1. JanisIan
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    JanisIan New Member

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    My chances of getting this published as a teen (LONG POST WARNING!)

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by JanisIan, Apr 27, 2011.

    First of all, hello!

    I'm currently 17 years old and live in the United States. I've been planning in a rather scatterbrained fashion for the past year a book I've wanted to write, but recently sat down and somewhat organized them. I've been writing 'scenes' in fragments as inspiration and time comes to me, and the pages have numbered up. I would like to bind them all into a cohesive story, as originally planned, write the rest of it, and have it published...but what is the likelihood of this story being published AND being a decently successful (meaning more than zero copies sold) work?

    Because I've heard/read that putting excerpts from a story online could be detrimental to one's chance of having the exposed work published, I'll only reveal enough information about it for you to gague whether or not this is something that would ever get published and sold.

    Admittedly, I'd rather write it and keep it to myself for my own adoration, but I hate my job. Much of my inspiration for this was taken from actual people/events in my childhood and present life and ambitions for the future, so it's close to the heart. Don't attack it too vigorously, although critique is welcome!

    It's actually quite complicated...I don't want to make this post epicly long, so I'll do my best to condense it:

    • Jonah - the traitor.

      Born one of two twins, Jonah was neglected in light of his brother's frail health, gifts (he is clairvoyant), and mystical significance to the townspeople.

      Jonah, too, has a gift: he can see spirits and auras. But how to use his gift is much less plain than his brother's psychic ability, and this confuses and frightens Jonah as a child. His gifts are dismissed as hallucination and madness, socially isolating him.

      He becomes socially anxious and withdrawn as an adolescent, but takes an orphaned girl, Maria, under his wing. For two years she is literally his only companion in the world, and his love. When she is murdered, he is her only mourner.

      In shock and despair, he runs away after burying Maria beneath a tree they always used to play on. Directionless, he follows a particular spirit away from his homeland and comes upon the Hermit, where his journey begins.

      He essentially spends his life chasing the reasons why Marcus and Maria died, looking for answers from the spirits and the teachings of religious prodigies of the past (studying gnosticism/hermeticism, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity, etc.). This is his search for truth.

      Why he is deemed a traitor shall be witheld.

    • Maria - the angel.

      Not much is known about Maria because she is mute, orphaned, and the story is never written from her point of view. She is often absent-minded and thought to be mentally underdeveloped, which most assume is why she was abandoned. She represents innocence and angels (she is Jonah's angel).

      Her murder is an accident; a random shot out of nowhere. This randomness and ambiguity was purposeful.

    • David - the prophet.

      This is Jonah's brother. Born in very fragile condition, David is bedridden and completely taken care of by others, and lives a very sheltered life. He spends his time reading, painting, and telling people their fates with inherent apathy.
    • Marcus and Ethan - God and the Devil.

      Marcus is not literally god, nor is Ethan the 'devil', but Marcus is looked to as god by Jonah in his childhood, when he did not understand the concept of god. Marcus is actually a hierophant and preist. His presence in the plot is negligent - actually, I didn't give him any dialogue. He simply represents god to Jonah. After Marcus's suicide and Maria's death, part of Jonah's journey is in his pursuit of information about Marcus's life and he becomes a hierophant himself.

      Ethan is Marcus's son whom, naturally, Jonah sought. In short, his philosophy is an exaggerated version of LaVeyan Satanism. The idea of his character was actually inspired by Marquis de Sade. He is not an 'evil' character, but symbolizes the Devil.

    • Kevin - the detective.

      Kevin is the detective on Jonah's case much later in time, when bodies begin to pop up. He does not believe in any religion or paranormal or spiritual existence, and approaches Jonah's case from a psychoanalytical perspective. His encounters in the hunt for Jonah do make him question himself somewhat, but in the end he remains unchanged.

    These are not all of the characters, but a selection. Two major characters are still missing, but length is an issue with them.



    I study religion, philosophy and metaphysics independently and really wanted a tale that would incorporate and reflect this.

