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Novel about parenting issues: loneliness, the school gates, competitive mums etc...

(29 Posts)
nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 12:26:17

Hi everyone, I am writing a novel about issues mothers have including feeling lonely, struggling to fit in at the school gates, the obsession with being a perfect parent and crazy competitive mothering... i wanted to see if people would be interested in reading it or what people would be interested in reading about in a novel focused on mums issues.... as a mum I found very few books to read about what its really like to be a parent these days and always wanted to read one...Would love to hear your opinions!! I feel that not enough is being written about our issues and how hard it is to figure a right balance in today's world..... thanks for your thoughts!!

notanetter Tue 11-Oct-16 12:27:25

That's essentially the plot of every chick-lit novel, ever.

nilbyname Tue 11-Oct-16 12:30:48

Hmmm... I feel like there are many blogs and magazine articles about this very topic and as much as I enjoy reading that sort of pap. I view it in the same way as I view "chic lit"- it doesn't apply or relate to me. It's ok in a short article but I couldn't read it for a sustained period, I find it slightly narrow and limited and demeans women.

I think these tropes of school gate protocol or cooperative mums I have not and none of my friends/associates have experienced it. It all feels a bit DM.

nilbyname Tue 11-Oct-16 12:31:28

*competaive no cooperative confused

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 12:40:33

OK.... thanks for your thoughts. Yes I agree it's all a bit chic lit but thought perhaps people would be interested. Good to know! Thanks

Lorelei76 Tue 11-Oct-16 12:52:41

I struggle to find contemporary novels that aren't thrillers, domestics or depressing. I know it is old now but of you put "I don't know how she does it" into Amazon it will come up with loads of similar stuff. I do think that kind of novel sells though so don't be put off if you find 100s.

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 12:56:21

Yes there were a lot in the past but not many recent ones... everything these days is about a girl gone/on a train etc ;) and if any of you have seen Bad Moms I feel like people still want to talk about it....

LooseSeal Tue 11-Oct-16 12:58:57

I don't think it's a bad idea for a setting, but I think you need to add an extra element to make it stand out from other similar stories.

So perhaps start with the regular school gate politics set up, then have a dramatic event happen (maybe something like a child going missing) which changes the expected direction of the story and follow how the different characters respond to the event.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 11-Oct-16 13:00:52

There are plenty of books out there already about this but it really comes down to how well you do it. It's an experience a lot of people relate to so if your book is particularly funny or well-observed so that it stands out from the others, there's a natural market for it.

There's a lot that's terribly samey - lots of stereotypes have become established like the Alpha Mum and Hot Schoolrun Dad - so if you put a fresh spin on it and avoid stereotypes it will probably have more chance of success.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Tue 11-Oct-16 13:01:53

BTW, 'chick lit' not 'chic lit'.

2014newme Tue 11-Oct-16 13:02:40

Never experienced school gate politics everyone is nice!
Any story needs drama your story has a setting, bored sahm. but it also needs a storyline, drama,tension.
If it was a gripping story, yes I would read it.

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:08:10

Thanks! That's very useful. I like your idea! I am adding a few contemporary twists like the main character becoming an anonymous blogger to fight off the competitive mums and everyone wants to know who it is...

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:10:22

Oh and I want to write it in a very funny way even with your typical stereotypes... sorry for spelling errors, am writing on my phone as I am putting my toddler down for a nap! Lol #multitasking

froomeonthebroom Tue 11-Oct-16 13:12:48

I bloody wish people would stop perpetuating the 'competitive mums' stereotype. Everyone I see at school is doing their best to parent in their own way. We don't need to encourage more division in society.

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:16:37

Well I've definitely been exposed to it, and its not always a pleasant experience! which is why I am writing about it... it's naturally based on some of my experiences ... but i can understand that not everyone wants to read about it/care about it.

Iguessyourestuckwithme Tue 11-Oct-16 13:20:35

The playdate, I don't know how she does it.

BikeRunSki Tue 11-Oct-16 13:21:48

The SAHM/school gates theme has been done to death - Lucy Cavendish's novels are s good example, and even Mad About the Boy has moments of poignancy amongst the saccharine. It's clearly a genre that sells, although i am rather over it now. I could write my own text book about school gate/hate politics though, I was unfortunate enough to be caught in the middle of a very non-fictional situation.

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:26:49

Hi BikeRunSki thanks for that. I haven't heard of Lucy Cavendish so will look her up... OK maybe you guys have a point it's been done! Yes, I was in a similar situation which made me start writing it.... And I know I'm not the only one who's experienced it!!

Yawnyawnallday Tue 11-Oct-16 13:29:10

Sorry that I am discouraging you here but it doesn't sound like something I'd want to read. I want to escape from this sort of thing. The anonymous blog idea sounds a bit Zoella ish from my taste. However you're clearly a creative person and maybe you should push it a bit further. If there was a grown up version of Fortunately, the Milk .., say, I might give it a go.

LooseSeal Tue 11-Oct-16 13:32:29

If it was me writing it now I'd probably not go for a comedy, I'd make it quite dark but that's me.

I do think you have to be careful for it not to come over like revenge fiction, with the central character being a poor hard done by Mary-Sue and everyone else being a vile bully. You need the characters to have shades of light and dark and not be one note.

I did once have the idea for a rather silly school gate mum story where some of the mums turned out to be an Oceans 11s type gang planning a heist, bringing their backgrounds and talents into it (one was a ex film make artist, another v posh with connections to the art world and so on) I didn't actually write it though.

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:32:46

Thanks yawnallday I want honest opinions so it's useful. Maybe I should move on to the next project! ;) I get wanting to escape from it all.... x

Yawnyawnallday Tue 11-Oct-16 13:35:25

Oooo, Loose, a heist plan novel. I would read that!

Kennington Tue 11-Oct-16 13:37:17

I like this sort of thing, if done with nuance.
In some things I am really keen for dd to know, but it is because of my background. For example, correct biological terms, science and her fathers language.
However not so bothered about other stuff which I know nothing about.
So in some ways I look competitive but in others not.
I imagine it is the same for sporty or musical families.

nottinghillyummymummy Tue 11-Oct-16 13:37:36

Looseseal- I know it sounds like revenge fiction but it's not! It's supposed to be really funny (you'll see if I ever get it done ;) using humour rather than anything else to fight off those awkward moments at the school gates....

I like your book idea though! You should write it! I agree mine is not that original but that's all I have for now! Thanks for posting...

LooseSeal Tue 11-Oct-16 13:38:48

I thought the mum/heist thing could be quite fun, a bit of a departure from the norm and showing school mums in a different light. I'm bogged down a a fantasy/steampunkish thriller right now so i can't see me writing it in the near future, but I don't mind if someone wants to use the idea and run with it.

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