Horrendous stories I wrote as a child + what I learned from them

 

Hello lovely people! Today I’m doing a tag created by Abbiee. I saw it on her blog around a month ago and knew I had to do it. And then I was tagged by Amanda at SKG Fun (an amazing blog),  so here I am. Thanks, Amanda!

Now, before I begin, let’s note that I didn’t finish every one of these stories, because I was a scatterbrained young writer who abandoned things she got bored with in favor of new, shiny, glorious ideas.

HAHAHA WHO AM I KIDDING. I still am that scatterbrained young writer.

I also don’t actually have real titles for most of these. The files were usually just named after the main characters. (Who had… really weird names. I kind of had a thing for them.)

All of them are fantasy, because I didn’t write anything but fantasy with the occasional splash of historical fiction for three or four years. No joke. Only recently I’ve started branching out into different genres.

One last note: I have so many files on my computer with these abandoned stories (I counted once a long time ago and the story-count was over 80) and they are all horrendous. Some more so than others. BUT SADLY there is only so much room in a blog post and nobody wants to listen to me ramble all the live-long day.

So, here are (just a few of) my cringey, dreadful stories that I wrote forever-and-ever ago. Hoorah.

Hope you enjoy.

I told you I had a thing for weird names.

So, I wrote this three or four years ago when I was obsessed with fairy tales. Like seriously obsessed. I read through most of all the different “colored” fairy books – The Red Fairy Book, Blue, Violet, etc. And I decided I wanted to write my own fairy tale, which is how this oddity came into existence.

It’s one of the few I actually finished, and it’s… remarkably short. 268 words long. I can hardly even write a scene that short now.

  • So there’s this girl named Raziela (shocking, I know), and she lives in a cottage. With her dog, Jock, that her fairy godmother gave her when she was a baby.
  • I don’t know how old she is exactly but I’m pretty sure she’s around ten.
  • Apparently there are no such things as parents.
  • And she’s walking in the woods –
  • and she runs into her godmother. Who just happens to be a –
  • YOU GUESSED IT. Fairy. Obviously! This is a fairy tale!
  • clichés everywhere help
  • Her fairy godmother (whose name is… Adenine. I WARNED YOU.) gives her a piece of paper and I’m not even going to tell you what she tells Razzy to do with it because it’s weird and would take too long to say.
  • So Razzy does the thing with the paper and pours it over her dog’s head and he turns into a boy. And then her godmother Addy appears and guess what? The boy is her long lost twin brother!
  • Yaaaay.
  • His name is… wait for it.
  • RAZIEL.
  • HA.
  • They hug and live happily ever after the end…
  • Except when their house got attacked by ogres.
  • THAT IS LITERALLY, WORD-FOR-WORD WHAT I WROTE.
  • Somebody help.

I’m not sure but I think I might have showed this to my family. Proudly, I’m sure. NOOOOO.

Don’t name your protagonist and her long-lost brother Raziela and Raziel. Just no.

Fairy godmothers that fix everything are cliché. DON’T USE THEM.

The absolute best way to end your story is by having ogres attack the protagonists’ home. (Kidding… kidding.)

 

I’m not even going to put the last part of the title because it’s just too embarrassing and why did I do that anyway.

Another of my pitiful fairy tale attempts. I honestly can’t remember if this one came before or after Razzy.

I wrote one version of this first, and it was absolutely dreadful. And then a month or two later I decided I still really liked the story and rewrote it. It actually turned out pretty funny.

FIRST VERSION

  • Elwyn is a goose girl who’s engaged to her sweetheart Harlan (who’s a shepherd). (I kind of had a thing for goose girls. Don’t ask why. I know nothing about geese.)
  • There are no paragraph breaks, just breaks for every scene.
  • A random prince of randomness (his name is Wilmet) happens to drive by her and stops because she’s so beautiful. (YAY CLICHÉ!) Then he asks her to marry him. (YAY INSTALOVE!)
  • She says no because she’s betrothed.
  • I used the word betrothed and lover a lot.
  • #help
  • Wilmet obviously kidnaps her and carries her off to his dungeon because she won’t marry him and asks her every single day to please marry him and she says no every time because she still loves Harlan.
  • Ellie gets romantically pale because she isn’t getting enough food and is wasting away.
  • Harlan brings her a letter, slips it through the window, and runs away.
  • It’s from her grandmother (who is a fairy! Surprise!)
  • I’m just kind of going to skim over this part because it’s more cringey than the rest, but the gist of it is that a dwarf named Kael comes out of nowhere, teleports her to her long-lost parent’s kingdom, and reveals to her that her parents are king and queen of a random country of randomness that was taken over by the Evil Uncle™. Apparently just today the Royal Parents defeated the Evil Uncle and therefore the Royal Grandmother sent for Elwyn.
  • Huzzah.
  • Elwyn is reunited with her parents. Waterworks ensue.
  • She marries Harlan and they have eleven children. YAY. HAPPY ENDING.

