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Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel Paperback – August 21, 2007

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Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel + See Jane Write: A Girl's Guide to Writing Chick Lit + How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; First Edition edition (August 21, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312359004
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312359003
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,210,517 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"A clear, concise, easy-to-read (and reread) guide to writing contemporary women's fiction. Like a pair of heels you can actually dance in, this book is a keeper."                                       
---Alisa Kwitney, author of The Dominant Blonde

"If you want to write chick lit, this book is a must, primarily because Yardley breaks down what's really happening with the chick lit market and nails down what a chick lit novel must have. The author has a breezy tone that will appeal to readers and aspiring authors of chick lit books. Aspiring authors in other genres may also want to give this a try."
----Romantic Times

"Writers looking for a particular kind of motivation will find it in Cathy Yardley's Will Write for Shoes. A sound and welcome defense of chick lit . . . Yardley's advice is precise, realistic, and readable. And her insistence that you need a story, not just a 'cool idea,' is worth the sale price alone."        
---Washington Post
"If you're thinking of [writing] a chick lit novel, this is the book for you. The content is pure gold. Yardley knows what she's talking about."
---Kingston Observer
"Yardley gives a humorous but honest look at the dos and don'ts of the biz, arming writers with a valuable tool in their arsenal on the way to publication."
---Erica Orloff, author of Do They Wear High Heels in Heaven?
"Funny but informative . . . the literary equivalent of your best friend. Yardley knows how to ride the roller coaster of chick-lit publishing. . . . She provides excellent examples and sage advice [with] refreshing self-awareness."
---Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"Accessible, wise, and fun. Yardley's step-by-step approach, boundless wisdom, and humorous tone make this an invaluable aid to any writer hoping to break into the genre!"
---Carren Lisner, author of Carrie Pilby
"I laughed, I cried, I finished my Chick Lit novel! Thank you, Cathy Yardley, for putting everything I ever wanted to know about Chick Lit all in one place. The appendixes alone are worth their weight in chocolate."
--Deanna Carlyle, cofounder of the International Women's Fiction Festival
"Light and unintimidating . . . fans of chick lit will likely appreciate the customized manuals. . . . Teen fans of the chick-lit style may also benefit."
---Library Journal

About the Author

Cathy Yardley is the author of L.A. Woman and Couch World, as well as several romance novels for Harlequin. She has been president of the Los Angeles and San Francisco chapters of Romance Writers of America and a speaker at writing conferences nationwide. Cathy lives with her husband and son in Southern California, where she is hard at work on her next Chick Lit novel.

More About the Author

A few random facts about me:

I am a fiction addict.

I love J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, Jim Butcher, J.R. Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood, Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter, Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series, Stephen King, Jennifer Crusie, Marian Keyes, J.K. Rowling, and a slew of other authors.

I have been known to stay up all night to finish a new novel. I don't so much read as devour.

I am an out of the closet foodie.

People who follow me on Facebook can attest: I am a foodie-blog whore. Love Smitten Kitchen. Adore Pioneer Woman Cooks. Bake my own bread on a weekly basis (because the recipe is so frickin' easy, a chimp could do it -- and it tastes phenomenal. I am a walking infomercial for this bread. ) Total Top Chef freak.

I am a geekgirl.

I love the San Diego Comic-con, or "The Con" as they call it.

I was part of the SCA -- The Society for Creative Anachronism -- and briefly sponsored my own mini army. I learned to speak some Japanese from anime.

I have a near encyclopedic knowledge of character actors and obscure movies. I have been called to settle bar bets.

I have a more-flirtatious-than-appropriate relationship with Excel spreadsheets. When I used to work at a day job, if I wore lipstick they assumed I was going on an interview. To this day, an entire marketing department lives in fear of my memory.

I love being an author.

Love writing. Love promoting. Love everything about it. And I love hearing from readers. Email me, anytime, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

Customer Reviews

I was pulled in by the title, but the load of information kept me reading.
Carol M. Hutchens
Cathy Yardley's Will Write for Shoes: How to Write a Chick Lit Novel is a great start for anyone interested in writing romance/chick lit stories.
G. Hardin
It's also an easy and fun read which includes examples to assure the point is received.
LaToya Houston

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By W. Terry Whalin on October 3, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Ok, I'll admit it. This guy had to take off the pink cover to read this book but I love the title and the design of the cover. Cathy Yardley has written an excellent book which covers a broad range of topics for anyone interested in writing Chick Lit. She defines the genre, then guides the reader through the details of writing the manuscript.

