Monday, May 21, 2012

Is too much of a good thing, too much?

You might be wondering what's gotten me to ask that question, well just this... seems like when anything suddenly becomes trendy (IE: Twilight, The Hunger Games) the masses jump ship and start writing nothing but YA. Years ago, Para Rom was all the rage and just about everyone I talked to was writing one. Even writers that traditionally only wrote contemporaries. Which inevitably meant the market got glutted, less and less writers were discovered in that genre and eventually burn out happened. Now you've got agents who are fed up with Para Rom. Which to me is sad, because I still love a good vampire novel. But you even mention the word and well... it ain't pretty.

So a couple years ago a new book kinda went global, Twilight (ever heard of it?) and suddenly vampire romance YA's exploded. Every. Where. Then here comes this bleak, dystopian tale of kids killing kids and now... it's also everywhere.

I'm not harping, because well... I've been very guilty of also following trends. Not thinking I am mind you, but an idea will strike and I'll think... why not? But here's the thing, it's sort of dawning on me.. once a book makes it the trend has actually already been in effect for 2-3 years. Say it takes you a year to write your book, get it all polished up nice and perty like.. well... now you're at 4 years behind the curve. Say, just say, all the stars align and an agent is still cuckoo for cocoa puffs (oh..hmm..sorry, haven't eaten lunch yet*blush*) dystopian society/vampire/erotica a la 50 Shades/insert trend here.. and they snap you up. Well that's just one hurdle amongst many. Now you have to convince NY that you're worth it. Say they do and they buy your book- but you're a newb author, so there's not gonna be much promotion for it and you're not going to get a quick release date *unless they're a start up company, which yeah... hasn't happened in oh... forever* You're looking at a potential release date of a year, maybe even two. Yes, I've seen it happen.

In the end, you followed a trend (knowingly or not) and you're now releasing a book 5 or 6 years after the mega hit came out. At that point the reader is sick of them, the market is glutted, and unfortunately your book gets no love and now the agent is wondering... what did I ever see in that?

(A slightly cynical what-if) But it could happen. I guess my point of this post is this... I love romances/UF and for two years now I've been trying to write a YA. Why? Because I'm a masochist, clearly.

I finished the 'YA', shopped it around, and got soundly rejected. I realize why... A. It doesn't stand out from the crowd, it's pretty much a been there done that type plot, but B. I'm a Fantasy/Adult Romance/UF YA wasn't really a YA at all. Yes, I had a 16 year old MC but she talked mature, she thought mature, and she got put into mature situations. In my case (and I can only speak for myself) I followed a trend hoping to get some recognition but my 'voice' is pure adult. I just couldn't make it work and I know I'm not the only one.

So write what you love. Forget the trend. Who knows, if you stick to your guns long enough you might be the one to churn out the next mega success. So here's hoping ugly pickle loving IT nerds who fight vampire trolls at night while learning to fox trot during the day will be the start of something amazing!... I can only hope. ;)

No comments: