For your entertainment, here is a sample of my first novel, written in Grade 12. The one I got 78% for (+2% for effort). I tried to keep it exactly as it was (aside from indenting, of course, can’t really do that online). All the spelling, punctuation, and grammatical mistakes are left intact (and this is after I thought I had “edited” it).
It’s not the worst thing ever written (there are worse short stories floating out there I’m sure)… but it’s pretty bad.
I proudly (well, it’s more like shamefully) present to you:
New York City/State (from Chapter 2)
Kilroy snapped out of it as the assistant bartender came back with their orders, footnoting in his mind that the professor had been arrested and kicked out of university a couple months later.
“Twelve bucks.” the assistant stated without feeling.
Hanz, the head bartender was cleaning up some of the glass just outside the front window when he heard this and saw the two sitting at his bar. He stopped his daily clean up and immediately attended to them.
“Jazon!” he said aloud, but not so loudly as to disturb the other customers. “You don’t charge the offizer for hiz drinkz! It’z on the houze!” he slapped Kilroy on the back.
“Good to see you again Hanz, any trouble lately?”
“Nothing I couldn’t handle. Who’z your friend?”
“My partner, Tiny.”
“Partner? Then your drink’z on the houze, too.” he smiled quite openly, showing bring perfect teeth that gleamed off the lazer light. More cops meant more protection, and he wanted them to come back. He walked off to finish his business, smiling all the way.
Kilroy was flipping through the appointment calculator, and Todd peered over his shoulder to see. “What kind of name is X, anyway?” He inquired, referring to the only reference of the possible name of the SOF. He had heard weirder names, of course, but they were all longer than one lousy letter.
“Probably didn’t want anyone to know who X is.”
Tiny lightly scoffed “And maybe X wanted it kept that way.” ‘Always an answer’ Kilroy thought.
Hanz returned to the bar and Kilroy held out a photo of Mike Henderson. “Seen him?”
The bartender pointed over to a corner where a lone figure sat at his personal booth. Kilroy sighed upon recognizing the man. “He vaz vith him lazt.”
“Thanks, pal,” he stood up and headed towards the table, beer in hand. Todd was the veteran cop, being in the force years before Kilroy, but right now he tagged along like a rookie. They quickly arrived at his table, this time he wore black instead of his usual reflective garments. He looked up at Kilroy and immediately recognized him.
“Well this isn’t right,” Kilroy said sarcastically, “if Henderson wanted a pro, he would have gone to anyone but him.”
“Is this the son of a …” Tiny started with a crude smile.
“Yes it is, and I’d rather you not finish that statement for your own sake.” Kilroy urged. He knew it was dangerous for anyone who did not know the SOF personally to insult the man, as it was with any Soldier Of Fortune. The black man didn’t take this personally, though, he would only retaliate later.
“Good to see you too Rob.” Needlepoint replied in his light British accent, realizing Kilroy had inadvertently been the cause of Tiny’s unfinished insult.
“Don’t call me that.” anger flared within.
“Yo, calm down Kilroy, that’s your real name.” Tiny said concerned for his partner.
“No, he’s referring to my set up last year.” God, it had been months since he last thought of it.
“So,” Needlepoint said, changing the subject. “What brings you to my little hang-out.”
“You mean hide-out.”
“Oh, will you take a down, Kilroy. Now, as I was saying, what brings you here.”
“Murder, what else? It’s definitely not to see your pretty face again.” he sat himself don across from Needlepoint, uninvited.
“Hey, Kilroy, what’s with the gunfire?” his partner asked.
“Nothing to explain, mate, he hates my guts.” Needlepoint commented. A sarcastic smirk crossed Kilroy face as he raised his left hand to make a finger gun with which he pretended to shoot him.
“It’s good to see you, Needlepoint.” Kilroy said seriously.
The SOF smiled back. “You mentioned Henderson,” Needlepoint said softly, “I know he’s dead.” This explained the dark outfit instead of his usual Chameleon clothing. His personal code demanded remorse for the dead. “I told him he’d never last on his own for more than twelve hours.”
“He got ya there.” Kilroy pointed out. “Henderson made it for twenty-four.” It was a moot point at best.
“He wanted to hire your service?” Todd asked.
The SOF raised his sunglasses onto his black hair, revealing one unusually black iris and the other, not looking real at all, but more like a camera shudder. Probably a earlier model bionic eye, chosen for style rather than cost. Needlepoint could afford the latest technology if he wanted to. “Not the ‘usual’, mind you.” he said crossing his arms on the table. “He wanted me to protect him. Strictly defensive. Apparently he was part of something big and was going to blow the whistle before it was too late. Later he found out he was targeted for ‘removal’, that’s when he came to me.”
“And the second meeting?” asked Kilroy
“Very strange indeed. We were scheduled for another meeting same time next week. I had been following him discreetly all the time and no sort of attack took place. Anyway, when he arrived, he thought it the first meeting. He said it slipped his mind. Then he said he no longer required my services, saying it was all a misunderstanding. Then he left the building after paying my fee for the past week.”
“What was this information Henderson knew?”
“All I know is it involves the biggest Corporate War the planet has ever seen, and this time the winner takes all” He said with his usual enthusiasm with gave one the distinct impression that he was more interested in his beer.
Now, obviously this is bad. I got quite a few chuckles looking at the technical mistakes alone. But even as a story it’s beyond cliche, the bartender is a riot, the detectives moronic “what kind of a name is X anyway?” (snort), and the dialog just bleah.
This is one of the better scenes.
If I ever teach a creative writing class, I’ll use a passage like that as a test for prospective students. “Edit and critique the hell out of this.” Those who are the most honest, brutal, and thorough get in.
Oh yes, 78% was generous indeed… perhaps even that + 2% for effort as well.