The Evolution of my Early Writing Habits

I have always been a writer.  Though my desire to write stays the same, my method of writing has changed.  My first complete story was The Land of Magic Water, which I wrote when I was 11 years old.  It was an assignment for Library class.  I started by coming up with the name of the story.  Then I began to write until the story was finished.  I made it up as I went along, but I managed to come up with a central conflict, obstacles and a resolution.  I can’t remember every part of the story since alas, it was lost when I leant it to my oldest sister.  All I have is the memory of my first story that my aunt typed up on her computer and my cousin illustrated.  I put the story and illustrations into a hard cover and make a little book out of it.

At age 13, I went from writing fantasy to suspense.  The story was called The Other Half.  Though it preceded it by many years, it had elements that were like What lies Beneath.  I can not remember what lead me to write the story of murder and betrayal, but I think the premise came before the title this time.  I knew what I wanted to happen in this story, but I still did not do any prewriting.  I started writing and finished when the story was over.  The title came after I thought of the premise.  This was lost before I graduated from high school.  I lost the notebook that I wrote it in.  I suspect that it was a victim of one of my mother’s cleaning sessions.  I lost so many things that way.  We had a very small house, yet so many things that I never took out of the house mysteriously disappeared.  It was as if a vortex opened in our basement and swallowed only my things.  Yet on Mom’s desk were stacks of canceled checks that dated back to 1985.  It was a very selective vortex.  It took favorite dolls and writing notebooks, but left 15 year old paperwork untouched.

At age 15, I wrote a story called Last Friday.  It was actually a bunch of hijinks taken from real life that I strung into a story.  Of course the hijinks were experiences from other students because I didn’t go anywhere or do anything.  So to write an interesting teenage character piece I had to pull from other teenagers’ lives.  Which is how I know I didn’t lose those things outside of the house, because I didn’t go anywhere!  But I digress, I took the real life shenanigans and organized them according to my own freshmen year class schedule.  Something different happened each period and the story ended during the lunch period when it takes a dramatic turn.  It was a little different from my usual start until I finish writing but there was an element of pre-organization to it.  I took existing stories, assigned them to characters and wrote little vignettes sprinkled throughout the day with one through line that was completely made up for the purpose of tying the story together.

I still had a long way to go before I started developing my ideas and using outlines, but I had at least progressed from coming up with a title and making it up as I went along.

And I do believe that Last Friday was saved!  I haven’t seen it in a while, but I think it is amongst my writing papers from college.  I think I typed it up then and was probably considering turning it into a feature script.