Spotlight on women’s lit

A (female) friend of mine sent me a link to an interview at Woman’s Fiction of a man whose upcoming book has been classified as “women’s fiction,” and I liked what he had to say.

The man is Keith Cronin, a rock drummer whose book, Me Again, is due out in September. I was pleased because, like me, he says he “consciously set out to write a book that women would want to read,” appreciates Jennifer Crusie’s writing style and sense of humor, and has kind of a cynical streak.

That streak is represented by his definition of women’s fiction as “fiction that men won’t read.”

Saying he feared that definition was truer than he’d like to admit, he added that women’s fiction should involve a central character who’s “responsible for solving her own problems” and “storytelling that takes the issues women care about seriously.”

Neither of these should be controversial. I mean, are there really still people who think women—that is to say, adult female human beings—are not capable of solving their own problems? Are there still people who think “things women take seriously” are not things men also take seriously?

I suppose there are. Don’t ask me why. Listen to any contemporary or classic hard-rock radio station for one hour and tell me men don’t care about love and relationships.

Or women.

Who knows? Maybe making lots of noise with drums and guitars and looking tough makes it more acceptable in the minds of some men to reveal glimpses of their innermost feelings without running the risk of looking too sensitive. You know…like sissies.

Cronin also pointed out that the Romance Writers of America’s definition of women’s fiction refers to stories about women “on the brink of life change and personal growth” and transformation.

That’s interesting to me because it’s what screenwriting gurus drum into you. A script can be about two people falling in love or about a cop chasing a serial killer, but the main character must change, grow and transform.

I got that down while writing twenty screenplays, including seven with female protagonists. And I pride myself on never having written an important female character who was stupid or weak. Not in any screenplay, or in Fast Lane.

And if only women end up reading Fast Lane, that’s fine by me. I’m assuming my readers will be smart, whatever gender they may be

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