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  1. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    Novel Cycles(Works in print)

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by TwinPanther13, Aug 29, 2008.

    I was taking everyones advice and relaxing not trying to write.
    I went to Barnes and Nobles to Lounge and read( Have you ever noticed how perfect there ligth is)when I noticed that a lot of books in the sci-fi/fantasy section had vampires.

    Then I looked in YA/Teen and found a similar collection of varying vampire novels by different authors. Then I noticed that every immortal seems to be a detective in modern times.

    I guess what I am asking is this normal for there to be such cycles? I mean there are so many vampire novels I do not want to write one. I decide to look up my particular Mcguffin to see if it were widely used.

    It wasn't. Should we, in hopes of getting published, try to push ourselves to get works in before the onslaught of the masses trying to write about the same thing.

    I also saw a lot of books about teenage wizards with an amazing destiny while I was at Barnes and Nobles
     
  2. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    Oh, there are always fads. Something (Harry Potter, Jim Butcher, vampires) gets popular and everyone decides to imitate it in the hopes of catching some of the table scraps of fame and fortune.

    Other times, it's simply a reflection of the popular culture and the mood of the times. If you look back in the '80s, you'll see an awful lot of sci-fi material about how the Japanese would rule the hyper-technological future, usually complete with urban dystopias ruled by gang violence and corrupt mega-corporation overlords.

    A little further back, and you'll find that many sci-fi books involve peaceful and benevolent super-powerful alien beings who come to Earth and are misunderstood or not heard by most of the population.

    For a while, there was a fad for "modern day computer programmer gets sucked into Fantasyland" style books.

    So yes, I'd say it's normal for there to be cycles related to topical material or certain genres.
     
  3. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I'd far rather read a book with a plot or concept that's been done before and where the writer has taken great time and effort to develop the story and their style, instead of a book with a more original concept but quickly and shoddily written prose and underdeveloped characters and plot.

    Haste makes waste. It's futile to try to anticipate what's going to come next in the cycle; one should just focus on their own work.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    everything in nature is cyclical, so it should be no surprise that humans should 'run around in circles' both literally and figuratively... live long enough [as i have], and you see everything 'old' become 'new' again...

    as for the fads in book genres/subjects, keep in mind that after you have completed a book ms, it will be at the very least two years before it can reach the bookstore shelves, even if you snag an agent right away [which would be a miracle, in itself]... so the message there is to not worry about what's popular now... just write the book you want to write and deal with the current preferences when you get there...

    but if you are writing something that's like a lot already out there, you'd better make sure yours has something new and different to offer!
     
  5. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    I think its pretty normal for writers to follow the fads around them. Everyone wants to cash in on the popularity of Harry Potter or whatever is the latest big thing. I don't really fault this. Personally, I'm a believer in finding out all you can about what sells well, then writing and submitting to suit the needs of the market. But at the same time, I don't believe a writer should write something soley on the hunch that its going to be the next popular trend. Trends change quickly and by the time a work gets finished, chances are, that genre/angle will already be on its way out again.
     
  6. Scarecrow28
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    Scarecrow28 Contributing Member

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    I had no problem with reading fiction that follows fads as long as its well written. Like tehuti said, I'd rather read a good book thats following a fad that a completely original book that's terrible.
     
  7. Scattercat
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    Scattercat Active Member

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    The caveat, however, is that that doesn't mean one should go and write whatever the current fad is. The key to your preference is that word "good." A good book will have something about it that is original, something that took skill and artistry to infuse into the story.

    I would think that someone who is unimaginative or mercenary enough to jump onto a genre-fad just to sell more books is much less likely to have the spark of a really talented writer.
     
  8. Rei
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    Rei Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think you should write what you want to write. I'm sure a bunch of those vampire books were not written because vampires are popular right now. The author just wanted to write a vampire story. The fact that vampires are popular just made it easier to get accepted, and the publishers are putting more effort into getting their books about vampires out there.
     

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