Writing to the Trend: Good Idea or Bad?

If you’ve read previous posts, you may be aware that I love fairy tales. Because I love them, that’s what I write.

Right now, fairy tales are very trendy. But that doesn’t mean you should write them if it’s not what you’re passionate about.

Trends come and go. It’s really important that as you work on you novel, you’re writing something that you’ll enjoy working on for many weeks, months and years as you write, edit, market and publish. It’s also important to note that the trends you see today (fairy tales, mermaids) were novels being picked up by publishers up to two years ago.

So, What Should You Write About?

Write what you love.

When I was in college, I majored in French and I minored in journalism and I frequently felt bad about it because, really, what can you do with that combination of degrees? (Plenty, it turns out, for anyone who’s wondering.) My parents, my dad especially, told me and my siblings, repeatedly, to do what we were passionate about. “Follow your passions and the money will follow,” he said. I have yet to see the second part of that come true, but the key is that I don’t care because I love what I do. I’m passionate about it and I’m excited about it. That gets me through the days where I don’t love it so much and I don’t want to do it.

How Important Are Trends?

Current trends should never be a deciding factor in what you write. If you talk to agents and publishers now, the things that were trendy a few years ago, say vampires and zombies, are things they do NOT want. (That said, they’ll probably accept one if it’s super different.) The point is, it’s not what they’re actively searching for.

It’s okay to go against the trend. It’s okay write something you love, because it WILL be a better book if you love writing it. Think about it. There were vampire books and witch/wizard books for decades. But then, different authors came along and they paved the way for new trends – and did exceptionally well themselves while at it. Similarly, dystopian-style novels have been around for decades, but they became a trend because one woman wrote a book that took the world by storm.

Forget trends.

Write what you love.

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  1. I so agree that you need to write what you love. Our enthusiasm and understanding of the type of stories we write are what give the edge and a chance at publication. Without that passion we will always be chasing someone else’s dream. Also, by the time something becomes a trend, it is too late to write about it because when it hits the shelf chances are it will be past the trend.

    • Robin says:

      Absolutely, Michelle. Passion is essential – whatever the job.

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