1. Baller Dale
    Offline

    Baller Dale Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2012
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    0

    How bad was your first piece of fiction?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Baller Dale, Apr 27, 2012.

    I'm 20 years-old and about half way through writing my first short story - about a bank robbery - and I don't think it's very good.

    I've always been confident in everything I do but reading what I've wrote so far is making me question whether or not fiction writing is for me.

    Is it way too early to be jumping to those kind of conclusions? Did you feel the same after reading your first piece of fiction?
     
  2. killbill
    Offline

    killbill Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2012
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    24
    Location:
    where the mind is without fear...
    But, your ability to now see the mistakes you have made in your earlier stories in itself is a sign of how far you have come. So the conclusion you should draw is the fact that you are improving and you are going to improve even more.
     
  3. Cristian
    Offline

    Cristian Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2012
    Messages:
    42
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Romania
    Honestly? If so, embarrassingly bad.
    I was 13 at the time, though, so I guess I could safely say that I've drastically improved since then.
     
  4. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    Everyone's first story is terrible. It's just how it is. You need to work hard if you want to see good results.

    In your earliest work you are likely to see huge jumps in quality between each story as you become aware of your writing weaknesses and build on your skills.
     
  5. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,222
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    Oh, my god, when I first started writing stuff, it was when I was 14. My work, of which I actually came near to completion, was utter crap. I apparently thought every sentence ended in an exclamation point, I had no concept of paragrpahs and indentions, so it was literally about 20+ pages of a solid wall of text.

    I thought it was good, though. xD Looking back at it, though, I can say that I feel ill every time.

    Comparing that to the fiction I gave to a creative writing class last year, I'm happy to say that it has advanced well, but I'm still not quite there yet. xD
     
  6. The Tourist
    Offline

    The Tourist Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,089
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    Wisconsin.
    Oh, man, you got that right! I'm still trying to hunt down some things I wrote and burn the copies. It's like looking at the pictures of yourself wearing fad clothes from high school!

    Which brings up a question. Twenty years from now will we feel that way about the stuff we're writing now?
     
  7. Banzai
    Offline

    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    12,871
    Likes Received:
    150
    Location:
    Reading, UK
    I think I was about 12/13. And it was awful. Hideously awful.
     
  8. Lemex
    Offline

    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    Messages:
    10,507
    Likes Received:
    3,151
    Location:
    Northeast England
    I think my first attempt was around 15 or 16(?). I like to pretend it doesn't exist.
     
  9. Cassiopeia Phoenix
    Offline

    Cassiopeia Phoenix Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2012
    Messages:
    201
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Brazil
    I consider my stories to be as silly as the very first one. And by silly I mean awful. I just... Made a bonfire with my first story. Just in case.
     
  10. MeganHeld
    Offline

    MeganHeld Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2010
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    4
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    So true. I was twelve, and I will never pick up that book I wrote again. I know how terrible it it. Even the books after that one I dare not look at. It takes time to master the craft and even then you are always learning.

    Write the story and then go back to look at the mistakes.
     
  11. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,210
    Likes Received:
    4,222
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    My very first draft used to exist. It doesn't anymore, thanks to Huurricane Ivan pushing a tree on my house in 2004, destroying the computer that had it.
     
  12. Amadeus13
    Offline

    Amadeus13 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    France
    When I wrote my first story I was 6, so you can imagine how awful that was.
     
  13. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    I like to dig out my old trash and then laugh at it, and show my friends and husband to laugh at it some more XD

    Here's a one-line sample for "Jack and the Legend", which I wrote when I was 13-14. This is the first line of the first book.

    "Jack Moyes, a twelve-year-old boy, had just reached his thirteenth birthday."

    Yes, I'm serious.

    In short, OP, I wouldn't worry! XD

    My first piece of fiction was probably when I was 7 or 8 (because I remember writing an illustrated story in a notebook, and said notebook got dumped into the trash by my oh-so-lovely maths teacher, because I was sneakily doodling in class - yeh it was in HK. Stricter than strict there). First English piece was when I was about 10 years old. I didn't speak English to a native level then yet and my grammar was atrocious, and one of my characters acquired a made-up name, which was "Graisful" - doubtless I got it off the real word "graceful" and thought it sounded pretty. My protag was called Roses, probably because I knew the name Rose but got it mixed up somehow.
     
  14. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    Age 9 for me. I've tried to write every single day since then and I like to pretend that everything written before age 17 doesn't exist. Even so, my stories written at 17 were bad too - but that was the point where it started to feel like my stories/characters at least had potential. :p
     
  15. Kaymindless
    Offline

    Kaymindless Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2012
    Messages:
    281
    Likes Received:
    5
    Location:
    Beaumont, Texas, United States
    Aw, all you guys saying you're burning yours. That's sadness. Mine was somewhere between 10-12, it's something I kept starting over and over again. I've got it kept in a box, in a folder, so I can randomly find it again and wince at the writing and the horrible edits in glitter pen I did. I think I'm actually going to scan it in or something because the pencil I wrote in on some of it (half of it's typed, half not) has really started to fade now.
     
