Every once in a while I find an old piece of writing from my past and immediately cringe at how bad it was. “I actually thought this was good at one point?” I’d find myself asking. Maybe I’m being too hard on myself. For one thing, the piece of work I found earlier today was from my seven or eight year old self, so unless I was some sort of prodigy, it couldn’t have been that good.
So I gathered up some dignity, and decided to share one of my horrid pieces of writing to the rest of the world. Keep in mind that all the spelling and grammatical errors have been fixed to make the work easier to read.
The Attack of the Giant Crocodile
Once upon a time there was a cool kid named Matthew, who used to always look out his window. His mom asked him why he always looked out his window, but it was really because he was secretly a superhero who could shoot out fire with his hands!
One day he looked out the window with his super vision and saw a crocodile eating a guy’s leg! “Help!” shouted the man. “Maybe Fire Lad will save me!”
Matt jumped out of his window and flew to the scene. The alligator was still biting onto the guy’s leg! “I’ll save you!” said Matt, and he threw a fireball at the alligator.
“Curse you, Fire Lad!” exclaimed the crocodile, and it died on the spot.
“Hooray!” cheered the old man and the rest of the citizens. “Thank you, Fire Lad!”
“No problem,” expressed Matt, and he flew back to his house.
Let’s take a look at the positive sides of this story:
- I’m the main character (that’s always a plus).
- It’s not Twilight.
- The old man was saved (hooray for old people!)
- Fire lad is a pretty rad superhero name. If I ever develop the power to create fire with my hands, that’s the name I’ll choose.
- The main character was really cool.
Now for Comedy’s sake, I’ve decided to point out the numerous flaws as well:
- The main character is clearly just a stand in for me. We even have the same name!
- The conflict was resolved way too quickly. All Matt (awesome name, but the way) did was shoot a fire ball at the villain and it died on the spot.
- Is the villain a crocodile or an alligator? Seven year old me just seems to switch back and forth between the two. This can be easily explained: I used to think alligators and crocodiles were the same animal. I hope I’m not the only one who used to think this.
- How many superpowers does this kid have? There’s super sight, the power to fly, and the power to shoot fire out of his hands. There’s also apparently the power to not have anyone recognize you even though you’re not wearing a mask or anything. Totally unrealistic.
- I used to have an English teacher who encouraged us to replace ‘said,’ with big, multiple-syllable words, which is actually horrible advice, as you can see above.
- The sentence, “His mom asked him why he always looked out his window, but it was really because he was secretly a superhero who could shoot out fire with his hands!” doesn’t make any sense.
I wonder if I’ll react the same way in a couple years when I look back at my writing now. Honestly, I hope my reaction is the same as it is to my reaction to my seven year old self’s writing, because that just shows that I’ve improved.