Thursday, August 11, 2011
Author Guest Post: Britney Bronte
Samantha at Chick Lit Plus has organized a blog tour for Britney Bronte's novel Do Not Lick the Phones. If you want to see all the reviews, check out the CLP Blog Tour page for Britney. Read on for a really interesting guest post from Britney. PS If you like what you read, find Britney on Facebook and Twitter and check out her novel!
Posh agents call chicklit ‘Commercial Women’s Fiction,’ which covers everything from romance to comedy. But more and more, chicklit is treated like a specific genre; modern, popular, and very lighthearted. Even when hearts are breaking, there’s fun to be had. Chicklit book covers often have a certain look, maybe a pastel background with some cute cartoon depiction of what’s going on between the pages. This is stuff that will entertain you on the train, not send your mascara careering half way down your face before work starts.
One of the most important things about chicklit is that the main character is someone readers can relate to. You may not like them, you may spend half the book wanting to throw them in the nearest dumpster, but somehow you get where they’re coming from.
That’s one of the things that separates the chicklit heroine from her cousin, the pure romance heroine. Purely romantic heroines can get away with near perfection, though they are more interesting without it (look at Jane Eyre, who isn’t pretty, check out Scarlett O’ Hara who’s a monster of selfishness) but chicklit heroines are defined by their flaws. If a chicklit heroine isn’t human and humorous, the story’s on a hiding to nothing. Romantic heroines often suffer from other people’s follies and villainies. That can happen to chicklit heroines too, but more often they are the ones making the daft mistakes. It’s what makes them approachable and real. Do Not Lick The Phones is a fiction based on a real world. The story’s told in the first person, and I’ve used the pseudonym Britney Bronte. So is Britney romance or chicklit? And how much of her is me?
Britney would love to be pure romance, but she’s clumsy and her life is too funny. The moment romance dares to be ridiculous and laugh at itself, it’s chicklit. Of course there’s a lot of me in Britney. I’m just harsher and further away. I like my heroine very much, but it’s my job to put her through hell for the sake of a good story. So can you base a chicklit heroine on your own dreams of romance? Sure, with separation, distance and discipline. Here’s a test for you.
Think about your plot;
Does it make you rage? OK, it may need journaling and redefining, some time to brew before you use it. Rage fuels some awesome artistic work, but it can also create ranting drivel.
Does it make you dream and maybe cry a little? Looks like you’re going down the pure romance route. Sigh, swoon, get it all down. We’re all ready to dream alongside you.
Does it make you laugh?
That’s the one, that’s the chicklit getting ready to leap from your keyboard to the screen and beyond. These definitions may be useful or they may not matter at all. The secret, the only secret, is to get in front of your PC and write!