What would eventually be the first and worst complete novel of mine is featured in this post, in its infant stages. It is very bad. I know it's bad. Remember: laughing together.
Read the first post, 2001.
2002 : AGED 12/13-
KNIGHT OF BLACK ROSES - This is what started everything, and you'll see that I picked it up at different points in the early years of writing, and finished the first draft of it at 14. The earliest draft, however, had its genesis in a dream. I believe both the inciting incident and the ending were dreamt, but I can only remember the ending--a medieval knight crouched, holding the body of a dead woman as a battle rages on around him. It is raining and looks very much like something from a film.
From the inciting incident--a lady in waiting trading places with a princess so the princess may avoid a horrible marriage--to the ending, I bridged a plot, the characters of which changed greatly and often in is many early drafts. Two, possibly three, early drafts were handwritten before I acquired my mother's electric typewriter and settled on a main female protagonist--the lady in waiting, who would survive all subsequent drafts to this day.
Early characters were Stephen, the knight, who was in love with Catherine, the lady in waiting. The princess, not having made an appearance in the story in these early drafts, remained nameless. The characters then switched to Dosaro (a name a friend made up from the word rosado; we were all taking Spanish) and Rowan, the peasant girl plucked out of her village to become a lady in waiting due only to her great beauty. In this Dosaro/Rowan draft, only the very beginning had been written.
The name of the character Rowan is a mystery. I can't remember where I may have heard it, or why I thought it was a female name. Nevertheless, the name stuck through every subsequent draft.
The third draft still survives in its original handwritten form and was, judging from the handwriting, written at the age of 13. It includes the entire first act, some 16 pages, of Rowan, now the daughter of the castle cook, who purchases Konrad, a handsome captive from the eastern country of Mikodia, as a slave. But due to his amazing good looks and the fact that they basically fall in love at first sight, she frees him.
[This book is achingly wtf. Bear with me. I had no real concept of the middle ages. Or of real life.]
[These days I am pretty good with the middle ages.]
It is right after they fall in love that the princess Tanwen contacts Rowan to become her lady in waiting, and basically threatens to kill Konrad if Rowan won't accept the position and the whole "go marry the prince for me" switcharoo.
Konrad was one of the first characters of mine to seemingly appear of his own volition, and in his final form a few years and drafts later, he possesses attributes of every male character I have written since. This would seem to suggest that this was a brilliantly rounded character, however, he was not. Especially in his first appearance, penned by a 13 year old, in which he is little more than a charming womanizer.
I remember typing out this handwritten draft on the typewriter, however, that draft has been lost. And it wasn't until I was given the old family computer (sans internet access, of course) that I picked up the story again. But before we get to that, we have three more bad novel attempts to get through.
CASTILLA - Castilla has been featured here before [I highly suggest clicking on that link] when I found the original draft, which was handwritten in the last few months of eighth grade. This greatly confused and truly awful vampire story was greatly inspired how my three best friends were also writing books. I wanted to fit in, so I really, really tried to finish this one.
It wasn't until the summer after 8th grade that I tracked down a copy of Stoker's Dracula and spent frightened summer days, with the wind howling around the house in the heat, reading it and being more or less being hooked on the work (in some capacity) for life. But in 8th grade, my only knowledge of vampires came from a tiny YA book, In the Forests of the Night, which had been written by a 16 year old, who appeared very cool and mysterious looking in her author photo, decked out in a leather jacket. What the novel was about, apart from vampires, I can't remember. But I liked it. And I wanted to do something like it, and, more importantly, it gave me a really stupid goal of being published before I graduated high school.
As with every previous story, Castilla features a cast of teenagers. Castilla is the main vampire, a 17 year old who used to be Morgan Stone (I have a really bad drawing of this character, "pre-vamped"). We meet her in a forest in the moonlight, hunting for campers to feed on. Instead, she runs into an old friend, who she turned into a vampire, and for some stupid reason, renamed "Stanes."
Some stuff happens. What and how, I don't know, but she gets mixed up with some cops. Kills some lady. Then runs into a guy named Matthew, and they have sex and then they fall in love, and then she's pregnant and that's about it.
CHANNING - written in the summer before my freshman year of high school, and then transferred onto the computer. It was, my best guess is, a coming-of-age story set in Victorian England (although very badly set, and not at all researched.) A young girl, Channing--again, a male name used for a female--is moved to a new home after giving birth to a bastard. In her new home with her tight-fisted mother and often-absent father, she meets Peter, but is forbidden to pursue anything with him, as she is ruined. Where the plot was going, I have no idea, but it was picked back up and brushed off a few years later after reading Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles and noting the similarities between the circumstances of the heroines. Nothing came of this draft, since the plot (or lack of) was awful to the bone.