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Friday, January 29, 2010

Do You Worry About Trends?

I'm sure you can name at least half a dozen books that feature one or more characters that would fall under the vampire, werewolf, wizard, faerie, fallen angel or whatever is hot at the moment category. Sure, it's easy because they all have taken the publishing world by storm. But do you find yourself trying to fit your stories into one of these categories because they are so popular?

I confess, when I was thinking of ideas for my first WIP, I tried to come up with a brilliant faerie idea. But I fell flat. Why? Because even though I have read some faerie books that rocked (Wicked Lovely and Wings), I'm not really that passionate about the subject matter. I mean, give me a good book with a cool premise and I will really dig it, but if it's not something I love, I can't think of anything to write about, much less something new and original.

So I fell back to a genre that I've always loved, no matter what. The good old dystopian (um, that didn't sound right, did it?). Anyways, you know the advice - write what you love, not what's popular. Folks, I started getting into dystopian books when I was in high school. Granted, I had to go to the adult sci/fi section to find them, but I devoured the ones that I could find. (Remember The Handmaid's Tale? Loved it!)

Well, now I've come across a few blogs lately that have said the dystopian novel is, well, hot right now in YA. I think The Hunger Games series is responsible for that. But, sheesh! Here I was thinking I was working on something relatively different and now I have to face the fact that agents are probably being swamped with this type of story. And at the rate I'm writing mine, the whole dystopian craze will most likely be considered yesterday's news by the time I'm ready to submit.

So what about you? Is your current WIP subject matter something that is considered trendy right now? Or is it something completely different? And how did you pick your subject matter?

14 comments:

  1. Nope. If I fall into one, oh well, I happen to be unique enough that I think my voice supersedes the chances of a sound alike.

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  2. No need, I think as a writer I am creative and unique enough to stay away from the norm. I would say if I am part of the trend sometimes that's not always a bad thing!

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  3. I think the second we think we've come up with a different, original, or not used in a long time idea, we end up being proved wrong. There are too many writers out there and too many books already written, to have a chance writing something totally new and different. Which is why I'll stick to writing what I love, what I know - and make this particular story the best it can be;)

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  4. I think about trends all the time. I'm not sure my book even falls into a category. Maybe historical fiction, if I really sell it at that angle.

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  5. OMG Melissa! Did you read my mind this morning? We have the same post, well, almost!

    I'm not a trend follower. I can't write about something that doesn't fill me with mad love for it! Lots of agents turned Nightshade City down, saying it would be a hard sell, not trendy! My agent sold it in 7 weeks! So my rule, no trends, ever! Unless of course what I'm in mad love with at the time happens to be a trend! :)

    xoxo -- Hilary

    PS: Here is my post twin! Too funny!

    http://hilarywagner.blogspot.com/2010/01/writers-are-you-trendsetter-or.html

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  6. Haha! You know how I feel about trends. They completely freak me out! But anyway, the dystopian novel...very new to me. I'm not even all that familiar with the term, although after you said Hunger Games, it seems to make sense. Has me wondering if my second ms isn't also dystopian. Weird. Man, not another frigging trend to contend with...Ha!

    Isn't it weird how this happens? You write thinking you're being original and then suddenly realize that everyone else is doing the same thing. Bizarre.

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  7. Trends never last. Good writing does. So no matter what, write well. I don't think my WIP is currently trendy - pirates - but by the time I finish it who knows.

    We're supposed to write stories we like. I assume a few others will like mine too.

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  8. I try really hard not to worry about trends. Because, if you're writing something that's part of a tried, it could hurt your chances OR it could HELP your chances... Ya know?

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  9. One day I came up with this fabulous story idea. I mean, it was fantastic! So original and unique, or so I thought. As you can imagine, I was pretty bummed out when I saw my unique idea pop up at the local book store a few months later.

    Trends are tough. They kind of scare me. I try not to think about it, it's the only way I can maintain my sanity. : )

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  10. Dystopian is hot, but I think that can work in your favor. I can't write for trends, like you, I just have to write my own idea, and right now, it's not that hot (trend wise).

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  11. Trends shouldn't matter as long as you write a great story - there's no statute of limitations on that ;o)

    Great post!

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  12. Don't fret! The story is amazing so far. Just keep at it. Dystopians will never die.

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  13. Not really, and I'm concerned it's hurting my chances right now. But I'm with you-- I have to write what I love.

    Also, I've always been enamored of dystopian novels!

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  14. I agree with Tina, dystopians never die. Also, it depends on the genre you are writing. Adults have less patience for "Copy cat" novels but MG and YA will look for some that's "Like" HP (as if that's possible to match) or "Like" Twilight.

    So its probably a good thing. There has to be more fad in MG and YA than adult fiction.

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