Tag Archives: chick-lit

Chick-lit for beginners: Pip by Freya North

Pip by Freya NorthShe always lands on her feet, but can she fall in love?

Phil: Spoiler – Yes she can.

Pip is the third in the trilogy that revolves around the McCabe sister. Previously, I dipped my toe in the chick-lit waters with Cat and Fen. At the end of Fen, I said I’d try to get hold of a copy of Pip then promptly forgot about it.

A chance find in a second-hand bookshop before a train journey delivered the chance to satisfy the completionist in me. An added bonus was that Pip is short for Phillipa (Phil – see) and her job is being a clown, and I love to juggle. It’s like we were meant to be together. In a literary sense of course.

The novel thing about this tale is that you know what is going to happen pretty much by the end of the first chapter. We’ve met both Pip and Zac. We like them a lot, or at least I did, and we know they will make a great couple. So far so good. 362 pages to go then.

This book is all about the journey. The course of true love never runs smoothly, or at least it doesn’t if you have a book to fill. Along the way Pip has a good and then bad time with a doctor. Zac seems to just have a girlfriend. Neither of them are able to talk to each other honestly. Both, for perfectly good reasons don’t see what the other is thinking.

Pip has an interesting job, part children’s entertainer, part clown doctor (Yes, they really do exist, I linked to them didn’t I?). There’s a lot of research gone on into this and it shows. The rounding of Pips character with this is very effective.

Zac is an accountant. This is less convincing. He works in London and earns loads of money. Fair enough. He is also described as “ripped” which I understand to mean the same as “buff”. Not out of the question except that at no point there is no mention of him going to the gym. The way the text is written, there doesn’t seem to be any time for him to be working out. Accountantcy isn’t a proffesion known for turning men into beefcakes. I’ve met accountants, it was only my complete incompetence that stopped me becoming one years ago. None were “ripped” or “buff”. “Pudgy” maybe. Perhaps “Skinny”, but not one of them had what could be described as an athletic physique. Freya is obviously confusing accountants with lumberjacks.

The biggest problem I had with the book was Freya herself.

There is a narrator who talks to both the reader and the characters. A lot. It’s not a good idea to sit on a train shouting at a book to “Shut up and let them get on with it!” People look at you like you are odd although at least you don’t have to put up with anyone sitting next to you.

Narrator interruption is a feature of both Cat and Fen as well. By this book in the series, I have a feeling she is so interested in the journey that she left out some of the plot that made Cat so enjoyable and replaced it with talking by someone who’s not supposed to be there.

The story takes place in the same time frame as Cat and Fen which is clever and well done. If they weren’t all planned together then it doesn’t show, the integration of the stories is seamless and taken as a set, the concept fascinating. In a way I wish I’d read them one after the other to enjoy the overlaps more.

Anyway, it’s chick-lit. It’s fluffy. It’s light, a bit raunchy in places (You don’t want to give a copy to your granny) and perfectly enjoyable to read.

Just try not to shout at it.

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How long should a book chapter be?

How long sir?

Phil: When working on people’s websites, I come from the usability camp. That doesn’t mean I sleep in a tent or walk funny, it’s those of us who decide how a site should work by looking at the people who use it and see what they are doing. We don’t ask them what they want, we watch to see what they do and then modify the pages to match those expectations.

The theory is that if you give people what they expect, using the website is easier and they achieve whatever it is they came to it wanting to do. It’s a bit like car design really – put the brake pedal anywhere but the middle and you’ll lose a sale. Steve Krug nailed it with his book, “Don’t make me think“. If I have to learn how to use a website then I’m probably not going to bother.

I reckon you can apply some of these lessons to writing a book and chief amongst these is chapter length.

Grabbing some books from my shelves, I did a quick survey:

John Wyndham – The Midwich Cuckoos – 12 pages

Tony Hawks – A Piano in the Pyrenees – 16 pages

Freya North – Pip – 13 pages

Stephen King – The Long Walk – 19 pages

Alan Titchmash – Knave of Spades – 7 pages

My methodology (for those who care about such things) was to pick a random chapter somewhere in the middle of the book and count the pages. Don’t complain, it’s as scientific as most of the stuff you get reported on the telly.

What does it tell us?

Not as much as I expected. My guess was that chick-lit would have shorter chapters than other genres. Freya North and Alan Titchmarsh (same audience I reckon) are on the lower end of the scale and she manages a few 2 pagers in the book. A quick look at our Book and I think we are in line with this.

