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Below is a story that I wrote in my late teens. I remember the day I finished it. I was so full of joy and pride in my genius. It was the best story I had ever written. (True fact. I was rubbish back then.) Maybe even the best story anyone had ever written!
Or, so, I thought on the day I finished it. I don’t remember whether I sent it anywhere to be published. I do remember that at some point, not that long after finishing it, I decided it was, in fact, the worst story ever written and consigned it to the “this is crap” file.
It is pretty awful. But more in a bad-boring than bad-entertaining way. Nevertheless, I thought it might be educational for aspring writers to see what this particular published author’s juvenilia looks like. I’m sure there are other authors out there who wrote unbelievably great stories when they were teens. I, alas, am not one of them. Wasn’t till I was in my 30s that I wrote anything halfway decent. Some of us are slow learners. Very slow.
The good news is that it’s relatively short—just shy of 2,000 words—the bad news is that it seems a LOT longer than it is. Sorry.
I have added footnotes throughout to explain to you just what is so terrible about the writing. Not that it is even slightly difficult to figure out for yourself. I have resisted making any corrections because, really, the only remedy for this story is to be take it out the back and shoot it. I’ve also placed it behind the cut so that you don’t have to sully your eyes with it unless you really, really want to.
Girl Meets Boy
Felicé watched him. He was standing outside the café looking listless, a coke in one hand. He looked around him, at his watch, at the cars and buses and at his watch again. He started to pace back and forth, sometimes combing at his short hair with his hand. Yet he didn’t have an air of waiting for any one in particular. It was more like a ritual. He seemed too consciously alone; Felicé was sure he was waiting generally, for something to happen, for someone like her to talk to him. She closed the book she’d been reading and stared at him. He was very handsome. Perhaps he was waiting for someone.
0 Comments on A Story What I Wrote in My Late Teens! Avert Thine Eyes! Run for the Hills! as of 4/25/2012 5:15:00 PM
I have very exciting NEWS!
I wrote a book! The book is sold! It will be out early next year!
Even more exciting and this is the best part: I DID NOT WRITE THIS BOOK ALONE.
I wrote it with Sarah Rees Brennan, who is not only a wonderful friend, but one of my favourite writers.
The book is called Team Human. It will be published by Allen & Unwin in Australia and Harper Collins in North America and will be out in April/May 2012.
Writing Team Human was the most fun I’ve ever had writing a book. All because of SRB.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with her—and seriously how did that happen? what are you doing reading this blog when you could be reading hers or, even better, her wonderful books—SRB is the author of the Demon’s Lexicon trilogy, which are some of the scariest, most gut wrenchingest awesome books I’ve read. Your heart will be seared as you read!
Oh, and she’s funny too. Just read her blog. Seriously funny. In fact, it was her funniness that led to Team Human. We were instant messaging each other discussing a movie we’d just seen and she kept making me laugh so hard I fell over and somehow we got talking about a million and one extremely funny things and then we found ourselves agreeing to write a book together. For the full story check out SRB’s version of events.
Now, I have planned to write books with many people and each time we’ve both earnestly assured each other that we were going to truly rooly do this thing. But every time something would get in the way. They were already writing a book with someone else, we could not come up with enough good ideas, if we did come up with good ideas the enthusiasm would die, one or both of us was too busy, etc. etc.
Not this time. I don’t think it ever occurred to SRB that we wouldn’t write a complete novel. It occurred to me. I have never been as shocked as when I realised we were really, literally, actually going to write a complete finished book together! It was almost as surprising as the first time I did that on my own.
I should have realised sooner that we would finish because almost straight away we were swapping chapters back and forth, doing our best to make the other laugh