So, you want to be a writer...

Here is some stuff that might help:

  • read everything you can get your hands on: the more you read, the more you absorb how stories work (or don't).
  • don’t worry about being good! Just get the story out. You can polish and fix it up later. Worrying about how good it is - or focusing on grammar/spelling/sentence structure - can really derail creativity. Give yourself permission to write crap. Take the pressure off, and you might just be surprised how good it can be.
  • you learn writing by doing: there are no short cuts.
  • do it because you love writing; no other reason is good enough. There are no guarantees that even if you're really good that you will get published: it takes luck and timing, too. 
  • get used to rejection! Sad, I know. But Slated was my 9th novel, and all the rest got rejected over and over again. 

 

Some of my blogs on writing related stuff:

Links & helpful stuff:

How to get published: on Notes from the Slushpile

 

One of my all time fave books on writing, that I read again and again: Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg.

 

Can I read your stuff?

I'm really sorry, but I can't, or I'd never finish my own stuff! It can be really helpful finding writing buddies - ones you trust with each other's work, who are helpfully critical without being destructive.

 

Questions or comments about writing?

Fire away in the comments below.

 

 

Comments: 83
  • #83

    Josina Ott (Saturday, 14 January 2017 19:55)

    Hi Teri, I'm from germany and I love your books! I've read the slated trilogy and the book of lies and I love it that much!! I know this message isn't about writing books but I have a question: I searched everywhere but I don't found any answers: Why are there no movies for the books? Your writing is so great an that much people love it!! So please answer me!:)
    Best wishes, Josina :)

  • #82

    Zemira (Sunday, 08 January 2017 01:15)

    Hi, wow I can't believe this!! Btw your are an incredible author, and your words are beautiful. Well I'm Zemira and I'm 13 years of age, and a young writer. I love to read, and I LOVED the Slated Series! I write dystopian/sci-fi/mystery books and poetry. I live in the one and only New York City, and I go to a writing workshop called Writopia (my favorite place ever) every Wednesday. I would love to write like you when I'm older, all though people say I'm much wiser beyond my years (which is why my books are YA). My best friends friends and I are in love with your writing, ever since Slated Series. So I just want you to know that you were definitely part of what inspired me to start writing and entering competitions. One question though, do you think you will ever create a writing competition? I would love to get a chance to show you my work, and perhaps some of your other fans will too. Anyway just a friendly suggestion, even if you don't reply thanks for just being the amazing writer you are! Ok Bye! :)

  • #81

    Victoria (Thursday, 08 September 2016 21:47)

    Dear Teri,
    I got your book a few days ago and I cannot put it down. It is like food for my brain! (litterally) I started to write when I was 12 and ever since then I wrote stories nonstop until summer. When I got your story I started back on the writing train again (wooo,woooo ;) ) and I am revising a story I wrote called TARGET and I got a question for you: Will your book be adapted to a film? cause that would be really cool.

  • #80

    Taylor (Thursday, 04 August 2016 02:27)

    Hi Terri,
    Love your books they are amazing, I wanted to ask if Slated will be made into a film?

  • #79

    Hannah (Sunday, 05 June 2016 00:02)

    Hi Teri,
    I absolutely love your books, I have just finished Mind Games it took me a day to read as I was obsessed with it. I have two questions:
    Will you be publishing anymore young adult books?
    Is slated going to become a film?
    Many thanks
    Hannah

  • #78

    micca (Tuesday, 17 May 2016 22:27)

    I was really inspired from your books, but I don't know any place to send my piece to. can you help me? I'm 14-years-old, so I need a place that publishes young writer's books...
    thank you,
    Micca

  • #77

    Teri Terry (Thursday, 14 April 2016 17:59)

    Hi Elin,
    There is a blog linked about which touches on this issue (the link is The Fine Art of Procrastination).
    As far as picking publishers goes, look at who publishes the kind of books you enjoy and you'd like to write, and that'll give you some ideas.
    Good luck!

