Saturday, August 27, 2011

Guest post & Giveaway with Sayde Grace on Writing Advice

Hello everyone! First let me say a huge thank you to Danielle for letting me stop by today and blog with you all! This week I sent her an email asking whether I should do book release promo stuff or writing advice. She said, writing advice, so blame it on her that I’m going to bore you all to death today!!

Usually when I write a blog or give a chat talk about writing I start with an intermediate level selection. It occurred to me that I’ve never actually given advice to readers who are trying to break into the writing field. So today, well, today we are going to discus TEN TIPS. Like the topic states, these are only tips. There is no right way or bad way for you to start writing. No one can tell you how you should write or what you should write. Those things you have to figure out on your own. However, there are lots of things that other writers, readers, agents, and editors can tell you. Let’s start here:
1.       No story is useless. If you have an idea floating in your brain, write it down. Even if you never look at it again, you’ll have an idea and can play with it if you want.

2.       Goals- God I hate goals!!! I think this is my most hated topic. Really, goals suck because human nature tells us we should shoot high. But then if we don’t meet that goal, well, it’s a huge let down. After two years of writing I’ve found I no longer set goals. Not in the traditional sense anyway. What I like to do is buy a book, put it on my Nook and tell myself that after I reach ten thousand words I can take a few days off and read my shiny new book. I hide my Nook with my daughter until its time. She’s a great watchdog over it as at six she loves to read the read-to-me books. By setting a reward point for myself I’m allowed to write at my own pace, when I can, and then take whatever time I need to read my reward. Usually, 10k is down in a few days if I’m working a few hours each day. Otherwise it takes longer but I get it done.

3.       Are you a plotter, pantser, or both?  Never let anyone tell you that you have to be one or the other. I fully admit I am a plotter who plots each chapter and tries like hell to stick to my plot guide. However, there are a few books that I’ve written where the plot guideline just didn’t work out. I tried to make it work, but the flow of my characters wasn’t matching what I’d written so I trashed my plot guide and finished the books as a pantser. Blending is just fine, make it work for you.

4.       Writing friends and/or groups. When I realized I wanted to write I searched the internet for authors I loved reading so I could read their blogs. What I found was that most had joined different writers organizations. I checked out several and found that because I wanted to write romance the most, I fit better with the Romance Writers of America organization. There I found a local group and started attending meetings. We meet the first Saturday of every month at a local library for a meeting followed by a program. Our programs are always writing related and I love going and talking to my writing friends. I also joined several online writers groups. This is a great way to meet others who can share their experiences with you.

5.       Keep a grain of salt with you. By now, if you’ve done 1-4, you’ve realized that you’re getting a lot of different advice and opinions. When I first started writing I listened to everything, tried a hundred different things, and cried, a lot! But having competed on different levels in the equine industry, I remembered that I had always taken things with a grain of salt and needed to do that now also. People are all too willing to give you tons of advice and tell you over and over what you need to be doing. However, you are the only one who can decide if that advice is right for you. Don’t be afraid to say, “thank you, I appreciate it.” And then never use that advice. That’s ok. You can do that if the advice doesn’t work for you.

6.       Keep a tablet of some kind around you. This is my most prized tip. It’s the simplest of simple too. I’ve learned over the years that I might have days of writing thousands of words a day and then something comes up where I can’t get my hands on a computer. Then I feel a huge amount of guilt over not writing. I began keeping a legal pad in my purse or truck. Since then, no matter where I am, I have the ability to write or plot or just tinker with my story. It’s a huge amount of freedom and I never face writers guilt.

7.       Professional jealousy. It happens to the best of us. One day you are writing away and then the next, you’re green in the face with jealousy. I’ve experienced this and nearly every writer out there has too. My critique partner and very dear friend will be the first to tell you that when she got her three book deal to Kensington I screamed and cried with joy for her. Yet, a few days later it hit me. Why not me? Where’s my contract? This is just human nature. I quickly got over the whines and told Rebecca that it had happened. She laughed and told me when I got my contract for my first novella she was jealous too. It happens, you just deal with it and remember that it’s okay to feel a bit green faced as long as you don’t hurt any feelings while being Hulk-like.

8.        Find your inner big girl panties and put them on. Rejections are a part of writer life. You may get two hundred rejections before you ever get a maybe or a yes. It sucks, it pisses you off, and you struggle with what to do. Well, you step up. Put those rejections behind you. You may find a certain book just isn’t right for the market right now, move on. Don’t dwell and don’t wallow. Get them big panties out and where them with pride!

9.       Published authors are published for a reason. Just because you read a story and it sucks to you doesn’t mean it sucked to the editor who bought it. Remember this because it’s very important. What it means is that you’re taste is not the same as that particular editors taste. So, if you hate everything a certain editor publishes, it’s probably a waste of your time and her/his time for you to query that editor. Research the heck out of each editor you submit your work to, it saves time, stress, and heartache.

