My Best Advice for Aspiring Writers

Posted on: 14th Aug 2014  /   Categorized: Writing Life

One question that I’m asked over and over and over again is: Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?


At first, after Cinder had just released, I felt weird answering this question. I still felt like such an amateur myself! What did I know about anything?


But over the past few years I’ve come to realize that, yes, yes I do have advice to give, and a lot of these are things I wish I would have been told years ago. Because while every writer’s process and goals are going to be different, there are some things that I think apply to most of us across the board.


So here is my best advice, to take, or not, as you so choose.



1. First and foremost, write.

Oh, I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard someone say, “I want to be a writer, but I never have time to write!” Or, “I have all these ideas, but when I sit down, nothing comes out!” Or, “I’ve been researching my novel’s setting for fifteen years—I feel like I’ll be ready to start writing it any day now!”

I’m not going to say that all excuses are bad excuses—sometimes you legitimately don’t have time or you’re not ready to start on a particular project. But for the majority of excuses: Stop. Stop making them. Stop tell yourself that you’re not ready or you can’t or you will someday.

Writers write.

So today, now, determine what your writing goals are and when and how you’re going to make them happen, and if your plan doesn’t include actual words on paper within the near future, then rework your plan until it does.


2. Almost as important: Write what you love.

I do think it’s valuable to know what’s happening in the publishing world and what your audience is interested in, but if you’re writing a vampire/dystopian/realistic novel because that’s what editors want, then you have probably already missed that boat. Trends come and go and by the time most of us figure out that something is a trend, it’s already on its way out.

At the same time, who knows? Your novel might hit at the start of the next big trend, that no one has any idea is on the horizon.

My real-life example: When I started writing Cinder the “rule” in publishing was that YOU CANNOT SELL SCIENCE-FICTION TO TEENAGERS. Seriously, you could have asked anyone in the industry. Teens want magic and vampires, not all this techy mumbo-jumbo! But I had my heart set on a story about a cyborg Cinderella and a society of mind-controlling people from outer space trying to invade Earth and I was going to write it even if no one in the whole world would ever read it, because I was so smitten with the idea.

Moral: If you love something—whether it’s yesterday’s news or an up-and-coming genre, write it. Enjoy it. Have fun with it. And hope that the readers will find it when the time is right. That’s the best we can do.


3. Don’t worry about not being “very good.”

Think of your favorite writer. The one that constantly blows you away by their clever plot twists, their marvelous characterization, the way they make the words glow on the page.

And then imagine what that writer’s very first story was like. Or, heck, their first tenstories. Maybe even their first fifty stories.

If you are imagining works of genius, I can tell you that writer would laugh very, very hard.

No one starts out a brilliant writer, or even a decent writer, and I think few writers ever reach a point where we’re like, “By golly, I am amazing.” We are always learning. We are always striving to be better. We can always point out our own weaknesses and flaws, but we’re storytellers, so we keep writing and improving as much as we can.

So don’t quit because you think you suck or you’ll never be as good as So-and-So. We all have to start somewhere.


4. Read craft guides.

I love craft guides. I have read dozens and dozens over the years, and I learn something new with every guide I read. Some are full of general advice, while others focus on one specific craft element like setting or characterization. There are also books on living a writer’s life while maintaining your sanity, or setting goals for yourself, or how to market your work once it’s published.

Three of my personal favorites:


Now—I have heard published, talented, wonderful writers say that they refuse to read craft guides, usually because they worry it would impact their own style or voice. To which part of me thinks: We all have our own process and method and we should do what feels best for our own personal creative path.

But then another part of me thinks: Hogwash.

The thing about rules and tips and advice is that you can choose to ignore them. But at least then you’ll be making an informed decision. You’ll know why you’re ignoring that rule, and maybe—just maybe—your style and voice will be stronger because of it.

I have certainly read my fair share of writing advice that I disagree with. “Don’t use a thesaurus,” says Stephen King, and I want to chuck my beloved thesaurus at his head. “Write what you know,” says Every Writing Instructor Ever, and I say, that’s dumb, I’m going to write what I’m curious about.

