Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Worldly Wednesday: Is 2012 Really the End?

If you haven't already heard that the world *might* end on December 21, 2012 - you're too far inside your writer's cave.  But this post isn't about whether or not the Mayan legend is myth or fact.

It's about the crossroads between global trends and writing.  Editors and agents often call for submissions that blend "commercial and literary."  And for some authors, that means capitalizing on a hot topic by planning YEARS in ADVANCE, of course (so don't go subbing your vampire novel right now) and crafting an original spin on something that will be buzzworthy.

Have you seen the number of authors who have taken advantage of the 2012 predicition buzz, writing everything from non-fiction picture books to YA novels and even publishing kids' blogs centered around the theme of the end-of-the-world prediction?  They, like the authors who had the foresight to write stories years before an anticipated trend, such as the 10th anniversary of September 11th, or the 2012 prediction, for example, seem to be attempting to take what we're interested in globally and merge it with the literary. 

Here are a few I found regarding the 2012 topic:

NOTE: I haven't read these, nor am I offering recommendations (although Carolyn Marsden is a favorite author of mine). Just pointing out that these books exist.

Now, you tell me:

What upcoming global or worldly events can you write about in an effort to merge the literary with the commercial?

I think it's a bit too late to write and submit about 2012 events now (such as the Olympics), but how about this year's formation of a new country?  Is anyone following that story and trying to be one of the first to set a story set in South Sudan?  Or what about the 2014 World Cup in Brazil? That in 2015 many places and organizations will celebrate a 100th birthday or anniversary, like the international Kiwanis Club or Balboa Park in San Diego?

I guess this post is just as much about thinking globally as it is about thinking AHEAD.  Forget all that end-of-the-world nonsense.  Jump ahead into the future.  That's a trend that will never "get old."


KatieC said...

What a great subject, Miranda. I have tried to "think ahead" as you hasn't worked out for me yet : P

patientdreamer said...

Great post, I must admit I haven't given thinking ahead much thought. A new angle to think about. Thankyou.

Claudine Gueh said...

Had to think very hard about this because I'm never one of those kind of writers who're so good at capturing trends in advance. I suppose what might intrigue me would be a child in North Korea looking at the changes in her country now that their leader, Kim Jong Il, has passed on.

Kelly Hashway said...

The world can't end in December 2012 because my debut YA releases in January 2013! I worked too hard for the world to end before the book comes out. ;)

Mikki said...

I'm not much for following "trends," even ones that might happen in the future. Can't think of any "might happens," at the moment anyway, that I would want to write about. But a new angle is always worth thinking about.

Miranda Paul said...

@KatieC - Don't think too hard. It's impossible to predict trends, but it is possible to think ahead to significant events or milestones that might be worth remembering through a book. Who knows?

@patientdreamer - Glad I've got the wheels going for you!

@Claudine Gueh - Yes, you're in a very unique position to capture some of those potential feelings. Let me know if you explore that avenue or the topic in general of how kids in different countries feel about government.

@Kelly Hashway - LOL. I'm also counting on it NOT to end. I still have so many dreams and hopes (which I will be posting on my blog tomorrow!). And congrats for the billionth time on the 2-book contract! Exciting!

@Mikki - you're right - trends isn't probably the right word (though I probably used that word). But significant events in history and upcoming milestones of them aren't "might" happens, they're usually planned in advance (or you can count the number of years since something happened to find a commemoration year). I think it's always worth exploring great (and terrible) moments in our history to dig up fresh takes on these stories. Thanks for the comment!

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