Things I have learnt from Chick Lit

The main character absolutely must be under 40. If not under 35. Presumably because by 40 she would be expected to have her life totally sorted and face none of the trifling problems the Chick Lit heroine must deal with, e.g. cheating boyfriend/no boyfriend, unwanted pregnancy/lack of pregnancy, etc.

She owns, or will own over the course of the book, the most amazing wardrobe, complete with designer shoes and designer bags, all bought on a reporter’s salary.

Oh, yeah. She’s a journalist. Or works at a magazine. Or works in television.


I thought this was going to be about things you learned from Chick Tracts.

Such as “The guy going ‘haw haw haw’ always goes to hell”.

Me, too.

Serious question, here - what’s the difference between “Chick Lit” and “Romance Fiction”? Is it any more than simply the social cachet for the writer/reader? I’ve read scads of romance books, but I can’t think of anything I’d call Chick Lit that I’ve read. Of course, part of that is simply that most romance fiction is mental popcorn - and thoroughly forgettable, once it’s over. (I don’t finish the ones that are forgettable while reading.)

I need to have a friend who is much more savvy than I in the romance/fashion/career department. Sort of like a peer-mentor. I will then prove (by the end of the book) that I am savvier still.
It helps to be upper middle class, white, heterosexual, and non-denominational Christian, even if non-practicing.

More sarcasm and cussing, I believe.

Hmmm. Doesn’t “chick lit” usually have a dual emphasis on personal drama and work drama (albeit they often cross lines)? I’ve not read any appreciable amount of pure romance novels, but I suspect the little office-drama things (clashing with a bitchy rival or overweening male boss) are more pronounced in what’s thought of as chick lit, right?

I haven’t read any romance books, or what I think would be classified as romance books - correct me if I’m wrong here but I’m thinking Danielle Steele, Harlequin type books, etc.

I guess one of the main differences between them and Chick Lit type books is that Chick Lit isn’t always about someone finding true love - it can be about a variety of “problems” or challenges in everyday life (family, job, weight gain, etc), although romance does feature.

And now that I’ve said that, I’m going to give Bridget Jones’ Diary as an example of Chick Lit, which of course is about romance but it’s the only one I can think of that has been such a huge success on both sides of the Atlantic.

However, I would also classify The Devil wears Prada as Chick Lit and that is not exactly a romance.

Also, Chick Lit tends to be aimed at, and about, women in their late twenties to mid thirties. I think romance novels target a wider female audience.

Just my two cents’ worth.

And what she said :wink:

And I.

I’m damned disappointed.

Haw haw haw.

I always had the impressions that Romance Fiction was a subcategory of Chick Lit.

It’s a marketing category, and is separate from romance. It’s marketed to upscale young women and usually features professional women who have troubles dealing with their love life. Romance novels have realistic paintings of the heroine, usually in the arms of an improbably handsome man. Chick Lit novels have line drawings or photos on the cover with the title in a script font, and usually don’t show a man.

Note that, as a marketing category, it doesn’t matter about the subject matter or anything else: it’s what the marketing department thinks will sell better as a chick lit novel than as a romance novel.

Unless you’re the heroine of a Jennifer Weiner novel, in which case it helps to be upper middle class, white, heterosexual, and Jewish, even if non-practicing.

Well, in that case: 50% of the population is rich. And handsome/beautiful.

There’s always a cowboy/Special Forces/cop/doctor/lawyer type available for the heroine, when she really, really, really needs one. (Assuming, of course, that she’s not one of the above professions. In which case she’s going to be there for the guy, instead. Can’t have those cowboy/Special Forces/cop/doctor/lawyer types go doubling up, so to speak, and start reducing the available numbers to the deserving.)

The paranormal is actually normal, and works.

Marriages of convenience will always lead to the love of one’s life.

Another essential factor (in Brit Chick Lit) is this use of “sorted.” “I’ve got to get sorted” (meaning "I’ve got to figure out what to do with my life and settle down with someone.)

Completely jarring to my American ears and also shocking to see it in the mouth of a male character (such as Rob in “High Fidelity”). To me, it seems like the kind of phrase a young man wouldn’t employ. It’s too “self help book” or “annoying mother” sounding.

It may sound that way to you but all it is is a way of saying you’re going to get your act together. Everyone uses it over here and never in either a self-help or annoying mother type way. :wink:

No woman can count to 28 and realize her period is late. NO woman ever keeps track of her periods. She only finds out she is pregnant when someone else points it out to her or during a routine physical

This ditzy flitting from one extreme to another with that thought in the mind of the protagonist is part of what makes me hate to read chick lit. If I wanted that kind of scatterbrained instability, I could talk with my friend L. :rolleyes: Her life is a walking piece of chick lit, but without the fabulous job or the luxurious wardrobe.

IMHO, chick lit is the grown-up version of the problem novel that became big for young aduts (ages 10-15) in the '70s and '80s, only the protagonists are 25-38 and the problems involve work and relationships, rather than parents divorcing, death of a sibling, or teen pregnancy.