Top 10 helpful writing tips for teenage writers
Here are our top 10 tips for aspiring teenage writers.
1. Know your subject matter
Some writers like to write about every subject matter there is to write about. Yet others choose one early on and focus on that subject matter. For both types, they have their own advantages and disadvantages. The more subject matters you can write about, the more writing opportunities you will get.
Then again, you may end up being a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’. Focusing on a subject matter (think the famous authors) can make you an authority on it from your readers’ viewpoint. This is good if you are looking at writing as a long term career plan. Think Tom Clancy and the exceptionally authentic and realistic plots devised for The Hunt of Red October and Patriot Games.
On the other hand, if you are looking for writing assignments as a means of earning a side income or some pocket money, having an ability to write about many subjects is a good thing.
2. Know your audience
It is not enough for you to know your subject matter, you must also know your audience. The best and most successful authors are experts not only in their field of writing but are also experts in knowing what their readers want from their books. That is what makes these authors bestsellers.
3. Know your grammar and spelling
Yes, editors are there to to edit your materials but editors are not there to do your job for you! Editors are primarily focused on reviewing your content to check that it is acceptable for publication. In fact, you will likely find your manuscripts being returned by editors to you if your manuscript contains too many grammatical and spelling errors.
4. Edit your work thoroughly
Many teenage writers, and adults for that matter, tend to complete a writing assignment and give only a cursory review of the work. However, the most successful authors not only create a first draft, but a second, third and sometimes fourth draft or more to improve and perfect their work.
Another tip – try not to write and edit at the same time. Creating and editing are two separate processes that use different brain executive functions.
5. Use the thesaurus
Avoid repeating words in paragraphs. Search for synonyms to use.
6. Avoid using too many cliches
For example, ‘all hell broke lose’, ‘more the merrier’, ‘shotgun wedding’. Instead, use your imagination and observation skills to create an original phrase of your own.
7. Study your favorite authors
We know that the writing industry is a competitive market, particularly if you are a freelance writer. If you are dreaming of becoming another J.K. Rowling, study her books! If your favorite author is Walter Isaacson, find out what he has done to carve out a top-notch reputation as a biographer within the industry.
Do not be afraid to copy from these authors. Copying good techniques is the best way to start writing well.
8. Write everyday
Become a prolific writer. Keep a diary, journal or an online blog to store your writings. Set a daily writing goal and stick to it. Your goal could be writing 200 words a day or one page a day. It does not matter how big or small your goal is, except that it needs to be a realistic goal. Remember that your studies come first. If you do well at school, you are more likely to secure voluntary writing opportunities to launch your writing career.
9. When not writing, think like a writer
When you are not writing, think of plots, settings and characters and how they can form stories for you to write about.
10. Do not be discouraged
If you receive negative feedback on your writing, don’t get discouraged. Keep trying and do not compare yourself to any other teenage writers you find in online writing communities or otherwise.