Fiction Genres: Ladies’ Edition – We Do Love To Nitpick

Today we will distinguish the variety of genres that are traditionally considered fiction for women.  I don’t mean to discount any men who find these genres entertaining, but men are simply not the target audience here.  The differences in these three main genres are in the details.  (Click on the links for examples in each genre.)

Women’s Fiction: This is easy. Women’s fiction is fiction about women’s issues. According to AQ, it will often utilize literary quality prose, but always deals with women’s struggles over adversity and explore the positive elements of women’s lives – strength, fortitude, and often meaningful relationships – differentiating it from…

Chick Lit: …which is generally humorous, lighthearted, and down-to-earth. It deals with many of the same issues as Women’s Fiction, and usually has a romance enveloped somewhere in the plot, but rarely takes these story elements or itself very seriously. Often career struggles, romantic challenges, and social issues are handled with an amusingly tongue-in-cheek tone. As opposed to…

Romance: …which always revolves around a romantic relationship between a man and a woman. Unlike the characters in Chick Lit, who are most often everyday girls in their 20s or 30s, Romance tends to be about regal or glamorous characters and is often set in an exotic location. Here’s an easy way to decide if you wrote a Romance: According to AQ, “if you didn’t intentionally set out to write a romance novel, it’s probably not romance”.



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