5S Receive Exciting Email

Class 5S recently finished reading their class novel, Varjak Paw by SF Said. They were inspired to write letters to the author to let him know how much they had enjoyed the book and to ask some questions about it.

Miss Shenton forwarded these letters to SF Said and 5S received an email back answering some of their questions and giving them some tips to improve their own writing.

Thanks very much to SF Said for taking the time to reply, the children were very excited!


Dear 5S,


Thank you for your letters, which Miss Shenton passed on to me, and thank you for reading Varjak Paw!  I'm so glad you enjoyed it.  It took me five years to write the book, but all the hard work feels worthwhile when I hear from brilliant readers like you.


To answer a few of your questions:


Yes, I did have a cat called Varjak, and I named the character in the book after him.  The idea for the story began when we first got this cat, when he was just a little kitten.  He was very young when we first got him, and had never been outside in his whole life.  I will never forget the first time he went outside.  He went out into the garden, and at the bottom of the garden was a high stone wall, a hundred times bigger than he was.  But before anyone could stop him, this tiny kitten ran straight up the face of the wall, until he was sitting on the very top, looking out at the whole world, for the first time ever!  I thought this was incredible, and had to write a story about it.  So that's where it all started. 


The Seven Skills gradually developed as I worked on the book, along with everything else.  The reason why it took me five years to write Varjak Paw is because I did 17 drafts of the story, to make it as good as I possibly could.  All writers take more than one draft to write their stories – no-one can write a perfect story in one go!  So in the early drafts, many of the Seven Skills didn't exist yet.  There were some fighting skills, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that Varjak would need other skills too, and that having an open mind and trusting yourself are perhaps the most important skills of all.  And the more I worked on the story, the better it became.  


I think that's how writing works.  If any of you would like to know more about how I write, here's something that you might find interesting:

SF Said's Three Steps To Writing

Thanks again, and keep the Way alive!

SF Said