1. para_noir
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    para_noir Member

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    Age Limit?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by para_noir, May 10, 2008.

    Is there like an untold age limit to get published? Because there are no published authors who are below 20. I mean they can't all be unimaginative stones right? ONE of them will come up with an awesome story.

    So why is that? How come all great writers are like over 30? Is there no chance for me? :eek: Kuz I'm going on 18 this May. I'm going to have to wait for another 10 years to even attempt to publish my book?
     
  2. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Para Noir,

    There isn't an age limit. Maybe it takes time to build skills, but there are successful writers with ages spanning the spectrum.

    One doesn't place/list his age on a cover leter or manuscript, and in most cases that's what counts the writing--unless one happens to be a writer who has a recognizeable platform or is a celebrity of some sort (local or national, or international).

    Certainly age could be known or come into play if one is not of the age to legally sign a contract, but otherwise not an issue.

    There are a host of reasons one might observe many writers breaking out with a well read or successful work (or series of works) at the age of 30 or above, but I am not sure that is what you were asking for in this thread.

    Why would you consider waiting to attempt to write a novel and get it published? The only 'chance' for you is if you complete works and submit them...at 18, 28, 58 or 78.

    Terry
     
  3. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    There are, and have been, published authors under the age of 20. Christopher Paolini was 19 when Eragon was published - granted it was by his parents' publishing company, but the book must have some merit considering its popularity and that it was made into a film. (I haven't read the book or seen the movie, so I can't say that indubitably).

    The bottom line, as far as I see it, is that creativity is not age dependent - though craftsmanship can most definitely be.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    It didn't ;)

    And in regards to the no young authors theme, think how much effort it takes to get published. In most cases, the books that get publish have been worked on for a long time, and then submission can go on for years. There are a lot of factors behind this, but the fact is that just because there haven't be many, doesn't mean you can't try.
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    What is Eragon and why does it get so much stick?
     
  6. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0552552097/?tag=postedlinks-21

    Because it's every fantasy genre cliche rolled into one book, with the plot of Star Wars. It's the kind of clat everyone starts out writing, but for some reason the media has fawned over it, because it doesn't realise that there are a lot of writers as young as/younger than him, who are a lot better.
     
  7. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    Flavia Bujor is a French teen who got published. There are a few others scattered around--few of them are much good, simply because they lack experiance, and many others are self-published. I'd advise you not to try to get your book published until you're older and certain of its merit.

    However, my sister and I (both teens) have published short stories and poetry on several online sites (and were paid for them, too!). You can start building up a writing resume at your age with a little work--but if a publication says 'no authors under 18' or '21' or '76' or wherever the cutoff is, don't submit to it until you're the required age.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    french novelist/playwright/screenwriter francoise sagan had her first blockbuster novel published when she was 18... and that was back in 1954!... it was an overnight sensation and was made into a fairly successful movie with big name stars david niven and deborah kerr, only 4 years later...

    so, age has never been a drawback, only skill is... and skill takes time to acquire, which is why most successful authors are older... another factor is experience in life, which is minimal in teens, so they have little to write about that they know of well enough to write about it well enough to be believable and sell...
     
  9. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey...why rush your life? Oh, the eagerness of youth...you have so much to look forward too, and while it is true..there might not be thousands, there are still published young people.

    Write because you love it and you want to see your future unfold with possibilities!! Keep your focus steady and your mind determined...you can accomplish so much with a little patience and much determination!!
     
  10. AwfulBigAdventure
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    AwfulBigAdventure Member

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    If you have the skills at 15 to write war and peace, you'll get published. But like most of us, not really true. It takes time to develop your writing skills. It also takes a long time to become a doctor... so you're in good company. But, at 18, you can start getting published at smaller places and build up your writing credentials which will only help you later... Literary magazines, poetry magazines, online or print can be great sources... when you get to college (or if you're there) you might have a school lit mag that is more oriented to the college crowd OR it might be a cool place to work and put in time. Either of those look great on a writer's bio. In the meantime, send out short stories, send out poems. Get a copy of writer's market and look for places that want serialized novels... or exerpts. By the time the novel is ready to go, you could send a query to a publisher with actual writing experience behind you. That's going to peak their interest and also have faith in your abilities... no matter your age.

    Don't lose hope. Just keep writing and working on your story telling skills.
     
  11. MumblingSage
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    MumblingSage Contributing Member

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    I just read somewhere that it takes 10 years to become an expert at anything. So I'll become a writing expert sometime around 25. If I'm lucky.

    I do know a lot of my favorite books (Jaquline Carey's Kushiel's Dart, Ralph Scott Bakkar's Prince of Nothing trilogy) were worked on for over a decade. I remind myself of that when I feel rushed.
     
  12. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    para_noir,

    There is nothing to stop you from writing a world class novel. Anyone who can type, or use a writing stylus, has the only physical tool necessary for writing. The real problem, one that most people never overcome, is this...are you capable of writing a compelling story?

    What, you might ask, makes for a "compelling" story?

    There-in lies the problem for most 18 year olds. What, in the minimal life experience of most 18 year olds, would translate into a compelling story? Assuming you even have such experience...can you skillfully communicate it? Will your writing attract the interest of a wide audience? The "Diary of Anne Frank", largely told by a 13 year old Jewish girl, was compelling. I've read her words...she was also an exquisite writer. Her words even became immortilized in a movie.

    Writing great literature at 18 is certainly possible and I encourage you to try! Most successful writers are older, IMHO, because they didn't start when they were young! If you begin the writing apprenticeship...the process of trial and error, of effort and failure...at such a young age, then your success will also defy the statistics. Yes, you might be very successful BEFORE you reach that dastardly old age of "30"! Of course, you'll have 12 years of "experience" by then, which is far more than most 30 year old writers!

    Good luck!

    .....NaCl
     
  13. garza33
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    garza33 Active Member

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    Before age 20 I was self-supporting, just me and my Underwood Model Five. There is no lower or upper age limit, but there is a skill limit. Those who can write can get published. Those who can't write should find something they can do.

    edit - Reading that back I realised it sounds harsh. Well, the fact is, life can be harsh. Each of us must learn to live with what abilities we have.
     
  14. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    amen, g!
     
  15. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i wouldn't give her that much credit, but she could be working for same...
     
  16. para_noir
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    para_noir Member

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    So whats the final verdict?

    Should I spend all my time and energy on this book I'm writing only to have people treat it like an amateur piece of work that no one should take seriously? Or should I just give up and do something else I love? *like making video games? :D*
     
  17. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Write your book. If no one buys it, you still have it. You can revise it as your experience grows, and try again.

    It's not all or nothing!
     
  18. TWErvin2
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    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Para,

    In the end, it's up to you. If you write a novel and polish it and do the very best you can, will you successfully find an agent to represent it and/or find a a publisher to accept it? Truthfully, whether you're fifteen or fifty, the odds are long, but not impossible.

    What I can say is that you will learn quite a bit along the way...how to write, how to tell a story, a better understanding of other stories told (novel, short fiction, movie, even some video games), and have a sense of accomplishment. Few who set out to write a novel actually ever complete it.

    Although I don't know the video game market, I suspect that the competion to find a buyer for one you develop will be quite stiff. But in that endeavor, I also believe you will learn a great many things.

    Only you can determine the uldtimate direction of your heart and goals.

    Good luck.

    Terry
     
  19. TWErvin2
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  20. Trollhammaren
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    Trollhammaren Member

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    Well kudos for her! Except her world, Malonia, sounds like a disease. ;) All the best to her though.
     

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