Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Stories I Wrote When I Was Little

by Jill Williamson

Last time I went home to visit my parents, my mother had a gift for me. A folder filled with stories she'd found while cleaning. (My mom keeps everything.)

This was a delight for me, now that I've become a writer. I remembered none of these stories, but it was so much fun to see what my creative child brain had creative. First, please note, I was an early self-publisher. My first book, The Haunted House (click to see a larger image), a six-page paranormal adventure, was bound with bows. I think it was a nice touch. I also like my spelling of "goblin" on page two.



I went much bigger on my second self-published title. And I had greatly improved my craft. Casey Finds a Friend (click to see a larger image) was a 53-page coming-of-age story, all handwritten and hand illustrated. I did still have issues with spelling. But I'd like to praise my young self for my correct dialogue punctuation. I had antagonists in this story, though they were a little cliché. Here is my favorite line of this story:

"Casey and Micky Anderson were great friends just like tar, that know one could break apart."

That's deep, don't you think?



And finally, I produced an actual typed manuscript! My parents had a typewriter, so I guess I thought it was time to do things right. This was a (very) short story called The Case of the Missing Children (click here to see a larger image). What this story lacked in length, it totally made up for in suspense.



How about you? Do you have any treasures like these tucked away in a file? Maybe your mom does. Maybe you should ask her and find out.

70 comments:

  1. I only wrote one story when I was younger (partially because I'm only 13 now and I couldn't write very well back then; also, two years ago I DESPISED writing) It was a handwritten, illustrated story about a talking bird and cat and their best friend who was a boy named Sam. And something about Santa Claus. Don't ask. I remember I had such trouble spelling 'especially'. XD

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    1. LOL
      Every story is better with Santa Claus, Una. Sounds like it was cute.

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  2. I have tons of old stories tucked away. We had to write a lot in elementary school, just simple "Write about a dog" things, and then in this special class I took called GE (Gifted Education) we wrote even more. One year in GE, the theme was Greece, and we had to write myths. I transformed my name, my brother's name and my friends' names into Greek-sounding monstrosities like Hannahopoli, Alyssinia, Kellyrina, and Elijahopolar. I don't even know how I came up with such things....but anyway they went on adventures. And learned that hurricanes are formed from Poseidon's sneezes, and that Hades creates earthquakes when he gets angry and stomps around.

    Of course, the "short" story I wrote for 2nd grade about Christmas is what got to me into writing the most. It was an adventure to save Santa. I still have it. All 4 pages...

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    1. Santa again? He is amazing. And I love those names you came up with.

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  3. Lol when I was really little, so little I had to dictate words to my parents and they wrote it down (I was 6 and learned to write at 4 so Idk what was up with that.) but my mom was currently pregnant with my sister so I had a page in the book that said "this is mommys tummy. There's a baby inside it!" I even had a picture of her stomach, hand drawn of course.
    Oh and also when I was around 9 I wrote a lovely diary that a princess was supposed to be writing.
    The first entry said "these people expect so much from me! What do they want next? For me to marry prince charming?" and the second "somebody just called me a barnacle. Whatever is what I say to that!" I couldn't stop laughing when I read those.

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  4. Aww! Those are so adorably cute! I wrote a two page story in grade one I guess. It wasn't in English though (English being my second language and all) haha. But it's a real pleasure to read what your past musings grammatically correct or not. ;D

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    1. Thanks, Sania! What's your first language?

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    2. I forgot to check back here so the late reply. My first language is Urdu. And if I roughly translate the title of my first story it would be somewhere along the lines of "the bad man" haha

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  5. Haha, those are awesome, Jill! I love your creativity with the Disappearing Island.
    I have so many little "treasures" from when I was younger. Before I was really into writing (when I was nine), I wrote a very short story about my family's move and how sad it was to leave my friends. It had hand-drawn pictures and everything.
    My very first "novel" was about a family with 12 kids and their last name was Great. The title of this brilliant story was "The Great Family." I was eleven when I wrote this. It's tucked far into the back of my closet. ;)

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    1. I love that! I would totally read The Great Family, Micheila!

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  6. I wrote my first novel at five. My dad typed it up for me and I colored the pictures. It's a full fifteen page story about a field mouse princess who teaches swim lessons and has all her stories stolen right from her head! It's actually pretty good. For the next eight years my sister and I wrote the Heart-head series, which was thirty books about stick figures with hearts on their heads (original, I know). They're fun to go back and look at sometimes!

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    1. Cute ideas, Kaitlin! I like both of those!

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  7. this is great! my sisters and I did the same thing! we took turns writing and illustrating one page, and in that way kept the story going... It had no plot, just kept on going and going, but it sure was fun!

    Thanks for sharing!

