(Apologies for the late post!)
Today I’m going to talk about my experience with writing novels as a young teen and the challenges that come with it.
I started writing seriously when I was about 11 years old. My original inspiration came when I was around age 9, from a friend we’ll call N. When my family and I visited N’s house, she was writing a book with a pen and illustrating it with coloring pencils. She was only a year old than me, and it was crazy that she could write a whole novel with a vast world and interesting characters, at such a young age. That intrigued and inspired me. I wanted to do the same!
When I got back home, I started writing stories. Short and boring ones, yes, but stories. The problem was, that none of them clicked with me. I wrote them without any prior planning, and they all promptly fell like lead balloons!
I trashed one, then two, then three. Pretty soon my pile of half-baked stories was overwhelmingly large and though the time I’d spent was long,I had nothing to show for it.
Something had to change. But… I didn’t really do anything to change ANYTHING. Writing sort of lost its shimmer. It was too difficult. But things changed when I learned about YWW.
YWW, if you didn’t already know, is short for “Young Writer’s Workshop,” and it’s a Christian program designed to help young aspiring writers to grow in their craft, make connections, and someday publish their book (or grow a successful platform).
At first, I was reluctant to join the program, but I tried the free trial, and it was a total game-changer. There, I actually met other people who were having the same struggles as me, who knew what it was like to try to write a book at such a young age.
I began a new novel with more planning, more confidence, and a little more experience than before.
It was such a wild ride, but an insanely fun one. That project became a book called “Fear of the Enemy”, a fantasy novel about twins with powers, a kingdom of trolls, a giant, a wizard, and a town unwilling to be destroyed.
That book was the first book I finished. What a fun experience it was!
I gave it to my brother after a couple of rounds of revisions, and he loved it.
To be honest, that book was not very well developed, had tons of plot holes, and boasted many mistakes, but the experience was the most important part.
After a month of rest, I rushed to work on the second installment in my fantasy series, the sequel to Fear of the Enemy.
I had so much fun writing this book too. It had everything I ever wanted to write in a fantasy book, from betrayals to spells to crazy plot twists to magical dragons to epic wars between kingdoms. However… the book was a mess. Things were all over the place, details didn’t match with the original project, and the ending was insanely rushed.
I realized I really liked the plot of the second book, but I would have to rip apart the bones of the series and restart from book one if I wanted to keep it AND make it better, .
I took a much-needed break from Fear of the Betrayer to work on a new project of mine: a sci fi novel involving a corrupt government and a squad of spacefighters that are ready to fight back.
I’m writing this currently, and this project has its challenges too. For one, this genre is an entirely new one to me, and it’s a little hard to navigate through unknown waters. I’m used to sword fighting and dragons, not star ships and aliens.
Secondly, I’ve felt a lot less productive than I was before. It’s easy to drown in an endless spiral of procrastination. I lack motivation, and sometimes I contemplate why I am writing in the first place. But I know that when I push through this project, it will all be worth it. 🙂
The Joy of Writing a Book
Writing a book is exhilarating. It’s like riding a theme park ride, except you choose what happens next. You choose the swoops, the loops, the drops. You choose when it relaxes and slows down, or when it speeds up and makes a tight curve.
Only, it can be very slow. Very, very, very slow in fact.
A book must be 50,000 words for it to be even classified as a novel. An average Young Adult book stands at 75,000 words. The average for an Adult Fantasy novel is a mind-boggling 195,000 words.
Writing that many words takes an insane amount of dedication and hard work. Not to mention, you have to write a good story, not just type out words!
Writing is hard but fun. Writing can be tough, but rewarding.
My dream of becoming a writer which started when I was introduced to it back when I was nine years old hasn’t changed since. My prayer is that I can become a professional author someday.