Saturday, March 23, 2013

The Next Big Thing???

   So as anyone else can probably tell with their eyes closed the writing world has trends and it seems like if you don't get your book in at the right time with the right trend it can get lost and maybe not even get the attention it deserves or even get some negative attention later.

   Case in point So You Want To Be A Wizard by Diane Duane, it was released over 16 years before the first Harry Potter book came out in the US but people who read it after Harry Potter claimed that it was copying what J.K. had done. Here we see a trend, wizards got a huge popularity boost when the Harry Potter years began and children looking for books like it probably stumbled upon what Ms. Duane had written and just assumed they were inspired by the Harry Potter books even if that wasn't true.

   I guess I'm writing this because of my own fear of the trends. I have begun three books in my writing career and two of them have followed popular trends. The first one I started to write while Lord of the Rings Mania was still sweeping the world. The movies were just coming out and everyone was gobbling up those kinds of books. Sadly it was overworked way too much like LOTR, I was trying too hard and it stalled which I think was for the better. I was in my late middle school and early high school years and I didn't have the talent to be writing something like that. I fully intend to go back to it once I have established a name for myself and maybe have some other things published first.

  The second thing I started to write was a vampire book....while Twilight, and True Blood and the Vampire Diaries were wildly popular in bookstores and in the media. I didn't do it because of those books, I have had a love for vampires since I was about 13, I just had an idea and I went with it. Sadly I realized that by the time I finished and published my book the vampire trend would be over and I would once again have missed my chance at having my book alongside those best sellers that were in the same vein. Once again I plan to go back to this book and maybe start the vampire trend again years down the road. I think my vampire book is a good concept; yes there is a vampire human love story but no one sparkles and I actually take a jab at a lot of vampire pop culture while staying true to the vampires Bram Stoker and Anne Rice created.

   The third and current book I really think could go the distance and the best part is no one has really had a run away smash with my current subject. The Mortal Instruments series has some of the same subject matter, like half Angel children, but I don't think its all that similar and I have a totally different tone than those books. Yes there have been successful books written about Archangels, hell I am almost positive that there are almost no subjects left that have nothing written about them, but none of the books have been as huge as some of the books that sparked huge trends....knock on wood. I am so scared that this trend is going to pop up and I am still going to be plugging away trying to finish my first draft and I will miss my window once again. That thought alone makes me want to quit my job cut myself off from the world and sit alone writing until I am finished so I don't miss what might be my chance to be the next big thing.

   This fear is bigger than my fear that I might not be a good writer, it pretty much trumps any other writing fear I have. I don't need to be the next big thing (though how awesome would that be) I just need to find the right window and climb in. So here I am plugging away knowing that one day I'll find that window and if not maybe another one will be open.


  1. I come via your comment on my blog for the A to Z challenge, but chose this entry to comment on as it really struck a chord with me (though I will also say your work in progress sounds intriguing based on your A & B day posts and I will be following along throughout the alphabet).

    I've had this issue myself. Worry over trends, on both ends of the spectrum... I wrote a 50 Shades-esque self-published novel that apparently was about 6 years ahead of its time, and I worry that my current project is too far into the mythological-YA-gods and goddesses type genre and I won't be done before that one fizzles.

    But ultimately, I think fear of that is something that needs to be ignored and pushed aside. I have to believe that good stories are good stories and will be published/read regardless of what the trends of the day are. It's smart to try to predict the next big trend and get a jump on it (note I say 'try' since actually doing so is next to impossible to do intentionally), but I don't think a person should ever let trends get in the way of their writing. It's easy to think "Oh, it's just another vampire book" (or whatever the genre of choice is at that moment) but if you've done your job right, it's going to really be "just another vampire book that's really well done and a joy to read even though everyone else seems to have moved on to zombies right now".

    There are essentially no truly original ideas, just original twists, and an original twist will keep people reading no matter what everyone else is reading.

    Great post, and I look forward to reading more :)


  2. Thank you so much. I'm really sorry I didn't see that you had commented until now! I always look forward to feedback and hearing when other authors struggle with the same issues. Then I feel a little less crazy, and a little less alone. I hope I can keep you interested. Feel free to read any of my older posts, they have a lot of insight about my characters and plot.