Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

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Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby Griffar » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:10 am

OI- READD THIS POST

Disclaimer-In this topic, some people may be mentioned. If you do mention them, make sure they are ok withh it please. This debate may spark some thoughts, and cause it to get heated-god forbid- and there fore things may happen. I ask you, whoever you are, to respect the people on AFC, and read over what you write, and make sure, that what you are saying isn't offending anyone in anyway, and is useful to the debat. Mods sorry, if i am sayiing something that is for you to say, but i am taking a precaution. If a person hsa a problem with their nammee bbeing mmentioned, add it as x in itallics. Thanks for taking in all of this

Sorry for any offence i cause




Well, this is something that has been disscused quite a lot, but sutbly. A lot of young kids, make themselves a dream of being a succesful author. Now, that's a great thing to do i think. But a lot of people have said things about not having a chance... and that people should work on their writing first. Now this is fair enough, but a lot of kids make lots of little storyies, that they doon't particularly like. Like me for example... i made like five different stories as a child, and I am now working on a story i really enjoy writing... it will be a while before i get it finished as it's just a side project. I have thought about publishing as a possibility... but i haven't gone looking for any publishers. I'm just writing the story as a little bit of fun, and making my own little adventure.

So the question is... Is there anything wrong with Young Kids(let's say 9+) trying to get their story published???
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Re: Asspiring Young Writers and publishing-You may be mentioned

Postby sharkie » Mon Jun 08, 2009 3:37 pm

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Re: Asspiring Young Writers and publishing-You may be mentioned

Postby Kitsy » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:47 pm

Now now Jen, read the rules xD

But yes, I agree with her. They would be wasting the publisher's time because no child would be able to write a decent book worth publishing at that age. For one thing they couldn't have been writing long enough to have gathered the techniques necessary for writing well; secondly they can't have been writing the story long enough to have it fit for publishing. Even a 20-something author would have to re-write a book several times before it was fit for even showing to a publisher. It is only the extremely experienced writers, say Terry Pratchet who could even chance showing their publishers their second or third draft.

There is nothing wrong with writing, drafting, editing, having others look over your work. There is nothing wrong with dreaming to one day have your book published. There is no point deluding yourself that this will happen when you are young. I have seen so many people going "Oh, let me just finish off my story and then I'll send it off to a publisher." Unless you have been writing for a long time, are very talented (well, theoretically. There are some books out there that I'm not quite sure how they got published...) and have successfully redrafted your work, there is little chance of your book being published. It would be best to write short stories at first, draft them, maybe show them to an adult you know in the book marketing world, perhaps a proffessor of English you could find at your uni/college, even a fellow writer. Then send it off to a newspaper for their short story sections. Anything else is unrealistic and it also annoys me a lot 8-) no offence guys.
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Re: Asspiring Young Writers and publishing-You may be mentioned

Postby BkkprGirl » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:09 pm

Huh. Good topic, Griffar.

Here's my take--there's nothing wrong with a nine + year old getting published, so long as what they are writing is good enough. This is a topic that I feel pretty strongly about, because it's been my dream since I was like, five. There are some publishers out there that take younger writers--the Swordbird series is written by a nine year old--not my cup of tea, but some very young readers are entertained by it, and I saw a picture book about otters that was written by someone who I think was seven.

It's not like a nine year old is going to STOP writing once they're done with a book--real writers are constantly honing their skills anyway. If they fail, what of it? They're just constantly getting better.

It's not bad if someone wants to be an author when they're young because they like to tell stories--that's like saying a little boy is stupid for wanting to become a policeman because he likes justice. I'm sure if that little nine-year old boy could join the police force at his age, he would. There's NOTHING WRONG with having a dream: it's kept me going for most of my life. And there's nothing wrong with writing at that age either--if the little kid wants to play cops and robbers because he's practicing for joining the law enforcement, good for him.

If people work hard enough at it, considerable writing skills can be forged at a young age. Maybe not Tolstoy-caliber quite yet, but enough that it shows promise. I know that I've seen some very well-developed stories from some very young kids--some are just gifted at it. Of course there's years of work involved in reaching your potential, but if you feel like stretching your boundaries, then I say GO AHEAD.

Of course, the mindset of 'I'm a brilliant writer and I'm basically a shoo-in for publishing" is wrong as well--ego isn't something that helps you when you get rejected a number of times. But as long as they're humble about it, and write because they genuinely love to write, then why bother messing with that?

