For this thread to work, you have to suspend disbelief regarding one thing, and it's a very difficult thing: you have to assume the hypothetical author is talented--even a refined talent. Assume he or she is a skilled prose stylist with a masterful command of detail who has read most of the works of the master stylists of the 20th century. (No, this is not me as one who would make such a claim most likely wouldn't possess the talent to back it up.) Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's say hypothetical talented would-be author has a lot of ideas for a first novel, but none of them concern popular genres of fiction, and they don't target younger readers. Fantasy, science fiction, thriller, mystery, romance are all off the table. A character study with tragicomedic elements is a fair description (or something similar that reeks of pretense.) Now tell me, is it folly to attempt to get published for the first time with a style of novel that is not popular today? Does the unpublished writer need to play the market and write what is most likely to get them published, personal tastes or even self-respect aside, or could a book of sufficient merit stand on its own despite its less trendy subject matter and less accessible style? Said book only has to be published (and not self-published or exclusively e-published,) not become a best-seller. It doesn't need to allow them to quit his/her day job. I want to understand if such an author could hope to break through today without writing something he or she may consider fluff in order to first establish their place.