Friday, July 3, 2009

Blast from the Past

I was reading over on Jody Hedlund's blog about when our little "babies" are ready to fly off into the publishing world. I commented in her comment section about a partial book my mother unearthed while cleaning out a closet somewhere. She sent the 25 typed pages (on a dot matrix printer that looked exactly like the one below...if that gives you any idea how old this was) to me and I promptly read them.

Photo by blakespot

After I cleaned up the snot and picked myself up off the floor, I sat down to see what I could learn from this early writing attempt in NINTH GRADE. Bear in mind, these are just my own opinions...but here's my top ten list:

1) I head-hopped by the third paragraph.
2) I assumed the reader was completely stupid.
3) I had a sense of humor that still made me laugh. (a high schooler called the principal, Dr. Maxwell, by the nickname Maxie Pad in the middle of a school assembly...I'm still laughing, actually)
4) I had conflict right off the bat...but not much motivation or goal
5) I used passive voice and lots of adverbs ending in -ly (almost one in each paragraph)
6) I'm a romantic. Absolutely, tee-totally a romantic. There was all sorts of sexual tension in this thing (as much as I knew what it was back then!)
7) I had quite the imagination (inventing scenarios and backstory)
8) Speaking of backstory, I had WAY too much in the first chapter. In fact, it was almsot ALL backstory except for the conflict
9) I had a thing at a young age for men with accents
10) My characters had a hard time remembering each others names, and as such, always repeated the others' names in dialogue to help them remember

So, in honor of the holiday, I gave myself a break from serious writing (for about an hour) and read this little partial story. Great laughs. Good times. Thanks, Jody, for bringing this to mind.

Happy Fourth of July to everyone!

Wordle: signature


Katie Ganshert said...

I SO know what you mean. My mom has crates, and crates, and crates of my notebooks in her basement, all filled with these HI-LAR-IOUS stories that I would start and never finish.

Here's what these stories say about me:
- even in Elementary School, I wrote novel length fictin (i just never finished them)
- I am also totally a romantic, because all my stories were about a boy and a girl falling in love
- I can tell that I wrote a lot of these stories when I had a major crush on one of my brother's older friends. Because the main story line was this: older guy comes back after being away, notices little girl is all grown up and gorgeous and older guy falls madly in love with said girl

So much fun! Thanks for bringing back the memories, Jeannie.

P.S. I like your new blog set up, with the link to the SEekerville post on Character Therapy.

If we get really desperate, maybe I will critique your jr. high story...can you imagine?

Jeannie Campbell, LMFT said...

oh my gosh...i'm laughing! this story was all about two BEST friends (one geeky guy, cool girl) and over the summer, the guy totally morphs into super-hottie and the girl doesn't know what to do with her new feelings...worried she'll look shallow...and he's loved her all along, of course! ha!

i think if we ever get so desperate as to crit stuff from junior high...we should seek out a different profession. :)

Eileen Astels Watson said...

That's too funny!

The stories I wrote in highschool are tucked away in my hopechest, written in steno pads in shorthand. I can no longer read them at all. I do remember writing in shorthand for privacy reasons--bet they'd have my nose running too if I were able to read them.

Jill Kemerer said...

Oh, man I'm laughing! This is great stuff. I too have a thing for accents--French and English mainly. Yowza!

One of the joys of reading old stuff is discovering you had talent underneath all the expected mistakes.

Thanks for making me smile!

Jody Hedlund said...

Ah Jeannie! I laughed too when I saw my early attempts! How fun, though, to re-read them and see how much we've grown!! Have a great weekend!

Jessica said...

LOL! I have part of my first attempt at a novel (7th grade) right beside me in my desk. Oh the dialogue tags, the corny romance... LOL Thanks for sharing! :-) And happy 4th of July!