So, if a publisher wants to take them up, why not? So what if the book flops and no one reads it? It will be fulfilling a childhood dream of someone's, and teaching them a lesson. If their writing is terrible and unworthy of being published, normally they get rejected. Those who keep writing will be stronger writers because of it. And if it gets published anyway, that's not THEIR fault, that's the publisher's fault for not knowing when someone needs more time to develop their skills. The world needs stories--what does it matter where they come from?
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Re: Asspiring Young Writers and publishing-You may be mentioned

Postby Voldy » Tue Jun 09, 2009 11:11 pm

I've edited the title of this thread. (It's kind of ironic and inappropriate for a thread about writing to have a misspelled title....XD) Also, about that little disclaimer of yours, I don't think we should mention anyone in particular at all. A debate shouldn't be a personal attack or even praise.

Anyway, I agree with Kat (and sharkie, lmao). I don't think someone aged 9 will have as many writing techniques as the same person when they are 30. Also, writing is often driven by experience. I don't think it's bad for someone young to publish something. That's not what annoys me. (I'm going to copy and paste what I said about this topic in someone's journal, from which Griffar got the idea to make this debate.)

Voldy wrote:What annoys me is that all of these "aspiring" teen writers write because they want to get published. I see people post about how they're writing a novel, and how they want to publish it ASAP. I don't think young writers take publishing seriously.

First of all, getting something published is extremely, unbelievably difficult. Some statistics say that around 0.03% of all submitted manuscripts actually get published. Rejection is a cold, hard fact in the publishing industry, and is all too common during the writing/publishing process.

Second, even if you are accepted to be published, you have to realize that the manuscript you've written will be mass-printed, and the words you wrote will forever be on paper. If I were to publish some novel when I was like, 13 or something, and I thought it was amazing, by the time I would be 30, I'd look back and be like "Eugh, what was I thinking. x_X" But you can't go back in time, and you'll have to deal with the fact that you published something less than mediocre, something that wasn't your best. You can't really be sure if you want to publish something until you've completely finished writing, editing, re-editing, fixing, changing, having others review, really thinking over, and editing again your manuscript. Publishing is a big step, and one can't just take it lightly.

Third, publishing should not be the goal of writing. Sure, writers like to have their works published. It's gratifying, to walk into a bookstore and see your book on one of the shelves. But you shouldn't sit down and be like "Okay, I'm going to write a novel, and I'm going to have it published." It really disrupts the writing process, because all the while, you're reaching for that intangible goal that may actually never come true. You're writing and writing because you can't wait to get published, because that is what will satisfy you, rather than the actual completion and accomplishment of the work. You're not writing to write, no matter how much you think you are. You're writing to publish, and in turn, garner attention.

I am not in any way trying to discourage anyone from writing. Hell, I love writing msyelf. I have the dream of getting published some day, yeah, but that is not something I hope to do in the near future. I hope you all realize that publishing isn't that easy, and one shouldn't set that as the reason for writing. It should always be an afterthought, after one's written something. If you get published, that's great, but it shouldn't be the reason you write.

I wanted to say something else, but I don't remember what. x_X

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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby Lime Yay » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:31 am

I agree most with BkkprGirl, I think. If a little kid likes writing and they're really talented and somehow they have the right connections, and they get published, good for them. I don't think you need to be any age to be worthy of publishing. I think publishing should be about content, period.

But I totally get what Kitty, Voldy, and (lol) Sharkie are talking about. At AFC, it is not uncommon for kids to post "im writeing a book, and ill probly publish it soon. not done yet, tho!" Or something to that nature. And it's like, you don't pity them for having their dreams too high. You're disgusted because the first out of their mouth after they mention they are writing a book has NOTHING to do with plot, character, or passion for their story at all. It has to do with publishing. They don't mention liking writing, they mention publishing. For one, it's very hard to get published as it is, for two, you're not going to send in a raw manuscript. Just. Ah, you can't be part way done with a book and be thinking about publishing it soon. You have to write it a hundred times.

These kids, it's for bragging rights or something. They aren't dreaming about their story, they're dreaming about being a writer and being published. It's gross.

But, I know not all young writers are like that. I've seen people on this board who say they love to write, that they want to become authors when they grow up. Of course, publishing would come along with that (hopefully) someday, but they aren't like "yea im publisheing soon". They just love to write, and you can see it in their words, in the way they write. They have grammar, they have style, and they've worked for it. They probably have no chance of getting published, too. But at least I can admire them, feel for them.

So, no, there's nothing wrong with a child ASPIRING for a dream. But it is x-treme annoying when kids are really stupid and arrogant about it: they aren't aspiring, that would require real thought and dedication-- they're just fantasizing. There's a difference there. I'm glad there are age limits on other jobs, say, president. Otherwise we'd have a bunch of twerps trying to become the youngest president. Don't aim to be the youngest. Aim to be the best at WRITING, that's what it's about.

