Series: The Immortals #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 3rd February 2009
Genres: Paranormal Romance
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The first book in Alyson Noël's extraordinary new Immortals series. Enter an enchanting new world, where true love never dies...
After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people's auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone's entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact to suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school — but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.
Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He's the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head - wielding a magic so intense, it's as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she's left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is - or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she's falling deeply and helplessly in love with him.
How To Write Popular YA Supernatural Literature AND Defile Your Spirit!
Based on the popular YA novel, Evermore, and aided by countless more like it, I have compiled an easy to read and follow list of rules for writing a popular series and being able to sell out your soul at the same time. Does that sound too convenient? Well, it’s unbelievably easy to do if you follow my quick and easy program!
1. Create an ‘Outcast’ Heroine.
It’s important that your primarily female teenage audience can relate to your main character. So whilst you can’t have your main character associate herself with being cool, it still has to be obvious to your audience that she totally is. Now, Meyer’s approach of the goose-turned Swan-but was really still a goose, Bella, associated herself as ‘different’ and a ‘loner’ only to arrive at her new school and be immediately popular and accepted by almost everyone. Noel’s method is different yet in a similar spirit. Her protagonist, Ever, was incredibly popular at her old school and has decided to be an outcast because she feels that she can’t be accepted due to her psychic gift. She also has the ability to perceive someone’s personality through the colours that define them. So instead of aligning herself with the shallow, mean and popular crowd, she aligns herself with the shallow and mean loners.
It’s very important for your protagonists to be ‘different’ because today’s youth despise the sheep mentality and so they all strive to be unique. Since they’re all different in almost the exact same way, it is relatively easy to emulate this, with as little effort put into characterization as possible, in your female protagonist.
Just imagine they’re all Miley Cyrus on a bad day
As long as she shows no regard for her clothing, appearance or any kind of interest in giving a shit about anyone but herself she will easily pass with young audiences. It will be her ewniqueness that eventually draws the Perfect Hero to her as opposed to any of the usual elements such as: looks, hygiene, personality or determinable interest in the world outside their own arse.
Please also remember that she probably should be a reader, preferably of Wuthering Heights or Romeo and Juliet and that she should consider everyone around her to have inferior intelligence despite the fact that her reading repertoire extends to only a couple of books.
A noticeably absent family is necessary and a completely dead family makes for a better story because then she actually has a perceived reason to be a moody, antisocial, self-absorbed little bitch. Do this even though, in all likelihood, she would be all of the above with a perfectly normal family.
2. Create a perfect hero.
It is VERY important that your hero be perfect in almost every regard. Unlike the female protagonist who can disregard her appearance, he must not only be more attractive than a GQ model without any of the effort put into his appearance, but he must also be thoughtful, intelligent and mysterious.
In no way is he to reflect almost every teenage boy to have ever existed and he must have no desire to find a partner for himself who is in anyway comparable in looks, kindness, intelligence or perfection.
Just imagine they’re all Ian Somerhalder on a good day…
If he is a vampire or some such immortal then he must be ridiculously wealthy. If he is a werewolf then he is allowed to be poor but must make up for it with incredible bedroom skills.
He needn’t have a personality that extends beyond mysterious, sexy and in love with the female protagonist. Naturally, in this respect, Meyers, Mead, Marr and Stiefvater are something like overachievers – but if Noel, Saintcrow, Clare, Kate and Fitzpatrick are any indication, then we need know little more about the hero other than the fact that he’s gorgeous, has a secret and is in love. History, friends, likes, dislikes, family, passions, interests, hobbies and personality flaws are all negligible information that is taking up precious space in your novel. Especially when you could be injecting more drooling from the female protagonist in place of any kind of characterization for your hero.
Your book will sell better if the hero stalks, follows, obsesses over and actively pursues the heroine beyond any realm of believability. You could triple your audience just by having him watch her sleep.
3. Create useless friends.
It’s important to reiterate to the young adult generation that nobody other than the hero is important. Since domestic abuse begins with one partner manoeuvring the other to have limited contact with anyone else, we must strive to normalize this in literature. Thus the female protagonist shouldn’t have anyone close enough to her that she can’t break contact or eventually forget about them. It’s very important that her full focus, socialization and all of her needs are eventually devoted or met by the male protagonist.
To aid this, her friends must be selfish, vain, crazy, slutty, uncaring or in other ways undeserving of the heroine’s attentions and affections. It’s very important that she never call them on their poor, damaging and graceless friendship but must lovingly worry about them for the minimal amount of time acceptable to the reader before once again completely focusing on the mysterious hero.
