1. josie101
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    josie101 Member

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    As a young writer...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by josie101, Jun 30, 2012.

    As a young writer going on to highschool, I know my work is still developing and someday I want to be a published successful writer! My writing is still in amateur mode, but what should I do with my writing until then?
     
  2. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Write a great deal, and read a great deal. Participate in the Review Room; both reviewing and getting reviewed will improve your ability to analyze your writing. But mostly, write a lot. If sitting down and writing stories feels cold and boring because they're not ready to be published, try blogging, participating heavily in forums, engaging in extended email conversations, anything that has you producing multi-paragraph pieces of writing regularly.

    And try to make everything you write clean and correct, not relaxing your standards because it's "just a forum" or "just an email". That doesn't mean that you can't experiment with informal voices and deliberately ungrammatical writing, just that you should be aware of the nonstandard writing choices that you make, rather than choosing not to correct mistakes that you already have the ability to easily detect.

    I say "already have the ability to easily detect", because I'm trying not to drive you all the way into perfectionism. Producing a piece of writing with some mistakes is far better than not producing that piece at all. As you find errors and bad writing habits, you can correct them one by one, but that process won't happen if you're not doing a _lot_ of writing to feed it with.
     
  3. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

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    I actually write fanfiction to develop my writing... If that's your thing. But basically, everything ChickenFreak said. Practice, practice, practice. And I would also tell you to revise old writing, even if painful. I am able to spot some bad addictions I have now much more stronger in my writing back in a few months or so -- like the habit of adding speech tags after every character says something -- and correct them.

    I'm trying, I'm trying...
     
  4. Shane Grayson
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    Shane Grayson Member

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    Besides the "read a lot, write a lot," which is the best possible advice, check out some "how to" books on writing fiction. I picked up a Sparks Notes "How To Write Short Stories," and yeah most of the things I have already known, but they have a some exercises you can try out; like the one mentioned by Cassiopeia Phoenix.
     
  5. Rebel Yellow
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    Rebel Yellow Active Member

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    I mostly agree with ChikenFreak's recommendations with the caveat that having a blog, while improving your writing skills, will not improve your ability to write a novel.
     
  6. Fullmetal Xeno
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    Fullmetal Xeno Protector of Literature Contributor

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    Write as much as you can, review and review! Never lose sight of your goal and keep trying! Write every day until you feel you improved enough to start a project. :)
     
  7. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    I think Chicken Freak naild it. I also think that as young writers, we should read as much as other people's writings as we should. And to be honest, when you review, you are trying to find your weak spot with a fresh pair of eyes. It helps you improve as a better writer to review someone else's work, while the reviews you receive gives you a rodmap of what you are improving in. I think that the reviews you receive helps you develop your voice, while reviewing other people's work helps you to add more color to your writing voice.

    Think of receving reviews from people as the TV you're watching is in black and white, while reviewing other people is the setting you're adjusting to add color to the screen.
     
  8. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    Keep writing! Maybe ask some people you trust who are knowledgeable to help you revise. And keep writing some more! :)
     
  9. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Learning to write fiction is a lot like learning to play the guitar. It is something that takes a huge amount of time and effort. And it's something that you never stop learning from. The three bits of advice I can give to anyone starting out is this:

    1) Always try to make your reader feel his/her time has not been wasted, especially if their time is being wasted.
    2) Keep learning and remain modest - I read somewhere that Eric Johnson (maybe the best guitarist I've ever seen) still considers himself a student of the guitar, and is still learning about it all the time. This is a guy who has been playing guitar for nearly 50 years. So even 10 years of experience writing does not mean you are a master, not by a long way.
    3) Think critically! - Keep writing is good advice, don't get me wrong, but think critically about your work, and develop your own critical skills. Think critically about everything you read. If you found something you hated, try to think of a positive, if you find something you love, find something not so good about it.

    And I have been published.
     
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Write for the pure joy of it and write write write, read some great books and study how they do it and read some trashy ones and study how NOT to do it, and write write write some more. Give yourself space to just write without a care in the world, nurture that passion.

    And then have some pieces that you're serious about, write, re-read, edit, tweak and tweak and tweak til you think it is perfect. The first time I got serious about writing, I would study the same sentence for hours, aching over whether it is better as two sentences or to be connected with a comma, or what about a semi-colon, or a colon? Full stop here, verb there, or should I restructure the entire sentence? Is this sentence even needed?

    I got past that stage and now it flows naturally and I don't do that very often anymore, but I still re-read over my stuff every 5 pages or so, looking for the best way to make it work.

