To write contemporary women’s fiction you need to follow three principles:
Firstly, you need to be intimate with your characters and centre even the most rollicking plot on emotional dynamism. Create compelling, nuanced protagonists. We need to know their thoughts, feel their feelings. We also need to know their vulnerabilities. Writing for women means that you must deal intimately and honestly with emotion.
Secondly, stemming from this, you need to have warmth. It’s all very well to expose genuinely difficult things or portray genuinely unlikeable characters, but there needs to be an inner heart of warmth. Without that, you’ll lose your reader.
Thirdly, you need to get any comedy right. There are two common mistakes here. One is to write a whole novel without wit or lightness. The second is to keep your foot so hard on the comedy pedal that the effort ends up feeling grating and dull.
Everything Happens for a Reason adroitly follows these principles. Do buy it.