Elwyn basically did nothing the entire story.

Then I rewrote it so that it was sliiiightly more interesting and actually a little funny.

Some of the additions included:

  • GLORIOUS PARAGRAPH BREAKS
  • a sarcastic Elwyn.
  • also a slightly snarky Kael
  • not as many uses of the words betrothed and lover wooo
  • a mean goose named Hilda
  • a Queen who faints at everything
  • Elwyn’s wedding preparations being a disaster
  • lots of scenes ending with “Mother fainted” or “at least Mother didn’t faint.”
  • Elwyn getting her geese as a wedding present
  • mother fainted. the end

 

Don’t do the instalove thing. Please. Or the she’s-so-beautiful-everyone-falls-in-love-with-her thing. Blech.

Let your protagonist actually do something, and not just be transported around by magical elves and dwarfs and godmothers.

Don’t try to write romance at age eleven.

Well, it had a few names, but no real name. It was a really strange fantasy story that I’m not even sure where I was going with it because I ended it at a little over 6,000 words. It featured a widely varied cast of characters and focused on three main characters.

Some bits and bobs about the horror:

  • A farm boy (Colin) and his mother (Ilka) lose their home.
  • An orphan boy named Trouble and his best friend, a girl called Spark (yeah, she had flaming red hair and an impish personality. ohhh the clichés) live in an orphanage together.
  • A whole hierarchy in the orphanage. It actually was kind of awesome. Diplomatic missions and rival schools and stuff. Yeah.
  • A bunch of really bad characters descriptions
  • And the accents ohhhhh the accents
  • someone send help please
  • A princess named Cypress whose father wishes she was a boy. And guess what. She thinks it would be a good idea to disguise herself as a boy and run away. Obviously she has a perfectly trim boy-like figure. (Yeah THAT’S really realistic)
  • That was such a bad idea.
  • Just no.
  • Colin makes friends with Trouble, whose mother brought him to take refuge in the orphanage.
  • Then Trouble’s mother comes back and reveals that he’s a sort of mutant (I AM NOT EVEN GOING INTO THIS UGH.). Help.
  • And obviously they know it’s her because they look into her eyes
  • Spark and Colin are in the same room as Trouble so they insist on going wherever his mother is taking him
  • because they’re such good friends wooo
  • like Colin has known them for one day
  • and they go off into the woods to this weird mutant camp
  • why are they even going with this woman
  • #strangerdanger
  • and all of the sudden Trouble’s this awesome tracker and stuff
  • because it’s in his blood apparently
  • Cypress (remember her?) is going after the mutant people because she wants to make her daddy proud
  • and then it ends with Spark wanting lunch. No joke.
  • I obviously didn’t finish this one.

Please don’t write accents that you don’t know a thing about.

And don’t send your characters off with strange people for no good reason.

I really like writing orphan characters.

So! Hope you enjoyed that. I didn’t get to do half of all the ones I wanted to do, because the post was getting long. I might make a part two, if y’all would be interested in reading it! : ) Hope you have a wonderful week!

The Interrogation Tag

Hello everyone! Recently, Olivia at Important Nothings and I came up with questions to ask Emma at Real and Official Matters. She turned it into a tag, which is why I’m doing it now! Thanks for the tag, Olivia!

Get to Know Me

What are 3-5 little-known facts about yourself?
  • Even though I love people and sometimes seem outgoing, I don’t like crowds or talking to more than a couple of people at once.
  • I have broken every bone in my left arm and my right femur. Also, I’m pretty sure I broke my toe (right foot, next to my pinky toe), because it doesn’t bend anymore. Lovely, right?
  • I read more middle grade fiction than YA and adult fiction. That probably explains why I don’t feel/act like I’m fifteen (sometimes I act older, mostly I act younger), like reading picture books, and am still hoping to get mutant powers and join the X-Men. (What? Okay, fine, I’m kidding… but you have to admit, it would be kind of amazing.)
  • I love listening to the Beach Boys and Elvis. Also a lot of random music from the 1950s and 60s. I’m actually listening to an Elvis song right now.
If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

I’d have to say either England or Germany, but there are so many places I think would be fascinating to visit. Those are just the first two off the top of my head.

