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A Short Writing History

November 8, 2009

It’s amazing… the handwriting below is strikingly like mine. Good job, Google Images!

"Once upon a time"My writing’s been going remarkably well, and I’m progressing quickly. My reading, though, has taken a hit, and (especially this past week) I’ve been neglecting my books. The pile of novels on my bedside table is ridiculously tall, and I’ve already renewed my library books once or twice.

Needless to say, I don’t have any reviews to post because I haven’t read enough books (and I’ve been too lazy to set apart time to write reviews for the few books I have managed to read), but, if I’m writing constantly, why not write a post that revolves around writing?

I was browsing young author Steph Bowe’s site, and was intrigued by her post concerning her writing “failures”.  (Click here- to view her post.) Hence, “A Short Writing History”.

Seriously, my writing history is short. I hadn’t even begun learning to read by the time I turned seven, and it took another year and a half before I could tackle the original Nancy Drew books. (I need to write about my reading history at some point as well.) I didn’t begin writing until I was about ten.

My first attempts at writing stories weren’t below average for someone who had only been reading for (barely) three years, but they weren’t above either. I think it was that year (my fourth grade year) that I was invited to the Writing Festival (I don’t even remember exactly what it was). I had to miss a birthday party of a family friend, but I enjoyed myself. A folder containing the short stories other children around my age wrote still abides in a cabinet somewhere in my family room bookshelf. My stories around that point were deemed “Kate Stories”, and were amateur Nancy Drew rip-offs. I wrote three or four of these, all of which were about ten pages long and began with “Once upon a time”. I originally wrote them in journals (I’ve never gotten into the habit of using journals for what they’re ultimately supposed to be used for), and then I would “type” (you know, the ten-year-old version of typing; searching and poking) them on the computer. Here are the various titles: 

1. Mystery Person

2. The Noise

3. Allie’s Attic (Kate was supposed to be me – yeah, right – and Allie’s a best friend of mine, whom I’ve known since my toddler years, in reality.)

4. The Case of the Mysterious Woman (Never finished)

Next came… nothing. I can’t remember writing anything, honestly, until later the next year. I’ve just searched through my entire computer and cannot manage to find the story I wrote. I have no idea what the title was. The story was set back in some inexistant time period in a village. I think I began writing it after I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkin. So… guess what genre my story would be categorized in? Fantasy all the way, and I actually dislike fantasy for the most part. I’m not sure why. I have very odd prejudices when it comes to reading, but I’ve lightened up a bit as I’ve gotten older. You simply can’t avoid talking animals in today’s modern world. Anyway, the story had something to do (my memory’s very vague) with a cursed locket. The main character, Clare, ran away with her younger sister after her mother accused her of having stolen the entire family fortune to purchase the locket which, in reality, had simply appeared on Clare’s neck after she awoke from a disturbing dream (involving dragons and ancient, tattered books). Clare couldn’t remove the locket. She and her sister ended up rescuing an extremely handsome boy named William from an abusive father and the next day, Clare and Will fell in love. That night, when they were lying on rocks in a mysterious and endless forest, Clare and her companions were transported by unknown forces into a new world – with vulgar trolls who knocked people out with clubs. That’s as far as that story went. I abandoned it and, apparently, disposed of all physical traces of it.

In sixth grade, I wrote a story titled Peers vs. Sense for a school writing contest. The entire point of the contest was to write a story that involved abstaining from drugs. No problem. I spat one out one night and sent it in. Out of the oh, maybe, ten people who entered, I won the iPod shuffle (green), and was excessively happy.

Also in sixth grade, I began writing “a book” called Simple Facts about a girl whose mother had gone into a deep and inescapable depression after the main character’s father had passed away. I wrote this right after reading Twilight, and, naturally, there was a silly little romance involved. The main character was fraught with worry. And who wouldn’t be? She had to spoon-feed her mom, take care of her siblings, and to top all these horrendous circumstances, her heart was in the hands of the wonderful, popular, lacrosse player, Josh. I left the story somewhere around chapter nine.

Until this year, with “Impediments” (which I will be editing soon) and my work in progress (currently titled Yearly Hubbub), I only wrote for school assignments (EDIT: I completely forgot my other abandoned “novel”, Forbidden. This novel was about a girl with a dysfunctional family and a sole friend. Later, with her best bud, Mike, she entered the forbidden world through a locked attic door which mysteriously opened before Mike could touch it. I still have hopes for Forbidden, but I won’t be writing past chapter three for a long while – mainly because it needs to be entirely re-worked.) and alternate endings for Nancy Drew computer games (made by Herinteractive) on the herinteractive.com message boards.  I wrote three of these “AEs” in the past year, and finished my last in September to dedicate myself entirely to my current writing project. I’m still in the plotting process, but I have high hopes to finish everything by August 2010 (at the latest). I remain secretive about the goings on in my new writing project, and I hope that will help me stay excited. My mom nearly drew the plotline out of me late last night, but I resisted. As of now, I am the only one who really knows what it’s about.

This month, I also wrote “Band Members Bind in the Library” for Your Story prompt #22 (for Writer’s Digest) and “Delirium” for a writing competition. The former I’m actually pretty happy with, the latter was kind of silly, but fun to write.

There you go – Madeleine’s (goodness, I had to re-type my name at least eight times. That’s humiliating) short writing history.

By the time I die, I’ll be able to boast that I had an “extremely long and tediously wonderful writing history”. That will be a bittersweet day.

Madeleine

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. Bellezza permalink
    November 11, 2009 7:34 AM

    You are so good at all things literary, Madeleine, and I love your spirit of enthusiasm.

    • November 11, 2009 10:21 AM

      That’s a nice comment to start my day! Thank you so much, Bellezza!

  2. November 9, 2009 1:36 AM

    Great writing history, thanks for sharing, love to read honest accounts. Good luck witht he pile of books, if it makes you feel better, I have one just like it!

    • November 11, 2009 10:22 AM

      Yes… the pile of books. Honestly, I’m surprised we haven’t had some impatient book rebellions. One of these days, I’ll wake up and find I’m being strangled by The Wind in the Willows’ ribbon bookmark!

  3. November 8, 2009 9:41 PM

    Hi Madeleine!
    I loved reading your writing history! Love your blog 🙂
    Cheers,
    Steph xo

    • November 8, 2009 10:31 PM

      I am thrilled you checked it out! I haven’t had time to comment on your blog (although I’ve looked all over it), but I will wrestle with my made-up schedule soon to find some time! I solemnly promise to read your book the minute it comes out (how couldn’t I?)!

  4. November 8, 2009 5:48 PM

    i’d love to read “band members bind in the library” sometime.

    keep it going!

    • November 8, 2009 10:13 PM

      I’ll post it sometime within the next month. It’s actually kind of… disturbing. If you had read some of the other Your Story entries, you would know that the endings, by unspoken rule, are completely unexpected when you begin reading. I was actually thrilled to write something like that. It gives you so much space to simply spit out anything. It’s improvisation in the form of words.

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