. I’d never get ANY books read if I attempted to read adult. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ So sad.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well Melanie romances are not really long. I would dare say that adult romance are often shorter than YA especially fantasy YA. Maybe it has to do with the world building and all but fantasy seems inspiring authors to write long books LOL

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  7. I can definitely see how people can feel overloaded by one genre. I guess I just don’t feel that way (yet) because I used to read romance, recently started reading fantasy, have only read a few mystery books and sprinkle in some nonfiction here and there.Otherwise, I would probably start to feel like it was too much of the same thing over and over

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sounds like you have quite a good balance already, Rae. I wish I had a better balance, but there are quite a few genres that I just don’t even touch. This makes it a bit difficult to try and add variety to my bookshelf, but really the problem is that I keep agreeing to read books for people. >.< And they all end up being fantasy. Where’s the good scifi that needs review or horror novel? Come on! :p

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I don’t actually read paranormal. I have had some issues with it in the past and find it to be mediocre at best. I’ve yet to find a good stand-out paranormal and I’m not sure I really want to read the genre, at the moment. :/ I’m trying to branch more into horror right now. Why, you read a good one, Craig?

          Liked by 1 person

      1. I know you don’t touch contemporary often and honestly I don’t blame you haha, I’m enjoying the bits of dystopia and sci fi that I’ve been reading and I’m glad I stopped reading romance. But like you said, there’s gotta be a good scifi horror out there somewhere.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Seriously! If you find one, let me know! Or I’ll just write one myself! Hahaha! (My friend keeps telling me I need to write horror novels instead of scifi. :p I just haven’t ever plotted a full length horror novel before. It seems so daunting!)

          Liked by 1 person

              1. Good question. At least I know there wouldn’t be an BS drama and you would write a solid plot. But I did buy Mirrors and Thorns so when I finish my current series I’ll read your short story and see how I like your writing ๐Ÿ™‚

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  8. nope, never. i basically read every genre and i enjoy pretty much all of those (except maybe historical fiction). and since i am the biggest mood reader there is, i usually pick up the book i really want to read next. and so i vary in all genres, so that i never had too many books of one genre in a row. ๐Ÿ™‚

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    1. Well, I am quite jealous of you, Alex. I wish that I could bounce between books so easily and juts pick up whatever sounds good to me next. Unfortunately, I fear I have so many choices waiting for me to read them that I’d never know what mood I’m in to pick up a book. Hahaha! Plus, I like having a schedule. A pre-planned schedule seems to motivate me a bit more when it comes to making time to read books, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I try to read a contemporary in between the fantasy books I read. Especially a light, fluffy one. I find that it helps break things up and also helps me leave the world that I was just immersed in. I can’t always do this with reviewing arcs, but I still try my best and it has helped me a lot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mm. Reviewing ARCs is really the kicker to this problem (and is where I’ve been stuck a lot lately.) Either I agreed to review a book for someone or I told someone I would review their already published book (or my readers are expecting a particular review.) :p It makes it difficult because there seems to be a lot more fantasy novels that are out there and that people want reviewed than scifi, horror, or historical fiction. Though, I can’t do contemp. I really just can’t handle the fluffy storylines. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Absolutely. I OD’ed on Fantasy when I was in college. I had just read Lord of the Rings for the first time and I didn’t want to read anything other than fantasy. Eventually, it all felt the same. But each book was a little less enjoyable than the one before it. All the covers started looking the same, too. It was always a guy with a sword, or a sword. (a lot of them still are)

    For a long time after that, I absolutely refused to read fantasy. I went into a quarantine of literary fiction. These days, I’m inclusive of all genres once again. I’m still a little reluctant to browse through fantasy, but if I hear of a fantasy book that sounds really good, I won’t hesitate.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have noticed that, too! A lot of the covers start to have the same feel or aesthetic. It’s really frustrating, but it’s definitely something that the publishers are choosing to do. It’s popular. It catches the key and makes people pick up the book, but for those who already have the books… sigh Hopefully I can start mixing some non-fantasy in here pretty soon because I don’t want to go on a fantasy-hiatus. (More importantly, I really can’t since that’s half of my unread bookshelf at the moment. :p )

      I’m glad you found balance. I hope I can find it too. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  11. Definitely. I always try to alternate between genres for that very reason. I tend not to read a fantasy straight after a fantasy as they start to bleed into each other. Similarly if I have a book and an audio at the same time I make sure they’re different genres.

    It does occasionally happen that I have to read a few back to back due to release dates but it never goes well. I start to get quite fed up and frustrated and I suspect I’m much more critical than I would have been.

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    1. Ugh! Trying reading only fantasy for like… two months. I’m banging my head against a wall because all of the magical abilities and what not are starting to blur together. I know that they’re different and unique and most of these books aren’t even new, meaning they’re not just hopping on the trend bandwagon or whatever, but there’s only so much that can be done with fantasy. :/ And there’s definitely a trend of how fantasy stories should be written. sigh I hope to through another genre in there soon. I don’t know how much more of this I can take. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

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  12. I 100% know what you mean! I was in a YA dystopian phase a while back and at first I was excited but then the more I read everything started becoming the same and with each series I began I felt less impressed which is a shame because I’m sure they’re great but unfortunately my favor held with the first books in line that I read. Same thing with fantasy FOR SURE! When reading a lot of books in one genre back to back I start noticing cliches, similarities, and the stories become more and more predictable. It makes me harder to impress. Some of them are good stories but when read in a giant batch of sameness it all starts to fall a bit flat, I feel less interested, a bit bored, and definitely a bit disappointed. Which sucks because sometimes I can totally tell when a story has a cool idea but I can’t get into it literally just because I’ve been binge-reading that genre too much at the time.
    I think overall you can’t overload on a genre unless you’re binge-reading that genre in which case things will definitely start to feel repetitive. Then again maybe that’s how you find the true stand-outs of that genre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Reading in the same genre over and over again makes it really boring and you see way too many similarities between books. However, I have found that by being less fascinated with the magic and the world, I can hone in on the characters, the development, the pieces that really make the story good, you know? So, yes, it helps to find the diamonds in the rough, but it’s also dangerous because I might just be so uninterested that I can’t see the amazing story before me. :/

      P.s. Definitely did that dystopian overload, too. I think most people did. :p

      Liked by 1 person

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