If you’ve been writing for any length of time… especially if you’ve been writing since you were a pre-teen and had different interests and tastes back then… you probably have some skeletons in your closet.
Novel-skeletons, that is.
Novels that were rightfully (or wrongfully) abandoned.
Novels that you cringe to think about.
Novels that are still seeking their vengeance on you at this very moment.
So… let’s talk about that. We’ll start with the earliest of early abandoned novels (legit ones, anyway. Not the lady bug living on an island that eats waffles kind of abandoned.)
SARAH CONNER: (2010-2013)
My earliest one actually was abandoned in 2010, but got re-written! In NaNo of 2013! And I actually still like it! So much so that I included it on my writings page. I call it “Escape” now. (Such a classy, original title, I know.)
It’s basically about a slave girl who gets sold from her family, moved to work in the big house, and is taught to read by the plantation owner’s daughter. It’s a leetle cliche, but I tried to throw some twists in there. I won’t spoil them for you. 😉
(also, J.R. Black was an old pen name of mine. Black=Sirius Black of coursE)
The year is 1835, and Sarah Connor has just been sold away from her family.
Thrown into an entire different plantation from one she had been the last seven years of her life at, she has trouble adjusting to her new workload. Never before had Sarah seen this far into the grime of Slavery. But from the Big House, an unusual escape presents itself to her.
The next oldest story I can think of is one I wrote about a girl who lost her sister in a
tornado in… but *gasp* she shows up many years later as the neighbor girl who’s adopted but she doesn’t *really* recognize her and the girl *gasp* lost her memory and neither!Of!Them!know!
(can we take a moment to appreciate my “mad” 12 year old cover making skills?! 😉 I think I made this on picnik if any of you remember that website lol. It was the original picmonkey. )
Ellie of Court Street: (2011?)
This was going to be a sad rip-off of Anne of Green Gables… but modernized… and taking place in the house were I lived… and filled with cliche bullies. It was bad, guys. I wrote the first chapter, I think.
Forest of Werewolves: (2011)
Ah, my first legit novel. *Sigh*
I was so proud when I finished this thing… I even took a picture of myself and my laptop when I killed off my first bad guy (who wasn’t actually dead and I planned for him to return in the fourth book. Just sayin.)
It took place in a magic boarding school called Kanidora. (Basically Hogwarts/Charlie Bone/Camp Half Blood esc) The kids had “talents,” like making plants grow or turning into animals. The idea developed between an online friend and I, and we both started writing our own versions. Eventually she dropped the idea… so I took it as my own.
Of course it got some major world renovations. It was written double POV style through Zelda and Laneia’s eyes, two 11ish year old girls. (Spoiler, they’re long lost twin sisters.) They both attend this magic school and just happen to be room mates.
But since Laneia is away from home, she doesn’t take her monthly “don’t turn into a werewolf” potions her mean Aunt gives her (Laneia thinks her mean because she is and also because she doesn’t know she’s a werewolf and the potions protect her) and the evil Arena professor (who is the leader of a werewolf gang that meets in the forest outside the school) BITES HER and turns her into a wolf (again.) And I’m talking, like, the cool kind of werewolf that looks like a wolf. Not a mutant human. (That’s not till book two.)
Zelda invites Laneia home for the winter holidays so she can avoid her mean aunt. BUT then she discovers they’re twins because of course Zelda’s mom recognized her. Annnddd why did they get separated in the first place?
Because Laneia was a werewolf. A long long time ago when Zelda and Laneia were two, the evil Arena professor bit Laneia (kinda sorta by accident? I mean, he broke into their house but it was sorta by accident.)
So the mom sent Laneia away to her sister in order to protect Zelda. Obiviously. #motherslove
Then they have to work out their differences, and go back to school where they defeat the werewolf uprising (lead by the evil Arena teacher) using friends, Zelda’s animal shifting talents, and Laneia’s werewolf abilities.
THE FOURTH MAIDEN: (2012) Book two of the Forest of Werewolves series. XD
In this book, I dive further into the magical world of Zelda and Laneia. I try to explain where they get their talents from. They befriend one of the four maidens who helped make the talents like 400 years ago but she got turned into a tree and somehow awoke?? and then came to the school as a student. (Long story)
So L and Z leave school and go to save the maidens (who are still alive but are dying because the evil arena dude stole their life force wand thing before he “died”) and also to fix Laneia’s lycanthropy, which is on the frits and now she’s a mutant every night or something??
I never finished this 2012 NaNo endeavor, even though I reached my wordcount goal and “won.” I wish I had because frankly, I love Zelda and Laneia to death and I wanted to finish this part of their story. I’m half tempted to go finish it now, to do Z and L justice…
Sure my writing was cruddy and the story ideas were… well, interesting, but those girls were rich characters in my head.
I love them so much so that I’m thinking about genderbending them and putting them into a new dystopian novel I might write for NaNo this fall…. We’ll see. I’m really excited about the possibility of genderbending their personalities (talents and werewolfness obviously not included XD) and telling another story with “them” in it.
That’s pretty much it for dead stories. After I rewrote that slave girl novel in 2013, I wrote the first draft of Sparrow Singing in 2014, then known as “The Sparrow Who Couldn’t Sing,” (comment if you remember those days, ha >.<) and then the two years after that have been spent writing the next two books in the Sparrow series. Truth Remaining in 2015, and finally Ember Burning in 2016.
Wow. That ended up being a long post. I didn’t realize how much of FoW I actually still remembered O_O Makes me want to go re-read it, even though its actual crap and I would cringe at my grammar and writing skills the whole time.
Oh well. It lives forever fondly in my memories and without it? I wouldn’t be where I am today writing wise.
Moral of the post? Don’t hate on your old writing too badly. It’s what got you to where you are today.
So tell me: