A Peek at the Writings of Young Me14:34
Have you ever looked back at your very first piece of writing and thought ‘Wow, this is terrible’? Today, I dug out the very first draft of my very first novel, written over six and a half years ago, and had a bit of a read. It was truly a hilarious and humbling experience. I alternated between laughing at the ridiculousness of it, and grimacing at how horrible it is. In today’s post I thought, for a bit of fun, I would share four of my favourite excerpts from this book that doesn’t even have a name so that you too can have a laugh at its awfulness.
1) After breakfast the next morning I started to explore the house. It was an enormous house with windows that came out in unexpected places and strangely shaped rooms. The rooms were crammed with all kinds of paraphernalia. There were old weapons of all kinds hanging on the walls. One room was stuffed with books of every kind. I even found an old martial arts uniform.
“Who’s were all these things,” I asked Grandma.
“They were mine. I used to teach at the Ninja Academy.”
“Were you a Ninja then?”
“A Kunoichi to be exact.”
“What is a Kun…Kunoychee?”
“Kunoichi are female ninjas. They are trained differently to male ninjas. Kunoichi focus more on disguise.”
Bear in mind that this is a fantasy novel, not a novel about ninjas. I think at this point I got intensely interested in ninjas and thought it would be a great idea to throw them into my book somewhere. I even did a heap of research on ninjas so I could pretend to be like a real writer. I’m sure I thought I was being very original. As it turned out, randomly adding ninjas is not the best idea.
2) This from one page later: I got up one morning and popped into her room to say good morning as I usually did. She normally turned as I came in but this morning she didn’t move. I had a bad feeling. I came closer.
She wasn’t breathing. All of a sudden I realised she was dead.
According to young me, grandmothers have a tendency to die at the drop of a hat. This book may or may not have a few pacing issues in the plot.
3) “What kind of spiders made those webs?” I asked idly. To my surprise none of my friends answered. I turned to find their places empty. “Granite!” I called. “Flint! Come out you guys. This isn’t funny.” No one but the echoes answered me. The hair on the back of my neck prickled and I turned a full circle, drawing my sword as I did so.
My eyes were drawn back to the huge webs on the ceiling. Again the question popped up unbidden. What kind of spiders made those? My eyes widened with shock as I realised the answer to my question. Giant spiders made those webs. And what do giant spiders like to eat? Anything they can catch. Which meant that my friends were most likely to be on tonight’s menu.
A group of travelling dwarves being captured by giant spiders and rescued by their companion. Where have I heard that one before? Oh wait, it might be inspired by a little read book called ‘The Hobbit’. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Apparently that giant spider idea was a favourite of mine, because it stuck around in every single draft of this book.
And there we have it. Four terrible excerpts from a truly horrible novel. And that’s only from the first part of the book. Still, reading through this first draft does give me hope for my writing skills. I’m certainly much better than I was back then! And it is great for a bit of a laugh. Hopefully you had as much fun reading these excerpts as I did.
Which was your favourite excerpt? Do you still have a copy of your first piece of writing? Why not share an excerpt in the comments? I’d love to see it.