    Blessings,
    Sarah

    http://sarah-plainandaverage.blogspot.com/
    http://threemaidens.blogspot.com/

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    1. That's a fun idea, Sarah. Write a book the way they do those oral stories in school where you get to pick up where the last person left off. Ha ha.

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  8. The very first "novel" I remember writing was when I was about five. My dad had given me a little blue book with pages stapled inside of it. The only thing I wanted to do with it was write. So I ended up writing a story about an orphan boy who lives on the street with his two dogs. The dogs let the boy ride on their back. He was really sad because the dogs were his only friends. Somehow he got adopted. His new parents had a basketball hoop, so he played basketball with his new friends all day. The boy lived happily ever after.
    Can you tell that I was into Annie? =-)

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    1. LOL
      Annie rocks. And I love that the boy rode on the back of the dogs. That's awesome!

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  9. Aw! You were so cute! Their father- or uncle. Haha. The last story especially was pretty good! Probably better then some of my childhood stories. I might have to do a blogpost inspired by this now. :P

    Let's see. I think a few years I go I may have stupidly thrown away some of my old stories. :/ Because when I was little I had the bad habit of not finishing stories.
    Like I started one when I was little called Princess Bethany. :P

    I did make one about the pilgrims, and I wrote one about mice. It was called The Church Mice. Or something of the sort. And I'm certain there were others. I also had the tendency to copy stuff I saw and liked. :)

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    1. That's fun, Bethany. Animal stories are great. The Church Mice makes me think of that old animated cartoon The Night Before Christmas where the teen boy mouse writes a mean letter to Santa.

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  10. I love your stories! That's so special that you still have them to look at. I still have all of my old stuff ("all" meaning even stuff scribbled on, like, napkins) because I never knew what might make me "famous" one day. One of the first things I wrote (around age 7) was a country love song called "There's a Candle in My Heart." It's actually pretty deep for a seven year old, but my family still jokes about it. Around the same time, I wrote and illustrated a whole book named "God Made the World" or something like that. It's a story about creation. I even stapled that thing together and had hopes of publication one day. I laugh when I read all of my old stuff, but it's still special to me...and proof that you can always keep growing as a writer.

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    1. It is so fun to look at your old stuff. Love that song title. How cute. There is one story I started in tenth grade that my mom can't find. It's driving me nuts because I REALLY want it. But it might have gotten thrown out. :-/

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  11. When I was seven, I decided I was going to be a famous author, and began writing a story called Jack and Jewel. It was about a boy and his horse. I thought I knew SOOOO much about horses (and I did know quite a lot), but now when I look back at it, I laugh at how I had the kid training the poor horse in jumping the day it was born, lol. What I remember most vividly, though, is that Mom was so enthusiastic about it. She said I showed great promise and talent, and I remember reading it and thinking, 'why is he training her the day she was born?', ignoring the amazingness of the rest of it. I still have it and about six other stories I wrote in a little folder. It is actually pretty good for a seven year old.

    About a month ago, I was talking to Mom about it, and she says, "Yup, and when you're a famous published author you'll show your kids that (referring to the folder with my old stories) and say 'I wrote that when I was seven' and they'll say 'wow, Mommy, you're awesome!'" Lol

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    1. That's fun, Tiffanie! I love how supportive your mom is! And your story sounds really cute, even if the horse had just been born. Maybe it was a magical horse or something. LOL

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  12. Awww! Haha, I hav like none of my old writing, probably 'cause I wasn't really into that at all until fairly recently, and haven't been really really into it until like a year ago. I have loads of my old drawings, all of which are spectacularly awful - hence why I am not dreaming of becoming an artist ;)

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    1. Maybe you can let your old drawings inspire some stories?

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  13. Those are awesome! My homeschool group had a "write and make your own book" class when I was six, so I wrote, illustrated and bound my own book for that. I think that was my first story. I come across another forgotten, handwritten story almost every time I clean my room. So many good memories. Most of them make me laugh and/or cringe, though. A friend of mine still has this little serialized story I used to write for her each week. It was about two dog detectives, Lolly and Molly.

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    1. Nice! My friend and I wrote a comic strip about The New Kids on the Block. (We were fans. They were a teen boy band in the late 80s early 90s) I still have them. They were pretty silly, but hysterical to us.

      Oddly, I also have a sack of notes from my bff. I don't know why I kept them all. But we'd write each other when we were in different classes, then pass them in the hall. I don't even understand what's going on in most of them, but they're fun to get out every once in a while.

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  14. I drew pictures to go with all of my stories when I was little too :) I was always drawing and writing when I was younger, it's funny because my mom would get mad at me for drawing on everything, she's just not into it. She never thought much of my writing until they were moving. She was getting ready the house to sell and u found out she kept all of my brothers and my papers from when we were little and there was tons of stories, even if just a piece of paper. She said "you were always writing and drawing." Yup, but she got rid of most of them *sigh* to cut the clutter in the move, she kept one I know of because it was SO funny and put of character for me, it was about purple Martian Mosquitos that live in Antartica.

