The Novel I wrote when I was Ten

This is my latest installment of project failures.

Think of it as Literary Confession, except these deeds were not done, remain unfinished, or never started.

Read on. Who knows? Maybe you can steal from the ashes.

I’ve finally reached the age where my sexy friends get married and less sexy friends write books. My pal Stuart Warren has written two, and if you’re not careful, he might write another.

Currently, I’m working on YAF about a squirrel who is magically turned into a human. But Roco wasn’t my first novel.

No, I wrote my first novel a long, long time ago. In 1999, when I was ten.

It was called

and was 100 pages of the most garbage writing ever conceived in consecutive order.

(And, hey, I’ve read Stuart’s books.)

A few months ago, I recovered the manuscript from my parent’s house. The unpublished genius was wedged between short stories I wrote in middle school—”Vulcan” about a giant volcano exploding; “Fallen Chick” about a baby bird falling to its death; “Remrok” about an art contest between cavemen. Each of these stories was a crowning achievement in my literary life. Now? I feel bad for the trees they’re written on.

The book is a very poor amalgamation of Arthurian legend, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, 90s pop culture, a ten year-old’s love of cats, and puns.

It includes:

  • A bowl-shaped knockoff of the One Ring To Rule Them All
  • An insolent rendition of Taran, the pig-keeper hero from the Black Cauldron
  • A cliché hero’s journey that begins with a village ransacked by barbarians
  • Gratuitous violence that reads like John Wick fanfiction

All laid out in forty pages of godawful prose:

And poetry: The worst thing? It was a school assignment. Someone was forced to read this sword-and-sorcery swill.

In fact, my fifth grade teacher’s remarks are scattered everywhere:

They don’t pay teachers enough.

I will be posting the plot of The Hero on Foot: The War of the Bowl (my wife calls it of the Bowels) throughout July alongside my best impression of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Feel free to read along and laugh at mediocrity.

If anything, this will be a lesson in failure.

You can begin here.