There’s no doubt that every trend eventually fizzles out. Harry Potter brought on the wave of MG fantasy with wizards, fairy tale creatures and magical portals. Then Twilight marked the debut of the vampire craze. The Greek Gods and Goddess stories seemed to pop out alongside Percy Jackson. The Hunger Games drew attention to dystopian. There’s Fairies and Werewolves. And what about the remakes (classic lit or fairytale) with a new spin?
I think every writer asks themselves how their book will fit into the market place.
However, it’s never a good idea to write your manuscript based on current trends. Don’t write in a certain genre just because it’s ‘hot’. Publishing professionals can feel that coming off a query from a mile away. But if you happen to write in a hot genre because it’s a genre you’re well versed in, and sincerely love writing in- that’s a different matter.
Trends tend to decline after they’ve been milked by the industry for a year or two. By the time you find an agent (which can take awhile) and the agent tries to sell your manuscript to a publisher, your book genre will already be ‘oh so two years ago’ and, unless your premise is really different and unique somehow, you just might have to start from scratch.
My advice is to write the story you want to read but can’t find anywhere. But before you begin, MAKE SURE it can’t be found anywhere- check amazon lists with keywords. Google the premise. The last thing you want is to write a story that’s already been written and published. It does happen.
Also, it’s not so much the genre that’s the hook. It’s the premise. Paranormal and supernatural might be overdone but the important thing is that it’s STILL being done for a reason. Writers keep coming up with unique characters, conflicts, and journeys that have lovers of those genres coming back for more.
Figure out what makes your characters different. Figure out what makes their conflict different from anything else you’ve ever read or heard of. And I don’t just mean slightly different - like ‘my vampires don’t sparkle- they turn smurf blue in sunlight!!!’ different. There has to be more to it.
We are all avid readers and writers so I’m asking you:
What do YOU think the next big trend will/should be? What would you like to see more of? What genre are you entirely sick of seeing? What premise have you noticed being double and triple used in the last year or so? (For me, I’ve noticed a redundancy in the ‘bad charismatic boy is actually from the underworld and has come to take the girl back with him’. – I’ve seen this premise in at least four different novels in the last two years. Sometimes it’s a fallen angel, or a deamon, or the ruler of the greek underworld. But to me it’s all the same. Been there. Done that.)