“We like her a lot. She’s pretty, funny, and smart. Really funny. But we’re not sure we’re going to let her in,” L. said.
“Why not?” the three of us asked.
L. put down her fork. “Well, she wears black all the time.”
“I wear black,” said JT.
“Yeah, but everything she owns is black. Everything. Really. Don’t you think that’s kind of weird? She wears black fingernail polish like all the time.”
“But you like her, don’t you?” one of us asked.
“Oh, she’s great. But do we really want her to represent us? Can she really fit in?” L. picked her fork back up. “It’s a hard decision.”
L. was talking about her sorority and rush. J., JT, and I weren’t in a sorority and didn’t want to be, but even as we rolled our eyes when L. pledged her sorority, we’d stayed friends. We just didn’t visit her in her sorority stairwell. Until the girl in black.
We dressed up all in black one night and traipsed down to her stairwell. We put on our most sullen faces and knocked on her door. The sorority girl who opened the door stared at us a second before she spoke. “Yes?”
“We’re here to see L. We’re her friends.”
L. was pleased she happened to be wearing all white.
Someone told me the other day I should be writing fantasy because that’s what is in. Seems to me that by the time us ordinary mortals know what is “in,” it will promptly be out. But how marketable should you try to make a piece of work? You want to sell your novel, don’t you?
The last novel I wrote goes in strange directions and may well be a niche kind of thing. Like the way David Lynch’s Twin Peaks wasn’t for everyone either. But if you’re a publishing nobody, who’s going to let you in far enough to carve out anything? Publishers need to make money after all.
How much do market trends influence what you write? Would you be happy to carve out your little niche? Or will only bestellerdom do the trick for you?