Maybe your main character suddenly finds herself alone. Her back-up, and support have vanished. Did she get walked out on? Or did someone die? How has her identity changed, now that shes alone? Do people treat her differently without a man around? Are they sympathetic, or predatory?
And when your two-year-old has finally fallen asleep, what then? Sometimes all the things you were going to cram into that silent period of time seem overwhelming. Then theres the emotional conflict of having a good day-care, or a nanny, so you can keep on building your career—but wait, what about those precious developmental milestones you miss out on because youre stuck on a conference call, in traffic, or a late meeting. Nail down the key relationships. In this case, im talking about men, but in any event, ones significant other. Women define themselves by their relationships a lot more than men do, i think, and how a female protagonist sees herself as a partner is fundamental pdf to a good womens fiction novel. Is she supportive, or quietly competitive? Does she put herself second and the other person first? Does this come naturally, or is it a role she was shoved into from an early age?
You have to explain her unexpected behavior. Heres where you have to really delve, and learn how she gets her point across without raising the roof, walking out, or filing for divorce, because she doesnt want any of those things, she just wants to be heard. Check on the kids. Most women have children, and at least for a while, they occupy the center of just about everything. The way we feel about our kids makes a great source of conflict, and can produce guilt, anguish, rage, and sometimes, with a difficult teenager or young adult, self-imposed apathy. Having very young children, and being a stay-at-home-mom, is a situation rife with possibility. Who hasnt wished that their adorable toddler would stop crying long enough to hear yourself think?
Romance: a tale of Two genres
And lastly, how much does she share that space? If she lives alone, does she have people in? And if she doesnt live alone, has she carved out a room or nook that is hers alone? The 7 Rules of dialogue all Writers Should Know. Women may not have trouble getting in touch with their feelings, parts but they often are reluctant to express them. Consider a woman whos been taught not to contradict her husband, or her parents, or anyone is a position of authority.
How will she make herself understood? What happens when resentment informs even the smallest decisions? Imagine a dinner scene. There are people around the table. Your protagonist essay has tried to make the atmosphere pleasant, inviting, and relaxed. But then, something thats been on her mind for a long time just wont stay quiet, and with a few sharp gestures, perhaps, or a quiet, sarcastic remark, everything changes.
Their lives are far from dull. They take matters into their own hands and shape their own futures. Often compromised by men, they ultimately prevail. Read some women authors you dont know. Some of my recommended titles, in addition to those mentioned above are. Dalloway, by virginia woolf; The london Train, by tessa hadley; larose, by louise Erdrich; and the short story collection, mendocino fire by Elizabeth Tallent.
Believe me, these will inspire you! For my heroines, this tends to be the home. Houses are important to me—how rooms are arranged, what the windows are like, what one sees out those windows. I prefer a suburban or rural setting, but a cityscape is interesting, too. Consider a single protagonist, living in an apartment building, lying awake, hearing footsteps on the ceiling. Wherever you put you character, know what she finds important in her immediate surroundings and why. Be as detailed as you can without overwhelming the reader with things she doesnt really need to know. Having a garden says a lot about someone, but whether she plants dahlias or lilies doesnt really matter. Decide if shes tidy, or neat, since these habits say a lot about how she feels about the place she lives.
5 Excellent Tips on Writing Womens Fiction
That covers a lot of territory, and yet has traditionally been looked down on by the publishing world as having less merit than what men write about. What else is new? But, if you know Womens Fiction is for you, here are my five tips for crafting a good story:. Never see it as less worthy than a high-stakes political thriller or murder mystery. Consider the fantastic female protagonists youve met in the pages of powerful novels—. Jane, eyre, olive kitteridge, twist offred wallpaper in, the handmaids Tale, jo in, little women, and even. Gone with Winds, scarlett ohara and her sidekick, melanie hamilton. These arent weak women.
Her previous titles are, by the wayside, stories (Unsolicited Press, 2017 What Is bank found, What Is Lost, a novel (She Writes Press, 2014 our love could Light The world, stories (She Writes Press, 2013 and. All The roads That lead From Home, stories (Press 53, 2011). What, then, is Womens Fiction? Before i answer that, let me say that Im always suspicious of putting titles into neat genres. Identifying genres is useful for agents when theyre pitching your manuscript to a publisher. Its also helpful for bookstores who need to know what shelf to put your book. I write literary fiction, and thats hard to devote an entire shelf to, though I could easily fill one with titles from my own private library. Accepting that we sometimes must think of our work as belonging to one or more genres then, womens Fiction is fiction by women, about women.
or an mfa candidate, with a pitifully small circulation. Redbook was a womens magazine, so was. Family circle,., good housekeeping, seventeen, others I cant remember, and as far I can recall, only. Redbook,., and, seventeen published fiction. I dont think any of them do now. I didnt think of myself as a womens fiction author, yet I realized that i almost always wrote about women, often despairing over a bad relationship with a husband, boyfriend, or parent. One protagonist, nina, appeared over and over in settings that differed very little, in circumstances that usually had her isolated, depressed, on the verge of taking a drastic step to save herself by throwing in the towel. She was a dreary soul, and i eventually tired of her. This guest post is by, anne leigh Parrish, author.
You refuse the isolation that can come with being a woman writer. You small refuse the other voices that demand you serve them instead of your own words. You refuse to let your writing or your story, your voice, or your message as a woman who writes, go unheard or ignored. You are ready not only to find a home for your writing. You are ready as a woman who writes to come home at last to yourself. Wherever you live, whatever your circumstance, the guild is here waiting for you. The guild is a global community of women writers with diverse voices.
Masha hamilton - home
Stories have taken root in you for years. Whether they take shape as poems or essays, a books or a multimedia project, a memoir or a novel, these words must—they must—grow out of you and be fashioned into forms that will give them a home. Maybe youve met with success as an academic or a professional. Maybe youve been published or not. Maybe youve attended big writers conferences or small writers circles. Still somethings missing for you. You know there is so much more aching to twist grow out of you as a writer.