I was seven years old when I set pen to paper and wrote my very first novel (spoiler: it wasn’t very good).
I could say that my passion for writing drove me to pick up a pen for the first time, but that wasn’t the case. Instead, it was boredom (and a vast imagination). In a flurry of excitement I set to work. I spent too much time contemplating the title (and wayyy too little time considering character development). Nevertheless, after hours of work, my four page masterpiece — Standing in the Night — was complete.The spelling is so bad you have to guess half of the words.
It’s unoriginal (I copied the basic plot from a TV show my parents were watching)
It’s four (4) pages long – and took me hours to write.
The tenses change three (3) times throughout the story.
Standing In The Night is a story about a seven year old named Ashly who wakes up one night and hears a mysterious voice calling to her from the nearby forest. Very typically Ashly decides to listen to this voice and follows it, but only after she has packed (and I quote from the book): “a map, two torches, compass, rucksack, wood, five bottles of water, a stick of meat, a frying pan and maches” — I assume that I meant matches, but you can never be too sure — Ashly then makes her way deep into the forest. At some point this voice gets a body and turnws out to be a fifteen year old boy who then transforms Ashly into a fifteen year old too. Quite abruptly the book then ends, when Ashly is told she is a magical being and that she should “fight evil, go home, enjoy your life and Be Safe. THE END.”
Is it strange for little girls to follow mysterious voices through the forest? Yes, it is. Is it even stranger that a seven year old has wood, frying pans and sticks of meat in their bedroom? Of course. But it’s these oddities that make my writing adventure exciting.
It’s wonderful to think of a time where my writing wasn’t limited to anything but my own imagination. Even after I realised that Standing In The Night wasn’t the bestseller I assumed it would be I didn’t stop writing. Writing was always there, when I needed it and even when I didn’t.
I went through an extensive and slightly obsessive writing period where I was writing so fast I thought my fingers would fall off (they didn’t) – about a boy who breathed fire, a girl who shape shifted into an owl, a set of twins who were on a top secret spy mission to kill the president and even a story about a rabbit and how it became best friends with the man who wanted to kill it. I was constantly writing, but it was only at age 11 that it hit me hard: (like 40 million cats diving at you from the top of a roof) I was a writer and it’s all I wanted to do.
With each book I wrote I learnt a lot about myself and about the art of writing. I went from writing for about an hour every day with characters who were only described by the colour of their eyes and hair, to writing every day for hours and being forced into bed by my parents, who insisted that 12 year old Kat Silver needed to sleep more than 4 hours a night (thanks mom and dad).
Now, years later, I still find myself sitting at a laptop and writing every day. I know I’ve only just turned 16 , but I know that this is where I belong, with a blank page in front of me to fill with words.