Hunger Games New Ditz Lit Champ

May 16, 2012

With the success of the Hunger Games movie, and the resultant surge in the sale of the books, we are reminded once again of the dominance of Ditz Lit in the publishing market.

Ditz Lit takes many shapes and forms with some of the most popular ones being, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and YA dystopian. The primary defining characteristic of Ditz Lit is the painfully obvious manner in which it elicits emotion from its readers. All characters and situations are made as simple as possible so as to maximize emotional response, especially those of fear and anger. It is ideally tailored for the emotionally over-reactive teen reader.

Ditz Lit has always been with us and has always been a large and lucrative market. What’s changed recently has been the takeover of this sector by the teenage consumer. Success in this genre is now most easily achieved by reflecting a teen worldview, which often involves portraying teens as innocent victims and adults as merciless villains. There is some disagreement as to whether this is an overdue depiction of teen reality, or just pandering to the desire of spoiled suburbanites to see themselves as somehow deprived.

Not all consumers of Ditz Lit are teens. As proof of this, try surveying book bloggers to see how many of them have not reviewed the Hunger Games novels. There aren’t many. Ditz Lit is becoming mainstream and is crowding out all of its competitors.

Apologists for Ditz Lit like to argue that since it’s written for teens, it’s okay that it’s ditzy. That’s how teens are. Those who view literature as a means of spurring on greater emotional maturity are just part of that world of merciless adult villains. Under the Ditz Lit model, it’s not the job of literature to encourage teens to grow up. Literature exists to encourage teens to revel in their emotional immaturity and to welcome adults to join in.

With the massive commercial success of Ditz Lit, it’s becoming difficult not to get the impression that our cultural sensibilities are being increasingly defined at the emotional level of children. The movie industry has been on to this trend for quite a while. As the publishing industry becomes ever more dependent on movies as promotional vehicles, we can expect even more books to be fixated at the developmental stage of the high school years.

The more popularity that Ditz Lit has with readers, the more one might think that we need some subtle fiction to provide a counter-balance. Those who find maudlin stories about heroes and villains to be tiresome, should not hold out much hope. Through its sales numbers, this genre is coming to define the standards by which all literature is judged. Writers who do not pursue the mass market of the teen audience are often assumed to be somehow deficient.

It’s worth mentioning that the creators of these novels can scarcely be blamed for their prevalence. That credit goes mostly to the saturation marketing approach of the bestseller mentality. This curious concept of having so many different people all reading the same books doesn’t serve the literary marketplace all that well, but it does maximize returns for publishers, and for that reason is unlikely to go away any time soon.

The great irony of the success of dystopian novels such as The Hunger Games is that it creates a kind of dystopia for all other writers, who are forced to become tribute in a desperate but futile attempt to survive. That might make a good plotline for the next Ditz Lit bestseller. If so, someone else will have to write it.

Free directory submission sites


Got something to say?

Improve the web with Nofollow Reciprocity.