Wednesday, August 3, 2016

IWSG & Star Trek & Floppy Disks


The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of Alex J. Cavanaugh. He, his clones, minions, friends, and fellow authors make it an amazing event every month.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


And we’re revving up IWSG Day to make it more fun and interactive! Every month, we'll announce a question that members can answer in their IWSG Day post. These questions may prompt you to share advice, insight, a personal experience or story. Include your answer to the question in your IWSG post or let it inspire your post if you are struggling with something to say. 

AUGUST 03rd QUESTION: What was your very first piece of writing as an aspiring writer? Where is it now? Collecting dust or has it been published?

Okay, let's see..

I think this piece would count...

A long, long time ago, when the kids were still very young, I wrote a Star Trek TNG novel. For years, I'd been making Star Trek scripts in my head and I decided to type one out.

I actually don't remember much about it, except:

  • Geordi was the main character of the main plot line
  • The planet involved had no women's rights and some very barbaric customs
  • Geordi got involved with Jaya, a woman from the planet
  • Jaya was very tough, didn't trust easily, and was trying to change her world
  • Jaya was killed at the end
  • A sub-plot involved Deanna using her empathic senses to navigate through an underground prison
  • Deanna and Worf's relationship was developing

That's about it. As far as I remember it was extremely melodramatic and a bit (or a lot!) cheesy. I think it's probably languishing on a floppy disk somewhere. If I find it, I'll have to find a computer with an A drive! 

When I got brave enough to check out a copy of Writer's Digest from the library, I discovered that only "agented submissions" were accepted by the Star Trek people. I had NO idea what that meant, but it sounded very Hollywood-esque. I assumed only famous people had agents.

End of journey.

I knew less than nothing (obviously), but that novel niggled in the back of my head (and my heart) for a lot of years. When I finally decided to actually give this writing thing a go, I already knew I was capable of completing a draft. And THAT is worth something!

How about you? Any fan fiction writers out there? Anyone know what an A drive is? Where's your very first draft?

68 comments:

  1. Sounds like a major accomplishment. You did finish a complete manuscript and that is great. When computers started going public back there in late seventies I jumped on the band wagon and started learning about them and at that time floppies were the hit. In fact, I remember the 286 that I had that was powered by MS DOS on a floppy. My how time flies.
    Happy writing.
    Shalom aleichem,
    Patricia

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    1. It does! Our board let us borrow the computers in the summer so teachers could get used to using them. My kids loved the Number Munchers game :)

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  2. I dabbled in fanfic in the past. I even drew a webcomic based on a TV show for a few years, LOL. I think it's awesome how the Star Trek one you wrote gave you enough confidence to pursue your original writing! I agree, that's definitely worth something!

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    1. Fan Fiction of all kinds is so much fun :)

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  3. Star Trek fan fiction - now that's very cool!
    Good luck finding a computer that accepts floppies.

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    1. I know! No more A drives around now :)

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  4. As cheesy as you think it sounds, I reckon it would've made a perfect episode!

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  5. Star Trek is awesome. To write scripts in your head is so great too. I've never done that, wrote a script on a show I'm watching. I've often thought, I could have written that.

    Teresa

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    1. I still do it when I'm having trouble falling asleep - it's very relaxing! :)

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  6. I would've read that story. There was an episode where Deanna and Worf were together in an alternate universe and I always thought they should be together.

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    1. I thought the same - they made a great pair! :)

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  7. I remember A drives. I'm glad to say my current computer--though old and wheezy--doesn't have one (though I did refer to a CD drive the other days as a 'floppy drive.' I don't know why.) Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Love it! My kids remember floppies a bit as they loved playing Number Munchers with it! :)

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  8. Ah, yes. Floppy discs. And, ha, to Jeff who called his CD drive a floppy drive!!! Now that you mention it I DID start a story when my parents got their very first computer. I'd completely forgotten about it. I think it was about a girl living in an orphanage...no, it was a boarding school, a HAUNTED boarding school. That's it. All I remember about it. Probably never got very far. <3 Christy

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    1. Love it! It shows our story telling genes go way back!! :)

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  9. Hi Jemi...

    I hadn't started writing until my first Macbook in 2009...Before that my seven years on my HP notebook was used for surfing the internet and emailing... seems like centuries ago.... But both of my computers had CD disks...I had seen it's predecessor only once and thought... whoa. LOL

    I still hope my first novel gets published. I love the story and after the next go around, I hope an agent will love it to. Time will tell.

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  10. Having the confidence that you can finish a draft is huge! I never wrote fan fiction, but it sounds like fun.

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    1. It is - still do it in my head a lot! :)

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  11. Hi Jemi, my first book was extremely silly (a book that an editor told me was way too long). Thank God it never saw the light of publishing (I would have been very embarrassed if it had been published.)

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    1. So true - some of my first efforts were completely horrid!!

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  12. LOL! I think several of us started with some kind of fan fiction. I didn't start with it, but I did write a novella of it when I was 11. Oh boy... It was historical fiction, so at least I'm true to my roots.

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    1. Love it! You knew what you'd settle in with even then :)

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  13. I know a pretty successful romance writer who started out writing fan fiction. Until I met her, I didn't really know that was a thing.

