After spending Thanksgiving break seeing friends, eating obscene amounts of food, and catching up on sleep, it’s hard to imagine that someone might spend it writing over 6,000 words a day. That’s just what Freshman Sydney Crawford did during Thanksgiving break of her senior year in high school.
Crawford is a published author of a soon-to-be trilogy called “The Chronicles of Skyy.” The first book in the emerging fantasy series “Origins” published earlier this year is just over 200 pages long and centers on the magic-filled adventures of three members of opposing tribes on the island of Farithius. The book can be purchased on Amazon as a paperback or ebook.
Crawford got her start in writing as early as elementary school, especially after getting involved with a writing club at her local library in Atlanta, Georgia.
She attributes her inclination to write to her “overactive imagination,” explaining, “I just started to tell stories to myself, and eventually they got written down.”
In addition to her time spent writing, Crawford is also a member of the college’s chapter of the American Chemical Society, pep band, and the pre-veterinary club.
Crawford said she never wrote from a plot outline, but relied instead on spontaneous creativity.
“I knew where I wanted to go and I knew where I was starting, so I just wrote down what came to mind. Sometimes I’d get stuck and set it aside, but some random story snippet would come to mind and I’d write it down. Eventually that story snippet would become a plot point that filled in the holes that I had,” Crawford explained.
Crawford said her favorite part of the writing process is creating the characters.
“It’s fun to watch characters develop as the story moves on. I became somewhat attached to them.”
Crawford said balancing writing with her academic workload was challenging, and that she would spend hours working on her story over weekends to make up for the time lost during the school week.
Crawford said her decision to write a fantasy book was inspired by what she read as a child, including the “Harry Potter” books, but her characters were inspired by her friends in real life.
Writing, Crawford explained, is an outlet that allows her to view the world in a new way.
“I wrote my book for me,” she said. “I wanted to put the story in my head down on paper. Once I realized people were fully intrigued by my writing, I decided to take it further. The book is for anyone who wants an adventure.”
Crawford’s novel has drawn praise from a few readers. One Amazon user wrote a review in August, saying the book is “a great example of how being a young writer does not equal inferiority to older writers. The beginning of ‘Origins’ can seem a little confusing, but once you learn the terms and characters, it becomes a very interesting story in a realistically-crafted world. The plot moves quickly and draws the reader in.”
Crawford’s close friend Kiersten Flannery was one of the first to read her book outside Crawford’s family and said she appreciated Crawford’s “unique writing style” and character development throughout the novel.
Another of Crawford’s friends, Matthew Colquitt from University of Georgia, commended her work.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the book because it was very creative and intelligently written,” she said.
For the future, Crawford says she plans to continue writing as a hobby, “at the very least.” That said, she’s not sure it’s something she’d want to pursue solely as a career.
For “The Chronicles of Skyy” trilogy, the second and third books in the series “have even more characters pulled into the story with lots of twists and turns,” Crawford said. “There’s definitely more danger and suspense to come.”