Writing a First Book

Question:

I read your books in seventh and eighth grade and they have, along with the Twilight series and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, made a meaningful impact on my life. I am now a junior in high school and am trying to write a book of my own. When writing, I keep coming back to your books and wondering why they are so good and what they have that mine don’t. I was wondering if you had any advice for a beginning writer. How would you suggest going about writing one’s first book?

Phyllis replied:

I’m glad my books have meant so much to you.  It’s very difficult to give advice about writing a book, and actually, no one really can.  I’ve written a book called “The Craft of Writing the Novel,” which is everything I know about writing that I can put down on paper.  But the truth is that your own book should come from inside of you.  The more personal–and the more universal–the better.  It should be “the book that only you can write,” because it’s looking at the world through your own unique eyes, putting a spin with your own particular twist on the things that happen to you, that others can identify with too.  That’s about the best I can offer. I hope it helps, and wish you the best of luck.

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