The year is 2015, and through a routine YouTube binge, I was introduced to this cool-looking sandbox game on the source engine—I remember in that video, the guy playing threw this grenade into an office room, and the explosion sent papers and cans and chairs and computer parts flying everywhere-!
I was very inexperienced with video games by that point, so that kind of physics was like landing on the moon for me—I had a Steam account I rarely used back then, so I immediately searched up Garry’s Mod and snagged the thing on sale-!
By 2016, I developed a really strong addiction of just creating storylines in the game through whatever I had available…
Before Garry’s Mod, I basically sketched almost all my stories in really crude, basic drawings that even a kindergartener could probably critique, so being able to simulate everything how I wanted was literally magic-!
And little did I know it back then, but a specific storyline I came up with one day ended up being, to this day, the longest-running thing I ever worked on (´；ω；`)
My premise for it is, to be honest with you, basically the most disjointed possible mix of the media I consumed at the time: an officer in a top agency goes around and… does cool secret agents things.
Taking down drug cartels? Eliminating mob bosses? Weeding out corrupt cops? Exposing top-level moles-? Disarming nuclear warhead!?
My close peers at the time were largely obsessed with everything from reaction channels, to toy reviewers, to beyblades and Hello Kitty merch—so me writing stuff like this was like my way of trying to stand out more at the time, and I’ll admit, I really did have fun working on that plot line…
For almost four years!
It may not sound like too much for you, especially with legendary authors like George R. R. Martin taking like a decade to write one book, but for my pace before and after this series, it was less an obsession and more like a real-life friend by the end (・Д・)
All in all, by the time I finished, my series consisted of:
- 8 Main “Seasons”
- 3 “Remasters” of the first three Seasons
- 1 Non-canonical sequel
- 2 Canonical Spin-offs
- and 1 Extended Cut featuring everything I’d ever cut from the main series-
But it wasn’t until 2019 that I really got the idea: what if I turned this series into a book?
So you may be wondering here: what experience did I actually have with books up to this point?
Maybe like a few classics? Some action-packed stuff to match the genre I grew obsessed with? Maybe Romance novels that only the schoolboys really read?
Nope—it was much simpler~
It was nothing!
Except a few book reports in school of course, but I had quite the overconfidence problem—It really didn’t take long for warning signs to just start popping up all over the first manuscript, and yet, being a lass with an ego, you can imagine I ignored just about… all of them (´∀｀=)
My very first page was a literal info dump on like three years of history, followed by another dump on the main protagonist’s backstory!
Page after that? More dumps on everyone else in the team—like genuinely, I kid you not, I thought this was good writing at the time…
My thought process went something along like: “OOOOH THE MORE THE READER KNOWS THE MORE THEY’LL LOVE MY WORLD AND MY CHARACTERS HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA”
And—yeah, that ain’t wrong!
But there’s a difference between patting someone’s head and giving them a concussion, one that poor young me just thought I was immune to. o(^▽^)o
And thus, despite literally everyone in my life telling me this was a bad idea, I pushed through… and finished the thing.
I didn’t keep track of my writing progress at the time, and now I’ve honestly forgotten the exact timeline, but I think I started around June or July of 2019 and finished by October… and the funny part is, since then, I’ve finished first drafts in much shorter timeframes than that!
Now—I don’t believe it when I say it, but I had slightly more than 1 IQ point back then… so when I was done with the first manuscript, I did the next best thing any sensible author would: immediately look for a platform to self-publish!
Did I proofread the spelling? Did I check the plot for any of its several dozen plot holes? Did I run the book by my friends or family for sensitivity issues? Did I look for-
Okay I won’t prolong that~ I think you and I both know the answer… (*⁰▿⁰*)
Luckily for the entire world though, I was a lazy excuse of an aho あほ—so the book never, ever saw the light of day, and I can just hide my shame… or…
I think for once… I’ll put my shame to some good use!
The image below here is a screenshot of the first two pages of this book, which I haven’t seen nor touched since I winged the first draft in late-2019, and below that?
I hope you enjoy my improvised attempt at deconstructing my war-crime-level writing!
- This first page is so dense it probably qualifies as a wall somewhere in the world…
- For like 80 years now, the United States-mania lives on in this large chunk of Asia! Not that there’s anything inherently wrong about that, but hey I did love poaching any setting that was trending…
- I’M SORRY I LAUGHED REREADING THAT LINE ABOUT FREDRICK—HOW DID I THINK THIS WAS SERIOUS WRITING 草草草草草
- The plot didn’t begin until 3/4 of the way down the page—That is amazing, and not in a good way m(._.)m
- Oh my I really did name every single one of them—Like I promise you three of these characters are dead in the next ten pages why did I- *hides face*
- “Sensing a fiery passion” From retired Navy Seal to Anime mentor—no wonder he gets offed by a serial killer in the next ten pages~!
- That is such a long line for page 2—like not even for any emotional purpose- I usually make exceptions for paragraphs-long lines when it’s something technical like this, but- it’s really obvious I watched like five movies and thought I was a genius…
- Okay no I’ve seen interviews with actual police officers from here, from where I come from, from the US, from countries I’ve never been to—They usually serve much longer than this-! Most of this dude’s force quit in two years or under-? Is he sure he ain’t killing them off-?
- The punctuation on that line below the “most quit in two years” nonsense is really wrong…
- AND IS IT JUST ME OR CAN I NOT TAKE THAT LINE SERIOUSLY AT ALL—HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA GOOD SIR YOU ARE A SHŌNEN REJECT
- “Torrid Affair” I know it sounds a bit hypocritical given some of the English I use but—oh my he’s British now!?,.,,??!?!
…I’d really upload more but I think it’s safe to classify the rest of this book’s 202 pages as a hate crime against us authors- It’s hard to even call it a learning experience because of how little effort I put into this…
Because here’s the thing—I didn’t stop the series with this book’s failure.
Somehow, at some point, I was delusional enough to keep going and going—and even when things came to an end eventually, the road to becoming a dedicated writer was still kilometres ahead-!
So, believe it or not, I did write a sequel to this…
Despite having no clear understanding of what I was writing about, nor any understanding of writing in general, I kept going—because I really thought I had something legendary in my hands!
On Thursday, I’ll be back, and I’d love to share with you the story of how this series finally retired itself…
As well as all the lessons for myself I’ve picked up in retrospect.
Will I really be able to offer you some new insights? I don’t know—my inexperience makes me doubt it a lot, but as long as I enjoy sharing these tales of failure, I’ll be here!
And hopefully I can have you along for the ride too~
Take care, and bye bye ‘til next time! ╰(*´︶`*)╯
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