Friday, February 21, 2020

Current Trends in Fiction

Image result for poached eggs

First, I must admit I'm opinionated, and the older I become, the more opinionated.  A few examples.  I detest the word "wellness."  I can't comprehend what it means.  Don't like kale either, although it's hard to avoid.  What I hate, hate, hate is seeing a poached egg dumped on every bowl or entree.  As a kid I was allergic to eggs.  They made me sick.  I outgrew the allergy and now I eat scrambled, hard boiled (if deviled), quiches, frittatas, the occasional omelet, but show me a runny egg and I run the other way.  Opinionated.

Now about fiction:  Vampires and Zombies are not longer so popular.  Neither is Chick Lit, but its still around.   What I am seeing a lot of these days is novels set in two time periods.  I am, in fact, writing one which I began (apparently with many others) unknowingly following some lemming-like instinct.  And it's hard.  I'm struggling with how to fit the periods together.  The 1953 period is one I find much more interesting that our current period.  So this is a real problem.  Half the writers I know are writing in two time periods. WRiting is hard  Good luck to all of us.

Women writers are doing well and some weeks they dominate the NY Times Best Seller List in fiction.  This is a trend I see continuing.  Not that the men have given up. But more men are writing female characters.  The ladies are populating thrillers and other novels.  Stories by immigrants (first or second generation) are getting lots of play.  Americans need to learn more about foreign countries and peoples. Open yourself up to new writers.

I like to read about foreign cultures. Did you like the film Parasite?   We just saw a German film, Goldfisch. Laughed 'til I cried.  Humor is good. It never goes out of style.
 I'm reading the second novel in Elena Ferrante's Neapolitan series.  She is a brilliant writer. Her books are a master class in "show, don't tell." 

Technology is always a current trend.  I wrote four novels with software themes: information warfare, data mining, facial recognition and Y2K.  Technology changed faster than I could write, so I've give up on this facet of my writing.   Now I"m in 1953 in south-central Kansas and the wheat harvest.  It's another world. Party lines. Iceboxes. Old cars.

Grain Elevator in Newton, KS

Here are some excellent writers whose will have different takes on current trends.  Please take a look.

Skye Taylor
Connie Vines
Dr. Bob Rich
Fiona McGier
Rhobin Courtright


  1. Nothing wrong in being opinionated! Especially when your viewpoint is backed by facts. You're a writer so I'm sure you do the necessary research, and reading about foreign cultures and powerful woman helps develop new perspectives (or supports existing ones).

  2. I've been keeping myself away from most of the newer technologies. I don't have a smart phone, preferring my dependable flip phone for texting and calls, which is the only thing I use it for. Whenever I want to give the teens I sub for a giggle, I pull it out and let them laugh at "gramma." But I don't care. Like you said, things change at such a lightning fast pace, that even if that's all I devoted myself to, I'd still never be able to keep up.

    The trends in popularity in writing are always fluid. I remember back when Anne Rice was first writing her "Interview With a Vampire", and they told her that vampires were done and boring. That was before vampire romances took center stage! Now I've even read zombie romances, gargoyle romances, even angel romances. Seems there's no iteration of male characters that romance authors can't mine for a sexy romance. And there are a whole lot of straight women writing male/male romance, for their equally straight, but voracious reader fans. Good for them, as long as actual gay men can get their romances published also.

    It's an interesting time to be a writer.


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