Presentation on theme: "Notes Aubree Mount. How do Chick Lit authors hook and hold their readers? Focus on characterization. “If you have a quirky, interesting, dynamic, funny,"— Presentation transcript:
How do Chick Lit authors hook and hold their readers? Focus on characterization. “If you have a quirky, interesting, dynamic, funny, gripping character (or two or three), you can write about watching paint dry and your readers will be fascinated! It’s your character’s personality, thoughts, and actions that hooks readers — not necessarily the plot, theme, or setting of your chick lit novel” (Pawlik- Kienlen). Give your characters a life – not just a boyfriend. If you want to write chick lit, you need to give your women a dynamic, complex life (Pawlik- Kienlen). Encourage your chick lit characters to tap into their strength. The women in Froelich’s Mercury in Retrograde are complex and dynamic. “They all go through something traumatic to make them change,” Froehlich says of her characters. “For Lipstick, it is money – she’s living off her parents until she finally understands that there’s strings attached. She doesn’t have control – she has to take it back.” When Lipstick finally moves into her own apartment, she reflects: “It’s all been so humiliating and stressful to realize I was just their puppet. To be honest, I have no idea what I’m going to do about anything.” But, forced to improvise after her credit cards are cut off, she discovers a talent for fashion design (Pawlik- Kienlen).
How do Chick Lit Readers persuade their readers? “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 (Pawlik- Kienlen).
What is the relationship between Chick Lit and the truth? "Remember Me?" by Sophie Kinsella Kinsella, best known for her "Shopaholic" series, gives us a stand- alone reverse Cinderella story here. Heroine Lexie wakes up in the hospital to find she has a hot, rich husband, a great body, and a super- charged career, but she can't remember how she got them. Three years have disappeared from her memory, years that somehow turned her dead-end dumpy-girl existence into a life she doesn't recognize (Bronson). "Good in Bed" by Jennifer Weiner Weiner's now a hugely popular author, but her early books are just as good as her recent releases. In this, her first book, we meet Candace Shapiro, a late-20ish reporter, talented, reasonably successful, happy with her life and just about recovered from her break-up with her slacker boyfriend. But he begins writing thinly-disguised tell-all columns about their relationship in a national women's magazine (Bronson). "Love the One You're With" by Emily Giffin What draws perfectly sensible women to bad boys? Giffin explores the answers in this novel about Ellen Graham, newly and happily wed to handsome, rich and reliable Andy but jolted out of her serenity by a chance encounter with her moody, yet charismatic ex, Leo. As he insinuates himself into her life, Ellen's insecurities rush back, and she's no longer sure of the choices she's made (Bronson).
(Cont.) "The Brightest Star in the Sky" by Marian Keyes The varied residents of a Dublin townhouse - a young married couple with a secret, flat- mates who hate (but lust for) each other, a hard-edged cabbie and a PR whiz - are reaching for love, the "brightest star" of the title. Their efforts often seem more star-crossed than predestined. The residents are viewed and tweaked by a wandering spirit who is determined to make their relationships work in spite of their all-too-human failings (Bronson). "Size 12 is Not Fat" by Meg Cabot Cabot, known for her "Princess Diaries,'' here introduces Heather Wells, a former teen pop star who has quietly faded into the hazy realm of weren't-you-somebody after being dumped by her boyfriend and embezzled by her manager. Taking a job as an assistant manager of a student residence hall in hopes of getting free college tuition, she turns detective when first one, then another of her residents takes an unscheduled trip down an elevator shaft (Bronson). "Mr. Maybe" by Jane Green Libby, a literary descendent of Bridget Jones, is a London publicist determined to find herself a gorgeous and wealthy Mr. Right who can take her away from her poorly paying job and hum-drum existence. Until he arrives on his white horse, however, she's perfectly happy with Nick, who's gorgeous, smart, funny and sensitive but definitely NOT wealthy or ready to commit. When Mr. Right enters the scene, Libby is torn between her dreams and her reality (Bronson). "The Devil Wears Prada" by Lauren Weisberger Yes, you saw the movie, but it was an even better book! Recent Brown grad Andrea, newly hired peon to "Runway" magazine chief Miranda Priestly, finds herself abandoning both her comfortable loafers and her hopes of literary fulfillment to fax, fetch and carry to the specifications of her infinitely demanding boss. Does she even have a life anymore (Bronson)?
How are the Chick Lit books written by men different than those written by women? “My wife suggested I write something fun and upbeat, like chick lit. Ha! Are you kidding? It wasn't that I didn't like chick lit; it just didn't seem like guys did it, sort of like going into the women's locker room. Some places we just don't belong. But then I realized my wife had hit upon a brilliant plot idea: A guy who has no business writing chick lit actually writing chick lit. I had instant conflict and the perfect fish-out- of-water set up” (Begley). “I've known my wife for 13 years - we've been married for over nine - so I'd picked up some excellent info about women in that time. And she didn't even know I was researching her! Seriously, she's beautiful and smart and we have great conversations - plus we have wonderful female friends - so I went into the project with a comfortable understanding of a woman's world. I did have to do research for the chick lit genre, though, and that meant reading all sorts of women's magazines, such as Glamour and Allure and Cosmo. And let me tell you, reading Cosmo was eye-opening. Every other piece was about sex, and none too shy about it. Wow. More than anything, though, I wanted to let women in on the way guys think, especially when it comes to relationships. And here's the message: expect more from your man. We know how to listen. We know how to express ourselves. We know how to be thoughtful and generous and kind. Don't settle for second-class treatment, because you're not second class. There's a guy out there who can't wait to love you, the right way” (Begley).