No, i'm not talking about "monkey" *shudder* I'm talkin' about "Market".
It's one of those words that comes up alot in writers circles. Do you "Write the story that is driving you?" or do you "Write for the market?"
Foot, meet dead horse! Start kicking. ;)
The current marketplace kind of glares over at sci-fi with a disdainful smirk and says "Thou dost not bring in the green!" and has a rather prickly relationship with fantasy that does bring in some green, but not the big bountiful heads of cabbage that things like suspense or chick lit seem to.
If you want to write sci-fi or fantasy that can slip into the current market write it either for Young Adults. Or make it a smaller portion of the story. (Near future sci-fi or jurrassic park type technothrillers are probably your best bet there. For fantasy either go heavy on the supernatural thriller or aim at the young adult market.)
Of course keep in mind that the market will probably change by the time you're done writing the "perfect" book for it. :)
My advice is write a story that engages you and carries you away with it. But be aware of the realities within the market.
My sci-fi trilogy, currently working on the second book, focuses on a main character who is Saurian (well actually all the characters are Saurian for the first two books). It's the start of a story that has been building within me since Jr. High. I love it. I love where I want to take it. The world feels almost as real to me as a foreign land I've never been to.
Of course this about the last thing the market wants to see right now (other than maybe a vampire western story). "Why would adults buy a book about alien dinosaurs?" :p
So I have to be realistic, and while I continue to push and prod at the market, seeing if I can find a crazy publisher willing to take a very big risk, I keep my expectations in line with where the market is. I know that most publishers in CBA are most likely going to be at best very leery of it.
So what does all this rambling mean? Do I have a point? I think so.
Basically it comes down to this. Especially if you are writing your first novel.
Write the story that is burning inside of you. I believe that will lead to your best writing (and the desire to make it better than your best). But also be aware of the market and align your expectations accordingly.
If you have multiple stories screaming to get out and one matches the market better than the other. Go with that one.
In the end you have to come to peace with this question for yourself. If being published is the ultimate goal for you, then yeah trying to aim for the market may slightly increase your chances (if you are really good at blasting womprats in a t-16 at warpspeed on the otherside of a wormhole).
But most people, that I have heard from, who suddenly find themselves riding high on that marketing wave, were writing those stories long before the market cared.
So for me. I'm stickin with my Saurians. With maybe some little detours to meet up with the inhabitants of Drennor, or to hang with a giant slug, a stickman and a bubble.
Eventually the market might just catch up with me. And if not? Well, then at least I'll have truly gone someplace no other human has been. God will be there with me, and teach me through the experience.
And in the end. That's enough for me.