24 August 2010

Trends and Clichés

Willy Wonka Meme
For Seton Hill's Writing Popular Fiction program, I'm concentrating on fantasy and horror, my two favorite fiction genres. The tricky thing with popular fiction is that all too often, an author can get stuck in the land of cliché.  

Here's a good example of a trend in horror writing that is set to overkill: the reinvented literary classic. At my June residency at Seton Hill, renowned action and thriller author David Morrell appeared as our guest lecturer. He commented on the current trend of taking literary classics and historical figures and tossing vampires, monsters, and zombies into the mix, describing this trend of writing as "Lowest Common Denominator Fiction." I agree with him. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies started the trend, but then so many copycats have come out (Jane Slayre, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter, to name a few). The initial fun and novelty of the idea has worn off...it does seem like cashing in at this point.