1. Lightning
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    Lightning New Member

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    Published young?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Lightning, Apr 12, 2012.

    Hello again faithful writing forum members, I have another problem that I was hoping you could help me with.

    My age is 15, and I'm working well on my first novel. My question is (being realistic) could I be published at 15-18 (assuming I'm finished by then), or is there a sort of unofficial age requirement for them to take me seriously?

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    Thanks as always, Lightning
  2. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix New Member

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    Am I the only loser who can never start a novel because everything I write is bad...?
    That said, I don't have any knowledge in how to get a book published. Just wanted to express my outrage in my own awful writing skills... But I believe it's a quite young age, yes. However, I don't know your work, so who am I to tell?
  3. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Member

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    You can get published at any age if you can write and publishers have reason to believe the work will be profitable. The odds of any specific individual being published is small. From a practical standpoint publishers sell authors. They look for authors who are marketable either because they're a famous personality, already published, or authority on the subject of the book. There are exceptions. When they see a decent book in a market where good books are in short supply. I'm not trying to discourage you, just letting you know to expect a lot of rejections on the road to success. It's often the people who don't give up and perfect the skills that succeed. Or they meet a published author and co-author a book. Then they're published.
  4. Mckk
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    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

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    What matters is your story and your writing skills. Who cares how old you are, quite frankly? However, it is true that it's more likely that you can write better as you get older, simply because you'll have had more experience, both life experience and writing experience, and that could add depth that may not be present when one is young and inexperienced.
  5. Lightning
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    Lightning New Member

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    No, you're not, believe me. Even though they'll never admit it a lot of the people I know who try to write and believe it's good are really bad. Then I know a perfectionist. He's spent four years on his book and how many words does he have? 300. He has 300 words from 4 years of his writing, and it's completely out of context so it makes no sense. Then there's another friend who is 'going' to write fifteen million novels but has yet to get a decent sentence on a single one. Last but not least we have my third writing friend who, although good at writing, as over 200 pages in his story and still has yet to unveil the main plot. There hasn't been a single confrontation and he's writing about a ninja war.

    There is of course myself, and my description is terrible. If only there was a way that you could think about your story and it would write itself perfectly. (Although I suppose that half the fun is in the writing itself).

    Thanks for your thoughts though. Same goes to you superpsycho.
  6. Lightning
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    Lightning New Member

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    I can picture that saying "You will learn with age, young grasshopper,"

    Thanks for your thoughtsc:)
  7. superpsycho
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    superpsycho Member

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    I would suggest the best thing you can do is develop good habits as a writer. Like anything else, it takes practice. Train yourself to write regularly and maintain documentation. Outlines, ideas, story lines, characters, etc. Even learn how to tell a good story verbally. Read a book out loud and put feeling into the reading.
    Learn how to dream your stories by rolling them around your head as you fall to sleep. It's just not learning how to write but how to tell a good tale tall and make it interesting. Learn to be a story teller and then learn to communicate those stories effectively on paper.
  8. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Supporter Reviewer Contributor

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    Your age won't matter, though if you're under 18 you might need your parent's/guardian's signature when signing a contract.
  9. miss sunhine
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    miss sunhine New Member

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    You can get Published at any age but and you can try at 18 but I doubt you'll get Published. I sent a book of at 18 and got nothing but Rejections. It's not your age that counts but how good a writer you are.
  10. Mckk
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    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

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    LOL re: your friend with his ninja war story! Have you told him this? But then again, it's good to just write and write - one of my friends once said that you have to "write out all the trash before you can get the real writing done" :D Not bad practice really - at least it gets you writing and ideas flowing :)

    What's wrong with your description? I've been told I have a knack for descriptions - well, I have a knack for atmosphere. It usually comes when you're not trying. Are you any good with character development or characterisation? We could trade ;)

    And you know, I promised myself I'd never become like one of those "writers" who never write. I'd rather write, let my writing be laughed at and ridiculed than to never write and never try, and thus, have my work hidden away in the dark forever, never to be seen. I think to create, you do have to have a certain level of confidence in your own ability - it's not pride, it's just a bit of faith, mixed up with reality. One wouldn't create anything if one didn't believe their creations were beautiful. And if no one created for fear that their work is not beautiful, then where would anything of beauty ever come about? (of course that's a stupid argument, because you only need to look at nature to see how STUNNING everything is and I don't think anything man-made ever compares, but I'm just saying :D )
  11. Cassiopeia Phoenix
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    Cassiopeia Phoenix New Member

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    Oh. I write a lot. My problem is that the backspace button exists... The only things I write that I've really finished are things that I publish as I go, so I have no turning back. The other things... Well. I'm really insecure about what I write. I definitely need a writing buddy to whip me when I think about deleting everything.
  12. Mckk
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    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

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    Haha I guess I include the writers who also delete everything :D I think sometimes we try too hard - those are the times when I end up delete 3, 4 pages in one go, a whole scene. But I always give myself an element of doubt - I always ask, "But what if it isn't that bad? What if there're a few good things in this pile of trash that I could reuse?"

