LSHS authors shine in the spotlight
The Valhalla encourages students to share creative writing stories that they’re proud of - and this year, we’ve got some good ones.
December 20, 2016
Filed under A & E
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What would happen if you discovered you had powers, turning the world upside down? That’s what life would is like for Aiedail, the central character in senior Danial Leath’s short story, A Whisper in the Woods. Twice a year, The Valhalla features several stories of Lake Stevens’ own creative writing students. Leath, along with senior Linda Escobedo and English teacher Mrs. Gaudin, shared their lovely stories with us this semester. The Valhalla sat down with Leath to find out about his love for writing.
It all started when he was in the fourth grade. He remembers being prompted to write a story, and he has loved writing ever since. His love for science fiction and fantasy novels led him to delve into the worlds of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, two of his favorite authors. Leath states that their stories have “all the influence” in his writing today. “I like that kind of story where it’s like, the [main] person is different and they don’t know why, and they find out that they’re kind of cool,” Leath said. This is reflected in his short story, which makes it hard to lose interest and fun to read.
Though he has been writing since fourth grade, Leath still realizes he has room to grow. Taking Creative Writing this semester, he says, is sort of like using a muscle: he is strengthening his skill of writing simply by using it every day in class. He also credits that class with getting his “creative juices” flowing, and that he enjoys being in a class full of like-minded writers. One of his favorite parts of actually writing creatively is the fact that he has an outlet to get everything in his head down on paper. “Lots of stuff happens in my head, and then it’s nice if it comes out on paper,” Leath explained.
However, the journey of writing A Whisper in the Woods wasn’t an easy one, despite how smoothly his words flow to weave the magical tale. In fact, Leath says that sometimes the hardest thing about writing a story is that he can sometimes write too much.
“Chunks of the story that I’m writing will take up three paragraphs to say, even though it’s just a concept in my head,” Leath said. “It’s easier for me to understand [the concept] than to explain it…It’s slightly difficult at times like that, but I like it.”
Leath explained why he is working on overcoming his problem of too much detail. “I’ve started a couple other stories in the past, but they’ve always been bogged down by me explaining stuff in them,” he said. When local authors visited his school last year, he seized the opportunity to get their advice on how to solve this. The answer they gave? “Just write it down and then fix it later,” Leath claimed, which he says is easier said than done.
Even though he leads a busy life, Leath has caught the writing bug, and says that he will “definitely continue writing [A Whisper in the Woods]”, and possibly add more to the world of the story.
As for advice that he would give other aspiring writers, Leath says to stay true to yourself and follow your heart. “Write something that you’re passionate about,” he explained. “It’s better to use your own idea than to try and write something for someone else’s benefit.”
Interest peaked yet? Read Leath’s work and other stories by LSHS authors in the showcase category!