Some people may think that writing is merely putting words onto paper.
And in a way, that’s true. But to some, writing is so much more. Take a minute to really think about it; how much of our human expression is through our language? Our texts, our songs, our blogs, even things as small as our Instagram captions. So much of our lives are dedicated to these funny little letters and the things they create. When we owe so much to so little, can it really be said that words are just words?
It was this thought process that first inspired me to try my hand at writing. It began small – I’d scribble excerpts onto the back of my school homework, nonsensical pieces of writing based on imaginary places I’d made inside my young mind. At this time, as young as seven or eight, I dreamed of becoming an author. Of course, with age, you begin to realise that certain career prospects don’t hold up financially. That doesn’t mean the passion died along with the dream.
I continued to write, and continued to read, so enamoured by these vibrant words and the pictures they created. I wanted someone, one day, to read my work and feel the same way I had as a child opening a good book for the first time. I didn’t just want to create a picture with my words; I wanted to create a masterpiece.
It was only towards the beginning of this year I actually began to reach my goal.
At the beginning of 2021, with lockdown confining me to my room for hours on end, I picked up a laptop for what felt like the first time in eons; life had been hectic, and it had been a long time since I’d taken the time to write. I began to plan an entirely self-written, self-illustrated, self-published novel. The initial plan was seven chapters, each of around seven thousand words. This quickly became eleven chapters, with varying chapter length, and a strategically-hidden lesson of morality between the worded lines. I designed characters, I created Kingdoms, I wrote conflict into existence. And the best part? I discovered the beauty of words once more.
The novel is called SONDER, a word which is described as “the realization that each random passer-by is living a life as vivid and complex as your own.”
At four chapters and fifteen thousand words so far, alongside a live reading audience of (currently) 3,381, the novel itself is going places I couldn’t have even dreamed.
It follows the story of an orphan pick-pocket, forced to join the War effort after becoming entangled with an Imperial Officer. A story of love, of loss, and of the constant transitory state of our small world, I aim not only to prove that the smallest of things matter, but that life is what we make of it, not what it is perceived to be.
The cover was entirely illustrated by me using Ibis Paint X and PicsArt, and the entire novel so far has been written on a singular Google Document. I attached a small excerpt from the book, a brief introduction of the King of the Empire, though this alone does not truly give justice to the entire plot line . Someday soon, I will hopefully finish this novel, and be able to proudly present it here. But until then, I’ll continue to write like a madman, just as you should continue to remember the beauty of language and the weight of your words:
“Golden wings and a golden crown. Those were two things of which the Kingdom would grow to associate their King with. However, in his own eyes, Philip was worthy of neither of those.
The mellow ruler heaved a held-sigh, his aged skin crawling with a sense of perturbation. It had been fifteen years since the death of his late Father, after which he was crowned King within the week, and seven years since the death of his late wife. He knew the glacial touch of loss better than most. He’d shed few tears, and not once had he grieved to the extent of which he wished to. For he was the King of an Empire, and Kings do not cry.
Kings do not cry, but they do bleed. Perhaps that was what unnerved him the most. After a lifetime of loss, was Death the true beast he was afraid to face? He could face the most highly-trained guards, he could face the notorious Corrival Empire cutting down both his people and country, but it was in the face of Death that he hesitated? Was that truly all that it took? Philip did not know himself and he did not care to find out. He straightened his crown.
He made his way up to his bedchambers, his wings a trail of vibrant aureate in his wake. His arrival was astute, akin to the setting sun, or the perpetual closure of his tired eyes. The weary King made way for his billet, pausing as he caught sight of himself in the mirror at the far end of the room.
Golden wings and a golden. Those were two things which he’d be known for long after his death. The craven King only hoped he’d live long enough to change that”.
Until next time! (Summer C, Crew Young)