Things With Happy Endings/Writing Tips

July 22nd, 2008

Thanks to everybody who came to my online chat! You asked such great questions, I was blown away.

And if you missed the chat, never fear…the transcript will be going up here (click on where it says CHAT TRANSCRIPTS at the top of the page) soon!

And you can always join me for another virtual live chat at Teen Second Life on Friday, August 8, at 4PM (EST). Ack! Sorry, this actually had to be rescheduled for a later date. I’ll let you know as soon as I know what it is!

Here are some questions I got from the chat that I didn’t get a chance to answer, because there were soooo many people in the room, and I couldn’t get to everybody in the time we had:

Meg, I really really really want to be a writer when I grow up. I’m always writing stories, but I can never seem to finish them. What do you think this means?

Not finishing your story could mean lots of things. Maybe you’re better off being a songwriter or a SCUBA instructor…or maybe it just means that you haven’t found the right story. Usually when you find the right story, you love it so much, you want to finish it (well, sort of. 99% of writing is keeping your butt stuck in the chair while the rest of your friends are out having fun. Try to think of how good you’ll feel when you get paid for it write the words THE END. That always helps me).

My advice would be either to spend more time with your butt in the chair, switch to a new story that means more to you, or give up and become a professional figure skater. Hey, it worked for the girl in the movie Ice Princess (based on a story idea by Meg Cabot). Anyone can do it!

Meg, how do I get an agent?

Unless you are born into the literati world and know someone who knows someone, the only way to get an agent is via the query letter. Go here and read how I got my agent (I think it’s the second question down) using a guide. This is the guide I used (mine was the 1997 edition):

You should never pay an agent (until you’ve started making an income from writing. Then he or she takes 15% of your advances/royalties).

BTW, the editor who originally signed my Princess Diaries books for my UK publisher, Sarah Davies, is an agent now at The Greenhouse. She only reps YA and children’s lit. She’s tough but good!

Meg, did you know what was going to happen at the end of Queen of Babble Gets Hitched before you wrote the whole series? Because it really surprised me.

Yes, and so did my editor and agent, because I pitched it to them before I even wrote Book One. It shouldn’t have surprised you too much, there were a lot of clues from the beginning. It’s based on a semi-true story, you know, so I missed a lot of those clues, too, right along with Lizzie.

Meg, what’s going on with the sequel to AIRHEAD, Being Nikki?

Shhhh! I’m working on it. The more you talk about a work in progress, the more it crawls back up, in the immortal words of John Bender from The Breakfast Club.

Meg, what star are you keeping a watch on right now?

Remember Kelly Osbourne? Cute then:

Cute now…

…just so different I didn’t recognize her! Which look do you prefer? I like both.

Meg, I saw a bunch of things this weekend (Dr. Horrible, Dark Knight) with endings that bummed me out. What can I watch that will make me feel better?

I KNOW! And I’m sorry. But the Entertainment Doctor is here to help. Okay, right now I’m watching:

The Closer
Love Kyra. Love love love her. And always so cute with her relationship with her FBI agent boyfriend and her cat.
Weeds
Love it! So far, it’s hilarious and nobody has died (well, who didn’t want to) or anything.
Kathy Griffin Life on the D List
Come on, she’s hilarious!
Tori Spelling’s reality show—
Very dishy. I want to read her book next. I know, so shoot me, whatever.
How I Met Your Mother
Even though this show is in reruns I just started watching it, so they aren’t reruns to me. And NPH is adorably cocky in this. And hasn’t killed anyone yet, even inadvertently.
Made
This MTV show is enormously uplifting for the most part, but they need to get over that thing where they surprise girls at school with the mega high heels and make them walk in them all day, that is just cruel with the blisters and all. Not all high heels feel great (in fact most don’t).
True Life
OK this isn’t that uplifting but did you see the one with the compulsive shoppers? Oh. My. God. So dishy!
Eastern Promises
The movie with Viggo Mortenson, did you see that? So violent, but so good, and the ending! So good! I was so happy. You should really watch it. But He Who Shall Not Be Named In This Blog was too sensitive and had to leave the room. But I promise it turns out all right in the end.
Hellboy 2
There could not be a happier ending. It was so happy I almost barfed.

I’m sure there are some more shows/movies with uplifting endings/themes I’ve seen lately but I’m spacing right now. Oh, wait you know what—MY BOOKS!!!! READ MY BOOKS!!!! I can guarantee they will not bum you out.

Okay, that’s it for now. Be happy!

More later.

Much love,

Meg