Sometime last year John Scalzi wrote a post at Whatever called “10 Things Teenage Writers Should Know About Writing”. I agreed with pretty much all of it (although Scalzi’s default writing style is more…well, I don’t think even he would disagree with the description “snarky”…than mine). In fact, I agreed with it so much that I passed it on to the young writers whom I instructed in last year’s Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience, and also to the young writers I mentored earlier this year, and I have no doubt I’ll use it again for the upcoming Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience, which I am once again instructing.
Now Scalzi has a follow-up post answering some of the complaints/comments he’s had on the original post, many of which seem to follow from his first point, which was “The Bad News: Right Now, Your Writing Sucks.”
He begins with this note:
Before I list the arguments, let me stress again something that gets lost in the shuffle: It’s okay that teen writers are not particularly good writers right now. Almost all of them will get better with time and practice. I mean, hell: I did. It’s not an insult to note that someone doesn’t do something well, yet: It’s just an observation. I have every expectation that teen writers will get better. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have bothered to write the original article at all.
I have a feeling I may well be handing out this new list of Scalzi’s along with his original post to my students this year.