  • #76

    Elin (Sunday, 10 April 2016 20:53)

    I'm an aspiring author and i want to ask 2 questions, how do you battle writer's block? and what publishers are best? (which ones are more trustworthy)

  • #75

    Teri Terry (Wednesday, 06 April 2016 14:57)

    Hi Megan,
    There are no easy answers to this: you just need to make yourself sit and keep going. Maybe it would help to give yourself a set time that you write every day or every week?
    I've done a blog that might help a little: http://www.notesfromtheslushpile.com/2016/02/making-things-up-writing-all-right.html

  • #74

    megan (Tuesday, 05 April 2016 22:24)

    hi terri this is the second post I have posted.
    I need your help my plan for my future is to go to different countries then come home and write a book based on the country and its people,
    but if I cant even write a short fiction story how can I write a long non fiction book.
    How do you get your head down and write a full book?
    Every time I try I leave it with about two pages, there are over 100 hundred attempted books of mine left like that:(

  • #73

    megan (Sunday, 03 April 2016 00:06)

    Teri,
    I love your book Slated it so far is the only one I have:(
    but I am working on that, your book is my escape from home and reading it gives me a sense of achievement.
    I am trying to buy more of your books but my mom thinks I have already got to much, which is not true, no one can have to many (I only have a hundred or so)
    any way I just wanted to ask if you would recommend a certain one of your books. (I'm only 15 by the way)

  • #72

    Katie (Monday, 28 December 2015 21:30)

    Your books speak to me. I love it when a book/trilogy speaks to me. I admire the mind what constructed these books and wish that more books could be this amazing. I'm 17, I haven't lived my life yet. But when I feel i'm old enough to dedicate my life to writing, your books will be at the top of my list I will turn to for inspiration and admiration. Until then I will keep reading and writing.

  • #71

    Alexis Taylor (Friday, 11 December 2015 20:07)

    i love your books. They have inspired me so much, i have written a few books and lots of people like them. so i might publish them ^^ but thanks so much again for letting me write and be a better writer. and so keep writing!! ^^

  • #70

    S'hacker (Wednesday, 04 November 2015 21:25)

    I have read all three of your Slated trilogy and have recently finished Mind Games. I really liked your books and I would like to know if there any more coming out (except for Book of Lies, which I know about). I would also like to know if you may make movies out of them in the future. The character who most relates to me in Slated is Madison (not Kyla as would be expected of a girl). Me and my father are planning to write a dystopia. Do you have any tips other than the ones listed on your website? What do you think of first, the characters or the plot?

  • #69

    Alexandria Quintana (Monday, 21 September 2015 15:59)

    Dear Ms. Terry,


    Your book Slated is my new favorite book! I can’t wait to red the rest of the series. Also to be completely honest I wish they would turn this book into a movie! The way you designed the books characters and plot was my favorite. I also loved the overall theme of this book, which was, to me “Be a leader and not a follower.” I do have some questions about the book though that I would be happy if could answer them.

    How did you come up with such an interesting story line to write about? The idea of the Levo’s, Lorder’s and Slating is such a big concept to create. I’m really curious to find out how you came up with it all! Did you get the idea of Levo’s from a watch and the Lorder’s from security guards?

    My favorite character of the book was Kyla (or possibly Lucy). Sure she was the main character but I liked her cause of her daring and creative personality. She sees this Slated world in different eyes. Another one of my favorite characters is the Dragon, or in other words Kyla’s mom. To me she is one of the more complicating characters. In the beginning she was harsh and mean to Kyla but as the book went on she changed. She became more understanding of Kyla and I believe they both have a pretty good bond between each other. Was there any character you were going to add but didn’t? I would love to know!

    I am also big fan of the conflict of this book. I believe that this book can take so many twist and turns without being over dramatic. Your use of words really felt like Kyla and Ben’s problems were real. You made me think about what I would do if I were in their situation, and honestly I would have been taken away by the Lorder’s a long time ago like Tori was!

    For me the most exciting plot twist was Ben wanting to take of his Levo. What was he thinking? This part of the book made me shiver. I can’t imagine Kyla without Ben. To me Ben was always the innocent one. After I read this book my mind has been completely changed! The one thing that keeps me wondering is that whose fault is it? Who influenced Ben to take on this dangerous task?

