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Writing Books/Trying My First Novel


I'm about 12 and since I was little I've loved reading, writing (all different types!) and recently I have started writing a novel. I'm confident about the plot and my style of writing but I just have one question. I am writing a romance/murder mystery book #I know, a little weird for my age), because I like those kinds of books, but now that I'm starting to get into the plot I'm worried that I don't have enough expertise for that kind of book. I've already had to look up on the Internet for a 'kind of' surgery. I don't want to have to start all over again after getting to chapter 3, but though I read lots of books, I can't find myself to think of any twists. So do you know what could help me? Hope you can help...

Thanks a lot!

Hello Abby:

Yes, I do know some things that would help you.

1. Learn how to write. This means studying on your own plus taking all the composition classes you can in high school (does Australia have high school?) Pay close attention to matters of spelling, punctuation, word usage, etc., for these are the foundations of writing.

2. Read all you can, especially in the genre you most enjoy reading.

3. Don't worry that you had to look something up on the Net. Writers do research.

4. Recognizing your limitations is good. It is quite normal for a 12-year-old to lack expertise in completing a genre novel.

5. Start smaller. Write sentences, then paragraphs. Find out what constitutes a good sentence/ paragraph, and write and write until good sentences and paragraphs come natural to you. The subject matter isn't important.

Do these things until you get out of high school - or for the next few years. You will then be ready to move on to the next step.

I hope this helps. If it does, a nice rating would be greatly appreciated. I am proud of my high scores over 1900+ questions.

And good luck with your writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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