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27

There are no age restrictions on publishing - you may need to get someone else to sign contracts for you, but that's a minor detail. That said, it's pretty hard to get a book published, even for adults who've been working at writing for a long time. It's probably best if you focus on writing because it's fun, and give yourself a chance to explore without ...


21

Feedback is an enormously complex topic, for everyone, everywhere, in every role in life. Some people understand that it's complex. Others do not. Avoid feedback from people who think feedback is simple. Here are some (perhaps too many) of my thoughts. The Briefcase Method Charlie Seashore offers this technique: When someone gives feedback, put it in a ...


15

I'm not going to tell you how to solve your problem. Quite frankly, I don't know how to solve your problem, despite having faced it countless times myself in the past. Instead, I'm going to show you why you have this problem in the first place. I'm going to show you how to treat the cause instead of the symptoms. Not knowing what to include in your novel ...


14

I would suggest a different approach than the other answers. If you are completely new to writing, just write. Think about other areas of learning. If you just had your first physics class, the next step won't be building a car. The first thing will probably be something like a battery, two wires, and a lightbulb. Writing is the same. Like anything it ...


14

If you think the title is the best fit for your novel, you should keep it. There are many novels with the same name in the market, which makes it a little hard to find a novel with smaller market presence written by unknown author. Thus why, it is only a problem if the novel you're writing has the same name with another novel written by an author with more ...


13

Although the narrator can't see his own face, he'd still feel his face moving, so I don't think that's the reason it feels strange. It sounds strange to me because the actions sound intentional. Facial expressions are generally involuntary. I don't raise my eyebrows in surprise -- they rather do it of their own accord. Your writing could reflect this: ...


12

We have four variants of foreign language dialog in fiction and the corresponding solutions how we can handle this: foreign language foreign language is limited to makes up a major short phrases or part of all dialog occurs only rarely ...


11

I would say that it depends on how you want to progress with your story. Every (good) book, or series of books, that I've ever read sets the tone for the rest of the book in the first few pages. Whether that's with a mysterious murder, the establishment of a prophecy/chosen one or world-building and exposition, the rest of the book will continue with the ...


10

I had a poetry teacher who talked about "tired language," referring to clichés like this. Take your original metaphor apart and break it down to the real, concrete, non-representative ideas. Are Eri and Mom so far apart that not one single thought is shared between them? Are they speaking as though they are watching two different TV shows, or experienced ...


10

As @kitzfox says, there are times when you would know what your face must look like, and it would be reasonable for a narrator to say so. I stared wide-eyed. Sometimes you would reasonably guess. "Bob is the smartest man here", my girlfriend announced to the room. I could feel myself reddening with embarrassment. But other times it would be ...


10

Not only will the potential pitfalls largely vary from person to person (not to mention what different people think they are), but they are innumerable, and in a variety of fields. When you are an experienced writer, you will look back at what you write now, and cringe regardless of what you do. Why? Experience. The more you write, the better you get. ...


9

See if you can add a twist. One time Harlan Ellison wrote: She looked like a million bucks. Realizing what a horrible cliche that was, he changed it: She looked like a million bucks, tax free. For a lame example (that twists the cliche by adding another one): It sometimes felt as if we spoke different languages. British English and American ...


9

Don't discount yourself because you're young. That's great that you're starting off so early. Keep at it! Though I don't believe anyone will have a problem with it, there are different scenarios depending on how you want to be published (self-pub vs traditional pub). For traditional, no one is going to ask your age when you're submitting queries, so if ...


8

I assume that we are talking about feedback that you are not obligated to follow, or that does not have consequences beyond "will this make the story better". I mean like, you show the story to your lawyer and he says, "If you publish these statements about Mr So-and-so, you could be sued for libel". Or you have a publisher lined up, and the publisher says ...


8

An author, whose name I forget, explained his procedure in the following way: Write your story down. Leave this version as it is, that is, do not attempt to close plot holes or correct continuity. Instead: Put that first version away, and Write the whole story again from scratch. Repeat until you are happy with your result. What this does is that plot ...


