Home > Writing and Poetry > Trends–Are You Going To Create One?

Trends–Are You Going To Create One?

Angelia and I talked in her interview about several of her books having a paranormal flavoring. This element, which used to be considered fringe, appears to be flooding the market now.

What with Twilight, Heroes, Harry Potter and all the others, a person might think that the only fiction read by Middle Graders and Young Adults centers on this area of interest. But is that the truth? Does anyone know?

Arthur Slade has the “steampunk” Hunchback series, which is doing very well. Simon Rose has his historically based, but fantasy sprinkled, books focused on England a couple of centuries ago. We all know what the Twilight and other series like it generate in the way of sales and influence over the market. It’s not like any of these books are exactly hiding in the shadows trying to go unnoticed. Oh, let’s not forget the aliens. They’re always lurking in urban areas of the world, too.

And I’m not condemning them, by any means. It’s just that I’m curious about the next trend for that band wagon so many wish to ride on. Over on the ICL Writer’s Retreat lately a debate has been fired up about just this topic. Some writers want to continue the trend of vampires, gargoyles and other mythical creatures.

Let’s be honest here. Those creatures have been around for centuries and some for thousands of years. Anything that could be written about them has already been done in one way or another.

But where can a person look to create something totally new to begin another trend that could get readers fired up? Well, if you listen to the “experts” on the subject, they will tell you that only a double handful or so of plots actually exist and everything written is a variant of one of them. If that’s true–and I’m trying really hard to not believe it–then everything that can be written, has been written many times over. No originality exits in the universe.

Whew–can you believe it? That’s taken a real load off my mind. Here I thought I had to come up with something totally unique and original in order to snag editors and influence readers. I’ll never have to fear that again.

What? That’s not so? Where did you hear that? I want to know. Those editors want original variants of the old plots? Are they insane? Even Hollywood is recycling old movies rather than risk money on original storylines.

See what I mean? There no rest nor justice in a writer’s world. So I have to find a problem that some little character has, suffers from, must find a solution for, and implement that solution all within 600 words. Tell me it’s not so. Tell me I can do “The Little Red Hen” with a couple of geese and a lazy fox. I could even throw in three little pandas looking for a new home while I’m at it.

This might sound a bit off the wall and exorbitant, but the reality is close. Those invisible makers of policy who decide what’s in and what’s out of favor will keep this paranormal trend going until all the life has been rung from it’s scrawny neck before moving on to something else. The same thing happened with talking animals and the like.

The odd thing? Kids still like talking animals. And parents have to go find copies of the older books in order to satisfy those readers.

There are other trends in the wings already for both children and adults. While crime and detective novels still do well within their urban settings for adults, try finding the same kind of novel set in the old west. Betcha won’t find any. You’ll find them in Victorian England, the old biblical eras and even in historical Asia, but rarely in our own Old West.

Why? Did no one really care about crime then or did they settle many of their own situations before a detective was necessary? Just wondering. Remember, any plotline that is plausible is workable.

I’m sure there were many mysteries during that historical period and there’s tons of material to use for background. So why no Wild, Wild West? Where are you Jim and Artie when you’re needed?

I’ll bet the Atlantians are out there in force somewhere. And the Lemurians, too. Ever wonder if native tribes had their own detectives. Wait a minute. Tony Hillerman did the modern version. But what did tribal groups do back in the day? Anyone know?

You see how it is. There are so many questions, so many stories that could be written with twists that could curl more than hair, minds and arms.

So what will be your next trend setting idea? Where will you set your next story and how will your MC behave? Will it be historical? What’s hot now and looks to remain so for a long while.

If you’re anything like me, these questions are planted now in your psyche where they will continue to foment and work their way through to your hindbrain where they’ll take up residence for the next decade or so, acting as chauffer and navigator on your trip across the minefield we call the writing world. Do try to remember your reference maps in the glove box.

Have fun and don’t forget to breathe along the way. Until next week and a new interview, a bientot.





Categories: Writing and Poetry
  1. March 19, 2010 at 10:35 am

    I don’t have any aspirations to start any trends. I keep an eye on them more just to see what is going on in the marketplace, but I don’t write to them. If I have something in the works or near completion that will go with a trend then I’ll move on it.

    I keep hearing zombies and angels are the next trends from editors. But even they don’t know for sure. It all just depends on what catches the public at larges attention and imagination.

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