Friday, July 17, 2009

today INTERN is editing chicklit

...or rather, a chick's-guide-to-life-after-college: first apartment, first office job, etc. It is something like 50,000 words long. Since INTERN herself is female and in the midst of her own first job-like endeavour, the eds figured INTERN was obviously qualified.

Word has searched the document and found 1293 occurrences of the word "latte".

Word has searched the document and found 981 occurrences of the word "shoe".

Word has searched the document and found 602 occurrences of the word "cocktail".

INTERN is thinking back to her roommate in freshman year of college, ostensibly the prototypical chick, who indeed drank a lot of lattes, went on dates, and owned many a pair of shoes, but was also an accomplished french-horn player, a savvy businesswoman, and deeply spiritual to boot. Don't get INTERN wrong, the chick-lit thing can be fun and intelligent and authentic, but just plugging in a lot of chick-related keywords doesn't make the book suitable for so-called chicks any more than plugging in the words "hail satan" ad infinitum makes a book suitable for death metal fans. Chick-ness has to arise organically from the material, not be splattered over the ms like bottle of nail polish.

INTERN has learned that her roommate is throwing another house party tonight, start time 12:30 AM, so she has been making a lot of trips to the office kitchenette for coffee in anticipation. Straight coffee—no lattes, mind you! Those are for chicks!


  1. Inverse the word counts for "latte" and "cocktail" and this would seem much more authentic as the chick's guide to life after college.

  2. Misty stared at the comment box, took another sip of her latte, and kicked off the cheap imitation Manolo Blahnik shoes that she had bought at Target the last time she visited her parents. (She knew her boss, Miranda, hated it when she took her shoes off at work, but today was Miranda's "spa day," so Misty had a few hours of blissful quiet.) She knew it was career suicide, but since that seemed to be her modus operandi since she moved to Manhattan, she knew she had to reply to the INTERN'S latest blog post. But really - what was there to say that hadn't already been said a million times by a million other self-absorbed young female characters working at seemingly glamorous yet ultimately dead end jobs? As the double shot from the latte kicked in, she ...

    Oh, never mind.

  3. No occurrences of the word "vampires"?

    Do you like how I make a lot of uninteresting comments on your blog? By a lot of comments I mean this is my second one. Yeah, I like it too. Anyway....

  4. I have just done a word search of my chick-lit novel (currently in the agent-query stage). It is approximately 68K words total.

    Occurrences of the word latte: 1
    Occurrences of the word shoe: 9
    Occurrences of the word cocktail: 1

    What does this say about my chance of future publication?

  5. Wait... first apartment comes after college? First job comes after college? I graduated (cum laude thank you very much) college at 21 with a 2 yr old, a husband, and was buying a house. I already had a solid resume and was used to paying rent and bills (although student loans were a bit of a nasty shock).

    What do you mean after college???

    I guess I really was born old >.<

  6. I read this while wearing new shoes, drinking a latte, and wishing for a cocktail!
    Great post.

  7. I just discovered your blog. I love it. It's as if I have my own spy in the industry. Thank you!!!!! Also could you add an RSS Feed? Pretty Please???

  8. Yeah, Liana, I think your 21-year-old self was WAY more grown up than mine. My parents insisted I get a "real job" the summer before I went to college, but that's about it. And the job I picked was lifeguarding at a local pool -- not strenuous.

    INTERN, I will be linking to this post in my blog tomorrow. FYI!

  9. OMG Hang onto your Jimmie Choos! This is like, I mean, totally the coolest blog ever. Now I want INTERN to write a chick lit spiritual memoir about her experience with the 60-hippie monsoon: "How I found spiritual enlightment at Prada after 10 lattes, 15 chocolate martini cocktails and some Orange Sunshine that time-traveled from 1969..." Who needs vampires?

  10. "Chick-ness has to arise organically from the material, not be splattered over the ms like[strike]spilt bottle of nail polish[/strike]."

    [i]insert: a latte cocktail thrown at a pair of shoes.[/i]


  11. INTERN, you're so real. Keep up the awesome blogging please.

    ~a recently graduated chick who takes her coffee black and her "cocktails" (read: beer) cheap

  12. I write YA not chick lit, but one of the characters in the novel I'm presently fanning under agents noses includes a character who works in an espresso shop. I was curious...

    Occurances of the word latte: 10 (but I found three "splattereds" and a "clattered")
    Occurances of the word shoe: 18
    Occurances of the word cocktail: 0

    More shoes than lattes in the espresso shop? Hmmm... How does that happen?

    I'm procrastinating when I should be revising.

  13. Hail Satan is a phrase that applies to black metal, not death metal. This is a common and forgivable mistake.