    A large portion of the symbolism is borrowed from various systems of divination and 'magic', such as the fact that both Jonah and David are both "indigo" children. A lot of hints about the characters' fates and identities are dropped in the diction with references to their auras, astrological positions, and mystic numbers.

    So...even given all that's missing, would you say this is worth even trying to get published? As a non-adult without a literary degree, I'm guessing I'd be under more scrutiny.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Dandroid
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    Dandroid Senior Member

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    write it...and then worry about publishing...
     
  3. The-Joker
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    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Firstly you're going to hear the mantra, If a story means something to you, write it. Don't try to validate it first, and that's very true.

    The success of most novels lies not in the premise but in the execution. Granted some ideas have an instant appeal and make better launching pads than others, but what you've given us here are just a bunch of character descriptions, slathered with philosophical and symbolic comparisons. There's no plot. We don't know what's at stake. We don't know what adversity you main character has to endure. So even if we indulged in this flawed request to validate a story idea, there's nothing really to validate.

    You haven't told us what your story is about.
     
  4. JanisIan
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    JanisIan New Member

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    Yes, one aspect I was afraid of is that there is no physical 'opposition' or 'enemy' for Jonah, except Kevin, and he does not see Kevin as much of a threat; the focus is his various internal struggles throughout stages of his life. There is nothing tangible at stake.
     
  5. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I'm also a teen as well...
    And I gonna try get novel published at 17 (But it'll probably at like 20 because I know how harsh and hard this publishing world is...but hey, I can live with that)

    I'm just gonna say:
    Write that story. I agree with The Joker about execution and the plot thing (You didn't tell us :p) . It's about how it's written that will attract readers. How you should those characters past through their actions, thoughts and how they handle conflict.

    And btw, if it's a draft and you put it online...I don't think it really harms publishing. I put on my first chapter and bit from the 5th, but those will probably be heavily edited in the revision stage.
     
  6. TheGreatNeechi
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    TheGreatNeechi Member

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    I have to agree with the general consensus. One step at a time. Before you should think about publishing you will want a complete work.

    If you're concerned if such a story is not worth your time, don't be. Love what you write because you love writing it, and everything else will fall into place.

    Personally, I have never attempted to publish any of my work. Only recently have I resolved to carry a project to this conclusion, and the task is daunting. In truth, just last week I realized writing to be published is putting the cart before the horse, so I had to scale back my objectives and simply get down to loving the subject matter.
     
  7. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    I've always been tempted to enter into short story competitions but never really knew where the best place was to look. What good websites do you know? :)
     
  8. LucyVMorgan
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    LucyVMorgan New Member

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    Your age and qualifications do not matter. Do not mention them until you get to the negotiation stage. The book will speak for itself.
     
  9. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A story concept means nothing. I can tell you now, it has all been done before. What matters is how you write it, the characterization, the flow, the imagery, all of it.

    There's no benefit in asking what other people think of the concept! They'll either say,"Sounds great," or, "it sounds like a ripoff of..."

    If the idea stirs you, write it. Then ask people what they think of the final story. After they tell you what they don't like about it, revise it, usually several times, until you're happy with it or until you throw up your hands and say the hell with it.

    Please read What is Plot Creation and Development?


    Your age also means nothing, except when it comes to signing a contract, you may need an adult to sign on your behalf.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i can only ditto what cog has to say on the matter... if you turn out a well-written novel with a marketable plot, it won't matter what age you are at the time...

    that said, you'll most likely be out of your teens by the time you have a completed and polished ms ready to be submitted to agents, so the point may be moot... besides, who's going to know how old you are, if you don't tell them?

    the only time age becomes an issue is if you have to sign a contract and are under the legal age... since you're less than a year away, that doesn't seem likely...
     
  11. SeverinR
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    SeverinR Contributing Member

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    Write it,
    then revise it,
    make adjustements to the story,
    smooth over plot gaps or story holes.

    In the end if its not publishable, you will have the experience and enjoyment of writing it. Then either try to improve it or move on to a new story (if it isn't accepted by several publishers.)

    Don't write for fame, glory or money. Write for your enjoyment. If you write for the first, and don't get them you fail. Write for the second reason, and you will win everytime.
    If it gets published then you win big time.
     

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