One Chick’s Lit

Cover of "Bridget Jones's Diary"
Cover of Bridget Jones's Diary

My NaNoWriMo novel is my first attempt at Chick Lit. I have a love/hate relationship with the Chick Lit genre, mainly because for some reason, many authors get away with subpar writing in this genre. It’s a gripe I have with many genres, such as urban fiction and whatever it is that the Twilight books fall into (but you’ll hear me talk about that later). The second problem I have with it, like with many other genres, has little to do with the writing and more to do with the fact that no matter what I write, I will be stuck in literary segregation in the bookstore (more on that in a later post as well).

However, I do love some Chick Lit, and I like what the genre does when it is working well.

I fell in love with chick lit when I read one book: Bridget Jones’ Diary. I got the book from Amazon along with some other books, and I couldn’t put it down. I remember that it was cold when I read it, and I wasn’t in school at the time. I remember wearing sweats and bundling up in a blanket on the living room couch, reading voraciously. Bridget flitted from one cringe-worthy moment to another, getting herself in all kinds of trouble that her friends good naturedly tried to help her out of. She had a dead end job, a crappy relationship (when she had one), and crazy friends. As the book went on, her whole life was transformed. She blossomed right before my eyes. It was what all women wanted–to achieve success in career and love without losing the wonderful friends who made life worth it when you had neither. It was girl power–er, woman power.

That’s what I want for my NaNoWriMo novel. My heroine is not finding love–at the start of the action, she has a great man. She has one really great girlfriend (not the optimum three). Her job leaves a lot to be desired but her life is pretty boring. That is, her life is boring except she is a compulsive liar–a well-meaning one, but that’s what she is. She lies about everything. The thing is, she wants it to be the truth, and starts out trying to make it the truth, but life gets in the way. The next thing you know, time slips away and she is faced with delivering on the lies or being humiliated and shamed. She may also lose her amazing man.

I will tell you more about the story as it develops, but I am excited about it. I want to eventually publish it. It should be ready just in time for all the events in the book to have happened (some take place in 2011). We will see.

I’ve never read many of the current favorites of the genre–the Shopaholics books, the ones with Sweet Potato in the title–which all appear to be serials, but I’m sure I’ll get around to it. What I hope to find in them, as I hope can be found in my own work, is good/great writing, fun & laughter, character growth, an emphasis on female friendship, expansion on what it means to be a woman from one woman’s existence, and a way to create a dialogue about something larger than shoes & purses.

What’s your NaNoWriMo novel about? What are you hoping your book would add to the genre if published? What great book inspired your love of the genre?

P.S. Love the clinical word for compulsive liars: Pseudologia Fantastica–sounds sexy! 😀

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