Saturday, July 28, 2012

GUEST POST & GIVEAWAY - A Few Pointers for New Writers - Shanon Grey

Shanon Grey - FictionWeaver
Weaving romance and suspense with threads of the paranormal

A Few Pointers for New Writers
Shanon Grey

We all want as many people as possible to enjoy our stories. That means getting them out there. Whether you want to publish in a magazine, with a publisher, or on you own, here are a few pointers to head you in the right direction. 
  • Submission Guidelines check the places you want to publish your work and follow their guidelines to the letter. They have them for a reason and if you don’t, your work will end up being ignored or, worse, rejected without a glance.
  • Use Microsoft Word it has become the program of choice among publishers and has become almost universal.
  • Know Your GrammarThere are some wonderful grammar sites out there. Use them. Learn sentence structure, if you don’t know it. Use your grammar and spell checker before you send in your work. Publishers don’t want to pay their editors to rewrite sloppy writing.
  • Adverbs – Use them with discretion. Do a search for “ly” and take them out. They are unnecessary if you write well.
  • Active vs. Passive – Remember, you want to your story to move forward. Keep the action rolling by keeping your voice active. Passive has its place and purpose, but use it sparingly.
  • Subject-Verb Agreement – Make sure your subject and verb agree, even if a modifier is placed in between.
  • Modifiers – Be careful of misplacing your modifiers or having them dangle. Sometimes, if you are unsure, try reading the sentence aloud. You will find yourself laughing at obvious mistakes.
  • Disembodied Body Parts – Please, please, don’t throw your eyes down the hall. Also, don’t have inanimate objects do the acting.
  • Head Hopping – Be careful how and when you change your point of view. There are times when you want to know what others are feeling/thinking. However, generally, unless it’s a love scene, you can restrict it to scenes. It gets confusing and too busy to be bopping back and forth. Let the reader know who is speaking. Don’t confuse them. Anything that slows the flow degrades the story.
  • Show, Don’t Tell – You want your readers to be in the story, to feel what your characters are feeling, to be enthralled. Use your words to pull your reader in and to hold them to the very end.
  • More Words Aren't Better – Choose your words carefully and you won’t need as many as you think.
  • End with a Hook – Generally, you want each scene or chapter to propel the reader forward, making him or her turn that page.
  • Protect Your Work – When you've done your best, and before you send it off, protect your work. Go to the United States Copyright Office,, and copyright your work.
  • References – a great dictionary, a thesaurus, and the Chicago Style Manual are the writer’s best friends. Use them.

I know this seems like a lot, but it’s only the beginning. I have touched on some of the most obvious—things to keep in mind as you write and edit. You are your first editor. Take that job as seriously as you do developing and writing your story. Then, even when you think you have everything just so, your publisher’s editor will find things, catch mistakes, and suggest rewording. Just remember, even the most experienced author has to go through the same list, checking for the same mistakes, answering to an editor. It is their job to make you the best writer you can be. And, hopefully, that will make you a bestselling author.

“Writing is a skill, a craft, and an art. Learn the skill to hone the craft into art.” Shanon Grey

Shanon Grey weaves romance and suspense with threads of the paranormal. THE SHOPPE OF SPELLS is the first in her series, THE GATEKEEPERS, about the quaint town of Ruthorford, Georgia and its very special inhabitants. PENNYROYAL CHRISTMAS ~A Ruthorford Holiday Story~ is out in e-format as well. MEADOW’S KEEP is due to be released this summer. Under contract with Crossroads Publishing House, her books are available in e-format and print at most booksellers.

Shanon spent her life on coasts, both the beautiful Atlantic and the balmy Gulf. Hurricane Katrina taught her the fragility of life and the strength of friendship, family, and starting over.

She just found out that her son salvaged notes and pages of her original novel, Capricorn’s Child, which she thought had been destroyed with everything else. (Ironically, a neighbor found her marriage certificate in a tree.) She plans to resurrect her original novel one day.

