Thursday, December 2, 2010

Ten Is Enough: Excerpt

So, when I was 11 years old, I wrote a novel called Ten Is Enough. I thought you guys might get a kick out of reading the first paragraph in all of it's glory. With all of the typos. And my writer's commentary in parentheses.

Hi! My name is Lauren Compwell and I'm going to tell you about the ten people in my house. (Good idea, Lauren! Way to cut to the chase...) First, I think I should tell you about me. (Okay!) I have brown hair, blue eyes, and olive skin. I'm 11 years old and I am in sixth grade at Milford Middle School. (Such poetic details!) I live in a 2 story house with Wendy, my older sister, Bryann, Danny, and Scott, my triplet younger brothers, Raymen (Do you mean Raymond?), my older brother, my Mom Cindy, my Dad Bob, my grandpa and grandma and soon either Timithy or Christina. (Thank you for the run down.) It's very annoying to have 10 people living in your'e house and soon 11. Everyone says 10 is enough, but my mom thinks having another baby will be okay. But I sure don't, as I said '10 is enough! (In case you didn't catch the title.) Wendy is 16 years old and she is learning how to drive. Mom doesn't like it. I do, now my sister can take me to the mall. (Way to have priorities Lauren!) Wendy has blonde hair, blue eyes and tan skin. Wendy is very smart. She is in all honors. (I didn't know you could be inside of an honor but okay.) She wants to be a docter and go to Cornell. (A docter huh?) She will get in too, she's that smart. She hates the the fact that mom is having another baby. "Ten is enough", she complains. (In case you didn't catch the title).

And that's the first paragraph. Are you hooked?

FACT: Yes. I am an only child. Yes. The School psychologist would have had a field day with this one.

FACT: I used to watch the television sitcom Eight Is Enough incessantly. I don't think this had anything to do with my decision to go with this title. None. None at all.

FACT: 7 years later I did go to Cornell University. Discovering that I had written about it at 11 years old made me really happy especially since I didn't have dreams of going there until I randomly decided to apply my senior year of high school.

FACT: Every single main character I ever wrote about for the first 15 years of my life had olive skin and blue eyes.


  1. Brilliant1 Yes, I am hooked.

    I lived 'other lives' as a child, though not an only child and not all of them recorded. Interestingly, perhaps, someone once asked me if I was an only child.

    To return - I love that first paragraph ... how did it go on??

  2. Oh, I did enjoy that, Melissa and yes, I was hooked. It's great that you have some of your early writing; I didn't keep anything.

  3. Love that! I found an old school notebook a few years ago and as I was reading my stories, I kept thinking, "I think this was based on [insert random TV show]."

    I used to watch that show "Just the Ten of Us," that spin-off of Growing Pains.

  4. Totally hooked! I was an only child for 8.5 years and then my Mum had 4 other children...I totally get worrying about another person in an already full house.

    I love that you kept your old manuscripts. I wish I had my old diaries. I'm sure they are full of material. (HMMM...I wonder where they are???)

  5. Turning the page here. We have six boys and one girl, so this story, well you know, I get it. :)

    I would definitely read on. Aren't you glad you kept it? REWRITES TIME!

  6. I AM hooked. Look at you. At eleven you knew to go for a big idea. It's kind of like that movie with the dozen kids.

    Super fun that you kept this and you never know; it may live again.

  7. Oh my goodness, I remember writing books so similar in nature and content as a kid! The first full-length novel I finished was called "Viola," and I wrote it in fifth grade. It centered on -- get this! -- a huge family of kids with Viola being in the oldest, and I had an obsession with twin/triplet siblings, too! My sister was my biggest fan back then, and we still laugh about my crazy story. I didn't fully understand things like quote marks back then, so... you can imagine the fun and excitement that was!

    Thanks for reminding me of simpler times!

  8. Viola *being the oldest... sorry, I hate typos!

  9. My husband is the youngest of 10 kids and I think he would agree with you - ten is enough :)

    Very cute!