1. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Chic-lit: what are the components of a successful novel?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Tesoro, Sep 18, 2011.

    This is for those of you who have read and enjoyed chic-lit at least once.
    What is the recipe for a good chic-lit novel? What parts must be there?
    For ex. excessive partying? Uncertain relationships w boyfriends? betrayal? Yummy
    but non-reliable guys รก la Daniel Cleaver (Bridget Jones)? Shallow/crazy friends?
    which are the most important components for you? there will probably be several.
    Is first person POV a must be?
     
  2. Mallory
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    Mallory Mallegory. Contributor

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    Doesn't need to be 1st person - whichever suits the story best.

    Have different types of women in the circle of friends. I always get really annoyed reading chick lit that implies that every single woman on Earth just wants to find Mr. Right, plan a dream wedding and have kids, since I'm the opposite, so I generally prefer when the group of girls is made up of individuals with different life goals.

    Have lots of juicy stuff going on...lots of drama, "where will this situation go" type stuff, maybe each girl has some complicated situation going on and they tie together somehow. Drama situations include friend conflicts, family/parent issues, boyfriend issues, pregnancy-related issues, awkward misunderstandings that explode to out of proportion, etc.

    Betrayal and shallow friends is a good element, but I think the MC should have a solid girlfriend or two that she can always count on. (Unless this is supposed to be a more impactful book about a woman struggling to find friends, but when I hear "chick lit" I think of fluffy fun, like Meg Cabot's novels)

    Funny moments...inside jokes...things that I can relate to the crazy stuff I've done with my friends in real life.

    Get the dialogue realistic, too, that's important.

    Hope I helped!!
     
  3. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    thanks Mallory! those were good advice. I have an old first draft of a chic-lit novel that I really enjoyed writing but which seem to lack some things and others that doesn't seem to work, so I wanted to hear from people what it is that makes a good one, obviously everyone have their own taste, but some things I think we all have in common. I would really like to dust off this old novel because I liked the characters a lot, but I can't decide on what exactly I should do with it. The misunderstandings is a part that I missed, thanks for pointing it out :) and thinking of what you said I could probably add a couple of POV characters instead of having just one, like now. you made me get inspired again, which was exactly what I needed. Thanks! :)
     
  4. Shauna
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    Shauna New Member

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    I think its important that there is some sort of personal journey. Eat Pray Love comes to mind. Women who want to read stories about women are generally looking for something that inspires them and their own personal growth. I just finished The Help, which is another great example of growth in individual women and women as a group.
     
  5. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Or women whos life is a mess (in more than one way) and they read this kind of stories to get the feeling that there are "people" whos life is even worse...;) I understand what you mean, though, it was a good point. Last night i got some great ideas for characters, so it's a good start.
     
  6. Croga
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    Croga Member

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    I'm a man and have not really read such things, but from my viewing they normally rely on certain things during certain times.
    For instance during description most of the narrative is aesthetic and has all the senses using words like Filigree and embroidery with lots of personification and dramatic exaggeration of sounds and scents, but when things need to turn nasty or if they do then the lot is reversed and with out using disgustingly over the top descriptions the contrast from pretty in pink to maggot infested really drags down the tone.
    Other things is women are open with their emotions, but not always honest and the best books feature a woman who says one thing and leads the reader into an assumption, before it is apparent the opposite is true.
    Normally some form of narrative from an internal character maybe on her death bed or in a diary is needed to avoid info dump and to portray the internal conflicts with omniscience.
    Conflicts are nearly always internal and the external ones revolve around Relationships and children maybe in darker works about abuse and domestic violence.
    Dialog is important and delicate wording and humor is vital.
    But this is all my opinion based on limited reading.
     

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