Friday, February 10, 2012

Writer’s Workshop – Trends: Chocoholics with fangs

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, we are bombarded with chocolate. Commercials entice you to buy chocolate covered strawberries. Cooking shows feature chocolate in every recipe. Stores sneak chocolate candy into aisle after aisle. All because of a cliche or a very clever marketing scheme.

Women love chocolate. We want to eat nothing but chocolate. Bathe us in chocolate then enrobe us in more chocolate. At one point in my life, I enjoyed chocolate. Now, the Mayan food of the gods bores me. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy a tasty piece of dark chocolate on occasion. It is just the onslaught of the chocolate trends has pushed me into chocolate doldrums.

Trend weariness happens more often than we like to admit. People see something popular and grab. What started as something lovely, morphs into a barrage of garbage. Those who contribute to the trend can find success before the inevitable happens. Often the problem with riding trends is that we are left with a gaping hole of nothingness once the wave has ebbed.

We see this in the book scene. The tsunami of vampires has finally ceased. When the water emptied back into the ocean, agents and publishers had nothing on which to fall. What is the new literary trend? Who cares? Not this author. To me, following trends has always been for people who have no original thoughts. Authors, on the other hand, should.

Writing about something because it is trendy sells yourself short. Write what you love. If an aspect happens to be a trend, then so be it. Once that trend fades, you will still have words to bring alive. Passion for your writing gives you substance, which in turn, enables you to transcend trendiness. As fiction authors our job is to entertain through our art. As artists, we need to constantly invent and reinvent.

Like the extolled cocoa bean, the written word’s versatility excites people. What trends will emerge after chilies in chocolate? The crystal balls do not show. At least a superbowl commercial does not need to kill all the habenero chocolate bars to help signal the end. Literarily speaking, the sun has set on the vampire, unless your surname is Rice. Nightfall has yet to break.  Keep true to your loves.  Perhaps you will set the next trend.

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