Trends! TikTok has some, and so does Instagram. And that is perhaps one of the few things writing a novel and social media have in common. Read on for more about the trends in speculative fiction.
How trends can help you as an author
1. A Great Place to Start
Let’s face it: when you have to get down to putting words on the pages, even the little speck of dust on the table looks more interesting. There are just so many details that it feels like it will take years to organize everything and get started.
And where do you even get the idea from? Well, if you’ve ever hopped onto a TikTok or Instagram trend, you know it is a great place to get ideas from. I am guilty of taking a trend going around on Instagram and giving it my personal touch. Are you?
2. Better Forecasts
Understand a trend and you will be able to surf through the challenges of the writing process, early warnings, and even get some ideas on marketing!
In short, trends help you understand what to do and what to avoid.
3. Personal SWOT Analysis
I wish writing was as easy as many people make it sound. Trying out a trend can help you understand what you must improve in your writing, querying, publishing, and/or marketing based on what’s going around.
Trends in Speculative Fiction
Without further ado, today on Worldly Wise, let’s find out what’s hot in the genre of Speculative Fiction and what’s not!
1. Gender-focused fiction
Here’s a thought. Take your amazing speculative fiction idea and blend it with the concept of gender as a central theme.
We’re past the age where characters are to be confined to their traditional gender roles. This is my absolutely favorite trend because I enjoy nothing more than bending the gender roles with my characters.
The oh-so-popular “Grumpy and Sunshine” trope? Well, I’ve turned it into “She’s only soft for him” with one of my stories. And guess what? My audience is in love with the strong and complex female protagonist. Also, I think at this point, my male characters are just as much in touch with their femininity as my female characters are in touch with their masculinity.
Besides, do you know what people are really into these days? LGBTQ+ books. Readers don’t want a token representation. They want to devour characters that identify as LGBTQ+. If you can keep gender as a focus in your story, don’t be scared to experiment.
2. Climate Fiction
The good ol’ global warming. While these books might not necessarily be speculative in nature, since let’s be real, the threat is staring us right in the faces, there are some really interesting speculative takes on this trend.
Of course, dystopia, utopia, and sci-fi are the go-to ways for approaching this trend. You can always sit back and think of new ways to approach what is affectionately known as “Cli-Fi.” The main idea that is almost always the backbone of these stories is that we must understand the climate crisis that is forever going to shape our lives. Got any fun ideas?
The dark, high-stakes, on-the-edge-of-your-seat fiction is definitely gaining popularity. Now, speculative fiction is all about the “what if” questions, but by adding the essence of thriller, that is, the “ticking clock,” we can take our story to a whole new level.
People are really into fast-paced, “great heroes going against even better villains” kind of stories. Why? The adrenaline that flows through the readers with every twist and turn makes the readers feel euphoric. And that feeling is very addictive. Yes, you can literally get your readers addicted to your story!
1. Kingdom Fantasy
Raise your hands if you’ve heard of a fantasy novel set in some kingdom. Something like A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin. With every trend, there comes a point when said trend becomes oversaturated. Sadly, it seems the trend of Kingdom Fantasy is coming to its saturation point, if it is not already there.
I’m not saying don’t write Kingdom Fantasy. That’s just ridiculous. However, your work as an author increases if you are going for Kingdom Fantasy. You have to find an angle that hasn’t been approached yet. Readers are more than willing to read multiple novels in the same genre, which is why tropes are so famous. Why? Because execution matters!
If you can execute Kingdom Fantasy in your own interesting way, go for it. Just remember, this section of speculative fiction has a lot of competition. So, fasten your seatbelts. The ride might be long, but it will be worth it.
2. Pandemic Theme
The Pandemic theme is when It is either mentioned or the entire plot is based around it. Tell me I’m not the only one who has found books, TV shows, and movies that somehow include it.
At first, I did not mind. But as I’ve said earlier, with every trend there comes a tipping point, where the said trend starts becoming oversaturated. Unfortunately, that tipping point for the Pandemic Theme is fast approaching.
However, just like with Kingdom Fantasy, you only need to tread with caution. As long as your execution is unique, your work will find its audience.
3. Over-saturated Mythical Creatures
Vampires, werewolves, and all those popular mythical creatures have been doing rounds for centuries now. Let them rest.
Instead, let us find lesser-known mythical creatures and work with them. That way, your work will not be lost amongst other vampire/werewolves novels out there. And it will still enjoy the perks that come with writing supernatural fiction! Isn’t that cool?
Next time we meet on Worldly Wise, let me quickly drop in some writing prompts to help begin your writing journey! Until then!
Tell us in the comments: Do you enjoy hopping onto a trend and making it yours or are you all about paving your own way?
Disha Walia is a lifelong storyteller and an enthusiastic writer and editor in love with the idea of exploring the creative world of words. While making her space in the world of non-fiction and fiction alike, Disha loves to spend even her free time daydreaming about what next to write. Connect with her on www.quillinary.com. You can also follow her on Instagram and Twitter.