How is everyone’s summer coming along? I for one am super excited about it being August already, because the end of the summer means autumn is coming.
Anyway. Down to business. I’m going to tackle another tag today… the 5 Horrendous Books tag. I almost feel like I’m not qualified, since I am famous worldwide for not finishing stories. Seriously. My desk drawers are packed with unfinished ideas and scraps, and I’ve finished a total of… three stories. In my life.
Which is mostly due to the fact that, in my writing experience so far, I’ve been devoting myself almost entirely to two main ideas. The two that are actually good and I really, really want to write. The more recently-born of these is the novel I’m working on right now. The other is a sort of epic fantasy creation about heroes in a land called Bayan (don’t quote me here. the name will more than likely be changed). That one’s dear to my heart because it first originated when I was about twelve and has gone through a lot. It’s currently on the backburner; maybe I’ll get around to it one day.
Shall we proceed.
I present my most horrendous of story ideas, what I’ve (maybe) learned from each one, and hope you enjoy.
This one was one of my first “book” attempts; a cute, boring little narrative about a family of multifarious orphans. They live their lives in a ramshackle house and… never do much of anything. I mean literally nothing happens. Butttt I started this one when I was eight, when I’d never even heard of plot. So. The kids (including flat protagonist Nora) take turns watching the baby, mop floors, and do what good little orphan children do; they have a few dull conversations and live happily ever after.
(maybe that’s why i never got any farther than a few pages with this one. maybe)
- Lots of clichéd (and kind of strange??) character descriptions.
- ADVERBS. OH, THE ADVERBS.
- There was a lot of pea shelling. In my eight-year-old imagination it was the most interesting of farmhouse mundane tasks. Thus, much pea-shelling.
- Written-out southwestern country accents. Please help.
- I could not devise a more original surname than Kettle.
- Yes. The Kettle kids.
What I Learned:
I LOVE writing large families and sibling relationships.
Out of Bondage
This one is (surprise!) an Israelites’-flight-from-Egypt retelling. It features a girl named Hannah and her seven siblings. I got a few pages into this one before inspiration flat-out ditched me and I got disgusted and trashed it all (pssst: it wasn’t much good anyhow).
- There is boring backstory and a lot of information you never asked for. In heavy loads.
- Once again, characters not doing much of anything.
- Just going about their daily borings and major yawn.
- This girl is kneading dough like she does every day, but for some reason I considered it necessary to emphasize the fact that she’s sweating and getting really tired. I mean I went into detail here.
- A halfway decent descriptive paragraph of Egypt that I might actually use one day.
- But most of the time I was very vague and clueless.
What I Learned:
Research is essential in historical fiction.
The Most Beautiful Kitten
Agh, the title. Prepare yourself. This was one of my (ahem) several attempts at writing my own fairytale. Our protagonist is Yet Another Tiresome Princess, the predictable type who is clichéd and adored and lives her happy little life in clover… till her parents, the king and queen drop the MARRIAGE BOMB and squash her flat.
She will of course only marry the #1 And Only who can bring her what she most desires. And with this damsel (who actually happens to be nameless, i just realized that), it’s a kitten. The most beautiful kitten in the kingdom, if you please.
- We have a lot of knights, princes, dukes, earls, and other sundry nobles. All bearing kittens.
- Lengthy cat descriptions you do not want to hear about. I was new to the descriptive-similes world, okay?
- Rejected cats and disgruntled nobles.
- Disgruntled king and queen.
- You see it coming, right?
- Yes. A humble shepherd.
- Yes, his kitten is the most beautiful of them all. Idk where he got this fantastical cat, or where he comes from, or anything. Nothing is explained.
- They live happily ever after.
- Please forgive me, I was ten.
What I Learned:
Ummm. NEVER try writing fairytales again? Ever.
This one was supposed to be something of a romance. But I started to write it at thirteen, so that tells you a lot. Let’s just say at thirteen I was not an expert on romance. It’s about Meredith, an eighteen-year-old with a really bad case on her childhood friend, Daniel. AN EIGHTEEN-YEAR-OLD WHAT WAS I THINKING.
The Binghams and Wilsons (the two respective families) get snowed in together in a blizzard. Meredith’s pregnant sister Nell (who happens to be married to Daniel’s brother), goes into labor.
- No one can go for the midwife.
- So of course Meredith, who is completely inexperienced, decides to be the hero. She hitches up her bootstraps and single-handedly delivers twins.
- I have questions here.
- The family connections are also really confusing. ??
- We have a couple sappy paragraphs you really, really aren’t interested in. Trust me.
- And viola her romance is also resolved.
- Daniel is actually my favorite character; he’s a redheaded sarcastic firechild of awkwardness and hilarity.
- But Meredith :P
What I Learned:
I absolutely love writing laughable rogue-type love interests
Another story named for its heroine. She is a young woman in a little town who goes through a lot of hardship (i really don’t know why). The general premise of the story: A few good things happen. There’s some inane romance. Lots of bad things happen. People die. Some good things happen. The end.
It starts when she falls in love with a dashing guy named Edgar (once again I was thirteen years old whhhyyyy).
- We have mush and absurdity and confusing plot points.
- Edgar dies.
- Rebecca’s father dies.
- She eventually marries Edgar’s brother John, a widower with five kids (i can’t remember for what reasons, exactly. i think she’s poor and needs support).
- John is two-dimensional and tasteless to the extreme. #writingskillz
- He dies.
- One of his daughters dies.
- Die, die, die.
- Rebecca is left with the four children and has no one in the wide world.
- She finds an advertisement in the paper written by a man out west named Matthew (i don’t think he has a last name). He’s looking for a wife and housekeeper.
- And this WAS NOT written in the midst of my mad pioneer-era craze. Heh. Why do you ask?
- Rebecca travels west, she and Matthew meet and fall in love, get married and live happily after, etc, etc.
What I Learned:
My romance needs a lot of work. My deaths need a lot of work. My writing needs a lot of work.
I tag Sydney at The Elliot Countenance; have fun with this! :)
Have you written trash as bad as this in your time? Tell me you cringed reading my fairytale attempt (i was almost too embarrassed to include that one). Comment below!