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Thread: Women's Fiction or Contemporary Fiction

  1. #1
    seeing sparks milly's Avatar
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    Women's Fiction or Contemporary Fiction

    Are women's fiction and contemporary women's fiction or commercial women's fiction different things?

    I posted some work on SYW under the category romance/women's fiction and found most comments were relating it to romance...I don't think my novel is by any means a romance novel but it is a subplot...am i categorizing it the wrong way?

  2. #2
    In the end, it's just you and the manuscript job's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millworth View Post
    Are women's fiction and contemporary women's fiction or commercial women's fiction different things?
    I'd say the three terms could all be used for the same kinda books.

    n.b. though -- none of those three terms would necessarily mean Contemporary Romance.

    Quote Originally Posted by millworth View Post
    I posted some work on SYW under the category romance/women's fiction and found most comments were relating it to romance
    Maybe write up top of your posting that this is NOT genre Romance, but instead Women's Fiction.

  3. #3
    Yep. I can.
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    All three of those are the same thing to me and are essentially "the story of women or a woman." That might or might not include a romance and definitely doesn't have to include a happily ever after.

    I'm with job, make sure you spell out that it's not genre romance and you'll probably get better feedback.
    Jana DeLeon
    New York Times bestselling author
    http://janadeleon.com

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    seeing sparks milly's Avatar
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    makes sense...I'll do that...thanks so much

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    permaflounced AllieB's Avatar
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    My understanding of "women's fiction" is that it has a target audience of women, not just or specifically that it's about women. Jodi Picoult is one author that comes to mind. And yeah, what the others said about romance: women's fiction might or might not have it.

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    for the love of love Lydia Sharp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by millworth View Post
    I don't think my novel is by any means a romance novel but it is a subplot...am i categorizing it the wrong way?
    Women's fiction is about relationships that are of interest to women, whether that be romantic, familial, friendship, etc., and almost always in a contemporary setting (otherwise it can be termed something else, such as historical fiction, sci-fi, etc.) And no, it doesn't have to be *about* women, as someone already mentioned, but many of them are, even if the MC is male. I'm only just starting my second wf novel, so take this as coming from an amateur. Both of my novels have strong romantic elements, but I wouldn't call them "romance" because that's not the main plot.

    You might want to check out this site: RWA-WF, the Women's Fiction Chapter of the Romance Writers of America. I've found it very helpful.

    Lydia Sharp
    author represented by Laura Bradford
    editor with Entangled Publishing
    frequently on Twitter


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    seeing sparks milly's Avatar
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    thanks everyone!

  8. #8
    figuring it all out
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lydia Sharp View Post
    And no, it doesn't have to be *about* women, as someone already mentioned, but many of them are, even if the MC is male.
    Oh, thank you! Thank you for mentioning this! I've been been driving myself crazy trying to figure out what genre my novel fell into, and this really clarified things for me! (It's about a young married couple and their families, told by both the husband and the wife.) But it's too commercial (and funny even) to be literary, too tragic to be romance, but with strong women's themes.

    Jodi Picoult is a good example to keep in mind, as I have seen her write male main characters before.

    Oh, the relief, lol! It's good to know where you belong

  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    I had a hard time with this one also, when querying my novel with elements and themes found in women's fiction, but with a male MC.

    Other good author examples in addition to Jodi Picoult are Nicholas Evans, Wally Lamb, and Sara Gruen.



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cate townsend View Post
    Other good author examples in addition to Jodi Picoult are Nicholas Evans, Wally Lamb, and Sara Gruen.
    Thanks! I'll look into those too!

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