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Frequent Contributor
Posts: 31
Registered: ‎06-15-2008
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Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

Okayy. So heres whats going down. I love books. I love reading books; and i love writing them. Butt mostly Ive only written parts of stories. All different kinds of stories. Butt Ive decided I want to apply myself more to this, and it is summer, so I have a bit of time too at least get going in the right direction. Butt I sort if have two delemias. One: I'm not quite sure if the story line I have may be the best. and Two: everyone says that a teenager can't write a book and get it published. Butt thats my goal, right. Work against the odd.
So heres kind of what I have as far as story-lines go. Kinda sketchy:
  • A girl [un-named yet] has a boyfriend; I know. typical
  • Shes been stripped of her whole life; everything shes had. Shes never in her life had a father and her mother died in a drunk-driving accident while the girl was young. Shes been living with her sister [also un-named] in a small house, working hard too help pay rent.
  • School: senior year, been saving up to go to NYU, and she has the great grades too get in.
  • Socially: She fakes being a strong-cool girl. Goes to parties with her best friend and "loves" her all too perfect boyfriend. 
  • As far as the boyfriend goes: they dated about 10 months. shes never dated someone so long, butt he perfect. She says she in love with him, when in plain truth, shes scared crapless of ever being in love. [For reasons of which if already written]. Perfect tends to get boring though, doesnt it.
  • Mason: first of all. the only named character. [ha] and he ya know, the typical jock-boy. "she" always see him at all the parties hes at. Smashed, too, of course. And the girls. Wow. Lots of girls for him. Butt only one-two week girls. Maybe three tops.
  • "she" such a strong-popular-cool girl cant be a virgin, right. Well she is. why. because of the act of course. And having her perfect boyfriend is great because everyone just assumes they already had sex. Butt they never have. "he" want too wait untill mairrage which is great for "her"
  • And of course the stuff Im worried about is typical: shes bored with "him" and his perfect selve and one night at a party where "he" isnt present and her best friend ditches her she finds her self talking to Mason. Not just talking, butt telling the dirty truth to him. She falls for Mason, which she knows is bad, butt just cant help it. And she can be herself with him. And maybe thats what she needs: too stop pretending and just be real.

Wow. soo this is a long post. Butt if youve read it please, addvice.  Then maybe once Ive had some advice I'll post some of what ive wrote.


Posts: 382
Registered: ‎07-12-2007
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

Well, you have some potentially good elements laid out. You know who your main character is, you have a background for her and have listed some of the other players. You already have a source of conflict: inner with her inhibitions about love and her obvious insecurity, and outer with the fatal attraction for the bad boy vs. her perfect boyfriend. Sounds like you have a good setup for a character driven novel in which your protagonist will do some major growing. Play around with the angles and possibilities. It's good that you're aware of the cliches and the typical elements put into these kinds of stories. Don't be afraid to do something unexpected--it makes for a better read.
As for publishing young there's no rule barring anyone based on their age. What matters is that you write a great story, learn the rules about storytelling, do your research on your targeted market (which sounds like YA to me), get your manuscript in order and ship it out. The more you learn about writing and publishing the fewer mistakes you'll make. And if you want to test the waters, take some of your ideas and try writing short stories which you can submit to contests and magazines. And remember that having a goal is fantastic; work towards it but don't cut corners. I wish I had known better about these things when I was your age.
Good luck! Work hard! And lots of others have posted samples of their work in the Writing Room. You'd be welcome.
New User
Posts: 11
Registered: ‎06-21-2008
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

this is defiantely a good book for a- how old are you?- teen. im thirteen... and its funny bcus- and i know this is wayy conceited- i have good potential for writing a book thats not "age appropriate". but i know a good book when i see it... and this is a good storyline for a book. although it may seem a LITTLE typical... its got its own edge... its own capability. its not a storyline that is almost identical to another storyline... which i admit ive done in the past. i know for a fact that id buy... or at least read... this book.:smileyhappy:
as for names and such... if you ever need any ideas... im the queen of thinking up names. lol.
i kinda read the storyline a few times and i thought that if youre thinking of a title... consider "Complicated"... or something around that word. Maybe just maybe youre the type of person who likes sentence-long titles. if so... consider "Life is Complicated, but you've got to live it somehow".
i hope you consider what ive said... and if you dont- no hard feelings, right?
also... you seem like the kinda person i can talk to about stuff like this... so keep in touch if you feel like it.
ps... i like the fact that this is basically anonymous. no judging... just thoughts and processes. helping people out isnt that hard. :smileywink:
Another Teen Reader.
New User
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎06-21-2008
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

Your book sounds great so far. If you can keep the same plot quality and develop a great ending it should sell. My suggestion is that once your manuscript is complete have your friends and family read it and make suggestions. Have them look at the characters, plot, as well as spelling and grammar. Once you have fine-tuned your book, submit it with a well written cover letter and see what happens. You might not want to mention your age until after your book has been accepted for publishing. Some publishers may not take your book seriously if they know ahead of time that you are a minor. Good luck!
You don't just read the words, you experience the stories.
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎12-03-2008
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

Yes a teenager can get published. I have read some books by a teenage writer and it was an awesome book. Her name is Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. She was 14 when she got her first book published. She inspired me.


