Walking on Words

An editorial on writing by a young author.


Design by Marjorie Mays

I’m a writer, and I can tell you it is not easy. I’m currently editing a manuscript I’ve spent three years working on. The writing process is fun and easy when just spitting out ideas, but the actual editing and “making it flow” aspect is pretty hard. When I was working on the first draft of my book, I’d write nonstop and let all the ideas flow out. When I got to the second draft, I don’t think words can describe how much I cringed rereading my work from two years prior. I’d be lying if I didn’t say the experience was fun, even throughout all the fixing and tweaking. 

When I’m writing a book, the whole point is to have a start and an end. The main characters have to grow in some way— all of them, even death is growth in some way, but typically it’s character development that counts. The difficulty that comes with writing depends on what route the writer decides to take, like deciding what kind of fiction story to write. With horror fiction, I have to be wary of painting the scenery and making what I write feel real and strike suspense into the readers. Meanwhile, in historical fiction, most of the efforts go into researching the location the story takes place and painting scenery that matches the reality I’m trying to interpret. 

I’m writing a fantasy novel that partially takes place in another world, and while I didn’t have to do specific research on huge topics or periods like the Civil War, I built my very own world outside of the one we know. I created a magic system, countries, history, and different government systems that each nation within the fantasy world follows.

There’s a lot of creativity that goes into writing, and that’s very underrated in the eyes of the youth. School forces us to write stories and essays that challenge us factually rather than creatively. This happens a lot more as we get older as well, considering the creativity only gets expressed when we’re younger and we have no need to be serious or write a research report at age nine. Getting freedom to write what we want to write and enjoy it is taken for granted these days. 

Finding the right inspiration and the perfect ideas can be hard. Once they come, trying to execute them in the best possible way becomes the difficult part. I find my best inspiration from unlikely places. Pinterest, TikTok, and Reddit help me get inspiration, but that’s not what drove me to begin writing from the creativity overflow in the first place. For me… it was anime and video games. 

Picture this: a 10-year-old me decided to get a Nintendo Switch, and on that Switch was a game by the name of ‘Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.’ On a fateful Monday night I should have spent doing homework — which naturally evolved into a few weeks or so — I became fascinated with how much effort was put into making such a vast world with a deep history, which made me want to create fantasy worlds with similar concepts. This fascination drove me to start looking into other games to see if more inspiration would flourish from my newfound knowledge.

I got into other game series that fell into genres I enjoy and started writing a story where I put myself into the world of video games and interacted with the characters to try and resonate with the different plots. I used what I learned to create new ideas that I could use in future works. I’ve stopped writing it now, but that story I wrote was inspired by the fictional worlds I would get invested into, and some general plots and storytelling elements I felt like expanding upon. Sometimes, just taking a small random idea like that can fuel a lot of inspiration for writing in general. You can take small ideas and fit them together like the pieces of a puzzle!

As for right now, I get inspiration from other books I read, anime I watch, and games I get into. Taking real people and turning them into fictional characters, making constant references, and giving characters depth that directly references the author in real life — that’s just incredible. 

I mentioned Reddit, TikTok, and Pinterest earlier, and those are great sources of inspiration as well. There is a large writing community within Reddit. I often look through other people’s questions and find easy ideas or inspiration, not to mention questions I have that might’ve already been answered in the past! On Pinterest, I can find prompts, pictures that give me ideas, lists of troupes to add to my stories or anything for that matter. Pinterest is my go-to when I’m writing. I have a board specifically for my book, and I have a section in the book for each character and nation. There, I put things that remind me of the character, concept art I find that represents how I picture my character, clothes I picture them wearing, quotes I think they’d say, aesthetics that match them, and so much more. 

Now… TikTok. Oh boy, do we love TikTok. The writing community on TikTok is the perfect tool. The troupes that are mentioned, the book recommendations, everything that comes with WriterTok is useful. 

Writing is a part of our everyday lives, kind of like music can be, and young people take that for granted. Writing is nice on both the giving and receiving end. I’m happy enough to be writing this, and I hope that my rants on writing and the sources I provided are of some help or inspiration to anyone reading this who’s interested in immersing themselves in the world of creating literature. If writing is an art then I want to paint the world in a rich royal blue that’s regal or one that’s deep like an ocean on a nice summer day, or a rich and moist green so that the world can shine as bright as it used to when it first came to exist. I hope we can grow to cherish and appreciate the art of writing like we do with so many other things in this world.