Useful Tips

How to write and publish a novel to a teenager


How to Write a Teenage Romance. Writing fiction for teens and teens is more than just a creative outlet for keeping youthful thinking and revisiting your own high school ghosts, this is a way to connect with the longing of the younger generation and spark a passion for lifelong reading. Owing to the popularity of "Harry Potter," and "Gossip Girls" and.

Make a list of the things that most emphasized you when you were between the ages of 12 and 18. Examples: getting good grades, being popular, going crazy, moving to a new city, adjusting for divorce / remarriage, making money. Not surprisingly, these same topics were probably present in the teens of your parents and grandparents as well as the current generation of young people. Choose the one that resonates most strongly and jot down as much as you can remember about the emotions, events, risks and rewards associated with that chapter of your life.

Create a young protagonist to put in a similar circumstance. YA heroes and heroines must be the same age as your target readers as well as primary voice / presence throughout history. Identify the quest for the protagonist and that is at risk if she fails. List the talents and skills that she possesses in order to achieve her goal. Create a second list that reflects the external and internal obstacles that stand in its way. An external obstacle may be another person, lack of resources or a race against time. An internal obstacle is the fear that it must overcome in order to be successful.

Define a period of time and setting for your novel YA. While teens and teens have a good relationship with a set of stories in an environment that they are familiar with - school, home, neighborhoods - a good topic can exceed these options and unfold in the Middle Ages, Old West, or even a futuristic planet. If you like history, YA fiction is an effective way to softly interweave in facts as well as have fictional characters interact with people who really lived.

Develop a scheme before you start writing. The number of words for YA fiction ranges from 40,000 words to 75,000. Regardless of the length you are striving for, divide the total by three. This will tell you how many words to allocate to the beginning, middle and end of your novel. Beginning needs to introduce all key players and the main conflict. The middle increases the conflict and makes the main character doubt her abilities. Finishing solutions are a problem and tie all loose ends together.

Experiment with a first-class and third-person story to see which one best delivers your story. Keep away from the passive voice, keep your chapters short, and strive to end each with an exciting culmination that dares the reader to turn the page. While it is acceptable to have adults in your romance, they should neither be problem solvers, nor those who steal the spotlight from their young colleagues.

Beta readers

The first novel was read by grandmother and her friends. They said that I have good dialogue, and in general, everything is easy and quick to read.

The second novel and stories were read by my young man. I printed and marked with a pencil every mistake in the text, including typos, omissions of words and letters.

I dreamed that someday I would add this novel, send it to the publisher, it will be printed in a beautiful bright cover.

The guy did not consider this hobby serious. He said that for this I would have to first find the corrector and pay him to correct all the mistakes - grammatical and stylistic. Then find an editor to improve the text, then pay the publisher to print.

The amount rushed rather big, unthinkable for a non-working student.

Hearing this was insulting and unpleasant. If it weren’t for my girlfriend, I would definitely stop writing.

Tequila love

I could not call myself a graphomaniac. Could not write for a long time. She studied, passed exams, solved her student problems, fell in love, made friends, until she again faced a blank white sheet in Microsoft Word.

Composed in her free time from study, experiencing pleasure and joy. Butterflies in my stomach and quiet delight from those moments, which, in my opinion, turned out especially well.

I didn’t even have a plan. I didn’t know how it would end, how it would begin, because I started writing in the middle.

So at twenty, I had the novel "Tequila Love."

I had no purpose to publish this book. I just wanted to express myself in my twenty. It was not a diary, it was not about myself, but it was not fiction and fantasy. Just a story about modern students and first love. The same scandals, intrigues and pregnancy, but in their own way.
Photo source: P

I don’t remember how I got to the forum of the Exmo publishing house, where beginning writers talked, but I read it all night.

How to edit a manuscript of a novel?

Which publishers should I send to?

What to write in a cover letter?

When to wait for an answer?

What is a copyright sheet?

