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Tell me about your first serious attempt at creative writing

Roughdragon

Minstrel
Because I remember mine, and it was... so bad. The level of cringe it gives me when I read through it from time to time is painful. But in a way, it's a good kind of pain, because it shows me how far I've progressed as a writer. And yes, it was a fanfiction. And yes, I am still embarrassed to this day.

Here it is by the way, if anyone's interested (ugh): Star Wars Meets Destiny Chapter 1, a Star Wars + Destiny Crossover fanfic | FanFiction
 
I have a few pages of a fantasy story I started writing a few years ago but it hasn't really progressed. I read it every once in a while and I feel like there is potential there, at least it doesn't make me cringe, but I haven't really found the inspiration to continue yet and I have a feeling it is something that I have to let progress only when I find that right state of mind. It may never come or it may come tomorrow :)
 

pmmg

Vala
My first story was novel length. I've not looked at it in years and years and years. I fear if I did, I would not find it very readable or worth editing, though, I thought the story was a good one ;) I moved on to short stories from there due their faster path to completion and feedback.

I wrote a Star Wars fan fic once (though, I would not have called it fan fic...). Not because I was a fan but because someone kind of put me up to it. It would never get published, and does not follow much of their lore (as it became), but I was not exactly a newb when I wrote it. I don't think it is online anywhere I could link to though.
 
Wow, I admire your bravery in providing a link.

And how do you define serious? I've been trying to write stories practically since birth. It's always felt pretty serious. :p
 
My first, terribly cringeworthy works started in my senior year. I still have all the notebooks and the pictures from it. Them, actually. The first was a fantasy story of the Accidentally Crashing A Plane on A Fantasy Island. Then the Hero (named John), goes on to become Dragon Lord, get's all sorts of fancy powers and super sayian knock off power levels. And can turn into a giant golden dragon. Does all the heroic things to fight the dark lord, gathering all the peoples and fusing the human kingdoms together under his rule, get's the girl all that. Also, dinosaurs and giant dwarven steam powered siege tanks as big as buildings. Eventually leading to cyborg wizards and more. It became decidedly insane and was full of terrible grammar and writing.

My other was a sci-fi that I'm actually still working on to this day. I never dropped the dystopian vision of it. Just continue to tweak and change it as I see fit. When I get back to it. It was, as a whole, slightly less terrible. Slightly more full of swearing and more 'adult' stuff as thought of by a mind just freed into the adult world. Still kind of bad all around. I've also had terrible delving into fanfiction. Mostly in the Transformers fandom, so it has been buried.
 

Tom

Istar
Oh god...my first serious attempt at creative writing...wow. That's going back a ways.

My oldest serious work is Southerner, which was the basis for my current epic fantasy project. I started writing it when I was 13 and it was...cringey, to say the least. I had no concept of pacing and only the barest knowledge of how to throw together a plot. All I ever wrote of it was the first three scenes, before I realized I didn't have a roadmap for it and got bored of it.

The story progressed something like this:
1. Introduction of main character and his mission
2. Meeting journey companion and starting out
3. Reaching the big scary haunted forest (yeah yeah...very cliche)
4. ???

...And at that point I did have a concrete ending in mind, but I just didn't have any way to get from point A to point B. In a way, this story never really died, though. I'm still writing it, albeit in a far different, more fully realized form. You can still see scraps of the original story here and there, especially in the opening scenes and in the protagonist's characterization. When I look back on that first story now I cringe in embarrassment, but I have a lot of affection for it as well. It's largely thanks to it that I'm here where I am today in my writer's journey.

And hey, if anyone is curious, I can post a paragraph or two. It's pretty awful so I don't see why you'd willingly put yourself through that, though, haha.
 
Oh god...my first serious attempt at creative writing...wow. That's going back a ways.

My oldest serious work is Southerner, which was the basis for my current epic fantasy project. I started writing it when I was 13 and it was...cringey, to say the least. I had no concept of pacing and only the barest knowledge of how to throw together a plot. All I ever wrote of it was the first three scenes, before I realized I didn't have a roadmap for it and got bored of it.

The story progressed something like this:
1. Introduction of main character and his mission
2. Meeting journey companion and starting out
3. Reaching the big scary haunted forest (yeah yeah...very cliche)
4. ???

...And at that point I did have a concrete ending in mind, but I just didn't have any way to get from point A to point B. In a way, this story never really died, though. I'm still writing it, albeit in a far different, more fully realized form. You can still see scraps of the original story here and there, especially in the opening scenes and in the protagonist's characterization. When I look back on that first story now I cringe in embarrassment, but I have a lot of affection for it as well. It's largely thanks to it that I'm here where I am today in my writer's journey.

