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I am a 15 years old boy who likes to read/watch/play anything that has a good story in it - especially fantasy. Everytime I finished one, I always feel like that I want to make people feel 'that way' as well, just like how I feel.

Every night when I went to sleep, I'd like to think about the stories that I readed, to think how beautiful they are, and it always gives me dreams. And everyday when I woke up, I like to rearrange my dream and made it as a story. My friends told me that they liked it. So I decided to make a novel based on my dream adventures. But the problem is, that I am no good at animation, film producing, or anything like that. Then I ended up at literature, the skill that is probably the easiest for me comparing to anything else.

But the problem is, I am still young. 15 years old. I have no major experiences that great writers have. I live in a normal living. I never took any literature class. I only read a few books (maybe like around 20-30) because there is no book store in my city. My english is also terrible, so I decided to write my novel using my own country language. I also don't want to be a writer as my ambition, because I wanted to be a programmer. I am just doing it to share my feelings to the world.

So, is there any tips for me to begin my writing career as a teenager?

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  • I wrote an answer, but here are also two comments: 1 - My current WIP is based on a dream I had 15 years ago! :) 2 - It is good to have a day job, most writers don't make a living on writing alone (I am also a programmer). Dec 1 '20 at 18:53
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I will not say my exact age, but I am a young writer too. Under sixteen, so I understand perfectly. In fact, I started writing my novel this summer. I plan to get it published by next summer, as I am almost done with the first draft.

You don’t need fancy skills or a specific level of education to be a writer, you are a writer simply for writing.

My biggest piece of advice for you is this:

Don’t think your writing is worse just because you’re young.

Think about. A thirty-year-old’s published writing is probably better than a fifty-year-old’s writing who doesn’t write, because they do it more. Because they love it. Because they practice and have experience. Writing has absolutely nothing to do with age.(unless you’re a baby) As long as you know your grammar and language well enough, you can write anything.

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So I'm alot older than a lot of the commenters who posted in response at the time of my own posting, I probably got bit by the writing bug much earlier than you are now (I know I have characters that I still revisit in my stories that I created in the 7th Grade when I was 12-13 years old). And I work as a programmer to boot (though I can say it's not a job for the creative... at least my career experience. I write code for programs that are boring adult programs that are very niche to my customers very specific needs. I'm not making anything remotely close to a blockbuster video game by any stretch of the imagination).

That all said, there's no wrong time to write and no wrong topic. Don't even be discouraged that you can't make films or animation: My drawing skills are terrible... stick figures are difficult. And I can't shoot a goregeous film because I lack the technical budget to make all the things I want happen (and to be fair, there's a reason why it's several minutes of names going into a film's credit sequence before you get to the final scene at the end of the trailer: Even Speilberg doesn't make a film on his own. It's a lot of work from everyone involved. I once listened to a guy in a behind the scenes feature who's entire contribution to one block buster film was making digitally added water effects in one shot look and behave correctly).

Writing is a fine outlet for creative talents and I've known some pretty amazing artists who could draw some amazing things... but couldn't tell me about the story of the scene they drew, which baffled me. How could you just draw a thing without knowing the build up to that scene?

Even in comic books, it's rare to find someone who can write and draw and some of the most famous superheroes (alot of the ones attributed to Stan Lee especially) weren't drawn by him. In fact, his artist co-worker Jack Kirby would usually draw the scenes first and give them to Stan who wrote the story and dialog from the art. Focus on story enough, and you'll have artists who want to bring it to life.

One thing that I did a lot of at your age was Play By Post Roleplay. Essentially it was playing a co-operative setting, usually based on a popular fictional franchise, where we would invent our own characters within the rules of the setting and use them to tell stories. For me, a lot of these settings were "X-Men", "Star Wars", and "Harry Potter". The ones that worked best were series where there was room for other characters on the roster and that the stories being releases at the time only followed some people in that universe (i.e. X-Men was always about people who dealt with how their powers made them different and how they reacted to biases associated with their differences, Star Wars was always about how one person from humble origins could change the outcome of galactic politics, and Harry Potter always had more depth than what just Harry and the gang were up to.). I don't know what's the big series these days, but these types of role play communities still exist if your willing to do some leg work with google.

