A Girl & Her Dog–Trends in Fiction

A Girl & Her Dog–Trends in Fiction

Cosmopolitan highlighted books with “Girl” in the title (and why you should read them) in one of their issues. (I tried to Google it just now and I can’t find the reference. Naughty. Still, you read this for the style, not the citations, right?) Needless to say, books follow certain trends with style, with cover art, with subject matter, and with titles.

I have a retreat coming up and a conference, and while I’ve never been to a retreat before, I know that whenever a group of writers gathers, everyone has something to say about the things you shouldn’t write about because that trend is “so over” and nobody is interested anymore.

We know about some of the recent Twilight-inspired fads in fiction, but how about the less talked about doggie companion book? The pitch at a conference goes something like this, “Jimmy (who is clearly a sub for the writer) gets a dog for his birthday. They go on adventures together. The dog dies rescuing Jimmy and Jimmy is devastated, but he learned so much about friendship as a result of ditching all his creepy friends for his furry friend.”

The agent regard the writer harshly, squirms, and says, “There is little interest in our market for ‘a boy and his dog’ books.”

After the conference, I realize I’m out of absolutely everything and make my Target run. Instead of actually starting with the things I need, I immediately toddle over to the books and magazines, and what do I see: A Dog’s Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain, Dog is Love. Dog pictures on covers almost outnumber those ridiculous bodice ripper things that make me wonder who they’re marketing to besides psycho killers.

Obviously, anyone who goes out in public ever knows better than to believe there will never be room for another dog book. It’s obviously absurd advice, but every year, I see someone walk away from an interaction like that totally devastated.

What’s the point of this? Maybe I’m just in a feisty mood, but in art and in life, if you are waiting around for someone to affirm that your idea is worthy (or to tell you it’s not), you could be waiting forever for affirmation. As far as the other thing, regardless of the quality of your idea, someone will tell you it’s crap.

Real moral of the story: don’t trust anyone who doesn’t love dogs.

Credit for doggie photo in post:

photo credit: Krisrupp LOst in thoughts via photopin (license)

Credit for featured doggie photo:

photo credit: Uwe Maeurer Greta, * 15.01.2013 via photopin (license)

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