“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).

14 thoughts on “Book Review: Will Write for Shoes – How to Write a Chick Lit Novel”

  1. Fantastic review Nicole! I have been reading Plot and Structure and although amazing, I’ve struggled with how the type of women’s fiction I want to write would fit RIGHT into his concepts. Yes, knowing structure etc is important and I know I could make women’s fiction fit but with just starting out, I was finding it a bit of a leap.
    I’ve just started this book, thanks to you, and am about 1/3 in and couldn’t be happier. I think it’s a great read for anyone wanting to writing general women’s fiction – like you say. So far, I am finding it’s full of tools and tips. And the fact that it speaks more specifically to the genre I want to write is a HUGE relief!!! It’s helped immensely already and I look forward to reading through the entire thing.
    Woot woot!

    1. I read about 4-5 general craft books, written by men and I thought “aren’t there any craft books out there written by women? Or more specifically about the genre I’m interested in?” then I did a search and found this one and I’m sure glad I did. Makes a big difference about what you can glean from a craft book. Hope you enjoy reading it. 🙂

  2. Even though I write historical fiction, I write about strong women facing life crises, which to me, says it’s also women’s fiction. So, this will be going on my TBR pile too! Thanks, Nicole!

    1. It should be useful for you Marcia. Maybe one day you could recommend some historical fit craft books for me because I might want to delve into that genre at some point. 🙂

  3. I love pink and I love fluffy, so even though this isn’t the genre I’m writing right now, it might be in the future. Definitely going on my ‘must have’ list. Thanks Nicole!

    1. I so recommend this book for those who haven’t started writing a chick lit book yet. Woulda been good to know some things before I got 75% done. 🙂 but there’s always editing.

  4. My Contemporary Romance Single Title mss border on Romantic Comedy (Jennifer Crusie *I wish*). Thanks for the heads up this craft book, Nicole. I didn’t pursue Chick Lit because it seems the genre doesn’t carry *steam* in the romantic thread. Book noted for my to-buy list.

  5. Great review and I know what you mean about wishing I had read most of it before I was 50k into a chick lit book! Editing is going to intense! I found it so useful and the references to chick-lit books I have read made me able to see the ideas in practice.

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