What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

Well, obviously I love pretty much anything with chocolate. Even though I do have a sweet tooth, I also really like savory foods. Pretty much anything my mom makes is awesome.

I just really like food in general. And eating it.

Foods I don’t like…

  • Cabbage. Gross.
  • Plain milk as a drink. Also coffee and coke.
  • Sauerkraut. Bleh.
What are some of your hobbies?

Writing has gone a step beyond a hobby for me, so… I guess that doesn’t count. Some of my other hobbies are blogging, reading, bullet journaling (and regular journaling), playing piano, and occasionally crocheting, although I don’t do that as much as I used to. One of my favorite things to do with a group of people is English Country Dancing.

Tea or coffee?

Ugh, neither. Coffee is absolutely disgusting, and tea is mediocre. Mint tea is okay. I’ve honestly never really loved any drink except water.

Bookish Questions

Do you like movies or books better?

Books, certainly, but I enjoy movies too. (And since this is my blog and I can, I’ll just go ahead and dump a movie recommendation on you. If you haven’t watched Beyond the Mask, go watch it. Now. Seriously, one of the best Christian movies I’ve seen in a long time. Maybe ever. <333333)

There was one book/movie set where I liked the movie a lot better, but that’s a ramble for another day.

What is your favorite genre to read?

I’ll read most genres, but my favorites have always been historical fiction and speculative fiction. I’ve been reading more contemporary lately, though.

What are some of your favorite books?

Stop. STOP. Noooo… not this question! If you don’t like long book lists, you might want to skip this part. They’re in no order, of course, and obviously I must ramble about each one…

  • A Little Princess. Man, I loved this story the first time I read it… and the second… and the third… This may have been what sparked my soft spot for orphans and poor children. <3
  • The Giver. *sobs*
  • The Chronicles of Narnia. These books really shaped my writing. I will always love this series.
  • The Little House series. I read the first book at age four or five, and it really sparked my love of reading. These books will always have a special place in my heart and on my bookshelf.
  • The Lunar Chronicles.
  • Pretty much anything by L.M. Montgomery. Her writing style is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read. Also, read her short stories. They’re amazing.
  • Pride and Prejudice. Enough said.
  • Dreamlander. The world building in this one was amazing.
  • Little Women. A classic.
  • The Princess Bride. There were some not-so-great parts in here, so I would recommend skipping the prologue and the epilogue. Ugh. But the story though.
  • The Trixie Belden series. This series just feels like nostalgic, 1950s, old-fashioned summer. <333

And that’s not even all of them. Sigh.

A fictional character (or maybe three) that you’d like to be friends with?

This is cruel and unusual punishment. ONLY three? Hahaha I don’t follow rules anyway.

Well… here they are. With some accompanying rambling.

  • Pat from Pat of Silver Bush. I don’t like change, and neither does Pat. I related to her a lot, and think we’d be good friends. 🙂 This one’s due for a reread…
  • Both Dan + Jim, from the Trixie Belden series. I just wanted to hug both of them when they were first introduced. Poor darlings. And plus, being a part of the Bobwhites? Win.
  • Rachel from Dancing Shoes. I just loved her and related to her a lot, okay? I need to reread this book. I loved it so much.
  • Shasta, from the Horse and His Boy. He had such a hard time and I just loved him so much and… yeah. (also SPOILER his name is SHASTA not COR. Shasta is so. much. nicer. and he will forever be Shasta in my mind. End of spoiler.)
  • Arietty from the Borrowers. If anyone needed a friend, it was her. Poor girl.
  • Laura Ingalls from the Little House series. Because she sort of fictionalized her life. Therefore this counts, right? Right??? Anyway, she is an absolute dear and I would have loved to have her as a friend.
  • Widge from the Shakespeare Stealer + Nat from Give Me Liberty because they are both alone in the world and one is an orphan and another is practically one and… yeah. Okay. (YES ZANE WE CAN ALL TELL YOU HAVE A SOFT SPOT FOR ORPHANS AND UNFORTUNATE KIDS. YOU DON’T NEED TO GO ON ABOUT IT.)