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    1. Purple Martian Mosquitoes? That is fabulous, Tonya! Love it!

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  15. Haha! I loved all of your stories. They were better than mine.

    In first grade I wrote a story about a mother fish. She had a child, but then I decided to kill off baby fish. It had nothing to do with the story. Then the mommy fish had another baby who made a friend and had a sleepover with said friend. The end.

    I'm pretty sure at the time I thought it was literary gold.

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    1. LOL! Good times for those fish, Katarina!

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  16. Fun :) I had a short story about a super hero squirrel, illustrated and everything! Sadly, it is long gone.

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    1. Oh, man! That's too bad, Morgan. I'd like to see those illustrations. :-)

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  17. Yep. I have a whole box of stories I wrote. I have some of my own Magic Tree House books from when I was six. Then there's a 26 book handwritten series about some knights who run around fighting off evil. After writing that masterpiece, I decided I wanted to become a writer. Its really fun to look back now at all those. My writing has certainly improved since then.

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    1. Ooh! Magic Treehouse fan fiction. Sweet! Maybe you need to polish up that knight series and submit it somewhere? It could be the next Magic Treehouse!

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  18. Oh yeah, I have several, and the one I most recently wrote (didn't finish it) makes me want to gag at how horrible it is.........

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    1. Aww, Hannah. The horribleness is what makes it so much fun! :-)

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  19. Yes. I had a whole (pink, sparkly) notebook full of stories, poetry, and -you guessed it- inspirational, Miley-Cyrus-at-age-seven songs,all written when I thought I was the best writer ever at age ten. My stories were all chiche, about orphans and best friends. My poetry's the best, though. One of my award-winning poems includes the awe-inspiring lines "Fletcher's not a hog // he's better. He's my dog!!!" (slow clap)I'm so glad I've improved.

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    1. Ooh, a songwriter! How cool.

      That's great, Katia. I think that's fun that you were trying so many different things.

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  20. I wrote my first story at age 5. it is only a paragraph long and was inspired by Aesop's fables;
    One day a mama and a baby unicorn were grazing in a big feild. A big bear came and tried to eat the baby unicorn. Mama unicorn was going to kill the bear when it said, "Please spare me! If you do i promise to never bother you again!" Then the mama unicorn let him go. The next day the bear dressed as a horse and got closer and closer to the unicorns in the field, and then he ate them. Moral of the story, "Do not trust strangers!"
    I remeber being super proud of using the word 'spare':) None of my 5 year old friends knew what it meant:)

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    1. That's actually pretty darn amazing for a 5 year old :) be proud of it!!! None of my crazy rambles my English teacher made us do ever had a hidden message. I'm not even sure if the short story we had to write last week had a moral apart from "honesty is the best policy" which is pretty cliche haha ;)

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    2. Agreed! That's a cute story, Raquel. With a plot and moral and everything! Nicely done. :-)

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  21. I tried poems too here is a short one I did when I was 7.
    'I think comets are quite shy/ They always seem to just race by/ They never have time to say hello or good-bye/ As they streak across the sky.' I think it took me several hours to get it to rhyme!:)

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  22. I'd wanted to write a book for years before getting any original ideas... I remember a few Harry Potter spinoff attempts (all of which failed miserably.) In 5th grade, I wrote a 46-page "book" by hand. In 6th grade, I finished my first actual novel... 261 handwritten pages. (To date, it's the only one I've finished...) 7th grade brought two attempts at a ninja novel that hasn't been scrapped completely like FinishedNovel, and 8th grade hasn't brought much of merit yet.

    I have two backpacks filled with notebooks with story ideas, which I might use at some point.

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    1. Nice. I say bring back the ninja! LOL
      Keep at it, Jessa. You'll find the one.

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  23. What, are you kidding? I counted 18 notebooks completely FULL of stories, games, school (^.^), and even devotionals that I wrote when I was still in single digits! I recorded, like, everything.

    Wrote my first "book" when I was seven; completely forgot what it was about, but I do know that there was a word search smack dab in the middle of it...

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    1. Ooh, including word search. Nice, Paul!
      You still have all those notebooks?

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  24. I have a drawer full of everything I wrote from age eight or nine onward. Some of them are obvious copies of my favorite books from the time, like Inkheart or Harry Potter. xD I actually use the more original ones for reference sometimes, though! I realize that a lot of what wouldn't work as written works could make cool comics. The first "book" I sat down and tried to write is now on my list for my next webcomic projects. (It's weird to think that anything I came up with at 9 or 10 could possibly be a good story, but I always read books that were WAY too mature for me because I was really interested in adult characters. So maybe that's why some of the stories could still work?)

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    1. You bet! Don't discount your ideas from when you were younger. You can always make them stronger.

