Ask Daphne? What’s Women’s Fiction

May 7th, 2008 • Kate

Shannyn writes:

What exactly do you consider women’s fiction? Are you lumping all romance categories into that? Or are you looking for the non-romance genre fiction?

Hi Shannyn! I’ll admit I’m cheating a bit by saying Women’s Fiction. The fact is, 80% or so of all fiction IS women’s fiction, if only because women are the primary buyers of books. But “Women’s Fiction” is also a handy code. Yes, it means romance, to a big degree, but it also includes non-genre titles, or authors that have stepped out of genre to cross over to a general readership. A book by Jodi Picoult may include a love interest, but it’s not typically considered straight romance. Likewise, anything by Nora Roberts is likely going to include some steamy sex scenes, but there’s a lot of plot and adventure as well. James Patterson, though I’m loathe to admit it, writes a lot of women’s fiction. Tom Clancy — not so much.
So, for me, “Women’s Fiction” is pretty much anything you can think of, assuming it’s not overwhelmed by military jargon or politics. It has a strong female protagonist and a driving plot.
Hope that helps!

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