Other than that, write and let others read. For me, the feedback is always better than I expect it to be (I'm my own worst critic) and even negative feedback is helpful. I don't read a lot of fiction books (hell, half the reason I wanted to write was to put out books I would have liked to read if they existed). Be ready to do this in reverse. Watch a bad film... one everyone says is terrible... and try to identify what you would do differently to make it a good film. So many writers play it safe... good writing is all about being daring in your exploration of ideas. Let your characters be flawed... no one wants a perfect character and don't fight it when people say it's not perfect.

And don't be discouraged from not speaking English as a first language. If you hadn't said that in your first post, I wouldn't have guessed (you made a lot of the mistake I made when I was your age... and still make when I'm more than twice your age.).

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Well I think I can help you out a bit- especially since I'm 16 and also pretty fascinated by coding.

I started out posting on fictionpress, but there's not a whole lot of activity over there so you probably won't get many visitors(my stories all have under 20 views). I haven't used Wattpad before but it's probably a good bet. There are a bunch of sites where you can publish it, so you can probably find something that works for you rather easily.

Starting out, just put it out there and write. If you want people to review it and give feedback, look for beta reviewers. If you want people to just read it, post it everywhere you can find. If you want to publish, start with beta readers and then talk to a publisher.

Good luck!

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I am now a grown-up writer, with children close to your age, but I have been writing since I was a child, and can definitely identify with your experience --it's still very much like that for me.

Here are the main things I wish I had known about writing at age 15:

  1. Write a lot, and enjoy the process of writing. Don't be focused on the goal of publishing, or rush through to the next project. The best writers are in love with writing. They would write even if no one ever read it. The more you write, the better you get. If you write three or four books by age 20, even if they never get published, you will be a good writer by the time you get there.
  2. Get feedback, but don't take it personally. For years, I would get very emotional about having my writing read --it was like having my dreams and soul analyzed and rejected. Or, when people liked it, I felt as though they were affirming me. THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT APPROACH. Whether people respond to your writing is usually about the work you put in, not about who you are as a person. Getting feedback is essential to learning how to reach your readers (see my answer to this recent question). With that said, always do your best, but don't be crushed if people don't respond. Not every piece of writing is for every audience.
  3. When you finish something, try to sell it. A lot of success as a writer has nothing to do with how good a writer you are. It is all about being a good salesperson for your work. If you start practicing early, you will get good at that as well. You are never too young to sell your writing, and if it doesn't sell --which is likely --you still will have gained experience and the confidence to try. Short stories in youth magazines would be a great place to start submitting.

Best of luck! I am looking forward to reading your books and stories one day.

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Seems like you are trying to find the "right" way to start being a writer. There is no such a thing. You can start however you want. There is no a prototype for a writer and the way one starts to be writer or the way one is a writer. There is only how You start and how You will be, without caring what others did. Yes, Hemingway can be a great writer, but he is not You, the same way you are not him.

Writers are writers because they write. So, to start being a writer, you have to start to write.

Becoming a good writer is definitely a bit more then just writing, but that comes with time, with finding your own voice, with learning how to transform what is in your head into a written reality which others would be able to perceive equally real.

And, I guess you have written yourself the list of things:

I have no major experiences that great writers have. I live in a normal living. I never took any literature class. I only read a few books (maybe like around 20-30) because there is no book store in my city. My english is also terrible, so I decided to write my novel using my own country language. I also don't want to be a writer as my ambition, because I wanted to be a programmer. I am just doing it to share my feelings to the world.

So start working on what you are missing.

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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. “Max.” “Hello Matt.” “No, it’s Max.” “Matt.” “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!

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