10.   This list is too damn long, STOP READING AND WRITE!!

These are in no way any set of rules that one writer must follow. These tips have helped me along my journey. What are some things that seem to help you?
 Thanks everyone! And I will be giving away FOUR books today. If I only have one commenter than that lucky person gets ALL FOUR.  If I have more than that, we will just see how it goes! But FOUR books will be given away at midnight tonight, making someone’s weekend smoking hot! Have a great day and keep writing. Tell your story!
And of course, inspiration never hurts:

 Yes, This is Joe before True Blood!!
For more information about Sayde Grace and her work please stop by her website, You can always find daily updates about her on Facebook and twitter.


  1. Sounds like quite a journey, one I have no ambition to undertake. But that is why I love authors! So I can kick back and enjoy your amazing creativity, along wi all the blood sweat and tears. So keep working, your appreciated (at least very very much by me)!

  2. Great article. I'm not a writer, don't have the imagination but I do a lot of beta reading for indies and I would add one more thing. Beta readers, have someone who is not partial read your work and give you honest opinions. I'm known for being brutally honest when I beta read, I've read so many indie books that have silly mistakes that is so obvious someone didn't read the book before it was published. Have someone to say, wait a minute didn't she have blond hair a minute ago and now it's red? You don't have to take their advice but another set of eyes is important.
    lvs2dv (at) gmail (dot) com

  3. Awesome as usual, my friend. Love ya.

  4. Nice list of 10 things! I agree so strongly with your #9 about published authors and their publishers/editors. I recetnly read a book that absolutely did not appeal to me but I know that there is a market for this story. I have been hemming and hawing over the review. I want to make it clear that it is only MY opinion and others should try it if there are interested. I don't like reviews that attack the author or publisher. That's not right or fair!

  5. Thanks for the great advice. I'm working on something and have been for a while, hopefully I get my booty in gear and finish it soon.

    Good reading ~ Escape by Fiction

  6. These are tips that apply to real life as well as to anyone trying to write a story. What I like about your tips are that more than anything they are common sense and while I am a reader with no aspirations to become a writer still enjoy seeing some of the steps it takes to get there.


  7. Thanks for the insight into the life/journey of an author.


  8. Enjoyed your post even though I'm not a writer. I enjoy learning the processes authors go through to bring us the fantastic books they do. Good tips.


  9. Reading your post, I am SO glad I am a reader not a writer. I do appreciate all the effort & hard work a writer goes through.


  10. Thanks. I needed this post. I have been wondering what to do to get started with the stories in my head. I really appreciate it! Congrats on your success. May you have many more happy and successful years.

  11. I, too, am so glad I'm a reader and not a writer after reading your post. Sometimes I think I should write... but I'm actually very happy just reading good books and dreaming of writing in my next life.
    Thanks for the giveaways!

  12. Hi, Sayde:
    Thanks for your 10 tips. you're right about advice giving and taking. A young kid I counsel said to me the other day about advice another client gave that he didn't agree with - "if it's not for you, let it slide on through." So wise! Now, if he could only stop using illegal, mind-altering substances, he'd be golden!
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  13. Hello all! Thank you all for taking the time to stop by and comment!

    Lexi, a writer never gets tired of hearing they are appreciated :) Thank you so much!

    Loves to Dive- you are so right. I totally forgot to put beta readers and critique partners on my list! I have a wonderful CP and couldn't do this without her. Recently I have aquired a beta reader and wow did that mix things up :)

    Jillian, you my friend were the greatest help this past week with helping me see past the tape!! Now, between you and Rebecca I can't get away with any near illegal stuff for my sheriff!

    Jen B, as an author this makes me cringe but then I know writing is a very subjective industry. What appeals to you may not appeal to the next person and vice versa, hopefully the author will realize that.

    Escape by fiction, get your rear end in gear!!

    Jackie, I'm a common sense kinda gal and like to spread that. People can think too hard sometimes, and by doing so totally screw up their writing. I'm guilty of doing this, just this past week!!

    Tina, Marybelle, and Karen, thank you so much for commenting. Writers really do go through a lot to bring their stories to readers but we enjoy it no matter what we may say sometimes! I love bringing my stories to readers!

    Patti and Linda, thank you for stopping by. I love being a reader too. Books are the greatest escape from daily stress and being able to offer that to someone else is the icing on the cake to me.

    MJB, thats funny yet not funny. Having a degree in middle school ed and dealing with at risk kids I can so relate to this kids statement. Jeez, they make you want to pop them upside the head and go "Hello, you're so smart now get with the program!"

  14. OK, the winners are:

    Loves to Dive

    and because I'm in a good mood I'll give away another copy at my regular blog, and another prize over at the kickoff of this weekend!

  15. Thank you Sayde. I'm so psyched! Is this an e-book or print? If it's an e-book you can send it to this email!!
    Can't wait!
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com