Here we are on week 5 of our fantastic regular column by our secret writer, Emily Tootsweet. Emily is really enjoying all the feedback and comments from you lovely readers so keep em' coming!
Enjoy, writerly types…
It’s all about style, darling!
As a huge fan of chick lit, I have a vast collection of books in the genre. I have my big favourites and my not-so-big favourites but I love my collection to bits. So much so I’m a bit obsessive. I can’t have a book with a bent/creased spine or folded pages – to me, that’s just wrong! Use a bookmark – it's what they were invented for.
Anyway, I like reading chick lit so writing it seemed to be the next thing to do. Basically I write chick lit exactly how I like to read it – if that makes any sense. Every writer has their own style and I’m in the process of trying to get my own up and running. I would love to be the next Sophie Kinsella but I just don’t think I have what it takes to use ’her’ style. When I first started on my first novel, I wanted to write like her but the more I wrote the more I realised it just wasn’t me. I couldn’t do quirky however hard I tried. I’m not saying there’s no funny bits in my first novel, I’d like to think there’s plenty but I just can’t seem to do quirky and light hearted.
My first novel is based heavily on emotions. I try to tug on readers heart strings and get them to feel for the characters – for example, a character gets dumped in a pretty horrendous manner. I wrote my socks off for that part, making sure the reader could step inside the shoes of that character. I wanted the readers to remember when they themselves were dumped and could share what the character was going through. I seem to touch on semi-serious subjects and that doesn’t link well with the quirky, light hearted style of Kinsella.
And when I look at my second novel, that steps away from the quirky light hearted style of Kinsella too and continues with the semi-serious topics. However, I also find in this particular novel that I’ve decided to be a bit more risky with the more ‘romantic’ scenes. I’ve just got to remember that I’m writing chick lit and not erotic fiction – leave something for the readers’ imaginations! ;o)
So I would say I’m still trying to find my feet, style wise. What is my writing style? What sub-genre of chick lit am I writing? I guess I’m writing a bit of everything, hence the six or seven different books, and whatever gets accepted by an agent will be my style and genre. But I wonder if I should give quirky and light hearted another go? Is that the most popular sub-genre of chick lit? Or do readers like a bit of serious stuff every so often? And what about the more ‘romantic’ scenes – is less more? Lots of questions and not many answers…. Writing isn’t something you learn over night… it just goes to show that you can write for years and years and yet you’re still learning and trying to find your own way and style.
Emily Tootsweet :o)