I have this horrible habit of remembering all the stupid stuff I've done or said over the years and going through it over and over again in my head. And I know I'm not the only one. A lot of this relates to writing, because if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you've seen that I don't exactly know what I'm doing. (I'm pretty sure that nobody knows what they're doing, but that's another entry and doesn't decrease my insecurity at all.)
So I figured a good theme for this month's IWSG would be to confess as many stupid, silly, or kind of embarrassing writing things as I can fit into a blog entry, in hopes of both letting it all go and hopefully laughing along the way. :P Here goes:
- The very first book I tried to write was a novelization of a video game, Final Fantasy IV (then Final Fantasy II in the US because of localization weirdness). I planned to write about the first quarter of it, then send it to the company that made the game and get their permission to finish it. I actually thought this would get published.
- My writing after that was largely horrible fanfic based off of the X-Men cartoon from the early 90s. I'm glad the internet as we know it wasn't around then, as I know I would have posted it. Under an incredibly stupid name that 14-year-old me thought was cool.
- I get really hesitant about putting in pop culture references in anything I write that takes place in the real world, because I worry that either no one will get it or it'll sound dated in a year or so.
- I spent three years writing my first novel and I think I managed to fit in every single fantasy cliche I knew. Multiple chosen ones (chosens one?), pure good vs. evil, hidden old wizards, savages with weird magic, a false hero who gets gutted halfway through the story, and a metric assload of dragons. I actually thought this would get published. Hell, I had an entire trilogy planned. I think I gave up after querying six agents.
- I once printed out the book I'd been querying just to burn it, to make sure I fully set it aside. It didn't work.
- I plotted another trilogy based on another video game (in the same series, no less), because I had this idea that I could make it my own. I really thought it would work. But I got five or six chapters in and realized that this wasn't just "inspired by", it was "derivative of". It's for the best that this never worked, because I know that eventually, someone would have called me out on it. >_<
- From what I remember about my early queries, I made the mistakes of comparing my books to bestsellers, and was generally kind of pompous because I was trying to sound writerly. I don't know if agents pass around really bad queries they get, but I wouldn't have blamed them.
- I've tried to make a book about a post-apocalyptic road trip work three different times. I still can't get it, and it torments me because I really want to. Grr. Arg.
- I once had an idea for a story involving celestial beings who rose up out of cracks in the ground. Then I realized I'd have to call it "The Stars in our Fault", and that kind of killed it.
- I tend to use characters that aren't mine as shorthand when in the early plotting stages, to give me a general idea of who someone's supposed to be before I develop them further. One of my plots in progress is currently populated by an old RPG character of mine, a visual novel character, someone from "Legend of Korra", and two Disney villains.
- When I'm working on a book, my pre-writing ritual consists of taking a shot of liquor and dancing around my living room to a song I've chosen for that particular book. Don't knock it, it works.
- If I need a name for a bit part who's a real asshole, it will likely be Steve, because of a guy who bullied me when I was in fifth grade. Apologies to any Steves out there who are decent guys, because some things stick with me.
- Finally: the crazy dream book that I've talked about here before was, largely, an attempt to write a legit version of a fanfic I wrote years ago. I thought I could recapture something I pulled off really well when I was working with other peoples' creations. I thought wrong, which is why I'm not working on that rewrite for NaNoWriMo.
Enough of that. Please, share in the comments - not only will you feel better, I'll feel better. :P
Next week: what I forgot about creating characters.