Thursday, 29 March 2007

Novel Update - Is there such a thing as miserable chick lit?

I'm now over 12,000 words in and my protagonist is still really quite miserable. In fact, there's going to be a fair amount of misery in this book for another 3,000 words or so before Chapter 3 kicks in and then then much hilarity will ensue (okay, some hilarity in a not particularly hilarious manner). There are some light(er) moments in the early parts of the book but no laugh out loud "look at bridget dressed up as a playboy bunny at the not really a vicars and tarts party" moments. This has me slightly worried. The TONE of my book and, I suspect, my writing style are very chick lit but it's not exactly a laugh a minute. Does that matter? If I hook my readers in with the story line (which I hope I've done - it's quite unusual) but don't make them laugh will they carry on reading?

Can something still be chicklit if:

a) it doesn't include shopping
b) it doesn't include singleness
c) it doesn't include 'yummy mummys'
d) it doesn't include shoes
e) it doesn't include a gay best friend
f) it doesn't include a 'I've never really thought about him in that kind of way before' male friend who is OBVIOUSLY the one meant for the heroine
g) it doesn't include a whole lotta laughs

I'm not entirely sure if what I'm writing is chick lit anymore. I think it's like Maggie O'Farrell lite (which is probably not a good thing). I mean, I LOVE Maggie O'Farrell but part of the charm of her books is her use of language and I am not a particularly 'languaged' writer.

Is there a market for this novel?

I'm worrying again aren't I. Somebody stop me.

No really. Stop me. Now.

p.s. I have an idea for the next book. It's chick lit. It's definitely chick lit...with a twist. So maybe that's not chick lit either? Oh, I dunno.
Photo copyright me. Grumpy monkey, Monkey World, Dorset 2007.


A. Writer said...

Now, you've got me wondering about my first novel. It starts quite sad and miserable but then brightens up later. The real funny bits only happen about just over half way! Eek!

As for the list (Can something still be chicklit if...) I'm seriously panicking! I really thought my first novel was chicklit but going by that list I'm beginning to doubt it! I can't even think of an author who's style is similar! Eek!

As for my current WIP. I know it's not Chicklit. I like to call it Women's Fiction. It's for an older readership (well, that's the plan!)

Well done getting over 12k.

Cally said...

Oooh sorry - didn't mean to make you freak out too!

Actually, thinking about it in the cold light of day I think it's a GOOD thing that my novel (and yours) don't fit the typical chick lit cliche. It's good to break out of the mould and write something different - particularly if the market is already saturated with lots of sex and shopping tales and plots that are Bridget Jones rip offs. Hopefully that'll make ours stand out from the crowd (in a good way I hope!)

A. Writer said...

It's okay. I have regular wobbles about my writing. This is just another one.
Every so often I wonder if my writing is good enough.

You have a point. Being different can only be a good thing.