Wednesday, July 29, 2009

2nd Set: 3rd Installment: Editing Tips

When you are in the editing process and have had several rounds, you may feel its time to send it off to a publisher. Stop. Have you had a second or third pair of eyes look it over? Using a fresh pair of eyes who have never seen your story before can be beneficial to you and your story.

Beta Readers are writers or nonwriters who read your story with the intent of editing or critique your piece. Do not take this personal, no matter the outcome. Beta Readers are not there to say anything about you. They are merely there for help with your writing, your story. If you don't agree with their suggestions, you don't have to change anything. This is practice though because when you get your story published, you will go through this process with their editor with more details and rounds. And of course, you still have the final say on those changes. I will discuss this later though lol.
If you can choose someone, go with someone you can trust. This is your story, your baby; you should trust that the person reading and critiquing your story is someone you trust in their word to be honest. It doesn't have to be another writer but they should have an understanding in the language. They should know the difference between nouns and pronouns kind of language. Some writers ask to trade stories, you edit theirs while they edit yours and that's fine. It will give you practice.
If that's the case, don't try to change the story itself. Rather work on sentence structure and the elements that make up the story. Tighten how the story is told. If you don't like the story itself, that's fine but be honest about it. Work on the writing itself.
Amber Rigby Grosjean

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

2nd Set: 2nd Installment: Editing Tips

Before you sit down to edit (or stand), you should really step back for a minimum of a few days. A couple weeks is better to distance yourself from the story you just finished writing. It is very important to take everything out of your memory at this point because it may stand in the way of seeing what's actually on the page. Believe me, I've been to this point too many times. I know how the mind can play tricks on you, making you think the story is perfect.

The truth is, your story is far from perfect when its first written. And to you at this point, it's hard to feel other wise. That is why its important to step back for a little while. Work on another project for a little while. Finishing a second project before editing the first may give you enough time to "forget" so when you look at it for the beginning of the editing process, may actually help you. Now you're ready to sit down (or stand lol) and work on your editing job. Again, print it out so you don't hurt your eyes. Let yourself go and make changes directly to the piece as I said before in the last post. Again, at this point you're the only one who will see this so don't worry about making a mess on the pages.

When editing, you can work in many different ways. You can work straight through from page one to the last page as you did when you wrote it. You can work in sections, perfecting each page before moving to the next. And you can work each scene until its perfect. Do what works best for you. Every writer is different.

While editing, look at the sentence structure; nouns, adverbes, adjetives, etc. Do you have a lot of words ending in -ing? Avoid that as often as possible. You also want to avoid using a lot of short sentences. Sometimes, that's fine and works better using one short and a few long. If two sentences can be joined and sounds better, join them. Don't use a lot of he, she, we, you, I. Those can be avoided by joining sentences sometimes. The same goes for the character's name. Not all the time though so play around with it until it "sounds" right when reading it aloud. Check how many times you use the same word in the same paragraph, the same page. The thesaurus is your best friend, use it to find new words to mean the same thing. Also check for multiple sentences that say the same things with different words. If you already said someone died, you don't have to repeat it. Readers usually have a good memory.

Remember, sometimes its ok to leave something out for the reader to figure out on their own. It makes them want to read more to find the answer. Keeping the story in one POV (point of view) can help. You don't know what's happening in the next room but you're hearing noises. What are those noises? How is the character feeling while he's hearing those noises? It adds suspense, pulling the reader into the story a little more.

If you have to use more than one POV, check to make sure they aren't bouncing everywhere on the page. Keep it organized. One POV per paragraph or page, or even chapter. By using more than one, you can confuse the reader. If you're confused whose mind you're in so will the reader.

Tighten your story by making each sentence flow to the next without stopping to ask "did I miss something?".

More on the next post.....

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Monday, July 27, 2009

2nd Set: 1st Installment: Editing Tips

I went through 4 installments of writing tips, each of them being different. Now I want to help with editing. Again, I will have about 4 parts for this. Hopefully, this can help you create a best seller!

  • There's no contest so take your time. This process is harder than just writing the book because you are looking for mistakes and ways to tighten the story. Look for repetition, words that have multiple meanings but spelled wrong, markings at the end of the sentence, etc. Expect to have multiple rounds of editing. There is no marked limit so do what it takes in your own speed. It will get done when you're done.
  • No one edits the same so work how you feel more comfortable.
  • Don't read your work off the computer screen. This may hurt your eyes after a while. You can't write if you lose your eye sight so take care of your eyes. (Some writers have written being blind but its rare). Print your work, then edit.
  • Pay no attention to your mess. You're the only one who will see this so go ahead and make your changes directly to the work using pen, marker, pencil, or whatever you prefer. A publisher will never see this so don't focus on appearance just yet. Save that for the last round when its all complete.
  • You will get better with practice but reading other books will help. Also hiring someone to assist you in editing may help. Do research to find someone who's right for you and your wallet.
  • Join writing groups or critique groups.
  • Read out loud. You catch more mistakes this way. If you don't normally studder and you do, then something may be wrong. Missing words are caught better this way as well.

