Following a Trend or Your Heart

I’ve been on a reading frenzy lately, and all the books I’ve read have got me to thinking. There are some pretty big trends right now: Demons, werewolves, vampires. And while some of the novels following these trends are good, others aren’t. A couple years ago, I tried to do the same and wrote that vampire novel I mentioned once. It turned out horribly. I was forcing myself to plow through and finish something I really felt no passion for.

So, since I always have a habit of overdoing anything I start to speculate about, I outlined the pros and cons to following the trends. I did some research. But the truth? The big negative? The one fact that outweighed all the points on my list?

Trends never last very long.

That's why they're called trends. By the time you write and edit a good book about werewolves, land an agent, and the book comes out on shelves a year later, people could be sick of werewolves. I know I’m tired of vampires and am not planning on buying another book about them. So if you or I do follow a trend, it could make things much more difficult. Personally, I think it’s better to come up with new, fresh ideas to write about.

But anyway, just to be fair, back to the list, the positive side of it, that is. (Yes, I’m a very scattered person.) Some of the possible good outcomes of following a trend (even though I, myself, don't recommend it)! Well, first off, if you have a good book written, and everything happens really fast...

You could be really successful.

You could make the trend last longer. You could create some new elements about the creatures you’re writing about—a new angle—that no other writer has thought of. A trendy book could be really fun to write.

When you come right down to it, it’s really all about what we feel like writing. What feels right. As with all aspects of life, trends can be a good thing or a bad thing. What are you guys working on? Are you following the trends or your heart?