Because we’re on a juvenilia panel at ConFusion, Scott is in the next room making strange noises. Some of it is laughter, most of it is groans. He’s reading through stuff he wrote when he was a teenager.

Because all my juvenilia is back in Sydney, my wonderful mother transcribed some of the earliest stuff to send me. Bless you, Jan. I just read through it.

Oh, dear.

Sad to say, but there is not an inkling of genius in either of our earliest writings. Wow. We must have worked pretty hard in the intervening years learning how to, you know, construct a sentence or two that don’t completely suck.

I might put some of it up on our sites to demonstrate that even the most talentless kid can grow up to be a writer.

In the meantime, we’re off to snowy Detroit, for the fun and laughter of ConFusion. Hope to see some of you there. We’re not bringing our computers so blogging is unlikely.

Here’s my favourite sentence from my juvenilia written when I was about 7 or 8:

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

Don’t have too much fun while I’m away!


  1. Camille on #

    *sheepish* When I was around fifteen, I once used the word “nothing” seven times in a “dramatic” sentence. “There was nothing the could do!!!” (That would be the expurgated version.)

  2. stacy on #

    Ha! I found a folder a while back of stories I didn’t even remember writing. I didn’t seem to grasp the ideas of “plot” and “action,” myself. Nothing ever happened in my stories. One was about a girl who was rich enough that she had her own car and could eat at McDonald’s every day. My only attempt at fantasy involved people riding horses in the forest. Nothing else. Just riding, riding, riding… I’m sure I made similar sounds when I found that folder. πŸ™‚

  3. Mahek on #

    My writing up until I was twelve was plain crap. My vocabulary was poor and i would repeat the same word nearly ten times in each paragraph. I’m 15 now and my writing is considerably better but not at the point I would like it to be. Hopefully, I will be better when I’m a little older at least!

  4. dragonfly on #

    one of my earliest “books” (for young authors, in first grade) was about those un-nameable creatures that are something like horses. πŸ˜‰

  5. _iris_ on #

    hee hee
    when i’m twenty i’ll look back in horror at the terrible things i wrote. at the moment i think they are plain genius!!!

  6. Patrick on #

    I won awards when I was 11. I think the story holds up —

    In a different galaxy there is life. Life is different from what we know. It is what we call the Space Age.

    I know. Hold the applause.

  7. kim on #

    i don’t really write good now. hate to think of what is was like when i was younger.

    since the first grade all of my english teachers would keep a portfoilo of what we wrote. the year before we wnet to jr. high we had to clead it out. i almost dies my writing was so bad.

    my brother wrote a story i was so cute may be i can post it how he wrote the words. πŸ™‚

  8. Kadie-Wa on #

    Aw, cute little kid writing!

    When I was little, I had that thing where when ever you would write something It would be backwords…that went on until I was in 2nd grade.

    The stuff that you actually could read, was crap. Mainly because I couldn’t even spell baby when I was a fourth grader.

    Thankfully I can spell better then that now!

  9. rebecca on #

    i fervently hope that none of my juvenilia ever sees the light of day. i once wrote a story in which the main character was an artichoke. eep.

  10. Ellie on #

    none of my stories from when I was younger had middles, I would have a beginning then a little bit then an ending equaling out to be about two pages long. I also way overused the word had.

  11. serafina zane on #

    when i was in fourth grade i wrote a story about a girl who got turned into a fairy for ill-explained reasons and the sweetness of it scared me.
    then i stopped writing for several years.
    then i wrote a story about a paranoid, antisocial, shuffled-around foster kid who sort of had wings. all it’s backstories had massacres and this really sweet guy with purple eyes was sort of stalking her.
    then i started writing about a girl who got turned into a vampire by a guy she met while buying some chinese food.
    and then i got most of the suck out and started a story that was actually good. the story of Serafina Zane…

  12. dami on #

    i went through a couple of years where the basic plot was: i kill everyone around me on purpose/by accident, i get hurt badly, i commit suicide. i always wondered what the parent/teacher interviews were like around then

  13. _iris_ on #

    all my really early stories were basically much less skilled copies of whatever my favorite book was at the time. i’m much better at coming up with ideas now. *smugly smiles*
    brain monkeys help, i must admit!

  14. Mahek on #

    My first story or novel was called the tales of Cat and Dog.

    It was about a cat called cat and a dog called dog. The longest sentence was 9 words long!!

  15. Dave H. on #

    In the meantime, we’re off to snowy Detroit, for the fun and laughter of ConFusion.

    We managed to hold off the snow for you … sorry we couldn’t do anything about the brutal temperatures.

  16. emily on #

    unicorns!!!!! sorry, i think you wont be moderating for a while, so i just had to.

  17. Brent on #

    That was a great panel. Listening to your early work and finding that it was just as terrible as my own early work was inspiring. All your panels were fantastic but this one was the funniest.

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