Writing In Spite of Trends


October 13, 2013 by Ifeoma Dennis


So this week, first there was this article on Publishers Weekly that made the rounds on Twitter, followed by agents on Twitter tweeting about the Frankfurt Book Fair and how publishers want more contemporary, more middle-grade, more (realistic) thrillers and less fantasy.

First time I heard all of these, my heart went OMGOMGOMGOMG I have to finish my book fast! before fantasy becomes a dead genre, and history repeats itself.

History being my First Real Novel. It was a dystopian which took me the whole of three years to write- from 2009 to 2012. I wrote up to midpoint in 2009 and left it unattended for the most part until 2012. And by then, the trend was already gone and I’d missed out.

In retrospect though, I’m glad it wasn’t my The One novel (which I hope TSoTT would be). I read First Real Novel now and cringe at some parts (Ah, I like to think my writing has matured in the past year ;))

So back to my present WIP and trends.

It’s fantasy and it’s a thriller. But it’s first fantasy before the thriller part. So I have to hurry up, no? Because who knows if fantasy would be dead by this time next year?

I hope not.

But again, even though I’m perfectly capable of whipping out 70K in a month, I can’t rush this WIP of mine. For one, I have school for roughly 10 months in a year and have to make the best of every spare time in between.  And second, even in those spare times, now that my first draft is done, I don’t want to rush my second draft.

I want to take my time and make sure the story structure is solid, the dialogue is tight, the prose itself is well-thought out. I want to be proud of TSoTT. I so want to give it my best.

By the way, in case you missed it, I changed the title from DoT to TSoTT this past week!


So that’s it! I hope the day TSoTT is ready, it’d be good enough to convince an agent to take a chance on it, trends or not.


In other news, I’m reading Brandon Sanderson’s newly-released Steelheart which is dystopian (a genre said to be dead) and it absolutely rocks. Which goes to show a good book would still rock, trends or not.


8 thoughts on “Writing In Spite of Trends

  1. My heart sank a little when I saw that article, too, because everything I write has a fantasy element – contemporary just isn’t me! I intend to start querying at some point in the next few months, and it seems that fantasy was the one genre that was barely mentioned! I’m hoping YA fantasy will be the next big thing, but I guess no one knows what that will be, anyway! It’s not worth rushing to chase a trend – write what you want to and at your own pace. Good luck with it! 🙂

    • My heart sank too after I read it. But like Jayme said, no genre is ever dead. Any “dead” one is just waiting for the right person to come wake it up (which could be you!) 🙂

  2. Jayme says:

    I don’t think any genre is ever truly “dead.” At worst, it’s just waiting for the right person to come along and wake it up. 🙂

  3. When I decided to write a book, I originally wanted to steer AWAY from fantasy and deal with real-life events. I just figured between Harry Potter, Twilight, and everything in-between, the YA world was ready for some writing that was grounded more in reality.

    And then I started outlining DoT, and…well, you know the rest. Turns out fantasy is what’s in my heart. And really, think about WHY kids read. They read so they can dive into a larger than life character and be a part of an impossible world. So I have to agree with Krystal; the genre will never die. In other words, TAKE YOUR TIME.

    • Thanks so much, Jodi! I so needed to hear these words! I prefer reading fantasy too (even though I’m well into adulthood ;)), and don’t look at me like that, I know you do tooooo.
      Cheers to an eternal genre!

  4. krystal jane says:

    I saw the article, too. For a moment, I was a little sad. But fantasy will never die. The fan base is too large. It may not be “trending” at times, but there will always be a place for it, like there has always been a place for contemporary. And the article mentioned, too, that you can never predict where the market is going. I’ve never paid attention to trends. Contemporary isn’t where my heart is. It will always be in fantasy and I have to true to myself as a writer. Certain aspects of genres is what trends. Dystopian is an aspect of fantasy, like vampires. And those things will circle back into popularity again, too. There are plenty of publishers out there who ONLY do sci-fi and fantasy, and there are even more readers out there who only read in those areas, as well.

    So, yeah, definitely don’t rush anything. I always see agents encouraging people to write what they want because that’s when we produce our best stories. I saw the article more as an encouragement to people who write MG and contemporary. I think there is room for everything. And they really might need more contemporary MG. Last time I was in that section, I did see a lot of fantasy. On the flip side, I also saw a ton of contemporary stories everywhere else.

    Congrats on finding a new title you like! 😀 I wish I could another title. Lol!

    • Yes, I’m hoping this new title ends up staying! And thanks for your comment, it was nice knowing some publishers only publish fantasy! (how come I never knew that?)
      In other words, thanks for being encouraging ❤

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"Dreams can get you through anything."

-Cat York


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Writing progress


First Draft:

93210 / 90000 words. 104% done!

Second Draft:

40482 / 90000 words. 45% done!

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