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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sandra Brown - How She Does It

Hello Fellow Writers!

Yesterday I increased my word count 20,282. I've written 72 manuscript pages since November 1st, all thanks to several new behaviors that I have implemented.
1. I don't go back and re-read what I previously wrote
2. I keep writing even if I'm not sure what's supposed to happen next
3. I don't revise as I write
4. I write 2000 words a day even if I don't feel like it when I first sit down.

I just finished reading "Envy" by the New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown. This woman has written so many novels under both her own name and pen names, that I'm amazed I never read her before. I will definitely be buying her books in the future! I laid in bed before going to sleep with her book, planning on reading for a few minutes, and ended up finishing the whole novel. I just bought the darn thing two days ago!

Here are Sandra Brown's tips for writers, from her website.

  1. Where do you get your ideas?
    For each book there's a background story of how the idea first occurred to me and how I developed it into a plot. There isn't a pattern. Sometimes the story begins with a character, sometimes with an issue or subject that interests me. At other times, I simply see a scene or hear dialogue in my head and the story begins with that.

  2. Do you accept story ideas from other people?
    Never. Each story must be my very own.

  3. Do you read and critique unpublished manuscripts?
    For legal reasons, and on the advice of my agent, no.

  4. Are your characters based either on people you know or celebrities?
    No. I like creating characters that are unique unto themselves. I know some lovely and interesting people, but I doubt you'd want to read 600 pages about them. They're not that interesting! As for celebrities, I never "cast" my book as though it's a movie. It's even difficult for me to cast the book after it's written. The characters become so real to me, I can't imagine them looking any differently than how I see them.

  5. Are your stories/characters based on your own experiences?
    Are you kidding? If I had lived everything that I've put into the 60 plus books, when would I have written the books? It's all make-believe.

  6. How did you get started?
    When I got fired from my television job. Suddenly I had time on my hands and, on a dare from my husband, began doing what I'd been saying for years that I wanted to do - write. It was scary then and it's no less scary today. Unfortunately there is no magic formula or shortcut - none I know of anyway - for putting words on paper that hopefully someone will find compelling enough to read.

  7. How do I get an agent?
    Check your local library for resource books that list representatives, what kind of material they handle, and other pertinent information. The Internet is another valuable resource. Be prepared for this to take a lot of time and effort. For more information on getting started go here.

  8. How do I go about selling the manuscript I've written?
    You either submit it to the publisher directly, or you retain an agent, which is what I recommend. In either case, before you send the manuscript, begin with a query letter asking if they would consider reviewing your work. Most publishers don't take unagented submissions. For more information on getting started go here.

  9. What advice would you give an aspiring writer?

    Practice, practice, practice! Write, write, write and read, read, read!

Today I am going to continue working on "Snowed in With a Millionaire". I'd like to up my word count to 22,000. Also, I need to hit the bookstore and buy the new Silhouette Desire books that are out for November! I may also get some books from the other lines, such as Harlequin Historical. We'll see. I can easily spend hours in Barnes and Noble, it's like my own personal playground!

Wish me luck, and good luck to you too!
Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

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