Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Mainstream vs. Fringe Writers

Are you a fringe writer or are you a mainstream writer? Do you follow trends or do you set them? It's that simple. Me? I've always been a trend-setter and I don't plan on joining the bubblegum-popcorn-crowd any time soon. 

A large part of being a writer is figuring out WHAT YOUR POINT is. I absolutely hate reading a book only to go: "so?!" after I put it down. Maybe I'm being too cerebral, but I detest authors who publish stuff without some sort of "message" or "focus." I feel like I've wasted my time as the reader. If all they're trying to do is entertain the masses with pointless, frivolous drivel, I want no part of it. I want to know something about the author afterwards. So don't give me another vampire book just because "it's in style" right now. 

My stories usually have an ironic message or some social commentary. I don't just "write stuff" for the sake of being published. No, I'm trying to impart a message and my point of view. I want my readers to THINK. Perhaps I'm not always successful, but it is important that I try. 

Books can change the world, and often, they have! Harriet Beecher Stowe's "Uncle Tom's Cabin," Upton Sinclair's, "The Jungle," Charles Dickens', "A Christmas Carol" and or even (to some degree) books like Harry Potter, Dracula, Sherlock Holmes or other "genre" novels have also changed what we think of as "pop culture" too. If all these writers had just written what was "trendy" we would not be the society we are today. 

The pen is mightier than the sword. Break away from the sheeple-minded writers and do your own thing. Don't be afraid of originality. Sometimes it's okay to stay on the fringes. You may not get as many acceptances (as publishers tend to go with what's "safe" as opposed to what's "ground-breaking) but never compromise your point of view! 


Sarah said...

Brilliant! And just in time for NaNoWriMo :P

Vegetarian Cannibal said...

Good luck on NaNoWriMo! I could never participate as a full time college student.

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