Novel idea: Month-long writing project yields novel for teens

Jesse Baxter

There are so many books in the world and new ones are being created every day. In our modern society anyone can be an author. All that is needed is an idea. However, have you ever stopped to think about what actually goes into writing a book?

Junior Natalie Fisher has faced that task head on and last fall she and junior Maddie Hines co-wrote a book, Tempting Fates, as part of the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) program.

“[NaNoWriMo] is in November and you are supposed to write a certain amount of words per day until you get to 50,000 words by the end of the month, which is the minimum amount of words for your writing to be considered a novel,” Natalie said. “Once you finish you get a little certificate.”

Planning and order are needed when writing a book and are even more important when the book is being co-written.

“[Maddie and I] had English together so we sat next to each other when we had free time and talked about it, and then we just wrote it,” Natalie said.

Having to write about 1,500-2,000 number of words a day helps keep participating authors on track to accomplish their goal. Natalie said that this helped her develop useful skills such as time management.

“Because of where they were doing the book and what they wanted to do it for, they had to write regardless of how they felt that day,” teacher, and Natalie’s father Bill Fisher said.

Organization and time management are important when writing in this competition, helping the author finish on time.

“What I found most interesting about the book was the fact that she co-wrote it, so there had to be two people working together,” Fisher said. “It takes a lot of work to be able to come to an agreement about what it’s going to be about.”

Once November is over and the rough draft is finished the process is not over yet as the first draft has to be edited and refined.

“When you first write it you are just trying to get it all out, and then editing it means you’re trying to make it all make sense, which is harder,” Natalie said.

Tempting Fates is about the Greek myth of the Fates with a modern twist which adds originality to the work.

“A group of deceased teenagers called The Fates help ‘Death’ see over events in time, making sure everything happens when it is supposed to,” Natalie said. “When events fall out of place and people’s fates begin to change, it is up to the Fates to return order by fixing the problem.”

The main character is Jaden, a teenager who commits suicide and becomes a new Fate. He follows Zoe, a girl who threatens the world and everyone’s fate.

“[Jaden] tries to solve the problems surrounding Zoe,” Natalie said. “Jaden struggles to determine if fate is predetermined and if the future is set in stone or able to change.”

Through writing Tempting Fates, Natalie has seen how much effort it takes to write a book.

“[I now have] more respect when reading other people’s books and how long it takes to write them,” Natalie said.

Since she started writing in middle school, Natalie’s writing has improved, and that is clearly shown in Tempting Fates.

“I think that the things she writes about have gotten to be more complex, and she’s dealt with them in more depth.” Fisher said.

Writing Tempting Fates has given Natalie insight into the writing process and she has advice for any aspiring writers.

“Don’t stop writing,” Natalie said. “The more you write the better you get.”