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Chick lit: It’s Predictable

November 19, 2013

Every once in a while I get a review of my book that says it was predictable. Um… yah. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t all chick lit predictable?

 

Essentially, there’s a formula for chick lit. It varies from book to book and writer to writer, but it basically stays the same. There’s the heroine/hero, there’s the love interest, there’s the drama, and then there’s the happily ever after.

 

I wonder in their remarks that it was predictable, were they looking for something unpredictable? Maybe a not-so-happily-ever-after? Let me tell you what would happen if I wrote a book with a not-so-happy ending. Ten percent of my readers would think “huh, that’s different”, and the other ninety percent would throw the book across the room (unless it was on their kindle, and then they would very gently, but sternly, delete it from their files, never to be seen or read again).

 

I also wonder, if by unpredictable, are they looking for something more realistic? Now, I don’t know about you, but when I read, I’m not looking for “real”. I have enough “real” in my everyday life. When I read, I’m looking for an escape - a way to go on vacation, without actually having to go on vacation. So for me, I like the predictable. I look forward to it. I know that when I open Sophie Kinsella’s newest novel there will be a happy ending and that makes me want to read it.

 

After all, isn’t the joy in the journey? How will they get from A to B? How will the love blossom? How will they work through whatever drama will be thrown their way?

 

So is chick lit predictable? Yes. And I would like to keep it that way, thank you very much. If you are looking for something less predictable, might I suggest a mystery, or a biography. Perhaps a dystopian novel would do the trick (I’ve thrown a few of those across the room). But let’s keep chick lit the way it was meant to be: predictably lovely. 

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