Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Guest Post: So You Want to Be a Writer? by S. Hampton, Sr.

So You Want to Be a Writer?
S. Hampton, Sr.

            Are you sure?
            Well, as long as you are sure, there are a couple of things to remember. No, I am not going to write about dangling participles or nouns or verbs or adverbs or independent clauses. You will get all of that in high school and/or college or university classes. There are also plenty of places on the Internet (including blogs) to look up that information, not to mention old-fashioned print books at your local book chain or mom and pop used bookstores.
Find it HERE!
            One thing I want to remind you of is, of course, master the English language. I tend to write the way I speak, therefore I am not a grammar wiz. I keep copies of the Thesaurus, English handbooks, and especially Strunk and White The Elements of Style next to my laptop. I have the great fortune of working with excellent editors who “red mark” my manuscripts as needed.
            But, nothing replaces your knowledge, skill and experience. William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck did not become literary giants without mastering the English language. By the way, they also knew how to tell a story.
            Two, do not expect to get rich overnight. Unless you are the next Faulkner, Hemingway, or Steinbeck, and you have a powerhouse of a publisher pushing your marketing/public relations campaign, becoming successful will most likely be an uphill slog. That is not to say it will not happen, but for most writers it will be uphill. But once you get there the view (and rewards) will be magnificent—or so I have been told. I am still slogging.
            Three (I know I said two, but bear with me), whatever you write will never please everyone. There will always be people who write negative reviews of what you write, and lately sometimes they and their ilk take their dislike to a personal level. I refer to these people as “literary gangs.” These gangs can be found on all reader sites but on some more than others. Do not get into a urinating contest with these gangs. It is not worth your time, and by going head-to-head with them, you are only validating them. That is not to say that you cannot complain to the site owner if there is a clear pattern of abuse by these gangs, but my suspicion is that most site owners could care less.
            Besides, whether people like your writing or not, you already have the best validation. Your publisher, who wants to make money of course, sees sales potential in your writing, offered a contract, and is eagerly waiting for your next story. Your publisher believes in you.
            Develop a thick skin and believe in yourself.

            Therefore, go forth into the world of pronouns, interrogative pronouns, adjectives, prepositions, etc., and write a grammatically correct masterpiece. Oh, and do not forget to tell a story!


Stan Hampton, Sr. is a full-blood Choctaw of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, a divorced grandfather to 13 wonderful grandchildren, and a published photographer and photojournalist. He retired on 1 July 2013 from the Army National Guard with the rank of Sergeant First Class; he previously served in the active duty Army (1974-1985), the Army Individual Ready Reserve (1985-1995) (mobilized for the Persian Gulf War), and enlisted in the Nevada Army National Guard in October 2004, after which he was mobilized for Federal active duty for almost three years. Hampton is a veteran of Operations Noble Eagle (2004-2006) and Iraqi Freedom (2006-2007) with deployment to northern Kuwait and several convoy security missions into Iraq.
            His writings have appeared as stand-alone stories and in anthologies from Dark Opus Press, Edge Science Fiction & Fantasy, Melange Books, Musa Publishing, MuseItUp Publishing, Ravenous Romance, and as stand-alone stories in Horror Bound Magazine, The Harrow, and River Walk Journal, among others.
            In May 2014 he graduated from the College of Southern Nevada with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Photography – Commercial Photography Emphasis. A future goal is to study for a degree in archaeology—hopefully to someday work in and photograph underwater archaeology (and also learning to paint).
            After 13 years of brown desert in the Southwest and overseas, he misses the Rocky Mountains, yellow aspens in the fall, running rivers, and a warm fireplace during snowy winters.
            As of April 2014, after being in a 2-year Veterans Administration program for Homeless Veterans, Hampton is officially no longer a homeless Iraq War veteran, though he is still struggling to get back on his feet.
            Hampton can be found at:

Melange Books

Musa Publishing

MuseItUp Publishing Author Page UK Author Page

Goodreads Author Page


  1. Fifth, watch out four those pesky homonyns and other misspellings that spell chick dues knot catch.

  2. Beth,

    Hi! Ah, yeah, those things too. (Damn, have to get out my dictionary and English Handbook to understand...) Thanks for visiting. Have a great week!


  3. Great guest post and good advice. Cute comment, Beth!

  4. Aubrey,

    Thank you for your comment. I appreciate it. Have a great week.



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