Nothing New Under the Sun?
Are we losing our creativity? One television hit begets countless clones. Most don't match the quality of the original. Maybe because the originality is gone.
The same seems to hold true for the publishing industry.
Lately, going into a bookstore seems to be "Variations on a Theme." One author strikes it big, and everyone starts writing the same book. Right now, it seems to be paranormals. Everyone's jumping onto that bandwagon. (Except me, because I don't like vampires, shapeshifters, werewolves or their ilk. Maybe it's because I have a strong background in science, and can't suspend my disbelief that far.)
It's a bit strange, because I 'learned' to write by writing Highlander FanFiction, and that's definitely outside the science box. But as Dr. McCoy explained to Capt. Kirk in "Requiem for Methuselah", the immortality could be explained by 'spontaneous cell regeneration.' I could accept that. I'll also accept a teeny bit of psychic ability.
So, what's a writer to do about these trends?
Nora Roberts says:
I never try to forecast. I don't much care. What's important to me--as a reader and as a writer--is a good story well told. Trying to predict trends is as dangerous, [in my opinion], as opting to follow one. They're trends for a reason, and they come and they go.
The publishing industry moves too slowly to jump on a trend. It's likely to be a year, maybe two, before your book hits the shelves. Joan Johnston said she reads the entertainment media to see what movie deals are being made, because the movies aren't going to show up in theaters for a year or two. But if you can't write that genre, don't bother, because you've still got to write a great book.
Debbie Macomber, in this month's Writer's Digest, has an article on Trend Spotting. She gives 7 sources:
1. What's Happening in England
6. The News
7. The Internet.
You can read the complete article here:
So, are you sick of reality shows? How many variations of CSI do you watch? Do you see anything really 'new' or different in the new season promos? Or will you be doing what I do, which is reading a good book instead. As long as it doesn't contain those pesky werewolves.