Hi! I'm going to make a quick post about loving what you write. Now, first off, you're going to write a story even YOU wouldn't read, then what's the point? If you're bored with the story while writing it, what about while editing it, or while trying to write a query for it? If you aren't enthuasatic about your book, then who else will be? So first up: love what you write.
I know that if sometimes feels lulling to me while I write, or I just don't feel like writing, I think why? I look back and think, "Would I read this or skim through it?" I try to write to entertain myself, and in doing so, I entertain my audience along the way.
I'm editing my book, and it's almost done, and I'm just thinking, "Wow. I really love my story." And you may think that is rhetorical, for what writer doesn't love their story? But I've read this thing two times, and the beginning thrice and I'm still not tired with it. I manage to crack myself up everytime!
I know that if I was reading something boring, I would be bored. But thankfully I love what I've written and I love reading it and I know my love for it shows through my writing or when I talk about it to somebody.
Basically, love what you write. :)

Someone asks:
I prefer one hit... but in my first chapter I'm struggling to find a place where I can describe my main character proplely... just her hair, eye colour etc. nothing too over the top.
My Answer:

Little bits throughout the story.
If you give it to us in one hit, it's most likely you're telling. Anyways, is her hair color a really prominent aspect of the beginning of the story? If not, then you don't really have to give it to us right away.
One way to show her appearance is through action, if you need any help. Like, her blonde hair secured in a ponytail bounced a long to the music (but better than that).

Someone asks:
Even in teen books I've seen words I've never seen/heard of before. Is it possible to over use the thesaurus?
My Answer:

Yes, Stephenie Meyer seems particularly fond of it. *cough* irrevocably *cough, cough*
I use the thesaurus when I've repeated a word too much or if there's a word that's on the tip of my tongue, but I don't quite remember it, so I consult the dictionary/thesuarus to help me figure it out.
But you know, there might just be an author who was a wide range of high vocabulary that they use in daily life - sometimes I say big words in normal conversation and my friends get confused.
Remember, the simplest writing is the best! :D

Someone asks:
how do i go about getting a book published without getting ripped off? i really would like to not need an agent (if that's possible?). i'm still in high school though, so will that make it any harder?
My Answer:

I come across this question multiple times in Y!A. First, you can search those questions and see their answers.
One website that was particularly helpful to me (I'm 15) was www.nathanbransford.com
Really, you should do your research first.
All I can say is that it's best if you can get an agent. Many publishing companies/editors will not accept unsolicited manuscripts. An agent knows the business way better than you do, and will make better choices for your book to become successful because if the book isn't successful, then they don't get paid very well. To find an agent, you can go to www.agentquery.com. Be sure to query an agent that represents the genre you are writing.
It doesn't really matter what age you are. What matters is that you write a kick *ss book and you try to publish it the right way. Unfortuantely, teens will write horrible stories (just browse through Y!A and you'll find some) and that's what gives us a bad name, that's why people will tell us to continue writing, but not think that we're the BEST FRICKIN WRITER SINCE JK ROWLING.
The best thing I can tell you is do your research and please check out Nathan Bransford blog because that will give you much better info that I can ever fit in here.


www.nathanbransford.com, RESEARCH!!

Someone asks:
I'm in my mid teens, and I love to write in my spare time. I'm not too interested in fame or popularity, I just want to see my stories in print. But now I've got people telling me that I'm too young to go anywhere with writing. Are they true? SE Hinton was 16 when she wrote The Outsiders. And my parents say childhood is the best time to develop a hobby. I've been writing for almost eight years, and it's difficult to acknowledge that just because I'm young means I can't be any good.
Opinions, experience, advice etc. would be most welcome
My Answer:

You're never too young to be a writer. I agree with you, some people look down on young writers because we don't have enough experience (I'm 15) and our work is usually pretty bad (I've read a lot of stories by young authors...most aren't pretty). So I can understand where that opinion comes from. But you are correct: just because you are young doesn't mean your writing totally sucks. Just keep writing, and in that way you'll gain experience. But don't chicken out from querying agents and trying to get your writing out there! There's an Australian author who got signed by an agent and she was 15! (her name is Steph Bowe, you can look her up).

Good luck and don't give up!

