Features

Writing the Next Chapter

BAILEY HEIT

COPY EDITOR

   81% of the population want to write a book in their lifetime, but the majority never find time. Four eighth graders have defied the status quo and are in the process of writing complete novels before they have even reached high school.

   The “Percy Jackson” series and writing are two things eighth grader Reeya Vashischta has always been interested in. She has decided to tackle her own 400 page book (tentatively titled “Torn”) involving a girl who discovers her real parents are actually Roman gods and sets out on a quest to find them.

   “I really like Rick Riordan because he has written so many books about Greek mythology and has also tied it into Roman mythology. I love the mix of the two because they go together so well,” Vshista said.

   Vashischta faced many obstacles throughout the process. Through writing five different versions of the same book, she has struggled with the main idea, grammar, characters, and more.

   “I have trouble with the characters because I have to make them so that you can connect with them in real life,” Vashischta said. “I really want my readers to connect with my characters, but that has
been a struggle.”

   She is finally revising her final draft and hopes to publish it by next year.

   Two years ago, eighth grader Sarah Feng successfully published her first book “Beneath” about a girl named Katherine who one day wakes up as a mermaid and travels into a mysterious new underwater world. In sixth grade, Feng was inspired to write this book after taking part in a production of “The Little Mermaid.” She has known that she is interested in writing from a very young age, so writing a book was a challenge she was eager to face.

   “In class, there is a prompt that you have to follow and get a grade on, so you have to try really hard. But writing a book is really fun, because it is like your own world,” Feng said.

   “Beneath” is available for purchase on Amazon and iBooks and has received a lot of positive feedback. One reviewer wrote how she “personally fell in love with this book” and Feng has “inspired [her] to be free and to be loyal to others in need.” Another reviewer remarks that “she managed to write a book that was complete and complex – and held my attention.”

   While Feng will not reveal any details, she is already engrossed in a new novel, so be on the lookout.

   “I was an editor on Sarah’s book; when I saw how good it was, I wanted to write one on my own.” eighth grader Carter Brady said.

   While Brady is not as inspired to write about mermaids like Feng, he is fascinated by apocalyptic times like in his favorite book, “Redwall.” His book deals with teenagers trying to rescue their missing friend from a dangerous world where robots are taking over.

   Brady is still in the beginning phases of writing and is just now realizing what it takes to become an author. He already scrapped a different fantasy novel after experiencing writer’s block, but he is optimistic about finishing this book as soon as he can.

   Brady’s twin, eighth grader Reilly Brady, is also taking on, not one, but two books. “Lost” is about a boy who leaves his house and needs to find a new family, and “Modern Mythology” involves Greek mythology.

   In her writing, Reilly Brady imitates the style of one of the seventh grade literature readings called “The House on Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros. She plans to break up one of her books into little vignettes much like Cisneros.

   Unlike the other eighth graders, Reilly Brady does not struggle with writer’s block but is instead challenged by getting all of her ideas onto paper.

   “Getting all the details down and explaining everything is hard because they are in my head but sometimes I can’t get them into words,” Reilly Brady said.

   Reilly Brady enjoys being able to use her imagination when writing a book instead of having to follow guidelines like in class.

Leave a Comment