But I find most advice in these guides thoughtful and helpful, and I have yet to hear someone say, “You know, my writing really took a turn for the worst after I read that book on plot structure.”

So—don’t be afraid to learn and keep learning.



5. Be patient.

Yes, there are writers who were published when they were seventeen years old, but there are also writers who weren’t published until they were seventy. There are writers who hit the jackpot with their first manuscript, and there are some who have twenty rejected novels sitting on their computer. Getting published involves diligence, hard work, determination, and—yes—luck. The whims of the market cannot be ignored. There are a lot of factors outside of your control.

But one thing that is within your control is the work itself. So take the time you need to write The Best Book You Are Currently Capable of Writing.

By which I mean: Research. Read writing guides. Revise. Edit. Use critique partners and listen closely to their feedback. Do not rush through your revisions and edits just because you want to be published nooooooooowwww. Rather, take the time you need to bring your work to a quality that will set it apart from all the other writers in an agent or editor’s inbox. That might be a few extra months, or it might be a few extra years, but it will not be wasted time.

The work itself is the one thing you have control over, so don’t rush it.


6. Also… write. And keep writing.

Certainly I could come up with many more tips for this list: Read widely and often. Treat writing like a job. Strike the words “writer’s block” from your vocabulary. Do your best not to compare your career with someone else’s. And on and on.

But of all the writing advice in the whole entire world, this might be the only advice that really matters.



Good luck and much inspiration to you all!

Anyone wanting to impart their own wisdom is welcome to share in the comments.


  1. Aimee commented on:

    I’m not nearly as qualified to give advice to aspiring writers, still being one myself! But a few tips I can think of:

    1) Read! I don’t think it’s really possible to learn the craft of writing without reading other people’s, and reading a lot. Read what you really want to read even if there’s a prejudice against the genre (and of course, there’s a prejudice against every genre anyway–YA, fantasy/sci-fi, literary, every type of book has its bashers), and especially read great books in the genre you want to write in. I also think it’s a good idea to try and read outside your comfort zone and read different kinds of books.

    2) Don’t be afraid to write really awful first drafts. You can always (and should) revise them later–trying to create perfect novels right away is unrealistic. I used to get nowhere on my manuscripts because I’d always revise them as I went. It didn’t actually make them any better and it just created a never-ending cycle.

    3) Expanding on the craft guides tip, I’ll say that I also really love to read advice and Q&As with published writers. I personally am not into “writing blogs”, but I have a diehard addiction for writers’ official websites (strangely, even writers I haven’t read before). There’s some good advice out there! And I find it both helpful and really fascinating to read about the processes that went behind books I really love (hi, Cinder!)

    4) Don’t be worried if your process is different from other writers’! I see this a lot: writers worried because they’re planners, writers worried because they’re pantsers, writers worried because they write really fast, writers worried because they take a long time to write. Every writer has a different process.

    I’ve wanted to write for years, but I was always stuck in the “writers’ block” swamp. Well, this summer I finally finished my first 2 drafts (one I’d been working on for the past 2 years and finally finished; the other I wrote during Camp NaNoWriMo)! They need major revision–and I mean major–but man, did that feel good.

  2. Ally commented on:

    Like Aimee, I’m also an aspiring writer. I think the advice you and Aimee gave were amazing. I can’t really add any more because it’s like you just pulled the words out of my mouth. I’m so glad you didn’t back down on Cinder because I love the Lunar Chronicles.

  3. Rosemary A. Blodgett (@RosemaryAubry) commented on:

    I had wanted to ask you if there were any writing guides you’ve found helpful. I’ve been working on a mystery so today I purchased Elements of Fiction Writing – Conflict and Suspense by James Scott Bell. His guide books have gotten some really positive reviews. I have many more already on my shelf I’ve put off. My goal before National Novel Writing Month was to finish at least two.

    Thanks for the great advice.

