Saturday, August 25, 2012

Interview with Teens: Part DOS

8. How has your writing evolved since you started writing?

Dakota: Well, it's not written in crayon anymore, for one thing. Haha, I use a computer now, instead of scribbling in notepads held together with tape. Erm, I suppose it's become more mature, hopefully more in-depth and involving....but probably not. ;)

Bria: My voice has certainly improved as I’ve been writing. When I first started to write consistently about two years ago, I was childish in my writing. I liked to make my writing seem clever by telling jokes. Of course, this didn’t make my writing clever; it only made me look stupid for sacrificing the story for petty jokes. And now, instead of that, I sound like this. Let me tell you: this is much improved. The only way this evolution in my writing came about is because I write, so write. There’s no way to become better at writing if you never write.

Ravena: I used to fill up notebooks. Now I use a laptop. (On a serious note... I like to think I've gotten better, that I'm using less unnecessary words and am able to end up a piece of writing which is closer to what I imagined in my head. I can't really say though. I mean, it happens over such a long period of time, evolution, that sometimes it seems like nothing has changed at all. Oh no wait... nothing has changed at all. I still write like I did when I was eight. *Cries.* Let's move onto the next question :)

Elizabeth: My writing evolves constantly as I get older and my writing improves. It also evolves based on my current major influences and inspirations, as well as my experiences.

9. How do you feel about teens being published/self-published?

Dakota: It's awesome!! :D I applause them with a vigor spurred by both jealousy and pride. I SALUTE THEE, SIR!! And madame. ;)

Bria: Respect. I am nowhere near publishing anything (besides blog posts). I have so much respect and admiration for teens (anyone, really) who can control and motivate themselves enough to not only finish something, but to publish it too. If you’re reading this and you’ve published something: you’re awesome!

Ravena: OMG I AM SO PROUD OF THEM I WANT TO GIVE THEM ALL A GIANT HUG. Good for them for proving the stereotype all teens are lazy dodobrains (yes I made that word up) is wrong.

Jane: I think it's awesome, but only if they have talent. I'm always drawn toward books written by teens, I feel that they have a pulse on how teens actually think, and do. Better then a 30 year old woman. I'm not saying that the 30 year old woman doesn't have any talent, but sometimes a teen just hit's it on the nail.

Elizabeth: I think it’s great that teens are published. It’s valuable experience, and it shows that creativity isn’t restricted by age.

10. How do people react when you tell them you write, if you tell them at all? If you don't like to talk about it, why?

Dakota: If I tell them, they're usually like, "Oh, that's cool. What do you like to write?" If I don't tell them, it's b/c I don't think they'll care/appreciate it, or b/c I'm still insecure/self-conscious about what I'm writing. Also b/c doing something, no matter what it is, without anyone knowing about it, gives whatever you're doing a secretive, dramatic, spy-like feel, and makes it 10x more fun!! :D

Bria: People know that I like to write, but not many people realize that I want to be a writer. This is probably partially due to one of my friends. You see, I told one of my best guy friends that I wanted to be a writer. He looked at me and he was confused. “Why?” he said. I told him, but the confusion didn’t go away. “Why would you want to do that?!” …yup. Just so you know: this guy is not a jerk. Some people just don’t understand.

Ravena: I hate telling people I write, unless they're other writers.  People don't understand how much it means to me, or they generally tend to think I'm strange (I've only talk about it with a few of my closest friends (hi Asli, Mariana and Jodie) plus my mum but she doesn't count.) I guess I don't want to bring it up, because I feel weird.

Jane: I don't really tell people. Writing is more of a hobby for me, then a serious thing. When I tell my friends there okay with it. I don't really bring it up, because it's kind of hard to bring it up without bragging, so I don't unless I'm asking for advice or trying to work out a plot point.

11. How would you like people to treat teen writers?

Dakota: As equals? As interesting people that matter? As individuals with more things to say and more creative ways to say it than most people realize? Something like that, I suppose.

Bria: Respect would be nice. And encouragement. We are going after our dreams and an awareness of that would be awesome. Awareness by way of less homework would be especially nice. Hint, hint, cough, cough.

Ravena: Like royalty. Only joking (a little.) I would like people to encourage teen writers, but take us seriously too. Is that possible?

