Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories by Mike Kalmbach
Published: 24 April 2012 (CreateSpace)
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, Book Depository
Source: Received free copy from the author to review.
Description: (from Goodreads)
When all you have is a blank page, it's often tough to begin writing.
Writing Advice for Teens: Creating Stories aims to help you overcome that initial hurdle by making it easy for you to write down simple, focused ideas and craft them into stories.
However, coming up with ideas is not enough. Teen writers need to understand basic story structure so they can avoid typical writing problems.
Filled with plenty of tips, advice, and examples to help any teen writer, the first book in the Writing Advice for Teens series focuses on getting ideas down quickly and pounding out that first draft. After following the advice and using the techniques outlined in this book, you should understand how to bring the stories locked in your mind to the surface.
I was sent a copy of this book by the author after I expressed interest in the book on Goodreads. I, myself, am a writer so I was really excited to get a look at this book! I've been writing seriously since I was about 19 and reading this book made me realise how much I could have used this when I was a teen.
The book provides writing tips on everything from writer's block and dealing with distractions, to how long your book should be and how to create interesting characters. This book is tailored towards teens and provides age approriate advice. An example of this is some really great tips on what school subjects and extra curricular activities would be handy for aspiring writers. The book also focusses on distractions that would be a problem for teens, and how to fit in writing around things like school and homework. The author also provides references to books such as Harry Potter, which helps make the advice relatable to the target audience.
Overall, though, the writing advice in this book would be useful to anyone. There are lots of exercices placed throughout the book designed to spark ideas. I found myself learning an awful lot about things I've been doing wrong and finding some new things I can't wait to try out! The book is easy to read - not at all intimidating or wordy. There's a glossary of words at the back and any important information is displayed in boxes on the page, making it easy to pick out any key points.
I'm very much someone who has to work hard at writing - it doesn't come naturally to me as it does with some people. This book made me feel like that wasn't a problem at all and had great advice about how I can work towards the goal of becoming a writer. I found it to be very encouraging whilst at the same time preparing the reader for the difficulties of writing and getting published. The tone was friendly and I really enjoyed reading it.
If you're an aspiring writer (old or young!) then there's an awful lot to be learnt from this book - I'd highly recommend it!
What to read next: Writing Advice for Teens: Editing by Mike Kalmbach. (coming October 2012)
Books like this: Your Writing Coach by Jurgen Wolff