  4. Lindsey commented on:

    Thank you for this post Marissa and thank you Aimee for your additional thoughts. They are much appreciated by an aspiring writer that really needed them. 🙂

  5. Your Name commented on:

    I am by far not the most talented writer- but I’ve collected a couple of writing tips- some by reading, and some I made up.

    1) Don’t follow the writing rules. You don’t have to outline and write the title last and all that. Learn and do what works best for you.

    2) Write. How the heck will you ever have something actually done or get published if you don’t WRITE? You are a neck breaking, sentence finishing major revising writer and writers WRITE. Do BIC. Aka Butt in chair. Put your butt in the chair and write. The 5 words will turn into 10 and 20 and holy moly you just managed to write 3 pages.

    3) Stay inspired. To give writing block the kick butt on of the most important keys for me is to stay inspired! Keep quotes, pictures of your favorite authors, photos of peaceful places and book jackets around you. When words fail you turn to music and other creative cousins. Flip through your favorite books. Weed. Dance. Write about.
    We are writers. Writers are meant to be strange. (who else stays up until 12 AM to finish a chapter? 🙂 )

    4) Don’t compare. I ALWAYS feel discouraged when I compare myself to awesome writers like Marissa Meyer or C.S. Lewis or Veronica Roth. Tell yourself wow they are good and then wow i can be good. Do I want to write as good as them? Yes? Then write. And don’t compare. I swear to you they have and had writing problems too.
    Great writers are made, not born. You don’t wake up one day and write the Harry Potter series. Just like anything else you need practice.

    5) Journal. Journaling really helps me. It helps me brush up on my writing skills and I can practice things like adding descriptive words and correct past tense and show not tell when I write in my journal- this really benefits you.

    6) Get encouraged. Talk to other writers. Talk to writing friends. Start a critique group. You aren’t alone. Writers write. And you are a writer.

  6. Q commented on:

    The best thing I ever did for my writing was to set a daily word count goal––and then not allow myself to make excuses for why I couldn’t achieve that goal.

    (When I did that for the first time, I had done enough preliminary writing and research and just needed to force myself through a draft so I’d have something to work with. I had five other jobs at the time and I still finished the draft in 11 weeks. It was very satisfying.)

  7. Michelle commented on:

    Two things, one, develop a very thick skin because this writing thing isn’t easy. Two, learn to love revision and editing, because that’s where the story actually starts to shine.

  8. Alazia commented on:

    Now I’m a complete amateur but I have always kept these in mind.

    1) Every character has a story BEFORE the story begins. Doing this gives characters more background and depth and reason for things like actions, characteristics, and decisions. Get to know your characters. It’s alright to discover your character as you write, but at least have a base for them.

    2) Characters determine the story by the choices they make. It is perfectly okay if they make mistakes because paths are never straight forward. Obstacles and trials provide challenges. Don’t let the character(s) have smooth sailing or there really isn’t a conflict.

    3) Always observe things around you. Humans have flaws and weaknesses, but they are made up for with good traits. Balance the character(s) with realistic personalities. Watching the people around you and how they interact with others can help with this. A perfect protagonist/antagonist doesn’t give you much to work with.

    4) Research. It’s perfectly fine not to know things. Better to know than to get it wrong. Plus, researching leafs to even more ideas and influences how you look at the world/situation/conflict the characters are involved in. Inspiration is where you least expect it and comes in all forms.

    5) Always write. The longer you wait to write, the longer your story is put off. If you’re not ready to write, try prompts to get your brain warmed up. Sometimes the prompts even lead to ideas.

    6) The first draft will not be perfect. Neither will the second, third, or fourth. Capturing the magnificence of a story does not take mere minutes or days. It takes time. Patience. Rushing your story to match a deadline can lead to unsatisfied results. Summing things up to save space is not a good idea either. Lay it out the way you truly want it to be.

    *Quick Tip/Exercise*
    -write 20 random facts about each character

    These are a few tips I collected over time so I hope that I helped. 🙂 Everyone is always learning after all so anything helps.

