83

What is "the right way"? Why do you consider it better than some other way to write a story? What do you consider "mistakes"? You can ask your son about why he has made certain stylistic choices or plot choices, but at the end of the day, those are his choices to make. You can criticise aspects of the story that you feel are unoriginal, or have unfortunate ...


79

You don't have to do anything special at all. First you will seek an agent, with a query letter. Look up on the Internet or in writing books on Amazon how to write a query letter. Do not mention your age. If you get a response of somebody willing to read a sample, send it. Before you sign any contract or agreement, you will need to tell the other party you ...


41

I would say go for it! If you have the possibility of contacting a "proper author," there's no reason not to. If they get back to you or someone from their office does, that would be a huge help to you. And no offense, but if they don't get back to you, they probably won't remember you either so there's nothing to be embarrassed about. There's ...


39

Your first publication will get harsh criticism whether you're 12, 21, or 120. The fact is, the only way to get good at something is to practice, and the only way to practice is to fail, repeatedly, until you start to do good. Starting early is not only helpful but encouraged - you will get significantly more experience this way than if, say, you were to ...


35

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 ...


24

Assuming this isn't a school assignment, subject to a grade, I think your most effective approach right now is just to encourage him in his writing rather than trying to improve it. This is a good time and age to explore his creativity. When he becomes older and starts to have ambitions for his work, he will become more open to suggestions for making it ...


14

Engage in online creative writing/fanfiction forums, with your parents' supervision. If you want to start writing, be aware that the first things you start writing will likely be really bad. This isn't because of your age, but because you're new to writing - it's been said that the first million words anyone writes will be garbage, so if writing is a skill ...


14

It's absolutely not impossible to be published as a very young author. Nancy Yi Fan published her Swordbird series at eleven years old, and Christopher Paolini wrote Eragon in his teens. I loved both of those books as a kid. However, if you are calling agents and have gotten negative responses, here are things to consider. Are you calling them out of the ...


11

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 ...


10

I feel like advice that was given to me about writing characters of the opposite gender also applies here. Just write it as if it were a regular kiss with individuals of separate genders. Of course you may need to make exceptions for anatomy, but I think what would be more important in this is the build up to the scene, rather than the scene itself. ...


10

Welcome to the Writing Stack, Alayna. When you write, it's usually more effective to focus on one project at a time You've already noticed that you can't always remember what you were planning with previous projects. When you put a story down for awhile, it can begin to fade from your memory. So if you want to write a story, it's better to keep at it ...


9

Writing 'soppy prose' is an entirely separate issue from writing accurately about intoxication. If your examiners are primarily interested in your writing skills and language use you should focus on the soppiness rather than the accuracy. I don't know what marking schema they work to in your area but it would be incredibly harsh if they were to mark down ...


9

Try giving him some books to read about the subject he wrote about. You will soon find out if he is really interested in the stories or if it was just something he used to try and get your attention. Reading about how other authors handle these stories might give him some learning experience. And maybe when he tries to write again he will keep this other ...


9

Amazon allows your parent to publish your book for you 4.1 Eligibility. You must have an active Program account in order to participate in the Program. You represent that you are at least 18 years old (or the age of majority where you reside, whichever is older) and that you are able to form a legally binding contract. A parent or guardian of a ...


9

Angst has no Age: Youth is filled with self-doubt, criticism, challenges and lack of experience. Guess what? Age is filled with self-doubt, responsibility and inertia. I've ALWAYS wanted to be an author, but the first stories I wrote were REALLY awful, and I let myself be convinced I didn't have a useful contribution to make. Only I couldn't stop wanting to ...


8

Your readers won't care about your age Sometimes an author will write a little autobiographic blurb that is printed at the end of the book. If you do this and you mention your age in there your readers might realize how old you were when you wrote your book. At least those readers that care about the author biography. Your readers will care about the quality ...


8

Figure out your Resources: Even this site says you need to be 13 or have a parent assisting you to use it. Start with a school English teacher, and see if they will beta read the book and give you feedback (A parent isn't likely to be neutral). Get friends to beta read it, but not so good a friends that they won't criticize. The first sentence, paragraph, ...


7

No, there is no limit, other than how fast she can type. To get published, she would need a parent or guardian to sign publishing contracts on her behalf.


7

Adapted from my answer to Can I self-publish a book on the Kindle store when I'm under 18? Absolutely, whenever you publish something with multiple authors—whether it's a collaboration or a work where a primary author(s) uses someone else's material—you want a written contract. My suggestion in your case is that one of you (probably you) is the primary ...


7

"especially people I want to impress" If you're doing it because authors get all the hot <insert cute term for gender/orientation here> then you're probably SOL. If you're doing it because you feel driven to do it, then get started, and learn by doing. People who appreciate what you do will be impressed by results, not by talking about it. ...


6

Authors have to write about things they haven't experienced all the time. Just look at crime authors writing for TV or Movies: They must show characters being raped, murdered, burned alive, mugged and shot. They must show characters committing those crimes against others. They must show children being kidnapped and forced into child sex and porn rings, they ...


6

Remember that researching an issue or experience you don't have experience with doesn't just mean "reading up" on it. A time-honoured research approach is to find people with the experience you're lacking, and interview them. Is there a family member who might have experience with alcohol or marijuana (two of the most common intoxicants)? Or, if not, is ...


6

One of the other answers might have been a bit harsh and would lead more established writers to mutter sarcastically "wish I'd thought of that", but there's something useful in it - it sounds like you're thinking ahead to publication before the book is finished. While you'll want to consider your intended audience during writing and editing, an important ...


6

Though he looks forward to my praise, which I surely do, he gets bored every time I try to outline his flaws in the story. That's pretty standard 11-year-old-boy behavior. I peeked at their handbook recently and there's a whole section on how to keep your parents from bugging you about stuff you don't want to do. I bet you'd get the same bored look if you ...


6

You say that in your head there are pauses in the dialogue, but in the text they just aren't there. Well then, insert the pauses. ‘How terrifying!’ said Frodo. There was another long silence. The sound of Sam Gamgee cutting the lawn came in from the garden. ‘How long have you known this?’ asked Frodo at length. ‘And how much did Bilbo know?’ J.R.R. ...


5

Well, it may seem obvious, but you need research. From your point of view it may seem really difficult, since you didn't have any experience of schools after first grade, but don't worry. Most of us writers don't have direct experience with dragons, wars, swordfights, eldritch horrors, torture, espionage, terrorism, distopian dictatorships, and so on. ...


5

This is a classic problem for writers. I once heard a lecture by Isaac Asimov, a well-known science fiction writer, where he said that his first attempt at writing fiction was set in a small town, and people told him that was a bad idea because he had, at that point in his life, never been outside New York City. But, he said, he went on to write stories set ...


5

Read something you wrote a year or more ago. It is entirely possible that the reason your recently written dialog is racing by so fast is that you are very familiar with its content. When your eyes touch the first few words of a sentence, you already know how the sentence will end, so you skip the tedious reading time and just dump the content from ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible