This post was originally published at Novelicious.com and is now at WritingTipsOasis.com. WritingTipsOasis.com acquired Novelicious.com in June 2022.
BY CESCA MARTIN
When you think of boys you don’t think of soppy love stories, you don’t think of fluffy endings. You don’t think they’re ever worried about whether we like them, whether life is all it’s cracked up to be, you don’t think they’re ever racked by insecurity – these are MEN – they build fire and own tool boxes and watch SPORT.
They’re all boy-like and strange and well… different from us.
I don’t know about you but in my house if I said I wanted a DMC he would assume I wanted to buy a subscription to a new sports channel on Sky. If I said I wanted a good long chat about his thoughts he would wish to go into some detail about the latest result in the Premiership – why have Villa had such a poor season? What does he really feel… about the new Chelsea manager?
So with this in mind you would think boys should not be any good at writing books that girls like. We’re really, really different. Girls have feelings and want to talk about them. We’re thoughtful and kind and nice to animals. We like worrying, we relish a good freak out over the smallest trivial thing. And a freak out about the big stuff. And the middling stuff. We can be found crying at inexplicable moments in ridiculous places. We like to blame that on hormones. Of course we get all huffy and point out you’re being sexist if you blame it on our hormones but… The point is we like to escape from the madness for a moment into books that make us laugh and cry and say “that’s me”.
So it is with some trepidation that many women pick up their first ‘Lad Lit’ book (the ‘man’ version of chick lit for those not in the know). In fact a few girls have recently admitted to me that they have never bought a ‘Lad Lit’ book, have never even sampled the genre. Have never even considered doing so. How could a man possibly write a book that a woman would enjoy? It can’t be done!
But they are missing out. These men are simply fantastic at what they do, and we get the
bonus of a little glimpse into their uniquely boy world. For years I was lending Danny Wallace’s ‘Yes Man’ to any man/woman/beast who entered my home, I foist a copy of William Sutcliffe’s ‘Are You Experienced’ on any poor pupil who announces he might go on a Gap Yah and for any science geeks there is the wonderfully funny Richard Asplin’s ‘T shirt and Genes’. And it doesn’t even stop there, the list goes on… Iain Hollingshead, Nick Hornby, Matt Dunn, Mike Gayle…
The heroes are wonderfully well-written men going through the usual crises of being alive. The characters are full to the brim with witticisms and the books do often make even the toughest girl go ‘Ahhh’. So ladies – Lad Lit – books written by boys that if they were written by girls would be defined as chick lit. There are less shoes in them but lots and lots of laughs.