I wasn't like most kids when I was five years old. While other girls were playing with dolls and having imaginary tea parties, I was scribbling words into my mom's medical books and reading. But I mostly liked to scribble, until my mom bought me a notebook. She thought it would solve the scribbling problem, but I scribbled in there too, until I realized I had stories to tell. Stories that weren't about nap times and chocolate cake, because we all know that at that age, those play very important roles in our young lives.
I wrote about counterfeit pennies and magical elephants. I wrote about spaghetti that came to life and started attacking the family who was trying to eat him. My head was always in the clouds at that age, and I never really read over what I wrote. I just picked up a pencil and started to write, even though I couldn't stay in the lines.
But I thought those stories were epic. I thought they were the best stories in the whole wide world. My mom thought so, too. That was why she started showing it to people. Yeah, if I had known how much my writing truly sucked when I was five, I would not have let her leave the house with any one of my stories.
Unfortunately, I don't feel like digging through boxes to find poems and other stories that I wrote when I was five, but I do have a few of my old work saved on my computer.
Work that still make me cringe every time I read over it.
When I turned nine, I went through a phase. You know the one I'm talking about. The fantasy phase. Almost every writer went through it. I blame C.S. Lewis and a great number of cartoons, for this.
My first novel, The Chronicles of Pyra, (later renamed Pyra) was over 50,000 words and I wrote it when I was nine. So, at the time, I was pretty much obsessed with fantasy. I loved magical powers and hidden worlds and knights and princesses. Mostly princesses though, because I REALLY wanted to be one.
To satisfy my need to be a princess, I made my main character one.
Lily grew up thinking she was a normal girl, until she found a portal and entered it. She discovered a world full of knights and witches and mermaids and other creatures like her -fairies. Soon, she finds out that her real family, the royal family of Flames, had been missing for quite some time and now it was up to her to find them, while trying to keep the magic world from falling into the hands of a power-hungry Demon called Amblen.
So, the premise isn't that great, but when I was nine I adored that story. I couldn't stop writing it. The characters were in my head and they weren't going to leave. Luckily, I realized that there was so much wrong with the story. My characters had no depth, the dialogue was horrible. In fact, ninety percent of the story is dialogue and the only thing cool about this novel is the world and all the names I made up. Okay, I'll admit I still have a soft spot in my heart for Pyra and I often think about rewriting it, but then I read certain parts.... *cringes*
Two Selphaen monsters ran toward them trying to slice them in half with their blade like arms. Moon rolled under the huge monster and sliced him from behind. Then without stopping he ran until he came face to face with a Ceraton. Moon could remember battling a Ceraton but he couldn't seem to figure out when.
Suddenly Moon heard a distant scream so forgetting the Ceraton he ran toward it. There standing in the middle of the path was a child weak and powerless.
" Save me Moon, save me!" the girl pleaded
" How did you know my name?" Moon asked
Then the girl disappeared and Moon suddenly realized who the child was it was Princess Pyra. Except Moon knew Pyra would be his age by now so the child must have symbolized weakness and fear and the path must have meant she was near but Moon couldn't figure out where. Just then the Ceraton came running at him. Moon turned around quickly and stabbed it in the heart hopping it would die quickly. Then he heard another distant scream but this time it sounded like Irin screaming for help.
" Irin I'm coming!" Moon screamed loudly
When he reached Irin he was still battling the Selphaen monster but it doubled in size.
" Irin, catch this slice it in the back!" Moon screamed holding the sword high enough for Irin to see it
" Michael, I don't need your help I'm strong enough." Irin snapped shooting the monster again
" Look! We need to fight together this is real Irin, we feel pain. It's not because we're not strong enough it's because we weren't wise enough." Moon said charging for the beast
Irin fell to the ground not being able to move or speak. Moon, stabs the monster in it’s back and pulled his sword out. He picked up Irin and ran through the crowd of monsters slicing everyone in his path. Until he came to the end of the course and the room turned back to normal.
" Lye, him, down." Chalai commanded" Sirinus Healus"
" Will he be alright?" Moon asked seriously
" Yes he just needs to sleep." Chalai replied with a half smile
It didn't stop there. No, I've been sucking for a quite a long time. When I turned eleven, I devoured Jane Eyre. I can't explain to you how much I LOVE that book. I loved that book so much that I got an SNI from it.
This said shiny new idea was called Hazel. It was a Victorian-esque fantasy-romance about a girl named Katherin Hartley who lost her parents at a very young age. Her mother, who hated her, fell ill and her father supposedly committed suicide. With her family gone, she was sent to go live in an orphanage with people who she later finds out are her family on her mother's side. As time progresses, she finds out that she might be a princess of a magical world.
