For a while, it was vampires, werewolves, angels, and zombies. And dystopia and paranormal. And dystopia. And vampires. Have I said vampires and dystopia yet?
But as always happens, literary agents for YA fiction began to sense a weariness in the publishers. So now, much is being made lately of the new trend in agent wishlists: contemporary YA fiction. Like THE FAULT IN OUR STARS, reviewed on this blog.
Where does that leave those of us would-be YA authors who do not have a contemporary novel burning in our imaginations or evolving on our computers?
Exactly where we are now.
The fact that agents are looking for fresh contemporary does not mean you should shelve your project. If it's good, they'll buy it. If it's good, and it catches their attention, which is a whole other subject, as you all well know. (Sweat pours off the brows of those of you thick in the querying process)
Listen, I'm not an agent, so I can't say I'm speaking from the horse's mouth or anything. But - like you - I read a lot of agent blogs and articles about what they want and what I am seeing is, they still just mostly want good writing. That's all any of us really want, right?
I mean, of course, they sense the trends and they are staying on top of those trends because that's their job, and we're grateful for the fact that they have their fingers in the wind.
But does this new trend mean you must now change your novel midstream? Should you shelve a great idea that burned in your soul for months before you finally decided to turn it into a book?
No, I honestly don't think so. What I think is, Write the Book. And as I said before and of course it's a no-brainer (but not easy to accomplish), MAKE IT GOOD.
And they will come. I think.
Please note, I'm not encouraging you to buck the trend. Trends are important to pay attention to if you want to get published. But I am saying, if you're already writing, don't give up. It's not like the appetite for all the other stuff has completely disappeared.
(Well, maybe vampires really are played out. Except for the fact the The Vampire Diaries is like, the number one show on CW)
So there's that.
Anyway, I say, just finish writing the thing. If it's good, (sometimes even if it's not) people will read/watch it. They just do - the genre never really seems to disappear completely. Especially if there's a romance angle. (Again - Vampire Diaries. And Walking Dead, although the latter isn't YA)
Anyone out there struggling with the fear that your ms is out of step with the current trends?