Stuart Gibbs, Author of “Belly”, Offers Advice to Teen Authors

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A young author’s checklist:

Computer, check. 

Printer, check. 

Ideas, check.

First draft of novel? Well… I’ll start that tomorrow..

“The best advice I can give to young writers is ‘just keep writing.’  The more you practice, the better you’ll get.  If you actually enjoy writing, this probably won’t sound like a big deal to you; you’re probably writing all the time as it is, anyhow,” Stuart Gibbs the author of Belly Up stated in an interview with the Matador Messenger.

If publishing your first novel seems daunting, Gibbs suggested that  perhaps young authors should consider consider other writing  formats for their creativity.

“Also, keep in mind that there are all sorts of venues for writing: I have friends who write magazines, songs, plays, video games, movies, TV and the news in addition to books,” Gibbs stated.

“Don’t be afraid to try new genres or types of writing,” advised Gibbs. “There are many authors and many up and coming authors and there are teens trying to start a writing career. But they need help or advice. So many people try to write but then never finish.”

So now you may be ready to tackle that screenplay, song, or even your first novel but have additional questions. offers the following words of wisdom that may help any “writer’s block” you may face along the way:


  1. Respect Your Genre– Make your writing original but also make sure it follows the general genre you are writing in.
  2. Read Bad Stuff– If you read only good books you will lower your self-confidence and you can find errors in the books that aren’t as well written that you should not make.
  3. Don’t Think Too Much About the Publishing World– Even the big authors are scared on whether the book will be liked or not. So don’t worry you are just putting extra stress on yourself.
  4. Try To Make Editors Tell You What They Want– If the editor rejects your writing make them tell you what they want so you can fix that in your book or write a completely new book don’t loose hope.
  5. Books Must Be Written, Not Talked– Thousands of master pieces have been talked out at restaurants or on a regular day but not one has been printed.
  6. Leave Something Behind– Make your book have a lesson so it will leave a meaningful legacy behind. Even though they may not be as big as the Harry Potter Series most books will leave a legacy.
  7. Write What Scares You– When you write what scares you, you will be able to describe it beautifully because what we know the best is usually what scares you.
  8. A Good Style Comes From Lack of Pretentiousness– You want to write about something that won’t be the same next year, because if it is the same each year it is most likely already well known.
  9. Stories Must Have Life at the End– You have to have your story be able to go on you can’t end a stories life on the last page. People die, love dies, but life never dies at least one character must live past the end.
  10. Allow Yourself to Write Poorly– When an idea first pops in your head you have to write it down and start the structure it might be written horribly but you can make it better as time goes on.
  11. Think Like A Writer– Always say things clearly, describe them so everybody can see it from your point of view. If you don’t write like this then people won’t imagine it how you do.
  12. Make Your Characters Want Something Right Away– Your character has to want something even if it is a small snack they have to be human.
  13. Keep At It– Keep writing no matter what people say about it, because you may end up being a huge writer someday.