Thinking ahead

As a well known writing magazine states, the best way to beak into Women's Fiction is to keep at it. (I think they're talking about writing.) Strong characters and relationships are important and we all like emotionally driven stories. One agent says she wants a powerful story that will grab her by the collar and not let go.

Well, that's fine, as far as it goes. But what grabs her by the collar may be a story that barely holds my interest and the next person might toss it unread back on the pile. Reading is so subjective that advice in the round almost meaning unless by sheer chance you happen to find the agent who thinks exactly like you do. And the chances of that happening are about as lucky as the snowball rolling unscathed through hell.

One thing the agents agree on. Chick lit, mom-lit and sex-lit have all decreased in popularity. Chick lit, they say, has migrated down to Young Adult as women's coming-of -age stories, or more hopefully YA has migrated upwards to encompass it. Either way, women now want more challenging reads.

'Positive effects of the right balance of emotional appeal will help the reader connect with the characters as well as create an exciting an unpredictable storyline' (Katie Shea of the Donald Maas LA)
'Readers will be looking for more sweeping plots, big stories that are very involving, thought-provoking and don't necessarily have black and white happy endings.' (Dorothy Lumley, Dorian LA)
'Write something that stands out, something, fresh - something that makes you think. Women want books they can discuss in groups. They want more substance.' (Jane Judd)
'Real women want to read something they can relate reationships.' (Wendy Sherman.)
So there you have it. Something for everyone. But make it fresh, make it exciting and give it substance.
Catch the whole article in  the January edition of Writing.


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