Additional: Here is an article you might be interested in, if you want to see it from a different perspective:

Someone asks:
I am a young writer. I write books but end up giving up with finishing the story because I never think that they are very interesting or grb the reader's attention. I can't get good ideas, and all of it is just hard.
So, can you please give me some tips on how to write a really good chapter book, how to grab the reader's attention, and things like that?
Thanks :)
My Answer:

What I do is constantly question myself:
Do I like what I'm writing? If I were somebody else, would I like where this is going? That sort of thing. If you're writing something you yourself don't want to read, then maybe you should stop writing it. But the best way to avoid that is to continue to question yourself as if you were in another person's perspective. Would this beginning paragraph be interesting to me? Also remember, the first draft is never perfect. You always have time to edit it and make it better. So don't be too hard on yourself the first time. Recall books that you liked, how did they grab your attention? Try to incorporate that into your story without exactly imitating the author. That should get you started. :)

Someone asks:
I'm 14, and I hope to finish a book soon. But, I have a few questions... If i don't want my parents to read it, and I use a pen name, would I be able to get it published without them finding out, or would I have to wait until I'm 18? Also, and tips for the actual content? Such as character development? I know things like give them flaws, but I need to make sure they don't all end up the same or stereotypical descriptions. (Like, there's part of a love story involved and I don't want the girl to only care about him... but she's with him all the time, so he distracts her.) And if a story is graphic, can it still be published? (Sorry, I have a lot of questions.)
My Answer:

You can use a pen name, but your parents will have to find about your book eventually because you, a minor, can't sign with an agent or publisher without having a parent/guardian also sign. Besides, you will be receiving money for your book (if it does get published) and won't your parents wonder where you got that from?

Go to this website for your questions about character/plot stuff:

If you're afraid if your characters are being Mary Sues or Gary Stus, you can take this quiz about them to see if they are: http://www.springhole.net/quizzes/marysu…

I don't know what you mean by graphic. If you mean graphic as in pictures, you can. If you mean graphic as in sexual/violent/etc, then you may have a bit of trouble with that, just don't go overboard.

Remember to focus on writing that great story FIRST before thinking about becoming published.

Good luck! Remember to research!

Additional: Go to this site for information on publishing:



Someone asks:
I'm fourteen years old, and I'll be writing a book this summer, which I intend to publish at some point. Due to this, I've been on a lot of writing websites/blogs/forums lately doing research, and getting familiar with the profession. One of the things that surprised me is how hard it seems for people to ever get published, so now I'm concerned:

Since it's so hard for seasoned authors to get their books published, would it be harder (or even impossible) for me to get published?

I know Christopher Paolini got published, but that was on his parents own press, and it wasn't until later that someone found the finished book that they took an interest in it - plus, he's kind of a prodigy.
My Answer:

Yes, it's probably hard for us (I'm 15) to get published. I think we're pretty even with the older people, though. We just have to work HARDER and go above expectations. I think we have the same chance as anybody else out there trying to get published, if we wrote a VERY good book and queried correctly to the correct agents. A lot of it is luck. Plenty of agents missed out on good books, I believe Harry Potter was rejected a couple of times before someone was interested in it. Some people will tell us to wait until we have experience, but from my perspective, trying to get our writing published early IS experience. :)

There are stories of kids around our age getting published. Like an Australian author Steph Bowe, she was 15 when her book was going to get published. Also, S.E. Hinton, the author of The Outsiders, was only 16 when she wrote it. So, I think we have a pretty good chance, eh? :D

Good luck! Us young writers must encourage each other.

P.S. Thank you for doing your research! Many people on Y!A come here and just ask without really researching! You're on the right path.

If you've never seen this video, then you MUST! Not only is it hilarious, but so very informative!

Someone asks:
I am 15 andI have wanted to write all my life: short stories and I have a very good idea for a much longer story possibly even a novel and I really want to be able to do well in this despite all the other pressures from school etc.
I can't really ask people at school or anything because they would think it just weird. I really want advise on how to develop my writing and how to set aside time for it among work and everything.
My Answer:

Hey, I'm also 15. I began writing seriously when I was 11 and finished my first novel when I was 13. How did I do that? Well, you can't just become a good writer overnight, since you're what I'd consider a newbie, your writing skills still need to be developed (unless you're like uber-talented and are just a natural).
Yeah, I have school, too. I can't ask for writing help with my friends, either. But what I did was when I came home from school, I'd do my homework first, and then write the night away. When I'd get an idea, I'd write it in my cellphone to remember later. I joined a bunch of sites I will give to you, too. School doesn't interfere much with writing...it's not like writing is a job. You can do it whenver you want to and feel like it. So, I wouldn't worry about school much. I also read. A LOT. I was like a book eater - I visited the library every week. Reading influenced my style of writing.
Anyways, I'm having a hard time explaining myself here so I'll just post a bunch of sites that helped me get started:

http://www.amazon.com/tag/amazon%20break… (this one is more like a forum, but a forum that discusses writing, and also publishing)

Hope that helps you get started - cheers! Us young writers must encourage each other ;)

Someone asks:
I am trying to write a really good story and it has but i have been at a writers block for weeks and I am stumped at where to put my characters next.
Any suggestions on how to get rid of it?
My Answer:
Well, since you waited enough already and it STILL hasn't come, I suggest writing exercises unrelated to your books. Those can be found on the internet. You could also read (though I assume you've done so already). You could also have interviews with your characters (something I always find helpful) and get to know them better. Listening to music sometimes inspires me to write a scene. :) Good luck!