  9. Rachel commented on:

    My advice probably isn’t leginement since I am in grade eight, but I still think I have something worthwhile to say.
    My problem is when every teacher, espessially around tests say: right what you know about. And than the stick a picture under your nose which you have to include in your writing. All the ideas for anything that come to me are scifi or fantasy. Real life is just so dull.
    And everytime someone says that to me I think: well maybe I can’t be a Marissa Meyer or a J.K. Rowling or a Pittiacus Lore but I can still try.
    And you can too. 🙂

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  12. Adele commented on:

    Love this! Here are a couple of my ideas lame or unlame, as you see fit. 🙂

    1. Don’t be a ‘aspiring’ writer- be a writer. All you have to do is write-and have ideas. Seriously.

    2. All writers start somewhere. They don’t start and bestsellers. Like everything writing takes practice and patience. Do the two P’s and you’ll get somewhere.

    3. Always bring a notebook always bring a spare pen.

    4. Look to real people for character ideas.

    As I am in 7th grade and am a seriously geeky girl addicted to books and writing the advice may not be the best but still-I hope to see my name on a book cover. Not ‘someday’ but soon. And you can achieve that goal. We all can.

  13. Leila commented on:

    I am a writer myself and I have friends that write as well. When they ask me for advice, the advice I give them is to not read what you wrote, but keep writing. Unless you are like me, who can read what I wrote and not change anything, just keep writing, don’t look back. Yes, details will begin to contradict each other, but those can be easily fixed during editing. If you keep going back and reading what you wrote, then changing, then changing it again, you won’t get anywhere. So just keep writing and there’s your first draft. 🙂

  14. Rachel commented on:

    I’m in the earliest stage of the aspiring writer; working on a draft. Not ready for serious editing yet, not ready to get any input from anyone, not ready to start worrying about rejection, endless proof reading, harsh criticism, or any of the things that all these websites are warning aspiring writers about.

    All of those things are minor annoyances compared to the one difficulty I’m facing right now. And there’s no advice anywhere on the internet for it. No matter what I type into the Google search engine, nothing even remotely similar to the topic I’m looking for comes up.

    The problem is privacy.

    I want my draft to be PRIVATE, until I’m ready to start getting feedback.

    I’m not used to having my privacy respected. My mother is mentally ill, and I grew up with her invading my privacy in unpredictable and frightening ways. My dad is sane and respectful, but his eagerness to “help” me is often aggravating. Some of my best friends have a habit if trying to “help” me in ways that only make the situation worse. I also live in a small “friendly” town where people are nosy and judgmental. So naturally I don’t talk about my writing much.

    But I talked about it growing up, and now everyone wants to know when I’m going to write a book. They also want to know when I’ll get a “real” job, get married, and get knocked up. (I currently live on my own, working a minimum wage job. I pay all my bills and have no government aid, but even so, I’m considered a “slacker” for not having a white-collar job and not having kids or a husband yet.) No one knows that writing is my priority right now.

    I’m scared that if people know I’m working on a book, all hell will break loose. Some people will want to “help,” and do something that will screw up everything. Or they may be furious that I’m focusing on writing instead of getting a “real job” or finding a husband. Or they’ll just stare at me and start whispering amongst themselves, “that retarded girl thinks she’s gonna be a writer? That’s so sad, I don’t know what to say to her..”

    Long story short, I don’t want my friends and family to know about my book until it’s well underway. I don’t want “help” from people who don’t know what they’re doing or who are crazy, I don’t want someone to wrestle control of my project from me under the guise of “helping,” and I don’t want to be bullied and discouraged.

    I don’t know if this fear is normal for aspiring writer because there is NO information on it. Do others experience these problems? Or does everyone else have families, friends and neighbors who just respect and encourage them 24/7? I was under the impression that my life was pretty average. Is writing a book something that only graduate students who are the apple of their parents’ eyes supposed to attempt?

    Am I alone here?

  15. two li commented on:

    I’m an aspiring writer, people say that I’m a good story teller but I sent a short story to a local magazine and to this day they haven’t replied so due to this I get discouraged.

