Creating Her Own World

Freshman Gabby Brecht is an avid writer who enjoys constructing worlds inspired by her favorite books.


Razan Karar and Lauren De Young

Visualize a dystopian world caught in a fierce battle of people vs. the government. You, as the protagonist, have to figure out a way to fix the society before it gets destroyed altogether. This is a situation commonly found in stories written by freshman Gabby Brecht. Gabby’s imaginative writing allows an escape for her, especially from all the mundaneness of real life.

“Worlds I create are usually very modernized or Medieval [because] things thought back then baffle me,” said Gabby. “[It’s] cool to get that lost in something that isn’t real.”

It was a sixth-grade writing assignment that first fueled her love of writing.

“I got to be creative and create my own cover art for it,” said Gabby. “I loved that because for once I realized how much I enjoyed the process of creating characters, plot, names, backstories, covers, and the whole shebang”

Gabby’s mother, Deb Brecht, noticed her writing as early as elementary school. In support of her daughter, Deb brings Gabby to writing workshops, specifically one at the University of Iowa.

“She really enjoys learning more about her writing and how to improve upon it,” said Deb.

As for the future, Gabby knows writing will always be a passion that she carries with her, even if she doesn’t end up in a writing-oriented career.

“I would absolutely love to be an author in the future,” Gabby said, “but I also know how difficult it is to become successful in that alone. So it’s something I would love to strive toward, but in the end, I may have to push that dream aside and go into my second choice being a field of science, whilst still writing on the side of course.”

“I definitely think I will continue writing in the future,” she said. “It has become an outlet of sorts for my emotions, and ideas that are constantly flowing through my head. I don’t think I would ever be able to stop my brain from running around, and because of that, I don’t think my writing would halt either.”

When asked about her writing style, childhood friend Poseybelle Stoeffler, freshman, said, “Her writing style is incredibly descriptive, yet she’d probably argue the opposite, and I think even the words she uses are just so much more sophisticated [than] the stuff I write and some of the stuff I read. It’s very ‘700-page-YA-fantasy’ style.”

Deb agrees. “I am always impressed with the amount of expressive details she uses,” she said. “I can always picture it so vividly in my mind. Her storylines are also very interesting. It is exciting to hear the next section when she is done to see where she takes the reader next.”

“If you do the minimum you can only go up from there,” said Gabby. “It doesn’t seem super encouraging, I know, but for me it makes me remember that you don’t always have to start at the top. Because if you’re at the top you have no room to improve and you’re more likely to go down than up. But if you’re near the bottom you can work your way up in skill or anything in general and learn things along the way.”

Story sample
courtesy of Gabby Brecht

I stilled, hungry and tired, signs of constant dusk coating the wilderness; with nothing to go off except for my deceased father’s genetics flowing within my veins.
Purple shadows floated across the canopy of spirit trees, weaving between each limb. Acting to scare off possible bugs seeking life from the feeble branches. The ever-grey leaves whistled in the wind, a whisper that had frightened me as a young girl; I now knew to tune out the string of colorful curses the sung.
Above, stars glistened, a deep ceaseless blue flowing above the orange. Owls perched themselves upon branches in a steadfast slumber, only to cease their rest when a predator approached. The ground below my boots forgiving from the everlasting layer of dew, replenishing itself each night.
As if the wilderness could sense my submission, the buck appeared.
Ducking behind a Sorrow Wood, my curve-less body working to my advantage; I watched it through lowered brows.
I recognized the markings, the same I’d spotted that morning; blue swirled into the black, marking the five spots to kill the animal, the blue for painless death, and the black—- for creatures that enjoyed playing with their food.
High shoulder, heart – lung, brain, and neck… in blue.
The rest of its six-foot stance, coated in tar like black, for larger creatures like Spirit Men, who enjoyed tormenting their prey before they devoured the animal. Just a way for this barbaric forest to assist the beings running rampant.
Sternly, I pulled back the serving, positioning the arrow lightly between my fingers, poison coating the reinforced tip; the only possible way to kill an immaculate animal of that size in these woods.

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