Women’s fiction can encompass many genres: comedy, drama, sci-fi, thriller and more, but one thing has to remain – it has to be written by women for women.
Whether it’s about a woman regaining her sense of self after a turbulent relationship or a woman taking a turbulent voyage into outer space, the genre is essentially an umbrella term to mark the above ethos.
After all, women’s fiction UK bookstores stock ranges from Liane Moriarty’s mysterious Big Little Lies to Margaret Atwood’s legendary dystopia The Handmaid’s Tale.
So, one thing that is good to know is that there is no overarching method for writing women’s fiction, as it traverses such a wide genre range, but there are a few tips you might want to incorporate when writing your first women’s fiction novel.
Be sure to consider the following useful tips when writing for your first women’s fiction novel:
1. Show the protagonist’s power
A common theme you’ll find across women’s literature – whether drama, political, romance or whatever – is that the protagonist is powerful and is ready to use that power to prevail and win the day.
From Jane Eyre to A People’s History of Heaven and beyond, a women’s fiction novel often contains a strong female lead (or leads) that is ready to overcome either personal or societal adversity (or both) to achieve what they set out to achieve.
So, who is your lead? What do they do? What – or who – is holding them back from achieving their goals? What is it that happens to them or around them that sets them off on their quest to prevail?
You may have thought of your concept first, or you may have thought about your lead, but the lead is imperative to propelling the narrative through their own personal power.
2. Always try to find something new
The awesome thing about placing a strong female lead at your plot’s centre is that there is so much room for creating something new and exciting. Part of the reason why women’s fiction is so popular is because it has the ability to create new and unique situations – the kind of which haven’t been read before in a novel.
Is there something happening in your world that is adversely affecting women and that you can shine a light on with a creative spin? Is there something that has always affected women that deserves to be spoken about?
Whether you’re crafting a deeply personal battle of the wills or turning a contemporary issue into a dystopian nightmare – you can always develop fascinating new themes or focus on issues that haven’t been touched on yet – this is something that savvy readers will delight to pick up on if it is pertinent.
3. Know why you are writing & go for it
Continuing on pertinence, women’s fiction can be about something as commonplace as a breakup or as big as political adversity. So the important thing is this: know why you are writing this novel and absolutely go for it.
Because at the end of the day, the overriding theme is what has the ability to drive the novel home for the reader, and so they will want to know that you, the author, has taken the time to truly consider why you are writing and what you are trying to convey.
When you know why you’re writing and who you are writing for you can more easily find the plot points and intricacies that make great women’s fiction novels so readable.