Monday, December 01, 2008

Minnesota author, Michelle Griep, has been writing since she first discovered Crayolas and blank wall space. She has homeschooled four children over the past twenty years, and teaches both Civics and Creative Writing for area co-ops. She is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers. Michelle's debut historical romance, GALLIMORE, is scheduled for release December 15, 2008.


Jessica Neale’s faith is lost the day of her husband’s death, and with it, her belief in love. In a journey to find peace, she encounters a gentle, green-eyed stranger who leads her to the ruins of the medieval castle, Gallimore.

On his way to battle, Colwyn Haukswyrth, knight of Gallimore, comes face to face with a storm the likes of which he’s never seen, and a woman in the midst of it who claims to live centuries in the future. The Lady Jessica of Neale is an irksome, provoking bit of woman to be sure. And she’s about to turn his beliefs on end.

The product of a family rooted in pain and evil, Colwyn has focused on naught but himself—until Jessica. To a mysterious prophecy stitched on a tapestry, through the invasion of Gallimore itself, Colwyn and Jessica are bound together by a lesson in forgiveness and love—a bond that might be strong enough to survive the grave.

A Code of Chivalry For Writers by Michelle Griep

Strict codes of conduct dictated the life of a medieval knight. For instance, armored knights raised their visors as they rode past royalty. This gesture not only identified them but showed respect as well. It’s this custom that has evolved into the modern military salute.

Following the code of chivalry, a knight should be brave and fearless in battle but also exhibit cultured qualities showing themselves to be devout, courteous, and generous.
All this to say that if rough and tumble warriors of the past displayed the good sense to behave in a civil manner—aside from the occasional decapitation or two—then today’s writers, aspiring and ordained, should be able to maintain a gracious demeanor as well.

I googled Writers Code of Chivalry and guess what…there isn’t one. Never fear, though. After hanging out with writers for the past decade, I came up with one of my own.

The first rule to take to heart is do not cry as if your tongue has been stapled to the carpet just because you get a tough critique. Yes, it’s painful but get over it. Your mama’s not always going to say nice things about your writing anyway.

Also, it’s an all-around bad idea to stalk an editor. Just say no to this felony even if you think you’ve got some sweet covert operational skills. Trust me on this one, seeing your name on a mugshot is not the same as seeing your name on a cover.

Refrain from excessive blabbering about your characters and plotline. Really, the check-out clerk at the Wal-Mart store does not care if your hero kisses the heroine and saves the world all in the first chapter.

If you’re going to ask other writers to read and comment on your rough drafts, please do the same for them. Hiding behind a deadline to avoid returning the favor is wrong on about forty-three different levels.

Holing up in a room with a computer is fine for short periods of time, but if you exit with cadaver-toned skin and swirling pupils set in blood-shot eyes, then you’ve definitely crossed a boundary. Do not alienate yourself from your family members or the general public at large.

Writers are a quirky lot. Not many others would submit to constant criticism and low wages, but do so as gallantly as possible. After all, maybe five hundred years from now a new military practice will be instituted in honor of an aspect of chivalrous writers behavior.


Ane Mulligan said...

LOL - leave it to Michelle to come up with the Code of Conduct for Writes. :D

I recently saw the Miranda Rights for Writers. Hilarious, as this was!

Yeah, Michelle and Lisa have stapled my tongue to the carpet a few times. :D

Elizabeth Ludwig said...

Moi? You must mean my evil twin...

Janelle said...

I agree that it's a bad idea to stalk editors. I also learned it's a bad idea to abuse them, too. If you share a cab with one, please refrain from using the lever that drops the seat back...with them already sitting in the seat. Bad things can happen.

Lisa stapling my tongue to the carpet? Not had that happen yet but it's bound to sooner or later. Yeesh. Guess I'd better get my vacuum out.

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