Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How much is too much?

I visit Romancing The Blog daily.
Yesterday's post
and specifically some of the links got me to thinking: When is a lot of information too much information? When does an author learn enough to help and when does it become overpowering? Or seem as if the only way to publish is to slavishly follow the trends?

I've also seen too many authors who have a story and who will try to twist that story depending on what's hot at the moment. Vampires are hot? I can make my hero a vampire. Romantic suspense is this year's golden goose? I can throw in some more suspense.

I just about get hives when I hear that sort of comment, because editors and agents (and yes, other writers) can practically smell that sort of thing and it ain't gonna fly.

I'm not saying ignore trends -- there are many successful authors who jump on the various bandwagons. But if you want to write with a trend in mind, don't think you just stick a glossy trendy element in your story and call it a day. If your hero is a vampire, the fact that he's a vampire has to affect his character on several levels, the action, reactions, the decisions the characters make, the dialogue, the descriptions -- in short, everything in the book. He shouldn't just seem a little moody and occasionally take a sip of blood.


Crystal-Rain Love said...

LOL! This post got me thinking to my first attempt at romance. I basically took different pieces from different genres and tried to smash them all together in attempt to write what was popular out there. Needless to say, that manuscript will never see the light of day (-:

If you happen to be writing something that's the current trend, great for you! If not, just wait til th etime for what you are writing comes around. Besides, if you're writing something just because it's the current trend you could very well be wasting your time. Trends change. By the time you're done with the manuscript, that trend might be on its way out, or else the publishers could all have way too much of it.
My advice?
Write what you write well, and do it great enough to MAKE it the next trend (-:

Kimber Chin said...

Oh, man, the little bit moody had me splitting a gut!!

I often think
about writing something
more mainstream (i.e. marketable)
but unfortunately,
I'm not a good enough writer
to do that.
I'm a one trick pony.
I only wish that pony had more followers.

Margaret Moore said...

Wellll, I would concur with everything you've said, Crystal-rain, except that there's a reason publishers jump on bandwagons, and it's all about sales. That's why I can't say, with complete conviction, ignore trends. Believe you me, I wish I could!

But take heart, Kimber! Writing what you want may have it's downside, but the upside is that you'll likely be more enthused about your work, and that can be the magic fairy dust that makes one book stand out over another.

Amy Ruttan said...

I don't follow the trend. I write what I can write.

But yeah some information can overload me ... all the rules ... being told to break them.