To prove above point, six of the above nine characters are orphans. There. (And yes. Nine characters instead of three. I’m hopeless.)

Prettiest book cover that you own?

I don’t know why, but this one is really pretty and even though I didn’t love the book I might keep it anyway…

And this one I just think is cute? The entire story is actually really cute.

And I don’t own a physical copy of this book (yet!) but it’s just SO PRETTY. (It’s available for preorder here.)

Update: somehow I forgot to add these two gorgeous books. They’re recently acquired, so… I just… didn’t remember. :\

Writing Questions

What is your favorite writing snack?

Um, obviously chocolate. But I’ll just grab whatever food’s on the kitchen table and kind of mindlessly devour it while I’m puzzling through plot problems.

When did you start writing?

Technically, I’ve been writing since I could hold a pencil, but I never took it seriously until around age 10-12. I’ve been writing ever since.

Why do you write?

Because I CAN.

Ha.

Okay, fine, here’s the serious answer.

Writing is like breathing to me. I love it, even though sometimes it’s hard when the words just won’t write. I can’t imagine not writing.

Got it?

Good.

Moving on.

What is your favorite genre to write?

I write in a wide variety of genres. For a while I was obsessed with fantasy and it was literally the only thing I wrote (I’m not exaggerating here), but I’ve since branched out to other genres such as contemporary, historical, and different types of speculative. I still love fantasy, though. (:

I won’t be tagging anyone, but as usual, please feel free to take this tag for your blog! The questions are lots of fun to answer. You can even say I tagged you. ; )

Did you like this tag? If you could be friends with a fictional character, who would you choose? What are your favorite books? I’d love to hear from you in the comments. <33

The #VoicesOfYA Tag

Hello everyone! Hope you’re having a wonderful week. I was tagged by Lisa at Inkwell for the Voices of YA Tag (thanks Lisa!), which was created by Caitlin Lambert. You can find her original post here.

~RULES~

  • Thank the person who tagged you
  • Link to the original creator

  • Answer the ten questions

  • Tag at LEAST two other YA writers/bloggers

  • Share with the hashtag #VoicesofYA

Which I won’t be following all of because I am a #rebel. I’m using a hashtag… that counts, right? Right???

Anyway, here are the questions!

 

What draws you to YA?

In all honesty, I’ve only recently discovered YA. There are some things I like about middle grade (MG) a lot better, but I’ve really been enjoying YA lately since there are more characters my age and I can somewhat relate to them. I think I still prefer writing MG fiction, though. (And I’m not absolutely sure what is considered YA – I looked at a list on Goodreads and some of my childhood favorites were on there. So…)

 

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?

Answer 1: I don’t like excessive outlining. Answer 2: I like having a plan. So I guess I’d call myself a mix between the two… a plantser?? ;D I usually have a pretty well-written-out idea of where I’m going with my story, but I don’t have a Very Specific Outline™ that has every single scene written out. I like some surprises.

 

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your journey?

Well, I’ve been writing since somewhere between age ten and twelve. And as for the second question, not as far along as I’d like to be. 😉

 

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?

I absolutely must have a piece of paper and/or pen. That’s pretty much it. Although I prefer writing on my Kindle and Bluetooth keyboard. And I do like some music on occasion.

Also, it helps if my brain is working properly.

 

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN “don’t give up”), what would it be?

The one thing I would tell any young writer (or any writer at all, really) is READ, READ, READ, READ. Seriously! If you read a lot, you’ll have an inner sense of what works in a story and what doesn’t. It even improves your spelling. No joke.

 

What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)

Umm. Well. I usually don’t reel from plot twists because I *cough cough* usually predict them… So honestly, I can’t remember the last book that shocked me with a plot twist. Sorry!

 

What books are you most anticipating for this year?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have a bit of a rant about this one. I read the first four books in the series around three years ago, and stopped because I didn’t have the last book and it wouldn’t be coming out for a year and it ended in the most horrible place ever… Anyway. Suffice to say, I wasn’t happy.  Then I kind of forgot about the series and figured I’d keep an eye out for it at the library.

Finally I found a copy of the fifth book at a library. I read it. Enjoyed it. THEN I REALIZED THAT OH NO, #5 WAS NOT THE LAST BOOK IN THE SERIES. #6 WAS. AND #6 WOULD NOT BE OUT UNTIL THE END OF THIS YEAR. ALSO THERE WERE NOT ENOUGH PAGES FOR IT TO BE PROPERLY RESOLVED. Help.

