The other day somebody asked me what genre I’m writing. The conversation went something like this …
Me: Ancient Egyptian historical fiction.
Fellow writer: Historical Fiction? … Oh, that will cut down your audience. Are there vampires in it? Vampires are popular right now.
Me: Uh, no, my Ancient Egyptian Historical Fiction doesn’t have vampires in it.
Fellow Writer: You should probably rewrite it to include vampires, or if not vampires at least some Time Travel. Time Travel sells well with Historical Fiction.
Me: Yes, I think vampires and time travel will definitely add some unexpected twists to the plot.
Fellow Writer: You should also look at government conspiracies and cover ups. Downtrodden masses rebelling against powerful governments are the in thing …
Yup, looks like I’ve been approaching this all wrong. There’s no vampires, no space aliens, no time travel, no plane crashes on weird islands where sentient black smoke randomly attacks people for no apparent reason, no reality TV game shows where my characters are hunted down by three eyed super mutants wielding ZX745 plasma riffles …
What I need to do is check out what’s ‘like really popular right now’ and then join the flock of people writing slightly different versions of the same thing.
Sure, I may have powerful, deep characters, a twisting plot, war, love, revenge, jealousy, even a little religious controversy that would likely get the pope’s pretiosa in a twist, but I forgot the sexually oppressed vampires. Dang! Looks like there’s another rewrite coming!