Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Profile: How to Write in High Heels with Elaine Viets

See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit by Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin JacobsSherri Winston, writing for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, recently spoke with mystery author Elaine Viets who writes the Dead End Job series featuring Helen Hawthorne and a new series featuring mystery shopper Josie Marcus. Her motivation to contact Viets: one of several new books on writing "Chick Lit", See Jane Write by Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin Jacobs.

What is chick lit? "I think chick lit is really a marketing tool. It's a label publishers put on women's fiction. I think any woman's book that's smart and funny and a little cheeky gets labeled chick lit," Viets says.

See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit by Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin JacobsWinston writes that Viets' view of chick lit mirrors the advice in See Jane Write. Viets says, "I think there are certain things that do define chick lit books. One is the friendships. The thing about real friends is they will tell you when you're going wrong. I think chick lit reflects women and how they see the world."

Because chick lit is often light and breezy, a lot of novices might think it's easier to write or is a lesser form of literature, Winston adds. Before you go thinking being funny is a piece of cake, Viets has this to say: "I think the hardest thing in the world is to be funny and get away with it. To be funny, you have to be honest, and people don't like honesty. And to be funny you have to have an edge. There are a hundred ways to offend people when you're being funny -- I've done 'em all. With humor, you're always walking an edge. You have to be very, very careful."

According to Viets, chick lit shares with all other forms of fiction four common important elements: Character, Plot, Setting, Motivation.

Read the rest of the Elaine Viets interview on Sun-Sentinal.com here.

Other recently published books on the subject of chick lit include: Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel by Cathy Yardley, This Is Chick-Lit edited by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, and Chick Lit: The New Woman's Fiction by Suzanne Ferriss and Mallory Young.

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