This week I have a very special post for you from a talented eleven-year-old author. Jackson Bowman (aka “The Girl Named Jack”) has written an imaginative adventure story about two rival bands of horses: the Pegasuses and the Unicorns. It’s colorful and emotional, and the word pictures are gorgeous. And it’s over 15,000 words long! You can find it for sale on her blog for only .99. If you have kids who enjoy the Warriors series, I think they’d appreciate The War of the Splithoofed and Winged as they’re both written in a similar style and spirit. But today Jack has agreed to tell us a bit about her own adventure in writing her first novel. Grab something sweet and tune in…
I’ve always loved to read ever since I could! It was magical for me, and still is. Having magical lands and creatures unravel in my mind as I read the descriptive words of a good book! But books, as everybody knows, have to be written before they can be read. And it’s a tough process with a lot of stuff to make you sour, I’ll tell you that. I’ll tell you about my writing experience and how I went from OK kid writer to a much better kid writer! 🙂
NaNoWriMo is an awesome writing event held nationally every year through November 1st until midnight of November 31st. NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Say NaNoWriMo a few times, it’ll roll off your tongue the right way after a few tries. 😉 Well, I wrote “The War of the Spithoofed and Winged” for NaNoWriMo. My book is now featured as an E-book on my blog, and I’m quite proud of it. I can be a proud person at times, but my writing and reading is what I ‘m most proud of most often, to be honest. Well, NaNoWriMo changed everything about writing for me. And you’re about to hear how, and why…
I entered NaNoWriMo on October the 31st when my internet friend Taliaw, also known as Spasmatic, from a WordPress site told me about it. I was so excited that I explained it to my mom, signed up, and almost started to go ahead and start writing my book until I remembered that it hadn’t officially started yet. It was still October! But then–wait a minute. My book? I had to start tomorrow? What was it gonna be about?! :O
Yeah, that was a big bump in my way (is the term ‘hill’ more convenient for this situation?) So I got to work in my room, at my desk, trying to form a plan in my mind for a good book that would last me through a month. And than horses came to mind! They are my favorite animal and have been since the 1st grade. And then suddenly–I had a cool idea! 🙂 That September I had gone to the North Georgia Mountains with my great aunt and great grandma. I wrote a little on the way there and had come up with the beginnings of a story about a moonlit meadow and Indians and such. But why not? Why not make this be the topic of my book for NaNoWriMo!
Oh, I had no idea what I was getting into. My chapters back then were only ever 1 page long, 2 or 3 pages if I was really into it! And not as much description either. In those next four weeks, I had to write about 600 something words a day. I can’t really remember what my word goal was, because by the time November was slowly fading I was very strained. I’d missed a few days of writing, so I’d had to write extra on certain days. I’d rewritten certain scenes several times and tried to fill in the gap of emotion between readers and my characters. I’m not kidding–I felt sometimes like the book would never be done–I’d never fulfill my word goal of like 20,000 words–and I might not finish it in the month of November. In other words, I got nervous that I wouldn’t make my book good enough for readers! 🙁
Lowering my word goal wounded my pride slightly but made me less stressed so that my mind could unravel enough to focus on the book and not on how much more I had to go! And in the end–I was quite exhilarated– I heightened my word goal slightly to like 15,000 and passed it! 😀
Never since NaNoWriMo have I written an only 1 or 2 page long chapter! I loved NaNoWriMo, and am REALLY looking forward to it again this year!
Oh, one more thing. Please don’t think of the Unicorns or Pegasuses in my book as girly things. They are meant to be serious, with a good amount of humor! Not the weird pink cotton candy colored ones with fluffy wings and eyeliner that go into princess shows. Oh please don’t get me started on those weird things! Read the motto of my blog, it will explain why I detest things like that.
Check out Jack’s blog at The Girl Named Jack. Her book is available to download in pdf format from her home page.
Writing 'The War of the Splithoofed and Winged'–Guest Post by Jackson E. Bowman, age 11