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    1. That's awesome! I think it's about learning how books work - and it's such fun :)

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  14. I've never tried my hand at fan fiction. I don't think so anyway. But I do have bits and pieces of writing scattered around that I read to amuse myself. I wrote that? Yes, dear, you did. Tsk. Tsk.

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    1. That's fun! I found my 2 elementary school stories cleaning out one day and they were so cheesy and dramatic!! :)

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  15. That was an ambitious undertaking. "had no women's rights" sounds like a story that would be important these days. Maybe you can take that idea and create another story without the Star Trek theme. :)

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  16. Hi Jemi,
    A Star Trek story on a floppy. Love the image.
    I enjoyed your story and really relate to your discovery moment when you realized it wasn't going to be easy to publish.
    Great story.
    My blog entry is on Lovin' Danger: http://wp.me/p25Rtf-24i
    Cheers,
    Jo-Ann Carson

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    1. Thanks Jo-Ann! I wish I hadn't waited so long to dive back in and find out the ins and outs, but life kept me more than busy enough! :)

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  17. My very first attempt at writing was a short story loosely based on the original Star Trek series back in high school. Probably best that it was lost somewhere a long time ago.

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    1. Love it! Star Trek has so many amazing worlds and endless possibilities for stories. Might be time to revisit it one day! :)

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  18. Deanna was a fabulous character, she would have done your novel proud. Don't give up. Us Star Trekkies need our fix.

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  19. I had an A drive, a B drive as well, and one of those dial-up modems where you stick in the phone handset to connect. Ahh… those were the days. Okay, maybe not. :)

    Never tried my hand at fan fiction. Characters always seem to pop into my head first, which doesn’t work well with FF. I’ve always suspected FF is a spectacular way to learn how to plot.


    VR Barkowski

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    1. Oh, dear old dial-up!!! That tone can still haunt my nightmares! :)
      FF has a lot going for it for newbie writers!

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  20. I'd probably read that you know. Star Wards if my number one, but love Star Trek too especially Voyager. Am so looking forward to the new Star Trek series Star Trek Discoveries, which if I understand right will shot somewhat like the series 24, where each episode will be one day.

    That I think that is very cool for your first writing, I write Star War fan fiction all the time.
    Juneta @ Writer's Gambit

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    1. I love Star Wars as well - equal opportunity SF around here! :)
      Crossing my fingers for the new series!

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  21. That's really cool! I never wrote fan fiction. It sounds like fun, though.

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    1. It really is! And for a newbie writer having a 'world' and characters already created is a big bonus!

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  22. Star Trek fan fix! AWESOME! Major gold stars and tribbles. My first writings were plays. A one-act and full length were both produced while I was in graduate school at UCLA. They were written on a typewriter with carbon paper. Yes, I'm that old.

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    1. I knew you'd like that! Not at all surprised you wrote plays with your background! Love that yours were produced - major Cool Points!

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  23. Being a Star Trek fan since my youth, your story would have been a good one to watch play out. Maybe you should give a go at writing a movie script.

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    1. Mason - so many Trekkies out there! Maybe one day - you never know! :)

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  24. Finishing a first draft is huge. We just don't realise it. There are thousands of writers who don't get past their first draft.

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    1. It is! I didn't think about it at the time, but looking back, it was a big step :)

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  25. Jemi- I remember floppy disks!

    So interesting to learn about your first completed draft. That is definitely something to be proud of because it let you know you could do it. :)
    ~Jess

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    1. Yay! Another member of the A drive memory team! :)

      It really did - and what a confidence boost it was!

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  26. It's amazing what we can learn from our first effort! Mine weren't even finished. :)

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    1. I didn't realize at the time it was a big deal. Later, when I took it up again, it sure buoyed my confidence! :)

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  27. Fanfiction is an awesome way to begin writing. I wrote some Harry Potter fanfiction before I decided to take a character I created for it and place her in her own world. :)

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    1. That's an awesome plan! I could definitely play with Jaya and her world in another story :)

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  28. Hey Jemi! Your early efforts sound like a lot of fun. We don't hear much about fan fiction in the blogosphere, at least not in the blogs I visit. I've written Macbeth fan fiction which was so much fun. I'd like to have time to do lots more!

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    1. Macbeth fan fiction sounds awesome! The tragedies were my favourite plays - I'd probably lean more toward Lear though :)

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  29. In answer to the question, my first draft of anything is probably collecting dust. Reading this makes me think I should find it and get to know it again, maybe finish it...

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    1. I think most of those 1st drafts are collecting dust - but the things we learn from writing them are invaluable!

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  30. My first ever draft was published in a local newspaper :) I didn't even knew at seventeen I should edit and make it perfect!

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    1. That's awesome, Nas! At 17 very few of us knew that! :)

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  31. Melodramatic and cheesy...sounds like my early writing. I've never tried fan fiction.

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  32. I get writing support in person from our Christian Writers Group in town. This online group sounds helpful too.

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    1. That's awesome! Having people in the real world would be fun!

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  33. Ooh, if I'd known you back then we could have swapped novels! I didn't write about TNG, and I thought about writing about Mulder and Scully, but I ended up writing about two real-life musicians I was convinced needed to be together...

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