Pandalicious Wrote: Hello! I am a 15 year old that is seeking advice to improve his novel, Omega System. I'd love if people could give me advice and tips to improve my writing skills! Thanks!
Everyone above has already given such great advice.
But I will give you something you may not have heard before and it's quite simple, actually.
1. Respect your reader's effort. Yes, writing is MUCH harder than reading, and while language may be wired into the human brain, reading is a skill that is not natural and must be learned and takes effort to learn (that's why illiteracy is still a problem in the world). Therefore, if you're going to write something, respect the reader's effort and time who is going to have to read your story.
2. Be entertaining. Easier said than done, no doubt. But when combined with (1), a writer will avoid the pitfalls of writing to impress, writing for validation, writing for therapy or writing to show just how clever he or she is. In other words, you'll be writing for the right reason - to make someone happy.
When they say "write the story you'd like to read." Well, that's what you'll do if you respect yourself as a reader first and then as a writer, you'll drop any pretenses and just concentrate on entertaining yourself and making yourself happy. :)
For someone whose fifteen, broaden your reading is probably the no.1 best thing you can do. THAT and have fun writing. Don't let it become a chore.
I have a stickied guide from Starting to Write to Publication in General, so you can have a look at that as well, but here's my Literature reading list, picky a style, and go to town!
1. Consume different Genres as they add to your writing tools -
- Life Writing (David Sedaris, Jenny Lawson, )
- Resistance and Post-Colonial Writing (Achebe, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker, Joseph Conrad)
- Science Fiction (I will plug Ursula K. Le Guin, but I've read... to much of this genre.)
- Fantasy (You guys know better, but my no.1 is Terry Pratchett, RIP.)
- Speculative (George Orwell, Aldur Huxley, Atwood, )
- Pop Fiction (Mathew Reily, James Patterson, Lee Child)
- Philosophy-Fiction (Paulo Coelho, Murakami, Kazuo Ishiguro, Franz Kafka, Hemmingway, Steinbeck, Fitzgerald)
- Post-Mod Feminism (Margaret Atwood)
- Classic Poets (Coleridge, Yeats, Blake, Frost, Dickinson, Dylan Thomas)
- Modern Poets (Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, W.H Auden, W.B Yeats)
- Shakespeare (All the tragedies. Tempest and Hamlet are my favourite)
Write lots of stuff. Don't work on a novel unless you're the Eragon kid and you have parents in the industry. Write short stories, write poems, write vignettes, write experimental visual novels. Write a LOT of stuff. Write stories based entirely on stylistic gimmicks, write stuff you absolutely have no interest in, write intentionally poorly-- just do it often, and keep it short enough that you can stew on it without getting too attached. Have fun writing before you shackle yourself to a bunch of long projects that you still need more writing experience to pull off.
Actually I'm gonna make a whole thread about this instead of continuing to type here.