These “chick lit writing tips” will improve your writing skills, no matter what your genre, voice, or style is. Are you writing a romance novel or a personal life history? I’d love to hear what you’re working on; share below! 🙂
The source of these chick lit writing tips is See Jane Write: A Girl’s Guide to Writing Chick Lit by Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin Jacobs. Awesome book! Writing chick lit is harder than you think, so don’t stop at this blog post. Keep researching and practicing your writing skills.
The authors of this chick lit book discuss the serious side of writing: a writer’s schedule, style, pacing, revising, and more. And, they bring their suggestions to life with examples from published chick lit books and authors. Below I share the writing tips that stood out to me. And remember, fellow scribes, that it’s not necessarily talent that leads to success as a writer. Here’s what one literary agent and published author says about getting your book published…
“I would say there’s no such thing as a natural talent, but after working with many authors over the years, I can offer a few observations,” says agent, editor, and author Betsy Lerner. “Having natural ability doesn’t make writing any easier (and sometimes makes it more difficult), having all the feeling in the world will not ensure the effective communication of feeling on the page, and finally, the degree of one’s perseverance is the best predictor of success.”
Keep writing, keep submitting, and keep your chin up!
And, here are seven writing tips from authors Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin Jacobs…
7 Tips for Writing Chick Lit
1. Be true to yourself as a writer — and a human being. “If you pretend to be someone you’re not, your writing voice will sound forced,” write Mlynowski and Jacobs. Create a world you understand, that you naturally gravitate towards. Jacobs writes, “I’ve gotten tons of manuscripts from older women trying to sound like 25 year old hipsters, recent college grads trying to affect the voice of a hardened career girl, and women who’ve never spent a day in New York City trying to work the attitude of a grizzled Manhattanite. Sure, some people can pull off these hat tricks, but I’m here to tell you that most can’t.”
2. Always have your wit about you. Showing your sense of humor is key to writing chick lit – and sprinkling any piece of writing with bits of wit makes it more interesting and memorable. Successfully writing humor is difficult, and requires practice, practice, practice! For help, read How to Make Your Writing Edgy and Quirky.
3. There’s a fine line between clever and catty. “So much of chick lit is centered around revenge and spite, but you have to earn that for your character,” write Mlynowski and Jacobs. I didn’t know revenge and spite are keys to writing chick lit – and I can’t recall many books that revolve around those qualities – but their point is sound. Aim for edgy and quirky writing…but don’t get caught in the “catty” trap!
4. Remember that good writing isn’t as easy as it reads. Whether you’re writing chick lit, your third novel, or your 33rd article this year – good writing is hard work and requires mountains of discipline. This “chick lit writing tip” applies to all successful writers, published or not, famous or not.
5. Make sure it feels right. “Don’t keep working on a story or with a character you hate writing,” write Mlynowski and Jacobs in See Jane Write. “We’re not saying that every time you hit a rough patch you should give up. Au contraire – you need to write through that.” Writing is hard work, but it shouldn’t be something you dread. Write about topics you enjoy, that feel natural (because the more you write, the more your writing skills will improve).
6. Commit yourself to writing your book. Again, this “chick lit writing tip” applies to all genres of writing! If you’ve finally generated a brilliant plot, character, article idea, or book topic – then commit to that idea and start writing. If you struggle with self-discipline, read Tips for Staying Motivated to Write.
7. Be prepared for rejection. This is a key writing tip because rejection is part of every writer’s work: “If you give up at the first rejection, then you’re selling your book – and yourself – short,” write Mlynowski and Jacobs. “Sometimes the best thing to do is take whatever advice was given in your rejection letter and rework that manuscript; in other cases, you might want to start something brand new and come back to the first story later.” Another key to writing in any genre is to learn how to fail and bounce back from rejection as a writer.
“The single most important element of your chick lit novel is your main character,” say Mlynowski and Jacobs. I think character is the most important element of most novels, articles, and even nonfiction books. If readers don’t care about a character or topic, they won’t stick with the book or article…and neither will literary agents, editors, or publishers.
If you have any chick lit writing tips, questions, or thoughts, I’d love to hear from you below.
For more writing advice, read Writing Tips From Famous Authors – How to Become a Writer.