When I first started writing, one of the key things I was always told is, write what you know. This, to me, was common sense. It is surely better to write about things, or locations you know, twisting and tweaking them into different places, but using the same base. Sure, you research and expand your knowledge, but to write what you knew made sense to me.
The other thing I always heard was, don’t write what is hot. Don’t follow the latest fad. Back then, back in the world before the writing revolution that was eBooks and self-publishing, this piece of advice made sense. When it could take two years for your next piece of fiction to finally hit the shelves, after having found a publisher to produce it, the fad you were following would be gone. Heck, timelines like that, the next two fads were already lined up for publishing while you were still chasing the original.
However, times have changed. The world has moved on and is a now a place governed by the instantaneous. We want to, and will not wait for anything. Correspondences, delivered in an instant, replies the same. Everything needs to be express, next day, same day deliver if possible. The same can apply to writing.
It is possible – and I am not saying this is the way it does go, or should go, it is merely an example – to write a story, edit and publish in, in say a week, after the writing process has been completed.
When you have turn around times that can be that fast, a few weeks, maybe just a month or two, if we are being realistic, is nothing compared to the ‘several years’ wait of before.
That changes the writing game. Fads, love them or hate them, are a part of our lives, they always will be. People follow what is hot. The only difference is, that now there is that much more opportunity to add fuel to the fire. An entry point, if you will. You can get your writing into the middle of a hungry pot.
I am not saying that this is a great way to build a career, but for all of those people out there, who read a book, fell in love with the concept and wanted to run with their own thoughts, the modern writing and publishing landscape could be a veritable goldmine for them.
Let’s take Fifty Shades of Grey as an example.
Think of it what you will, call it what you will, that book inspired an enormous fad. Everybody wanted to read it, and as such lots of titles sprang up covering the same themes. These books had always been out there. I know many writers, who were producing such books long before Fifty Shades was there. But the ability to write and publish books on such a quick turnaround, introduced a lot of new authors and readers, to a genre, or style of writing that they had never seen before.
The writing world has changed, it is still changing. Will the fad become the new way forward? Will it become an even more dominant movement, with writers flitting from genre to genre, keeping up with the times? Or will the fads end up dying out quicker and quicker? The market gets flooded too much, too soon, and like a car engine, it just says, ‘Whoa, slow down Timothy.’
Could it even be conceivable that writing itself could just become the fad? Everybody can write and publish, so what would be the need for such a popular single channelled frenzy?
What do you think? Are fad movements being strengthened or weakened by the evolving writing landscape? How can we, as writers look to use this, if at all, to our advantage?
I do have another post on this similar topic planned, looking at it from a different perspective, and that will come later in the week, but for now, I would love to hear your thoughts on the above.
Thanks for reading, and don’t forget to share this post around with anybody you think might enjoy it. The more the merrier, that’s what I always say.
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