Ciara's Reviews > Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel

Will Write for Shoes by Cathy Yardley
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May 01, 2010

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Read in April, 2010

just like the title says: a basic how-to on writing a chick lit novel. i picked it up out of idle curiosity & found it far more helpful than i ever would have imagined. there's a lot solid advice in here for writing just about any kind of fiction. i especially appreciated the insights on pacing & outlining a plot. it sounds like cathy yardley & i are of one mind when it comes to compulsive writerly habits, & i really enjoyed reading about her process, even though i have never read any of her books. i doubt that i personally will write a chick lit novel anytime soon, but this book gave me a greater appreciation for the genre. i realized that i enjoy chick lit as a guilty pleasure because it is really fast-paced, & it helped me understand the way pacing plays such an integral role in so much genre fiction. it was also kind of refreshing to hear a writer's take on the business side of things (she suggests several times that chick lit can be a reasonably lucrative field for a new author--though this book was published in 2006, & the publishing industry is constantly changing, so take that with a grain of salt).

one reviewer pointed out that this is a good book for someone who hasn't started writing her novel yet, or for someone who has finished a manuscript & doesn't know how to go about finding an agent or publisher, but not so helpful for those halfway through writing a book. i can relate to that. i was about a quarter of the way through writing a novel when i picked this up, & all of the insights on plotting & pacing kind of stopped my book in its tracks. i was feeling a little stuck with my story & cathy's tips helped me realize that i started too deep into the plot & needed to go back & write more of a beginning for my characters. & i have since re-conceptualized some other key elements of my story. so...that's not a bad thing, but it was kind of a bummer when i had been on a roll with my writing. so you have been warned: don't read this when you are halfway through writing your book.
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