If you have a serious interest, love, and passion, I say go for it, don't let people tell you you are nothing because you are young. Keep trying, keep writing. If you're just FANTASIZING, well, STFU. EVERYONE is tired of your arrogant claims. You come off as a stupid sort of pathetic at best, but really, mostly we just roll our eyes at your expense.

~Lime Yay
Last edited by Lime Yay on Wed Jun 10, 2009 4:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby FoalysGirl » Wed Jun 10, 2009 3:28 am

Yes. Kids do not have the technical skills to be a quality writer. Someone shouldn't stop their creativity but it takes years of practice and patience to be a great writer. I've been writing for a while and I still constantly edit a lot!
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby Griffar » Wed Jun 10, 2009 12:53 pm

Didn't realise how close this was to some peoples heart.. XD And I'm not the best a grammer Voldy... embarresing. Anyway, i get both sides of the arguemnt and i can see the good in both of them, what i don't like though, is when peopole, like the journal in which i got the idea from, apparently are getting their book published, get put down, and told that their book would almost deffienatly need more work(oh by the way, sorry if I'm misquoting, i really should re-check this post. I will edit later). Sure, if the publishhers are taking the risk, it has two outcomes. It crashes and burns, or it shines and prospers. That's what BkkprGirl said. But then there is Sharkie, Kitsy, and Voldy's side of the argument, Oh and Lime Yay... where kids say they are getting their book published... but haven't really started. It's a dream for me to get my book published, but at the moment i have no chance, one my grammer sucks!. Two I'm not that good a writer, three... most publishers wouldn't even consider it from a thirteen year old. And Four... I'm not ready.... i need to work on it, andd work on it. It has a long way to go, and if you read the first chapter, which now i realise, amkes me sound arrogant, as i have said what Lime Yay, despises... now i forgot that point of my argument. Anyway, my point is, there are two equally valid sides to this argument... hopefully one will stand ouit....

And if you read back you will notice how bad my grammer is. But I'm writingg wit out a desk on my laptop, with my keyboard which isn't connected to the actual comp. and is rockking whenever i type.... it's hard work... oh, and i have had a change of thought since i wrote that first post in the inlklings section...
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby Lime Yay » Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:14 pm

Yeah, your grammAr does suck. It's an indication that you are just fantasizing, not aspiring. People who aspire work hard at being a writer, they make a serious effort for grammar. You can say, well, those aspiring writers started off with bad grammar! That's true, but I really doubt they were considering publishing at that point. But don't get discouraged by having bad grammar; your editor can fix it! It just brings your chance of publishing from .03% to .000003%.

Confidently believing that anything you do is in the top 99.999997th percentile comes off as arrogant. It just does. Stop telling people you believe this, and you won't come off as arrogant.

But this isn't an attack on you, Griffar, or the girl in whose journal this originated. A LOT of kids do it. It's what's to be expected on an AF forum: we attract people who like to write. We attract people who like to write with a reading level of Artemis Fowl.

~Lime YAy

PS If your word is underlined in red, that means it's spelled wrong. Hope this helps!
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby BkkprGirl » Wed Jun 10, 2009 8:16 pm

I think there is a fine line between a humble sense of accomplishment and bragging. For me, this thread isn't whether or not it's okay for a nine-year-old to get published, it's whats involved in the mindset of doing so.

For instance, there's this kid in my school, and he's the kid that EVERYONE KNOWS is on page 136 or something of his 'novel'. His facebook status is always "Working on my book" or "This part is so exciting...Page 145!!!" or one time "Better start searching for a publisher, I'll be done in a week!!". He speaks about his book as though it's this enormous accomplishment, he says he has flawless grammar and spelling....

And then there's me (not trying to toot my own horn or anything, this is just an example--something that actually happened to me). The kid who NOBODY knows is the writer, and is nowhere near as far as he was on his at the time. We talk. We swap stories--my manuscript for his, pens in hand, ready to read and offer criticism.

His grammar is atrocious. He leaves words out of sentences. His main character doesn't have a name. He uses highly localized words in his dialogue like "chillax" and "legit". The plot meanders in every which direction. At some times it's incoherent, and it switches tenses in the middle of sentences. He has a veritable character plagiarism of Spock from Star Trek.

I'm not a great writer, I'm TOTALLY NOT, but I don't have those problems, at least. Still, I bring it back to him, congratulate him on its length, tell him he needs to shape up his grammar a bit, and it'll be okay.

