Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Green Teens?

Should teen writers be rushed into print? Imogen Russell Williams on The Guardian blog reckons that although :
...the best writing by children and teenagers can be astonishingly poignant, hilarious, and indeed helpful.
and they should certainly be enouraged, :
In your early teens, you're not necessarily aware of how derivative your literary outpourings are, and the extent to which your reading shapes your writing; and you may not yet be sufficiently master of your own voice ...
One young writer she holds up as an example is Nancy Yi Fan, author of the Swordbird series (with 2 novels under her belt at 15) :
... obviously a very talented teenage writer, but her often infelicitous phrasing ... and the heavy-handedness of her good v evil take on her avian universe suggests that the publisher would have done better to wait for her to mature a little more before rushing her into print.
She also mentions Daisy Ashford wrote The Young Visiters when she was just 9 years old in 1919 (when the novel was published many years later, it went through 18 times in its first year alone) and "the most famous piece of published writing by a young author", Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl.

(She might also have included Christopher Paolini, author of the Brisingr series who is enjoying a great deal of commercial success.)

But with all these younger writers, you find yourself wondering just how they will judge their earlier work when they do reach maturity. Will it be with great pride or toe-curling embarrassment?

Anyway, if you are a teen who wants to write, you might find this list of books compiled Aaron Shepard useful.

6 comments:

Amir Muhammad said...

I, too, want to write a novel before I turn 20, so wish me luck.

Anonymous said...

Wow, he used "infelicitous" :)

Anonymous said...

And here we see some serious gender bias -- remember that sword-and-sorcery epic by that 17-year-old Italian boy ? Christopher Paolini's Eragon and it's sequels. Wasn't it similarly "unfelicitous", and had a similar heavy-handedness of good and evil? actually pretty much every fantasy epic has a very clear-cut distinction between good and evil. Take the very famous "Chronicles of Narnia" for instance. Do the principal protagonists ever consider doing an evil deed?

What is she complaining about?

Anonymous said...

OMG, talk about bad luck. Nothing is more odious to your average British reviewer than a young, female, Asian-American author. Talk about hitting all the wrong buttons.

Anonymous said...

OMG, talk about bad luck. Nothing is more odious to your average British reviewer than a young, female, Asian-American author. Talk about hitting all the wrong buttons.

Mini Pini said...

I'm 14 and being published this August. I would agree with what The Guardian has to say - I sometimes find that my writing wanders and my phrasing becomes most irratating. But that tends to happen very late at night, when I find I write best until the point where this happens!

Edward Pinnegar
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Aviation-Alderney-Edward-Pinnegar/dp/1848689810