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  1. #1
    C F

    Any advice for a beginning writer?


    I don't typically join these type of community sites or post to message boards, so please forgive me if I've posted in the wrong place or anything like that. I came here because I'm looking for advice--anything at all, really--that you would give to me as a young, aspiring writer.

    I'm a college-aged girl who has considered herself a writer for as long as I can remember. I love young adult fiction, and I consider YA to be my genre. I've taken some creative writing instruction, although most of what I've learned has just come from my own trial and error and taking hints from authors I adore. I've written several short fiction pieces (mostly YA), but my heart has always been set on writing something novel-length.

    This summer, I've made it my goal to attempt that. So first, one question that is probably pretty dumb: How many typed, 12 size font, double-spaced pages of a manuscript should I be aiming for if I am writing a novel? See, I told you I'm a beginner! I just learned today that editors measure manuscript length by word count, not number of pages. That being said, I'd still like to get some page number in my head, as word count is hard to quantify. Also, if anyone could tell me how long a typical YA novel chapter is 12 point font, double spaced, I'd appreciate that, too.

    Additionally, any advice or helpful hints you could pass on would be appreciated. Anything from sources to check out or things not to do, or how to schedule my writing time would be valuable to me, because right now I'm just working off of a free schedule and ambition.


  2. #2
    Editors used to count by pages (heck, I used to, too, until my agent corrected me). Nowadays it's all done by word count. The broad answer is that a novel manuscript should be more than 50,000 words and less than 120,000 words, with an average of between 80,000 to 100,000. Figure 300 to 400 pages total.

    For more advice, your best bet is to check out some helpful websites like http://pubrants.blogspot.com . There are also some really helpful books out there, like Will Write For Shoes or Writing Great Books for Young Adults. Check 'em out.

    And don't forget to read plenty of books like the one you're writing. You'll learn a lot that way, too.

    Best of luck!
    Last edited by Victoria; 05-12-2011 at 05:25 PM. Reason: Shameless plug removed

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    It's also very important to have anything you plan to submit anywhere proofread. Having silly spelling errors or grammar usage mistakes is a huge turn off. Check out www.ProfessionalBookProofreading.com and keep on writing!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Gilfindel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Dallas, TX
    Watch out for those zombie threads. The original author disappeared about 3 years ago.

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