Are cancer stories overdone?

  1. Yes

    1 vote(s)
  2. No

    7 vote(s)
  1. Libbi

    Libbi New Member

    Sep 13, 2015
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    Do you think cancer stories are over done?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Libbi, Sep 20, 2015.

    I have never really seen many cancer novels but today someone said that they are over done because of John Green's book the fault in our stars which I think everyone has heard of. They can't be over done from just one novel can it?
  2. Link the Writer

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Sep 24, 2009
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    Alabama, USA
    You'd be surprised at how a lot of people follow the coattails of a successful story (well-written or otherwise.) Do you know how many vampire novels we got after Twilight was published? How many zombie stories appeared after the success of The Walking Dead? And now thanks to Hunger Games, we've a plethora of teen dystopian future novels?

    There were plenty of cancer stories before The Fault in Our Stars (the characters call out and make fun of almost every cliché in those stories), but due to this one's success, I'm not surprised if there is (or will be) a rise of cancer stories to try and match the success of this book.
  3. xanadu

    xanadu Contributing Member Contributor

    Oct 21, 2008
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    Cave of Ice
    I'm not really a fan of the "overdone" label. Anything can be done and done well, regardless of how common or uncommon a subject it is, with good writing. That's kind of a hedge-y answer, but it's undeniably true. Things like cancer can provide incredibly powerful plot and character development, and it would be foolish to close oneself off to potential conflicts just because another successful author used it. Your words, characters, and story are going to be different, after all.
  4. Delrohir

    Delrohir Member

    Sep 16, 2015
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    As creative writers, a type of artist:superwink:, it is hard for us to wrap our head around the way that publishing is a business:superconfused:. We write for art:blowkiss:, but publishers publish for profit:supercheeky:. There's nothing really wrong with that how I see it, but that is the way it is.:superagree:

    If a new book makes wave:read::read::read:, other publishers feel it and see it, it takes their market share, so to compete editors will be encouraged to "nudge" :supermad::write::supermad: writers to write similar stories. Supply and demand, even in the creative industries what we see on the shelves is ruled by supply and demand.

    Back to the main question though- no I don't think Cancer books are over done, but I think cancer is a very emotive topic- it is after all one of societies biggest killers.

  5. Lyrical

    Lyrical Frumious Bandersnatch

    Jul 13, 2015
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    When I was a young teen, I read several books from the One Last Wish series because I went through this weird phase where reading cancer books really appealed to me. The whole series focuses on different stories of teens or kids with cancer. I also read one, not of the series, called Zink, which was really beautiful and compelling to me at the time. So were there cancer books before Fault In Our Stars? Absolutely. Will there be cancer books after? You bet.

    If you have a compelling cancer story to write, write it. Cancer affects everyone in some way, almost all of us know someone close to us who has struggled or will struggle with cancer in their lifetime, so I think there will always be a niche of readers who seek these kinds of stories.

    ETA: If you're worried that a particular idea has been done before, a quick search of "cancer books" on Goodreads will give you a quick view of many of the stories that are out there.
  6. ClassyCanuck

    ClassyCanuck Member

    Sep 25, 2015
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    From what I've seen I agree with you; there aren't a lot of cancer books. It is a tough subject to write about, and those that do usually go about it in four ways.

    John Green's way, in which he was inspired to write the book because of a girl he met who had cancer.
    The book Here & Now, that cover stories of people who survived cancer.
    Health books on how to get passed having cancer.
    A book written by a survivor meant to inspire others in their situation

    These are usually what you find when you come across the subject, but it is a subject that needs to be written about. There isn't enough books out there that cover all cultures and points of view on this topic, or enough awareness to what those suffering go through.

    Anyways, I'm rambling... XD

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