What was the very first story about that you scribbled down on a sheet of paper late one night? Was it something you just crumpled up and tossed a few days/months/years later, or did you ever do anything with it?


My first story was written when I was a kid -- perhaps ten years old. My dad subscribed to Writer's Digest, and reading that magazine made it all seem possible to me. I wrote a story based on a true story my mom told me some time before, about a really smart kid who got beaten up by some kids from school and was brain damaged, so that from then on he was retarded. It tapped into my worst fears -- as a nonphysical kid, I really felt at the mercy of those willing to strike out physically. Anyway, I wrote it and even submitted it a couple of places, but of course it was very juvenile. Still, I was finally able to cover some of the same ground with the Stilson incident in Ender's Game. The story still exists, somewhere deep in the BYU archives ...