Today, after three and a half months of living in our new apartment, I’m trying to clean up a little in the spare bedroom where my wife and I throw all our stuff we don’t know what to do with. My project for the day was to sort through a bunch of stuff from my schoolboy days my mom gave back to me a couple years ago. It’s been a fun project; lots of memories and realizations (I think I may have been a little obsessed with death as a kid!).
Anyway, when I was three years old I decided I wanted to be an author, and I started writing books, i.e. scribbling things on pages. Throughout my childhood and adolescence I’ve written a few little stories that I’ve been rediscovering today, and I had brilliant—I hope—idea. I’m sitting on treasure trove of untold genius (it’s really not), and it would be incredibly selfish of me to keep it all to myself (really not being generous here), so lucky you guys (I’m truly sorry I’m about to do this to you) I’m going to be sharing my masterpieces (read: barely coherent sentences) with you. A new one every week! Isn’t that awesome?! (Run now! Run for your lives!) So without further ado I bring you the very first ever edition of Young Chris’ Tales!
Today I’m going to share with you a delightful story entitled I Am Scared of Dragons. I have it here with a note attached that reads, “Daer Mom remember to read I Am Scaered Of Dragons love Chris.” First pictures, then I’ll give you the text. Then, I’m going to review the story, and it’s going to be brutal. (Poor kid. Good thing he’ll never know the awful things I say about him.)
I AM SCARED OF DRAGONS
by Chris Taylor
I am scared of dragons because they can breathe fire. They can kill you.
One day I saw a dragon. It blew fire at me so I ran away. THE END.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
My Name is Chris My aderese is 3000 E. 5000 S. My Phone Number is 789-8553
Note: neither that address or phone number are in use by any member of my family anymore.
First off, I’ll be a little nice. Let’s look at what’s good about this story. It’s concise. It’s clear. It has short sentences that get right to the point. It’s easy to understand, and it’s a very rational problem—given that you actually live in a place with dragons.
Next up, how does this story fail? Well, it’s hard to identify with the protagonist with his irrational fear. I don’t know anyone who is actually afraid of dragon attacks. We are not given any sort of description about the world, narrator or monster. We deal with a dragon attack in only two short sentences. How are readers supposed to feel anything? I was always told, “Show. Don’t tell.” Well this story fails that test on every imaginable level, except for the illustrations I guess. The illustrations themselves are terrible. It’s a fine concept, but the execution is something you’d expect of a first grader. I give this story an F+. Okay a D-. It is at least useful as a lesson in the proper way to behave around fire-breathing dragons.
What do you guys think? How would you rate this story? Is it at all fit for consumption? Do you have any of your own terrible childhood tales to share?