Someone asks:
So I'm writing a book.
I've got the first couple of chapters written.
And I have no experience what-so-ever.
Should I finish the book, or send it to the agent so she can help decide some parts in it?
Also, what sort of stuff do you put in the letter?
Plus, is it a 'Query Letter' or a 'Book Proposal'?
And should it be formal... Or should it be me?
Please and Thank-you! :)
My Answer:

OMG! BEFORE!!!!! (sorry for caps, that was urgent.)
You MUST finish your book before sending it out to agents. In your query, if you say, "I have a 20K novel, but it is incomplete" they will throw it in the trash can before they will get to your signature. Agents HATE that kind of thing, they would NEVER, EVER, EVER, (ever) even consider your book if it is incomplete.

Here is the website of one literary agent who stressed this thing, but I can't find the post. Here is his website: www.nathanbransford.com

It is called a query letter if your book is fiction, book proposal if your book is non-fiction (or that is at least how I understand it):
These blog posts should help you:


It should be both formal and a little bit of you, esp. your writing style.

Phew *wipes forehead*. I'm glad I saved you from that. :D

Oh - I found a link, check out number 6:


A multitude of literary agent's blogs like Nathan Bransford and Janet Reid.

Someone asks:
I have written a 150 page small book to help college students. I would like to publish the book as a 4" height 8" width booklet. I am new to the world of publishing. How do I go about doing this?
My Answer:

You should search for agents that specialize in what you have written, which I am guesing is a non-fiction self-help book. You can use these sites to help you find your agent: http://www.1000literaryagents.com/
After you got your agents, you should write a proposal. This is how you do it: http://www.shepardagency.com/writing_pro…
Of course, there different agents may ask for different things, and you can send a proposal via email.
Hopefully, you get an agent and the agent will take care of the rest. If you're interested more about publising, check this out:

Someone Asks:
Throughout my English courses, I have seen a correlation of the mistakes I often insert into my pieces of writings. For example, I tend to put adverbs, adjectives, etc. in the wrong areas. I have "awkward" sentences. I have "tense shifts". I have sentence fragments.

Could anyone please define those phrases/words and tell me how to improve them?

And could anyone please tell me how to generally write better? Apparently to a friend who has a Canadian GPA of 9.6, my writing skillz is equivalent of that to a 12th grader C: I'm sort of pleased by that since I'm in gr 9...

However I still feel like I'm lacking in my writing skills :/ some people write so...so... GOOD!

please tell me tips on how to be a better writer, and define those definitions and tell me how I can improve upon them C:
My Answer:

First off, be professional and don't spell skills, skillz.
I'm also a 9th grader (going into 10th) and the best advice I can give you is to read. Read classics, read the books from the genres you plan to write about, just read. As you read, you'll get a feel for how things are supposed to sound so while you write, you can say, "Hey, this doesn't sound right." and fix it. Also as you read, you'll begin to be influenced by different styles so that when you begin to write, you will have your own "style".
That's how I did it.

Someone Asks:
I know this is a little epic for a 2 12 year old, my friend and I wrote it.

That's all she could see.
Who had it come from?
Was it her's?
Molly was not sure of anything.
She started to become lightheaded. But, she always became lightheaded at the glance of blood.
More, and more. It didn't stop. Why wasn't it stopping?
The rocks.
It had started out as a normal family vacation for Molly and Lucas. They went tubing, fishing, and camping. Adventurous, you may say, but only Lucas. Molly was more of a "stay at home" girl. Lucas was about 4 years older than Molly. At this point in time, Molly was 12, and Lucas was 16.
The rock bluffs were famous, not for their pretty sight, but their record to kill.
Molly and Lucas had both suffered the loss of their dad, and the disease almost killing their mom. Both had a record or hurting themselves on the outside to stop the pain on the inside. Lucas was always protecting his sister, from herself.
Im going to revise ch. 2 a bit.

Dear Diary,
I think these vacations are a waste of time. Sure, Lucas and I had preoblems with dad's death, and even more with mom's cancer, that doesn't mean we are not capable of having fun without vacation.
But, I could tell by the look in Lucas's eyes that he was excited. Shouldn't the youngest be more inthused than the oldest? Well, not in my world. In my world, people hurt themselves on the outside to get rid of pain on the inside. In my world, i sit alone slashing my wrists out of guilt. In my word, I'm all... alone. Well, you could say I'm alone in the world, but I'm not. I have my brother, I've always had my brother. I love Lucas no matter how annoying or gross he is. He's my brother, and im his sister. We should protect eachother, shouldn't we? Both of us try, but there's one thing that neither of us can protect eachother from, guilt. I started to get mentally sick after Dad died, Lucas started after I did.
My Answer:
To be honest, not really.
I'm sure the story is awesome, but the way it is executed...isn't.

