There comes a point in every writer’s career when they go back and look at old material. I’m not speaking of stories put away in drawers to reflect on. No. I’m talking about the early stuff. What some might call “embarrassing” writing. It’s the stories that we wrote when we were in school and had little to no concept of how life really was or would be. It’s the kind of writing you look back on and laugh at and think, “Wow. I’m so glad I’ve learned so much since then.” Well, folks, I’m about to dive into that dark and dangerous filing cabinet and select a story that I haven’t looked at in quite some time…
My Horror-FAIL Friday blog is admittedly a petty and often critical blog. While it’s funny to look at examples of horror that can be written better or has been created for the sole premise of jump-scaring and shocking the reader, I always feel a little ashamed at myself for poking and laughing at them. Everyone deserves a chance to improve upon their work, especially those who are legitimately trying to produce something quality. And so that’s why I’m pulling a masochistic move and sharing some of my early writing…my awful writing with you.
In grade school, I started writing my first “vampire” book. And boy, was it a doozy. Without ruining the surprise for you too much, these vampires had the ability to turn into cats, turned into glitter in the sunlight (DEATH BY GLITTER), and drank and ate all kinds of strange things other than blood. So…they were basically just undead cat people with the munchies. I honestly can’t read this without cringing every few seconds. Spelling is atrocious, verbs and adverbs are distracting, and… the random rain water obsession… It basically reads like Twilight fan-fiction for cat-obsessed juvenile delinquents. You’ve been warned:
“The door creeked open and a face peeked in. The singapura’s attention from the window was severed as she turned her gaze to the woman at the door. “Leeta?” she heard the woman say.
“Come in,” she offered with a growl. She still didn’t trust Sylvia and trust was big for her. Sylvia stepped in carrying a hot plate of chicken dippers. Along side was a pool of teryaki dipping sauce and a glass of rain. She closed the door softley and stepped over to the bed. Her long silver hair swept acrossed her shoulders and her mystical dress went down to her ankles where she wore a pair of leather sandals.
“I brought you something to eat and if you were thirsty, there’s a glass of rain water here,” Sylvia said gentley and shyly setting the plate on top of the bureau. She then sat down on the cold mattress of the bed. She wrapped her arms around herself and shivered a little.
[… There’s three paragraphs where our characters turn off a fan. In three paragraphs. I skipped it for you. You’re welcome.]
“The singapura’s head swiveled towards the glass. Wet streaks streamed down accompanied by the tapping of drops on the pane.
“Is the jug out there?” Leeta inquired.
“Uh, ya, Milo is out hanging it up now,” Sylvia answered. [Because surely the characters WILL DIE if they don’t get their precious rain water.]
“Milo was a gentle guy with tan hair and an intelligent attitude. […dying…] He still didn’t become trust worthy of Leeta though; even though he was a sensitive and sweet guy, he seemed too gentle. [WTF does that mean?] He had to gain it before she gave it to him. [Whoa.] He was always also a big believer in law and justice; he used to be a cop.
“In the distance, she could hear the soft music of a piano. The message it sent to her mind reminded her of the essence of lost love, lonelyness, and sadness all tangled up giving the song its compassionate tone. Whoever was playing was desireing for companionship; to be close.
“Who is that?” the cat purred, turning her attention from the window again.
“Reed. He was a pianist, ya know? [NO SHIT.] He usually plays soft slow songs, it describes his mood most of the time,” Sylvia slowly said, bowing her head. [On the bed, in the shed, with some bread.]
“It’s so…sad,” Leeta confessed, her eyes seemed to turn grey and unhappy.
“Reed had his whole life worked out for him before it happened. He’s usually silent about it.” Leeta knew it was better not to ask questions to things others were not happy talking about.
“Does anybody talk to him?” she wondered losing her purr. Sylvia’s gaze rose to meet hers.
“Of course. Usually he’s very openly talkative. When it comes to talking about his history…” She paused and leaned closer, “Not really.”
“So he sits on a piano and plays depressing music all day? Do any of you guys know what he lost?” Leeta wondered rising on her oval padded feet. […]
“I do,” Sylvia attmitted, “And I promised I wouldn’t speak about it.” She rose from her position on the bed and stretched her arms.
“I’m going for a walk in the woods.”
“Ever heard of a moonlit walk?” she smiled a little and escaped out the door.
That’s it. That’s all you get of that pukey atrocity. Anymore would be a deluge of disgusting on a perfectly good Friday and we can’t have that. So, I’ll be sharing more with you next week. Yup. Laugh and cringe (and cry) next week. Stay tuned!