Since it’s rude to gawp over people’s shoulders while they read, I’m basing the conclusions on Candice and my feelings. Both of us are fans of short chapters to give a story pace. We’ve broken our story pretty much every time you change scene as this seems logical and tried not to stay in any one place too long.

I also think it makes the book easier to read. I pick books up and put them down to snatch a moment of reading. If I can do a chapter, the bookmark moves in a satisfying way and it doesn’t seem odd to stop. If the chapter end is 4 pages away, I’ll stick at it. 10 pages and I’ll probably realise that I’m not going to make it to the end in this session so will look for another convenient place to halt, be it a paragraph or end of page. Picking up won’t be so easy but I don’t have any choice.

Injecting pace with short chapters will probably increase the tiem a reader spends with you each session. Get momentum in the story which carries you along and you think, “Oh I’ll just do another chapter” making the book becomes a page turner. Both readers and writers want that don’t they?

Conclusion: Length matters and for commercial fiction, short wins.

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Chick-lit for beginners: Fen by Freya North

FenPhil: Back in July last year, I lost my chick-lit virginity to Cat by Freya North. A gentle introduction to the genre and one I surprised myself by enjoying.

Cat is one third of a trilogy based on the three McCabe sisters, the other being Pip and Fen. Guess which one is the subject of this book?

The idea is that this book and Cat’s take place at around the same time and events in one appear in the other. So, when Fen and Pip head of to France to visit their sister, you could say, “Oh, I know what happens when they get there.” even though it’s not in these pages. I found the idea novel, so spotting a tatty copy on sale in a charity bookshop while I was buying something else, I spent an extra 50p out of curiosity.

Anyway, the plot. Fen McCabe is the middle sister and something in the art world. She bags a new job sorting out the archive for an organisation that tries to stop important works heading out of the UK. This bit is based on the authors own experience as an archivist at the National Arts Collection Fund. She (Fen) is obsessed with the (fictitious) artist Julius Featherstone, a dead painter and sculptor, producer of the sort of mucky statues and canvases that rich people used to “admire” while chastising the lower orders for their lack of morals.

The new job brings her into contact with magazine editor Matt Holden and also the owner of a couple of Featherstone pieces, broke gardner James Caulfield.

To reduce the story to its basics, Matt lives in London, where Fen now resides. James lives in Derbyshire, where Fen was brought up. She falls into both love and bed with both of them. Much of the story revolves around here trying to sort out her feelings for both. There’s a lot of fourth wall breaking and quite a bit of narration talking to Fen, unusual but as a style it works well. A monologue of her thoughts would be really difficult to pull off whereas this comes over as though you were sat on a sofa with a glass of white, trying to sort out a friends love life.

I suspect this is pretty classic chick-lit. Whereas Cat had a strong background story in the Tour de France, Fen has to generate its own momentum and without a deadline to fixate on, it doesn’t manage to do this as well. There are no real surprises at the end apart from a hasty appearance of some photos and a sort of joined up family tree affair that lost me. I think the idea is that both lovers and Julius are in some way related but I can’t be bothered to go back and work it out. We had the same issue with The Book but recognised the problem and dropped a few clues into previously written passages. Here it looks like a bit of an afterthought.

There’s also the little issue of the sisters ages. Fen is the middle sister but apparently the same age (28) as her younger sibling, Cat. Not that it matters. Matt is a couple of  years older, James 20 years so you can guess what happens in the end. Interestingly, reading her website, Freya was surprised who the character ended up with, something that amazed me as I couldn’t see the story playing out any other way. Incidentaly, she also tells us what happened to the characters after the books ended, a fascinating idea. Apparently this was the first book where North’s editor told her to tone down the sex, which might explain why it’s less raunchy than Cat but not to the detriment of the story.

Enjoyable? Yes, in a light and fluffy sort of way. I’ll keep an eye out for Pip so I can read the set.

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Rumours by Freya North

Rumours by Freya NorthCandice: After a spell of not reading anything other than the Sunday Times Style magazine, I found an interesting book in the charity book shop in Stratford.

Phil and I had both liked a book called Cat by Freya North, you’ll remember.  So when I saw another by her I thought, I’ll give this a go.

