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Old 05-22-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
TallMomof2
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Guidance for an 11yo aspiring writer

My 11yo DD is an aspiring writer/cartoonist. She has made it her goal to publish a book by this time next year. She fills notebooks and computer files with her drawings and writings. When she's not reading a book she's writing one.

I am not a writer and would like to find some guidance for her. Any and all advice is welcome.

TIA
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Old 05-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #2
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If she wants to find a publisher to publish her book, then she needs to have a manuscript, or at least sample chapters and an outline. Then she'll need to find some publisher or agent actually willing to read it. This is hard and/or takes a long time. Publishing houses with open submission policies typically have a slushpile backlog of several month, sometimes over a year in length.

So - get something put together, consider which publishers publish similar things, and which agents handle authors with similar items, and start submitting.

Although I've never used it, I understand that a really good source of the sort of specific info you need to do this can be found in the Writer's Handbook. http://www.thewritershandbook.com/

Alternatively, if she'd just like to have a bound copy of one of her stories, and be able to point friends/family to a website where they can also buy copies, I'd recommend http://www.lulu.com/

At Lulu.com there are no set-up fees, just a per-book cost (& postage). The per-book cost is a bit higher than one would wish ideally, but that's why there're no set-up fees. It's a good deal when you're only thinking about a small number of copies (say <20).


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Originally Posted by TallMomof2 View Post
My 11yo DD is an aspiring writer/cartoonist. She has made it her goal to publish a book by this time next year. She fills notebooks and computer files with her drawings and writings. When she's not reading a book she's writing one.

I am not a writer and would like to find some guidance for her. Any and all advice is welcome.

TIA
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Old 05-22-2009, 05:05 PM   #3
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Well, I'm not a writer either, but my 9 year old son is. He has written two chapter books (about 3,500 words each) on the computer. We printed them out and he added his illustrations. We then made several photocopies and I bound (sewed) the book together with a 'paperback' cover. He sold them to family and close friends and got to keep the profits. (We lost money on the venture!) I also made them into ebooks (lrf and mobi) which he read on my 505.

It has done wonders for his self-esteem and he always get kind and supportive feedback from everyone who reads them.

He generally writes his books over the summer when he has more time and writes a chapter a week. The hardest part for him is actually sitting down and writing. He loves coming up with the ideas, but finds it hard to get started, but once started, he types along quite happily. My top tips would be:

1. Chat about the story and plan it out in advance so she knows more or less where the story is going.

2. When she has finished writing for the day, finish in the middle of a sentence or idea because it is easier to start up again the next time she sits down to write.

3. Have fun.
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Old 06-17-2009, 09:10 PM   #4
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At her age, the main thing is to enjoy what you do. I started writing at age 10, in a Chieftain tablet, with a number two pencil, and I drew my own illos, because I thought all books needed them. That's honestly not a bad mindset to be in. Sharing with friends, sharing maybe on the internet, learning your craft---oh, is there a lot to learn.

Most of all, respect her work, respect her writing time (within reason) and encourage her to experience museums, travel, education, books, art, music, and everything else that teaches you, subtly, balance, proportion, rhythm and harmony---not to mention good grammar and a big vocabulary---because all those things go into a written book.
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Old 06-18-2009, 12:02 AM   #5
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Tell her that C.J. Cherryh just gave her some personal writing tips/advice, and prove it by showing her the post above.

Cheers,
Marc
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Old 06-18-2009, 08:24 AM   #6
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