Ok, that's enough for now. If you want to learn more, please check out my website at

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Sunday, July 26, 2009

4th Installment: Writing Tips

As an author, there are rules of conduct, some are by personal preference, some are obvious, and the others should always be followed. Keep this mind as you write so you always remain ready for that letter that says "Manuscript Accepted"

  • You are a professional. Talk, write, act as a professional. This includes dressing. When you're behind closed doors, alone, and busy at writing, keep your mind at a professional level too. Get into practice now so when you begin to deal with publishers, the way you act isn't the reason for your book to be turned down. They should focus on your writing, not you.
  • Writers are experts in one field or another. Remember this as you study the subject you're writing about. If you're not an expert about something, find something you're passionate about and learn it.
  • Trust yourself and your writing. If something doesn't feel right, then 9 out of 10 times, it needs work. Learn to understand these feelings about your writing.
  • Writers are hard workers. There are many things a writer does that doesn't get paid for. Yeah, you do get something, but its only from when your book sells. Everything is paid in the knowing of the job well done--pride. Get into practice now. Study marketing books now before your book becomes published. If you happen to have money, hiring a PR (public relations) may help. Don't depend on others to do your work. No matter who you publish with, there will be some work on your end to get your book noticed. Publishers only invest in books they know will sell. If you're new, they don't know if your book will sell so advertising on their end is almost nil.
  • Writers persevere. No matter how many times a book is rejected, a writer must keep moving forward and not give up. Before sending out manuscripts, you need to know who's publishing what. Do your research and find compatible publishers for the genre you're writing. And if there's another story that's similar to yours that was recently published, they will turn yours down every time--remember that. And just because one publisher does turn it down, it doesn't mean you have to stop sending them your work. It may be because your book needs more work. Learn and keep going. Same goes for radio stations, newspapers, book stores, magazines; for marketing.
  • You are your own boss. Writers don't have someone to tell them when to write, when to edit, when to research, when to read, when to market, etc. Writing is a business, plain and simple. As a writer, you need to push yourself to succeed. There's no one out there who can do that job for you. When you're feeling sick, you still need to write. When everyone else is having fun, you need to be writing. If you slacked off in another job, do you think you'd still have that job? Think that way, as a writer and keep writing.

I really don't want to scare you. I just want you to know the facts. The pay may not be the greatest but the rewards are. Meeting your fans is priceless. Signing the book you wrote, is priceless. Hearing someone tell another person how great your book is, is priceless. Getting your book made into a movie, well nothing beats that lol. It is worth the pain in getting your book written. And when you see your book on a shelf in the store, you begin to see so much more than you had before. The day will come for you! Just keep writing and never give up!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Saturday, July 25, 2009

3rd Installment: Writing Tips

Here's another list of tips that you may or may not find usefull. It really depends on what you already know about writing. Again, there's more helpful tips about the writing career including editing tips on my website at

  • Ideas are a dime a dozen and you can't "own" an idea. Because everyone is different with their own experiences, each idea will be shared differently. With that said, if someone else has the same idea, don't let it bother you. Tell your story to the best of your ability. There is no bad idea. You're not going to please everyone. As long as you enjoy telling your story, someone else will too. Keep that positive attitude and keep writing.
  • Don't ever let anyone tell you, you're not good enough to write your story. There's always going to be obstacles that will stop you from writing. Push through them. You will become a better writer but you have to keep moving forward.
  • Find "your" place to write in. Everyone has their own personal space where they write better. If your imagination flows better in the tub while soaking in bubbles, go for it. If you write better in a bar with someone singing karaoke in the corner, go for it. If you need complete silence, that's great too. Find your own space and stick to it. By keeping a "writing only" space, others will see you're busy while you're there and there may be less chances of you being bothered.
  • The same goes for time. If you truly want to be a writer, you have to make time. Keeping a schedule may help. Only do "writing" things on the time you have set for that time. That includes research, sending out query letters, editing, and even reading. Don't make excuses why you can't write because there's "no time". Even five minutes a day is better than nothing. You can actually get a lot of writing done in five minutes. I've done it many times.
  • There's always going to be someone who can write better. Improve your writing by writing. Take courses, join writing groups, meet other writers. Its time to begin acting like a professional because once you're published, you are a professional. Each book you write, will be better than the last one you wrote and many readers know that. Experience is the key so make your experience and keep writing.

