Women’s fiction is a broad term encompassing the huge range of literary works that are specifically marketed for the female readers. Many people are of the opinion that women’s fictions are written by women alone but that is not the case. Women’s fiction may be targeted at women but are not necessarily written by them always. It includes various literary sub-genres including romantic novels, chick lits, etc.
Romantic novels were developed mainly in the western culture in English speaking nations. Novels that are written in this genre revolve around a romance between the two main protagonists. This implies that the basic premise of romantic novels is the romantic relationship and love that develops between two people. Romance novels may be classified into two types. One is the category romance novel which lasts for about a month since they are short books. Books belonging to category have shelf life as long as the next month’s series is not released. The other type of romance novel includes the single-title romances. This category of books have a much longer shelf life as an author writing single-title romances gets only one book published each year.
Although the name ‘single-title-romances’ suggests that these are standalone books but there are several authors who prefer to write books that are interconnected where the story continues through a series of novels.
Romance fiction has several sub genres, the most popular of which is the romantic suspense novel. Romantic suspense fiction includes a mystery which the protagonists have to unravel. In most novels the situation is that the female protagonist is a victim of some crime or she knows of some crime which is being attempted. Thereafter, the hero and the heroine attempt to solve the mystery. The basic setting is the love story but the protagonists but with each step that they take towards attempting to solve the crime, the tension and drama rises. Romantic suspense fiction is mostly driven by the plot because the crime or mystery is at the heart of the story. Unlike traditional romance novels, romantic suspense novels do not include emotional descriptions.
Chick lit is another category of women’s fiction. These books make for light casual reading and are read by women of all ages. Chick lits usually revolve around women oriented stories and deal with women’s issues in a light hearted and humorous manner. In chick lits the main protagonist is a woman who is a professional trying to deal with the odds of life by herself. In most of these novels the women characters are really strong; they are not the whimpering and simpering types that you might find in romance novels. Chick lits usually have a contemporary setting and deal with problems faced by the modern woman. It also unravels the emotional and soft side of women and reveals their vulnerability without portraying them as inferior beings.
If you are wondering about the how the term ‘chick lit’ originated, well, the…