Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I Spy A Trend.

Yesterday I came across a post by the awesome Mandy Hubbard. You remember Mandy, right? She was one of our uber-awesome Mystery Agents! 

Anyway. After meetings with a lot of editors (37), Mandy Hubbard ended up with a post about trends in YA/Mg/PB. And it's a goldmine of information. Click here to read it in full. 

I'm not a writer who chases trends. I'm not against trends, but I don't write to them. I write what I want to read and, usually, what voice screams the loudest until I write the darn thing down. But it's important to remember what's hot now might not be when you come to query. After all, publishing a book can take two years (by which time the trend that was on the way out could be back 'in' again). 

Does that mean you shouldn't write (or stop writing) that paranormal, dystopian, historical, sci-fi or *insert trend here* novel? No! 

It's important to remember that, trend or not, an original plot, voice and character will stand out regardless of the trend du-jour. 

Good storytelling is forever. 

What do you think about trends? Any thoughts? Leave them after the beep.



  1. I wasn't surprised to read what she said about YA paranormals and dystopians. Makes me glad I don't write them.

    I'd love to write a psychological thriller, but I don't know too many YA ones to study. My books tend to be more like romantic suspenses but not quite.

  2. That was such a great post, wasn't it? I don't worry too much about trends--I write the book that calls me the most, but still it is helpful to see a bit of where things are steering, and where they have been.

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  3. I was joking with a friend that aliens and space operas would be the next big thing (guess that falls under her sci-fi comment) since dystopian writers need a new enemy to create conflict besides society itself. I picture the dystopian novels shifting to the moment when the interstellar bad guys show up and begin to devastate the world. Or, the world is in disarray and the aliens are nice and help save the crumbling governments etc...

  4. Thanks for the link! Can't wait to read it.

    I have to write what I enjoy or I'd never get past Act I. We just have to hope for the best and try to make what we write our own. BUT, I think being aware of the trends is wise.

  5. My current project isn't a perfect fit for what she described, but it ain't bad either. I just need to get it done.

  6. I try not to think about them. Who's to say your plot/characters/story are the NEXT trend? :-)

  7. I confess, I follow trends. Not precisely because I have been working on the same project for almost a year now, but I pay attention to what's going on and sometimes that influences when I'll stop querying a project and move on to the next one.

    Someday maybe that trend-saturated project will have its day in the sun, but I think it's important to be aware of what agents and editors are seeing in their inboxes. After all, if there were twenty mermaid stories in your inbox one morning, which one would you choose? It's a tough thing for them, and good stories get skipped over all the time because of trend saturation.

  8. I wish there were no trends, but alas that is the way the market works. I just want a good story, that's all I ask for.

  9. That's a really helpful post. I'll pass that around to the people in my program. We've been discussing this issue.

  10. Yeah, I write what I want too, and hope that when I get around to querying my writing will be 'in'. hehe


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