“Will Write for Shoes – How to Write a Chick Lit Novel” by Cathy Yardley is a writing craft book that every writer in the Click Lit or women’s fiction genre should read.
There are a multitude of general writing craft books out there on developing setting, characters, plot and structure, etc. but until you read a craft book in your preferred genre, you will only get so far.
Chick Lit is a label that many female authors would like to put behind them or renounce all together. But as Yardley explains “Chick Lit is simply an over-generalized moniker for contemporary women’s fiction, with as many facets and faces as contemporary women themselves have.” (p. 9)
The book starts out with the history of the Chick Lit genre and then she provides a blueprint for writing a Chick Lit novel, information on the new trends in the genre and tips for breaking into the market.
Yardley not only gives valuable information and advice but she writes in the “Chick Lit voice”, which she also talks about in this book. So this book is a tool for learned and its also engaging and entertaining acting as an example of the Chick Lit attitude and style.
In the book she covers points of view, outlining a story, revisions, queries, finding an agent and a summary of publishers who look for Chick Lit/women’s fiction.
I learned that, thankfully, I’ve already written a novel following the Chick Lit blueprint to the T without even knowing the basic requirements. I was more than pleased that I inherently knew the genre just by reading the genre so extensively. I also found the list of publishers and agents invaluable. Yardely has done all the research I was going to do so now I have a lot more time to work on my writing.
I highly recommend this book to all writers considering writing for women. Although, the cover is pink and the title might make you think it’s fluffy with its reference to shoes, I can assure you its full of solid, useful content.
I will leave you with this final inspiring quote from Yardley for those who feel stigmatized by the genre’s reputation, “We might not be finding the cure to cancer, but fun or not, our books have the power to change people’s lives. Even if its only our own.” (p. 154).