Five Horrendous Books I Wrote as a Child: and what I learned from them

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.

*dances happily*

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.

THREE.

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.

 

Nora

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.
  • #cringe

 

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.

 

The Snowstorm

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

 

Rebecca

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! :)

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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!

 

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The Interrogation Tag

New blog theme!! *applause*

How was everyone’s month? June was a WONDERFUL month for me. Friends, scribblings, lots of coffee… some amateur photography attempts…

Anyway. I was tagged by Emma at Real and Official Matters, a happy little blog that’s just taking off. Thanks for the tag, friend!

I present The Interrogation Tag.

 

Get To Know Me:

1. What are 3-5 little known facts about yourself?

  • I really, REALLY want a wolf. Like, for a companion. And it would be the coolest thing EVER if we could talk to each other. So basically a telepathic, weirdly intelligent wolf friend (don’t tell my dog I said any of this).
  • I’m still adjusting to being a young adult and acting like one… often I’m caught breaking into spontaneous running or jumping.
  • I LOVE singing, but I’m not a fan of my singing voice. So if you get to hear me singing I like/trust you REALLY well… or else I didn’t know you were standing there.

2. If you could travel anywhere in the world right now, where would you go?

Oh my. Probably either England or Australia. The accents both places are great, and the Australian animals are really cool. Also, English food. Can’t forget the English food. It’s a toss-up.

3. What are your favorite and least favorite foods?

Ugh, this is hard. Because I’m kind of crazy about most food… I guess five basic foods I really love would be:

  • All things potato. Baked, mashed, boiled, fried. They’re the best.
  • Pizza!!!
  • Cheesecake. Just. Cheesecake.
  • Strawberries (thanks to an obscure allergy I have, they’re – for some inexplicable reason – one of the only two raw fruits I’m able to eat. love these loyal guys).
  • I’m also an insane fan of my mom’s macaroni and cheese
  • You can tell I’m all about the healthy foods, right??

Three basic foods I detest:

  • Blueberry pie/cobbler (i know that is the weirdest thing ever. i give no explanations or excuses).
  • Pork. Ugh.
  • And coleslaw is beyond disgusting.

4.What are some of your hobbies?

Well, I guess writing doesn’t count since I’d like to consider that more of a lifework than a hobby. I enjoy reading, occasional baking, photography, the infrequent arranging of flowers, and Pinterest (yes, pinterest totally counts as a hobby).

5. Tea or Coffee?

COFFEE! Swirled with hazelnut creamer, sometimes cinnamon. But (for the benefit of you outraged tea-lovers out there) several teas I’ve tried have been amazing as well.

 

Bookish Questions:

1. Do you like books or movies better? 

Definitely books, but movies are wonderful as well. Especially movies based on my favorite books. So long as they don’t butcher the storyline too brutally, that is. The 2006 version of Jane Eyre did a pretty great job of adhering to the story… it’s one of my favorite movies.

2. What is your favorite genre to read?

I enjoy a lot of speculative fiction subgenres… fantasy and dystopian, that kind of thing. Ooh, and historical fiction.

3. What are some of your favorite books? 

Ohhh, I have an overwhelming number of favorites. But these are some I never get tired of, in all the times I re-read them:

  • Jane Eyre
  • Ella Enchanted
  • Rilla of Ingleside
  • Magic for Marigold (i first read that one when i was about ten, and have loved it wildly ever since)
  • Little Women
  • Persuasion
  • The Hobbit

And there are so many, many more.

4. A fictional character (or maybe 3) you’d like to be friends with?

Okay. Sorry folks, but I am going to have to make this five. Rilla, from Rilla of Ingleside. Dashti, from Book of a Thousand Days. Calvin O’Keefe from A Wrinkle in Time and its sequels. Maude, from The Misadventures of Maude March. And Ella, from Ella Enchanted.

5. Prettiest book cover that you own.

Probably L.M. Montgomery’s The Blue Castle. The font and cover illustration are lovely.

Image result for the blue castle

 

Writing Questions:

1. What is your favorite writing snack? 

Umm, I’ll eat ANYTHING when I’m hungry and writing.

