It can be anything from cringe-worthy to the building blocks of a new novel if the characters strike a chord, but it's always interesting to dig up something I wrote years ago. Mainly things from high school (as I didn't keep too much that predated those years), there's the occasional piece of scribble from when I still used crayons. (Hawaiian Dave!!! Which could make a cute PB if I clean it up and get rid of the sick man illustrations...)
I found what, at the age of something-teen, I thought was a novel - though it's barely 180 pages in what looks like 14 pt. Curlz font. It turns out I was ahead of my time - the currently over-used "portal" theme was the focus (and title) of this one. The writing's painful, but some of the characters are actually decent and I think they'll find their way into one or two of my WIP -- like the son of a football wannabe named Packer.
There are no fewer than three unfinished screenplays abandoned in my early attempts at screenwriting because I had no idea what I was doing - or how to craft a story (though I think they're pretty good for a kid of something-teen.) With some polish, and major editing as one is over 100 pages long at the halfway point, they might actually turn into something worthwhile.
I've got a box full of old term papers that I kept for who knows what reason. (Okay, so I kept them in case I had to do a paper on the same book in college, so what?) There's a card file of novel analysis that they will have to pry out of my cold, dead hands before I give it up -- like my AP history notes. I sweat blood over those horrible little cards, and I'm not letting all that work go out with the garbage, even though I hated most of the books I had to analyze.
And then there's the poetry...
There are almost ZERO professional poets out there. Not too many people that I know of like to read poetry (they'd rather hear it set to music on the radio with a great baseline). So why does just about every kid to ever take a class in public school seem to have poetry squirreled away somewhere just waiting to get tripped over like a forgotten landmine?
(I really think this is how those Poetry "contests" where the "prize" is a book you get the honor paying WAY too much for manage to continually find new submissions. There are millions of people out there who think rhyming two words at the end of two sentences equate "poetry")
I think I'll close this with a haiku I wrote in 10th grade that I still kind of like. (Don't worry, you don't have to like it, too.)
An ear-splitting screech.
Dark wings beat a moonless sky.
NightHawk finds his prey.