Remember this, you are a writer. Whether you chose it, or it chose you; that's who you are. No matter how long it takes to get that book published, its worth the pain when you meet your fans! Keep that with you while you write, edit, and slave over your work to make it the best you can make it. It will happen only if you believe in yourself.

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Friday, July 24, 2009

2nd Installment: Writing Tips

Ok, they say write what you know. Yeah, it's easy to write a book about something you know inside and out, front and back but as a writer, challanging yourself is a good way to keep your mind alert which again, keeps it healthy. So if you don't write what you know, how to write about it? Easy, you do a lot of research.

Find something you would be interested in and always wanted to try but never thought you could or never had the time before. Read books about it. Actually try it. Let's say its bungee jumping (this is just an example lol).

Start off slow and get your hands on as many books as you can. Familiarize yourself with the terms and equipment. Then go watch people do their jump. Once you know the process, actually go have your own jump. Now you're writing about something you know.

If it isn't something that simple, like something that's fictional, then use your imagination. That's why you have one lol. And if that still isn't it, talk to people who have experienced it for themselves. Read more books. Watch it on TV. Whatever it takes to learn what it is, do it. If it's possible, that is.

As a writer, always try new things, even if you don't plan on writing it someday. You never know when you will have a character that needs to know it. The human brain can absorb a whole lot of information so fill it up. Become an expert in as many fields as you can by reading a lot of books on different subjects. Grow a passion for learning new things. Include the family and friends in new adventures which can make it more fun. And remember, you don't have to go to school to become an expert. Reading books, talking to people, experiencing it for yourself can give you the same knowledge as schools for a whole lot cheaper and in your own time. You're not learning to become a professional at it, you're learning to better educate yourself for your writing. You don't need a diploma for that (in that field, that is lol). Don't quit school though.

If you want a certificate that says you know what you know and have the time and funds for it, by all means go for it. By taking that route, you gain more power over your career giving you more options to make a financial future to add to your writing.

So write what you know and learn what you don't know so you open the door to more writing! Learn, write, grow!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Thursday, July 23, 2009

1st Installment: Writing Tips

In celebration of being included in a book, I decided to have a series of writing posts....In this post, I would like to give a few tips on writing for those who are just starting out and need a little encouragement and tips.

  • Always write in your own pace. There is no rule on how to write in general. Be yourself, write the way you feel comfortable, and never sell yourself short. Work hard and set your own schedule and just keep writing. Reading always helps. If you write Romance, read a lot of romance to learn how its done. Do not copy that author, find your own voice using that author only as a guide. A lot of writers, use part of themselves in their books. That will come to you. Your experiences, your thoughts, and your own abilities will shine through on their own. Its quite fascinating how that happens!
  • Don't try to rush through the process. When its time to edit, edit slowly making sure you get all the errors (there will be some, no one is perfect). Don't worry about the editing process until you're at that point. Wear one hat at a time. Be the writer first, write your story. Once the last word has been produced, go through it and just read it. Do not read from the screen, print it out and read it. Don't make corrections yet, just read as if you're reading it for the first time. Now when that's over, put on the editing hat and begin editing from page one. Eventually, you will be able to wear more than one hat at a time (reader and editor) but as you're beginning, try one at a time to get a feel of things. When you're ready, move forward and try to read and edit at the same time. Do what works for you in the end.
  • Do lots of research. Even fictional stories need some truth in them. If you have doctors in your story, make sure what they do in the story is logical. Same goes for any other profession in the story, make sure its logical. Keep your character's actions true to their personalities and who they are. And remember, no one is perfect so create some flaws with your character too. An easy way to learn about people is by watching them. Go to a place where that's possible and just watch them, listen to their conversations, and be silent. Don't let on that's what you're doing though lol. Read books that help in this process as well. Libraries are filled with different subjects on professions. Find the profession you want and study it. Once you understand that profession, you will learn what kind of people who would work in that profession.
  • And remember, writing can be very stressful, like any other job out there. Get a membership at your local fitness place. Or take a jog through your local park. Do what ever it is that helps you release your own stress. Mine is singing lol so that's what I do when I can. Writing is physical and mental so stay healthy on both ends. And be sure to drink plenty of water.

Ok, that's enough to get you started. I will return with more tips for you. If you need more, now, please check my writing site at

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Another Announcement!

Don't know if you ever heard of this book or not but this blog has been mentioned in it! It is located under Writer Friendly Blogs! This book is an e-book only so everything in it is linkable which means people can find this blog with a click of a button and that means more people can find my website!

I'm just so excited I had to share it with everyone! I was told through email about this exciting news which I will be sharing in my next newsletter! Included in the next issue will have the link to the author's website! That way if you want your own copy for marketing ideas and knowledge, you can learn right from your own computer. I may even get my own copy! Who knows. Ok, that's enough for now. I just had to share my news lol.

