Being Trendy

Fads come and go. And then come back again. All the cartoons I watched as a kid are getting remade, though some are coming back as movies instead. Smurfs. Transformers. I saw an add the other day for a new Thundercats. And msnbc reported today that the Care Bears are making a return to TV next year.

The same seems to be true in fantasy. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to work in the publishing industry and have to sift through proposals. All it takes is one successful series and everyone starts writing a similar book. The prominence of Harry Potter brought about a host of imitators… And those are only the ones I saw. Remember the Lemony Snicket books? Every other book after that seemed to have main characters who were orphans.

Twilight and True Blood (based on C. Harris’ Sookie Stsckhouse books – which are really great reads, by the way) brought vampires boiling to the surface. Zombies and zombie mashups had their day in the sun the last couple of years. Even the Center for Disease Control got in on the act with a bit of fun on National Zombie Day.

Angels seemed to be making a flight toward the bestseller
lists, but I have to admit I havent seen much of that lately. I would anticipate we’ll see a big leap in epic fantasy submissions and self-pubications this next year or two, what with the huge success of HBO’s Game of Thrones and the upcoming publication of Dance of Dragons in a few days.

With the turn around time of a couple of years for traditional publishers, it’s really impossible to write to be on the leading edge of the next trend. And yet, people seem to try, forcing their story into a YA package, or stuffing a love story into their horror novel to improve marketability. But is that making the story more appealing to buyers, or ensuring a lack of readers for the next novel after they had to give up on a cobbled together debut novel?

What’s the next big trend in fantasy?
I checked my crystal ball. It said to ask again tomorrow.

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