    Another event that gave me the chills was when Kyla and Ben faced Wayne. What would have happened if Amy and Jazz couldn’t have saved them? He was never my favorite character through out this book. Maybe it was because I was a fan of Kyla so naturally I took her side. Why does he bother Kyla so much? Is it because he was related to Phoebe? What is his past?

    I would like to think you for taking the time to read this letter. I’m sure some of my questions will be answered as I read the other two books in the series. If there is though anything you can answer about this book that will be unexplained in the rest of the books please wright back to Timberview Middle School, 10300 Old Denton Rd, Keller Tx, 76244 or by email at ARQuintana01@kellerisd.com so I can fully enjoy this amazing series you have written. Thank You.

  • #68

    Reyda (Monday, 14 September 2015 21:17)

    Hello Teri Terry,
    I'm from Turkey and I'm a turkish fan of your books!
    I read Slated, Fractured and Shattered. All were amazing! Now, I'm really excited to read your new book, Mind Games! I'm sure that this one will steal my heart too! like how Slated series did :D
    I want to be a writer (like everyone ) My main language is turkish so I'm going to write my novel in turkish. But I want to write in english too . Because I want that people all around the world can read my novels. But my english is not good enough to write.
    So I'm wondering...what should I do for that?
    I'll be waiting your reply :)
    Lots of love from Turkey!
    Love you <3

  • #67

    Thea (Tuesday, 08 September 2015 04:40)

    Hi Teri! Omg I had to find a your website after reading the Slated trilogy. It has touched me and related to me in so many ways. I cried so much in the last book but I'm just glad the ending was nice. I really do wish to see this trilogy on the big screens. What advice would you give to aspiring authors writing dystopia, adventure and spy type of stories? I am currently writing a trilogy (hoping to publish it in the future) that has got to do with a spy agency and having fun. Also, do you know if you have to be a certain age to publish a book?
    Happy Writing! (:

  • #66

    Louise (Wednesday, 22 July 2015 21:44)

    I just finished reading Shattered ten minutes ago and it was totally awesome

  • #65

    Sophiya (Sunday, 28 June 2015 21:08)

    Hi I'm just wondering . . . how does it feel once you've written your first book? I've only read Slated and I have almost finished writing my own book - editing. I just don't know what to expect when I go to a publisher. Mine is kind of, a dark sci-fi, I have read so many books and I just feel like I am missing something from mine. I do write freely, whenever I'm writing I think of the phrase 'Don't think . . . just write' Any way I'm super excited to read your next book I have fractured and mind games. I have to say - you are a genius. Are you familiar with any authors such as Lauren Kate, Josephine Angelini, Becca Fitzpatrick, Cassandra Clare or Maggie Stiefvater?

  • #64

    Andrea (Sunday, 05 April 2015 13:59)

    Hi Teri. I've just finished Slated, and I really want to read the others, but they aren't available in Spain! :(
    I hope they will be soon.

    Kisses from Spain; when I get older, I wanna be like you ♥♥

  • #63

    Autumn (Thursday, 26 March 2015 19:12)

    I've read your books, and their awesome! Just some questions, that I hope you can answer. Hope I'm not sounding too pushy or nosy...
    I was hoping you could tell me a little about yourself... What's your birthday? Where do you live now? Are you married? Do you have any children? Do you have any interests or hobbies? Really anything...
    Hope you can answer, if not, that's fine. Thanks!

  • #62

    olivia (Wednesday, 18 March 2015 20:06)

    hi teri
    you came to my school for the Salisbury school book awards and I was inspired by you thanks sooooo much.

  • #61

    Iva (Monday, 09 March 2015 23:22)

    Dear Teri Terry,
    can you please come to Austin, Texas I really want to meet you. i love your books.

  • #60

    Anastesia (Saturday, 07 March 2015 17:52)

    Kufy

  • #59

    Heather (Tuesday, 03 February 2015 01:54)

    Hi Ms. Terry,
    I'm wondering if there are any specific books that inspired Slated or if something else inspired you to write your amazing novel. I've been coming up with so many ideas for novels and short stories, but none of them ever seem good enough.
    Thanks,
    Heather

  • #58

    danielle (Tuesday, 27 January 2015 15:39)

    I loved you book slated and I just started read your second book in the slated trilogy Fractured so far it is amazing . I never really like to read till I read your book now I don't like to ever stop. I don't like to stop in the middle of a chapter it has given me shivers down my spine and I can't wait to finish Fractured . I would just like to know how you got your inspiration for the book Slated . I would love to read more books you have wrote.

