5 Things You Learn from Writing “Bad” Books

You have no idea how much I have been needing this post. Thank you for writing this. Thank you a thousand.

A Writer's Path

Bad

by Kelsie Engen

Every author has a “bad” book to their name.

Come on, admit it. It’s that book you wrote back in your early writing days, the one where you thought it was magical. Then, for one reason or another, you set it aside, and when you dusted it off a year later, you cannot read a word of it without wincing.

Yeah. It’s that one.

I’ve got one (or several) too, books that I’d like to forget I ever wrote.

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Hey, sorry, I’m back.

No excuses for me, I was just lazy. Preoccupied. Doing. Uh. Things. Yes.

But now Steam’s free weekend is over and I can get back to actually being a productive human being.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12004094/1/Exposure

In the meantime, I wrote a fanfiction of a favorite videogame series, S.T.A.L.K.E.R., based off the Tarkvosky movie Stalker, which in turn was based off the soviet sci-fi classic A Roadside Picnic, all three of them about a Zone of Alienation.

 

A Roadside Picnic had mysterious and apathetic alien visitors, Stalker was about a mysterious “wish-granter” at the heart of the Zone, and the videogames featured conspiracy theory level soviet mind control experiments set in the deserted Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, a plot that while not terribly engrossing, was set in the most immersively bleak and desolate backdrop of Chernobyl, from the creaking rusted hulks of the Rassorva vehicle graveyard to the hauntingly beautiful radioactive Red Forest, and the eerie emptiness of Pripyat, amid a world where the laws of science no longer apply and the Zone itself is a living entity bent on destroying not just you, but your soul as well. The ‘stalker’ name here doesn’t refer to someone who aggressively tails an imagined romantic interest, but to the peculiar brand of crazy lunatics who delve into the Zone and its dark crevices in search of mysterious ‘artifacts’ which have supernatural properties and present a new frontier in technological advancement for mankind— and which are buried deep in anomaly fields, areas of distorted reality where anything from fire spouts to blackholes could appear, and utterly annihilate someone clumsy enough to stumble into them. All three were grim, desolate, and uniquely Eastern European in character.

Or, more humorously: Drink vodka. Trust no one. Eat lots of bread.

The story I wrote takes the premise of BBC Documentary producing a live-footage documentary of the Zone, and so sends a presenter and a film crew with a satchel full of batteries, cash and flash drives to film the Zone, and pays for a team of stalkers

Anyways, I thought the story itself was good on its own merits, so I published it on Fanfiction.com. You can find the link both here and at the top of that wall of text.

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https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12004094/1/Exposure