4. Mix in a twisted, convoluted plot designed entirely to provide dramatic and sexy subplot.
It’s important that the plot, no matter how unlikely, must revolve around the hero saving the heroine. The villains do not necessarily need to have realistic or conceivable motivations for their actions. As long as the hero gets to save the day at least three or four times then your book will be profitable!
Please remember that the actual plot of your story needn’t truly begin until at least 350 pages into your story. The longer you can stall any interesting event occuring, the less thinking you will actually need to do.
Plus – FOR FREE – extras to help ‘improve’ your novel, the bottom line of your sales, and the expedient destruction of your soul.
-How to create a senseless mythology.
Mythology is more of a concept rather than something that needs to be respected or honoured. Vampires don’t need to refrain from daylight and angels no longer need to “fall” for good they can now be redeemed like us! The good news is that creating your own mythology, disregarding anything written before, allows you to twist and bastardize the plot beyond any recognizably interesting concept!
-Explanations as to why research could actually DAMAGE your profit!
Research takes time, energy and intelligence. Why do it? You’ve got ten fingers (presumably) and an attention span that extends past anything that could be compared to a gnat (even if it is only barely). Simply make it up as you go! For example: Ever is psychic. Research may tell us that this has something to do with receiving visions of the future or possibly commnicating with ghosts. Yet research is boring. Instead, she is imbued with the following powers that we guess can kind of be put under a psychic umbrella if we force enough information and logic out of our brains first: Mind reading, visions of near-present and future, personal life knowledge of any person she physically touches, seeing ghosts, seeing auras, literary osmosis from touching any written object, drawing the answers from any written question placed before her and any other supernatural abilities that seem convenient at the time.
-Detailed observations on why the Deus Ex Machina rocks.
Tying together a plot, even if you work to keep it as non-complicated or infantile as possible, is hard! It’s much easier to ignore tying together a number of plot points in any believable fashion and instead rely on some Deus Ex Machina to come in and take care of thoughtful planning for you!
-How to expand one, nonsensical idea into a series and why this is more profitable than originality!
Last, but not least! Ensure that your story is somewhat open ended so that you can create a series out of it! Research shows that people, even if they are intelligent enough to see that you’re writing is becoming progressively shittier and nonsensical, will often still purchase books in the series in order to find out what happens. So rather than creating a new story with new characters, simply beat the same old horse (it needn’t really be a horse – simply a pile of shit that’s been forced into a horse-like shape) for at least three or more books in order to squeeze every last cent out of the franchise that you can!
Couldn’t have written it better myself.
(especially the last part about seemingly intelligent people continuing to read the series… why did I finish reading this? I could feel my brain rotting, but I want to see how it ended. At least I borrowed all of them from the local library…)
Oh, you forgot the most important point. The plot for the series has to revolve around whether hero and heroine actually get laid by the end of said series.
I love the the extras, “Explanations as to why research could actually DAMAGE your profit!”. Just too funny !!
I agree with mostly everything here, but I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing to create your own mythology, of course, if you keep it at a realistic level. You have to decide on your rules and not change them, and make sure your vampires, werewolves, whatever, have flaws. See, Twilight could have been a lot better if something actually bad happened to the vampires in sunlight, or in rain for that matter, I don’t care when they are weak, as long as it HAPPENS.
When it comes to Ever, I agree she is way too powerful. I think the book could have been so much better if her only supernatural power was, say, seeing ghosts. That she kept seeing her sister Riley and it drove her mad, and that’s why she was hiding. Of course, we would also need a better plot than “save Ever cuz we’re ttly meant to be together cuz she always dies dat bitch,” but I think only the seeing ghost powers would have been a good start. Hey, I just had an idea; what if she made up for the lacking supernatural powers with actual, natural powers, as in maybe a personality! I bet that’s why she has to be so powerful, because if she wasn’t, she’d just be an empty shell.
*Slow clapping* All the praises!
Ayanami Faerudo recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday (124)
I linked to your review in my review of the same book, just letting you know.
If you in any way object to the link, I’ll remove it immediately.
Let’s talk tropes | 501 Realizations
[…] The other day, I read this review of Evermore and sadly, it’s pretty accurate. http://cuddlebuggery.com/blog/2010/08/24/review-evermore-by-alyson-noel/ […]
Honestly, now I want to try this and see if I can write a shitty YA myself.