The Riddle of the Dreaded Chick Flick

by Curtis Copley

A “chick flick” is a movie that appeals to women, but men avoid. I’m a guy trying to learn how to write romantic elements that women would love and other guys won’t cringe at while reading.  It’s bugged me that there was some part of the craft that fell under the heading, “it’s a girl thing; you wouldn’t understand.” Not content to leave it at that, I asked for help from the Published Author Network (PAN) members of SARA.

Here’s the riddle: What is it about “chick flicks” that make men dread to even be seen watching them? (The definition of “chick flick” comes from this clip in Sleepless in Seattle). What’s the problem?

The tissue box.

SONY DSC“It is not okay for a grown-ass man to weep in public, in front of a bunch of happy families enjoying pie. If you can’t hold it, you take your ass to the men’s room and cry in private on the toilet. Like a man!” — Emerson, Pushing Daisies, S2E1, “Bzzzzzzzzz!”. TV Tropes has a couple of reference pages on this, “Men Don’t Cry” and an allowed exceptions page, “Manly Tears”.

Given the deep aversion to crying that men in this culture have, why would women choose to see a movie that makes them cry?

  • Patricia W. Fischer: I pull from real situations I experienced as a trauma nurse. Those things reach out and bite you when you least expect it. It’s hard to let cases / patients go sometimes. They stay with you forever. It makes us human and that’s what wonderful about it. Now, how to capture it when putting it to page is the hard part because you want to do it justice. Crying during a movie, any movie, is a sign of something done right.
  • Joni Hahn: “I always wonder why people go to horror movies – because they liked to be scared to death. Why?? I don’t understand. But, it’s that rush of emotion, whatever it is, that draws us as humans.”
  • D.K. Burrow: “If it’s written really well (and doesn’t go the sappy route), it’s a safe place to go on an emotional journey.”
  • Teri Wilson: “Good movies, like good writing, make you feel things. I don’t mind being devastated emotionally by a book or movie. It means it touched me, and I like that. If a book or movie reduces me to a weepy mess (either happy or sad tears), that means I liked it because the story made me feel all the feels. It’s safe crying because it isn’t real. That’s where the liking it comes into play.”
  • Jolene Navarro: “If I’m brought to tears – I have connected to fictional characters to the point they have become real to me. It’s because they are safe emotions – We can connect and leave our world and feel all those things but not really be at risk. We love experiencing the emotions but safely. We are emotional junkies. We want our hearts to be touched. I don’t feel my story that I’m working on is done until I have cried over at least two scenes. And laugh. I have to laugh.”

In the end, everything our PANs said goes for men as well as women. We men just don’t want to show it.  Time for me to get off the computer and watch Guardians of the Galaxy with my loved ones. Happy tears, folks.

New Cover Reveal with Joni Hahn

Agent S5- JaydanAgent S5: Jaydan Rose

Credentials:  Former D.I.R.E. Enemy Agent,  D.I.R.E. Double Agent

Enhancement:  Muscle Acceleration/Strength

Now that he’s part of the D.I.R.E. Agency’s elite squad of super-powered agents, Jaydan Rose is walking the straight and narrow.  He absolutely, positively avoids three things:  high-maintenance women, trouble, and Hope Powers.

Days away from his estranged brother’s wedding, Jaydan gets a lead on the missing sister-in-law of Riordan “Saint” St. James, a fellow agent.  If he can locate her, perhaps he can make up for not being there when Saint needed him most, and prove to everyone he’s turned over a new leaf.

As the only daughter of one of the richest men in the world, and with a special power of her own, Hope Powers wants to be taken seriously.   If she can prove the D.I.R.E. Agency needs her new software application, she will have a sense of purpose and the credibility she craves.

When Hope threatens to search for the missing woman with or without him, Jaydan smells trouble, but knows he doesn’t have a choice – he has to take her.    However, when danger and close quarters prove too much for their passion, Jaydan knows his list of things he absolutely, positively avoids has just disintegrated.

When their quest uncovers scandalous secrets and decades old dangers, they realize they’ve stumbled onto something bigger than themselves.   While the lines of reality and imitation become blurred, a malicious maniac makes plans for Hope.

Will Jaydan’s past rear its ugly head and destroy them both, or does history have plans of its own?

The book will go on sale December 18th.

Agent M4: Riordan, Book 4 in The D.I.R.E. Agency Series, Available Now!


New Cover Reveal with Teri Wilson

AlaskanHomecomingBallet dancer Posy Sutton is only back in her hometown of Aurora, Alaska, until her injury heals. It’s a decision that’d be easier to stick to if she didn’t keep bumping into her charming ex-boyfriend, Liam Blake.

After six years, she should be over him—but instead all she can see is the mistake she made when she left him. She’s not sure she can handle choosing between Liam and ballet a second time…if Liam is even willing to risk his heart again. When her time in Alaska is up, will she and Liam be part of the sweetest dance of all?

UNMASKING JULIET, in stores now
ALASKAN HOMECOMING, coming March 2015

Our Authors in the Spotlight

PatriciaSan Antonio Living is featuring Patricia Walters-Fischer on November 13th. On the show she  will talk about books as part of this month’s theme: adoption and foster-adoption.
This is a subject that’s near and dear to Patricia’s heart as she and her husband have navigated the foster care system and adopted two children. 
She’ll present three books: Instant Mom by Nia Vandalos, Taking Flight by Michaela and Elaine DePrince, and Perfect by Judith McNaught.
Weighting for Mr. Right now available at Soulmate Publishing 
2009 Wisconsin Fab Five Winner for Women’s Fiction

SARA Author Appearance: Patricia W. Fischer on San Antonio Living

Thursday, 10am, on San Antonio Living, Channel 4 WOAI, Patricia Walters-Fischer will talk about books. This month’s theme: adoption and foster-adoption.

This is a subject that’s near and dear to Patricia’s heart as she and her husband have navigated the foster care system and adopted two children.

She’ll present three books: Instant Mom by Nia Vandalos, Taking Flight by Michaela and Elaine DePrince, and Perfect by Judith McNaught.

2014 11 9 Instant Mom Book Cover2014 11 8 Taking Flight Book Cover2014 11 8 Perfect Judith McNaught