The Toughies

A few people have asked that I post some of my juvenilia. Here’s a story I wrote some time between the ages of eight and ten:

    A long time ago there lived a group of dragons that were called the toughies.

    Now the king of the country where the toughies lived had tried everything to get rid of them; he gave them maidens weekly, a million dollars (they put in that they couldn’t do much with it). At last he put forward a proclamation saying, whoever gets rid of the dragons will get a million dollars (they could do something with it).

    Soon everybody was trying to get rid of them, but all in vain for no one succeeded, ‘till a girl named Zantorria set out to kill the dragon who had killed her father. When she reached Tatooklia ( the place where the dragons live) she crept into their cave and saw 12 heaps of straw where 12 dragons lay looking very ill.

    Approaching them carefully she said “What’s the matter?”

    The first dragon stared at her and said, “We’re sick from eating too many people, they taste horrid”

    When the girl asked who killed her father they said he’d died naturally so she helped the dragons get better because they promised not to be bad and she lived with them for the rest of her life.

My plotting has improved somewhat since then . . .


  1. E. Lockhart on #

    Is genius. Loved it when you read it aloud, too.

  2. Amber on #

    I like it! Very good for an eight to ten year old.

  3. Q on #

    I think you got bored of writing it and wrapped it up too quickly.

  4. rockinlibrarian on #

    Ooo, I was tempted to ask you to post some of this, too, but didn’t because I was afraid you’d think it too long to post/want to save it for the at-loud readings at events… but this is a perfect little snippet!

    And, much as it shows how far Real Authors have to improve their skills before they’re any good, I also see some genuine sense-of-humor development there too already. Bet it still would have impressed your teachers, reading it along with the other works of 8-10-year-olds at the time….

  5. Rachel on #

    It’s a cute little story for an eight-year-old. I liked it, actually. ^^

  6. Rachel (different one) on #

    This reminds me of my stuff (something about the sentence structure…).

    Great story! Although I’d love to know the backstory of how the girl mistook her father’s natural death for a dragon kill… and why the dragons eat people even though they taste horrid… and if anyone ever came after the dragons later on… I smell a new novel! 🙂

  7. David Moles on #

    you just started the story in the wrong place. as zantorria’s back story, it’s golden!

  8. Liset on #

    what a great name!

  9. J on #

    Wow. Not bad actually, for an eight year old. very cute. i wish i could get away with that in LA. you should have made it longer. one thing i don’t have any problem doing. i don’t do short no matter how hard i try. (sigh).

  10. Evan on #

    I know I wasn’t using semicolons correctly at 8!

  11. Jennifer on #

    Such a cute story! I liked it!

    It reminds me of when I had my kids write fantasy stories in a summer school class. We had some really fun results!

  12. Leahr on #

    I love it, it’s so funny. reminds me somewhat of Patricia C. Wrede’s Dealing with Dragons quartet except makes less sense. This should inspire anyone who doesn’t think they can improve their writing skills.

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