He attacks mine. Compares it to 'eating nails for breakfast'. He brings up about two points that actually mean anything, and the rest is him looking for flaws. He actually told me to 'use old language', when his is set in the further past than mine is, and he uses words that not even everyone in the PRESENT uses.


Different mindsets. Different attitudes. Different goals.


*however, Lime Yay, I think we should keep names out of this unless we are talking about ourselves. Just telling Griffar "Yeah, your grammar does suck" is a bit of an insult, especially after he just admitted that he needs work on it. It's not all about having great spelling or grammar, either--F. Scott Fitzgerald had such bad spelling that he was nearly incoherent. That says NOTHING about whether someone is aspiring or fantasizing.*
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby sharkie » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:10 am

What's wrong with using highly localised language in *Dialogue*. I've read whole BOOKS written in a Glaswegian accent, and it was brilliant. Like this one Buddha Da

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/reader/18476 ... ptu#reader


And when it comes to dialogue the best writers make is sound natural. Dialogue isn't suppost to be written in proper English, most writing tips say write it the way people speak it. Even in the USA, people don't talk 'proper' English. I'm not saying go and start doing what Anne Donovan did, because that alienates your non Scottish/Irish/southern/etc audience. I'm just saying that dialogue is not supposed to read like prose.

Secondly, sounding a little bit hypocritical there Bkkprgirl. What I read was you slagging a guys work off, which I don't doubt is bad, and even though you choose to keep it from him that it's bad you get annoyed that he's telling you what he doesn't like. Despite the fact that those could be big faults rather than fixing them. You seem to be patronising him.

And I'm really bad at giving criticism. If I don't like something then I just tend to ignore it. But in cases where I'm required to give criticism I'm honest. I can respect people, like Voldy and Lime Yay to name a few, that can come out and say "this needs work" because you know what these honest people who can do that.

I agree that spelling has little to do with anything. I can't spell but I can produce clear articulate essays (most of the time). That's with a little help from spell checker. On AFC and MSN, my spelling noticable.
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby Lime Yay » Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:25 am

BkkprGirl wrote:*however, Lime Yay, I think we should keep names out of this unless we are talking about ourselves. Just telling Griffar "Yeah, your grammar does suck" is a bit of an insult, especially after he just admitted that he needs work on it. It's not all about having great spelling or grammar, either--F. Scott Fitzgerald had such bad spelling that he was nearly incoherent. That says NOTHING about whether someone is aspiring or fantasizing.*


Psst, BkkpGirl: you're using names.

Griffar named my name for some reason so I felt compelled to do the same. Very immature, picking fights with kids. Petty. I'm sorry Griffar, whether I offended you or not. Wrong is wrong.

But I still feel the same way I do about grammar being an indication of someone TRYING to be good at writing. It's a basic, very important part of writing. It's what does the communicating, shows how you want things said. You need people to understand you in order to communicate; your editor needs to understand what you're TRYING to say in order to fix it. I mean, I can't fathom someone who was trying to be a writer NOT working on grammar, unless they weren't serious. It's a very basic thing, I expect you'd try to learn it while learning to write.


~Lime Yay

PS Yeah, I've heard about Mr. Fitzgerald. I... don't give spelling much weight either, so I totally forgot that it's a part of grammar to other people (alright, everyone), my concern being more with communication barriers and spelling isn't one, really.
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby jibjab0 » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:06 am

i think if it is good enof to publish, it is good enof to publish, it dosent matter if it is coming from a talking shark. but the parents should have to give concent and the kid should get most of the money put in a bank account astablished by the publisher so he/she dosent blow all the money.
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby Kitsy » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:32 am

It's "enough" btw.

The problem is, sharks don't talk and don't write books. The same way children aren't developed enough to write books good enough to publish. And say they did write books that were of the right standard - why should the parents have to give consent and why should there money be put away? It's their money, they can blow it on whatever they want. They earned it after all.
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Re: Aspiring Young Writers and Publishing

Postby jibjab0 » Fri Jun 12, 2009 2:01 am

way to go grammer natzi you caught me.

the problem is it takes money to publish books and if the book boms the kid more likly then not wont have enof money to dig themselfs out of a hole like that. two, the money should be put away in a bank not just dumped on the kid so he/she has an oppertunity to save it, i never said he/she culdn't withdraw from it with aproval from there parents because of the whole over drawing thing plus intrist and income taxes. plus have you ever read the outsiders, it was writen by a teen agger and was a national best seller had a movie and is summer reading for many schools. and please don't kill my account for being cocky, i appologize if i offended anyone but my oppinion is strong and i dont like being told i preety much have no clue what im talking about
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