The builders in the next county had a Parade of Homes last week, showcasing some of the new houses they’ve built this year. My husband and I went to 15 of them hoping to find the perfect place for our family. After seeing them all, we agreed to keep the home we have now. However, I did discover ways to make our house look more modern.
Every house had beige walls and dark wood floors. The hardware on the cabinets and doors, as well as the bathroom fixtures, was brushed chrome or antique bronze. The stairs were all carpeted, and the railings were dark brown wood with metal spindles. Most rooms had mahogany ceiling fans and wood trim that was painted white.
I must have a great sense of style because the ceiling fans and light fixtures I bought earlier this year are identical to the ones in some of the new houses, and I already switched from bright brass to brushed chrome fixtures in my kitchen. I just need to get some beige paint and you won’t be able to tell that my house was built in 1984 instead of 2010.
Personal taste doesn’t have to be sacrificed to fit the current trends, but adjusting to the changes in what’s fashionable can make our homes, and our writing, appear fresh and interesting rather than old and boring. We can update without completely changing what we have or like.
In order to recognize current trends in writing, however, we have to be familiar with what’s selling now and understand how it compares to earlier books. With that knowledge, we can apply a fresh twist to an old story, or write about a topic that’s been neglected. We’ll recognize story lines that have already been overdone, and subjects that are so common that readers are probably tired of reading about them.
Reading is a writer’s research, and the more we know about the books others have written, the easier it will be to see where there is a niche that our writing can fill.
EDIT 6/15/10: Bookends, LLC blog has a guest post by author Christie Craig on writing advice that really made sense to me. Her first tip dealt with trends, and it fits with what I’m trying to say in today’s post. Her other comments are also very helpful, so take a look . 🙂
About how much time do you spend reading each day? What type of material do you read most? Do you think it’s important to read the classics, or just contemporary authors? What’s the last book you read, or the next one you plan to read?