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Student voice 18 Nov 2021

How to become a published author

By CIS Communications
Photograph by Elina B

How does one become a published author? For TK grade 4 student Elina B, it all started after attending a creative writing workshop during the summer holidays last year. The avid reader, who recently published “Where's My Brownie?: Story of The Lost Pup” on Amazon, was already journaling daily before she decided to take on the challenge of writing a book.

“I am passionate about pets – especially dogs. Hence, I picked the topic about a cute little puppy and spun my storyline around it. I enjoyed every moment right from doing the research, developing my characters, discussing each scene with my mum and also working on the illustrations. But the most exciting part of the whole experience was to revisit each piece of my story and think of creative ways to improve it further” she says.

In this Mosaic interview, Elina tells us more about her experience and shares her top tips on creative writing.

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1. Hi Elina, congratulations on publishing your first story book! How does it feel to be a young published author?

It’s such a thrill to be a published author! When I saw my book published on Amazon (and received an overwhelming response from readers across different countries), I felt a sense of achievement and was also grateful to have an opportunity to share my work on a global platform.

2. Tell us about your book. What inspired you?

The book is about a brave girl named Sophie going through a series of clues to find her lost little puppy named Brownie. When I was thinking of a topic, it struck my mind that we kids love adventurous stories and we love pets too! My book combines both of these ideas. You can read an excerpt here.

I have always been an avid reader since early childhood. I became interested in writing after attending a creative writing workshop during my summer holidays last year. The workshop was fun and it made me realise that I already have a flair for writing, which I discovered while going through my daily journal that I’ve been writing since my early childhood days.

3. What were the biggest challenges while writing a book and how did you overcome them?

There were two main challenges. One was to create the main character that would be absolutely lovable and kind, as well as vivacious and adventurous at the same time. I also wanted to express the feelings of the little puppy in the story. Of course, pets don't talk! It was a big task for me to make the readers feel like they were peeking into its mind and living through its emotions. I researched very thoroughly about dogs, their life stages, and also watched a couple of documentaries that helped me explore the world of animals.

Another challenge was to ensure that I keep my readers engaged throughout the story. I used the five-stage story writing framework: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution. This framework helped me to include moments of joy and excitement, sorrow and pain, and suspense and surprises throughout the story so that the readers are always wondering what will happen next!

4. What do you hope readers will learn from your story?

I think readers will instantly feel connected to the main character and her world. I hope readers will learn how to explore their surroundings independently as a young child, think on their feet, and practice smart decision making.

5. Do you have any tips to share with students who want to become published authors themselves?

My advice would be to follow your passion! Do what your heart says. To all aspiring young authors: read, read, read! Then write everyday to get the words flowing. It takes a long time to learn what your audience wants to read and how they relate themselves to your story. Don’t be afraid to show your work to your parents or homeroom teacher, and don’t be discouraged when you get a lot of constructive feedback!

Thank you for sharing your experience, Elina!

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