Here you can find the answers to all my questions. People on the forum shared their experiences and successes,

many succeeded. The list of published authors from the forum was replenished with new surnames every month.

Then I decided that I will succeed too.


An author sheet is equal to 40,000 printed characters, including punctuation, numbers, and spaces between words. In my story there were ten and a half such sheets. This is a little over one hundred and twenty sheets in Times New Roman font and size 12.

It took almost two months of summer vacation to edit the story. I deleted whole pages, swapped chapters, re-read individual passages dozens of times. Simplified the complex. Cleansed the Communion. She got rid of unnecessary adjectives and stationery.

I wanted to make my text, if not perfect, then at least decent. So that the editor does not delete it after reading the first three sentences. And by the end of the second month I did not recognize my text. Of course, he became much better, but I was already sick of him.

It remains to write and send to the publisher a synopsis.

In early September, I selected about ten publishers that printed modern romance novels. I found email addresses marked "for new authors" and sent my text along them.

In fact, it was worth doing at the very beginning.

If you want your book to be published, do a little research. Take two or three major publishers, see what books they publish, what works they have popular. Choose the series you are interested in, read one or two books from each, write in the same style, but your own.

My problem was that the story turned out to be "non-format." There are romance novels, detective stories, science fiction, horror, fantasy. And there is one that is difficult to attribute to any of the existing genres.

The publication of such things is always a big risk, because it is impossible to accurately predict how readers will accept the new product. Will buy, like it or not.

My story could not be attributed to standard romance novels for an adult audience, but it did not fit into a series of books for teenagers. The youth literature market was not developed. Interesting books about twenty-year-olds could be counted on the fingers of one hand - happy exceptions to the rule.

I tried to read everything that at least was a bit like what I wrote. Of course, I wanted to be among those young authors who succeeded.

Luck or job result?

Two months later, I received an answer from Eksmo Publishing House - the editor liked my text. I liked the story and the banality in the description of heroes and feelings.

The editor requested a call back during working hours to discuss further actions. I jumped from happiness!

At the forum, novice authors talked about how difficult it is to publish the first book. So I decided that I was lucky. However, I just forgot that this was not the first novel I wrote, that I had been writing for more than five years by that time.

I learned. I got better. And I didn’t want to stop.

Then work began. More precisely, improvements according to the comments of the editor.

I had to redo the composition. Delete a few extra chapters that did not affect the plot, only distracted the reader's attention from key events. Supplement, explain, rewrite. In total, it took another six months to finalize.

It was hard for me to edit, and the letters themselves to the editor several times fell into spam. These moments also dragged on the process.

As a result, my text not only changed beyond recognition, but also decreased by a third. However, I can say for sure - he has become better.

When it came time to sign the contract, it turned out - of all the necessary documents, I only have a passport.

SNILS made at the institute. TIN done in tax. Not even a bank card. I had to make out. Because of this, the signing of the contract dragged on for another month.

Of course, I was nervous. It seemed that all the circumstances were against me.

In November 2007, a year after the manuscript was sent, I arrived at the appointed time to sign the contract for my first book.

At the reception it turned out that I was not ordered an electronic pass. Either the editor forgot, the secretaries messed up something. I had to call and find out, but I still signed the contract that day!

In that year, Eksmo launched a series of novels by young contemporary authors. NEXT generation novel. They planned to publish my story in the same series in three months. That is, by the spring of next year, but something went wrong ...

The cover was drawn, and the series was closed. I did not know if my book would be released at all. The editor said that the book will certainly be published, but a little later in another series. I could not name the exact dates.

The book was published at the beginning of summer in the new series of romance novels “Women's Forum”.

This happened. It was a quiet and calm joy - to hold it in your hands, turn pages. Read and not believe that she wrote all this herself. It felt like it wasn’t me. Strange, unusual, but nice.

I will return to the first part of my story. I did not have to pay the publisher to print. On the contrary. I was paid a fee before the book was released.

