Lumehn
 member, 8 posts
 The brightest one.
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 05:09
Your first work or works.
Bois.
So I found a file in my house with all my original strudel. From when I was 14. My very first short story and everything I wrote that year.
It was so. Bad.
Well, in comparison to my skill now, I was terrible. I've never actually remembered a time when I was bad at writing, but looking at these works was humbling.

To be fair to myself, the skill, the ability, was there. I was just absolutely strawberries at spelling, grammar, and dialogue. I also didn't know how to emphasise anything and so I would just WRITE SENTENCES IN ALL CAPS. Instead of conveying anger correctly, I would just throw curse words around everywhere, sometimes back to back. Profanity is used to add weight to a sentence, but if everything is weighty, nothing is, you know?

Anyway, I'm better now, but I'm curious, what was your old writing like? Better? Worse? Way worse? What did you write back then? Hit me bois.

This message was last edited by a moderator, as it was against the forum rules, at 06:23, Sat 30 Dec 2017.

Faceplant
 member, 2 posts
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 05:54
Your first work or works.
Different. Freer, perhaps. Less restrained, more wild. Wacky, perhaps? I don't know.

These days my writing's a bit more controlled, a bit more constrained. Overall, better, but I won't deny there's the suspicion that I've lost a part of myself.
Mad Mick
 member, 929 posts
 GURPS beyond measure,
 outlander
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 07:29
Your first work or works.
My writing is worse now than it was a few years ago.  I'll come across something I wrote back in 2013 or 2014, and I'll be shocked that I wrote it.  My writing now is more pedestrian, I think.
Nerwen
 member, 1886 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 15:44
Your first work or works.
Mad Mick - wait a few more years before judging what you're currently writing. It's probably a lot better than you think, and better than a few years ago.

I just recycled a ton of my old papers from high school, including creative writing assignments for English. Some of it was quite terrible... my attempt at different slangs and accents were heavily exaggerated. But I did find a few poems I still like (...possibly because I rarely write poetry and my current poetry quality would probably be the same as back then).
horus
 member, 345 posts
 Wayfarer of the
 Western Wastes
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 17:10
Your first work or works.
I've always considered myself a doggerel poet and a better writer of nonfiction than fiction of any sort (I have some experience as an ad hoc technical writer), but some of my stuff's not bad.  Certain of my poems have touched friends of mine on a personal level, and that's the highest praise a poet can reasonably expect.

What fiction I do write tends to be science-fiction or light fantasy.  Writers I like to think influenced me include Ray Bradbury, Edgar Allan Poe, Cordwainer Smith, C. M. Kornbluth, Harlan Ellison, John Dalmas, and Norman Spinrad.

My magnum opus, a game I once called StarFarer, was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.  I've tried to resurrect it, but find myself strangely lacking in the motivation needed to see it through.  Right now, I find too much fulfillment playing and refereeing Traveller games.  Perhaps when I finally retire and have no job to distract me I can get back to serious writing and finally publish something.

I've lost writings over the years at many points.  It always hurts like Sheol to lose thoughts jotted down on paper or etched into electronic media - like losing part of oneself.  It's not how good or bad those thought were - they were my thoughts, dag-nab-it!  As I get older, my memory becomes less reliable, so I write down more and more so I can perhaps have less to forget.  Maybe that's what will push me into a profitable and published work finally.
Hunter
 member, 1413 posts
 Captain Oblivious!
 Lurker
Sat 30 Dec 2017
at 22:07
Your first work or works.
I've done the same with my earlier works.  I actually refuse to either look at them or take them off the internet.    But we all have to start somewhere.
Nerwen
 member, 1887 posts
 seek to understand before
 you seek to be understood
Sun 31 Dec 2017
at 01:23
Re: Your first work or works.
horus:
I've lost writings over the years at many points.  It always hurts like Sheol to lose thoughts jotted down on paper or etched into electronic media - like losing part of oneself.  It's not how good or bad those thought were - they were my thoughts, dag-nab-it!  As I get older, my memory becomes less reliable, so I write down more and more so I can perhaps have less to forget.  Maybe that's what will push me into a profitable and published work finally.


This was how I thought of it up until very recently, which has led to me dragging around boxes upon boxes of old papers - essays and reports for schoolwork, memorabilia, etc.  - every time I moved (which was often) for the last 20 years.

Then a couple weeks ago I finally started the tedious process of looking at each and every piece of paper I've been carrying with me. And you know what? The vast majority of it is earlier, crummier versions of my current thoughts, written back when I didn't have any of the life experience to give it any character. If I ever had to write any of it again, the new versions would be much much better.
chupabob
 member, 202 posts
Sun 31 Dec 2017
at 08:59
Re: Your first work or works.
The earliest writing I have dates back probably fifteen years. In a comic shop zine, I wrote a few articles. My friends recently uncovered an few actual original copies including text which I thought was lost to the ages. I actually like my earlier stuff from back then better than I write today.
facemaker329
 member, 6979 posts
 Gaming for over 30
 years, and counting!
Mon 1 Jan 2018
at 18:48
Re: Your first work or works.
I have no idea what my earliest work was...lost somewhere to time, I guess.  But the OP's sentiments are not uncommon.  I spent the better part of five years working on a novel...finished it almost twenty-five years ago, went back to the beginning to read it through and was absolutely appalled at how simplistic and formulaic it was, and vowed to start over.  Two and a half decades later, I've written the first two and a half chapters again...and I'm still not satisfied with them.

But I've heard several authors mention similar feelings, even after having written several books.  By the time they finish, their ideas and word use have evolved enough that the beginning feels rough and unpolished...so they go back and rewrite...then see the samme effect again...more than a few writing workshops I've attended include, "Sometimes, it's time to just submit your manuscript, even if you don't feel like it's ready yet, and let the editors or agent tell you what needs to be reworked."