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Hello, I am Chance and I have a few questions.
I am writing a novel. I started it three days ago and i already have 10,000 words, so I'm pretty good on that. But, I am only fourteen. Will a publisher take a novel seriously from a fourteen year-old?
I also would find it very kind of you if you could tell me how to develop fictional characters. I let my English teacher read my previous literature and she told me I needed more character development, and I know that my late work doesn't have much of it either.
Thank You,

Hello, Chance...

Yes, indeed... Publishers will certainly sit up and take notice of good works by young authors.  And not only because they're a relative novelty (and thus make an interesting sales pitch), but also because the more years in your life you've got left, the more books you can crank out, which is something publishers look for.

Of course, your work has to be good.  And character development is a HUGE part of good writing.  As for how to develop them...  Chase, I teach a three hour class just on Characters and Dialogue, so I certainly can't sum up for you in a few paragraphs everything you need to know about how to do this.

I would strongly recommend you get yourself a book or two on the subject.  I'd suggest CHARACTERS, EMOTIONS & VIEWPOINT by Nancy Kress; CHARACTERS & VIEWPOINT by Orson Scott Card; or CREATING CHARACTER EMOTIONS by Ann Hood.

I would also recommend a good general book on fiction writing, such as HOW TO WRITE A DAMN GOOD NOVEL by James N. Frey or WRITING FICTION by the Gotham Writers' Workshop.

Your local library may have some of these in stock, but they're also a very good investment if you wish to be a serious writer.

Hope this is helpful!

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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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