  16. Adam Edwards commented on:

    It’s great to find helpful suggestions from all of you here. I think one of the hardest aspects of writing, or at least for me anyway, is getting yourself to stop cooking up ideas for your novel (interesting concepts, great characters, cool scenes, etc) and to just start writing. I dream of having my works published, but find myself struggling to write it out, even though the finished result is there in my head. Where and how to start? It’s like a painter who’s too busy studying their model to pick up the darn brush and start painting.

    Thanks for the guide suggestions. I’ll be sure to check them out. Cheers all!

  17. Morgan commented on:

    I’m an aspiring writer and I really feel strongly about writing, although every time I start writing a story, I feel like it’s boring and lacks details and what readers really like in a story. And I know that I’m only eleven and that I should take this a little more lightly then I have been, but I truly believe that I can be a successful writer with a published book someday. I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself, but I really think that self critique can come in handy because if you don’t feel satisfied with your own writing, well . . . .

  18. Dawson commented on:

    On top of all the advice everyone else has given in this comment section, I have one HUGE tip concerning conventions: avoid adverbs like the plague. One or two isn’t necessarily bad, but the thing about adverbs is they tend to become crutch words. Mine were “suddenly” and “actually”.
    In conclusion: Don’t use adverbs unless you have an inarguable reason to.

  19. Grace commented on:

    Thanks Marissa! I’m another aspiring writer and this advice greatly helped me! One thing, how did you come up with the idea for TLC? I can’t think to come up with an original idea. Did it just come to you overnight or did you have like a similar idea that you adjusted for a while?
    Thanks, Grace

  20. ElleMentry commented on:

    I was glad that I was able to stumble on this article, yes just like the other aspiring writers that posted their opinions I realized that we are almost having the same thought , feelings , doubt (if we can be an effective writer) but the most common of it all is the passion and love to the craft that we want to develop. I agree that everything that was wrote down here are all correct. You have to read because in that way you will be able to enrich your knowledge. Write as often as you can, just like any other person that has their expertise they dont actually just woke up one morning and realized that they are good at something, it always takes practice and diligence to become the person that you wanted to be. Write just what about what’s on your mind, your interests and hobbies. Something that you love to talk about with your friends and family the whole day and for sure you will never ran out of thoughts or ideas. And of course love what ypubare doing, put your passion on it and for sure before you knew it you already are as good as your favorite writer.

    BTW I thank the lovely writer (Marissa Meyer is the website’s name so I’m guessing that is how she wanted to be called) for the encouragement and inspiring us to just continue with what we love doing despite of the hesitations and doubts.

  21. ElleMentry commented on:

    I’m sorry that I need to post again. I just want to give my opinion to Rachel’s situation. I hope that she can read this even if it’s been months since she posted. As how I analyze your ‘story’ you grew up with the thought that your mom didn’t care about your privacy and I will feel the same if that will happen to me. Probably your experience as you grow up is the reason why you have those characteristics, afraid of being rejected, being judged by other people, independent in a sense that you sometimes refuse other people’s help because you don’t want things to be messed up. To be honest we actually have the same attitude a couple of years back. As for me I want to work on something quietly until its perfect and done according to my own standards because I don’t want to be bullied, I just wanna stay away from people that I know that can be mean to me. What I can suggest is try to think more positively. Being a minimum wage earner, single and living alone is something not to be ashamed of. If you’ll look into the bigger picture the issue is that you are afraid to go out of your shell. No one in this world was born perfect that is why we don’t have the right to judge other people and if you feel like someone is not happy with whatever you do that can make you happy just let them feel bad and don’t worry about it. Don’t be afraid to hear critisms because it will help you to be a better person. And never underestimate yourself not because you didn’t finished school doesn’t mean you don’t have the ability to write. Writing should always come from the heart, its like an instinct rather than a task or work. I’m sorry that it’s too long, I just want to share my experience and I just want you honestly to be happy.

