Saturday, November 2, 2013

WTF Has Happened to Women's Fiction?

I've said this somewhere before, now I'm saying it here.

WTF has happened to women's fiction??? Seriously. 

I get review queries from authors who are calling their books women's fiction...and it's one woman having sex with two or three men. The only conflict is who enters what hole next. 

I browse the Kindle freebie women's fiction list and half of the books are women banging their bosses or women banging billionaires.

I think it's past time to clear up what constitutes women's fiction.

From Wiki:
Women's fiction is an umbrella term for books that are marketed to female readers, and includes many mainstream novels, romantic fiction, "chick lit,"and other sub genres.

The Romance Writers of America organization defines women's fiction as, "a commercial novel about a woman on the brink of life change and personal growth. Her journey details emotional reflection and action that transforms her and her relationships with others, and includes a hopeful/upbeat ending with regard to her romantic relationship.

What I take from this is...women's fiction is about a woman about to face a great journey or life change--and frankly I don't consider "do I bang this guy or that one" a major life change. Romance is okay, but I gotta say, I'm tired of this market making it seem like ALL WE WOMEN EVER DO IS SIT HERE AND WISH WE HAD A MAN TO SAVE US. That's not the case.

Majority of women have a lot of other stuff going on in our lives than romance or whether or not someone wants to have sex with us. We have jobs, careers, kids, dogs, family, or something else going on besides sex and romance, and women's fiction should portray that. It should show ALL SIDES OF BEING A WOMAN.

Examples of women's fiction:

Do the books have romance and sex? Yes, they do, but the heroines aren't existing solely for love and romance and sex. There's so much more to them. They have careers, they're struggling in male-dominated fields, trying to balance personal and professional lives. 

That is women's fiction: books with a hella lot more conflict than who to spread your legs for next or how to get a billionaire in bed. Yes, women's fiction is an umbrella term, but as a woman I'm offended at the implication that some of the garbage on the market was penned for ME, a woman. No, it wasn't. It's penned perverts. Do not insult me as a woman by implying that stuff is women's fiction!

So, get your erotic crap put on the right lists and quit mis-marketing.


  1. Well said Tara. I've stopped downloading from those lists and relying on recommendations from people who know their genre. Can I recommend 2 authors this side of the Atlantic who do personal journeys and romance really well. Marian Keyes and Anna Maxted. I'm going to check your list above out.

  2. Your comment made me laugh so much Tara - and you know which I'm talking about. You have it so right, and I think it's a shame the trend has gone in this direction. Sexual acrobatics as literature? What's that all about?

  3. Thank you, ladies. Jules, let me know what you think of those books if you check them out.