Monday, 22 August 2011

Day Three - First Times

Here there be dragons...

Lèrowen's blog: Eat...Sleep...Write

I was going to skip this one because, well technically my SusanFic is my first intentional piece of fictional writing. "Intentional" in that I decided to write it for its own sake, rather than as something prescribed by a teacher. Shocking, I know. But I told you I'm not a writer.

But while I was reading some of my friend's replies to this question, I realised that just because my previous attempts were prescribed, it doesn't mean they were completely without value. I had forgotten just how much I enjoyed creative writing in primary school. It wasn't encouraged quite so much in high school. And with the waning in imagination and growth in knowledge and self-awareness that comes during one's teenage years, my few high school "stories" weren't particularly good. 

Also, while my primary school teachers lauded my creativity and fantastical (i.e. not always realistic) and innocent style of writing, my high school teachers were not so impressed. They wanted something more serious and down-to-earth. My primary school stories never had real villains or evil in them - I was too innocent or ignorant to bring about real danger (which is perhaps why I never pursued writing outside of school - I know know that you can't write a good story like that).

"I first tried to write a story when I was about seven. It was about a dragon. I remember nothing about it except a philological fact. My mother said nothing about the dragon, but pointed out that one could not say "a green great dragon", but had to say  "a great green dragon". I wondered why, and still do. The fact that I remember this is possibly significant, as I do not think I ever tried to write a story again for many years, and was taken up with language." (JRR Tolkien Letters - to WH Auden)

The first story I specifically remember writing in school was in Grade 3, when I was 8. I did write stuff in Grade 2 as well, but that was usually a case of: "stick these pictures in your book and explain what is going on in them", or "listen to this story and then rewrite it in your own words".

We were learning about "the sea" in Grade 3 when we had to write a shipwrecked/rescued type adventure. It even had separate chapters (With a chapter taking up half a page and a massive picture the other half). I still have all my school English and/or Creative Writing books. My mum being a teacher made me keep all my books, especially the books with my stories in. Alas, as Murphy would have it, my Grade 3 book seems to be the only one I can't find. I did find the second half of the story (the centre page of the book had come loose) but without the beginning it makes little sense.

So I had a look at my Grade 4 books instead. I've selected the first "story" in the book which I actually remember writing. There are a couple of earlier pieces but they are either biographical, missing the original context in which we were asked to write them or else they show my complete ignorance and lack of touch with reality at that age - something I would rather not reveal (In one story I stopped an ogre from eating me by offering him multiple pots of mince that I'd miraculously pulled out of thin air O.o)

This one that I will post holds special significance because a friend and I created a dramatised version of it two years later for another school project. It also happens to be about a dragon, and since Tolkien says the first story he remembers writing had a dragon in it - why not?

So this is a taste of what my formative writing was like - not necessarily my first piece:

The Lonely Dragon 
Age 9

There was once a little dragon who lived nowhere, he kept moving. One day he came to a forest. The creatures welcomed him and made him feel at home. (The dragon's name was Spark). This is what the forest was like: There were many types of creatures. There were insects of all kinds such as caterpillars, butterflies and even spiders, worms and bugs. The butterflies and ladybirds liked to flutter about in the treetops. There were also foxes and rabbits that lived in their underground burrows. Weasels, monkeys and other primates were very cheeky and loved playing tricks on the other animals. The forest had lots of trees, that the birds and squirrels liked. Right in the middle was an old oak with four ferns around it. Around the ferns was an opening, but...

...The dragon lived there. Now Spark was a small, cute looking dragon. He was green but had blue eyes and a red nose. I would say he was about three years old but very clever. He had a long, pointy tail, the point was purple so were the spots on his green body (but they were a different shade). The only problem was when ever Spark spoke he puffed a few sparks. This made every body scared of him, so he had no friends. Spark was the loneliest dragon of all. Every day the weasels and primates (Who the creatures called the 'terrible tiresome trouble making ten team', or the T.T.T.T.T.), came and saw the smoke from Spark's breakfast. "Look! Ha ha little dragon's burning his house, ha ha."

One day in winter all the animals were cold, so they called a meeting. "We have to do something," started a baby squirrel..."About the cold," continued he brother. "The dragon too woo woo." said Wiseowl the wise owl. "Rid of the dragon get rid of sparky," said the T.T.T.T.T. or the TEEEE (They said Sparky with a small s).

Out from behind the bush popped Spark. "Go-a a-way," hooted Wiseowl. "To ta tay," said the T.T.T.T.T. Suddenly the whole forest broke into a row, "Go away," "Go away," "Go away." They were making so much noise that they did not see what Spark was doing.

He was lighting a fire. "Oh, it's warm," "Spark did it we are safe." So they danced all night around the fire. "We are all friends, said everyone."

So there is is :-)

1 comment:

Rhoswen Faerie Wrose said...

It seems we all begin with dragons....
And, like Tolkien, your story is very descriptive. ;-)
And cute. :-)