Monday, November 24, 2014

The (Re)Discovery of the Printed Ongoing Saga



Current NaNo word count: 40,008. (That's 9,992 words until I hit 50K! Yay!)

As many of you know, I was a Writing major in college. What this essentially meant was that I spent my college years buried in paper--books, articles, pieces I needed to read for workshop, pieces I needed to revise, the various bits and pieces you end up writing as homework...

Yesterday, as I sat down to eat on my lunch hour at work, I received a text from Katie, aka The Eternal Roomie, my old college roommate. 

Katie: So I found this folder full of your stuff from college. I think it's a portfolio. Don't know why I have it. Do you want it? *sends me picture of stuff*
Me: Huh? What is it? *stuffing food into my mouth with one hand, enlarging picture with other*
Katie: It's from Emerson. It looks like pitch letters and essays...I have no idea why I have it.
Me: Not fiction? Is it good stuff?
Katie: Oh! Wait! I just turned it over! It's our saga!

I should probably explain. Before I fell into the rabbit hole of The Keegans of Banner's Edge, there was The Ongoing Saga. The oft-given advice to a budding novelist is to "write what you know." 

But in college--what did I know? For that matter, what do I know now? I know not to take "write what you know" so literally. 

What I knew in college was that a) I was a writer and b) Katie was this fascinating creature of song and dance who I lived with and therefore, observed quite often. Not to make you sound like an experiment, K. :-)

The stuff I'd written before college (and during college) included a lot of light, fluffy, endless fan fiction, in which I inserted a lot of my friends. This is back when I had issues writing original characters and like a lot of young writers, adapting a famous person's image or known facts, melding them with people I knew, and then writing them into a story seemed to be good practice. I "fictionalized" Katie and I into what I called The Ongoing Saga because...well...

I don't think I ever got past the first chapter. Anyway, I don't think I have a copy of the saga. Or at least, if I do, it's on a flash drive somewhere and I don't even know which version of the saga it would be. There was more than one, I think?

Katie says I printed it on the back of my homework and other bits and pieces of paper I was buried under in college. She said she'd read it sometime and tell me if it was at least funny because I know it wasn't good. 

The Ongoing Saga ended up becoming something of the basis for Book The First, by the way. Which seems like a really long time ago--and the writing style feels like a long time ago, too. 

You never know where your stuff will pop up, people. Also: don't fictionalize your friends.

4 comments:

  1. Oh, how funny! You know, I don't think I ever fictionalized my friends. I don't think I found them that interesting. Lol! I did do a linguistic report on one of them in college. Super fun transcribing 30 minutes of dialogue. (NOT) And then analyzing the speech pattern. Why on earth was I in that class again?

    That's awesome you're still friends with your roommate. ^_^

    Okay, I totally just skimmed through a couple of my short stories from college and almost died laughing. Good stuff. >.<

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    1. It wasn't that my friends were interesting necessarily, but that they were there, and I needed to put SOMEONE in the story.

      Sometimes I wrote things about my friends in commemoration of something.

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  2. I still have LOTS of stuff that I wrote in my college days. Good memories, and some cringe-worthy ones, too! XD
    A friend and I began writing a story based somewhat on what we'd gone through. Interesting times...lol.

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    1. I have some of my college stuff, but it's never anything I want to look at. I've definitely developed more as a writer AFTER college.

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