Thursday, September 28, 2006

Not Your Typical How-To Book

Will-Write-for-Shoes-coverYou have to be a bit careful where you read this how-to book—at least if you are a guy. Otherwise you will raise some questions. It’s a solid pink cover and the title, Will Write for Shoes, How to Write a Chick Lit Novel by Cathy Yardley. It’s a good book from an experienced author with this genre of fiction. She explains the history of this genre, looks at some of the trends, provides specific insight for writing a chick lit novel, then provides some realistic details about the business aspects of selling such a book (under the heading “The Crapshoot That is Selling Your Novel).

I slipped off the cover when I was reading this book then it appears like a solid black hardcover.  It’s really how I read any hardcover. I hate to mess up the slip on cover so I remove it, read the book, then put it back on the book. It has nothing to do with the appearance of the cover.

Cathy Yardley has some great writing experience and solid teaching for writers of all levels in her book. Here’s a taste of it—and something that will help you even if you aren’t writing chick lit. It will help you for any novel writing. When it comes to creating the premise for your story. Here’s some questions to test your story:

  1. “Why do you want to write this book? What appeals to you about it?
  2. What makes it different from other books you’ve read or heard about?
  3. Who is your main character (or characters)? (You don’t need to know exactly; this is just a preliminary exercise.)
  4. What’s the story question? Why would a reader want to keep reading? What’s at stake?
  5. Do you have a vague idea how it ends?
  6. Do you have a message or theme you want to explore with this book?
  7. What do you want the reader to walk away with after reading this book?” (p. 31–32)

You have to ask the hard questions—to yourself—before you ever think about sending your book to a publisher.  It’s another bit of insight about how to get out of the slush pile and into print.

2 Comment:

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Cara Putman Left a note...

Looks like an interesting book. And the questions are great for any genre. Now back to wrestling with them on my WIP and story ideas.

At 4:38 PM, Blogger Heather Ivester Left a note...

This looks like a great book, especially with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) coming up in November. I'm sure there are many chick-lit readers who'd someday like to write a novel.


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