Let’s be clear about one thing here: My Martian Empire Trilogy is not good. It isn’t. I weep whenever I think about it because so much of the writing is just so painfully horrid and I had so many high-minded [but dumb] ideals I wanted to inject into it but ultimately failed at this because I had no idea what I was doing. Yet I keep coming back to it, thinking that maybe it’s not really as a bad as I remember it being. It’s nostalgia, you know?
Rewind to the heady days of high school. I had it in my head to try my hand at writing. A few short stories came first, just little experimental stories that were more about expanding my ability as a writer than actually telling a story. They’re not that great either, but I made most of them over the course of a few days, maybe a week, so it’s not like I had some huge time investment. But I wanted to go beyond those little stories, I wanted to write something big, something that would take time to craft and at least a few hours to read.
From this sprouted The Ruins of the Earth, a quaint little post-apocalyptic adventure about a girl who digs through old ruins looking for things to sell. She meets a boy. They have an adventure. They find treasure. The story ends. That might have been the true end of it, but I started talking with a friend about my story and about writing stories in general. Things got in-depth, I started getting ideas. The current story was pure Pollyanna tripe. Safe and secure, good kids having fun in the future and going on all the cool adventures that you never got to as a kid. Nothing bad happened.
Then I realized it was fun to torture my characters a little bit.