Elizabeth: People should give teen writers a chance. We don’t all write high school dramas or vampire novels. There are some extremely gifted young writers who are just as good as older writers and they deserve to be taken as seriously as anyone else.

12. What is acceptable content for a teen to be writing in your opinion? (Eg. genre, romance elements, age etc.)

Dakota: Hmm, anything but smut. SMUT MUST NOT BE WRITTEN!! BY ANYONE!!! EVER!!! But especially by teens. Mature (in body) and independent as they may be, THEY'RE STILL JUST KIDS!! Basically, anything you wouldn't want your parents, or grandparents, to read, you probably shouldn't write it.

Bria: I don’t know. I’ve never thought about this. Generally, I don’t write characters who are older than me, because I don’t know if an eighteen-year-old will have different thoughts than little sixteen-year-old me. But that’s just me.

Ravena: I think anything is acceptable. Teens know about the goodness and the badness in the world, and all the little bits in between. They should be able to write whatever they want.

Jane: Basically anything, except hardcore erotica or any romance novel where the characters aren't teens.

Elizabeth: In terms of content, I hate smut in books from any age, but I think it’s something teens especially should avoid because it reaffirms stereotypes about young writers.

13. What advice do you have for teen writers who are just starting off?

Dakota: Hm...For starters, ignore the doomsayers, or course. ;) And, DON'T be like me, meaning that you should have a writing schedule, even if it's just, "I will write 100 words this week," or, "Every Tuesday at 6, I will sit down and write for 15 minutes." It doesn't have to be a lot. Hm, what else? Write whatever you like (yet remembering what I mentioned before), however you like. Sci-fi in a notebook, fantasy on the computer, mystery on you iPod. Whatever, it's entirely up to you. Never let anyone tell you a certain genre or way of writing is stupid or wrong. And....PUNCTUATION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE!!! Example:

"Let's eat grandpa!!
Let's eat, grandpa!!"

You see????
Oh, and one more thought; A cup of tea (or coffee, but mostly tea) is a writer's best friend. ;)

Bria: You tend to hear the same advice so I’m going to try to throw something new in. “Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12, the Bible) Don’t be discouraged and don’t believe that others are better than you simply because they are older and “wiser.” I’ve read plenty of books written by people who should be old enough to realize their writing stinks. (That sounds harsh, but we all know it’s true. Some people write bad books.) Get yourself some confidence, get your writing out there (blogs, contests, etc.), and live by this quote from Ray Bradbury: “If you want to write, if you want to create, you must be the most sublime fool that God ever turned out and sent rambling. You must write every single day of your life. You must read dreadful dumb books and glorious books, and let them wrestle in beautiful fights inside your head, vulgar one moment, brilliant the next. You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads. I wish you a wrestling match with your Creative Muse that will last a lifetime. I wish craziness and foolishness and madness upon you. May you live with hysteria, and out of it make fine stories –science fiction or otherwise. Which finally means, may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.”

Ravena: Don't ever give up, no matter how many rejections you get. And there's no rush to get published. Some of our favourite authors weren't published until they were waaaay out of their teens, but look how happy they are now!

Jane: Take inspiration from everything. Write different things until you find the one that's your fit. You don't have to be an author to write, just write. If you’re good, good for you, if not that's okay because no one has to see it.

Elizabeth: I advise young writers to practise constantly. It’s the only way to get better. Experiment with other genres you don’t usually write in, and read lots! Reading different genres from different periods from an array of different authors also helps a lot. Keep exercising your creativity. Challenge yourself to be inspired by anything – this helps avoid writer’s block. It gives you a chance to discover what works and what doesn’t. Also, do not get stuck in one genre (especially fanfiction!)

There you have it! Do you agree with any of it? Do you disagree with any of it? Tell me, I command thee. 


  1. It's really cool that all y'all did this interview. It's nice to hear from other people with the same dreams, especially people my own age! And thanks, Bria, for sharing that verse from Timothy; it's one of my favorites. Also, that Ray Bradburt quote is epic. Woulld you ever consider posting some of your fiction on this blog? I'd love to read it.

    1. If you want to read some of my fiction (and it sounds like you do), I will post some. Thank you for reading. And yes, I LOVE that Bradbury quote. I've written it in practically every notebook I own. It's just so awesome.