Can we all just acknowledge what a horrible, horrible place Ms. Wood left off at??? Anyone? Anyone?

I know this is more of a MG novel, but I’m still looking forward to it. RANT OVER. Apologies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This one, obviously, since I recently read Ms. Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles and enjoyed them very much. AND IT HAS SUPERHEROES. *dies* I want to love this one so bad.

 

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?

Cinder is a science fiction retelling of Cinderella. Dreamlander explores the concept “What if our dreams are real?” Both pretty unique! 🙂

Although I’m pretty sure Dreamlander isn’t a young adult novel, I thought it deserved to be included here anyway.

 

What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit (I know, I’m cruel)?

Honestly, I don’t really keep track of quotes from books. *blushes* But the one quote that has stuck with me the longest is this.

Courage, dear heart.

It’s from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis, and I really love it.

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaptation?

Probably the Lunar Chronicles, although I’m sure there are dozens of others that I would love to see made into movies. Although whoever made it would probably blow it and leave out parts. Obviously there would have to be at least four movies in the series. 😛

 

And I tag… nobody, because I’m a rule-breaker. If you’re reading this and want to do it, consider yourself tagged. You can even say that I tagged you. 😉

 

Did you enjoy reading this tag? What do you think about my answers? What’s your favorite quote from a fictional book?

Blogger Book Tag

I saw this book tag on Emily’s blog For The Bookish and immediately wanted to do it! It looked super fun and also I’ve never done a tag before. So here we go.

1. Name a book you’re embarrassed you haven’t read. 

Um, well, that’s a lot. The complete Pilgrim’s Progress? (I recently learned that my edition was abridged.) Emma? To Kill a Mockingbird? The huge stack of books in my room that I keep meaning to read?

2. What is the strangest thing you’ve ever used as a bookmark? 

Oh, dear. For the most part I use bobby pins, but the strangest thing? Hmm… Oh! Once I used a piece of stuffing that came out of one of our dog’s toys. Yeah. That was kind of weird.

3. Look at your bookshelf. What is the first yellow-spined book you see? 

*Runs upstairs. Riding Freedom, by Pam Munoz Ryan. I used to love that book…

4. If you could have one new book from a deceased author, who would it be? 

Argh! That’s cheating! C.S. Lewis? (Another Narnia book, preferably…)

5. Name an author who deserves more readership. 

K.M. Weiland. She’s amazing and I love her novels. Looooooooooooove them.

6. Bookmark or random piece of paper? 

Random piece of paper, every time. I can’t find a bookmark to save my life.

7. Can you stop anywhere in a book or do you have to finish the chapter? 

I prefer to finish the chapter, but I’ll stop in a pinch. (Or if it’s really boring.)

8. One book at a time OR Several? 

Several. I am typically reading anywhere from two to fifteen books at a time 😀

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages? 

No! No, no, no!

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new? 

Like new, of course!!!! (And if it’s new, don’t you DARE mess it up!) But since I buy my books mostly used, the spine is broken sometimes anyway… oh well.

11. What books do you regret reading? 

Hmm… The Storybook of Legends?

12. On average, how many books do you read per year? 

Well, I just started keeping track of my books last year and I read around 350-400.

13. What book can you read hundreds of times and never get tired of?

The Horse and His Boy. Or Anne of Green Gables. Or the Bible! Or…

14. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a book? 

The book that has impacted me the most in the past few months is definitely The Giver. It really showed me that an “perfect” society with everyone being all the same is NOT ideal, and also the power of brainwashing. It was hauntingly reminiscent of society today.

15. What is the most recent book you’ve read?

Everything On A Waffle, by Polly Horvarth.

16. Name a book quote you’ll never forget. 

The first thing that popped into my head was, “Courage, dear heart,” from one of the Narnia books. The second thing was “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

17. How many books do you own? 

Lots. Umm… Lots. Too many? 500? 600? 700????

18. Of the past year, what is the greatest book you’ve read? 

Either Pride and Prejudice or The Princess Bride. Probably Pride and Prejudice…

And as for who I tag… I tag anyone who’s reading this post and would like to do it on their blog. Also I’m going to tag Olivia Rollins from Important Nothings because I think she’d enjoy it.

That was surprisingly fun! Hope you liked it. Please leave any questions or responses in the comments below!