by Deren Hansen
agent Mary Kole shared a note about trends on her KidLit blog.
pointed out that you'll always be late to the table if you write to
trends because it takes about two years to go from manuscript to publication and
what's hot now is practically guaranteed to be dull by then.
best, and most consistent advice is to write a story you love instead
of chasing the market because there will always be a market for a good
So as we write, driven only by the pure flame of inspiration, can we safely ignore trends?
For the most part.
I've talked before about meeting the market half-way.
In order to meet the market, you must have some sense as to where the
market is and where it seems to be going. For example, if you were an
auto maker, would now, with the price of gas rising, growing concerns
about our dependence on foreign oil, and a strong green movement, be a
good time to introduce a monster truck whose fuel economy is measured in
gallons per mile? By the same token, in a market glutted with vampire
stories, should you really try to do one more? Or is there, perhaps some
other under-appreciated paranormal type that sucks away your life (like
lawyers) with which you could do something fresh?
terms of market awareness, there's some value in being aware of trends.
But there's a big difference between being aware and following.
So is there any time you should actually follow a trend?
when you're currently shopping a manuscript and can use the trend to
help position your piece. If, say, you've written about sparkly, salmon
merfolk and their eternal battle with the were-bears, and if you learn
that an editor wants a paranormal fish story, you should waste no time
crafting a query that says, "I've got just what you 're looking for!"
Deren blogs at The Laws of Making.