  • #57

    teriterry (Friday, 23 January 2015 08:23)

    Hi again - there are so many messages here, I've swapped the order around so the most recent ones are at the top.
    Cheers, and keep writing!

  • #56

    teriterry (Friday, 23 January 2015 08:22)

    Hi everyone!
    Thanks for all the lovely comments.
    The drive to finish one thing - and to not go on to other stories - well. That isn't easy. Writing is hard, and new ideas always seem more appealing. It is all about will power, really. You have to make yourself stick to it, and finish what you've started, or you'll be very good at writing beginnings but not have much of an idea of how to write endings. It can help to keep a separate notebook where you write down what the new ideas are, so you know you haven't lost them - you've just put them away for another time.
    As far as how many drafts I do on a book, that varies. I'm constantly editing, so it depends what you call a draft. Probably it will go through a few versions before my editor reads it; then a few more; then copy editing and so on. Maybe half a dozen or so? Though some books less and some more.

  • #55

    Heather (Friday, 23 January 2015 02:51)

    Hi Teri,
    I've been trying to complete a novel, but keep starting new stories. How can I focus on just one book at a time?

  • #54

    Delaney (Sunday, 04 January 2015 06:25)

    Hi Teri,
    My name is delaney I'm sure you are busy but would love to ask you some questions.

    Your books absolutely consumed me while I was reading them! I couldn't stop thinking about them. You have inspired me to write I liked writing but you totally pushed me over the edge, I definitly want to write because of you!

    Some of my question are how do you differentiate one day from another or a dream from real life? Another question is how do you shadow characters? Like Nico? She had no idea who he was but her subconscious did.

    Thank you so much, I look forward to hearing back from you!!!
    Delaney Maddox age 13

  • #53

    Kaitlin (Thursday, 11 December 2014 21:33)

    Hi teri! I was just wondering about how many drafts per novel do you generate? How many drafts did you have to do of Slated before it was ready for publishing and how did you know it was ready?

  • #52

    Lina (Saturday, 29 November 2014 11:35)

    Dear Teri Terry,
    I just wanted you to know,that you have also a lot of fans in Germany :) I'm going to do a presentation about you and the slated books in school, because I'm so in love with them !
    Thank you for reading this and THANK YOU FOR WRITING THOSE AWESOME BOOKS :)) xoxo <3

  • #51

    Kayla (Saturday, 22 November 2014 04:32)

    Hey
    My name is Kayla. I'm 15 and my local library had your book Slated under our new book section. I caught my eye the moment I looked at it. It made me question. I have figured out that the whole idea of catching someones attention is to get them questioning to want to know more. But, I really have gotten enthralled in the book so much it got me to look online. I found that it's a 3 book trilogy.
    I love writing and was really trying to create my own writing of some sort. Maybe a novel, or short piece. I want to be a Psychologist and I was wondering if it would help me in any way. Slated has given me some answers to questions I've had on my own. Especially about memory. It taught me that there is more to it than just what we think. Thank you so much. You have led me to view a better aspect of the mind itself.
    :) Please don't stop writing.

  • #50

    Rebena (Wednesday, 15 October 2014 02:00)


    just wanted to say, i love your books. can you give me any writting tips? thnx (cant wait to read sharrterd!)

  • #49

    Sue (Sunday, 17 August 2014 06:21)

    Hello Teri,
    I just wanted to tell you how much I LOVE your books. Slated and Fractured were incredible. The moment I read the summary for the first book, I was intrigued. My interest only grew as I became absorbed in your perfectly crafted universe. Unfortunately, I have not gotten my hands on a copy of Shattered yet, but I hope to read it as soon as possible. The Slated trilogy is so different and refreshing when compared with other teen novels. Your books are phenomenal and I hope to read more of your stories in the future.

