Ask Daphne! About Chick Lit

November 24th, 2008 • Kate

sheilas_heels.jpgYou know what we haven’t done in a while? Some Ask Daphne! questions! So let’s rev up our turducken-(or tofurkey-, or just plain turkey-)eating engines with a whole week’s worth of questions and answers. And remember, if you have anything YOU want to know about the biz, all you have to do is email me.
With that out of the way, Jean wants to know:

What advice would you give to aspiring writers who love to write chick lit? I’ve heard that it is hard to sell and that it is a ‘dead’ genre and that the moniker ‘chick lit’ is equally dead. Is there a new moniker like ‘romantic comedy’ that has taken over? Is there a new chick lit-like trend that you can share as a heads up? Help! I love writing goofy chick lit stories and I don’t know what to do. It’s like I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!

First of all, Jean, just grab hold of the nearest table leg, studly man, or convenient wall and get yourself standing again! No lying down on the job!
The thing with chick lit is that it really is the moniker that’s got everyone’s knickers in a twist. No one says they want to buy/edit/acquire chick lit, but trust me, people are still reading it. So how’s that happening? Well, yes, as you say, a lot has fallen under the more staid moniker of “romantic comedy.” And any chick lit with elements of the supernatural is just being called paranormal, and leaving it at that.
It’s still out there, but the trick, for an aspiring writer, is to make sure that YOUR chick lit (or romantic comedy) is unique in the market. Twentysomething assistant at NYC media company dealing with weight issues and man problems? Been there, done that. Thirtysomething successful professional gal wondering if it’s too late to let loose and fall in love? It is, we’ve all already seen it. Fortysomething recently divorced mom looking to reconnect with a lost love? Sorry, that number’s been disconnected.
Make sure your story is original, well-written, and perfectly pitched, and no matter what you call it, someone’s going to want to read it, and then, hopefully, buy it. Good luck!
Oh, and speaking of Chick Lit, author Lauren Baratz-Logsted, editor of This Is Chick Lit, has a great post up on her blog about blurbs. Recommended reading for all authors.

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6 Responses to “Ask Daphne! About Chick Lit”

  1. jeanoram Says:

    *grabs ahold of nearest hunky stud muffin and pulls herself up*
    Whew! That was a close one. You've got to be careful where you grab!
    All kidding aside, thank you very much for your reply. I will milk the other genre titles that fit my work and will do my best to stay away from the 'tried and true' formulas. 🙂
    I'll have to put 'This is Chick Lit' on my wishlist, it looks interesting as well as insightful and fun.
    Thanks again Daphne!

  2. Kel Says:

    (this is unrelated to the post above)..but…
    Kate, say it ain't so? I was catching up on your blog, and read that you're not interested in thrillers. Can it be true? If so, I can't submit to you as planned, but best of luck to all the other 'non-thriller' writers who have you on the dream agent list.

  3. Kate Says:

    Sorry, Kel. Tis true. I like to read 'em, but I'm not interested in representing them.

  4. beth Says:

    I'm so glad you're looking for more questions–just shot one off to you and can't wait to see the answer.

  5. Kel Says:

    Thanks Kate. At least I know now. 🙂

  6. lotusloquax Says:

    As long as chicks are reading, I can't imagine that chick lit will be dead, but I can see where the "moniker" could lose its appeal.