Friday, June 10, 2011

What can I say...

Sometimes I like to read chick-lit.  So kill me.

Of course I read other stuff, too.  I majored in English.  It's not that I don't understand what makes a book good or bad.  But you know what?  Sometimes I like to read chick-lit - even when I recognize that it's not necessarily "good" fiction.  Because it's fun.  And it feels sort of indulgent.  I especially like to read it in the summer - summer is more laid back than the rest of the year (even though absolutely nothing changes about my job/lifestyle during the season).

My latest chick-lit read was Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin.  And I loved it!  It actually prompted me to buy three more chick-lit books (one other by Giffin).  One of the things that most impressed me about the book, though, was that it wasn't really written badly.  Yes, of course the plot was kind of silly (which comes with the territory), but the way she actually said those things?  Not too bad.  And she seems to have pretty impressive creds: she went to Wake Forest and then to Virginia Law and then worked as a lawyer in NYC until she decided to become an author.  I'm on board with that.

But all this to say, it got my little brain churning.  I've always said that "someday" I'm going to be a writer.  Like, a legitimate, "I have no other job," writer. 

Well...what if I write chick-lit?

I've never really considered it before dismissing it as "fake" writing and/or not fulfilling of my personal life goals.  But here are the facts: I like to read chick lit.  I love the cheesy story lines and the idealized characters.  A lot of women (and probably some men) read chick-lit.  There has to be a market for the more well-written end, a la Emily Giffin, (which is making a big assumption I could write better than some of the stuff out there - and I guess it could be a lot harder than it seems).  But, assuming I could do it, why not me?  I think, actually, I could find writing that stuff fulfilling, if not fun!  And there would probably be less pressure to churn out books like that than berating myself as I try & fail to write The Great American Novel.  I think there would be a lot less criticizing every. single. word. and more, well, fun

I think I'm going to look at my reading of these next three books as deliciously indulgent research.  Noting what works with the book and what doesn't.  How the whole thing flows.  How the character development is successful or unsuccessful.  How they deal with time and pacing.  How they begin.  How they end.  Stuff like that.

So...if I promise never to mention a "heaving bosom," would you guys read my book(s)? 

Happy weekend!

5 comments:

Tippy said...

Plus writers of this type of literature get to do research just like "real" writers. And generally this includes you attending night-clubs, bars, exciting locales, etc all in the name of "work". AWESOME!!!

Sarah said...

I happen to love a nice indulgent chic-lit read. I think I've read all of Emily Giffin's and I enjoyed each one. If you write a chic-lit novel, sign me up!

jessicakamrath said...

Hey Jackie! It's Jessica Kamrath. I've been stalking your blog since Eleanor posted something about it:) Anyway, I've read 3 of Emily Griffin's books and I'm on my fourth. I read "Something Blue" right after "Something Borrowed" and it's better! Happy reading (and writing?)!

Team DesGranges said...

1) My mom had to go to a strip club to do research for a book. She did not enjoy it.
2) I will be really interested to hear your dissection of chick lit! Do you think it will always start with one of the following: "sarcastic, power alpha female is done with guys for good" or "sweet, shy female is convinced she'll never find love"?

Claire said...

I can only speak to the quality of the movies into which the books have been adapted, which, on the whole, have been terrible. They haven't made a thinking woman's romantic comedy in years (exception: Devil Wears Prada (despite cheesy I-live-in-NY-and-have-NY'y-friends scenes)).

And I will of course support anything you write. :)