Hello gentle reader,
On 27th September 2013, Publishers Weekly published an article about new trends in YA. Such articles appear every so often, informing us of what’s “in” and what’s “out” and attempting to predict YA readers’ future tastes.
Right now, Paranormal, Dystopian, Greek mythology, Sci-Fi, mermaids, vampires, werewolves and trilogies are not what editors are looking for. They are more interested in realistic contemporary fiction, thrillers, fantasy, mysteries and stand-alones.
As for what will be popular in a year, no one has a clue.
So what are we, writers, to do with such information?
Should we care about trends?
Writers wishing to get traditionally published should be aware of trends. Querying a paranormal manuscript with vampires and Greek gods in 2013 will only bring on rejections and disappointment. This is why writers are encouraged to read widely in their genre, and to stay informed of what’s happening in the publishing world (book fairs and specialised websites are a great way to find such information).
Should trends affect our writing?
Let’s be clear. I strongly believe you should write whatever you want, regardless of trends. Write that vampire book if it makes you happy: you will be honing your writing skills if anything else. Trends only come into play when you want to publish said book.
On the other hand, don’t try to write according to trends: your book will be out in 18 months at the earliest. By that time trends will have changed 3 times.
So what are we to do?
Write a book as original as possible within its genre, with an interesting plot, a great voice, unique characters and beautiful writing. Think about what makes it stand out from other books on the market.
This is what agents and publishers are looking for. This is the next trend.