Taking the Guesswork out of Genres-
Chick Lit, to be exact
I call myself an author of Chick Lit books but there may be some out there who don’t exactly understand what that is.
What is Chick Lit?
When I publish my books, there are several categories I can choose to put them in before I hit the magic button to publish.
- Chick Lit
- Women’s Fiction
- Romantic Comedy
- Contemporary Women
What’s the difference, you ask?
I think my novels are best classified as Chick Lit, so we’ll start with that. Chick Lit is often defined as books about “stilettos and sexy careers”; women who meet a man who they are destined to fall in love with, no matter how messed up their lives are.
That may be the case, but Chick Lit has so much more to offer.
The characters come in every shape and size and are usually flawed in some way. But no one wants to read about the perfect heroine who has everything going for her, do they? Chick Lit stories tell the tale of personal growth of a woman; there’s no need for a happy ending (HEA) but by the end page, their lives are better than they were at the beginning.
Romance isn’t mandatory, but when it’s included, sex often follows. But unlike romance novels, the love story isn’t the central focus. And the heat factor can be anywhere from chaste kisses to serious sexy time.
Chick Lit are stories that appeal to women – mainly because they all have one thing in common; the protagonists are women. And it’s good that they have that one thing in common, because chick lit reads range from light and fluffy romance to laugh out loud comedy and gritty tales of heartbreak.
Look at my books, which all fall under the genre of chick lit.
- Unexpecting – often laugh out loud tale of a somewhat ditzy redhead who wants a baby
- Coming Home – funny, but deals with deeper issues of family and abandonment, plus there’s a ghost
- Absinthe Doesn’t Make the Heart Grow Fonder – begins with a rollicking girls night, gets into secrets and betrayals and ends with a dark twist
- The Secret Life of Charlotte Dodd – she’s a spy with memory issues
I’ve actually been hesitant to call my books Chick Lit because of the negative stereotypes that have plagued the genre. The origin of the genre was undoubtedly Bridget Jones’ Diary, but after the massive success of the book, the market quickly became over-saturated with authors trying to push their own version of a messed up woman with as many issues as shoes onto a public who was becoming increasingly tired of the British singleton.
Thankfully, these days chick lit novels are more varied and better written.
Yes, better written!
Of course, there are badly written books in every genre, including the Holy Grail of the written word, literary fiction! Chick Lit, with its proclivity for fast-paced, informal and fun pages that often tells rather than shows, has always been quick to find criticisms, often from a public who has never even read a chick lit book!
What it boils down to, is Chick Lit books are about women. They are fresh and fun and always contemporary – the hottest careers, latest fashions (and yes, shoes) and the men often mirror the latest A actors. They have a rap for being frivolous, and irreverent, but should leave you with a warm and fuzzy feeling for the characters.
The genre may not be for everyone, but you should definitely try it out before you criticize.
My plan was to compare the genres but this post got away from me. Stay tuned for the next posts on Women’s fiction and rom-com.
And keep reading. Keep reading anything!
(But remember my books are good!)