As for your plot, it sounds good and the characters seem developed. I would try to get a literary agent(google "how to get a literary agent") and make sure your opening paragraph is very interesting or else the editor will toss it out.(No joke)

New User
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎02-06-2009
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

hey :smileyhappy:

i think that you're outline sounds really good. I'm also a teen writting a book, so i know the challenges. my book so far is about 145 pages far, and I've been writting it since the summer. I hope you have takenyour ideas and actauly turned them into a book, i think that it would be an amazing book that alot of teens can relate to. i would love to tell you about mt book, and hear more about yours. :smileyhappy:

New User
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎12-09-2009
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

Well, I believe that I can say quite honestly from my own experience, that YES, ANY teenager who puts the time and care into writing a novel can get a book published. Is it easy? Of course it is not easy.

I am a 15 year old cyber school student who has been working on novel's for nearly 4 years now. I am going to be graduating at 16 years old in 11th grade, and one thing that has been quite useful in submitting college applications and getting acceptance (from Dartmouth, MIT, Washington University: St. Louis, and New Oxford UV) was having that two manuscripts of mine are in the process of being published.

It is VERY POSSIBLE! Whatever you do, NEVER let ANYONE, i do not care who it is, tell you that you don't have the strenght, the maturity, the ability, the knowledge, or the money to do what you want. You can do absolutely anything that you want to do with enough research, knowledge, planning, and hard work. I can give you a few VERY important things about writing a novel. Personally, I have one non-fiction novel, and one fiction novel (both of which will be imprinted into Young Adult and College Level Adult). So I know on both sids of the road what does and does not need to be included in your novel and what steps need to be taken with great pre-caution before, during, and after writing your novel.


One thing that you need to do, that i noticed you have worked on (as a teenager it is helpful)... You don't HAVE to do this, but i found that it had accelerated my writing process about 10 times and took about a year off of the time It took to write my novel.  Take the time out to set up a 100 slide powerpoint or a long outline of your novel. Now only do this if you can play out, for the most part your novel in your mind. If you plan on writing it all page for page only knowing the obvious (main character, and setting), do not bother. But if you have an idea of most all the characters, what order you want the story to happen in, and some basic events that you want to include in your novel- create this (powerpoint i find easiest). Act like you are presenting this novel or outline to an editorial agent like you must explain every aspect of the book.

FOR EXAMPLE: My fiction novel is called "Count Your Blessings". My story is set up as the following: 3 Parts of the story: The introduction (which includes  preface), the main part of the story (which consists of 27 chapters (each between 15 and 38 pages), and The Prequel (which is a 28th, 29th, and 30th chapter of the story). When normally as a writer should know, the prequel is always a novel that is a second novel (like a sequel) but describes the lives of the characters in the previous novel in a past and before context. But in my novel, there are 4 main characters, but the novel is told from the one girl's POV and the very detailed aspects of her childhood are not revealed during the main context of the novel, so the prequel (which is only 3 chapters) is added to the end of the novel as a seperate part of the novel. So when i made a powerpoint presentation (for only my benefit), i included all of this information. It is extrmely helpful to refer back to during the writing.

So do that, and it will help. Do not start writing until you are at least somewhat decided on your story (unless you wanna spend the next 5 years trying to write a story).

Also, it is important that you save your files to a flashdrive or a disk so that you NEVER lose it. dont second guess a possible technological catastrophe.

Now i could inform you on so many other things, but PLEASE, if you are really interested in this, I know first hand about this, because i am only about 4 months away from getting my fiction novel published, and about 7 months away from getting my non-fiction novel published. Just ask me, and i will give you my email and we can discuss this, and i will aswer any questions you have about the process before, during, and after the writing.



now, my fiction novel, is on record, that i had it in process before the twilight series even came out, but publishers that i have sent it to have called it (and i must say i was the least favorite fan of mystical stories, and just in the past 2 weeks read all for of the twilight books and am now a big fan of stephanie meyers), but they called my novel "Count Your Blessings", the very realistic version of Twilight. They told me this because they said that it has drama, action, excitement, and casual writing as does Stephanie Meyers novels. It also has a group of main characters (Athena Carter, Ryan Moore, Alison Jamison, and Spencer Ness) and the one character (Athena Carter) is the primary story teller. She tells the entire story from her own point of view. The only thing that it does not have is unrealistic mystical creatures. But it does have some other crazy situations. This story takes place in Southern California (mainly the los angeles area). There will be a definite second novel called "We Call Ourselves Insomnia" (which by the way everyone these titles can not be duplicated or re-represented in any situation that refers to my unpublished novels). There will MOST LIKELY be a third and fourth novel, but it depends on how well the first novel goes through. Look out for this on the new stands in the next year. The publishing agency says i should expect in this spike of Twilight for it to be a hit, but it is never for sure. If anyone has any questions about the story and anything about it i will be more than willing to answer any questions.

Thank you all!


And to Jess-ily-edward, will help you if you need!


New User
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎01-08-2010
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

Well, Jess, your story sounded to me like every other story I've ever read, and "but" only has one t.  The ending part of your post, talking about Mason, was good.  But the parents dying in a car accident has been used in every story ever written since the car was first invented (excuse the exaggeration).  Maybe have her father die in a war, or her mother die of cancer.  ANYTHING but a car accicent.

-just beginning-
New User
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎03-04-2010
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Re: Can a teenager really get published. long, butt help. please

You're plot is too stereotypical. It's unoriginal, and it doesn't make me interested and dying to read it. I can't tell you how many books for teenagers have pretty much the same plot as that. Also, you should probably learn how to spell correctly, especially simple words such as "but". You need to work on your grammar skills also. It is posssible for teenagers to get a book published, but no one gets their book published if their plot is bland.