8

You might want to check out Brandon Sanderson's Laws of Magic. His tips were a great thing to consider when I was writing my story. They are in summary: An author’s ability to solve conflict with magic is DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL to how well the reader understands said magic. This means that if magic is used often, the mechanics of it need to be well ...


8

The "first draft" and extensive re-writing you alluded to is often what "pantsers" - people who write by the seat of their pants, without outlines, produce. Those aren't what I would really call a first draft, since they can be unstructured messes or streams of consciousness (though they can sometiems be good). They then take that material and structure it, ...


8

Overbearing pride. He's done a lot. He's seen a lot. He has a lot of experience. He's very accomplished, and he thinks anyone would benefit from learning from him. The "nostalgia" and "being overlooked" you mentioned are the keys. He loved being helpful, loved being the strong protector, loved being the one everyone came to, loved the attention. It was for ...


8

Show don’t tell is not about the way you structure a description of some action. It is about allowing the reader to reach their own conclusions. For example, if you want your reader to understand that a particular character is an evil person, you can tell them: He was an evil, evil man. … or you can show them: He plunged the knife into her neck. ...


7

Most people work with the thought in mind that their piece of writing will go on to be well received, and more success will come based around that, so will leave doors open for sequels. However, nobody wants to read an incomplete book. Therefore you will usually find that most things will wrap up quite well at the end, and most plot points will be handled ...


7

It is called an epigraph or motto.


7

What I do: I start with either a last name or a first name. Which one I start from depends on which one the narrator uses to identify the character, because that is what the reader will read most often. Katniss Everdeen is Katniss first; Dr. Henry Jekyll is Dr. Jekyll first. With this starting point, and the knowledge of the character's cultural ...


7

I'd like to emphasize two points that both Dale and Jay make: You are writing for the reader to enjoy your story enough to want to pay money for your book. The reader is your customer. This means that the reader is always right. If the reader is unhappy with your story it is not your job to convince them that they are wrong. Your book is not an ...


7

You can use semi-colons when you want to use commas as well. For example: He had three ties: a red one, which he hated; a striped one, which he loved; and a green one that had been given to him by his aunt. Sometimes you can enclose extra information in parentheses. For example: I like several different dishes: lasagne (only if it is made with ...


7

You need to run your book past readers who are capable of assessing it objectively. That may or may not include your mother, but it should certainly include more people than just your mother. Look among your friends and friends-of-friends for people who read a lot of books in the same genre/style as yours. Ask them to give a critique. You are not obliged to ...


7

In the Hero's Journey, this is called The Ordinary World, and it's important to establish. The Ordinary World is what the Hero must leave to go on the Journey. This World may be good or bad, whole or broken, the desired status quo or something which needs to be fixed, but it's where the Hero starts. The point of the Journey may be to get back to this World ...


7

The range is enormous, but the average income for published authors is spectacularly low—around $500 a year. No missing zero. Five hundred. The tiny minority who hit the bestseller lists will do quite well. Many novels sell movie rights. Most are never made into movies, but if you are lucky enough to see your book turned into a major movie, of course you ...


7

Everybody has redeeming qualities and everybody has flaws. Any character that doesn’t have both is unrealistic. I don’t think it is a good idea to separate antagonist and protagonist when doing character work. Those are plot roles. Character-wise, everybody sees themselves as a protagonist. Everybody thinks they are the good guy. Hitler thought he was the ...


6

Yes, there are stronger words and while when writing (especially fiction) it is perfectly acceptable to use less strong words but it's better to avoid them if you can. As you say, you're trying to invoke your readers senses. Example: I landed on the floor with a bump I thumped onto the floor Using stronger words can also allow you say the same but ...


6

I think there's a difference between character development and character depth. Development means change. You can have an interesting villain who is only ever a villain, but still has backstory, motivation, relationships, and hobbies. That's a deep character who doesn't change. But if your character acts like a boring, shallow buffoon for two acts and then ...



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