Popularity influencing your work?

Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Fluffywolf, Jul 29, 2012.

  1. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    Pandering to popular themes can backfire - though you assume you're drawing closer to
    an audience there is actually a severing that eventually takes place i.e. when your
    time is up.

    Let me elaborate - I'm a frequenter of used bookstore - I love old 80's ya series
    which I collect and a couple of years ago the bookstore owner allowed me
    to fill a boxes for ten dollars a peice -from the ya section - but only the stuff she considered
    dated. All the 80's series. Although I was ecstatic, I kept thinking as soon as the shelves
    are clear all these books will be as forgotten about as Vicki Barr ( a crime solving flight
    stewardess - who had an uncanny resemblance to Nancy Drew. )

    I guess a writer has to ask themselves , am I okay with being a writer
    who follows a trend and could wind up after a few dusty years in an used
    bookstore - weeded out and forgotten about - ( except by crazy
    collectors. ) Or do I want to be a trailblazer.
     
  2. shadowwalker

    shadowwalker Contributor Contributor

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    Once again, I fail to see how taking one's audience into consideration is pandering. And frankly, those who are 'commercially successful' should be the ones who are most able to ignore them. Obviously, one has to write the story they want to write - but I have yet to see any comment which explains how that cannot be done while simultaneously taking into consideration the audience for that book. Who are we writing for? Just ourselves? We don't care if no one wants to read our work? We're all going to just post them on our blogs and if no one reads them, big deal? Somehow, I don't quite believe that.
     
  3. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I definitely believe you should look to an audience - but should you be looking to hook to someone elses audience , that
    would be my worry.

    The question was popularity influencing your work. I'll take it on the angle from uprise of fiction resembling
    hunger games or game of shadows -do you want to hook to that particular audience. Writers can say all they
    want that they're taking inspiration from a favorite genre - but are they? Or are they regurgitating what they've
    read. There would be no Hunger Games if the author hadn't stepped away from vampire fiction, There
    would be no Twilight if Stephenie Meyers went with what was in fashion ( the Cheetah Girls. )

    Part of being aware of your audience is knowing when a change would be welcome. That's what
    inspires popularity in the first place - being fresh.
     
  4. chicagoliz

    chicagoliz Contributor Contributor

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    I am taking the audience into consideration insofar as by definition -- by the very virtue of the fact that they are my audience, they are interested in the story that I have to tell.
    When I am interested in someone's story, I want to hear the story he is telling -- the story as he envisioned it. I don't want to hear the story I envision, because I could do that myself. So if author X starts spinning a story based on his perception of what I want, there is a pretty high chance I'm going to hear a crappy story. First of all, he might guess wrong about what I want, disappointing both of us. Secondly, I reiterate, that I want to hear his story, not mine.

     
  5. Hettyblue

    Hettyblue Member

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    You have to write about subjects, characters and events that interest and inspire you - however I can help wishing I was really inspired by Millionaires with shady pasts and 'playrooms' right now ;-) just to pay of the mortgage - but no, I cannot muster any enthusiam for writing a fruity book. Will just have to do what comes natural, stay poor and retain creative integrity [heaves sigh]
     
  6. Lightman

    Lightman Active Member

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    I think this is one of those questions that people aren't really qualified to answer about themselves. I don't mean to say that most people here are "pandering," but we're all more or less working with received aesthetic ideas. For example, take the oft-touted "never use another word for 'said'" rule. This is a relatively new aesthetic rule; it wasn't, to my knowledge, around in the 19th century (in fact, my impression is that substitutions were considered preferable), so its acceptance on this forum could be seen as accepting popular pressures. I know that's not exactly what's meant by the original post, but it still bears consideration.
     

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