Monday, August 30, 2010

Chasing Trends

I read this post today, and it had a wonderful quote that I wanted to share:

“Write only what you want to write . . . Especially don’t listen to people . . . who think that you need to write what readers say they want. Readers don’t always know what they want. I don’t know what I want to read until I go into a bookshop and look around at the books other people have written, and the books I enjoy reading most are books I would never in a million years have thought of myself. So the only thing you need to do is forget about pleasing other people, and aim to please yourself alone.” ~ Philip Pullman

I 100% agree that readers don't always know what they want. I certainly don't always know what I'm going to like, and I can be VERY opinionated about books. I have picked up some of the most unlikely books considering my tastes, and found myself loving them--fanatically, passionately loving them.

For instance, how many people discovered they liked vampire fiction after reading Twilight? Or YA, for that matter? How many people don't like dystopias or sci fi but loved The Hunger Games?

I know of more than a few, I can tell you that.

So I urge you, fellow writers, keep writing what you love, whether you think it will fit the current trends/readership tastes or not.

Remember, trends come and go. Fantastic storytelling and compelling, fascinating characters will always be hot.

Now, I'm not advocating that you shouldn't seek to understand trends or follow publishing news and advice. That would be arrogant and probably stupid too. I'm saying don't go out and write a mermaid novel just because a bunch of agents said mermaids were the new vampires even though you want to write historical fiction and frankly you hate urban fantasy. Just don't do it. Don't let yourself fall into the trap of chasing trends. Don't give up just because your book isn't at the top of the "it" list of genres right now.

Besides, how do you think those genres got to be at the top of the "it" list? Somebody wrote an awesome book that helped spark a trend. And it could happen again :-)

Write what you love and create characters and a world you're passionate about and that readers can be passionate about too, because that's what I want to read when I pick up a book, WHATEVER the genre or subject matter may be.


  1. Good stuff. Last night Ares got into my bed (he does that once in a blue moon) and whispered, "You like me, don't you?" And I said I did, I just didn't think anyone else did. He left shortly after because, frankly, I don't deserve him at that point. This has really nothing to do with what you posted, except it kind of does. I'm just not seeking therapy regarding this issue. (Probably another reason he left.) I can't feel him very much anymore. He's out there, but... eh.

  2. Great post and very fitting for what I was feeling this morning. We're on the same wave length:)

  3. That's awesome - love the quote and the sentiment :)

  4. Yeah I've been feeling discouraged off and on regarding this subject. I needed the pep talk and thought I'd share :-)

  5. @Jaimie I think there are a lot of ppl who would like Ares given the chance to know him ...

  6. very true! i've never been trendy at all, so i don't even try. i hope that doesn't bite me in the bottom! seriously though, i think when you write about things you love, that inspire you, the quality of the work improves. it's like mama's cooking, the love makes all the difference! :)


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