So, Hazel and Pyra were similar in a lot of ways, but even though Hazel made me cringe, I could see how much my writing improved over the course of two years.
Chapter 1The air was dry as Erin dug through the wet snow to pick flowers for her mother. She could feel the tiny sharp pains piercing her skin as she touched the snow. Later that day, guests from the city were coming to visit them for two days. Even though they were her mother's guest, Erin wished they would get there before the frost got worse. She would hate for anyone to get hurt.
It was going to rain soon, but Erin didn´t care because she liked the rain. As the grey clouds blanketed the sky, she soon forgot about the lilies and climbed up the steep hill to her house. The first drop of rain fell onto her face like a soft caress. If only Miss Hilda hadn't been calling her, Erin would have let the rain embrace her. When Erin stepped into the house she took off her wet boots and threw them to the side. All day, Erin's father, Michael, had sat in his office in his big red chair reading a book. His face was long and cold for he looked tired. Dried up tears rested on his face to show he was stressed. Erin put down her pale of flowers and walked towards her father. He looked glad to see her and immediately hugged her.
" You did your morning exercise I see." Michael exclaimed
" Miss Hilda wanted these flowers picked for her guests. She wanted perfect ones but they've been wilted by the snow." Erin explained sighing
" They're beautiful. All they need is a little light and warm water." Michael suggested
" Well father, I'm going to show Miss Hilda before she has a cow waiting for me." Erin said, running upstairs to her mother's room
" What took you so long?" Hilda asked angrily
" It was very cold outside and........." Erin started
" Did poor Erin freeze her hands while picking flowers outside in the snow?" Hilda asked sarcastically
" I try not to complain about it but you took my gloves. So of course my hands were cold." Erin replied softly
As she talked, she felt a hard sting hit the side of her face. A tear welled up in Erin's eyes but it never fell. She would not show Miss Hilda she was afraid of her even though she feared her piercing, eyes.
" Erin, you are useless! I told you to pick flowers that or not wilted but you pick everything but that. My friends are coming and they'll be very disappointed to see my house isn't complete. Leave me to rest. I don't want to see your hideous face any longer." Hilda shouted angrily
" But Miss Hilda it's snowing outside and all the flowers are buried under snow so of course they're going to be wilted." Erin explained kindly
" I said leave!" Hilda shouted
Feeling like she once again failed her mother, Erin ran off to finish her chores. She tried to hold back her tears but they wouldn't stay in. Her father had seen her crying and ran to hug her.
" Sweetheart, what's wrong?" Michael asked sadly
" Miss Hilda is never going to approve of anything I do." Erin replied through her tears
" She just wants everything to be right for her friends." Michael explained sighing
" But the way she treats us is horrible Father! We should just leave her here to do things for herself." Erin said angrily
" Now dear, don't talk like that. Your mother loves you." Michael said closing his eyes
" Father, you know I'm right! That's why you close your eyes! I don't understand why you just don't make things right. She should be kind to you because you were kind enough to marry her! " Erin exclaimed, pouting
" Bless your heart Erin! You have shown nothing but kindness to your mother for these past thirteen years you've been on this earth. There's only one more thing I ask of you, darling." Michael said softly
" What? Anything!" Erin asked frowning
" When you have neither one of us with you, I want you to live a respectable life. I pray it will only get better for you." Michael replied, crying.
When I turned thirteen I became more serious about my writing. I was still deeply in love with Regency/Victorian novels and so, when I turned thirteen I wrote The Jane Effect.
Do you know what it means to love, Miss Greenly?” Sir Harvey asked, turning to look at her.
Elizabeth smiled. It wasn’t too long ago when she asked her father a question of this same caliber. The answer that he gave, made her sure that she understood love more than anyone else.
“Yes,” she replied.
“And what do you know of it?”
“It is a feeling of pure bliss, from what I’ve heard,”
“Well you have been misinformed,” he retorted, moving towards her.
There was nothing that could be said to atone for Sir Harvey’s weird manner, so Elizabeth just stood there, watching as the flame fluctuated in the still air.
“Love isn’t real. It doesn’t exist and for you to participate in such a fancy makes you a very unwise person, Miss Greenly,” Sir Harvey, continued harshly.
Red shot up her neck, like a wildfire as those fiery words were ignited in her face. Not wanting him to see her annoyance, Elizabeth turned away from Edward and tried to gather her thoughts.
“You are not a friend or a respected man of society. So what gives you the right to address me in such ways?” she spat.
