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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Stephen King's "On Writing"


Yesterday I met my goal of putting all of my revisions for my romance novel into the computer - all 203 pages of them! Now I will have a nice clean copy for when I start my writing class next Wednesday.

My husband has never actually read the novel I wrote so I asked him to read it this weekend and let me know if I am going to be making a fool of myself bringing it to this Advanced Writing Workshop. I doubt I can get an unbiased opinion from him, but that's okay - sometimes I just need a cheerleader. Other times I need honest-to-goodness critique, which I will hopefully get at the writing class.

So what happened to writing 1000 words a day, you ask? Here we go: it starts TODAY!! My goal today is to start writing a new novel. I am thinking of doing a historical romance, since I love to read historical romances. I've shied away from that in the past since I'm terrified of making a mistake, but that's what research is for, right? Plus, since I've read probably a hundred of them, I already have a pretty good idea of what times were like for the Dukes and Duchesses in England. I think. We'll see, I guess. The reason I love historical romance is that the time period creates some really fun story elements that simply don't exist in modern romances: arranged marriages, pirates, castles, archaic laws, etc.

But now, even just writing about starting writing, I am getting a bit freaked out. The thought of the research involved is once again scaring me. Well, we'll see how it turns out. I'll let you know tomorrow.

I would like to review another one of my favorite writing books: Stephen King's "On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft".

Stephen King writes 2000 words a day, every day. He says in the book that he used to tell reporters that he wrote everyday except his birthday and Christmas, but that it wasn't really true - he wrote on his birthday and Christmas as well. He can write a 180,000 word book in like three months. Unbelievable.

It was King's idea to write at least 1000 words every day, and I would like to take his advice. Of course, I have an infant who may or may not let me get much done, but he does take naps so there you go. I just need to use my time wisely and not procrastinate.

Another of King's big tips is to kill your adverbs. You know, the words that end in "-ly". When I was going through my first draft of my romance novel, I found quite a few "she said softly" etc that I had to remove. Sure enough, it tightens up the manuscript quite nicely. (Oh no! Nicely is an adverb!)

Another lesson I learned from King is that persistence pays off. He started writing as a kid, and by the time he was a teenager he was regularly submitting his short horror stories to magazines. The magazines would reject him, and he would just take that rejection letter, hang it up on a nail in his room, and keep submitting stories. He got so many rejections he had to replace the nail with a spike, and he filled that up with rejections too. But he kept going, because he loved writing and he wanted to share what he had written with others.

And here I am, with exactly two form rejection letters to my name (from agents) and I just gave up completely. I really want to gain the confidence in my writing to keep collecting those rejections until I get somewhere.

Thanks for reading. Wish me luck today (I'm going to need it!) and good luck to you too!

Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

2 comments:

  1. Go for it Baby, have no fear... If anyone can do this it's you. You eat 1000 words for breakfast... you were meant for this!

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