1. Immy
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    Immy Member

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    What does everybody think about young writers?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Immy, Jan 2, 2012.

    It's not often that younger writers are published (meaning novels, etc.) and obviously, being younger would mean less life experience than older writers. I was just wondering what you think about younger writers?
     
  2. Party Poison
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    Party Poison Member

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    I'm young, and I don't mind others like me. As long as you don't have too terrible grammar and punctuation I'll read any piece that's somewhat short and interesting. I don't have all day to read an entire novel...
     
  3. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    There's no reason that a young writer can't be of publishable standard.

    The problem is that a lot of young writers haven't, by dint of their fewer years, had the necessary experience and practice to build up and improve their writing. The life experience does come into it, but the main element to me is that they just haven't had the time to learn how to write. I say this as someone who started writing at a very young age (probably around 10-12), and managed to get some short stories published young (19). When I look back at some of my early writings I shudder at how bad they are. They weren't bad at the time, because they were good for my age, but I've advanced so far now that I'd be embarrassed if any of them had been published.

    Young writers being published does happen, on occasion. The only example I can think of off the top of my head is Christopher Paolini, which probably isn't a good example as his writing is poor and derivative, and he was only actually published because his parents owned a publishing house (and subsequently played off his age as a selling point- that he was incredibly talented because he could write a novel at 15. He wasn't. I was writing novels at least as good at 15, only I lacked the parents working in publishing).

    I'm sure that other members will be able to suggest other writers who were published young, and it'll be interesting to see how they bear out.
     
  4. Jhunter
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    Jhunter Mmm, bacon. Contributor

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    The age doesn't matter to me. The work is what matters to me.
     
  5. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't pay much attention to author bios when I'm looking for reading material, so I guess the age wouldn't bother me in that context. Working with them can be a much different matter, however.
     
  6. Dante Dases
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    Dante Dases Contributing Member Contributor

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    Like Banzai said, a young writer may be very good for their age but not be a very good writer compared to what is being published.

    Just keep writing and developing your craft and you'll soon become a good writer. But don't expect your style to develop overnight or to instantly get acceptances from publishers. I'm 22 and have been writing for a decade. In that time I've written almost two million words, and I've not quite grown into my own style yet. It's a game of patience, so don't get downhearted if you're not winning rave reviews. Keep reading, keep writing, and you'll have stood yourself in good stead.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    What is there to "think about young writers"? I once was one myself, but I didn't have any ambition to write for publication. I agree with Banzai that most of them probably aren't unpublished because of lack of life-experience or imagination, but because of a lack of writing practise and time to improve their writing skills. That's all I think about them.
     
  8. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    i am a young writer myself and ive noticed a lot of the time its restlessness that gets me to stop working on a project...which is i think why many dont get published, because they never finish what they started!
     
  9. iabanon
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    Just know that usually younger writers are related to publishers. The author of the dreadfully boring Eragorn, I hear, is one such instance. The issue with young writers is understanding the human condition. They have a hell of a lot more to live to write something I feel is worthy. But old authors were young writers at one point so it's a matter of practice and observation. And by young I'm assuming teenage.
     
  10. hoggyboy
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    hoggyboy Senior Member

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    well i think thats a bit unfair, im a teenager and i can write better than a lot of people who are older than me, it all comes down to creativity/how long youve been writing, and I think it makes no difference if your 17 and youve been writing since you were 7 or 40 and writing since you were 30 personally.

    i think the main issue and i said it earlier is actually because kids are usually more interested in games and other stuff than writing, and many who do write never finish because they lack the willpower...theyll get up to say 10000 words in a 50000 word book and theyll say "meh" and quit.
     
  11. Kallithrix
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    Kallithrix Banned

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    I have often been surprised to find out that a story I'm reading and enjoying (online) was written by a young teen - and I mean some of them have been 14 or 15. I don't think it is necessarily about life experience or writing style, it's about being a storyteller. I truly do believe that you're either born a storyteler or not. The ability can be honed and improved, but it has to be there to begin with. You know the ones who have it - they're the 8 year olds lying through their teeth to get out of all the mischief their overactive sense of adventuire gets them into. ;-)
     
  12. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    not all young 'writers' are only writers of fiction...

    in my teens i wrote as well as adult professional writers and journalists, was editor of the school newspaper; wrote news articles and a weekly gossip column and was crossword puzzle editor, turning out a weekly themed puzzle [dumbed down, sorry to say for readers who didn't do the ny times puzzles in ink, as i did]... i also won an american legion essay award and pulled A's on all term papers... thus, i have to assume that if i'd been writing fiction then, i'd have most likely been writing marketable/publishable fiction, as well, since i'd been a voracious and constant reader of all genres of fiction since i first learned to read [starting w/ little golden books and the bobbsey twins, gobbling up the iliad and odyssey along with shakespeare, by age 9]]...

    so, what i think of young writers is that if they have the inborn talent for wordwork and the passion to write, along with the passion to read, some may actually be much better writers than many adults who get their works published more by luck and pluck, than by talent... and i salute them!
     
  13. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I don't really care how old a person is when they wrote something. If someone is young and wrote something groundbreaking I'd find it more a pleasant surprise than anything else, though I do know not everyone is as talented as others - and I can't really speak from personal experience. While I've been reading a long time I've only been writing for 5 - 6 years or so, and for the first 4 years I wrote nothing but Lovecraft-copies, which would shame anyone.
     
  14. Immy
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    I think I completely agree with all of you :) I'm 17, and I know that I have sooo much to learn still. For a start, I've still got a lot of experiences ahead of me that could be put to good use one day. Secondly, I still don't understand what my writing style quite is and I'm quite vulnerable to falling in with the writing style of which ever Author I'm reading at the time. It's all about finding yourself, I think, and sometimes I look back at something I wrote just a few months ago and think 'wow, that was crap'. Being young means that you're changing all the time, but because you're going through so many emotions all the time, it's probably good to note them down.

    I know that I want to get published some day but I feel nowhere near ready. I only write for enjoyment and storytelling, but I want people to be able to escape in one of my stories one day which is my main reason for publishing (or hopefully, anyway!) Last night I read Dear John by Nicholas Sparks and by the end of the book, I felt like saying Thank you to Nicholas just for publishing this amazing story. I want to be able to do that for others, so I figured the only way I would be able to do this is by a lot of practice and read a lot of books and with a bit of help from you guys on the forum :)
     
  15. Empty Bird
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    I think people put too much stock in age, sometimes.

    It'd be terrible to put down a book and say: "Ah, that was definitely written by a fifteen year old."

    Writing's definitely a talent that needs nurturing and attention, but I don't think age factors into it too much. Of course, experience helps, but that's not all there is to writing. I'm sure most writers haven't felt the terror of being chased by a mass murderer or falling in love with a super evil dude or lady. It's a talent to be able to create and feel and put down everything you an onto paper- whether or not you're fifty or fifteen.
     
  16. HoraceCombs
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    Yes, I agreed young writers means less life experience, but I think it doesn't mean they are only writing useless. They have unique and new thoughts about everything. I think young writers are good enough to give a new point of view to everything.
     

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