Talking with Liz of Green Eye Editing tonight, we discussed some of our earliest writings and how we have improved since then. My first story was that of a vampire named Drake Coldheart. And while writing it, I fell into every single writing pitfall and cliche that there is. The vampire was GOOD because…because…he was. And EPICLY POWERED EVIL bad guys that want to RULE THE WORLD MWAHAHAHAHAH even though they have no reason to aside from the fact they can. And character names that make NO SENSE, but sound epic, like Millennium, Rane, Xzior and Shayde. Drake and Evan seemed normal compared to those. And Rane had a pet panther.
Yeah, I don’t know about that one either….
My writing was…atrocious and the dialogue wasn’t much better.
I still have it all.
So here, have an excerpt of the first (because all good fantasy books come in threes, thought 14/15 year old me, and mine is going to be AMAZING!) of Drake’s novels. By the time I got around to writing the third, it was painful for me to go back and read this. So I like to think I got a lot better. Tomorrow, I plan to go through this excerpt line by line and discuss what makes it work–and, more likely, what doesn’t.
Please, enjoy my humiliation. :)
Xzior awoke a few hours before dawn from a knock at the front door.
“Come in.” She said, her head still groggy.
Drake walk in a moment later and closed the door quietly behind him. Xzior looked over and saw him in the coat with a shirt draped over his arm.
“Nice coat. Who’d you rob?”
“Surprisingly enough, no one.” Drake responded.” Person named Evan gave it to me after he and I faced down a mage that tried to kill me.”
“Any clue why he tried to?”
“Not one, except he said his ‘master’ had told him to.”
“Did you try to get more information about this master of his?”
“It’s kind of hard to talk to a dead person you know. He killed himself after he said that.”
“I would’ve liked to learn more.”
“Funny, that’s the exact same thing I said.” he looked around the room, and seeing no one around he asked hesitantly, “Mind if I crash here again tonight? Or rather, today?”
“No, your room is still open. It can be yours to keep if you want it.”
Thanks.” he said, going down the hallway. A moment later, Xzior heard the door close.
“No problem.” she muttered to herself.
Xzior laid back down on the couch and tried to get back too sleep. She couldn’t do it though. Finally, she got up and started pacing about the living room, trying to make sense of here feelings and problems. When that didn’t work, she went into the kitchen to make herself some hot tea.
She put water in an old, battered, copper kettle and turned on the stove. Then she went over to the table and sat down, placing her head in her hands.
She awoke later to the sound of the kettle whistling. She sighed and got up to turn off the stove. Then se got out a coffee cup and waited for the tea to steep. Then, with out bothering to add sugar, she drank it all down in three large gulps.
It seemed to calm here stomach enough so that she could get some sleep. She went back to her couch to lay down again. Little by little, she finally drifted into a dreamless sleep.
When she awoke the next morning, the sun was shinning directly into here eyes through the large, boy window behind her. She got up and rubbed here eyes to try and wake up.
Eventually, she was able to get together a semblance of awareness and stumbled down the hall into here room. There, she went to her closet to pick out here clothes for the day. She finally decided on a black shirt with blue jeans and proceeded to change here clothes.
When she came out of her room, she went over to the bathroom to get here hairbrush, but the door was closed Xzior knocked on the door loudly.
What?”, sounded a voice form inside. Xzior recognized it as Millennium’s.
“Millennium, it’s Xzior. Can I have my hairbrush and a ponytail?”
“Sure.” Millennium responded. There was an opening of draws and a shuffling noise before the door opened a crack and Millennium hand appeared holding a hairbrush with a pony tail wrapped around it.
Xzior took it, and Millennium closed the door as soon as both of their hands were out of the way.
“Thanks girl.” She said through the door. Wandering down he hall, Xzior brushed here hair until all of the knots were out of it. Then, as she entered the kitchen, she put up here hair to prepare to face the day. “Millennium, she yelled over here shoulder,” what do you want to eat for breakfast?”
“How about a bagel?” Millennium responded, walking into the kitchen, drying her hair.
“Want cream cheese on it?”
“No thanks. I’ll just have it plain and toasted.”
“How about just plain and not toasted. The toaster’s busted.”
“Fine. Your toaster burnt everything anyway.”
Xzior rolled here eyes and got out the bag of bagels from the fridge. “catch.” she said, throwing a bagel to Millennium.
She made a dive, but missed. She quickly picked it up and dusted it off. “five second rule.” she explained, biting into it.
“Ah.” Xzior said, nodding. Then she got one out of the bag and bit into it. “Not bad. I like them better toasted though.”
“Different strokes for different folks, I guess.”
Xzior nodded. “True.”
A little later, when they were done with their breakfast, there was a knock on the door.
“I’ll get it.” said Millennium, getting up. She opened up the front door and Evan was standing there.
“Excuse my bluntness, but who the hell are you?”
“I’m Evan McCloud! I wandered into that alley back there and next thing I knew I was here.”
“Like hell you did. How long did you practice that speech?”
“It shows.” Millennium turned towards Xzior. “Can I kill him? Please?!”
“What did you say his name was again?” said Xzior, getting up off the couch.
“I’m Evan McCloud. I said that before.”
“Would you by chance know a Drake?”
“Yeah, met him last night, why?”
Xzior turned to Millennium, “Sorry, no killing him today. Can’t win or rather…kill them all.”
Xzior laughed then turned back to Evan. “What are doing here?”
“Would you believe I just stumbled in?”
“Didn’t think so.”
“Then why’d you try?”
“It was worth a shot.”
“I’ll give you brownie points for that. Now tell me, why are you really here?”
“Alright. Last night, Drake told me that he was hopefully going to be staying with you. I ended up following him and saw him disappear into the alleyway. I hung out there until this morning when I went through and came here. I had a hell of a time trying to find your house. You should put up maps that have a little star on them saying ‘You are here’ or something”
“That makes things to easy for unwanted visitors. At least I know they have to work in order to find their way to my house.” Xzior said, wandering back into the living room. Millennium followed her a moment later with Evan directly behind her.
“So, can I stay here?” He asked hopefully.
“What do you think Millennium? Do we keep ‘em or turn him away?”
“I think we give him a trial run. You know, see if he knows how to clean up after him self and not burn the macaroni and cheese.”
“You did that?” asked Xzior.
“Off topic, but yes I did a long time ago. I’ve become a much better cook since then.”
“I’m not anxious to test that theory if you don’t mind me saying so.”
“I don’t care.”
“Alright then Evan,” started Xzior, “you can stay. There’s a room up the stairs behind you there that you can stay in.”
Evan turned around and didn’t see any stairs. “What stairs?”
Millennium waved here right hand about and abruptly, a set of stairs with rooms at the end of it appeared. “Those stairs. Now Get!” she said, pushing Evan towards the stairs.
“I’m going. Relax.” he said, shaking here off.
Xzior and Millennium plopped down on the couch together and sighed. Xzior turned to Millennium and said. “I need a bigger house.”
“Yea, “ she replied, “ that you do.”