  22. Your Name commented on:

    hey, im just a 14yr old kid , but i do write storys. the only problem is that i cant focess and each time i go to write one i get distracted by a totally unrealated topic and start riteing a diffrent one, i was just wondering if anyof you would have any advise for staying focessed on one topic? i have between 7-10 and counting they get to at least 34 pages and at most 132 so, if any of you all have advice it would be nice to ear from people who know a little more about this then i do.

  23. Serena commented on:

    Thanks for this article – it’s incredibly helpful! I’ve been getting to know my characters & plotting out my new novel, and the whole thing is embarrassingly overwhelming and I’m constantly worrying about development and originality, editors and drafts … blah! I’m getting there, though.
    To the girl above me, hi! I’m also fourteen years old, so that’s cool.
    First things first, if you really just want to stay on a single topic, find something that you’re passionate about. Then, plot out your story, develop the characters, etc. I find that if I don’t plot a story well, I lose interest and eventually end up dropping it completely. And if I don’t know where to end my story, it’ll just drag on and on …
    Anyways, commit to that story that your writing, but it’s okay to write other things, too! Sometimes, when I need a break from my main project, I look up writing prompts and do those as side projects.
    But remember, writing takes commitment and patience.
    Hope I helped somewhat. 🙂

  24. Marissa commented on:

    I am thirteen years old and I am beginning to write a series of books but I’m not completely sure how to begin it. I have My characters and most of the plot but i don’t know how to open the story and make people want to read it. I love the Lunar Chronicles and i have been very inspired by Marissa Meyers work and I hope that I can write a book series as loved as her’s! (our names are spelled the same too!!!!)

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  26. Katalina commented on:

    This page was extremely helpful, I thank everyone that gave advise. I may only be fourteen, but I love to write, and in fact at this moment I am on a chapter that I haven’t been able to complete, this cleared a lot-I mean A LOT- of stuff out of the way for me. I LOVE Marissa Meyer’s work, “The Lunar Chronicles”, is probably my third most favorite series I have read, after “Pride and Predigest”, by Jane Austin, and “The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle”, by Avi, of course.
    I am so happy that I read these books, they truly are amazing and I hope too, one day my writing will be as loved as Marissa’s. I was so very inspired that I even made a few adjustments to my own work (my dialogue improved tremendously after I read these).
    Thanks again for helping me figure things out!

  27. Mint commented on:

    All I need is an original idea. I’ve never had one because after I develop something, I can usually connect it to multiple other popular, modern fiction works. That, or most of my ideas are, in my personal opinion, stupid and lame and utterly childish compared to the age group I am “targeting” (my own age: a wonderful almost 14 but not quite yet) – teen in general. The books I read reflect the books I write, and most of the books I read are for ages 11-21. I’m sure you get the gist at this point.

    I had an idea once, about another universe containing all of the fictional stories ever contained, but the path it was taking was not agreeing with me, and so about 25% through the first draft I dropped it and now it lies sadly in my folders. This one is the most memorable one because it was the only story I ever really dedicated myself to for a point in time. It was called “NeverEnding”, I believe.

    I also have had one about the main character running away and traveling the world, but I need to wait until a point in my life when I have time for the abundance of research that will come with writing that story.

    I have also gotten a multitude of ideas from forums, but I never use them because I don’t like using ideas that are not mine – I don’t feel as if I can connect to them if they are not my ideas.

    In general, I’m a young writer who has spent more time dreaming rather than writing with little to no time on my hands. I’ll try out some of your advice when I get an idea, but otherwise I continue to never be inspired.

    (Sidenote: @Alazia, I like the character tip at the bottom of your post.)
    (Sidenote 2.0: Sorry for bad spelling/grammar, I’m rushing this)

  28. Elizabeth commented on:

    This is the best thing ever. I only just turned sixteen and have yet to finish a draft, but I have many ideas and this is the kick in the butt I needed to roll up my sleeves and GET GOING.

    I know I’m not what you may call “qualified” to give advice, but here’s what I’ve learned.

