Sunday, July 9

A Cynic's Guide to Female Readers

Ten Steps to Capitalising on the Genre that is Women's Lit

1. A protagonist that is emphasised as being "different from other women" is relatable to all female readers.

2. Women want to read books where the natural shapes of their bodies are appreciated and respected by men. Hot men. If you aren't six foot with chiselled abs, get out.

3. The best books are about character growth. Make sure your protagonist develops in a way that female readers can identify with. Some examples are: "Being jilted into the arms of another," or "Travelling to find enlightenment," usually with the aid of a sexy foreigner with an edible skin descriptor.

4. The title of the book should be something obscure, that sounds like it would be deep and meaningful in a larger context, but on its own is just random and nonsensical.

5. Friendships should exist primarily for conflict – usually in the form of backstabbing or toxicity – or else be included to fill gaps in the plot. They should not be well developed dynamics. Save those for your romances!

6. If you aren't writing a romance novel, you must at least have a romantic sub plot. Female readers are unable to stomach any narrative that isn't at least dotted with love hearts.

7. The only thing better than window shopping, is purchasing things vicariously through fictional characters. Indulge your reader's tendencies by having your characters go shopping, even if it in no way advances the plot.

8. Be inclusive! Your protagonist's best accessory is a stereotypical gay friend. He is there to go shopping, provide fashion tips, and be sassy. The protagonist should feel free to strip off and cuddle up with her gay friend without warning or consent.

9. The cover of the novel should be something generic and preferably pastel. Just appealing enough to prompt a, "This cover is sooo pretty" even if it is indistinguishable from every other book on the store shelf.

10. The best books in the women's lit genre are fuelled by anguish and sorrow, with some self-deprecating humour thrown in. Remember, if you're ever in a pickle, they can always be padded out with profound purple prose that proceeds for pages and pages.

Best of luck luring in those lit-loving ladyfolk!

A Cynic

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