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Learn more about my books at ShoshannaEvers.com

Sunday, February 21, 2010

More Advice from Meg Cabot

Hello Fellow Writers!

My writing instructor, author Vinnie Dacquino, has finished reading my category romance "Snowed in With a Millionaire". He said he liked it even better than my previous romance "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant"! That gives me the confidence to submit it to Silhouette Desire once I hear back from then about "Movie Star".

My goal for the rest of the Advanced Writing Workshop is to write a query and a synopsis for "Snowed" and have it critiqued.

I am still working on my erotic romance "Taste of Candy". I'm finding myself doing anything I can to avoid working on it for some reason. True writer's block! But I do believe in the story I am trying to tell, so I will push through until I get the story flowing again!

I've read two more of Meg Cabot's "Princess Diaries" series. Those books are so much fun! Here is more advice for writers from Meg Cabot's website.

I have started lots of stories, but I can’t seem to finish them. What’s wrong with me?
It is always more fun to start a new story than it is to work on the one you’ve been working on for months. This is why publishers don’t pay writers their whole advance until they turn in the completed manuscript. Every writer feels this way. Just power through it, and remember that if you write a page a day—just ONE page—in three months you’ll have a hundred page story. And in six months you’ll have a two hundred page story. That’s almost a whole book. So don’t think about it like: "Oh my gosh, I have to write two hundred pages." Think of it like, "Today, I have to write a page." Trust me. It works.
I don’t know how to get started on a story. Please help.
The solution to this problem is very simple: Sit down. Start a story. Finish it. Put it aside. Start another story. There. Now you’re a writer.
I can’t think of anything to write about.
How about this: Who do you hate and why? Who do you love and why? What’s happened to you that you wish hadn’t happened? What hasn’t happened to you that you wish WOULD happen?
Write these things down. There’s your story.
Obviously you’ve got to create a plot and change your characters names so your friends and family won’t sue you. But that’s the fun part.
How many pages should my novel be?
Publishers go by words, not pages. Most adult books are about 90,000 words, and no longer than 100,000 words (unless you’re JK Rowling). Teen books are about 55,000 words.
How many words are there to a page? It depends on the font you are using, of course, but in general, 250-300 words per page. Therefore, a 55,000 word book should be about 200 manuscript pages. A 100,000 word book would be about 400. Editors like 12 point font.
I think it's interesting how Meg Cabot recommends writing at least a page a day. It's good advice! Right now I am sitting at Panera with several of my writing friends from NaNoWriMo. We are still meeting up on my free weekends to sit together and write.

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

Monday, February 15, 2010

Meg Cabot's Advice

Hello Fellow Writers!

I'm still waiting to hear back on the two manuscripts that are currently being reviewed by publishers. In the meantime, I've been working on "Taste of Candy", an erotic romance. I am totally stuck on this one - something must be wrong! I need to go through and make an outline and see if I can unblock myself. So that's the plan for this week.

I've been reading Meg Cabot's bestselling "Princess Diary" series. They are wonderful books and each is such a quick read. I literally read one of the books in four hours without pause. I really enjoy Cabot's easy going style - I will definitely be reading more of her novels.

On her website, MegCabot.com, she offers her advice to aspiring writers:

What advice do you have to give to aspiring writers?

My advice to young writers is:

Write the kinds of stories you like to read. If you don’t love what you’re writing, no one else will, either.
Don’t tell people you want to be a writer. Everyone will try to talk you out of choosing a job with so little security, so it is better just to keep it to yourself, and prove them all wrong later.
You are not a hundred dollar bill. Not everyone is going to like you … or your story. Do not take rejection personally.
If you are blocked on a story, there is probably something wrong with it. Take a few days off and put the story on a back burner for a while. Eventually, it will come to you.
Read-and write-all the time. Never stop sending out your stuff. Don’t wait for a response after sending a story out…start a new story right away, and then send that one out! If you are constantly writing and sending stuff out (don’t forget to live your life, too, while you are doing this) eventually someone will bite!
It is nearly impossible to get published these days without an agent. The guide I used to get mine was called the Jeff Herman Guide to Agents, Editors, and Publishers. It was well worth the money I spent on it, since it lists every agent in the business and what he or she is looking for. It also tells you how to write a query letter, what to expect from your publisher, and all sorts of good stuff…a must buy for any aspiring author!
And above all, become a good listener. In order to write believable dialogue, you need to listen to the conversations of the people around you—then try to imitate them! So my advice is always to try to keeping quiet, listen only, and let other people to do the talking for a change. You’ll be surprised how much this will improve your writing skills (and how many people will think you’re a really sage person, when all you’re basically doing is spying on them).
Good luck, and keep writing! If I can do it, so can you!
Good advice from a number one bestselling YA author! I have a YA novel called "SL*T" that I was working on and then just kind of let go. It's much darker than most traditional YA fair. I do plan on getting back to it at some point. But for now, I've got my Advanced Writing Workshop instructor going through my Silhouette Desire targeted contemporary romance, "Snowed in with a Millionaire", and I've got my current WIP "Taste of Candy" to work on.
Wish me luck, and good luck to you too!
Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Carly Phillips - How She Does It

Hello Fellow Writers!

I've started round two of the Advanced Writing Workshop offered at my local community college. Last time I brought "The Movie Star's Very Personal Assistant" to class for critique, and I felt that my manuscript really came to it's full potential. This time I'm bringing "Snowed in With a Millionaire" for critique.

I'm currently waiting to hear back from both Silhouette Desire on the partial they requested, as well as from Ellora's Cave for the submission to their "Alluring Arts" theme. "The Art Thief's Punishment" is being considered by their acquiring editors. As soon as I hear back I'll blog about it!

I've been working on another erotic romance targeted towards Ellora's Cave called "Taste of Candy", about a rock star and the woman named Candace (Candy for short!) who he falls in love with.

Next weekend is my monthly meeting for the Hudson Valley Romance Writers of America, but due to my work schedule I'll be unable to attend until June! But they have tons of great interviews with romance authors on their website at HudsonValleyRWA.com.

Here is an excerpt from an interview with New York Tines bestselling romance author Carly Phillips. For the whole interview, check it out here.
  • Where do you get your ideas for a romance novel?

Everywhere. Magazines, television shows, daytime TV, real-life situations - For me anything can be given a fresh spin. It's been said there are only seven story ideas in the world and everything spins from that. Something to think about!
  • How important is it for you to have a critique partner?
Invaluable. From a person who came into this business skeptical one was necessary, I now can't live without one. From my first critique partner (Kathy Attalla) to my current (Janelle Denison), I've been very lucky. It's important to have personalities that mesh, writing needs that click and also someone you trust not to mess with your voice or story, just to point out things that are important!
  • If your book was made into a movie, which actors would you like to see play your characters?
Oh I don't know! Young and beautiful works for me, LOL! I've never really thought about it.
  • What do you know now about writing/publishing that you wished you knew before The Call?
Everything! Actually I just think you should immerse yourself in the publishing business because it isn't an easy one to understand. And the world is changing. It's very different now than it was when I first sold. Writers need to understand how publishers are reacting to the economy and market and learn to adjust their thinking accordingly. RWA is a great asset because you can reach out to so many authors and loops and learn so much.
For more information about Carly Phillips you can visit her website at: www.carlyphillips.com.
This week I'll try and finish up "Taste of Candy" as well as revise "Snowed in With a Millionaire" as I get the chapter notes back from Vinnie Dacquino, the writing teacher and an author.
Wish me luck and good luck to you too!
Yours Truly,
Shoshanna Evers