So, its holidays and that means I am writing like crazy. So as you know, I have been writing novels lately and I shared the first page of one of my current novels, Beneath the Surface on here a little while ago. Anyway, recently, I finished writing it and editing it and I wanted to send it to a publisher as a manuscript.
Being 17, I thought I should ask my parents about what they thought about it. It really is my decision whether I do send it in as it is my own work. But, still, I thought it was right thing I should do.
So, I asked my mum first.
She didn’t like the idea. She said I was rushing into it. And I think its because I’m only 17 and I’m not that experienced to be honest. But what aspiring author is? Then I talked to my dad and he said he was fine with it but suggested I talk to some local authors and see what they think I should do. He also suggested that I sign up to QWC (Queensland Writers Centre). And now after a lot of suggestions also from other authors to do the same, I think I will.
I wanted to talk about publishing at a young age. Obviously, I have no experience. I haven’t been published and I held off sending in my own as I do understand what my mum refers to but still…
So, young writers tend to not have much experience and not a very mature writing style, according to my mum at least. I know that. I have been writing the sequel to my manuscript all holidays and along the way, I have picked up on some habits that I commonly do. These include using the same words over and over again… Now I know, and now I’m going back over my manuscript and fixing that. Although I would consider that all part of the process of finding your experience and maturing your voice. I’m learning along the way, just like any writer.
Currently, my manuscript is 102 pages and when downsized to book size, should weight in over 200 pages, so not the biggest book. But still, its not too shabby either, right? Many publishing companies have these days where people who don’t have agents or haven’t been published before can send in their manuscripts. Harper Collins is an example where they have Manuscript Wednesday. This makes it seriously tempting to send in a book and makes it sound so easy.
But I don’t think it matters whether you don’t have any experience with writing or a very mature writing style. Who cares if you’re only 17? You have to begin somewhere. And what better place than sending your book into a publishing company? And maybe the reason for sending in that manuscript isn’t because you’re necessarily aiming to get published (not that I’m saying its a bad thing, its a pretty damn good thing), but it could be more for the advice, to see whether you’re heading in the right direction.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to wait 20 odd years to send in my manuscript, only to find out that what I’m writing isn’t good enough. I could have spent that 20 years in a better place, developing my manuscript so it is good enough.
And look at somebody like Christopher Paolini, the author of the best selling Inheritance Cycle series. He was only 15 when he started writing Eragon and then he spent a year fleshing it out etc. And then his parents were getting the book self-published. I don’t think it was long after that that he was actually published with a legitimate publishing company. And now, look at it, the book is a huge best seller and has been made into a movie (a movie which I’ve heard sucks, but nonetheless).
And somebody like J.K. Rowling, who despite being a fair bit older than 17, had to have started from somewhere.
I’m sure when people get published, they don’t consider how much experience they have or anything. They just write and then send it to a publisher.
And that’s exactly what I want to do. So I’ll spend some more time on it, I’ll wait until September for Writers Festival and talk to some people, and I’ll spend some more time just editing and maybe adding some more background. But after that, I’m not going to wait for the red light to turn green anymore. I’ll just turn it green myself.