  16. Rumwriter
    Offline

    Rumwriter Active Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Likes Received:
    20
    I think you should relish how bad it is, and be thankful about it. When I first started writing, I would probably pump out like a minimum of 15 pages a day, and I was so stoked that I could get so much done. The better I get, the harder it is, because I can recognize more and more what makes a sentence bad, and so I spend a lot more time thinking about the way things should be done. So, yeah, those 15 pages a day I wrote probably had at most one usable sentence, but it sure is fun and satisfying to be able to type and type and type. Ignorance is bliss. Enjoy it while you can.
     
  17. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,373
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    Bad? What would make you think it was bad? It wasn't. It was wonderful! That's why I first deleted every word in the files, then the files themselves to make sure, threw the floppy disks (the younger members of the forum can google those), into the fire, and smashed the computer before microwaving its hard drive and then sending all its broken pieces off to China!

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  18. The Magnan
    Offline

    The Magnan Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2012
    Messages:
    439
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Probably Earth
    The Circle of Life = Cringeworthy... and it provided the template for all my characters in the evolution of that foundation from Hider I got my assassins and Jumper gave me the Time Jumpers. i would never have half the ideas i have now, if I hadnt experimented with the Circle of Life. It was cringeworthy but also a foundation.

    And it was the original title of my book, i even designed the cover for some reason.
     
  19. Nakhti
    Offline

    Nakhti Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2012
    Messages:
    400
    Likes Received:
    16
    I don't even remember what my first story was, but I know how I first got into writing -

    In primary school we always used to get assignments like 'write up what you did on your summer holidays' - I used to make up complete and utter lies just to make a better story (which was unfortunate, because my teacher was my mum's best friend and knew exactly what I had and hadn't done, lol). Anyway, these lies evolved into more and more fantastical stories until I just gave up pretending I had done them and called them stories - funnily enough, that's when I stopped getting into trouble for them ;)

    I do remember a story I started to write when I was 9 or 10. It was about a stallion that escaped and ran away into the wild of the American mid west - I was obsessed with horses and America at that age. I can remember the way it began was actually pretty good - my dad read it and was really impressed! (my dad isn't impressed easily) Then it rapidly turned to implausible and rambling nonsense, which he told me, and I've never shown him anything since, lol.

    So yeah, if I ever find that book again (I copied it out on A4 and drew a cover for it and everything) I will probably sob with anguish at the epic fail of it. :(
     
  20. ShortBus
    Offline

    ShortBus Member

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2011
    Messages:
    79
    Likes Received:
    0
    my 1st story was awesome
     
  21. minstrel
    Offline

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,723
    Likes Received:
    4,821
    Location:
    Near Los Angeles
    When I was in first grade, my teacher told us to take some sheets of paper, fold them over, and staple them in the middle to form a little booklet. Then she said we were to write a story in the booklet. (Some of us could barely read at the time, and we were being told to write fiction!)

    I loved this assignment. I couldn't stop writing. I didn't just write one story, I conceived a series of stories about me and my friends exploring the planets (we'd been learning about the solar system at the time). I only remember that my booklet on Jupiter had Jupiter as a jungle planet, and we had to fight enormous snakes and stuff like that. I also illustrated my booklets, but I couldn't draw then (and still can't now). My teacher stapled my booklets to the classroom wall to show them off to everyone. This, I guess, was an honor, but I didn't realize it at the time.

    I assume those stories I wrote then were dreadful. What do you expect from a six-year-old?

    When I was in fifth grade, we were also told to write stories in class. I was a major science fiction freak in those days and everything I wrote involved space exploration. I remember one time when my teacher, Miss McLellan, told us to write stories. Everyone in the class was paralyzed, staring at the blank sheets in their notebooks, searching their minds for inspiration. I just grabbed by pencil and started scribbling away - it didn't matter about what, I was just writing space stuff, which was cool. I got about a page done, and nobody else in the class had written a word, and Miss McLellan said to me, "I don't want to see anything about space this time!" The boy sitting next to me said "He's already got a page of space already!" I didn't even blink. I just turned my spaceship into a submarine and made the story about underwater exploration.

    All this stuff must have been absolutely miserable in quality. I didn't care. I had an imagination and I was pouring stuff out.

    My earliest adult writing was godawful. I was reading Joyce, Conrad, Steinbeck, Huxley, and others at the time, and trying to achieve the effects they achieved. I remember thinking I was a genius as I was turning out crap. The first draft of my novel is laughably terrible. It's hard for me to look at. The second draft (on my back burner right now) is far less embarrassing.
     
  22. prettyprettyprettygood
    Offline

    prettyprettyprettygood Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    46
    Location:
    Edinburgh
    In infant school I wrote a story about two caterpillars, named after myself and the boy I fancied. The caterpillars met, got married and turned into butterflies. It must have been dreadful and it was horribly embarrassing when my teacher and parents chuckled at it - why on earth didn't I use different names?! *still cringing 20-odd years later*
     
  23. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I don't consider the stories I wrote as a kid and teenager as fiction, even though technically it was, but if I start with my first real attempt of writing a real story, that is less than two years ago and it was so bad. Ok, maybe not grammar wise or spelling or such things, but the way it was written, I mean, when I read it now I have to put it away because it's too painful to read, :D :D
     
  24. Man in the Box
    Offline

    Man in the Box Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2011
    Messages:
    254
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Brazil
    I wrote for school, then a piece when I was in college, all of those pretty bad, with exaggerated and overflowery language.
     
  25. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    How bad your first piece of fiction was is irrelevant. All that matters is how you are writing now, and what you are doing to continually improve.
     

Share This Page