Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My First (Written) Story

I've always been subject to my imagination. Growing up as the youngest of three in a (slightly) off-the-beaten path portion of Upstate NY, where there weren't a heckuva lot of kids my age meant I had to entertain myself for long portions of the day. Now, my mother will dispute how off-the-beaten path we really were (our house was a 5-minute drive outside a mid-sized city), but she's not the one telling this story.

Because I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, I started making up stories. Matchbox cars became space explorers or adventurers, Lego structures were dark caverns and the castles of evil overlords, and, oh yeah, G.I. Joe battled the He-Man figures.

One day when I was but a wee nipper (9 years old), I came up with a story based heavily off the Goosebumps books I was devouring at the time. THE MYSTERY OF THE HAUNTED HOUSE, a first-person short story, detailed the discovery of a ghost who was killed by poisoned bread. The unnamed narrator of that story would soon evolve into a character named Jennifer Terry, who was the protagonist I wrote stories about through much of junior high and high school. Jen Terry also has a starring role in EMERALD MIDNIGHT, the lengthy short story that's so far sitting in a drawer and may eventually become an urban fantasy (there's druids and meteors in it, so I figure what the heck).

Then came the first unfinished version of what would eventually become SON OF MAGIC -- a book called JOURNEY THROUGH THE WIZARD'S KINGDOM (which was loosely based on a board game).

So what was your first written story? Are you embarrassed by it or proud? What was it about?


Adam Heine said...

And here I thought I was the only one who ever linked to Board Game Geek :-)

The first (written) story I can remember was a Choose Your Own Adventure. Illustrated too, though I can't remember what it was about anymore.

I do remember stapling my thumb while making it. Twice.

Rick Daley said...

When I was in 6th and 7th grade (12-13 years old) I wrote a bunch of horror stories for my friends. It was a gross-out competition, we were all into horror movies, so lunatic killers and zombies were the rave.

I remember one was written in first person and it ended in a scribble mid-word as my protagonist met his end. A couple drops of red food color heightened the effect. It was my earliest experiment with the "found footage" medium of story telling.

Natalie said...

You know, I don't think I ever wrote a story that wasn't a school assignment until I wrote my first novel (a year and a half ago). And yes, I am very embarrassed by it. It was pretty terrible.

I sometimes wish I had more of a writing history.

Matthew Delman said...

Adam --

It helps that was the only website that had any reference to the game at all. It wasn't that popular of a board game because it took too long to play.

Rick --

Nice gross-out example, sir. I do like the red food coloring as an added touch.

Natalie --

No worries. We all get bitten by the writing bug at different times in our lives. You can take comfort in the fact you're farther along than I am in terms of publishing because, unlike me, you have an agent.

Stephanie Thornton said...

I wrote stories in elementary school, filling a whole notebook. I don't have them anymore or if I do they've been buried in a box in the basement.

L. T. Host said...

In third grade, my amazing teacher (for both 3rd and 4th, actually) Mrs. Todd, had us "publish" our own books. Just construction paper and hand-written words, but I LOVED that.

My first book though, I made with my mom's help-- "The Turkey Flew Out Of The Oven", actually a seasonal poem sung to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean". I don't at the moment recall if I wrote that or not, but I seem to remember that was in second grade.

Then in sixth grade I started a book about aliens. I was helping my dad during the summer at his publisher friend's office at the time. He offered many times to have me "co-write a book"-- pretty sure he was joking, but how I wish I had taken advantage of it, haha.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane, Matt... *sniff*.

Joshua McCune said...

I don't recall exactly, but it had something to do w/ WWIII -- I am kind of proud of it b/c I included illustrations (lots of fire and blood) -- that was about 3rd grade -- my drawing skills have yet to improve ;)

Matthew Delman said...

Stephanie --

I used to write longhand when I was in junior high. Then I realized that I was a speed demon on the computer and switched over to that.

L.T. --

You're quite welcome, madam.

Bane --

Why does the topic of your first book or the preponderance of explosions within not surprise me?

Davin Malasarn said...

I thought you were going to post the story! I can't remember what my very first story was, but I remember a few early ones. There was "Step, Step, Drag" about a conjoined twin who's sibling just died. And there's something called "Pamplona's Cheesecake," which was more of a play than a short story. I have no idea what that was about except that there was cake involved, cake of the cheese variety.

Adam Heine said...

Oh my gosh, Davin! That first title made me laugh and cry at the same time!

Matthew Delman said...

Davin --

The story is somewhere in file storage on 3.5-inch floppies (and was written in MS Works). I'm not sure I could even access the file anymore!

And I agree with Adam about the first title, btw.

Anita Saxena said...

Hmm... I think my first story, which I illustrated as well (because in second grade everything needs color pictures) was entitled FIREBALL ISLAND. I came across it a few years ago. It was written on pink notebook paper.