The opinions of friends, acquaintances and relatives were divided.

Relatives supported and rejoiced. Others said that they tried to read, but did not finish reading - the characters are stupid, boring, many letters. Still others took note, but showed no interest. Perhaps they simply did not believe it, because the book was printed under a pseudonym.

The series "Women's Forum" was also closed, and the next two novels, which I wrote on a wave of motivation, were refused.

Only for girls

Perhaps my story in Eksmo would have ended with just one book, but a year later I was asked to write a story for the collection.

In a short time it was necessary to write a story about love on the Internet. I did it.

The story was published in the series "The Big Book of Love Stories for Girls." These are collections of three short stories from different authors on a specific topic. Later this story was reprinted as a separate book in the series “Only for Girls”.

The book series “Only for Girls” has been published in Eksmo since 2002. This is the most famous and successful in the domestic market series in the genre of love novels for girls. The target audience is modern schoolgirls from twelve to fifteen years old.

For five years in this series more than ten of my stories have been published. I wrote almost all of these books after graduation. I worked from 9 to 18 from Monday to Friday, and wrote in the evenings and on weekends.

Later part of the stories were reprinted in collections and in separate books. All books, starting with the first, were published under the pseudonym Daria Lavrova.


The authors communicate with readers in the VKontakte series group. Here, readers write reviews and discuss new products. It is very convenient. At any time, the author can come in and read reviews about his books.

Cool, when your stories are in someone’s favorite list, when they post successful quotes, they ask you to hold another contest.

Among readers in the group regularly holds contests on a variety of topics. Winners receive gifts - at the discretion of the author who holds the competition. This is usually a book that is about to be published. Of course, with an autograph and good wishes.

Feedback taught me to be more comfortable with negative criticism. From readers or acquaintances, it doesn’t matter. It happens, and this is normal, but this is not a reason to stop believing in yourself and give up what you like.

After all, there are still those who are waiting for your books, who support, without even reading. Some were always there, others appeared later, during the preparation of the first book for publication and after.

I realized that it was important for me to see the result of my work - in creativity, in ordinary work.

My experience that I learned from this story

1. Analyze demand, study the book market. Ideally, do this before you sit down to write a book, and after that - write and offer.

It’s difficult to publish too unusual a thing if you are a novice author and you don’t have your own audience yet.

2. If you missed the first tip, listen to it after writing the book. Wrote an ironic detective? Then you should not send it to a publisher whose profile is fiction or non-fiction. Send it where books of the same genre are already being published.

3. Obey the editor. Do not be afraid to shorten the text. Without superfluous chapters and "water" he will only win.

If you care about deleted passages and rejected chapters, copy them to a separate file and save. You can use later in the next novel.

4. When preparing for publication, do not be afraid to call the editor. Emails may not reach, get lost, get into spam. Scary to call - ask a friend.

5. An alias is optional, but if you don’t like your name and surname, or you don’t want your friends to recognize you, feel free to invent a new first name or last name. ANDor both.

6. Tell us about the release of the book. not after signing the contract. For various reasons, the exit may be delayed, and you will feel uncomfortable when answering friends' questions. "So when? When already? You must have been deceived. ”

7. Try a new one. Accept offers, even if at first glance they seem not very interesting. You never know what might come of it, what luck it is. I did not regret that I began to write for teenagers. And, of course, she didn’t assume at the beginning that I would write more than ten stories.

8. Write regularly. If you have recently started writing, be prepared for long work, and also for the fact that “the first pancake is lumpy.” But the second and third will turn out much better. Develop, gradually complicating your tasks.

I wrote more than a thousand pages before my book was printed.

9. Now i I try to write for an hour in the evening after the main work. Every four days I take a break for a day.

Take short breaks and do something else. Ground yourself. Cook food, throw out trash, plant seedlings, walk, fall in love, be here and now, in reality - because this is the source of inspiration that we often look for and cannot find. And he is always there.