Book Reviews: See Jane Write and Will Write for Shoes

Nancy’s Reviews of Two Books on How to Write Chick Lit

See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit by Sarah Mlynowski and Farrin Jacobs
Bestselling author Sarah Mlynowski and chick lit editor Farrin Jacobs team up to provide a thorough guide to writing novels for the increasingly popular sub-genre of women’s fiction, chick lit. From developing your novel to selling it, Mlynowski and Jacobs provide practical tips about what to do and what to avoid as you navigate through your overall debut novel experience. In addition, they include advice from other bestselling authors such as Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, Emily Giffin, and Marian Keys. Mlynowsi’s special feature It Happened to Me is included throughout and details her specific experiences while writing her own novels. Jacobs’ special feature Mistakes I’ve Known describes issues that she has seen and dealt with as an editor, providing valuable insight from an editor’s point of view. The book is divided into two parts: The Big Picture and The Details. In The Big Picture, Mlynowski and Jacobs delve into their definition of chick lit, reasons to write, the therapeutic power of writing chick lit, and how to rid yourself of excuses not to write and finally dive into your story. In The Details, they discuss how to create compelling main characters and secondary characters, style, structure, pacing, revising, and querying agents.

See Jane Write is a fantastic resource for aspiring chick lit authors. The fun illustrations and straightforward advice through actual authors’ stories contribute to the fresh, honest outlook from which this book is written. Mlynowski’s and Jacobs’ guide is comprehensive and packed with essential information for anyone trying to break into chick lit. However, some of the tips are obvious and will be familiar to most aspiring authors. If all of the information is brand new to you, you have a lot more work to do than you thought. But you’re in luck because there is another guide to writing chick lit that can help you as well.

Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel
by Cathy Yardley

Chick lit and romance author Cathy Yardley shares her own guide for penning a successful chick lit novel in Will Write for Shoes. This easy to read how-to book gives aspiring novelists a point of reference when embarking on their first journey toward publication. Yardley includes an agent listing, a publisher listing, sample submission materials, and online resources. The main content of the book is separated into four parts: It’s a Chick’s World, Where Do I Sign Up?, Baby Needs a New Pair of Shoes, and Frequently Asked Questions. The first part defines chick lit and gives a history of the genre, as well as the basics of traditional chick lit and new, emerging trends. The second part delves into how to write a chick lit novel by focusing on premise, characters, plot, outlining, structure, point-of-view, setting, voice, and revisions. The third part provides readers with tips on selling a novel, such as how to write a query letter and a synopsis, how to find an agent, how to approach publishers, how to network online, and how to form a critique group. The final part answers questions that Yardley is asked on a regular basis by aspiring authors.

Will Write for Shoes is another must have resource for aspiring chick lit writers. Yardley’s friendly tone is refreshing and candid. She writes with wit and ease, providing valuable advice. Like See Jane Write, some of the pointers will be familiar to writers. However, this is still an essential guide for any aspiring chick lit author to have on hand. Romance authors may also find this book helpful and necessary. The samples and agent listing are particularly important and can serve as a starting point when trying to sell your novel.

See Jane Write
and Will Write for Shoes are key writing guides for anyone who wants to write chick lit. Every aspiring author will learn at least a few new pieces of information. That information can make all the difference when establishing a novel writing career.

To learn more about Sarah Mlynowski, visit
To learn more about Cathy Yardley, visit
Have these books helped you? Do you know of any other essential writing books for chick lit authors? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section. Thanks!