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A LOT of writing questions from a young novelist

by Bethan

First of all, I must say that your writing tips have been amazingly helpful. I've spent the last few hours trying to cram every last piece of information into my brain, in the hopes I will remember it when writing my own novels. I've read through most of the questions on here, but I still feel I need to ask a few things.

Firstly, at 15, I'm unsure whether to try and get my novel published now, or wait a few years, where I'm sure I'll have grown as a writer. I'm proud of my ideas and want them to be up to standard when I publish them.

Would you say it is wise to try and publish my first novel if it is intended to be a part of a series?

Also, is it possible to co-author a novel? My sister and I have been writing a novel from two character's points of view, but I don't know whether publishers would be interested. She is a fantastic writer, and she is an inspiration for my own writing, but if it was too difficult to co-author, I'd feel bad if only one of us wrote it, as we both contributed to the story.

Finally, I want to set another story in Japan. I'm extremely interested in the country and it's culture and have been for years, but I've still never been there. Do you think this will affect my writing? Also, do you think people would shy away from books set in a country as culturally different as Japan, especially if I'm writing for a teenage audience?

I've also recently read a book which changed tenses and writing styles dramatically throughout the book. I'm eager to try this out myself, but do you think this would confuse readers too much? Also, I love complicated plots but tend to overcomplicate my own. Do you have any advice on how to create a good and solid plot?

Once again, thank you for all the wonderful tips. Your advice has boosted my confidence in my own writing dramatically.


Hello Bethan. I'm very glad you're finding this site helpful. You've asked a few questions here so I'll number them and answer them in the order you asked:

1. It does not matter what age you are when you publish the first novel in a series. If your writing is publishable now, there is no reason to wait until you are older because you will always continue to grow as a writer, regardless of the age you begin. It's more important to receive feedback and learn from it.

2. Many novels are co-authored. Some publishers may be less interested in publishing co-authored work because it may complicate the editing process, but others will not have a problem with it.

3. There is no reason why readers, including teenagers, would be uninterested in a foreign setting. Many readers like to learn of other cultures through fiction.

4. An overcomplicated plot that uses a variety of tenses and writing styles would be difficult to pull off as a new writer aiming for publication with a traditional publisher. That said, experimentation can be a great learning experience and may result in something wonderful. Feedback from professional writers will help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of the end result.

Good luck with your writing!

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Jul 01, 2011
Thank You!
by: Bethan

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions, I really appreciate it. Your answers have been very helpful to me, and I've decided to try and take the next step to publishing my novel, or at least getting it edited by a professional.

Once again, thank you so much!


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