To Trend Or Not To Trend, That Is The Question, by J. Spence

Picture-book-trends-2013

Trends come and go, just like fashion fads. Writing trendy books is difficult because if you traditionally publish, what was popular when the Publisher bought your book two years ago, may not be when it’s finally printed.

Trends are fickle. One moment we are reading a story about a freckled red-haired girl living in Green Gables, and the next, about a boy wizard who goes to a school of magic.

It’s something Publishers stress over all the time. What they are printing now may change in a blink of an eye next year or even in six months.

“So how do we tackle writing for children?” You ask.

Let’s look at a few methods.

1. Everyone who desires to write has a sacred-to-their-heart idea just itching to get written. It’s something that’s been mulled around and around, one you’ve never quite gotten to, but completely intend on writing.

So method one, is to write that book.

2. Next, you can go to the library and research what is being written now. Don’t forget to check out magazine publications for children too. A better approach would be to attend schools and ask teachers what they are reading to their classes. Talk to their students about what they like to read. Go to bookstores that have a large, solid children’s section and check out what they have on their shelves. You can go as far as purchasing one of the better sellers, take it home and analyze it for structure, plot, content and wording.

In my opinion, the secret is never to write what was popular last year or even what’s popular this year. Because of the turnover time associated with trends, you may go to a lot of effort and fall short. What you need to do is start a whole new trend, by writing something fresh and unique; and, never done before.

So method two, is to be original and unique.

3. Finally, there are always the classics to fall back on. Study them, the ones that children and adults are still reading, especially the ones that leave the reader feeling good. Analyze why they are cultural treasures and see if you can apply these elements to your own story ideas.

So method three, is to use the classics as a guideline.

There could be lots of debating about these methods, but generally, these three are the main ones.

There is a variety of written work a writer for children can produce:

1. short stories
2. novelettes
3. poems
4. screenplays
5. magazine articles

Researching all these avenues is highly recommended.

 

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