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  25. I wrote a lot of poetry when I was 5-7 years or so, I only tried writing a 'proper novel' when I was about 9 or 10. That first attempt at a novel was an epic fantasy story full of cliches - but when I look at my writing since then (I have folders on my computer full of abandoned story beginnings) I can see gradual improvement. Some of the more recent-ish ideas aren't too bad, so there's a chance I might revisit them someday.

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    1. That's awesome! I'd love to have such a treasure chest of old ideas to look through. I bet you do something fun with them someday.

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  26. When I was about 11, my best friend and I wrote a story starring ourselves. We made it a mystery about purple ribbons lying around at the park (how sinister). The most embarassing part is that we based the bad guy off of a boy we both had a secret crush on. And unfortunately, we were not discrete enough to change his name. I still blush when I think about it, although it makes for a good laugh :-D.

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    1. Ha ha! That's funny, Allison. My friend and I wouldn't have thought to be discrete, either.

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  27. Aw! Too cute. ;) My first (and illustrated) novel was about a dog called Chops. (Poor dog, probably got a complex after that.) I'm not sure I can call it a "book" though, because I never got past the illustrations.

    I love the missing island story! Very mysterious.

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    1. That is adorable! I want to see the illustrations of Chops!

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  28. Haha, I love seeing stories people wrote as kids--yours were fantastic! It's always so much fun to look back and see what your young imagination came up with. ;)

    As for myself, I definitely wrote some wacky stories in my younger years. I remember several quite well; each was typed up on the computer and illustrated by either myself or, in some cases, my sister. :) One features talking animals, including a (male) centaur called Carmen; another includes a bullying brother; a third, magical chickens and cannibalistic witches who almost eat the MC.

    Yeah...my imagination as a child was kinda twisted and melodramatic. xD The stories make for interesting reads these days, though, haha!

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    1. They sound really fun, Taylor! How many siblings did you have? Did you have a bullying brother?

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    2. Haha, thanks! I've actually got two younger sisters--no bullying brothers in the least. And I was always the bossy kid, go figure! ;)

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  29. Jill, those were awesome ... the missing children story totally cracked me up. Thanks for sharing. :)

    When I was seven or eight, I wrote a story about a princess and her kitchen-maid best friend (surprise, surprise). For some forgotten reason, they ran away from home together, foiled robbers, and made it to the city, where they were saved from some danger by a handsome young man. Then came the epic line: "Her heart pounded, this time not from fear, but from sheer love." Wow...

    I unconsciously and unabashedly stole most of the plot and about half the scenes from another book I'd read, but I was SO proud of my work. :)

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    1. Ooh! Nice, Allison! LOL
      I love how your girls were out looking for adventure too. :-)

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  30. Oh, Jill, how fun! And what a testament, don't you think? :) I have a pink document box in my closet with all my middle- and high-school stories. I don't think I composed any earlier than that, but I may find some one of these days. :)

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  31. I don't have any of my handwritten ones, but I have a whole bunch saved on my computer from when I was around 9. And I actually still remember many of the first ones I ever wrote. Almost all of them involved my paper dolls as characters and orphan siblings.

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    1. Paper dolls! How fun. Like a girl version of Flat Stanley! Hee hee!

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  32. From Amo Libros:
    The first story I ever wrote (well, dictated) was about a girl who only ate noodles for a Reading Rainbow contest. I was about 5 at the time. When I was 6 or so I was all into the idea of a journal, so Mom got me one for my birthday. It still has some of my earliest attempts in it, including a story about a mouse (named after me) who saw two trees, and then planted two more trees. The end. Hee hee. It also has the beginning of a story involving the characters my best friend and I became when we got into the dress-up stuff in our basement. It was my best work to that date, and the plot became the plot for a Letter Game story (inspired by Sorcery and Cecelia, or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot by Patricia C. Wrede and Caroline Stevermer) we did a year or so later. It wasn't half bad for a twelve year old. And then there's my still mostly-empty cloth-bound book that same friend got me for my 12th or 13th birthday. It has my first official attempt at a "real novel", which I recently tried to rewrite (as an actual novel, rather than the 3-4 chapters worth I had before). I got about 2/3 of the way through and then began running out of ideas. The story turned sour and I deleted the rest of it. I'm still plucking up my courage to go at it again (any advice on that?). I also have several other started stories, including one about a girl who wants to become a knight (how original ;) ) and another one I wrote a couple years ago that's very obviously a combination of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. It's got a couple of really fun characters though, and I may try to use them elsewhere at a later date. And then there's the Lord of the Rings spin-off I wrote when I was 14 starring Sam's daughter Elanor...I must have spent hours pouring over the Appendices, "researching" the necessary information...it was great fun though!!

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  33. Mama threw away my first story about the kitty dynasties of South America thinking it was just an old notebook. I cried.

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