Writing Wednesdays: The first book I wrote sucked - here's why I love it anyway

June 15, 2016
We all cringe thinking about that very first thing we wrote. The first novel I wrote was dreadful, but here's why I still love it anyway.

When I was about 11, and I’d started comprehensive school, and had an old laptop to do schoolwork on, I started to write a lot more. Previously, I’d written by hand, or just on the shared home PC. But now I could write as much as I wanted, whenever I wanted, and so easily.

At that age, I was super big on fantasy. (I mean, I still am, but that was almost all I read at that age. Because, duh, Harry Potter.)

Aside from some of the short stories I’d written, the longest thing I’d written up to that point was some Camelot/King Arthur fiction, because I loved that mythology, and Merlin had just started to air, I think. It was about 60,000 words. I don’t remember much of what it was about, though.

But the first book I really remember writing was part of a fantasy trilogy, about witches. I mean, I won’t even explain the plot – it was a little complicated, full of plot holes, and generally shit, to be frank.

Book 1 came in at 70,000 words. Book 2, 83,000. Book 3, 85,000. I wrote them within the space of a year. That’s a lot of writing. Considering I was in school as well, particularly.

I literally cringe thinking about that trilogy, and the fact that at some point in my life (jeez, TEN years ago!) I was proud of it.

But it still has a place in my heart. I can still remember what it was about, how the plot developed, who the main characters were… I still kind of love it.

And I’m still kind of proud of it. I mean, it might be pretty rubbish (to say the least), but I still wrote an entire fantasy trilogy when I was eleven years old. That’s pretty cool.

I remember just feeling a bit lost after I finished it. It had been my go-to for so long, what would I do without it?

Well, I’d just write another.

I wrote a bit more fantasy after that, and a pirate story (which again was dire), and some vampire stories when Twilight became a thing. Then I was more into YA. And that was when I wrote The Kissing Booth.

And we all know how that one ended. (Hint: publishing deal!)

So yes – I do still love that shitty first book I wrote.

You can’t develop your writing if you don’t write, and I believe in practice makes perfect when it comes to writing. I wrote that trilogy not to share it, but because I wanted to write it. I was happy writing it. I enjoyed it. I loved it so much that I wanted to write another book when I was done with it, with new settings and new characters.

That’s the thing with writing. Even though it’s kind of sad to finish a project, there’s always another just around the corner, waiting for you.

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