In this brief definition of the Women’s Fiction
Genre, the first thing that is apparent is the common
knowledge within the publishing industry that women constitute
the biggest book-buying segment. Good women's commercial fiction
usually touches the reader in ways other fiction cannot. Relationship
stories, generational sagas, love stories and women's commercial
fiction must touch on subjects women can relate to in their
real lives. Put another way: Women's fiction taps into the hopes,
fears, dreams and even secret fantasies of women today.
Women's fiction is a wide-ranging literary genre that includes
various types of novels that generally appeal more to women
than men. They are usually written by women, are addressed to
women, and tell one particular story about women. The genre
description is an umbrella term that covers mainstream novels,
romantic fiction, Chick lit and other sub-genres.
While the subject of Romantic Fiction genre has been discussed
section of the site, it is also important to realise that
it is clear the romance genre is a staple of women's fiction.
The romance market is serious business, producing serious revenues,
by serious women.
There are similarities between women's fiction and romance,
but also distinct differences. While many of the publishers
may be the same for both genres, editors are looking for the
key elements that make for compelling women's fiction. The romantic
novel is sometimes known as "women's fiction".
A light hearted or acerbic version with a heroine in her twenties
or early thirties is sometimes called "chick lit".
Chick Lit’ Genre
Chick Literature, called “Chick Lit” is a genre
description disliked by some people. However one thing is for
certain: love or hate the term, chick lit continues to find
an audience and is growing at an incredible rate. These novels
written by women, for women may be dismissed as frivolous, but
their immense popularity proves that they have tapped into a
Within the framework of Chick-lit, the sub-genre which has proved
most successful is the column-turned-novel. The two best known
in the sub-genre (or super-genre) are Bridget Jones’s
Diary (1996) and Sex and the City
It was Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's
Diary, published in the UK in 1996 that marked the arrival of
'chick lit'. It was only 271 pages long but unleashed a battalion
of Bridget’s, launching one of the biggest tidal waves
in publishing history and launched a flurry of manuscripts that
could bury a small nation in typescript. The phrase now appears
in the Oxford Dictionary.
Why are women buying the brightly coloured
novels by the millions?
Whether the covers are pink or black,
have pastel-coloured dust jackets bearing whimsically retro
images of cocktail glasses, trendy purses, and spiky heels,
authors believe the genre has a viable future because story
lines and characters mirror society.
The books are fun. They are realistic. The
characters are recognizable, often featuring a contemporary
heroine that women of today can relate to. Often the protagonists
are addressing an issue of today or even ‘the modern female
experience’, whether that is single life, married life,
office politics, playground politics or all of the above. The
term 'romantic comedy' or 'wit lit,' might even be used?
The genre has captured the spirit of the times among young women
and its popularity reaches a wide audience. In the future, chick
lit could serve as a genre that discusses women's issues, prompting
its readers to question gender roles, consumerism, and the global
status of women.
A lot of people are still worried about the influence of the
popular genre of fiction known as 'chick lit.' This combination
of humour, great characters (both main and secondary), fun plot,
and an instant association with the main character are a proven
hit formula. Chick lit, for better or worse, is here to stay.
Some of the books are indelibly etched into popular culture
and the genre will continue to evolve and change as
both the writers and readers grow.