ndnickerson: (chuck-casey cut of your jib)
[personal profile] ndnickerson
So, I've come up with a survey for Nancy Drew book readers. It's short, just four questions, and it's just to satisfy my own curiosity. If you're interested, you can take it here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LS5PHBS . You don't need an LJ username or any other way to log in, and the answers are totally anonymous.

My rationale for this is behind the cut, because I don't want to bias responses. In fact, I tried to make the answer choices as non-biased as possible.

As [livejournal.com profile] littlemsmessy and other people I've met online/are friends with offline know, based on my fanfic if nothing else, I love the idea of an adult Nancy Drew series.

I'm a collector of Nancy Drew books, but the newer versions haven't really caught my interest. I don't own any of the Nancy Drew Notebooks or Nancy Drew Clue Crew, and I only bought the first five books in the Nancy Drew Girl Detective series. I've bought the first two Nancy Drew Diaries books and read them, and they're more like the Nancy Drew Girl Detective series than any other.

The Nancy Drew Files were my favorite books; I also love the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. The target age group for the latter was probably 8-12; the Files, I would guess 12-15, maybe.

Now, here's the thing. A lot of people out there read Nancy Drew books. A small percentage of those readers are now collectors, or older readers, but some collectors ONLY buy the books they remember reading; some buy the newer books as well, but that depends on the collector's taste. Otherwise, again, probably 8-11 year olds would buy the ND Diaries series, and above that, only specific collectors. And if the books themselves aren't good (and they really haven't been publicized very well), that readership will drop as well.

Simultaneous series have been run before. The On Campus series overlapped with the Files; the Clue Crew overlapped with the NDGD series. However, the On Campus series didn't work for a bunch of reasons:

• The books were no longer Nancy-centered. Nancy was an ensemble character and the books devoted a lot of space to totally new characters introduced specifically in that series, like Nancy's hallmates.
• The books were no longer mystery-centered, but more drama, relationship, and romance-centered.
• Nancy was no longer with Ned, for bullshit reasons.

(Feel free to add your own reasons, honestly. I can't reread them because they make me stabby.)

Here's my argument:

• Apparently people are interested in reading about an aged-up Nancy, and the company allowed it. See: the hideous abomination that is Confessions of a Teen Sleuth.
• YA books are hot right now, and the new ND series isn't even what I would consider YA. It's more pre-YA.
• More adults would read YA novels than pre-YA.
• Even more adults would read adult novels, because many adults feel that reading YA is beneath them.

I really don't think that writing a YA or adult version of Nancy would infringe on/harm the brand, because a series targeted at a younger age group could run simultaneously. The ND Files series ran for a long time—124 volumes plus, if you want to count them as well, the ND/HB Super Mysteries. I feel that the quality of writing in the later volumes did drop off a bit, and I've heard some complaints that the series focused too much on romance, but my irritation was when Nancy cheated on Ned with other random guys she met on cases.

Part of the reasoning behind the survey is to see what other people are interested in reading. I really, really, really would enjoy reading an adult-targeted Nancy Drew series, with a few caveats: it would really upset me if Nancy was with anyone other than Ned, and I would want the books to be well-written. Would my fondest dream involve professionally writing for that series? Oh, hell yes. I know other girls dream about being Nancy Drew, but writing fanfic has made me realize that I'd much rather be Carolyn Keene.

My tentative plan is to rewrite the hilarious hot mess of a plot from the first two books in the ND Diaries series aged up, streamlined, and better, and then submit that to Simon & Schuster. I'm sure I'll need to find out who handles the ND books, and I'm equally sure that doing this really won't end up anywhere—but the fun thing is that, in that case, I'll have a really awesome fanfic written. Unless, of course, I decide to take the plot and change the names, tweak it enough that it's no longer a Nancy Drew book, and try to sell it that way. But, of course, I have to write the thing first.

Regardless of whether I wrote the series, though, I would still adore reading an adult version of Nancy. Yessssss. :) And until that happens, especially if it never does, I have fanfic to tide me over.
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