And hey, if anyone is curious, I can post a paragraph or two. It's pretty awful so I don't see why you'd willingly put yourself through that, though, haha.

i lack the bravery to post samples lol.

even of my current wip let alone my first book
 
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Nimue

Auror
Hard to say--like DotA, I started writing stories pretty soon after learning how to read. Page-length "stories" about stuff like, well... Witness the brilliant punctuation of "Abby Saves the Day" circa age 6, converted from a dusty Corel WordPerfect document.
One day while Abby was dozing in the shade of a bamboo plant, she heard gruff voices talking. Abby peeked over the tall bamboo. She saw two men talking.
“I think we should kill all the pandas here, and use the land for a big farm.”
“Yes,” said the other man. “And nobody will notice that pandas were ever there.”
“Kill?!! Pandas?!!” thought Abby. “I have to do something.”
So she went home and tried to think. But Abby couldn’t really think, because she was so scared. Then she thought, “it’s as scary as a monster.” Then she had an idea. “I could dress up as a monster and scare them away!”
So, Abby glued some bamboo leaves to herself until she looked like a monster. Then she snuck up on the men and leaped out of the bamboo with a terrific growl!
The men were so scared that they ran without even thinking!
When Abby returned home she was a hero. The mayor even gave her a medal!

Can't dig much deeper than that. Now, was it serious? If anything, I think I've gotten more reticent and less serious about my writing as I've gotten older and have a, uh, better grasp on the likelihood of being published by age 16. (For sure! The peak of one's life.)

My first...hmm...ambitious, finished fantasy story came about in 6th grade, was about 40 pages long and just utter rubbish. Basically a school story with a magical sparkly winged girl in it. I think I've posted a bit of that here before, actually, and it will burn your eyes out. I clamped onto that story through middle school, I think, restarted it a few times, squeezed out a 50k document at some point of various scenes. God, it's painful to think about; why have I kept this stuff in a folder to haunt me? High school I got kind of into forum rping, and also worked a Sidhe story around through various iterations--learned a few things about atmosphere and pretty words, I suppose, but not much else. You could say that I got serious again as a junior in college, started a NaNoWriMo novel and began to solidify a style and work on characters. And now I've ended up here, finally trying to wrap my head around story structure and plot. Sometimes I wonder if first-grade me had a better grasp of things than I do now--at least there's conflict, eh? But I've always been distracted by pretty words.

Tom, you should totally post examples--and DotA too, give it a go! I can't be the only one haunted by the ghosts of floppy disks past. (Oh man, I used to write on the labels in glittery gel pen... Gettin' old.)
 

Aurora

Sage
My first attempt was in grade school as well. I remember drawing illustrations for my stories in 3rd grade.
 

Sheilawisz

Queen of Titania
Moderator
Hello everyone!

I have imagined stories ever since I can remember, but the very first ones that I wrote down were very short and rather silly fanfictions about the Thundercats cartoon series. It was my favorite cartoon back then, I really loved it and every night I would come up with my own stories about those characters.

Apart from those totally crazy fanfics, I also had this end of the world story about a huge asteroid impact. I also wrote down what were supposed to be episodes for a TV series about a spaceship crew and their adventures, and I had some drawings of the spaceship and character profiles and all that.

Very few examples of that material survive in paper today.

When I have a look at it, I recognize the same storytelling passion and enjoyment that I experience today. Sure that my narrative and writing style were just starting to be developed back then, but it's something that makes me laugh instead of cringe. I was telling stories in those years, and I keep telling stories today.

My very first serious project was a story that I started back in 2003, aged 20.

It was supposed to be just a short and funny story about these Mage ladies that lived in snowy mountains, but soon it started to grow a lot and it clicked with me so much that eventually it transformed into my very first trilogy of Fantasy novels.

That story still has a huge influence on my later works and I love it to no end.
 

Antonius

Scribe
First serious attempt at creative writing was back in 7th grade and it was a fanfiction based on Initial D, which then got converted into it's own story. Unfortunately, the file itself ended up corrupted and I couldn't restore it.

A few years later, I did write another story that I still have to this day and it makes me cringe every time I read it, due to how terrible my writing was back then. I enjoy the plot, locations and characters as some of them were based on people I knew. My current project is an evolution of this said story but I've dropped the plot and kept the characters and locations.

I think I have my second story posted online somewhere, but I'm not game enough to post the link.
 

Zeppo

Dreamer
My first attempt was when I was about 7 or 8. I don't remember what it was about, but I think it was time travel. I gave it to my mom to read and she told me it wasn't very good. I never looked at writing again since then. It was a terrible blow to my potential writing career, but it is definitely something that I want to get back to. I haven't really written anything with a serious effort to write something good, but I do write my RPG storylines and character backgrounds, but the only audience for those is myself.

Now, I'm tackling a novel, and really, my first serious writing effort. I'm thinking of tackling short stories first, to build up a skill set, but I'm struggling on just getting started.
 