Finally Yardley provides seasoned and professional answers about navigating the business aspects of publishing covering topics such as query letters, synopsis, agents, networking and how to form a critique group. Her FAQ is valuable to answer common questions and even speculates about the future of the genre. The seven Appendixes contain valuable material such as a sample query letter to an agent, a sample query letter to an editor, a sample synopsis, a scene outline, current agent listings (and some of the authors these agents represent), publisher listings and even great websites to help the reader.

This well-written book is highly recommended to every writer--whether you plan to write a Chick Lit Novel or not.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By K. Hinton VINE VOICE on February 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
Will Write for Shoes is a no-nonsense guide to writing, revising, and selling a chick lit novel. Many of the approaches listed in this book aren't specific to chick lit and can be helpful for any genre. Yardley gives a good description of the chick lit genre as it stands (or stood, since the book was published in 2006), the plot devices that are used and overused, what is generally expected of a novel that plans to call itself "chick lit," and a number of hints and suggestions to make your writing better, more fluid, and more publishable. In general, I liked it. But as someone about 35,000 words into my first novel, I have to say that Will Write for Shoes isn't really the book you want to buy when you've already started writing. This book is an excellent work for the planning stages. Yardley's description and suggestions for plotting, outlining, and writing synopses, agent letters, etc, is all excellent advice, but can only really be implemented at the very early stages or once you've finished your book. For someone who's already 1/3 of the way in, it's sort of "store this information for next time." And in fact, a lot of the comments she has on plotting, characterization, etc, come from other books that I did use as a resource before picking this one up, first and foremost the Weekend Novelist by Robert Ray. I enjoyed this book. I think it's a great resource for writers who want to know where to begin (in terms of outlining and structure) and those who are finished and want suggestions on where to sell their book, how to find an agent, and which publishers to approach. If you're between those two stages, I think you'd find more help elsewhere.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J. Arena TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 13, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you're even wondering if you should spend some of your hard-earned cash on this book, rest assured that the answer is yes, yes, yes!!

Will Write For Shoes is a valuable addition to your library, and thoroughly covers the details of the chick lit genre. Cathy Yardley defines it, gives a history of it and fills readers in on the new trends. Just when you are ready to get to working on your own manuscript, she fills you in on premise (what is "high concept," anyway?), characters, structure, outline and much more.

Of course, there are many books out there that give the basics of how to create fiction, but Will Write For Shoes is the perfect tool if you long to create the chick lit that you adore. It's not a simple concept, but if you follow this author's advice you'll be well on your way to creating a finished manuscript that avoids the cliches, yet gives publishers the idea that they have a solid winner that will strike a chord with readers.

Don't pass up the opportunity to read and own this book. I promise you will refer to Will Write for Shoes over and over again during your writing career!

Thank you, Cathy Yardley for an entertaining, educational keeper of a book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lefty on August 4, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I zipped through this book in less than two days. It includes a description and history of the chick lit genre, advice on getting published, a list of publishers and agents that accept Chick Lit (although I would recommend checking their Web sites to make sure the information is still current), and samples including a query letter, a synopsis, and a chapter outline.

I think the most useful information is in the section on how to write a chick lit novel. It covers character, plot, setting, voice, point of view, structure, outlining vs free-form writing, and revisions.

Yardley gives a lot of good advice, and she refers to published novels to back up her points. SEE JANE WRITE is another popular book for how to write chick lit, but after reading it, I recommend this book instead.

The reason I gave this book four stars instead of five is because I haven't yet used Yardley's advice so I can't vouch for its information from my own experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By writer on March 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
The book's extensive information on the Chick Lit genre itself read like a Master's thesis, but its advice on organizing & writing your novel and getting it published was interesting, detailed, and helpful.

Tips for structuring plot were very thoroughly explained. The author's extremely organized approach to writing may work for some but not others. I'm pretty "Type A" myself, so it made sense to me - and employing some of her suggested techniques has kept my writing focused and prevented a lot of wasted time in rewrites.

Bottom line: Skim the first half (on Chick Lit genre), and slow down to focus on the second half (writing and publishing tips).
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