2. When did you start writing?

At about six or seven. For the first few years of this I thought I wanted to be a poet, and I still have notebooks filled with my less-than-extraordinary efforts. There were a few that I’ve saved fondly, but I’m DEFINITELY more prose-inclined now.

3.Why do you write?

Ummm. (What am I supposed to say here?) I guess just overall to glorify the Lord, and because I love it. LOVE it. There, that wasn’t so bad. XD

4. What is your favorite genre to write?

I like trying my hand at a lot of styles and genres, but my favorite is probably fantasy. The research is so easy in comparison to historical fiction and other real-world genres. There’s some research that has to be done, but when you’re really and truly not sure about something you can just MAKE IT UP.

And the tag goes to Zane, who helped create these questions and I can tell is going to have a really good time with this. :D

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How was June for you? If you’d like to take this tag and do it yourself, feel free (also comment below to make my day fantabulous).

 

 

 

Blogger Book Tag

I have not made posting a priority… and see where that leaves us.

Anyway. I was tagged a couple weeks ago by Zane over at Simple Impossibilities, a fabulous little nook of the internet. Thanks, Zane! This is going to be fun.

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

Sense and Sensibility. Which I have started. But I got… 1/4 through?… And I have not picked it up in months.

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

I’m thinking probably an oven mitt. I was reading in the kitchen, and it was right on hand. ;D I have also used pens, rulers, other books… I kind of take the cake for strange bookmarks.

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

The Moorchild, by Eloise McGraw. This book is good. The mood to the whole story is great, sort of primitive medieval fantasy with a Celtic-like twist.

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

This question IS cheating. Possibly Henry Winterfeld. I know of only four books by him, three of which I read when I was about eleven. They were all really funny and enjoyable.

5. Name an author who deserves more readership.

L. M. Montgomery. Her books and stories are all wonderful!! Especially the Anne of Green Gables series (there are eight fantastic books in all).

6. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Random piece of paper. Always.

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

I prefer not to stop till the chapter’s finished, but I’ve been forced to grow used to slapping a book down in the middle with how swamped by responsibilities I tend to be…

8. One book at a time OR several?

Neither. Usually LOTS.

9. Do you read ahead or skip pages?

*blushes* Oh, yes. If there’s an especially boring scene I’ll flip a page or two.

10. Breaking the spine, or keeping it like new?

As if!! Like new, always.

11. What books do you regret reading?

The Princess Diaries. Last year I read the first one and it completely turned me off. There was, first and foremost, the whole public-school high school vibe to it: (“Above all let me be popular, or else I die”), which annoyed me. Also there was something highly inappropriate implied in one scene, and one or two inappropriate conversations. Overall I got the impression that the author could have done a WAY better job. I don’t recommend it at all.

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

Probably 100-150. This might be way off; it’s just an estimate. And I’ve never been good with estimations. It really depends on the year. I also re-read favorite books a LOT, so are we counting those?

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

Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine. READ THIS. <3

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

Phew. I have learned so many countless lessons and have so benefited and grown from so many books it’s hard for me to select the biggest. I invoke made-up rule #604: I’m allowed to skip one question.

(Yes. Yes, that was totally cheating.)

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

The Betrayal, by Douglas Bond.

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

I must include two, at the very least.

You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

-Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird

Sometimes people are beautiful not in looks, not in what they say, just in what they are.

-Markus Zusak

(This is from his book I am the Messenger, which I have not read. I just love the quote.)

17. How many books do you own?

I’d say somewhere around 350-400.

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

Seriously?! Agh! This year isn’t even very far along! Well, so far I would have to say The Dragon’s Tooth, #1 of The Ashtown Burials. :D I think.

And then I am going to go above and beyond lazy with the whole tagging-thing. I hereby tag whoever is reading this. There. Glad that’s over.

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What are your favorite book quotes? Literary regrets? And has anyone else EVER used an oven mitt as a bookmark. Please tell me I’m not alone. I’d love to hear from you!