This is going to be hard.
Why? Because I hate reading my old writing. But I’m going to get over my cringing and learn from my old writing.
(Also, credit to Jenna Terese for the idea.)
Okay, now the question stands just what will I be reacting to? Since I hate reading my old writing creations, I’ve deleted a fair number of them, but for your entertainment, I managed to uncover some. So I present an untitled piece of two hundred and some words that I wrote for the Adventures in Odyssey Clubhouse magazine but never submitted. The date would indicate it was conspired about three years ago, back when I wrote really stereotypical fantasy.
I will make my comments on the story in parentheses.
This is completely raw and unedited so you can see just how annoyingly bad my grammar was…
The cliffs dropped 200 feet into the foaming sea only inches from where I stood. Breathing the salty air, I sighed. Gazing over the ocean, I saw a creature appear, it beautiful (and we already have misspellings) wings beating the air as it’s body twisted in the air and skimmed the water. (This sentence flows so bad!)
Zina made it. I thought and closed my eyes, feeling the dragon’s movements vibrate my body (yay, special magical connection which is very annoying). As Zina neared the cliffs, I opened my eyes saw her angle her wings shoot upward (I missed two ‘and’ s in that sentence), soaring over my head, sharping (yes, that was supposed to be ‘sharply’) turning and then landing gracefully beside me.
Her majestic body, shimmering crimson scales, was wet from flying over the sea. “Have they sent a message?” I said (
should be ‘asked’), the dragon language rolling off my tongue in a hurry.
Zina nodded. “It is a message you have been waiting for earnestly.” (of course it is)
“What does it say? (no closed quotations… ETERNAL QUOTATION!?!)
The dragon reached into her memory that went back for centuries . The memory that never forgot and held unspeakable secrets (super unnecessary detail for a short story that had a word limit. Also the dragon just got the message so why does she need to go rooting through this super elaborate memory?). “Her majesty Gail and his highness Achi, king and queen of Nala-”
“Cut the introduction, Zina, I hardly need to know who they are. Their my parents.” I scoff in Nalaen, switching out of the dragon language. (I’m suddenly in present tense all of a sudden?)
“My apologies, Princess,” The dragon said, stepped back slightly and continued reciting (and back in past tense. Okay). “They are sending 17 dragons to receive you from Glasscliff, here, to Nala’s capital to rebuild the order, kingdom and royalty, tomorrow.”
“Wow. 17 dragons. The breeding is going well I assume,” (Yes, that is overkill!)The dragons had been reduced to all but three about seventeen years ago. The royalty was saving them. The dragons had granted me abilities for protecting them from hunters. (…why her?)
“Finally after years of waiting. How long does it take a dragon to cross the sea? It it (help) really over two thousand miles wide?” I asked, excitement filling my voice at the news.
“It is really over five thousand miles, and the average dragon flies it in eight hours.”
My jaw dropped. “How…?” (Can we be done now?)
“Lyric!” The shout echoed throughout the cliffs.
Zina shrunk back and I turned to see Vague running toward us.
“Vague won’t see you. I protect the dragons.” I glanced at Zina as her red scales glinted in the sun. (Oh, so noble. How old is this girl? Why does she get to save dragonkind but is confined on this island?)
Bracing my feet, I held out my hand, palm outward. Vague smacked into an invisible wall. (yay, overpowered magical abilities)
I winced in amusement as he yelled something. All I could see was his lips moving. Everyone at Glasscliff (k)new I had strange abilities, and were wary of me, even though they knew I was a princess. (I have a feeling that they don’t care)
The sound-muting, invisible barrier kept Vague away (idk why this kid can’t walk around. I distinctly remember it being the size of a quilt when I wrote this.) as I turned to Zina. “Let’s go to my quarters at Glasscliff.” I suggested.
“Okay.” Zina agreed. Blowing a puff of fire from her mouth, Zina created a portal before us. “You first, Princess.” (I hate how stereotypical this is! Stereotypes are my enemies in writing now)
“Thank you, Zina.” I marched into the portal’s swirling colours and everything spun then dazzled me. (wow, r.i.p. interesting descriptions)
Sinking onto the white couch set next to the window overlooking the sea, I glanced at Zina curled up in the sun. (What is she? A cat?)
“When are you going to give my (more typos) portal abilities?” I asked, dropping onto the thick rug and scooting near her.
“I’m not.” She said bluntly. (Whyever not, Zina? Do tell)
I frowned and leaned against the window. Suddenly I remembered the invisible wall I had put up to stop Vague. I could feel him still beating at it. (That doesn’t make any sense. Do I explain anything?)
Waiting a moment, I dropped the wall and Vague fell on his face in another attempt to penetrate it. (I just realized this guy has no context or any reason to even deserve this)
I giggled (And we finished without a period. Congrats me on not knowing anything about grammar)
Oh, the pain! That entire thing was so cringe-worthy and I don’t ever want to do it again. Unless this gets a lot of likes and we come back for a sequel. But why would you do that to me? I’m a nice person.
Right then, so what can we learn from this short story?
To NEVER write anything SO INCREDIBLY HORRIBLE.
Actually, don’t do that. Write what you will. I’m glad I wrote this, it shows that I now know how to write descriptions, use more interesting adjectives, conjure up a better plot, and develop my characters better.
And don’t think for a moment I’m saying I’m a perfect writer. I still have so much to learn; I’m saying I know so much more now than I did back when writing was just a hobby. Everything I write sharpens my skills even more than before. It’s very slow progress, but still progress.
So my word for you if you’re a writer is this: you’ve got to keep writing. Because if you keep going, you’ll only improve. So we’ve got to learn to love our old writing, because it shows us how we’ve moved up. So don’t stop! Someone out there needs your story!
Write for the Lord!