    1) Read. You can find inspiration from anywhere.
    2) Write. Even if you don’t have ideas. Practice, practice, practice.
    3) Use the “vomit” technique. This one is popular with my friends. Take all those words that are swirling around in your brain and just “throw them up”. When they’re out and on paper, they’re easier to work with. You can separate the wheat from the chaff later during revisions.
    4) Don’t listen to advice you know will be bad for your story. Only you have the real idea of what’s going on. You can’t let other people pressure you into putting their inexperienced ideas in there. Unless it really is what you needed, don’t listen. I’ve had problems with this before and it is as annoying as heck.

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  30. Julia commented on:

    I am twelve years old and an aspiring writer. One thing I have done while writing a book is keep a journal/diary from your main character’s point of view. It’s very fun and makes you get closer to your character and really know who he or she is. Authors like Marissa Meyer and J.K. Rowling are very inspiring to me. Sometimes I have a bit of trouble coming up with ideas and I have writers block ALL the time but I always keep writing knowing that someday I just might get an idea that is as wonderful as The Lunar Chronicles.

  31. Catman36 commented on:

    As an aspiring writer, I only just started really working on my ideas and writing them down (many of them stay in my head and evolve or fade away).

    I can understand that struggle, because I’ve felt the same way about some of my ideas. However, try to write them down (some of the ones you are more passionate about stay with you and will slowly evolve, it happens to me and one idea expanded into its own huge world). Go for it, because it’ll feel better to have something down than nothing (write what you think about and try to write down ideas that you really like).

    This is a response to both Rachel and ElleMentry.
    Don’t be afraid to go for it (and i can understand whole privacy thing since i myself never really started sharing ideas until more recently in college [poetry club, gotta love it]). Like ElleMentry said, working a job isn’t anything to be ashamed of (I myself work housekeeping part time, and this is literally my first real job). Go for it, and screw what other people say in regards to how to live your life (go after your passions, do what makes you happy).

    As for general advice i can give out to others, it’ll probably be something of a rehash.

    1.) Write, write, and write more.
    2.) Don’t let others deter you from writing or chase after something because you think others will like it (write because you want to, and create the story you know you can be proud of).
    3.) Don’t stop trying. Keep going at it, and keep writing.
    4.) Go with your gut instinct and write what you want to write.
    5.) Find your own path, because we’re all different.

    I wish you all the best of luck. ^-^

  32. Annabeth daughter of Athena commented on:

    Have a plan for your story but be open-minded. I started writing a story with one guy character and I didn’t think he was going to be my main character because I didn’t want to write a guy main character because, me being a girl, I didn’t think I knew what was going on in guys’ heads. I still don’t know what’s going on in guys’ heads but I really love the character and he wormed his way to the front of my story. So remain open-minded, but always have a rough plan.

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  35. Percy son of Poseidon commented on:

    I think it’s important, especially if you’re only a teenager, like me, to remember that no matter how good your writing is, there’s a very slim chance that you will be able to make a living off it. View writing as a hobby, not a job. I’m not trying to discourage you, keep writing and writing as if it IS your job, never give up, but remember that your chances are in fact, very slim.

  36. Elle commented on:

    I have only JUST started writing, and I’m 21, but what I’ve learnt is that it doesn’t matter what age you are, if you have an idea – write. I view writing as a hobby, just like Percy son of Poseidon had stated. I have only just started to enjoy creating characters, giving them names, backgrounds etc.

    I view my ideas as film scenes in my head. I know exactly what camera angles/shots are used and the music that I would want for that specific scene. I basically see my ideas as films, but that is probably because I’m a Film Production student at University. However, I have always wanted to write my own story, even though I don’t read very much (this is definitely going to be changing), I still get motivation and inspiration from watching films and television series, which are usually based on books.

    Every time I sit in front of my laptop, I always get a buzz of happiness and energy because I’m creating MY story, the way I WANT it to go. Again, as Percy has said..NEVER give up!
    This will sound ridiculously corny but it speaks the truth, if you ever think that something is impossible, always remember that the word says ‘I’m possible!’

