Skins and trends

So yesterday on the work front was full of awkwardness and stressy things, so I decided today was going to be a good writing day.  I was ONLY going to focus on the writing, and things were going to be fantastic.  And I even have friends stalking me to make sure I’m being productive.  Great plan, right?

Then I watched the US version of Skins, and it reminded me of something I hate.  Basically, the first episode of Skins US was about 90% identical to the original version of Skins from the UK.  Down to the shots they used and everything.  And I’m all for taking something as an inspiration, and making it your own.  But MAKE IT YOUR OWN.

I thought most of the episode was sub-par, to be honest, but you know who was the one bright spot?  The one character who was wholly original, and different from their UK counterpart.

It drives me crazy sometimes when I hear or see people who talk about how SUCH AND SUCH novel got published, so they’re going to write a novel about INSERT TREND OF THE MOMENT HERE.  There’s a reason those books don’t usually go anywhere.  Because they’re not an homage or an interpretation of the source, they’re a bad copy.

If you’re going to write a vampire novel, find your own point of view.  If you’re going to do a novel about angels, again, find something you can grab onto.

And speaking of angels, you should go to Twitter and congratulate Courtney Allison Moulton (@camoulton) on her PW review – I’m pretty sure if PW tells you you’re going to hell, you’ve officially made it as a writer.

And yeah, I have to go before I get yelled at. 😉

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8 thoughts on “Skins and trends

  1. I’d never write a story and want to publish it because of a trend. Hell my story I’m working on (the query you critiqued) is about a trend that is FADING, a new trend taking it’s place. Is that going to stop me? No, this is the story I want to tell, the one I think is good enough to be put out there, trends be damned!

  2. I think you make a very valid point that I hope people will latch onto. I’ve always been happiest as an (unpublished) writer, writing the stories that need to be told, rather than the stories I’m telling myself to write because of *insert something here*. Thanks for sharing, and good luck on your writing day!

  3. Great point. I think it’s so important to remember that the books that started the trend weren’t latching onto something that had been done. Harry Potter made JK Rowlings a bazillionaire not because she got in on a trend at the right moment but because she wrote what she thought was an amazing book and the rest of the world agreed with her.

  4. I agree! I had someone tell me an idea I had recently could never work because it had vampires in it. Except it’s completely original and not at all a vampire book…its a dark Beauty and the Beast meets La Femme Nikita. I think I’ll write it anyway! There are no new stories, just new ideas told in compelling, original voices.

  5. Good points! Most of those people don’t actually write the books though, because, you know, it’s all hard and stuff. I haven’t seen Skins but this totally reminded me of the Vince Vaughn Psycho which did the same thing.

  6. It’s important to find one’s own spin on a popular theme. I believe it’s impossible for a genre to get old. Despite the derivative work out there, there will always be skilled writers who breathe life into a played out genre.

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