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    Kids Can Publish Novels Too! [Part 1]

    You might ask, "Why do adults get to be the only ones that get to have their name on the front of a novel? Why can't kids write novels, too?" Well, guess what. They can! As a matter of a fact, I am working on a novel right now called The Struggle for Freedom. It's about a made up Communist country and... well you read it when I finish it. I got the idea from a show that talked about Communism. I created my characters and the country and went from there, just letting everything that I thought go into the plot. Then later, I'll edit it and change things that I didn't like. That's a good way to do it.


    Getting Started

    You might wonder, "How am I going to write 760 pages of words to make my novel?" Well, you don't have to be like Stephen King and write all those pages. Think of Judy Blume, Beverly Cleary, and R.L. Stine. Their novels are usually under 150 pages. Then you say, "But I still can't write that many pages, either!" Imagine looking at the page in one of their books, R.L. Stine's books particularly. Wouldn't about two of those pages from Stine's Fear Street books fit onto one of the pages from your computer? Then consider the fact that you don't have to use small print like size 10. It's best to use size 12. It makes all the difference.

    • Use size 12 fonts. Remember - try to use the font Times New Roman in size 12 when writing anything. This not only saves you time later, since you have to submit to publishers like this, but it will give you a better idea of how much progress you are making without checking your word count every few minutes.
    • Brainstorm for a catchy title. Many writers find it so helpful to have a working title to go with. Often times, writers have a title before anything. For many, it is the idea of the title that builds the rest of the story.
    • When you start writing, try not to think that it is going to be over an eighty-page novel. Think that maybe it's just a short story. That might help you get along better, too. Just get it out.
    • Try to write a novel that will keep you interested in writing it. For instance, if you don't like history, donít attempt to write a novel about the history of America. If you don't like stories about vampires, you just might not be the right writer to write about them. But, still, there is always a chance that you could. The best bet, though, is to write about what interests you first.
    • Don't start thinking about money and rush to finish your book. Take your time. Never, never, never think about the money or fame when writing. Your book may end up a best seller, or it may not. You should never write with the hopes of fame and riches. We're writers -- it doesn't exactly happen like that.


    Now That You Have The Ideas To Begin...

    Write. Write. And then write some more. Many successful writers will tell you that in order to write a book, you have to write. Well, duh! But believe it or not, too many writers, young and older, dream about their first book, but never actually sit down to write it. You have to write in order to write a book. And even if your writing sounds terrible to you, keep writing.

    Some writers begin simply by writing their new book. Others write out extensive outlines. What you do for your own book should be what you feel most comfortable with. If you can't work with outlines, don't use one. If you need to plot out each chapter, do that. The only correct way to write your book is the way that best fits you.

    We'll talk much more about this next month in Part 2.

    *Special Note: Both Angela and Scott are at the beginnings of their own novels. Scott began his on June 13, 2001. Angela began hers (again!) on June 11, 2001. Can the young writer finish his book before the old(er) writer? We'll update you each month on our progress. Though writing a book should never be a competition with other writers, we are both curious to see how two writers of two different ages (and generations) can accomplish this often sought after goal.

    Copyright © 2001 Angela Giles Klocke and Scott D. Warren

    Scott is Angela's teenage son. He has won several various writing awards. He maintains a straight-A average and when not doing schoolwork, he can be found with either a book or his AlphaSmart. Scott constantly dreams up new stories and shares them with his family as well as seeks publication. He has been published in Rainy Day Corner as well as a newspaper in Florida, The Williston Pioneer.

    Angela has been writing since she was a child herself. Her passion for helping other young writers is what has led her to co-authoring this column with her own young writer, Scott. One of Angela's earliest works, a poem, was finally published when she was 18, though it was written at age 11.

    The Authentic Self: Journaling Your Joys, Griefs and Everything in Between by Shery Russ



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