Geek Confessional: My High School Manuscripts

This entry is part 4 of 22 in the series The Road to Publication.

So lately, I’ve been focusing on the various writing projects that I worked on when I was younger. I kind of like this trend, so I’m going to keep on going and talk about the stories that I wrote when I was in high school.

In middle school, I had made the transition from drawing awful comic books to writing horrible novels. This was a trend that continued into high school. I knew I wanted to be an author. I knew that I wanted to see my name on the cover of a book someday. And since what I read was mostly science fiction and fantasy at the time (mostly Star Trek novels), that’s what I focused on. I wrote at least two, maybe three Star Trek novels while I was in high school.

Sadly, I don’t remember what most of these were about. One featured the return of Tasha Yar from the dead (this was long before Star Trek: The Next Generation did the same trick with the whole Commander Sela business). Another time, I wrote a Star Trek novel in which it was revealed that Captain James T. Kirk hadn’t died, as everyone suspected. Instead, he and the crew of the Enterprise-A got knocked halfway across the galaxy where they encountered Guinan’s people just as they were being assimilated by the Borg. The Enterprise crew fought valiantly to protect them, only Kirk wound up getting assimilated by the Borg. A hundred years later, he was found and rescued by the crew of the Enterprise-D. I have no idea why I thought that the folks in charge of the Star Trek universe would allow a high school kid to create such radical changes within the canon, but hey, I had dreams and gumption (and, more importantly, absolutely no idea that writing Star Trek novels was strictly a “by invitation only” sort of thing).

But it wasn’t just Star Trek fanfic that I wrote at that time. I also tried my hand at more “realistic” stories (and yes, those quotation marks are absolutely necessary). In one book, I told the story of a kid who got turned into a ghost of sorts (he wasn’t really dead, just forced out of phase with the rest of reality). And how did he use these newfound powers? To be a peeping tom at a girls’ sleepover that (as I was informed by a female friend of mine) was so unrealistic it bordered on pure fantasy.

I also tried my hand at a high school detective series. It was sort of a “Sherlock Holmes in high school” sort of thing, only Holmes in this case was a smart-mouthed Air Force brat with an encylopedic knowledge of weaponry who had a penchant for wearing t-shirts with super obnoxious Christian slogans. He was sort of an amalgam of one of my best friends in high school and myself. The Watson character was also the POV character. As it turns out, I wasn’t very good at writing mysteries; when one of my friends read the book, they had the whole thing figured out a quarter of the way through. And while this book was supposed to be more grounded and realistic, it still had ridiculous elements to it. For example, in the second book, our intrepid heroes wound up saving President George Bush (the first one) from terrorists who had kidnapped him. Because, you know, a bunch of high school amateurs would be able to succeed where the Secret Service couldn’t.

But it was also at this time that I started a journey that only ended a few years ago. I won’t go into details now; if you want to know what I’m talking about, be sure to come back to the Confessional to hear the rest of the story.

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