For example, you two should get into writing in active voice. An example of that would be like this:
Passive Voice: She started to become lightheaded.
Active Voice: She became lightheaded.
Active voice draws in readers more.

Another thing is that you are TELLING and not SHOWING us the situaton. You are giving us a LOT of backstory. You are telling us about their family vacation, you are telling us about their age (which to me is pretty amateurish), you tell us straight away about a disease they have. You have to find a way to weave and incoporate this into your story without telling us. If you need more help on the Show, not tell rule, you can research it. Of course, with proper execution, there are some exceptions to that.

As for what you got so far, I like your Chapter 1. I suppose it doesn't appeal to me because that kind of stuff isn't really my thing. I think your Chapter one would be better off as a prologue, as it seems more prologue-ish.

To answer your question: No, I do not want to read more.

But you know what, I hope you learn from what I said and you two become even BETTER. Never stop writing. :)

Good luck.

Someone asks:
how should i do it? and where can i get my book published at? i'm here in houston texas and i need to know where to get my book published of course i've been downtown hundreds of times but never seen one and i'm not moving anytime soo but how do i get it published and how much will it cost? my mom says i'm gifted with book writing and i'm brilliant with it. i've just written a book i'm 14 fixing to be 15 so what can i do??
My Answer:
I'm going to repost something I posted earlier to another 14 year old girl. But I will add some things at the end.

Hey, I'm 15. :) We aren't so far apart.
What I did when I was your age (which was last month...lol) was RESEARCH! A great beginner's website on the publishing process is Nathan Bransford's blog (he's a literary agent).

He has an FAQ section about the publishing process you can check out.

The basics: The best way to get your book published is to get a literary agent. For that, you must write a query letter to them, if they like it, they'll ask for partials, and if they like those, then the whole book. Once they agree to represent you, both of you will have to go through A LOT of editing and revising. When your book is as polished as can be, your literary agent will try to find a publishing house that will be willing to publish it and for a good deal. You can do this without a literary agent and send it directly to an editor, but you're less likely to get published as they don't like unsolicited/unagented submissions. The rest goes from there, or at least that's how I understand it.

Good luck! :D Us young writers must encourage each other.

Additional: You can also do something called self-publishing which DOES cost you money. You can go to sites like createspace.com or lulu.com and self-publish books there yourself. Though be warned, nobody really likes reading self-published books because there was most likely no editor and the story sucks.
Also, your mother may say that, but if you don't mind me saying, parents/family/and friends are biased. I suggest you join the site critiquecircle.com to see what people REALLY think about your writing and ways to improve it.

OK, now I'm finished. :)

Someone asks:
What is the easiest way to become a writer and get published? As in what type of college courses should i take, books that are useful, and how to try and get my book published, ( btw i write fictional love books kinda like Nicholas Sparks style)
My Answer:
Hmm...as far as I know, you write an awesome book, revise that book like crazy (remember to write something you like), write an awesome query, submit it to the right, awesome agents and hopefully an agent can get it into those big publishing houses, and the rest goes from there.

But that's a general idea. Writing a book is no easy task. Are you sure you are doing it for the right reasons? If you're thinking about college courses, English and Literature would be good ones. I don't bother buying books that tell me how to write (I'll write how I like, thank you very much) though you may want to check out Writer's Digest. If you want in-detail information on how the publishing process works, a wonderful website to check out is www.nathanbransford.com
You may also want to subscribe to magazines such as Publisher's Weekly.

Good luck on your endeavor.

Someone asks:
I decided to do that in order to see if I'm getting closer to my goal of being a bookworm. Sadly, I don't read enough...only one book in the month of May.

Do you keep a book log? How is it set up?

I did this:

May 2010

1. Zora and Nicky
By Claudia Mair Burney

My Summary:
Two Preacher kids fall in loe, but upset family values by marrying interacially

My rating: 5 stars!
My Answer:

Yes...I used to keep a book log when I was DEE ULTIMATE BOOKWORM (sorry for caps). I'm not anymore, and I haven't updated it recently. I think the last entry was spring of last year.

I kept it in this writing/reading notebook I had and set it up like this on every line:

(Name of Book) (page number) (date finished)

And to make it fun, I wrote each title in a different color I thought best suited the book. :)

I did not add a summary because I believe it's too much work but I love your idea of rating it and wish I'd had done the same! :D

You can also keep a www.goodreads.com I think it's sorta like an online book log, though I'm not exactly sure how it works, I've just heard about it. ^^

Good luck.


My book log.

Copyright 2010 Le Dernier Mot