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See Jane Write Excerpt

See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | IndieBound | Indigo

Excerpt: Introduction

Here’s the thing about you: You love chick lit. You read it often, staying loyal to your favorite authors, but always willing to open your heart (and eyes) to a new chick on the block. When you read it, you laugh, you smile, you nod your head in recognition, you feel exposed, you feel hopeful. You think, I’ve thought that, I’ve been in that situation, I’m pretty sure I’ve dated that guy, and so on, until finally you arrive at, Hmm. I could write that.

Here’s the thing about us: We’re here to tell you, “Yes, you can.”

As a bestselling chick lit writer (meet Sarah) and a former chick lit editor (say hello to Farrin), we know a thing or thirty about chick lit. We’ve watched a lot of good women translate their lives’ highs and woes into good fiction. And we’d like to share our knowledge with someone who feels she has her own chick lit story locked somewhere inside of her: you.

Despite what you may hear, there’s no formula for chick lit. You can’t connect the dots and end up with a bestseller. But you can benefit from advice – and that’s what we’re here to provide. Us and a few of our friends and acquaintances – Meg Cabot, Sarah Dunn, Emily Giffin, Kristin Gore, Marian Keyes, Sophie Kinsella, Nicola Kraus, Emma McLaughlin, Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez, to name just a few.

You’re probably anxious to get to the guide part of our guide, so we’ll make this introduction short and sweet. But there are a few things we want to explain about how the book works. It’s broken down into two main parts. In Part 1, we talk about the general stuff: everything from what exactly chick lit is to how writing chick lit is like dating to how to steamroll your excuses and start your book already. In Part 2, we break down the writing process, touching on subjects like choosing your point of view, making your heroine likeable, and why you might want to reconsider including a gay best friend in your cast of characters.

We’ve sprinkled some cheeky but helpful (always helpful!) sidebars throughout the book. The ones titled “Mistakes I’ve Known” let you in on some of Farrin’s experiences editing chick lit manuscripts. “It Happened to Me” offers up anecdotes from Sarah’s writing life. “Chick Lit Mad Libs” both poke fun of some of the chick lit conventions and highlight the most egregious clichés – so you can avoid them. And “Words of Wisdom,” well, that’s pretty self-explanatory.

We occasionally take a tough-love approach, but that’s because we know you can handle it. You want your novel to be the best it can be.

And that’s what we want, too.

We hope you enjoy our guide to writing chick lit – and that it helps you become the heroine of your own story.