    I agree with Annabeth daughter of Athena too, always stay open-minded and motivated. Don’t be scared if your ideas change slightly, change is a good thing, just remember that. Stay positive! 🙂

  37. Maddy commented on:

    I’m extremely interested in writing, I have like two books I’m writing, and I kept on asking my friends last year to read one of my books, the other one is online. You can find it on Scratch, with the username cwkmadeline1366. I have this thing where I create a character for myself in the book/show/movie. I’ve done this with your series. This is basically my way of saying I extremely like your books.

  38. Ayesha commented on:

    I’m 12 and I really love to write but I feel like because i’m that young, people look down at my work. I mean, i don’t even want to get published now but if I post something online and tell people how old i am, i feel like they won’t care enough to read it properly.

  39. Claire commented on:

    Hey, I wanted to direct this comment to Ayesha,
    I’m only 13 and I love to write, although I don’t post stories online. I think it’s important to not worry about whether people read your stories or not because of assumptions to do with your age. There’s always going to be people who might choose not to read your story because of some reason or other no matter what age you are. Writing has nothing to do with age. If you have a story you want to write, write it! I am quite shy when it comes to sharing my stories and I get quite embarrassed sometimes so the fact that you feel confident enough putting your work out there for everyone to see is amazing and you’re probably an inspiration to a lot of young writers like you and me and I’m sure your readers think so to. Keep doing what you love and don’t worry about your age.
    I know I for one would love to read your stories. 🙂

  40. Gems commented on:

    This really helped. My and some of my friends are obsessed with TLC and 4 of us actually cosplayed as the girls one day at school (I was Cress), and we played games where we were the TLC girls!

  41. Kaylin commented on:

    Hi, my name is Kaylin. I’m 17. I just finished your Lunar Chronicles book series, and boy did I have a blast. I don’t know what the deal is when writing villains. They are really tricky to write, because you always have to focus on their motives. I always think of Levana Blackburn when I write, and then ending up turning my villains into something like her.
    I cry for Levana. I know she’s an evil character, but something in the book Fairest really tugged at my heartstrings. I don’t know what it was, but I’ve always felt like a younger Levana. Maybe it is the darkness that lurks inside me- minus the blood-lust. Should I be angry for relating to her? My last name is Blackham, similar to Blackburn. If that’s a coincidence.
    My character Tey’ll-Blackbeak is very much the same. She grew up in a family that looked down upon her because her powers were stupid, not just because she is ugly- she is not- and often gets abused because of it. She could only read people, and somewhat control time, while her family members can control things like illusions, darkness, fire or fauna. She is often forced everyday to watch her own baby sister relish in her own power even though she is just 2. She got abused until she turned 8 when a shaman in her daycare discussed something about her past-life to the class. She ran off with him seeking power, not just healing and she gets it by killing him and gets his power using one of his journals about the dark arts. Now since she gathered the powers of all 8 shamans, she now had the power to kill the great tiger lord- Ke’na. She is now age 14, and she uses the tiger’s remains to forge a path into a place called Earth to seek the Indigo Children, rid of them, and rise to become a world leader. Her goal was to conjure galaxies and become a god herself among Albeodai and rule the word together. She wanted to prove to her parents that she is more powerful, and more intelligent than what the believe in her. In case you already know Albeodai is an Anunnaki leader who rules over Egypt. And also has similar powers to Levana’s. She uses it to hide what she really is and uses it to make her look like a white haired goddess with slightly pointed ears. 🙂 Thank you! I wonder what you think about the villians that I have created.

  42. Pingback: 11 Books I Loved in 2018

  43. ... commented on:

    Hi 🙂

    I’ve been prepping my book for what feels like forever now and every time I get discouraged I come and read this article and your Writing Tips. It helps me get out of my mental block when I feel like I’m never going to be ready to submit. So thank you for writing these articles and The Lunar Chronicles because without those I don’t think I ever would have been brave enough to pursue this path. Thank you.

    Alisha Petrova



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