  • #48

    Lara (Saturday, 28 June 2014 15:21)

    Hi
    My name is Lara and i am 14 years old. I love your books and i want to write a book for my Parents.You have on 13 october wedding. So I want to write them a story. I also geneug ideas but they may not incorporate into a whole story. I think it would be great if you give me a few tips. Thanks Lara
    PS: sorry for my bad english but I'm German

  • #47

    Becky (Monday, 16 June 2014 13:14)

    Hi Terry!
    I've actually been trying to write for years, but whenever I start a book, I always lose inspiration, lose sight of the story, or lose the time to get my words down because of school.
    I've written bits and pieces over the years, - little bits of poetry, the beginning to stories, the odd short story or two for some competitions on the websites I use, and I’ve only received positive response.
    The part that still worries and seems to continue to illude me is that I still can never finish a story, or even become close to finishing it! I’ve never known what I’ve wanted to do for the rest of my life, but I think I’ve worked out that I really just wanna be a writer, but if I can’t finish a story, that seems like a total impossibility…
    What helps give you the drive to continue writing, and where do you gain your inspirations from?
    Thanks again and sorry for using up your time;
    From,
    Becky.

  • #46

    author of dp (Wednesday, 04 June 2014 20:19)

    You might have seen my comment on my dream cast for Slated. Just letting you know that d.p. stands for Death Pattern, a story that I wrote that I hope to get published. I've never published a book, but if it does, I'll let you know! Huge fan!

  • #45

    Mozarella (Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:54)

    hi. i know meghan as I go to LGGS too. I didn't ask you a question, however I have one now. How do you write the dreams a character has and then go back to reality?

  • #44

    meow (Thursday, 22 May 2014 13:52)

    meow

  • #43

    zsavira (Tuesday, 20 May 2014 07:36)

    May I know your book other than slated?

  • #42

    Hannah P (Sunday, 18 May 2014 10:37)

    Omg I love all of the Slated trilogy! I'm trying to persuade all of my friends to read them, they're incredible! I was just wondering how many words Slated has? Thanks xx

  • #41

    Diana Arredondo (Sunday, 04 May 2014 00:52)


    PLEASE READ.... pleeeaaasee i need one more book i read Shattered and loved it it's just that Ben & Kyla were meant for eachother. Their ending can't just be ' so Kyla's true love stole a car and left.' WHAT?!? Please, I can't sleep thinking about that ending......pleaseeee it's urgent. The 4th book can be called something like Crushed or Broken or Splintered. PLEEEAAASSEE!
    God bless. I can help you if you want ideas but please consier.

  • #40

    Joni (Thursday, 01 May 2014 19:46)

    To Terri Terry,
    I got your book Slated as a birthday present and I loved it. I live in Dubai and have been searching for Fractured, I really want to read it. Your book inspired me to start writing my own I have started but I always feel as if I have written something wrong or it doesn't sound write, should I continue or go back and check even if it means re-writing alot of it.

  • #39

    Marz is obsessed with Katran and Roxas. (Monday, 28 April 2014 21:47)

    I am a massive ffan of your books, Teri Terry! Just finished Fractured... :o WOWOWOW!

    I have had an idea for a book since I was about five. I had this idea of a girl, then, she grew older as I did, her story changed, I drew her, I added friends and family, she's now attending a boarding school run by her uncle but there are
    - People going missing (this was the original plot but on hindsight doesn't seem so great)
    - A terrorist attack where her friend is shot (I know what you're thinking: BLOODTHIRSTY CHILD xD)
    - SOME STUFF

    As you can see, I have no clear plot, but there is going to be a family that has been torn apart, some major injury scenes, a lot of suspense, and probably will never be published as I haven't figured out anything near a clear plot yet! I NEED IDEAS D:
    My set of characters have taken me about 3 years to perfect. :P
    And that's as far as I have got.

    I tend to take in ideas from books I read, films I watch, the news, songs, and video games.
    Video games. The thing that my life revolves around.
    And books. My life also revolves around these.

    A bit about me: I am a girl who has no talent but loves to read and play video games.

    I really want to speak to Teri Terry, her books are, honestly, the best I've ever read. I haven't felt so... MOVED... by a book... so FASCINATED by a book for so long! This beats practically everything I've EVER read.