    I think it keeps me trying :)

    Sounds like you should be banned from even accessing your own work once you've officially completed it :D just so you can't destroy a good piece of art! Think Kafka - I heard he never even wanted his stuff published cus he thought it was terrible :D
  13. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW New Member

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    When I sent a manuscript out aged 16, I got one very snotty letter saying they published books for children, not by them. You will get prejudice, and if you admit your age, some agents/publishers will presume your writing is bad without bothering. You could get published at 15-18, but it's unlikely.

    On the other hand, the book I'm now preparing for sending to agents, I originally wrote when I was 15. Yes, I have learnt a lot since and improved it massively, but the core of it was - the idea and the outline and the characterisation - from when I was 15.
  14. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    Wow. How bitchy is that?


    I don't think age matters as long as you're good at writing. Like others said, you're more likely to be a better writer when you're older because you've had more time to practice, and have had more life experiences to draw from.

    But don't let that ever discourage you from writing. I've seen some amazing stuff written by 13 year olds and 70 year olds alike. Even if they don't accept what you write now, it's just more practice for the next time.
  15. Question
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    Question Member

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    I think the writer of the inheritance series was like 18 when he wrote the first book.
  16. Sam M
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    Sam M Member

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    He was 15. But I think the first book was self-published; a publisher picked it up after that. He did his own tours, promotion etc.
  17. Walid
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    Walid New Member

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    I'm surprised Eragon was not mentioned after I CTRL+F'd this thread!

    OP, check this out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christopher_Paolini

    Whether he is talented or not is not my business. I liked the movie, but have never read the book. This is just to tell you that you can do it if you want to. Publishers and PR (and readers!) eat that stuff up because they'd be wow'ed before reading the book itself.

    Why are you in a rush, though? I'm 20 and I always write little snippets (that can't even live up to being short stories) in hopes that some day I can combine all of the characters/settings/plots I've made up into one - or a dozen - book(s). I think real life experience is needed just as much as writing talent to form a coherent story with depth beyond a simple story line, but that's just my two cents :)

    Good luck either way!
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    no one you query or submit to will know how old/young you are if you don't tell them... and why would you?...

    all they care about is the material... if you're writing at a professional level and have a good, marketable story to offer, your age will be irrelevant...

    but if your query letter and ms clearly read like the writer is a kid, then it won't matter how good your story might be... and you won't be rejected because of your age, but only because you're not writing well enough yet...
  19. kingzilla
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    kingzilla Member

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    Welcome to my world. I am fifteen as well and I have been wondering whether I should be working towards honing my skills or actually making a full novel. Right now, I just finished my first draft and I am writing some short stories inside the universe that my novel is based in, but I have decided that if I don't try to get this book published, I will regret not trying. What scares me the most is the first pitch I will try to make to the publisher or agent.
  20. Pea
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    Pea super pea!

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    His parents published him. Would he really have had any chance if he wasn't born with the silver quill in his mouth? :p
  21. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you seem to be putting the cart miles before the horse... if your skills are not honed yet, then you're not likely to have a ms that would be of any interest to either an agent or a publisher, are you?

    have you had anyone knowledgeable look over your work and let you know if it's of good enough quality to be 'pitching' it? [btw, one doesn't 'pitch'... one 'queries']...

    if not, i strongly suggest you do... you can post brief excerpts in the review section here, to get feedback on your work, if you're brave enough to handle a raft of what are often dissenting opinions... or, if you don't want to 'go public' you can send me your first couple of pages and i'll let you know if you're even close to querying...

    bravo for not letting your lack of years hold you back!

    love and hugs, maia
  22. heyitsmary
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    heyitsmary New Member

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    It's possible, and plenty of writers have gotten published as teenagers. But writers that young aren't always ready to take that leap. Do your research on the publishing industry and make sure you at least somewhat understand what you're doing. You may be ready to get published, but chances are you'll need a few more years to hone your craft. Good luck!
  23. Mckk
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    Mckk Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just because you don't try to get your book published right now doesn't mean you never will. Get a second opinion - you're on your first draft - you're nowhere near the stage where it can be published yet anyway regardless, because likely you'll need to revise and rewrite it first. The first draft is just the skeleton that holds it all together. When you have a FINAL draft - not a first draft - then think about publishing it.

    My advice would be, get a 2nd opinion, do some revisions, get another opinion, and then maybe shelf it for a few years. Come back to it when you're more experienced, when your writing's better, and read it through from start to finish. If it's still as perfect as you thought it was a few years ago, then try and get it published. Otherwise, do another rewrite and polish it til it's ready.
  24. Cristian
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    Cristian Member

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    Age is utterly redundant. As long as you're really good, you'll get published. Good luck.
  25. MissRis
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    MissRis New Member

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    This reminds me of a quotation from Samuel Beckett's "Worstward Ho,": "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."

    Although Beckett also wrote, "Every word is like an unnecessary stain on silence and nothingness." Now, he was also battling with being an Irish writer after James Joyce (who was also a friend) whom he considered to be essentially the quintessential writer and after Joyce there was really nothing left to say.

    We all have our demons.
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