Sharon K. Connell's Book Writing and Marketing Tips for Authors
Sharon K. Connell
Romantic Suspense
9 months

The best tip I can give anyone is...just write. If you have it in you to write...just write.

When you sit down to start your story, don't worry about the grammar, flow, spelling, or whatever. First get your thoughts down on paper or the computer.

When the story is completed, that's the time to go back to start and reread what you've written. Don't try to edit everything line at this point either (outside of catching glaring mistakes. And trust me, you'll see plenty). Correct what needs to be corrected at that point without stopping the flow of your reading. This will not be the only time you'll read through this manuscript.

As you read your story, jot down important details into a notebook to check the information when it comes up again. This way, you can make sure it hasn't changed. Things like eye and hair color, name spellings, etc.

After you've gone through the story again, with your minor changes to make sure the story flows, go back and do it again. This time take it one chapter at a time, and do a self-edit. You can use a program on the computer for this. I do. Make your changes and move on to the next chapter.

Then it's read-through time again for that chapter to see if everything still flows. At this point, you can send that chapter off to a critiquer for their opinion.

When you get the critique back, make the appropriate changes, but remember this is your story, your style, not theirs.

When you've gone through each chapter, you need to reread the entire story again. You can also have a beta reader go through it.

Then it's off for professional editing, and making corrections they suggest, if you approve them.

Even after you've gone through the professional editors changes, you will want to reread your story one more time before sending it off. Check all your notes as you read. Some people like to put the book out of their mind for a while before doing that final read through. If that works for you, do it.

Kiss it goodbye until your get that final proof. Then you'll need to read it through carefully one more time. Make changes if need be, and then approve it for publishing.

Hope this helps some of you.

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Sharon K. Connell
Romantic Suspense
1 year

1. Get it down the first time nonstop without going back to edit or even worry about the spelling.
2. Decide who is the MC and then how many other voices you will need to make this story complete.
3. Keep a list of all your characters, the spelling of their names, and a page of information to refer to as you write about them. Things like, descriptions of their hair, eyes, physique, favorite food and drink, pet words they use, etc.
4. Date the start of your story, write down the main characters' dates of birth and any important dates that might be mentioned based on when the characters are are born so you're consistent with the timing of events.
5. Keep a list of questions or things to check on before sending your ms to your editor.



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