A few of the blogs I’ve read recently have started saying things like, “The most important thing to a writer is a reader,” and “You must write what will sell,” and “You must write what will appeal to a reader or you will never sell anything and you’ll be a FAILURE!”
But where’s the heart, the soul, and the passion of a writer who isn’t writing what they love?
The books that are written to a trend are obvious to savvy readers. Maybe the agents and publishers think we’re stupid, but we can tell when someone’s trying to rip off Twilight or Harry Potter and quite frankly, I’m not impressed. The rip offs will never be as good as the original and sure, some people might be duped into parting with their hard earned cash; but in the long run, they’re missing something. An essence. A passion. Love. Call it what you will, but trend-written books are never as good as originals.
So what do you do? Do you write to trends and turn out a bunch of similar novels that can never compare to the original (oh my god, where do I start!), or do you write what you want to write, write something that makes you excited and hope that a similar trend comes along in time to take advantage of that enormous wave of popularity?
Of course, I don’t have the answers, because I’m not a published writer. In fact, I’ve done both. I’ve written a short story collection of some generic paranormal tropes such as werewolves, vampires, fairies, angels, and sirens – but my full-length novels are a space opera about cyborgs and a high fantasy/paranormal series about magical creatures no one’s ever written about before. If I ever write something trendy, it will be by accident.
What are your thoughts? Would you ever write to a trend – considering it takes 2 years for a book to go from bought by a publisher to on the shelves? Or would you write to a trend and self-publish (faster turnaround)? Do you only write what you’re interested in reading, like Meyer did with Twilight? Do you hope a trend might come along that you can surf the success of?
- Write What You Want, Write What Sells: False Choice (ringingtruenovel.com)