If you remember Cat was a strong female character and her book was as much about the Tour de France, as it was about her finding a man.  Well, Rumours is on similar lines but without the bikes.

The premise of the story is a woman, Stella, who has had a bad break up and is now working in a job she doesn’t want to do to pay for her and her son.  Her job is as an Estate Agent and she gets the biggest sale possible, the local country seat Longbridge Hall.  In the mean time, the Lady of the Hall is trying to assist the help’s son (Xander), as he has also had a bad break up… can you see where this is going?

Well I won’t give the whole game away but with abit of tooing and frooing Stella and Xander end up happily ever after, but certainly without any serious farce type ‘will they won’t they’ stuff.  Thinking about how Cat is written, I can tell the way that Freya’s life must have changed in the last x number of years.  Cat’s character was young, free and single, Stella is nearly 40 and has a child.  I know we all write from our own experience but I expect this is what has been going on for the author.

Like Cat, and Freya’s own description on her website of her writing style, the female character is strong and independent but able to let someone in.  I have to admit if I had read this before meeting my Husband I would have poopooed it a bit but now I am all married up, I can see both sides.

I wouldn’t say this book is as good as Cat, the premise of the tour kept me more hooked than the idea of selling a house, and there are some situations where characters seem to appear and then disappear for no real reason, the Lady’s daughter for one.  But I enjoyed bouncing along with it for a few hours.

Ironically, I have since discovered it is her most recent book, came out in June, so thanks to the bookshop for being so up to date!

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How to write Chick Lit – Part 3

Phil stared at his Citizen Men’s Skyhawk Eco-Drive Bracelet Watch and sighed. Turning back to the Samsung SyncMaster monitor, he reread the words on the screen through the pair of Paul Smith Green Pironi Spectacles. Try as he might, the WordPress.com blog posting wasn’t going well. Sometimes words would tumble from his thoughts but not tonight.

Perhaps some refreshment would help. Strolling over to the Maharani Drinks Cabinet, a recent addition to the room from John Lewis, he contemplated filling the Villeroy & Boch Scotch Whiskey  tumbler with another measure of Fabulous Grouse but thought better of it when he saw the level in the bottle was already below the birds foot.

No. A clear head called for something less alcoholic. Heading to the kitchen, he leaned on the worktop of the Ikea Factum units to think what would turn the creative taps back on. Perhaps a Le Creuset Stoneware Mug full of Yorkshire tea would be enough. It was too late to consider firing up the Krups Nescafé Dolce Gusto KP 2106 coffee machine for a dose of concentrated caffeine. Anyway, that was the wrong sort of stimulation. Chemically induced hammering at the Logitech Wireless Touch K400 keyboard might produce lots of words but most of them would only be suitable for filling the Rexel bamboo waste bin that lived under the Alphason San Diego desk.

Opening the Ramsjo cabinet, he spotted the solution. Nothing soothes the fevered writers brown like a steaming Mr Men mug filled to the brim with Green And Blacks Organic Hot Chocolate heated up in a Sharp Compact Touch microwave oven.

The pastel green Smeg fridge illumiated the kitchen as he opened the door and and grasped a bottle of Waitrose semi-skimmed organic milk. Staring at a tin of John West Grilled Sardines on the shelf, Phil paused to ponder the next line of the blog post. As he watched the mug rotating through the tinted window of the microwave oven, he knew that this had better do the job.

It was his turn to post to the nolanparker.co.uk website and if he didn’t produce the goods, Candice would be pulling her Blackberry curve mobile phone from the depths of the Gabor  Modena Handbag and speaking very sharply in his direction. He could imagine the conversation,

“Parker, you haven’t posed anything today you hopeless…”, PING – the microwave finished it’s work and interrupted his train of thought.

Settling back down into the Berlin Leather Franklin Office Chair cradling his drink, Phil pondered the chick-lit he had recently read. The contents of Flawless by Tilly Bagshawe floated across his mind. Words and chocolaty aromas mingled in his thoughts.

Suddenly, the room lit up. His wife had returned in her Audi A6 and the beam from the Osram bulbs briefly illuminated the walls, freshly painted in colours chosen from the Dulux 50 shades of grey range. The sudden brightness crystallised his ideas. Not pausing to welcome Nikita, who he had met through the goodrussionbrideforsadgentlemen.co.ru website, his fingers flew across the keys.