Tom

Istar
Tom, you should totally post examples--and DotA too, give it a go! I can't be the only one haunted by the ghosts of floppy disks past. (Oh man, I used to write on the labels in glittery gel pen... Gettin' old.)

First I'll have to find it! I know I still have the original copy...somewhere. I wrote it in a green notebook covered in doodles of horses and dragons (being in the throes of a combined dragon/horse phase at the time) and I'm pretty sure it's in a bookcase under college textbooks and art detritus. I also have the original file on a flash drive--for whatever reason, I decided it was good enough to copy into a Word 97 document, and unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) it's stuck around to haunt me.

At the time I had a penpal out in California who also wrote, and we'd send our stories back and forth via email (Microsoft Outlook email...on dial-up internet...) for the other to read and critique. We treated email like an IM function, basically, and sometimes we'd have hour-long conversations that involved waiting for emails to send from East Coast to West Coast or vice versa and my mother yelling at me to get off so she could use the phone.

I think I still have a printout of the first page somewhere with notes scribbled in the margins based on my penpal's observations. If I'm not wrong, the notes were written with one of those multi-color pens where you click down a slider to change ink cartridges. Man, I loved those things. Too bad they had a habit of exploding and getting everything covered in ink.
 
I started writing creatively in 4th grade. I wrote short stories and read them to the class, never once wondering why I was reading more of my stories to the class than anyone else. My stories were in multiple genres: western, action/adventure, mystery, and sf&f. I sometimes used the names of classmates in my stories, which seemed to go over well with some of the students. I still have many of these stories folded up and stacked in a shoebox in the closet. Someday I hope to revisit them and see if there's anything salvageable from those early days - fifty years ago.
 

Insolent Lad

Maester
I'll assume by 'creative writing' we're talking stories, as I was seriously writing poetry (and nonfiction articles) well before I ever tackled a fiction project. Indeed, my first couple books were poetry, one a collection of poems and the other a rhyming picture book. But the first novel was a YA I churned out in my spare hours when I had to put everything else aside and become a caregiver for my late father. Not speculative fiction in any way, but set in a little coastal Florida town like the one in which I was residing (or stuck, maybe I should say!) It was a definite learning experience and a book I rewrote far more than any since.

Now I was not at all young when I wrote it. For some reason, I never seriously tackled stories when I was a kid, though I made up plenty of them in my head (some of those have found their way into the fiction since). I am actually fairly happy with the novel as it was eventually finished. Oh, I see some problems; were I to write it again there would definitely be more concrete imagery, but I was attempting to keep the word count down to match what I was told was the ideal length for Young Adult. Another lesson there: write the story and don't worry so much about whatever rules you have been told apply.
 

Addison

Auror
I kinda have two cringe-worthy moments. One is the first story I ever finished, in grade school. It was a novel and....oh my god! Just thinking about it makes me cringe and laugh at the same time! In a nutshell, the protagonist is an american reincarnation of a powerful samurai who-aided by color coded ghost ninjas (think about that)- must take down a powerful enemy who only really shows up at the end.

Years later....actually last year, I tried an actual creative writing publication. I've been writing since third grade but last year I actually published a few short stories on Amazon. "Letter To Regret" and "Screwing With Demons". One wasn't so bad, I don't think-personally...maybe. It got a good review. The other has had no reviews and I'm actually thinking of taking it down as I'll be recycling both title and some plot elements for a novel. So that story makes me grimace more than cringe.

But over the years I have, looking back, seen my work progress. From near plagiarized characters (the ninjas) and crap setting to dimensional characters and solid plot. Writing is as much a trade as any other, and it improves with practice.
 

Chessie2

Staff
Article Team
I was nine years old when I wrote my first short story about a pizza delivery boy murderer. Yup. After that, I filled up notebooks for years with drawings, stories, and novels. I tried getting published for the first time at 17. Penguin wrote me back something to the effect of: "Oh, how darling! Try again when you're grown up!"

Ha!
 
I started writing when I was very young, five or six or so. My first book was a picture book that I drew and wrote myself. Years later, in high school, I started the story that would [through much hard work and rewrites and edits and tears] eventually become the Songsphere Saga. There were many cringe-y moments in my very first attempt. I have to laugh at it now, looking back, and over how much I've learned since then. Now, nearly seven years after I started, I've written three books and am working on my fourth.
 

gia

Scribe
My first story was around the age of 10 or so. We lived deep in the Montana wilderness without TV so my whole world was reading. I wrote a book about a girl sleuth based on my love of Nancy Drew and where we lived (dude ranch). My dad MADE me read it out loud at the dinner table then criticized me for including a very real life description about the "Branding Iron" (name of the cocktail cabin we had). He must have thought I had a real shot at getting published cause he didn't want that detail in the book, since they didn't have a liquor license. Unfortunately that criticism shut me down for years.
 
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