Years ago, I wanted to be a “writer,” a vague and somewhat fatuous goal aptly swept away as I grew older. My main motivation for wanting to be a writer stemmed from the fact that I did it, that is to say, a prepubescent writing terrible 30-page novellas and thinking myself a god of the art. Perhaps at the time, I was. Turning a simple school assignments into time-travel action novels (complete with a badguy screwdriver death, and cooking a T-rex with a plasma cannon) put me ahead of the game, but it was several years before I realized that my ideas far outpaced my ability to communicate them. I discovered that I quite enjoyed exposition, but wrote worse dialogue than George Lucas. Besides, writing is no way to pay the bills unless you’re Stephen King or John Grisham (and I couldn’t live with myself if I was John Grisham).
The last major project I undertook was a modern-day wizarding tale. It was nothing like the Harry Potter franchise, if that’s what you’re thinking. It was evil wizards masquerading as CEOs and members of the board, and an up-and-coming loose cannon named Gideon. I got 60 pages in and lost interest. It was lost, like most everything else I’ve ever written, when my hard drive got erased in February of this year. I maintain that it was no big loss.
I got into computers instead, trading in my verbosity for shorter statements of web code and such. For a while, I wrote a lot of poetry, but even that is fading. In the past year, I’ve written maybe two pieces, one of them good. Perhaps my problem is that I was never a methodical writer; I never studied the art or practiced like a good writer. Instead, my thoughts tumbled onto paper whenever I became inspired: a random event at best, a nonexistant one at worst (read: now).
My first major novella came in the form of In The Shadows, a gripping piece about a fatherless suburban boy gaining superhero-esque powers and taking down an evil corporation. It featured every terrible cliche you could think of: moronic underlings, giant vats of acid, a mutated bureaucrat, a kung-fu contest, and finally a collapsing building. It was pretty innocuous, though; hell, my mom did the editing on it. I had a sequel planned, but only got about a chapter into it before that, too, fell through.
The second piece I tackled began in 7th grade, and was written largely at church. It was called Pointe Blanc, and was an honest-to-god B Novel. Sort of a survival-horror story, it narrated the actions of a town-specific meteor apocalypse that brought forth gooey reptilian aliens, and our hero cruises around town in both an Impala and later a Reliant K station wagon, shooting off limbs with a duck gun while his plucky female counterpart shoots off her mouth. Later, he destroys an alien the size of a bell tower with a rocket-propelled grenade.
I actually did manage to write a sequel entitled Pointe Blanc II: Reloaded that saw the aliens revisiting our now-married hero and heroine, who loaded up their pistols and saved the president, along with the arrival of a second alien species (this one benificent, of course). It had Anakin-like amateur spacecraft piloting, exploding motherships, laser guns, and naturally ambassadorships for the fearless duo.
One of the more embarrassing things I wrote very early on (6th grade) didn’t ever have a title, but saw a young teenage male transported to a warring dimension, where he (a young teen, mind you) went mercenary-style on a bunch of typically crude and sneering porcine bad guys, had a firefight while riding a jet ski, and blew up a massive sea installation. And…. ate waffles at a mission debriefing.
More recently, I began several novels, none of which went anywhere and all of which were weepingly melodramatic and introspective. One was supposed to have a biblical theme throughout, and the other was an eerily semiautobiographical (read: predicting things that hadn’t happened) piece that spent an entire chapter talking about a prick on the main character’s finger. It featured a misogynistic sidekick, a poetic interlude, and lots of foul language. Actually, you can view it in PDF format here. I maintain that I had some good things going, but had no idea how to develop a story. It was more a narrative excuse for bloglike ranting than anything else.
And that’s it. Nowadays, my writing consists solely of mediocre blog entries and the occasional tech rant on computer or software message boards. A pretty feckless ending for such a promising beginning.