He typed like a man possessed. Possessed with the spirit of chick-lit. Possessed with the sure and certain knowledge that if you copy the Google shopping search results, drizzle with a perfunctory plot and wrap it all in a pink cover, every woman will want to read your work.

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How to write Chick Lit – Part 2

Candice:  Ok, so Phil’s done his research.  Probably abit arse about face as we have already written the book, but its a good way to shape this group of 80,000 words into something that a nice publisher might like, based on his reading experience.  However, there is something fundamental missing in his experience, he’s not a girl.  I suspect that’s why ‘Cat’ went down better than ‘Flawless’, but that was part of the test.

I also liked ‘Cat’ more than ‘Flawless’, and I’m the audience I think we are aiming this book at.  Not someone who wants soppy rubbish, but a woman with a brain who wants escapism but realism.  As Neil has commented, people have real experience of the Tour de France, unlike the high flying world of gems and castles.  None of us can understand that so its chance at grabbing us might fade.  I suppose it’s also a bit like the programs I like to watch. Give me ‘Buffy’, ‘Lost Girl’ or ‘Fringe’, set in reality but with escapist moments, rather than ‘Star Trek’ which I have no interest in at all.

So where to now?  Does Phil need to put on a dress and feel some relationship angst.  Um, no, that’s why he’s part of this writing partnership because he brings the Male to FeMale.  He’s the comedy buffer to my comments on shoes and handbags.  Though he does like a good Peplum….

I feel that more research is never enough in this case.  As you followers know I am always reading books, and each one helps to shape how I might approach our writing.  But I still think we need to tackle the other two areas we have set ourselves: submission of short stories (one written and just needing final tweaks), and attending a writing group (mainly for research as I not sure it is our thing, too much navel gazing).

Now I have surfaced from under a few weeks madness at work its time to do the final polish on our horror short and get it sent.  And maybe, if you guys are lucky, we might let you read it too…

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Chick-lit for beginners: Flawless by Tilly Bagshawe

Flawless by Tilly BagshawePhil: For chick-lit book 2 I’ve been reading Flawless, a book you can judge by its cover. A cover I wasn’t going to be seen opening in a public place.

First up, the author’s name. Once upon a time Tilly Bagshawe would have been the second under scullery maid in a posh house. Cook would have shouted “Tilly Bagshawe, I want t’hearth blacked until I can see my face in it.” only to receive the reply “I’m sorry Cook but I have to go upstairs for a good rogering by Squire Simkins and you know he doesn’t like me to be covered in hearth black. Says it proper puts him off his stroke.”. Now she writes glossy novels. That’s female empowerment for you.

Second, the cover is shiny pink and purple. The authors name is as big as the title and in a scripty font. To top it all, there is a lady on the front in a pose that can’t have been comfortable but a photographer thought was both glamorous and sexy. This is chick-lit big time. Chick-lit that is to literature what Dynasty was to drama.

Anyway, the plot. This concerns Scarlet Drummond Murray, Andy’s less well-known sister (I might have made that bit up) an ex-model who now designs gemstone jewelery whilst worrying about the lives of people digging diamonds with her international campaign “Trade Fair”.

The male leads are Jake and Danny Meyer, a pair of rough but lovable cockneys (pronounced cock-N-eys) who deal in diamonds. There’s also Brogan O’Donnel and his wife, a friend of Scarlets, along with her and Jake’s families.

Some stuff happens, Scarlet spends the whole book hating and then shagging then hating then shagging again before finally marrying Jake. Danny runs off with big, bad Brogans wife and has a baby. That’s about it. 483 pages.

Best line ? “Poor old Hamish. It wasn’t his fault his family were so inbred he’d been left with the IQ of a cow-pat.”

(Second best line – “Leave him alone you bitch, he’s mine!” although that was written in pencil beside the bit where Scarlets friend tries to chat up George Clooney so it might not count)

You’re probably getting bad vibes from me. If not, pay more attention. I’d guess that on a sun-lounger this is a great read. It rattles along well enough but in truth I couldn’t give a toss about any of the characters. Scarlet is written as the sort of person who spend all her time feeling for other people like a 1st year social science student with a large collection of Morrissey CDs. The idea that she spent her time while modelling thinking about the latest Oxfam report because it was “all so superficial yah” didn’t work. In fact, I was mostly on the side of the people who wanted her to shut up.

