Thursday, March 10, 2011

Your old writing

People often ask about one's old work - if they can read it (I'm not that evil), what it was like, how long you've been writing. Not one writer has ever sprung fully formed from the first sentence - we all have trunk novels, stories, and whatever else is formed of words on paper, in varying degrees of awfulness. Through a series of moves, my old work is long lost, and mostly forgotten.

I can, however share this 'gem' from memory:

My best friend and I were huge ghost story and Twilight Zone fans, and decided to become 'rich and famous' or somesuch by writing our own. (We were six or seven at the time, I suspect 'rich' included such things as getting our own pony.)

The memory is a bit fuzzy, but I believe the story had to do with a woman reading about a train crash and then perishing a few hours later the same way. Nothing wrong with the basic premise - the writing?

All I can clearly remember was the debate about the title, remedied by using both ideas. This masterpiece was called:

'The Fantom book of Fate/The Phantom book of Phate'

We thought the spelling change was terribly clever, but couldn't agree on which to use - so of course we used both.

I suspect the rest of the writing was equally inspired.


  1. I read that as 'huge twilight fans' and did a MASSIVE double-take.

  2. Hahah! I'm considerably older than the Twilight demographic.

    That said, if the first book had come out when I was age eight, I probably would have devoured it. Along with the rest of the pool of vampire fiction for children. The Darren Shan series is actually pretty cool, though the language (unlike Harry Potter) is very obviously simple.

  3. God help us if our first attempts ever come to light.... I know mine were awful back in high school, so I sympathize.

    That being said, I enjoy a good play on words, and love those ideas for titles.