Monday, July 11, 2011

The Ironic Truth?

I read a post today from Lisa Gail Green's blog Paranormal Point of View. It was called 'Should We Write To Trends?' and I have been thinking about this a lot lately because everyone's like "Why don't you write something that's on the market now?" When you try to explain that books take at least two years to even get on the shelf, they still don't get it. Even if agents pick up your 'trendy' book, in two years who knows what will happen!

It's almost frightening.

When people tell me to write what's popular, I also, almost always, cringe. I don't want to be the same. And most of the time when I'm looking at the shelves and all I see are black covers (thank you Twilight), I am sad and I wonder why there's this stream of similarity.

I know why. I just don't like the truth. lol.

I'm not dissing Twilight either. There's no sense in trying to find fault in other writers when we're all in the game together, but agents are all about the unique, the new--and yet the irony is, look at the shelves and all you see is similarity. Maybe I'm wrong...but all the vampire books...? And then all the characters are unbelievably handsome?

This all could be the mark of our society. We're obsessed with beauty. We're afraid of the unknown. Rich is good. And most of it is. For instance, superhero movies are currently quite popular. Why? Because we feel like we need rescued.

It's also a cycle--superhero movies have been popular before, so have vampires. But the world goes in cycles as well. This isn't the first recession America's been in, or the first time gas princes went up. Or the first for anything. People look to books for their happy endings since they cannot see the future for themselves.

What does everyone think about these trends? Do you see think the books published are unique? What is this definition of unique? 

Anyways, I'm gonna go write now. lol...and try to predict trends. :0


  1. Predicting trends can give you headaches!! I try to write stories that I'd like to read or that my students would like to read .. and I hope for the best :)

  2. I totally agree with you. How can we write something fresh and new and try to get it published if it's not "hot right now"? It's maddening, isn't it? Great post. I'm glad I'm not alone.

  3. I don't think we should write to trends because by the time you're published the trend could have passed.

  4. @ Jemi - great philosophy! :) I definitely don't think writing is about trends, it's about what you love!

    @ Emily - No, lol! You're not alone! It's just a scary situation, I think. People can make you fear your own writing! :/

    @ Donna - I agree! :) I wouldn't want to attempt to write for trends.

  5. Thanks for the mention! :D I honestly feel like we are starting to move out of that "trend". Two of the last three YA paranormals I read (new releases) HOURGLASS and CLARITY were refreshingly different. I really enjoyed them. I may be forever the optimist, but I believe we can break through with something a little "off".

  6. I saw Lisa's post too. It's frustrating. "They" always say, write what you love...except if you don't love what is selling, chances are "they" won't take your book.

    I'm not a "trend-writer" myself, but my imagination is definitely influenced by all the advertising :D

    Great thoughts...and I love all the superhero movies :) New follower!

  7. Awesome post Ashley! I think you are absolutely right. People can't just write something trendy and hope that because it is popular it will be picked up. Write what you know. Write what you love. Don't compromise your standards to make others happy. If you don't get published at least you'll know you wrote the book in your heart.

  8. I think the most important thing to do is to write what you know, which is to say you must write what is important to you. I agree completely with what you've said about trending books in the industry. There is only one Janet Evanovich. Why bother trying to write like Janet Evanovich? She'll put out ten more books before you'd even get to an agent. Respect! So the real problem is writing something new, something personal, and something true to you. Something you'd totally read and be interested in. That's your best bet.

  9. I'm not a trend follower! But I guess we need to create likeable stories.
    I think writing what you love would always work better than writing what you think someone wants to read

  10. I agree you need to write what feels right--not what's in. Great post!