March 30, 2019
HOW YOUNG WRITERS READ AND WRITE
Last month, we finally launched In Our Own Words Volume 5, an anthology by select young writers who attended creative writing classes of Where the Write Things Are. We usually have our book launch at the end of the year but life happened—a wedding, family from the US came home, writing deadlines, and work related projects one after the other.
But we really made the book launch happen because we never get tired of seeing young writers feel so accomplished getting published. We were also excited to have worked with Filipina artists from Ang Ilustrador ng Kabataan (Ang INK). Jamie Bauza made the the book cover art while Liza Flores did the book design.
For this year’s anthology, we included a new section on reading and writing which we called “How young writers read and write”. Read on and maybe even learn a couple of tips from these young writers as well.
The idea comes at the weirdest of times, when I’m comforting someone, when I’m jealous, when I have a dream—possibilities where I get ideas are endless. When I have the idea, it’s either I write or use my phone to write. A new technique I’m trying to do is write a biography for the characters I have in my head so far.
I find Neil Gaiman’s tip most helpful, not because I’m biased since he’s one of my favorite authors, but because I get discouraged or angry easily when I know my friends are also writers. He advises to focus on your writing and not on anyone’s else’s, since only YOU can write your way.
Reading, for me, is one of the best things in the world. It makes me calm, especially when someone just scolded me. It brings me to another world. Reading also expands my vocabulary. There are so many things in reading that make me ecstatic!
This year, somewhere near the end of May, my mom asked my English teacher what we would be reading in grade six. She said we were reading “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. My mom wanted me to read it in advance, so she borrowed a copy from my cousin who is a huge bookworm. My cousin also lent us a book called “Auggie and Me” by R.J. Palacio. After I read the two books, I was thirsty for more. I told my mom I wanted more and she seemed pleased. The following weekend, she went to Fully Booked and took pictures of many books and asked if I wanted them. I got a few and I borrowed another book from my cousin. My mom and I kept doing this and until now we still are at it. Although I don’t request any more books from my cousin, I lend my books to my grandmother. She just got into reading and she likes all the books I lend her. I have read over twenty books now, while my grandmother read four. My parents want us to create a book club, but that wasn’t what I had in mind when they said “share books.” The good thing is, we both love reading.
I feel proud of myself because I am reading like never before. Usually when I am bored, I play with my phone. But when the battery runs all the way down to zero, I become gloomy and bored again. One of the reasons why I like reading is because it has no battery. It never runs out of power!
I feel blissful whenever I finish a book because there is a happy ending and I can add the title of the book to my log of books read. Whenever I begin a book, I am enthusiastic to go on and read. Whenever I am in the middle, I am lost in what the story is all about.
There are still millions of books I haven’t yet read, and I want to read at least five hundred of them.
What I basically do to write is first, I think of a topic. After I think of that, I build some scenes and plot development. Then I think of the characters and story direction like whether I make it violent or happy, full of adventure or action, etc. Then I start to write.
I use a computer to write stories because it is easy to find the misspelled words you have, making it easier to edit. Once I’m done writing one paragraph, I read it out to find any errors in the words. I also use many adjectives to describe stuff. The tip that helped me the most is the tip not to over describe like a detective’s report. That keeps the story fresh and exciting.
—Paolo Javier G. Coscolluela
My writing process starts with me thinking of my characters, then the plot of my story. I write drafts and the best one becomes the “main” universe, while the other drafts turn into “alternate” universes. This main universe is my fictional multiverse where my book series take place, while the spin offs take place in the alternate universes. Neil Gaiman’s tip is most helpful because I agree that you should focus on honing your style, instead of copying someone else’s.
Being a reader and a bit of a writer to me means thinking about new words, discovering new books, writing in a notebook. I can’t really explain all my thoughts but I have lots more in mind. Discovering books can be good because you can learn new words, find new authors and illustrators! But did you know lots of people out there cannot read or write! That is why I am really thankful that I can read and write.
Reading new books and discovering new authors so I can have better ideas! Learning new words so I can tell my classmates! Finding more illustrators so I can combine writing and drawing! Drawing the characters of the books! Writing about my family and friends so I can remember them and show them!
As an author, I hold unlimited power in countless worlds. I am inhibited only by my imagination. This power that flows through me is corruptive. It takes a strong will and mind to hold this power and control it, never giving in to the overwhelming desires that overcome humans. People like J.K. Rowling who continue to build their world long after they’ve finished, like J. R. R. Tolkien whose world continues to be discovered long after their death. These are the people with those wills. These are the people who I aspire to be like. These are the people whose stories will live on.
—Marco Vicente J. Sanvictores
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