Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Readers advice to Writers.

My guest blogger, Molly Campbell is going to share some great advice in just a second!

First a note of gratitude. I want to thank all my new and old followers for your support. I have been overwhelmed with your encouraging comments and Tweets about my blog here.  In fact, I was given the Stylish Blogger Award by author and poet, Jemima Valentino. If you are new, please "Follow" and "Share" The Writing Bomb with your family, friends and internet peeps. Thank you.

Molly Campbell
Now, back to business. I want to introduce you to a blogging friend of mine, Molly Campbell. She is the author of the blog, Life with the Campbells and is also a guest on Moms who need wine. Molly is a writer and an avid reader and has some great advide for writers. So if you want to test your writing skills against a checklist of reader requirements, this post is a must read. If you're a writer, comment and leave a link to your book. If you're a reader, please affirm Molly's thoughts and/or add your own thoughts as well.

Welcome, Molly (deafening applause fills the room)!

What advice can you give writers?

I am most certainly not a famous writer, but a writer I am. As a result of blogging, I have begun to get a few questions about writers and and writing that I do feel qualified to answer. So here goes: advice to writers from a writer who is not famous, not published, not represented by a literary agent, and probably not destined for greatness. But in the “you can learn something from just about anybody” school of life, here are my writing tips for aspiring authors:
  • WRITE WHAT YOU KNOW. I know my husband better than anybody else. I can finish his sentences for him, and often do. I have spent forty years plumbing the depths of his wondrous mind, and I have discovered a writer’s gold mine there. I could no more write a treatise on the economy than win a Nobel prize, but I have found enough fodder in my husband to fuel blogs aplenty.
  • KEEP IT SHORT. The best writers get an idea, and then say it. Period. A few great ones can throw in adjectives and adverbs that make their writing sing, but the rest of us hang ourselves by adding too many modifiers. It truly is the thought that counts, not how uniquely you can say it.
  • MAKE IT COHESIVE. Get one good idea. Build a piece around IT. Too many ideas expressed in one place are confusing, confounding, and just plain muddy. Outlines are the greatest things since sliced bread! Figuring out what you want to say before you write makes writing flow. Or, as my small daughter said once, “I didn’t like that story. It didn’t have a skeleton.”
  • GET GRAMMAR. Man, oh man, if I had a dollar for every punctuation error, misplaced modifier, or misused apostrophe I see, I would have my own butler. Good writers are understandable. Grammar is what makes the written word understandable. James Joyce and a few others could ignore it, but I think that grammar is a writer’s best friend!
  • THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX. If it is a beautiful day out there, you can be sure that there are hundreds of would-be writers writing about the breeze, the rays hitting the daffodils, or the beauty of their children as they tumble in the park. On beautiful days, I see all the dog poop in the yard, my husband coming at me with a power washer, and an opportunity to acquire four new pairs of Capri pants. Don’t write about the obvious.
  • PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. All good writers write a lot. I pride myself on a grocery list well done. It doesn’t matter whether it is a note to the teacher, a letter to the editor, or an email to a friend. If you are going to write something, do it as well as you can. Then do it over. Writers write. It doesn’t matter, really, what you write, as long as you are practicing.
  • EXPERIENCE MAKES THE WRITER. The layers of one’s life are what make a person interesting. Are you an adventurer? You are fortunate; you will have a lot to draw on as a writer. Are you housebound? No excuse; it didn’t stop Emily Dickinson. Are you just a kid? Well that is a whole world you can explore. I do feel that I have found my voice just recently as an older woman, but for me, life got in the way of my writing. Don’t let that happen to you.
  • LEARN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN FROM PEOPLE. My husband is a man of a million questions. If you have a story, he will drag it out of you. Over the years, he has become friends with waitresses, plumbers, every neighbor in a five mile radius, and much to my chagrin, the people in the rows in front of and behind us at every movie we have attended. But what he uncovers are human truths. And those truths are worth writing about.

My fifteen minutes of fame may never come, or I might just get five minutes. But I am a writer. I love words. I make myself laugh. I just keep on typing. And my advice to all of you out there who want to be writers? Write something. Wait. Revise it. Wait. Revise it once again. Think about your life. Then repeat the process.  - Molly Campbell

Thanks Molly! Great Advice!          

****** If you are a writer or reader and would like to contribute to The Writing Bombarooskie, please email me at or DM me at Twitter and tell me your topic idea (must have something to do with books, publishing, writing or reading. I am specifically interested in hearing from writers of suspense, thrillers, and the supernatural. BOOM!

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  1. "I love words. I make myself laugh. I just keep on typing." So succinct! So true! Isn't it really all about how writing makes YOU feel?

    A big 'ol "ME TOO!" Molly! and a high-five Jeff for such a fantastic guest post!

  2. Great advice, Molly. Thanks for sharing your nuggets of wisdom. :)

  3. Thanks so much for featuring Molly! I completely relate to her comment, "I do feel that I have found my voice just recently as an older woman, but for me, life got in the way of my writing." I made changes in my previously unhappy life, and started writing again this year. A simple little theraputic blog, but it's mine and it's where I write about my life. I have book ideas for other subjects that I've started on too, but whether anything ever gets published or not doesn't matter to me yet. I'm just happy to be writing again!


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