    Please. I need plots, ideas, and more plots.
    And I LOVE SLATED.

    My username.

    Marz. The name everyone calls me by on this website I go on.

    Katran. My favorite character in the Slated series, by far.

    Roxas. My favorite video game character, from Kingdom Hearts, the best video game series in the world.

    Marz is out.

    PEACE :D

  • #38

    teriterry (Sunday, 20 April 2014 18:20)

    Hi Cat,
    How to make a dystopian society feel realistic is a good question - and will depend on the story and the characters. A huge part of it is making your character sympathetic and likeable to readers. If readers are really identifying with the character, then the world will feel real. The other part of it - making the world believable - is harder. With Slated I think part of how it works is that the world is recognisable, but with specific differences. If readers can recognise the world the characters inhabit, you're a lot of the way there. Of course if your story is set much further run the future in a more different world, that is, in some ways, more difficult.
    Hope that helps

  • #37

    teriterry (Sunday, 20 April 2014 18:17)

    Hi Kaitlyn and Meghan,
    I'm going to combine an answer here because there seems to be a common thread in your messages.
    Plotting can be difficult. I wouldn't get too hung up about whether your story is different to everything out there, though: there is a theory that there are only five plots (really!) - it is how you write it and make it your own that is important. Of course if it is too much like something - especially if it a huge something, like Divergent - that may or may not be a problem.
    As far as just what it is that makes a book stand out to publishers, or, once it is published, becomes the next big thing with readers? I wish I knew! Most publishers wish they knew, to. Sometimes the successes and failures seem really unpredictable.
    The most important thing is to write the best story you can write. Make it your own. Then cross your fingers...

  • #36

    Cat (Thursday, 17 April 2014 21:29)

    Hello Teri,
    I'm about half-way through Slated right now and I absolutely love it! I've considered writing a dystopian novel about secret government operations that the public doesn't know about, though I'm not sure how to make it seem believable. I don't want the reader to think that the events in my book couldn't possibly occur. In Slated, I find the predicament that civilization is in quite believable. I was wondering if you have any advice about making dystopian novels more realistic. Also, I love the budding romance in Slated so far. I like incorporating romance into my stories, but I don't have much experience. Do you have any tips?
    Thank you! :)

  • #35

    Devin (Wednesday, 19 March 2014 04:59)

    Hi Teri - I just read slated with few expectations going in & wow! What a great tale. I can't wait to read fractured. And your site has inspired me to keep writing. I especially appreciate the tip about getting it out THEN editing because that is my downfall. Will focus on just getting the story told for now :-)

    Cheers!
    D

  • #34

    Meghan (Friday, 07 March 2014 20:42)

    Hi! I'm from LGGS, you went there on Wednesday. I was the one who asked the question right at the end ^-^. But anyway, I've always loved writing and the author visits I've seen (you, and Michelle Paver from last year) have inspired me even more to become an author. I have a question, though. How do you think of a nice plot? I have thought of a plot, but apparently it's very similar to Divergent, which I haven't read. So the main question is, how do you come up with a good plot or a good character without making anything too cliché?

News & popular posts

Who is the Slated trilogy cover girl? Meet Hayley here, and find out what it is like to be on a book cover.

Books of Lies has been short listed for the Lancashire Book of the Year, the Redbridge Book Award, and the North East Teen Book of Award.

 

Mind Games won the Portsmouth Book Award! It also won the SCBWI Crystal Kite for the British Isles, and was runner-up in the Oxfordshire Book Award. It is short listed for the Sussex Coast Schools Amazing Book Award,  the Staffordshire Book Award, and the Wirral Paperback of the Year.

 Mind Games is nominated for the Carnegie medal!

 

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Teri Terry's books on Goodreads
Slated Slated (Slated, #1)
reviews: 1284
ratings: 9311 (avg rating 4.05)

Fractured Fractured (Slated, #2)
reviews: 461
ratings: 3681 (avg rating 4.14)

Shattered Shattered (Slated, #3)
reviews: 271
ratings: 1793 (avg rating 4.24)

Mind Games Mind Games
reviews: 1
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.62)