Katie: So I found this folder full of your stuff from college. I think it’s a portfolio. Don’t know why I have it. Do you want it? *sends me picture of stuff*
Me: Huh? What is it? *stuffing food into my mouth with one hand, enlarging picture with other*
Katie: It’s from Emerson. It looks like pitch letters and essays…I have no idea why I have it.
Me: Not fiction? Is it good stuff?
Katie: Oh! Wait! I just turned it over! It’s our saga!
Current NaNo word count: 40,008. (That’s 9,992 words until I hit 50K! Yay!)
As many of you know, I was a Writing major in college. What this essentially meant was that I spent my college years buried in paper–books, articles, pieces I needed to read for workshop, pieces I needed to revise, the various bits and pieces you end up writing as homework…
Yesterday, as I sat down to eat on my lunch hour at work, I received a text from Katie, aka The Eternal Roomie, my old college roommate.
I should probably explain. Before I fell into the rabbit hole of The Keegans of Banner’s Edge, there was The Ongoing Saga. The oft-given advice to a budding novelist is to “write what you know.”
But in college–what did I know? For that matter, what do I know now? I know not to take “write what you know” so literally.
What I knew in college was that a) I was a writer and b) Katie was this fascinating creature of song and dance who I lived with and therefore, observed quite often. Not to make you sound like an experiment, K. 🙂
The stuff I’d written before college (and during college) included a lot of light, fluffy, endless fan fiction, in which I inserted a lot of my friends. This is back when I had issues writing original characters and like a lot of young writers, adapting a famous person’s image or known facts, melding them with people I knew, and then writing them into a story seemed to be good practice. I “fictionalized” Katie and I into what I called The Ongoing Saga because…well…
I don’t think I ever got past the first chapter. Anyway, I don’t think I have a copy of the saga. Or at least, if I do, it’s on a flash drive somewhere and I don’t even know which version of the saga it would be. There was more than one, I think?
Katie says I printed it on the back of my homework and other bits and pieces of paper I was buried under in college. She said she’d read it sometime and tell me if it was at least funny because I know it wasn’t good.
The Ongoing Saga ended up becoming something of the basis for Book The First, by the way. Which seems like a really long time ago–and the writing style feels like a long time ago, too.
You never know where your stuff will pop up, people. Also: don’t fictionalize your friends.