I am noticing more and more books about dystopian societies. Some of the first ones that came out were pretty good, even some of the ones coming out now aren’t bad. However, I can only read so many dystopian society books before I want to roll my eyes all the way back in to my head, groan, and mumble under my breadth “Again?”.
I understand that some authors or maybe the publishers (since they’re the ones who pick the books that get published) are recognizing a trend amongst readers. After all, look at how well The Hunger Games & Divergent did, to name a couple. Those books became popular to the point of becoming movies. That is quite an accomplishment and those particular books are in fact very good.
The problem is that smaller authors are attempting to do the same thing with the same results. Like plugging a formula in and waiting for the outcome. That isn’t how writing or publishing should work, (I should say because I am certain publishers have utilized formulas at times). These little writers seem to think if they just do what these bestseller writers did then they will become them.
Wrong. They are in fact misinterpreting what these bestselling writers did. They wrote their own story. They didn’t follow market trends. So when their book came out it was new and something readers could be excited about. But now when I see more dystopian books coming out I just want to cringe. “Couldn’t the writer think of anything else?” The subject is no longer new and exciting but rather becoming old and tired in my mind.
Don’t get me wrong I know that The Hunger Games was not the first dystopian novel ever written. Book genres move in cycles of popularity, but I am more than ready to move out of this particular genre and into something new. This also means that the next author to publish something new and well written will probably be the next crazy bestseller and the cycle will begin again.
What are your thoughts? Do you agree with me or think I’m totally wrong? I’d love to know. Everyone is entitled to their opinion just keep it respectful.
I was flipping through my Facebook feed when I happened upon a blog post from a fellow writer. She had brought up the topic of a pseudonym, or a nom de plume. She brought to mind many reasons why a writer might want to change the name they would publish under. It was an interesting read. Of course it made me think.
I thought it would be fun to search my name on Barnes & Noble’s website. Imagine my dismay when I find my name has already published several books. My name is not original. I had always planned to publish under my name because I wanted credit for my work. I wanted people to know that the words on the page they read were mine. Yet someone else has already taken the credit for my name.
Thus begins the great debate in my mind, should I alter my name or stick with this one and hope to make it truly my own. The possibilities of what my name could become are infinite. How do I chose a name. It could be a combination of my name, with or without my middle name. I could use my mother’s maiden name. Or my grandmother’s maiden name. I mean pick an ancestor and their name could become my own.
But those name combinations look to the past. We need to know where we’ve been to know where we’re going, but the past doesn’t look to the future. I could wait and see what my name will become as many women change their names when they get married, but whose to say when that will be. I could take full control and change my name to something entirely new.
That could be fun. The joy of invention. To put my full creative powers to work. Yet I find myself reluctant to choose a made up name. It lacks history or meaning. It would not be mine name it would be a name. There are so many options and I thank you for listening to me as I think out loud. I don’t know when I’ll have to make this decision. I’m not published yet, but God willing I will be published one day soon.
As my readers may know I have been working towards a goal to get a my writing published. This is the ultimate challenge for a writer. Although we write because we can’t imagine doing anything else, to be published is to be validated.
So in pursuit of this goal I registered for the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Contest. I registered several months in advance, which meant I had plenty of time to imagine what was going to happen. My anticipation level was through the roof.
In my head I saw myself the budding writer whizzing through the challenges. I wouldn’t do well in the first one. This would establish myself as the underdog, but I would rally and knock the next challenges out of the water to win. Thus getting my first creative works published.
Sounds like a pipe dream right? Or maybe a great work of fiction?
Now one month after the first round has been submitted we have received our scores. Only the top 15 in each group gets a score and only the top 5 will move on after round 2. My first reaction to my score was excitement. I was in the top 15, a moment later I began to over think the score. I was a little upset that I hadn’t gotten a higher score.
However I have set myself up as the underdog with a chance to win. So really it is all going according to plan.
This round I am determined to do better. After all I need to be in the top five if I am going to make it to round 3. So hours before I get my prompt from NYC Midnight I have reached out to fellow writers and friends to read a story I haven’t even dreamed up yet.
I have google waiting and inspiration on hold.