Monday, April 19, 2010

Genre: Defining My Women's Fiction

I write truth and I write fiction. I like weaving them together, in my women's fiction.

Women's fiction is that which is written with female readers in mind. It's about the protagonist's journey through a story, about her growth, her progress.

I have a theme. I think most writers do.

I've found each of my main characters is on the path of self-discovery. Whether it's someone leaving her job and relocating to start anew, someone realizing it's never too late to change, or finally getting to the root cause of her messy life, it's a common direction. Self-discovery, in simplest of terms.

My current work-in-progress (WIP) is in rewrites. My main character is a woman who's lived her whole life one way and now, as life is fragile, assesses what different would mean. She's on a journey.

Aren't all women on a journey? I think it never ends. We have so much to feel and learn. There's so much to relate.

That's what women's fiction is to me, and it's what I most love to write. It's what I hope my eventual readers will most love to read.

33 comments:

june said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie Ganshert said...

I love women's fiction! Great post!

Lydia Kang said...

Great post. Without the journey, reaching the goal wouldn't mean nearly as much.

Sharla said...

Mine is really women's fiction too, but since Womens Fiction with paranormal romantic element was too long to query, I had to pick one! LOL!

And yes, we are always on a journey. Always trying to improve, change, update, move forward or move back. We're never still. Men on the other hand, find a chair and will still be there 10 yrs later. LOL

Karen Walker said...

I love reading the kind of book you describe here, Janna. I am attempting fiction for the first time (I write memoir and personal essay). My fiction will most definitely have to have truth in it as well. Lovely post.
Karen

Travis Erwin said...

I too love tow rite women's fiction but boy does it seem to muddy the genre's waters when a man is the author.

Not sure if you read the excerpt when I posted it on my blog a few weeks ago but my latest Women's Fiction novel is still alive in the Amazon breakthrough novel contest. So far I've made the top 250 out of 5000 entries. If you or any of your readers are interested you can read the first few chapters of it on my blog or at Amazon.com by searching for my name. The novel is title Waiting On The River and I'd love to hear what a fellow fan of Women's fiction thinks of the opening.

Travis Erwin said...

If you are interested here the link to the excerpt on my blog

http://traviserwin.blogspot.com/2010/03/putting-too-in-two-line-tuesday.html

and at Amazon. It's free but you have to have a kindle or the Kindle to PC app which is also free.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003CV7S9U/ref=yml_dp

Karen said...

I can't wait to read yours!!

Rebecca Nazar said...

Self-discovery is messy, but always a satisfying read. Good luck rewriting. : )

Tom Stephenson said...

Oh, women schwomen - if you sexualise the human experience, then you just plain politicise it.

If that's what you want, then go ahead, but don't complain about 'Lad Mags', and don't complain that Germain Greer has turned into an inappropriate has-been, 30 years after she wrote all that stuff. Why don't you just write FICTION, and get on a higher level?

Kaylie said...

I think it's important to write what you love, and then figure out the category later.

Deb Shucka said...

I really like how you've expressed this. And I can hardly wait to read your book.

Janna Qualman said...

To everyone else, thanks so much for your support, and your kind words--even when you disagree.

Janna Qualman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Adam said...

Lovely description of what you write, Janna. :)

Adam

Lisa E. said...

So much truth to this! I think everyone is on a journey of self discovery. What is life, if not a journey? Sure, you have moments of "destination" such as winning the award, learning a new skill, getting published, getting married, becoming a parent, achieving the big promotion at work....but those are a mere few days in a the journey. It's the "in-between" moments that truely make you who you are. I can't WAIT to read your books Janna!

Carole said...

What an expression! And you are right, my dear. We are all on a journey. Having the opportunity to read about others' obstacles and choices makes a person feel a little less weird; a little less abnormal when the unexpected pops up.

Terri Tiffany said...

Janna,
I LOVE what you are writing. It is a strong relatable book that any woman will be happy to read:)))

Wendy Paine Miller said...

Janna,

It sounds like you and I write similar stuff, but honestly I knew that before this post. Someday if you're interested in swapping for feedback I'm open to it.

BTW...I like all the authors you list in your sidebar. Woo hoo.
~ Wendy

Cassandra Frear said...

Because you love what you are doing and you are working faithfully at your craft, you bet!

William Zinsser says in Writing About Your Life that if you are having a good time writing, your readers will sense it and have a good time reading what you write!

Jen said...

Amazing post!!! I love women's fiction it always makes me feel empowered, I learn a little bit about myself and I think you always learn a little something about the writer... always leaves you inspired!

Melanie Avila said...

That's so weird Janna. I didn't realize you were the one who coined the phrase women's fiction. The bookshelves would be a lot easier to navigate if everything was lumped under one big category.

As you know, I write WF too. :)

Jessica Nelson said...

Nice breakdown! And I hate to break it to Tom, but the human experience IS sexualized in so many ways, and I think it's natural and okay. My two cents and I hope it doesn't start something. If it does, feel free to delete my comment, Janna.

Anyway, you write wonderfully and I think your voice fits well with your genre. I'm posting about that tomorrow. *grin*

Cindy said...

Janna, I love women's fiction and have a new respect for it since working on my new WIP which just so happens to be in that same genre.

There is something so moving about a woman's journey and the self-discovery she goes through.

All the best with your rewrites!

Nadine said...

I agree, I think we are all on a journey.

Beautiful post!

Jewel/Pink Ink said...

I have a hard time categorizing my writing because I write about people in their late teens but I wouldn't say my style is "YA". I really think it's "women's fiction" but I keep waiting for someone tell me. Your post is a sign :-).

Capri K said...

All of life is a journey, isn't it.
I think I would like to read your book!

Natalie said...

I love reading self-discovery books. I learn a lot by watching a character discover the truth about her life.

Jill Kemerer said...

That doesn't surprise me at all. Your blog has this women's fiction vibe. I know your book will be amazing!

Jan Cline said...

I think women face some of the toughest journeys there are. But we are survivors and all have a story to tell about our hills and valleys.

Karen Lange said...

I agree, we are on a journey, with many adventure filled days:)
Blessings,
Karen

Jeanette Levellie said...

I love it that your characters are changing. We change whether we enjoy it or not. It's good that you write from your heart, Janna. That way we can all relate.

Lotty said...

I would be proud to call my shortie and my novel women's fiction. Nice post as always.

Best
Lotty x