“I am merely trying to warn you of the dangers of…” he started, defensively.
“The dangers of what, Sir Harvey? Yes, I know that your brother doesn’t love me but I can learn to love him as long as…” Tears formed in her eyes, making Elizabeth move deeper into the darkness. Admitting out loud that William could never hold any affection towards her, made her heart break. She only wished the atmosphere would remain tranquil, so that she could slip away into a dark hole. But silence wouldn’t have his chance to reign. Sir Harvey decided to speak. His voice was even more severe than before but it quivered when it left his lips. Elizabeth knew that he wasn’t crying, for he had no reason let alone the heart to do so.
(This is from Papillon)
Though it is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife, all truths have flaws just as perfection always comes with a fault. Louis, Comte de Ventilées, took this philosophy to heart as he mounted the awaiting carriage.
It was a fine day. The night had gave to the morning a fine layer of dew upon the grass and the blooming flowers of spring. Even the sky was fresh and bright, as they drove through the torrent of green pastures and expanses of land where farm animals grazed. It was a fine day indeed, but Louis knew better than to judge a book by it’s cover.
The journey to Dame d’Ventilées establishment in Paris would be a long and tiresome one. Each time he tried to succumb to sleep, the carriage hit a ditch in the road, causing the car to jerk to and fro. And it was bitterly cold inside. Not even the black cloak he had on could relieve the chill. He could see his breath release from his lips, with every grunt that resonated in his throat.
Unable to sleep, he thought about what he would say to his mother for he had not seen her in more than a fortnight. She was a grand woman and went about life in a more dignified fashion. Her nights were often spent hosting galas amongst the respected members of society. Her mornings were wasted finding a spouse for him for she believed in the truth that was said to be universally acknowledged. Silently he had cursed the mind that had brought forth such a thought for he possessed both an estate and an amiable fortune but detested the thought of marrying. He was a free spirit and wanted to remain so for the rest of his life but his mother wanted otherwise. She wanted grandchildren and like all mothers of rank and wealth in that day and age, she also wanted the prospects of their fortune to increase. This was in fact the meaning of Louis’s visit with his mother on this fine day.
Knowing his mother like the back of his vervain scented hand, he know that the only reason she had ordered his presence was to tell him that she had found a lady with a want of a husband who was indeed wealthy.
Louis had seen two-and-twenty summers and on his travels, he had saw many women who had captured his eye but never his heart. They were beautiful creatures, with their coquettish ways and alluring wiles. If he were in want of a wife, he would at least want a beautiful woman who could please him in every way possible. His mother would not know that there was a flaw in the philosophy she held dear, for every wealthy man wanted a beautiful wife.
(This is from a YA contemporary called If Love is not Enough)
Her room was like a war-zone. The army consisting of dangerous pictures and lethal memorabilia. My mom was slumped over a box, her eyes crying. The tears danced across a picture she was holding. It was Marco on his twelfth birthday. A smile was pasted on his face and it was wide, almost as big as a watermelon on a hot Summer day. He was standing in front of a bike that Dad had bought him. It was blue, with orange and red flames painted on the sides. Unlike his other bike, this one didn't have any training wheels. His eyes were beaming as he stared at it. I could remember him spending that whole afternoon riding up and down the street. Dad had this look in his eye, like he was proud of Marco or something, while Mom was just shaking her head. She didn't want Marco to have a bike or a skateboard or roller blades. To her, they were just more things that would get him hurt.
That night, I could hear them arguing. They were arguing over the bike. My mom was asking my father why he had to go behind her back and buy something that Marco didn't need. It lasted for hours, their voices slamming against the wall and running up and down the hallways. I used to cry a lot when I was little. My eyes would fill up with hot and salty raindrops. They'd slide down my face endlessly, until Marco or Mom came in to comfort me, but no one came. Soon, everyone was sleep and the argument was over, but the worst wasn't over yet.
The next morning, dad woke up early and got into his jeep. The bike was in the back, strapped down by some ropes. I watched him drive off, the engine sputtering and moaning as the car moved down the street. Marco was angry for the rest of the day. He ignored my mother and made it his business to slam things. My mom paid a doctor to tell her that the source of my brother's unhappiness was his father's death, but really that wasn't the truth. Marco has always been against our mother, it just wasn't apparent because dad was around and that was all he really needed.
I am afraid that this is where the journey ends. I am now fifteen, and hopefully, over the years I have improved.
Some of my writing really makes me want to go hide, but other old works of mine, make me want to pat myself on the back. It makes me proud that I kept writing, even though in the beginning I sucked.
What about you? What was your writing like when you were younger?