|Read Author's Analysis
|See Large Scan of Cover
All in all, the novel was pretty much terrible. I wrote it in one lump without doing any editing along the way—in fact I wouldn't even let myself read previous chapters until I got to the end, for some reason—and there was nothing remotely salvageable about the book.
The Plot: Thirteen-year-old fraternal twins Cristabel and Ben Saunders are put into a strange new school without being told why. Oddly, all the other students at the school are also sets of twins of all different ages. Working together to solve the mystery of why they have been collected here, they discover what they all have in common: Their parents conceived them with the assistance of an experimental fertility drug. Besides causing twins, the drug's other major side effect was causing each child to be born with a metallic substance in their tissues which settled in high concentrations in their skulls and extremities. After one of the experimental parents had a stillborn twin, the company that made the drug did an autopsy and found the substance, and concluded that it was toxic. They collected all the other twins under the guise of a boarding school to keep them for observation, but Cristabel and Ben don't want to be their subjects. They make some surprising discoveries about the powers of the metallic substance—for instance, it can be activated to attract or repel light objects, and they can use it to communicate through private radio signals—and when they find that their parents won't cooperate in taking them out of what they consider a dangerous and unhealthy school environment, they decide to use their new advantages to escape by themselves.
Basically, this wasn't particularly good for a fourteen-year-old and the plot and characters were mostly badly conceived. Regardless, it was important because it was the first time I sat down to write a book and I actually finished it, and even though the plot was so silly it seemed demented at times, I learned a lot about the process and was able to write a more believable and more readable book on my next attempt. The book was handwritten in my teenage careful cursive and reached 202 pages. I don't have an approximate word count since it isn't typed.
|Here you can read some very short clips featuring good and bad examples.
|This is my discussion of what I thought I did well and what I thought I did badly. It involves a fair amount of self-mocking.
|This is the only drawing I did of these characters, and it was drawn at the same time the book was written—1992. Click for a large scan of the cover art.
If you're curious about my current skills in the long fiction department, check out the novels in my "current projects" section.
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