Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Memory Lane - My First Novel

The summer of 2001 was when I started my first novel, which makes it officially ten years that I set myself on this path of novel writing. Truthfully, it wasn't a drive to be published that started me writing, it was fourteen year old angst and a need to escape it that led me to taking some computer paper and a pen to bed one night and using a book light to start writing. I don't even think I had an outline or much of an idea where I'd be going with it, I just started writing. The one thing that I did know the story would be about was, of course, vampires.

So that night my first novel was born, and I kept going at it on computer paper for a while. Then I stopped. I don't know why, maybe I was stuck at a part, but for a few weeks I didn't write. One day though, it kicked in again, but this time I bought notebooks and set about re-writing everything from the computer paper into the notebook, then I continued I story. About five to six months and 263 hand written pages later, I had my first novel, Shadow Realm.

Shadow Realm was about a human girl named Jesse who one night stumbles into the supernatural, sideways world where vampires, werewolves, and witches exist. She meets a hot vampire boy (of course) named Joshua, who has his own drama with his power hungry father Lucas, who is also the ruler of the Shadow Realm and is ruthlessly seeking three "Mystic Powers" (for evil intentions of course). Jesse discovers that she is one of the powers, so the book follows her and Joshua as they try to evade his father, teach her how to control her power, and of course, fall in love. In the end, they find the other two powers and are able to stop Lucas, but Jesse dies. I didn't particularity want to kill Jesse, but I thought it would be fun to have a sad ending for poor Joshua.

For fun I thought I would share the opening and ending of Shadow Realm, not because they are fantastic pieces of writing (which they are not), but because it is where my novel writing began, and without having written those words I wouldn't be where I am now. I haven't yet achieved my publication dreams but I'm still going at it despite all the frustration and disappointment that comes with being a writer. So here it is, and I will only preface it by saying that it was EXTREMELY hard not to edit it, but I forced myself not to change a word.


The night was midnight black. A haunting moon hung high in the sky, sailing amongst thick clouds. It was a hot summer evening in June, a typical night just like any other. Typical that is, until the clock strikes twelve. That mysterious, old clock tower, half hidden in ruins, yet it never failed to strike the midnight hour with a strike that sent shivers to your very soul. It seemed to work magic, for it was then that the creatures of the night came out in all their glory, for they ruled the night and reveled in its velvet, dark mysteriousness. Bats, owls, and all sorts of other nocturnal creatures came out. Not to mention the real creatures of the night, werewolves, witches, shapeshifters…and vampires.


He’d thought maybe he wouldn’t end up lonely after all. But that was when he still had Jesse. She was the brightness, the light that had chased away the darkness he was living in. Now he just stared at her, feeling as if everything in the world was lost to him, never again would she look at him with her emerald eyes, smile at him and light up his whole heart. He’d never get a chance to brush away her tears or kiss her gentle lips.

“My kiss will bring you back to me….” Just a lie, just a fairy tale. Prince Charming’s kiss only worked in a world of fairy tales, a world spun by the imagination.

In reality, Sleeping Beauty never wakes up.


  1. Thank you for sharing this! So what if it isn't perfect? It's fun looking back on where we started.

    I have only begun to *seriously* work on writing for the past year, though I've dabbled since 2001 as well. (I also think we're the same age now, because I was 14 then too!)

    The fun part is I'm still deeply in love with that first story, even though it was only about 60% complete. And for this year's nano I'm finally starting from scratch and giving it the rework that I always wanted it to be, but my 14-year-old self simply couldn't do yet. Needless to say very few things outside of characters and core plot will be the same, but that's okay. I can't wait to find out what it turns into!

  2. I agree, I still love my first book, it has sentimental meaning to me now and I love looking back on how my writing has evolved. I'd love to rework it one day but I don't yet have the massive amount of time needed to devote to it. It's great that you plan to use NaNo to re-work yours =)

  3. Goodness. That's a sad ending. =(

    I can't stand to look back at my old books. I LOVE the stories, but any time I start reading, I start rewriting. Ahhh! The idea is that no work will go to waste, right? One day I'll able to resurrect each of those hidden Goliaths and share them with the world. One day. One very hopeful, distant day.

  4. It's the same for me, I want to change things and re-write too! Just keep telling yourself you'll get to it one day lol