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Friday, December 4, 2009

Common Mistakes Writers Make


Hello Fell0w Writers!

Yesterday I met with my writing group at Barnes and Noble. They liked the first chapter of "Snowed in With a Millionaire", and I incorporated some of the little changes they suggested. My query and synopsis for "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant" is ready to go. Now I just have to get up the chutzpah to mail it off to Harlequin!

From eHarlequin.com, here is an excerpt from an article entitled "Presents: The Beginning" about writing for the Harlequin Presents line. I think you'll see that this advice applies to all writers, however! Read the whole article here.

Here are the most common writing personalities and their mistakes that our editors see when they’re reading unsolicited submissions while searching for new Presents talent:
  • The Free Spirit has no idea what her story is or where she’s going when she begins her book.
  • The Procrastinator “writes herself in.” She spends two to three chapters unfolding a long, rambling back-story and setting the scene, and there’s no romance or hero-heroine action in sight.
  • Ms. No-Man’s-Land doesn’t introduce the hero until chapter two…or even later!
  • She-who-saves-the-best-for-last, and who clings to the assumption that readers (and editors) will be understanding and hang in there until chapter four or five when her romance really gets going.
  • Me-Me-Me uses a lot of descriptive narrative, choosing to tell the story by inserting herself between the readers and the characters, rather than letting characters speak for themselves.
  • The Party Animal includes loads of minor characters—but who are the hero and heroine?
  • The Show-Stopper thinks of a great opening line or paragraph and then…her book goes downhill from there!
Let’s be clear about a couple of things. In terms of word length, these are short books (50,000 words total). So you haven’t got time to warm up or wait for the hero to arrive! And, despite the quickness of the read, every reader expects to have taken a ride on an emotional rollercoaster by the time she finishes your book.
Today I will email my writing group Chapter 2 of my WIP. My father-in-law is visiting this weekend so I'm not sure how much I'll get done!
Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

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