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quick Announcement!

Cursed Blood is available at a reduced price through my publisher until July 24, 2009. The new price is 6.99 for the paperback. Hardback is still available also at its regular price of 21.99.

If you pick up a copy, I hope you enjoy this book and don't forget the sequel is available online through Amazon! Spawn of the Curse is the title of that book!

Thank you!!!
Amber Rigby Grosjean

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Cursed Blood: Hardcover

Well, its official! Cursed Blood is now available as hardcover. I finally got my copy and it looks great! I felt like I was seeing my book for the first time, all over again. Its been out for a couple years now so this is really exciting! For now, its only available through the publisher which is Publish America. It does cost a little more than the paperback but they usually do. The company is also talking about making their books available in large print. I will let you know if that happens if you have a hard time seeing the regular print! The link to the publisher can be found on my website, on Cursed Blood's page.

Thank you!!!!!!!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hello, hello!

It looks like a nice day today so I thought I would send a little note just to say hello! This was the wallpaper for my computer for a few days lol. I took this picture one sunny day just outside my front door. A tree kept getting in the way so I had 4 attempts until I finally got this picture. What do you think? If you can save pics off this blog, go ahead and take this one for your computer! Great for rainy days lol.

Ok, I've updated my website again. Remember, add my toolbar so you can get quick updates at a moment's notice. You also have access to my website with one click, my news page, this blog, Ning network (my site), 2 message boards (one I own), grouply, myspace, twitter, and more; all with one click directly from the toolbar. Plus, I've added chat, games, and Fox news. And you can get the weather for your area. I'm still looking for things to add and you can add your own stuff to it. Also, I've added my newsletter to the download's page so if you haven't read July's issue, you can now.

Well, the funeral is over now. They are still showing the highlights of it for those who couldn't see it yesterday. It was very touching when Jackson's daughter spoke. I think it was the first time she ever had in public like that. She's 11 years old so she's the same age as my oldest daughter, well almost. Faythe is a year older. She's taller than me, did you know that? My own daughter stands taller than 5'2 which is how tall I am. I think she's about 5'4 just looking at her. She takes after her daddy lol. His whole family is tall!

Yeah, the king of pop will be missed but he will live on through his music. He did do a lot for the music community. As a man, I'm not sure if I like him or not but I did like his music. He could sing and perform. 30 years from now, we'll still be talking about him just like Elvis. Speaking of which, do you hear about Elvis? He put in a transfer! Guess there's only room for one king lol.

Ok, that's enough for this blog today. I'll be posting again soon! Thank you and enjoy the sunny day!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Monday, July 6, 2009

Get a New Toolbar!

Hello again! I just added a new toolbar to my website for those interested! Its easier to get to my site if you're one of those people keeping track of me lol. I'm still working on it but here's what's included...

Web Search using Google
Link to my website including the News page
Link to this blog
My message board plus another message where I'm at a lot
Ning Network

Plus you can add your own "stuff" to the toolbar. It is downloaded with its own uninstall unit so if you don't like it, you can easily remove it from your computer. I found it from Conduit which is totally free and it doesn't replace the one you already have, it just adds a new layer. I like it and I hope you will like it too!

Here's the link!

Thank you!!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Sunday, July 5, 2009

As July 4th Comes to an End...

Officially the holiday is over but many will continue to celebrate all week long lol. I don't know about anyone else, but I played it safe this year. I didn't drink any alcohol, just pop. A little Mountain Dew and a whole lot of Pepsi lol. Oh, and just a little water lol. I've never cared for city water but I drink a little so I don't repeat what happened last summer. I wouldn't want to scare my husband again lol.

Anyways, yesterday I spent a little time with old friends and made new ones. That was nice seeing old familiar faces after a year or so. I did miss them so I enjoyed their company! Now that its all over, the cleanup will begin. I'm sure there will be a lot of debris on the ground from fireworks. And I bet there probably was a fire or two, and possibly a few injuries. If not where I'm at, then some place else. I'm sorry for those mishaps and I hope everything will be ok.

As the rest of the city catches up on their sleep, I stayed up watching a movie and worked on my projects a little plus did some other work online. That's including this blog lol. I wanted to keep everyone updated during the holiday weekend. Like I said, mine was good. I hope yours was too!

Amber Rigby Grosjean

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Fourth!

Happy 4th of July everyone! If you are planning on having a party this weekend, please drink responsibly. Enjoy the food and company and really enjoy those fireworks! I really hope you have a blast this weekend!

My newsletter has been sent out today. If you missed it, it will be added to my website in a few days. Remember, you can always sign up and then the next one will be sent to your email. I will not share your email with anyone else. And you can stop at anytime. Just email me at that time.

Thank you!!!

Amber Rigby Grosjean