She currently lives in Coweta County, Georgia, trading the familiarity of the coast for the lush beauty and wonder of the mountains, where her husband fulfilled her lifelong dream—to live in a cottage in the woods, where inspiration abounds.

The Gatekeeper Series

When is a whole more than the sum of its parts? 

When it has ties to the quaint little town of Ruthorford, GA, as Morgan Briscoe discovers when a cryptic message threatens to change her life forever. Morgan’s relatively normal life is turned on its ear when she learns not only that she is adopted, but her birth parents are dead and she now holds half-interest in a business with their ward, Dorian Drake. 

Dorian is running The Shoppe of Spells and despite his riveting good looks, he can barely conceal his hostility toward his new partner. 

Morgan discovers that she is more than she seems and together she and Dorian have the ability to control a portal to another dimension. Unable to control their growing attraction, Morgan and Dorian dance around their desires and her burgeoning abilities, until danger forces them to face their destiny.

 Jasmine Monroe once felt like damaged goods. But, not anymore. Her latent abilities, although appearing too late to save her from a brutal attack, will keep her safe from anyone ever hurting her again. She’s made sure of that. Secure in that fact, she’s moved on. Until she meets her first love’s doppelganger.

Eryk Vreeland, a misfit and embarrassment to his upper-class/upper-crust family, is a magician. His shows are renowned, his contributions to charity astronomical, his illusions precise. Except, not everything is an illusion. Sometimes there is real magic.

Jasmine stumbles upon a secret that will change Eryk’s life forever, and in doing so, she must face her own destiny as well. When Jasmine and Eryk are forced together to rescue and protect a young woman, each must overcome the barrier that protects, yet hinders any personal attachments. The safeguards must come down to combine their abilities and, when that happens, their attraction strengthens—beyond their control—until they can barely tell where one person stops and the other begins.

Can their hearts take the toll? Will they surrender to one another or risk a disaster to stay apart?

Don't forget to check out Shanon at the following sites:

Shanon is giving away ONE E-Book of The Shoppe of Spells!
Open to US / Canada Only

Many entry chances are available.
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Happy Reading!!


  1. Thank you for this post, I am editing my WIP, will put these hints to work.

  2. Carole, do as I say -- not as I do. You might notice there's a mistake. I should have added one last point: Don't proofread when you are half asleep. LOL. Even editors need editors. Thanks for stopping by.

    1. Mistake what mistake. I don't see no stinkin' mistake.

      I agree proofread, proofread, proofread. Even if have other things going on...proofread before you hit publish. Me bad too.

  3. Great tips! It's Saturday, one mistake is allowed ;-)

    1. In that case, I'm going for the third cup of coffee! :)

  4. Thanks! Great tips and useful info. I am in the middle of editing and rewrites now and will put these to use.

    1. Thanks for stopping by. I always love seeing you.

  5. Do as I say not as I do lol love it

  6. I think I would use the "know your grammar" since that is an important part of writing.

  7. Head Hopping is one of the things I have "issues" with. Of course writing a series makes it even worse, while "I" being the writer know the reflection I am trying to convey, I have to remember a reader might not. Thank you for all of these wonderful tips, Shanon!

    1. Ada, I've discovered that most head hopping problems might not be as problematic as once thought, as long as the characters' identities are clear. I tried to follow my own advice in a tense scene and found my characters really did need to be closer in thought and action. I suppose that's why honing our craft is an ever ongoing task.

  8. Great tips. But don't let Word do all the spell checking. It doesn't know if you mean to, too or two. They're all spelled correct, but might not be the correct usage. Lots of words in the english language that sound the same, but have different spelling and totally different meanings.

    1. You are correct. I use it for that pesky "slipped finger" problem I have when I type fast. You have no idea what I would give for a really, really good editing program. :)

  9. I would use the grammar tip the most. Bad grammar drives me nuts and I am afraid I am an offender!

  10. I tried to tweet but it kept telling me it was over 140 characters. I slightly edited the given tweet but then it wouldn't post. :(