The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice


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A novelist in the making: Junior composes original book


Fingers glide over the keyboard, composing a symphony of language with each click of a button. Words run down the screen as the body of text rapidly expands and the story comes to life. The world around the small, boxy screen collapses, giving way to a consciousness of pure reverie. Spaceships, martians, fairies, and zombies appear in the writer’s periphery, darting across his vision as the fantasy world of his creation solidifies before him.

Over the past year, junior Samuel Kim has spent two hours a night in his free time writing a novel with the intent of publishing and selling it. 

“This book started off as a project with me and a couple of friends,” Kim said. “We were making a video game called ‘The Echoes of Eden’, which I decided to start making a story and music for. Eventually the game didn’t work out, but I already had the story laid out, so I began thinking that I could turn it into a book.”

Set in a fictional city called the Republic Arena, within the country of Rihna, the book takes place 100 years in the future, covering the attempts of earth’s citizens to save the planet by genetically engineering a microbe to reverse the effects of climate change. 

It’s a sort of futuristic dystopian sci-fi book,” junior Avery LaRusso said. “It offers a lot of interesting perspectives about what could happen with technological advancements in the future if our society continues developing at its current rate.”

Video Games such as “Hollow Knight” and “Rain World”, as well as movies such as “Interstellar” and “Dune,” have had a large impact on Kim’s writing, as he incorporates many of their dystopian elements alongside his own thoughts and writing style.

Writing is one of the ways I can communicate my ideas,” Kim said. “While I could give some type of deeply philosophical rationale for why writing is significant to the world as a whole, I think it’s overcomplicating just how relaxing and exciting it can be to simply jot down some goofy ideas onto paper.”

Kim has utilized the help of friends such as LaRusso to help him prepare the book for publishing. He also considers sending the book to a professional upon completion.

“My experience editing the book has been great,” LaRusso said. “The book itself is really well written, and there’s a lot of foreshadowing. Since I don’t know the plot ahead of time, it’s been fun to make predictions as I’m editing.”

Kim estimates that the book will be complete and ready for publishing by June or July, and he plans on marketing it on social media platforms and through word-of-mouth. 

“A lot of people at school apparently know about my book that I wasn’t aware of before, so I think it is already gaining some traction,” Kim said. 

After writing approximately 75,000 words, comprising the first two out of three sections of the book, Kim believes the most difficult part of the process was initiating the writing process.

It was hard trying to figure out how I wanted to present my ideas, develop the characters, and think out a coherent storyline before I began writing,” Kim said. “However, once I got past the first few chapters, the book started writing itself.”

Kim feels the most impactful part of writing a book was getting to process his own ideas and translate them into a meaningful medium. 

The most rewarding part has probably been the fact that I am finally putting many of my ideas to paper,” Kim said. “I think a lot of people have ideas for a cool story they could tell but never actually get around to it. I count myself lucky that I’ve started the process.”


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About the Contributor
Mary Bahrami
Mary Bahrami, Staff Reporter
Mary Bahrami is a junior and is excited for her first year on staff. Mary is also an athlete on the Steiner Ranch Mountain Biking team and a member of yearbook staff. Outside of school, Mary loves to read, write, and spend time with friends.

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