Thursday, April 12, 2012

Trends: Just like Utah weather

First, looking back at my blog I realize how poorly I've done with it this semester, and keeping up commenting on other's blogs as well. I'm sorry, but this semester has been busy for me. I'll be doing my best to comment and get back into things once finals are over.

Now, the reason for my post. This might be a bit late, considering the post on Mary Kole's blog that made me think about this is from a few weeks ago. But on reading Mary Kole's post about Bologna I thought about some things she talked about, namely, the prediction that realistic-contemporary fiction will be the next big trend in YA. In thinking about this, though, all I could think was, "but trends are just like Utah weather."

For those who aren't familiar with Utah, this is what I'm talking about:

Maybe this is normal for those who live outside of the always-perfect weather of California, but for me, it's really weird when weather has been one way, and later on that day is completely different from what you'd be expecting.

I find that trends are the same. You can't predict it.
When J.K. Rowling got her agent, he told her that children's books, and especially fantasy, didn't make much money (well, she did just lose the billionaire status to only be a millionaire, so I guess he was right about that).
At a writing conference on fantasy, Brandon Sanderson said how in 2003, one editor claimed vampire books were done and there wouldn't be another successful one again (yeah, I mean, who knows of a vampire book that's been successful lately?).
After Tangled, Disney cancelled their plans to make a movie of Han Christian Anderson's "The Snow Queen" because fairy tales don't make money (I can't think of any TV show now that's based off of fairy tales and extremely popular).

All sarcasm aside, these reasons are why I don't believe in predicting trends. You might as well be predicting Utah weather.

Why predicting trends doesn't work, to me, comes down to the fact that one book/movie/TV show is what will make the trend happen. It's not as if humans have a clockwork that go "I like contemporary now, but in two years I'll like fantasy, and a year after that I'll read dystopia, and two years from that I'll like historical..." etc. People read a book, see a movie or a TV show they like, and it's SO FREAKING AWESOME that they want more more more! of the same thing.

J.K. Rowling didn't make a billion dollars off of Harry Potter because it was time for children's fantasy to be a trend. It's because she wrote a freaking awesome book. Stephenie Meyer, despite some clamoring of how bad Twilight is, wrote a book that grabs the female demographic and makes them obsessed. Suzanne Collins didn't just publish a book at the beginning of a dystopian trend, she started it, because The Hunger Games was so amazing.

Whenever I hear a prediction of a trend, I roll my eyes and chuckle to myself. Maybe they'll get it right, but when it comes down to it, it's all about who'll write the next book that can grab us, no matter the genre.

3 comments:

  1. Excellent post Jenna. I totally agree with you. :-)

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  2. And sometimes you unwittingly write to a trend just a tad too late.

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