The biggest thing I struggle with is other people’s opinion. So here’s my piece of advice:
It’s your writing. Don’t write something and say:
I don’t think other people would like that.
Sure, maybe some won’t, but unless you’re publishing your work what other people think doesn’t matter. If you like it, it’s fine.
And age doesn’t matter either. I’m two years younger than you, and I’m writing an entire fantasy series. I literally finished the first book last week! Writing has absolutely nothing to do with age, and neither does reading.
That was my biggest tip, but here are all my other ones:
Give each character an special, interesting trait, voice, objective, past, symbol, look, and personality. Make sure they have flaws, and make sure to balance out their strengths and weaknesses. You need to know everything about your characters, from the color of their hair to their preferred morning drink and how they drink it.
Make sure you have a a strong conflict. What’s a story without it?! You don’t need to have a traditional “bad guy” but you do need something opposing your protagonist(s).
Make sure you have a character ark. If the characters don’t change, or if nothing at all changes, then what was the point of the story in the first place?
Make sure your setting is there. This one seems a bit obvious, but you need to be certain that you put in necessary details. Not UNnecassary. Don’t get those confused. There is such thing as over-description.
Decide your POV. POV is everything. It’s your entire story. Pick a kind, and stick with it. Your writing will make no sense if you don’t.
Have a list of beta readers ready. They’re a huge help.
Don’t hand-hold. I’ll give you an example of hand-holding from my own writing, and I think you’ll be able to see why it’s such a big no no.
my dream changed. Mommy?” Max called over and over, eating his fruit roll-up, his final gift from our parents. “Daddy? Where are you? Sister?” I felt like I’d been stabbed. He had called me, and I wasn’t there. “Grammy?” He cried.I saw someone coming out of the fog. I wanted to scream. please don’t kill him please don’t kill him please don’t kill him was all I could think. The figures face became visible through the haze, and it was... Lleaud.
He looked at my little brother, a confused expression plastered on his face. “How-” was all he could manage. Then he seemed to understand the situation. “Oh.” He whispered.”You’re young for Epslan. Most are older. What’s your name?” He asked Max as he picked him up.
“No, it’s Max.”
“I can’t say that word. I will call you Matt.”
(And then the hand-holding part:) it all made so much sense! Matt was Max! Matt was my brother!
I didn’t have to explain that part. If you’ve read the whole story, my reader would have already figured that out. I was restating something they already knew. For the reader... that’s really annoying. Like when you pick up the second book in a series and the entire first chapter is explaining what happened in the first book. Annoying.
My final tip: make sure you always have at least a few well-developed side characters in your back pocket to use. Your protagonist(s) can’t be the only one(s) doing things.
I hope this helps you with your writing!