The prompt is super fun: Tell us about one of your first stories. When did you start writing it, and why? Do you remember the characters’ names? Are you still writing it? If not, do you think you’ll ever rewrite it? What did you learn while writing it?
The first story I remember distinctly writing was a four-page, four-chapter story about a homeless dog that finds a dog. It's clearly adorable. I was probably around 9 or 10 when I wrote it and finished it. (All in one day, I think too!) I remember delivering newspapers on my street, and I saw a dog statue that I affectionately named Tazz. Thus a story was born.
However, the first "real" novel I wrote (real here being longer than 100 pages) was a story about a dragon, of course. The name of it has changed so many times, I'm not even sure what it started as or what it currently is titled. It's simply known as The Dragon Story. (Which isn't actually helpful since about half of my stories are "dragon" stories.)
I don't remember why I started writing it except it came to me, and I decided to write it down. I spent a good chunk of the summer following seventh grade writing it out by hand and then typing it up on our family computer. It was a very exciting experience! I thought it was the absolute best story in the world, and I had other people read it and tell me it was good. But when I look back at it now, all I see is a terrible attempt at re-writing Eragon (which is actually amazing because I didn't think Eragon could get worse).
Some of the characters were Peter, Sari, Jacob, Mattie, and the dragon, of course, Ariel. There were tons of characters, and I had plans for so many books to continue their stories and connect back to other characters. But I never did.
I'm not writing it anymore, and I don't think I ever will. I think I want to keep it as it is: preserved in my seventh grade writing voice/skills. I think it's good to keep it as is so I can look back and see how far I've come in the last ten years.
I think I learned a lot while writing it. I learned how to tell a story with characters, a setting, and a solid plot line. I learned how to be disciplined and that writing a story is a long process. I can't just write it and be done. I have to go back over it; I have to type it up and make it better. I have to edit. While I never edited it, I still learned a first draft is not the end of the process. I learned how to use my imagination to create a lot of interesting things--these things are what distinguish it from being too much like Eragon or too much like the other hundreds of cliche fantasy tropes. I learned to persevere. This was the first long story I wrote and didn't abandon. It has allowed me since then to write six or seven other novel-length stories. If I had never finished the first one, this dragon story, I would not have finished all the others.
The Dragon Story will always hold a special place in my heart as my first "real" novel and as something that included a lot of my favorite things (the name Peter being one of them). While I don't write stories that resemble Eragon a little too closely anymore, I still write fantasy and usually about dragons. I think that's pretty cool.
What was one of your first stories?