I want to talk a bit about trends in books. My novel is about reincarnation, which when I started writing was a very rarely seen concept in fiction- which is why I wrote it. In recent years, however, it has become a lot more common.
It’s a bit frustrating, that something I wrote thinking was unique and original is instead becoming what might be the latest trend. I imagine a lot of writers felt the same way about their dystopian works in progress when the Hunger Games and Divergent became popular, or vampire novels when Twilight was the Big Thing.
When I first started writing I panicked a lot about whether someone was going to beat me to it, write my book first and better. But I’ve become a lot calmer recently (although research for this post did make me hyperventilate a bit. There are so many).
I’m calmer not only because I have a publisher, and my book is definitely going to be published whether it ends up being passé or done before ten times over. Because I’ve come to realise that trends aren’t always a bad thing. People read what they like, and all these other reincarnation books are building up a potential audience of reincarnation fans for me to steal. Maybe they’ll read mine because the other books they’ve read didn’t quite hit the spot the way they liked (the ending of Cloud Atlas left me desperate to know why and needing more, for example), or maybe they just wanted to relive the same kind of story afresh (pun intended).
Either way, the ‘reincarnation’ buzzword can only be a good thing when trying to find a place for my novel. If reincarnation brings good book memories to mind- which with great novels like Life after Life around, it hopefully will- then people are more likely to pick up a copy of mine and give it a chance.
There will, of course, be some people who are bored with the idea, but the people who enjoyed the ‘trope’ of reincarnation will far outweigh this number (I hope).
And even if an idea has been done before, that doesn’t mean that when the right book comes along, it can’t sweep people off their feet. There were hundreds of books before The One wizard/vampire/dystopia book came along. But which one do people immediately think of? I’m not saying my book is going to be that book, but…I don’t need to worry just yet about it. Probably.
It also makes it quite hard to think of titles….all the good ones are taken!
- The point of this panicky post from the point of view of an author is that however much people hate on the idea of trends, there is nothing wrong with vampires or ‘sicklit’. Some people just want a good cry. It’s the same as watching episode after episode of CSI or Friends. They’re all the same; but that’s why you like them. You know what you’re going to get, and it’s just what you were craving. It hits the spot. It doesn’t matter if you’ve read other dystopians just like it. You want it anyway.
- Life after life
- The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare
- Cloud Atlas
- The River of No Return
- The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
- My name is memory
- The Gargoyle