    But most of all, just write, and never ever be afraid of criticism. Take every comment - if it is negative but constructive, take it on board and grow with it, and if it is negative but does not build you up, feel free to move on and ask someone else's opinion. But never be afraid - it's more of an attitude. I've told myself since the age of 9 that I must be prepared for and never be afraid of criticism and rejections, and I will change and improve and come back for a second round til I'm where I need to be. Build up your persistence, perseverance and I guess, most of all, your faith/confidence in your own ability, while being absolutely realistic and humble.
     
  11. Mckk
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    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    double post
     
  12. josie101
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    josie101 Member

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    Thanks guys! I'll definately keep all these thoughts in mind! :)
     
  13. johnjmannion
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    johnjmannion New Member

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    As far as what you should do with your writing, I think one of the best things you can do is show it to others. Too often, advice is given to young writers to just write for the joy of it and not worry about others seeing. While that's a noble idea, I think most writers write not JUST for themselves. You want to see how others react to your writing and what they think. So get it out there. Submit as much of your writing as you can to contests, especially contests that will give you feedback.
     
  14. amecylia
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    amecylia Member

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    My advice is: Always keep reading and writing. Analyze other people's writing. Get honest critique--and try to understand and learn from it. Read a bit about writing. If you are not sure about something, "google is your friend"--or just ask someone! Make use of the many online resources available. There are resources for learning grammar rules (e.g., "Grammar Girl"), building your vocabulary ("WOTD" type twitter feeds, websites, mailing-lists), there are podcasts about writing, etc.,
     
  15. Subology
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    Subology New Member

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    Good advice from everyone. I'm trying to go from nonfiction writing to fiction, and I'm pleased to see the rules are similar: read a lot, and write a lot.

    Apparently, Tolstoy would write a paragraph, and not move on to the next one until he was one-hundred percent happy with it.
     
  16. colorthemap
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    colorthemap Contributing Member

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    Don't expect your writing to be good, then surprise yourself.
     
  17. Steph4136
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    Steph4136 Senior Member

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    Everyone gave some great advice. Find your writing style and what works for you and run with it. What works for someone else won't work for you. Take me for example, I often will start a story in the middle, because I got an idea for a particular scene. I don't worry about characters or the whole plot start to finish when I first start something - for me that comes naturally as I write.

    One thing I do that someone suggested years and years ago is to keep a notepad on hand at all times. I keep one in my purse and if I'm out and about and an idea strikes from out of nowhere, I whip out my notebook and jot it down. I came up with the main climax/scene in my book at a Home Depot. As I was with one of my kids at the time, I bought some food, sat down and spend twenty minutes scribbling away so I wouldn't forget key details.

    Oh yeah, don't forget to back up your work. Maybe back up your backup. I lost a 1000 page document once, along with half of another book I was working on and never quite got over it. Cried for a week straight.
     
  18. Annojo
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    Annojo New Member

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    Write, write, write! Join writing contests, write 'readers letters' to newspapers, start a blog (and consistently write a post) etc. Writing is a process of trial and error, as is almost everything in life ;) Success!
     
  19. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, as has been said: keep writing.

    I wrote constantly between the ages of about nine and sixteen. I kept most of it (almost all in paper copy). I think it's useful to look back after a while and
    see how you're developing and changing as a writer.

    If you can, share some work and get feedback on it. I know, not easy. I couldn't do it for years.
     
  20. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Senior Member

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    I'm fifteen, so I can relate. I have been writing in forum "games" with my older brother since I was ten (and the people playing were university kids). Dont go label yourself "Amateur" quite yet, until you have someone who knows who they are talking about tell you have some work to do. The people here on the forum have helped me develop, so the workshop is a great place to start.

    I have written two full drafts for my novel and once you get to the same stage you should find critiquing groups or even go to some writing conferences. I am probably going to one later in the summer. Eventually, you'll find yourself ready to submit some work to magazines or agency/publishing house. I have sent queries to magazines about my short story a little while ago and it's their advise that is huge.

    Don't be shy from making a few attempts to break into the industry. All you are losing is valuable advice and perhaps, maybe if you are good enough, a contract. It may sound far fetched, but trust me, the experience is worth it.
     
  21. JoePetchonka
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    JoePetchonka New Member

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    I interviewed Alex Grecian, author of "The Yard" and quite a number of graphic novels recently.

    I asked him what advice he would have for new writers:

    "Write.

    And don’t try to write what you think agents and editors want to see.
    Write about what interests you. You’ll bring more of yourself to the
    work. And ultimately that’s what agents and editors really want to
    see."

    And you know what? I agree! One simple word: write.
     
  22. marcuslam
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    marcuslam Senior Member

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    Write and read lots. Seek reviews to get better. Most important, stay happy. I'm serious about that last point :).
     

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