I want to be a writer…how do I start?
One question I often hear from teenagers is this: “I want to be a writer. How do I start?”
1. Begin by being a good reader. Read widely and well: fiction, poetry, memoir. To get a great idea of the possibilities of fiction, get a copy of The Scriber Anthology of Contemporary Short Fiction from your library. Another great and inspiring anthology is Flash Fiction, edited by James Thomas. Another is Sudden Fiction International. See my list of recommended story collections here.
2. Think about what your favorite stories are, and what makes them interesting to you. Copy down the first paragraph of a story you love, and analyze how the writer has grabbed your interest.
3.. Try to write for a few minutes every day. To keep it interesting, use writing prompts that take you to unexpected place. You can do a google search for writing prompts, of course, or you can get frequently updated prompts by following twitter.com/writingexercise
4. If your town has a writing workshop for kids, join in.
5. Find a creative writing workbook in your library, or download one online. You might try Where Stories Begin, which is designed to help you work with remembered images, create interesting characters, and pull stories from your own life.
6. Tune into your senses. Write about what you see, hear, smell, taste, feel. Do this every day.
7. Once a month, read back over what you’ve written. Find one piece that you find really intriguing, and keep working on it. Expand on it.When I was fourteen, I too wanted to be a writer. I’ve been lucky, and now I make my living writing novels. I love my work, and I hope you’ll find a way to make writing a part of your life too!