Added to this, I couldn’t really work out how she made a living. There was the jewelry designing but it wasn’t clear what this involved. Did she make the stuff herself ? Unlikely as later in the book, once her Notting Hill shop has been torched and she’s relocated to LA, there is much e-mailing of designs around the world. This makes me think the “design” is a posh girls doodle that some more talented person has to turn into reality.

In fact the whole premise seemed a bit thin to me. Money seemed no object to anyone – there is much jetting around the world for everyone for a start. Yes, Danny is broke when his business is hammered by a cuckolded husband but you never really believe in any of this. I know it’s only a story and a bit of escapism and perhaps it’s just a world I can’t imagine really existing. Even one of the crutial plot lines, where Scarlets’s brother threatened with being exposed as gay doesn’t ring true. Would a newspaper really make a big story out of “Banker plays for the other team ?” – I doubt it, who’d care ?

Worst of all though, the happy ending relies almost entirely on a deus ex machina. Near the end, up pops a random Aunt who happens to be extremely rich, loves Scarlet, understands Jake and leaps in at the last-minute to sort everything out. The newspaper is paid off, the ancient family estate is saved from disaster when a manager is brought in to run it saving Scarlet from having to do this instead of running her shop in LA and marrying hunky Jake. There’s some other stuff too but I can’t remember what. I do know all the ends are neatly tied up. Everyone gets married and lives happily ever after.

I did begin to wonder at some points if the author had a bad experience with her mother as both matriarchal characters are real monsters. Maybe but I suspect it’s more likely that she based her research on some US reality television and sit-coms. The characters are caricatures, the plot as thin as the aforementioned Dynasty storylines. However, sometimes you want Dynasty and not Chekhov (nerd note: Anton  not Pavel), especially when covered in sun tan lotion and drinking something with an umbrella in it in the same way kebabs trump fillet steak sometimes.

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Chick-lit for beginners: Cat by Freya North

Phil: CatMy gentle introduction to chick-lit was “Cat” by Freya North. Of the two books I’d been supplied with, it was bound in the cover least likely to attract adverse attention during the train journey I planned to read it.

Catriona McCabe (28) is a sports journalist who gets a gig covering the Tour de France for the Guardian. The race forms the background and provides the structure for everything. Don’t be fooled into thinking this is a book about cycling though. Despite the (apparently) well researched detail and extensive coverage of the imaginary version for the worlds most famous two-wheeled race, this is a story about one woman trying to get over the failure of a long relationship by escaping into another world, that of the salle de presse that follow the riders around.

Along the way she meets (and shags in surprisingly graphic detail) hunky Dr Ben,  teams up with fellow British journalists Josh and Alex and befriends Rachael, the soigneur for one of the teams. Somewhere in the mix are her sisters Fen (who has her own book from the same author) and Pip as well as uncle Django. There are also too many muscley cycle racers to mention, most with names that my brain refused to remember properly (I had the same problem with War and Peace) but this didn’t seem to affect my enjoyment of the plot.

The first question has to be, did I enjoy it ? Yes I did. The story bounces along at a decent pace. The idea of using each stage of the race as a segment worked very well. Because of the time pressure – the race is three weeks long – a conclusion was always on the horizon. By the final page, all the loose ends had been tied and you could close the cover with a warm glow of satisfaction.

I liked the idea that our protagonist wasn’t just moping about looking for a man, something I was dreading, but actually knew her stuff. It’s woman in a man’s world time but she is written as a true enthusiast armed with a grasp of facts and figures that would probably be more appropriate for one of the statistic-obssessed blokes that sporting endeavors seem to attract. The journalists are often described as being the luckiest fans in the world being paid to write about the sport they would happily pay to watch. The athletes aren’t treated as objects of desire but in a pleasantly objective way. Cat appreciates them as athletes rather than fancying any of them. She wants her favourites to succeed but in a well written manner that will resonate with real-life fans.

One oddity is that you never get the chance to build a mental picture of Cat. The book cover is adorned with a photo of a pretty lady who, in my mind, fits the bill perfectly. I guess that’s the idea but I wonder how that works with the companion volume Fen, the reader might have the wrong image in their head !

While much of the writing is conventional, there is an awful lot of internal dialogue in Cat’s head. I guess this is pure chick-lit. Women want to read about emotions and feelings as much as a straight description of whatever (especially the sex) is going on. Those feelings are in fact the main thrust of the story with the Tour simply taking its place as the stage upon which emotional tale is played out. At some points, the dialogue read almost as though the reader was a character asking Cat how she was feeling. I think this worked for me but it took a little getting used to.

