No, I'm not writing about everyone's favorite crazy wrestler from the 80s and 90s. Though, to be fair, I kind of wish I was.
I'm writing about the first novel I ever wrote, titled The Ultimate Warrior. My brain during 8th and 9th grade was a strange place. Suicidal ideation competed with superhero comic books to own most of the property there. At some point during those years I cut the mullet I'd had for... a long time and was letting my hair grow everywhere. All of my t-shirts were black; my favorite had Ghost Rider's flaming skull on it. It looked something like this. I also had trouble focusing on anything other than reading and writing. I was something of an anomaly. I couldn't finish in-class assignments, often spent my time staring out windows, and tended to let my thoughts roam wild and free when they were supposed to be focused on math, history, or science. ADD am I right? The strange thing was that when a comic book or novel I liked was resting on the table before me, open for my eyes, I sat still and focused--even on the big ones. Also, when an idea for a story hit me, I wrote... a lot. Everything else fell to the side.
Thus, my sci-fi epic The Ultimate Warrior was born. This novel is crazy. Set on a different planet, it's about a kid named Mike who nearly dies when a villain named Wood Chuck slices him to pieces. He's only saved because there is a robot junker nearby who happens upon his nearly dead form and repairs him, making him into a cyborg of sorts. This boy grows up with desert monks who teach him all sorts of survival techniques and think of him as some kind of savior from Wood Chuck. All the boy wants is revenge though. Eventually the boy becomes a man and sets forth on his mission of vengeance, all the while, the robot junker tries to be a voice of reason in Mike's tormented brain...
As I type right now I'm beginning to think I should revisit this....
It ended up being a tome. This thing is literally hundreds of handwritten pages, involves spaceships, monsters, our hero splitting into two characters at some point, and an eventual showdown that surprisingly doesn't end how, upon re-reading it a little bit ago, I thought it would. Yes. I forgot how I ended the story. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Anyway, I mostly worked on it during my end of the day study hall. Just about every day I dived into that world and scribbled crazy idea after crazy idea in chicken scratch that kind of formed a story. I can remember how I felt writing it all out. More than anything, I felt as though I was there. I was no longer at school where I was bullied. I was no longer suffering on the inside. I was with my characters, figuring out what to do next. In a way, writing this novel helped me survive a rough period in my life.
On Saturday August 11 I'll recount how I first stumbled into epic fantasy writing. It's a trip, folks.
See what I did there?