Chick Lit Writers discussion

How To... > Topics/Ideas

Comments Showing 1-5 of 5 (5 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Please post any ideas or suggestions you have for others thinking of writing a Chick Lit book. (Don't give away your own story idea...and don't steal someone else's...always make it YOUR OWN! Be Creative. Be Unique. Be You.)

message 2: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
To be a Chick Lit Writer in today's publishing world must be hard. Look at all the books written!

I came across a list a while ago of Top Chick Lit Cliches to avoid:

Chick lit cliches: characters

1. Gay friend.
2. True love who heroine despises at first but is attracted to nevertheless.
3. The wrong guy - he's either a jerk, insensitive, unfaithful or too preoccupied.
4. Bubbly best friend.
5. Cheating husband.
6. Overbearing mother.
7. Backstabbing colleague/ boss from hell.
8. Double-crossing friend.
9. Dysfunctional family members.
10.Diva celebrity.

Chick lit cliches: other

1. Surprise pregnancy that is bleedin' obvious to anyone but the woman involved. Often related to pregnancy that happens to mid-30s woman from one-night stand.
2. Urban setting. And characters often catch up at cafes and bars.
3. Designer clothes/shoes obsession.
4. Everyone works in publishing/PR/fashion.
5. Hatches, matches and dispatches - someone, somewhere always falls pregnant, gets married or dies.
6. Fight with the true love where it seems they'll never get together.
7. An American goes to England, or vice versa.
8. Significant birthday approaching.
9. Living well (cool apartment, socialising, taxis, clothes) despite meager earnings.
10.Regular coffee/Coke/ice-cream/chocolate habit.


message 3: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
Cliché Chick Lit Characters

The Supportive Best Friend
Every stereotypical chick lit protagonist needs a supportive best friend. After all, "female friendship" is supposed to one of the themes in chick lit-- and in good chick lit, the author introduces interesting female friends. However, in stereotypical chick lit, there's no need to create a BFF who's any different from anyone else's. To be truly stereotypical, the supportive best friend must do all of the following:
• Love shoe shopping with the protagonist.
• Love eating ice cream with the protagonist. (Cosmos are optional.)
• Console the protagonist about breakups.
• Console the protagonist about her overbearing mother (see below).
• Offer the protagonist wise advice about dating, including the fact that she really ought to be dating that nice guy in the office she keeps ignoring (see below).

The Overbearing Mother
At least chick lit is better than Disney films. In Disney, all the moms are dead. In chick lit, they're just all totally overbearing nags. They nag you about your weight, and your job, and your weight, and your boyfriend, and your apartment, and your weight... you get the idea. If you're going to give your chick lit heroine a mother complex, at least give her a unique mother complex.

The Guy She Ought to Fall in Love With
You know this plot. Julianna is in love with Ryan, the muscular hunk who treats her badly. Meanwhile, there's nerdy coworker Peter with the funny cowlick whom Julianna completely ignores. Can you guess the ending? Do you suppose Julianna will wise up and dump Ryan and realize Peter is actually fabulous, cowlick and all? Come on, chick lit writers, get a new plot.

The Fabulous Gay Confidant
Every girl can use a gay confidant-- but does he have to wear Prada? The sterotypical gay chick lit friend just loooooves to go shoe shopping and can give you a few tips about decorating that dreadful apartment, honey. And he's just as unlucky in love as you, darling, so you can commiserate over cosmos together.

The Snippy Boss
She's always there at five minutes past the hour when you walk in late (since, of course, your alarm clock never goes off). She's clawed her way up the corporate ladder and wants to make sure you never do the same.


message 4: by Cathy (new)

Cathy (cgraceh) | 236 comments Mod
More Cliché Chick Lit Situations:

The Faulty Alarm Clock
"I already knew it was going to be a bad day because my alarm clock didn't go off. Oh no! Late for work again! And then my hair dryer didn't work and I broke a nail and I broke a heel on my Jimmy Choos..." You get the idea. This kind of scenario hasn't been original since The Bangles did Manic Monday.

The Shoe Addiction
Wouldn't it be lovely to read a chick lit novel without one mention of designer shoes? Or designer purses, or outfits, or jewelry? Sure, we all love to fantasize about clothes we can't afford, but that's what Sex and the City is for. Newsflash: women are interested in other things, many of which cannot be worn.

The Surprise Pregnancy
"I just can't understand it. I keep gaining weight, but I'm nauseous all the time. And I'm breaking out. And I'm bloated." Then, after "subtle" hints for four or five or six chapters, our protagonist finally wises up and realizes that she can't remember her last period. Then it's off to the drug store for some tired humor about how it's soooo embarassing to buy a pregnancy test.

The Sister's Wedding
Ah, there's never been a better chance to feel insecure. Sister's prettier and thinner and, to top that all off, younger, and she's getting married first! Oh, the humanity! If you want to make the sister's wedding scene extra cliché, of course, you simply have to throw in hideous taffeta wedding dresses that cost $400 apiece. And you can have the heroine's hair catch on fire or something when she's trying to give the toast. Oh, and the best man can be her ex-boyfriend.

"Oh My God! I'm Turning Thirty!"
Oh no, not thirty! Come on, you don't have to be Grisham to think of a more creative plot than a woman freaking out about the big 3-0.


message 5: by Suzanne (new)

Suzanne | 50 comments These are great!

back to top