Welcome to the second year of Authors Answer! We’re back for another year, and it should be an interesting one. All the familiar faces are back for this month. This week, we’re talking about the trends. Many genres and subgenres are quite popular these days. But would we try writing in those genres just for the money or popularity?
Question 53 – There have been a lot of trends in literature, such as zombies, sparkly vampires, and so on. Would you jump on the bandwagon and write a novel with a trendy subject?
H. Anthe Davis
Sort of? I have a plan for a semi-steampunk story/world that I’m already beginning to work on with my partner-in-crime Erica, though the parts I’ve focused on so far aren’t the steampunk ones — that stuff is more of a distant backdrop to the religious and racial conflict going on. There are also pseudo-zombies and pseudo-vampires, but I hope I’ve mixed things up enough that it feels unique. I read very little steampunk, since I have no affection for Victoriana, and I wouldn’t say that I’m doing it to hitch onto the trend — just that the emergence of the trend gave me an idea. As a generally oppositional person, I try to avoid treading on other people’s trails; it always gives me an uncomfortable shock to read work too similar to my own.
Tracey Lynn Tobin
I would definitely “jump on the bandwagon” and write about trendy subjects, but only if those subjects actually appealed to me. For instance, I wrote a zombie novel, “Nowhere to Hide“, but I didn’t write it just because zombies have been big for a while; I also happen to enjoy zombies and thought it would be an interesting book to read. Alternatively, I wouldn’t write about sexy, sparkly vampires no matter how trendy it is because even though I occasionally read that kind of stuff as a guilty pleasure, I have absolutely no interest in writing about monsters that aren’t the least bit frightening.
No, I don’t think I would jump on any trends. At least not that I could think of at the moment. I just would not how to write in a different genre then what I know. I’m afraid that if I tried it would across as either poorly conceived and executed, or it would only do well because it was formulaic and derivative. I don’t want to be guilty of either.
Paul B. Spence
Maybe I should, but no, and gods no about sparkly vampires! I may write, and have, something with zombies of some sort. I may even write a story or two about vampires, but they wouldn’t be what people expected.
Nope. Unless the trend was something I was already writing about, then I probably would. I tend to write about what I know best. Plus, I’m not one to jump on bandwagons in general.
If an idea came to me that included a current trend, I’d run with it. However, my story ideas tend to come at random and I’ve learned it’s not a great idea to force them into a mold just because it’s popular. Forcing leads to painful pulling of words from my head and that drains my ambition to write pretty quickly.
D. T. Nova
If I had an idea I liked that was inspired by a trend, sure. I haven’t ever felt any inclination to write either of those specific trends, though.
I have considered it, and tried in the past. The trouble is, by the time I’m ready to publish said novel the trend has already come and gone. I missed the dystopic bandwagon with Jasper. Short stories would probably work best for me if I wanted to keep up with trends.
S. R. Carrillo
I would never write a novel purely because it’s trendy. I only ever write what’s in my heart. It just so happens that my first novels are centered around demons and angels – but only because they’re my shit. Not because they’re trendy. Zombies, werewolves, faux-BDSM romances, etc. are not my shit. I will never be driven by trends.
Not unless it was a topic that interested me. I can’t see spending that much time on something that I’m not passionate about.
Gregory S. Close
I think you can never realistically chase a trend, because usually by the time the trend is at its peak it’s too late to start running after it. If you’ve already got something ready to go that fits the trend when the trend is still hot, then that’s more coincidence than chasing.
However, I have been toying with writing a really cheesy paranormal romance love triangle erotica book just to see if it would be lucrative. I just wouldn’t want to waste any real words or ideas on the project, so I’ve never pulled the trigger. Maybe a parody would scratch the itch and make me feel less mercenary.
Linda G. Hill
I would if I was inspired by a story that I thought could not only fit into the genre/theme but that would add something to it. Trends only go so far if everything that comes out is a carbon copy of what’s been written before it.
Jay Dee Archer
I wouldn’t do it unless I were actually interested in writing something in that genre. Trying to force myself to write something I don’t particularly like would lead to a story that feels forced. It wouldn’t be very good writing. I write what I like, not write what other people like. Even for the money, I wouldn’t. It would probably be such a poor job at writing that it wouldn’t sell, anyway.
How about you?
Would you write in a popular genre to get paid more, even if you don’t like that genre? Leave your answers in the comments below.