Writing Books/I'm stuck

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Question
I'm a typical teen and I have been wanting to write a book since the age of twelve. I have no I idea how to write a book. That may sound pitiful but it's true. What I mean to say is that I have an idea of what to write about but it's too normal to be put into the fantasy genre. i don't know how to make it a fantasy while implying what the story is really about. Does that make sense? Anyway, I don't know the first thing about writing a book. I know it's not like the regular essays in Language Arts when you only write at the minimum 5 sentences in 5 paragraphs. Sorry to bother you with this but, I can't talk to anyone else about this because they wouldn't know what to say


Answer
Rebecca:

This may not be the most helpful thing to you, but given how far-reaching your "problem" is, it's about the best advice I can give you.

The first thing I'd ask myself, if I were you, is this:  Do I want to write a book, or do I want to be a writer?  The difference is this:  if your goal is just to write a book so you can say you've done it, that's one thing... but it's quite another to wish to be a writer, someone who (hopefully) makes a living writing, who has more than just that one book as a goal.

Now, if you just want to write a book, period... well, I don't know if I can help you much.  Because my real recommendation for all those who are just starting out is to learn as much about the craft of writing as possible.  And if all you want to do is have one book out there with your name on it, that might be more effort than you're willing to put into things.

Becoming a really good writer is not a quick process, nor is it easy.  It will take a lot of time and a lot of hard work.  The best place to begin is to read a lot... not only books on how to write fiction, but also fiction itself, while paying close attention to how the writers you love use language.

Take some fiction writing classes.  If you have none in school, look in the community.  For example, here in Sacramento, I teach fiction writing at a place called The Learning Exchange.  It's not affiliated with any school, but offers classes to anyone who wants to take them, for a very low price (my classes, for example, are currently $49 for a 3-hour class).

Join a writers group, too.  Talk with others who are at the same stage of learning, or slightly ahead of you.

In short, if you're serious about writing, become a writer.  Worry about your first book later.  Keep it in mind, of course, but don't make it your top priority.  Becoming good as a writer should be the top.

Hope this helps!

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Vincent M. Wales

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

Education/Credentials
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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