What have I learned ?

Well, comparing Cat and Kate and the dirtboffins I am relieved that it is possible to handle lots of characters without the reader’s mind exploding. We’ve wondered about this in the pub a few times. The two stories adopt a very similar approach with the protagonists internal dilemmas being played out against a background of external events she is involved in. Perhaps we need more of a view into our characters heads and now I have of the female psyche (I’m a bloke and I’ve now read one instruction manual – is there more to learn ?), this is going to be a doddle.

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Love is in the air !

There is no greater love than that of girl for cake...Candice It’s not going to be a long post, this, as I have returned from a cinema trip to see Girl with a dragon tattoo and I’m pooped. However, the whole thing got me to thinking about the whole ‘love thing’ and how it is portrayed in literature and on TV.

Now the film I’ve just been to see is not a good representation of this at all, but the one I went to see yesterday might be closer. Though it was War horse and that’s not man woman, it’s man horse ! However, bestiality aside, the whole things left me abit cold as I like strong characters and strong relationships and that film gave me neither, just soppy bits and a funny red skyline (see the film and you’ll understand) I do wonder if Spielberg has shares in kleenex.

When reading my customary holiday read, chick lit, I get really annoyed if the main female character goes all woosy when she gets a bloke. It winds me up so much I sometimes can’t finish the book. So when it comes to Nolanparker style you know you are going to get a good, strong female character. It doesn’t mean she’s perfect, not by any means, but her scrapes along the way make her more human, but not a walk over.

Think Pride and Prejudice rather than Mills and Boon. However, on this famous day, would any of these ladies be getting a Valentines card? To be honest I’m not sure, possibly because any man in their life might think they wouldn’t be interested, and I think they are more likely to be senders than receivers, it’s a control thing !

On that note I’ve recently found a new TV show that I like, called ‘lost girl’. The premise is interesting and the main female character, plus side kick, have guts but don’t always make the right choices. I suppose, if we were to even move from novels to scripts, this is the kind of person I would write. Think Buffy for the noughties. Not sure if Bo from Lost girl, or Buffy, would be that interested in Valentines day, they’d probably be too busy saving the world!
So, who’s your favourite strong female character ? And would you send her valentines card?

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Uncomfort Zone

Phil: Any job-hunting will hopefully afford the opportunity to visit different workplaces for interview. An important part of the process for the interviewee is deciding if you can fit in to that particular environment.

A few days ago, I found myself wearing doing my best to look smart, perching on a sofa about 6 inches too low and looking around the office I was in. It was a very nice, modern office and yet as I watched the undoubtedly very nice people going about their business, I knew in my heart of hearts, I wouldn’t fit in. This feeling probably contributed to a less than stellar performance in the interview itself.

In real life this is a problem, in fiction, it is an opportunity. Without conflict there is no story. You can’t have resolution either and hence no happy ending.

Taking characters out of their comfort zone is important. Sometimes you do it just for fun such as our depositing Kelvin from IT into a HR department full of lewd comments. We know he’s uncomfortable and it’s difficult not to find that funny, no matter how much we also laugh at his tormentors as well. If you’ve ever been the nerdy bloke in IT or even met him then you’ll recognise the situation. If you recognise the reason for the lewdness then it wasn’t you, I was inspired by someone else…

Emotions can supply even greater conflict. It’s traditional in chick-lit that the main character has some sort of tug on the heartstrings which induces conflict. This is the worst sort as you can’t run away from it. Even curled up in solitary occupation of a sofa in an empty room it’s there, sometime even more than when there are distractions available. You can run but never hide from some things.

But how much discomfort to impose on your characters ?

There has been a trend for the last few years for “Misery Stories” – books which start with a rape and get steadily grimmer. That’s not what we want. It’s not funny for a start and I find it difficult to understand how anyone reads that sort of thing for entertainment. Presumably there is a blooming good denouement at the end to stop the reader heading for the knife drawer. In that respect perhaps it’s like the feeling you get climbing off the cross-trainer (insert your prefered gym torture device here).

No, we do things to our characters but there is always resolution and after a few discussions, I wanted to kill someone off and Candice wouldn’t let me, we resolved most of them. Most, but not all. After all, there is Book 2 to consider.

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