What tips do you have for young writers?How does a young writer become successful and how would you go about getting your first novel published? Is it hard to make it into the writing industry?

Expert Answers
William Delaney eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would not encourage any young person to try to make a living as a freelance creative writer. It is so hard that it comes close to being impossible. However, I have one tip I think would be helpful to any young writer who wants to write a novel. The problem for most young writers is that they don't have much experience to draw on. They have been growing up and going to school, and that is about all. What can they write that will interest middle-aged editors and the kind of middle-aged people who buy hardcover novels? There is one thing that young writers have that can interest older readers. That is youth. If you want to write a novel when you're young, try writing a novel about young love. That's the one subject that interests the people who publish novels and most of the people who buy novels. A good example of a young-love novel is Bright Lights, Big City by Jay McInerney. An older example, which was a smash hit and made into a movie, is Love Story by Erich Segal. If you have had a love affair yourself, especially a disappointing love affair, you can use that experience to develop into a novel. Of course, if you have had some unusual experience in childhood or early youth, you should probably use that. A French novel about young love that was a sensational success was Bonjour Tristesse by Francoise Sagan. Many of these young-love novels seem to follow a pattern. They meet. They have a red-hot love affair. Then something happens and they break up, and it's very sad. Ernest Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms is a story about young love that ends tragically because the girl dies. But Hemingway also had significant experience in World War I as an ambulance driver and a war correspondent. And Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a good model as a story of young love. 

Lots of luck! 

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You're getting some great advice here. Posts #2 and #4 offer the most common and the best advice there is, in my opinion, as to how a person can most effectively develop as a writer. 

Growing as a writer effectively boils down to reading and writing with consistency and focus. 

You mention that you have trouble fixing work after a first draft. Another piece of advice is to learn to think of editing your work as part of the creative process. Editing is not just part of the writing process, but part of the creative side of what goes into writing a short story, a novel or a play. 

As an exericise you might take a story you've written. Save one copy on your computer as version one then be very free in the changes you make to the story and edit with abandon. Cut words. Cut sentences. Cut paragraphs. Look for holes and fill them. Then save this as version two and compare the stories. Ask yourself which one is better. 

Usually, it'll be the second version. 

pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One thing that many professional writers suggest is to put a finished piece of writing away for several weeks, or even a couple of months, to let it "cool off". Go on to work in something else - #2 is certainly correct about writing every day- and after the first piece has had some time to sit, pull it out and edit and rewrite it. You may have to repeat the cycle several times to get a really good piece.

Another thing I would suggest is that you try to be open to a variety of genres and lots of different ideas. Many times people get in a rut because they only write in one style or genre. You might want to try a variety of prompts, like this 30 day writer's challenge.

Understand that it's hard and it may take a while to succeed. Don't give up!

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Read, read, read and pay attention to how what you read is written. Then write, write, write and be sure to take to heart the edits and criticisms--positive and negative--that you receive from your teachers and editors. Submit your material to as may publishers as possible, but don't hold your breath. Few writers are lucky enough to get their novels published, but persistence--and quality craftsmanship--are still keys to success in the literary field.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's very hard to make it in the writing (publishing) industry. My advice is to write daily, whether you feel like it or not, whether you think it's any good or not. You have to be willing to show your work to other people for feedback and to re-write everything a number of times. Nobody gets it right the first time. And, write about what you know. Don't try to be an expert in an area in which you are not.

Wiggin42 | Student

TeenInk publishes young writers' work. Scholastic has a yearly writing competition. By entering these competitions, you can gauge your writing skills and even earn a little money off your writing. You can also self-publish your work on a blog and attract an audience that way. In this day and age, there are so many ways to make your mark as a writer.

drahmad1989 | Student

Try ro write your dreams and this will make you some day much conscince about your feeling whatever you think in a day dreams represents this. in this way you can thiink whatever you dont think in conscience. Dreams can invent some new words, event, inventions, and worlds also .

funnybunnysilly | Student

Ok, Thank you! Sometimes when I write, I think its good at first, but when I re-read it, it doesn't sound very interesting and I always have writers block on how to fix it. Thanks again for the advice!

zumba96 | Student

Stick to the plot and try to use words that enhance the story as well as capture the readers attention. Write down what fuels you and whatever you come up with. It will result in the best stories.  Also save a copy and revise it over and over, no one is perfect the first time around.