I started this blog post several weeks ago in my old writing notebook. For those of you who aren’t in the know, I still carry around with me a beat up notebook that I got when I was a junior in high school (about 14 years ago). It’s been through the wringer, all beaten up and covered with stickers that have nothing to do with who I am now, but everything with who I was then. The interesting thing is what’s between the battered pages. Notes and lines and pages of stories that I started and threw away or have forgotten about. There are things that I can’t even remember the details behind.
Must not have been that important then, huh?
But as I stared at the pages, I thought it’d be fun to revisit some of the stories that won’t be seen in any other forum. Some of them aren’t more than magic systems with nothing behind them but a vague idea, while others are more formed but thrown away for obvious reasons. And then there are those crazy pages full of notes that don’t ring any bells whatsoever. But I thought it’d be fun to share all the same. So without further ado:
Side note: I’ve numbered them because none of them have titles. Don’t read anything into the numbers. They’re just there to keep the ideas separated.
- This one is perhaps a poor idea to start out on. But what I remember of this one is a mix between Pokemon and Harry Potter. The idea was that the magic system had different elements which was the basis behind each spell. We’ve seen it before: Earth Magic, Air Magic, Water Magic, etc. The Pokemon element was that each type of spell had a weakness to another element. So Earth magic could ground out Electrical Magic, Fire by Water. You get where this was going. I didn’t have a lot of information on where this would head or the world, except that it would take place in a school within the United States. Hence the Harry Potter connection. It never went anywhere because it was too similar and I just got bored with it. Needed something original.
- Not another strong story, and one that I was glad that I ditched. It was set in a university and meant to be the beginning of an ongoing series. A student finds his professor murdered in his office. The professor was teaching the student magic, and the student finds out that the murder has something to do with a relic they’d found recently. There was to be many pop culture references and humor as the books and world got darker and darker. That and other details, however, I felt was too similar to The Dresden Files. So it got thrown away after several failed attempts before I realized the direction it was heading.
- This was the only story that actually made its way to completion. Ironically, it was also the only story within the whole notebook that isn’t fantasy. It was the story of a man going off to battle in the American Civil War only to be killed by his father who fought for the other side. Or was it the other way around? I can’t remember the details without rereading the entire thing, but I do remember that you don’t find out until the end. It’s about family and duty and the conflict between the two. I finished the story when I was in my final year of high school and submitted it for a writing contest. It didn’t win, but so started my competitive writing career.
I have more, but I’ll leave it there. That notebook if filled with stories, but there’s room for more. On the pages, the backs, the edges. Years left in it. What stories have any of you written and then discarded? Why?