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Romance vs. Chick Lit

Home / Forums / List of Forums / Writers Coffee Shop / Romance vs. Chick Lit

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    I know agents and publishers rely on these lables for marketing purposes, etc. I get that.

    If I call my book Chick lit instead of Romance will everyone be surprised if the story has a happy ending? If I call it Romance will readers feel cheated if my lead male character isn’t hunky and my heroine is flawed? Anyone else thinking about this? Just wondering…



    I’ve been thinking about this a lot, too. I still insist on calling my books “chick lit” even though there are a lot of romance-novel tropes in them – partly because there are too many characters and sprawling themes, and not enough explicit sex. (Most of the chick-lit books I’ve read have their main characters fall into bed without much detail… which works for me, because I hate writing sex scenes for the most part.)

    Then again, I’m also the person who insists on classifying her books “satire” because they used to be crowded with Mary Sues. Maybe I should go all meta for my next book by writing satire *about* chick lit?


    febe moss

    Great Article regarding what chick lit is: http://fictiongroupie.blogspot.com/2011/10/is-it-chick-lit-or-womens-fiction-agent.html

    Why do you think you novel is chick lit? Chick lit usually has a happy ending, (the main character lands a job, falls in love, accepts herself, etc) but it doesn’t have to.

    Chick lit also has a more lighthearted tone. Think sex and the city.

    Two great books about chick lit writing:





    oooh THANKS for another great article Febe! This is a great question. I think it’s all in the voice, and the humor.

    Chick Lit started in Britain and it certainly has elements of British humor even in those written by North American or Australian authors; self-deprecation, irony, absurdity and humor in everyday life situations.

    I have read Cathy Yardley’s Will Write for Shoes and it lists out all of the cliche aspects of a traditional chick lit, but also talks about how chick lit is not simply a combination of certain elements, but an attitude. Couldn’t agree more.

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