Chick Lit: Can Men Write It?

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Can men write chick lit?

 explores this question by interviewing three men who write chick lit.  She begins this way:Think of romantic comedies or contemporary relationship fiction and most likely you’ll think of female authors. Perhaps only female authors. But you’d be wrong. Amongst the most successful titles in the genre are two written by men: One Day by David Nicholls, and The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks. And David and Nicholas are not alone when it comes to men writing relationship fiction; there are increasing numbers of men doing so. And they make a great contribution to the genre, one that perhaps deserves greater recognition and coverage. Here, we quiz three contemporary male authors on their take. 

Click here to read what three male chick lit authors have to say about writing this genre.

 Why not read a chick lit book during International Chick Lit Month

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20 thoughts on “Chick Lit: Can Men Write It?

  1. This is an amazing idea. Image interviewing three male authors about writing chick lit, which they have described as a derogatory term. Thanks so much for clearing that up. Yes, men can write about great female protagonists as well as romance, drama, females. Thank you Carol, as well as Nick, Matt and Neal. Your books all sound fabulous. ❤ 🙂

  2. I think men can write chick lit just as I think women can write war novels (which have historically been the domain of male writers). Authors should be able to write whatever genre they like as long as they capture the essence. I don’t read much chick lit, and I’ve never read Nicholas Sparks, but obviously he’s doing something right based on the sales he’s had!

    • I agree, writers should write what they like to write regardless of genre and label. Carrie, your comments always want me to explore more and this one made me curious as to what war stories were written by women and I found this in the Huffington Post. Pretty impressive list and although I’m not very much a convert to war stories there were a lot that seemed really interesting.
      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/soniah-kamal/women-write-war_b_5662555.html
      Thanks for the inspiration! Have a wonderful weekend! 🙂
      And yes, Nicholas Sparks is obviously doing something right.

      • Thanks for the link. I appreciate that! I guess I was thinking along the lines of actual combat description type books, but of course, there are a lot of other ways to tell stories about wars.

  3. I have no problem with men or women writing in the heads of the opposite sex, so long as they are convincing. I worry when people assume that you can only write about your own direct experience of life… it’s all about imagination, surely.

  4. Great post Carol. Yes it seems men can write chick lit and why not? Perhaps the stigma has been that we automatically think women write chick lit; but it’s not about who’s writing it, as it is about the subject content. 🙂

  5. I think it’s a shame we are judged by our sex. Maybe that’s why there’s J.K. Rowling and tons of other female authors known only by their initials. Of course, all comes out in the wash, and the writing is what counts. But I wish we were judged by our writing and not our sex.

  6. Your question raises so many broader thoughts in my mind about the perceived differences in writing between men and women. I’m reminded of a special that John Cleese (of Monty Python fame) did on wine some years back. He held a “wine tasting” for a group of friends. The ingenious part of the tasting was that the wine was served in an opaque “sippy cup.” The guests could not see what they were drinking. After they sampled the wine, he asked what seemed to be a simple question. “Was the wine red or white?”

    The responses were equally divided between white and red. Of course, half of the guests were wrong. I think it would be an interesting experiment to present readers with manuscripts in various genres, without providing any information about the authors, and ask, “Was the writer male or female?”

    How many readers would get the answer right?

  7. Really appreciated the male perspective on this issue and that they are writing chick lit and embracing and owning their work fully. Really appreciated what Alexander said- basically he writes about people and stories about the human condition. Why should writing about women be considered anything other than that?

  8. I may have written this before but Beatrix Potter wrote for children but it wasn’t until I saw “Miss Potter” that I learned she fought for small books for little children’s hands, was financially successful and donated 1,000’s acres to England to be either farmed in an environment slot sound way or made into preserves in what they term a “land trust.” Then there us Harper Lee and Isak Dinesen who wrote excellent books in a male “nom de plume” snd were successful. Would their books had been so widely accepted written and published as women? We may never know. I told a librarian about my Mom’s loving the 1920’s setting of Africa and how a woman was the center of a love triangle. She had assumed Isak was a man!!

  9. The part with “environmentally sound way” got mutated by my cell phone, Carol. My brother says eventually it can be “trained,” I have my doubts! 🙂

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