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Hello, my name is Aprial Lucero and I got inspired one night with all sorts of ideas and I started to put things together. I am 16 years old and in the 12th grade and I have done some writing on the side when I was younger. Now I really want to pull through writing this book. I was wondering if you had any advice for someone just starting. Anything would be appreciated. Thank you for your time

Hi, Aprial...

I think the most important thing I can recommend to someone just starting out is this:  Write a lot, and read a lot.

You should make it a habit to write almost every day.  It doesn't matter what you write; just write something... whether a story, a poem, a letter, an essay.  Just keep your "writing muscles" in shape.

The reading part is two-fold.  First, read a lot of what it is that you like to write.  If you want to write a novel, read a lot of novels.  And when you do, pay attention to the author's use of words, to how they reveal characters, to how they maintain the sense of urgency of a story.  Things like that.  The second part is to read about the process of writing.  If you have the chance to take creative writing classes, that's great.  But there are a lot of wonderful books out there that can help you with developing your skills.  Here are just a few suggestions for you:

Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg
How to Write a Damn Good Novel, by James N. Frey
Creating Fiction, by Julie Checkoway (editor)

And of course, browse the shelves at your local library or bookstore for others that sound interesting.

The problem that most beginning writers have (and I know I did at your age) is in thinking that writing is something that's easy to do.  For some of us... yes, it's easy to write.  Words come out of us like water and we put them on the page.  But almost nobody in the world in instantly a REALLY GOOD writer.  That takes lots of time and practice.  It's not enough to just be better than the others in your class, after all.  

In other words: Don't be in a hurry.  Take the time to learn the craft of writing and hone your skills.  It's time well spent.

Good luck!  And enjoy your journey.

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Vincent M. Wales


I am a speculative fiction novelist (fantasy, science fiction, and so on). While I may be able to answer questions on non-fiction, my specialty is fiction. Please keep that in mind when asking questions.


For four years, I taught a series of fiction writing classes in Sacramento, CA.

BA in fiction writing.

Awards and Honors
My 2004 novel, ONE NATION UNDER GOD, won BEST FICTION in Fresh Voices 2006, BEST FICTION and BEST YA FICTION in the NCPA Book Awards, and placed as a finalist in BEST BOOKS 2005. In 2002, my novel WISH YOU WERE HERE won awards for Best Fantasy and Best Fiction/Drama in the 8th Annual SPA Awards. My latest work is a trilogy titled THE MANY DEATHS OF DYNAMISTRESS (a superhero memoir). The first book, RECKONING, was released in 2013 and won the SF category in the 2014 San Francisco Book Festival, took second place in the 2013 Royal Dragonfly Book Awards for the SF/Fantasy/Paranormal category, second place in the SF category of the 2013 Reader Views Reviewers Choice Awards, and was finalist in Foreword's 2013 Book of the Year Awards, Fantasy category. The second book, REDEMPTION, will be released in early 2015 and the final book, RENAISSANCE, is scheduled for release in late 2016.

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