Monday, February 13, 2012

Origins Bogfest

Today is the day for the Origin's blogfest:

 On Monday, February 13th, you should post your own origin story. Tell us all where your writing dreams began. It could be anything from how you started making up stories as a child, or writing for the school newspaper, or even what prompted you to start a blog. How about stories about the first time somebody took an interest in your writing, or the teacher/mentor that helped nudge you along and mold your passion, or maybe the singular moment when you first started calling yourself a writer. It all started somewhere and we want you to tell us your own, unique, beginnings.

So let's see. I mean, I guess I could talk about how Twin and I started writing a story in... middle school I think, that would be reversible with her story on one side and mine on the other. But, meh.

What really started me on my journey to becoming a writer was fanfiction.
Specifically Ronin Warrior fanfiction.

stare at the awesomeness!!

Ronin Warriors was an anime on TV in the mid 90's. The premise was Talpa, the demon lord of the Netherworld, is bent on conquering the mortal world. Standing against Talpa and his four Dark Warlords are the five Ronin Warriors, each in possession of mystical armor and weapons.

It's pretty straight forward. And totally awesome.

Myself and a group of friends began to write fanfiction for it, complete with our own Mary Sue characters. Because, for me, fanfiction was always a lot more fun if you got to create your own characters.

The stories were epic!

Seriously. We're talking about close to 4 years of a group of us writing and sharing fanfiction with all of the created characters. The cast list was huge, and required lists of names and attributes just to keep things straight.

Twin and I recently (within the last few years) went back and re-read all the fanfiction we still had saved. There were some gaps, but it's a pretty comprehensive collection of everything that was written in high school.

It was both terrible and awesome.

And, because I'm here to entertain, here's an example of the awesome/terribleness of my fanfiction (now over a decade old)

(omg guys, in just reading through some of it to find something to post I am filled with a terrible burning shame and embarrassment. Seriously. It's only because I love you so much that I am going to share any of this at all. The below chunk is recreated identically to how it was originally written. The only thing I've changed is formatting, due to blogger issues.)

Mild setup - the characters (so many characters) have been captured by the bad guy (named Pat) and they think one of their number has been killed when she fell off a cliff. Also, one of the characters is from the future. Because when you have like 30 characters, it gets harder to fit in back stories so we had to resort to future back stories. Natch

"He can't do that!" Rick yelled suddenly, getting frustrated.

"I don't see you stopping him," Liz said. Rick sighed. All of a sudden the door opened, letting in bright light that blinded them all.

"Well, I know you won't believe this," Pat said stepping into the room. "But I've already got your individual rooms set up!"

"Yay."  Ian said with bitter sarcasm. Pat snapped his head in his direction.

"I'm getting tired of you, Mr. Future." He started to walk towards him. "Just because your parents are Ronins, doesn't mean you can talk down to me." He slammed him against the wall and Ian grunted in pain. "And besides, I believe the one I dropped off a cliff was your mother, so iIdon't think you should be talking."

"Your right." Ian forcefully said through his pain.

"What?!" Pat glared at him.

"I shouldn't be talking. To tell you the truth, if my mother was dead I wouldn't be here at all. I would cease to exist, so therefore she's not dead and that means she's somewhere out there just waiting for the right time to kick your ass." Pat just stood there, and for a second Ian thought he wasn't going to do anything, but then he slammed him against the wall again, and cracked his skull.

"I believe you will be the first one to be situated in your new accommodations." He said, breaking the chains and dragging him on the floor behind him. He pulled Ian out of the room, and before he shut the door he turned back to them. "I'll be back for the rest of you later, so don't feel left out." He slammed the door, and once again they were enveloped in the dank darkness.

Secretly Liz hoped that he would be back soon.

And she oped he would be back for her.

OMG! The incorrect punctuation! The missing paragraph breaks! The head-hopping! The melodrama!

How embarrassing.

But still. I look at this bit of a scene and I can see hints of the writer I am now. It's definitely worth saving your old work, even if it's horrible horrible horrible. At the very least, it's a great feeling, to look back and see how far I've come.

So there you have it! A painful look at my origins.

How about you? How did you start out?


Kyra Lennon said...

Lol, the fanfic wasn't THAT bad, I have seen way worse! :D

I wrote fanfiction too, but it wasn't really how I got started, it was more a way to test the waters to see if people liked what I wrote! Harry Potter was my fandom of choice, and luckily, people loved what I did! :D

Talli Roland said...

I don't think it's bad at all - it's a great start! I know a few writers who got started writing fan fiction.

Anne Gallagher said...

Funny, I just reread some of my old stuff. I hang my head in shame. But the nice thing is to see how far I've come. And yours wasn't that bad. With a little cleaning up it could be awesome.

Matthew MacNish said...

Oh man. That was so awesome! I love that your evil overlord was simply Pat.

I wish I had some of my writing from way back when, but alas, no.

Teebore said...

Eh, there's more melodrama than that in a lot of the teen books these days, thanks to Twilight.

The first time I thought of writing as something I could do outside of, like, homework and junk, was when my fourth grade teacher entered a poem I had written for class in a writing contest and I ended up with an honorable mention and went to this big writing conference at Carroll College and met authors and stuff.

But the real origin of the writer I am today comes from the fact that my first gargantuan novel (Fate Lost), that has since been split into three, started out as a final project for my 8th grade English class.

The assignment was to write a 6-8 page short story and I handed in twenty five pages that went on to form the basis of the first part of Fate Lost.

I still have that story, complete with my teacher's comments. It's pretty awful, with awkward paragraph breaks and POV shifts born of ignorance, and it's even more of an obvious X-Men ripoff than the finished product (everyone had codenames, for chrissakes!), but the skeleton of the story is still the same, and I have yet to change the opening line (though it's been tweaked).

Teebore said...

PS I also love that your villain was Pat. :)

K. Turley (Clutzattack) said...

I haven't really given much thought to it before, but I have some roots in fanfiction as well.

My cartoon was The Zeta Project, and I was in a role-playing email fanfic for the anime, Sailor Moon.

Some good memories, and weird stories from that...

Tara Tyler said...

love looking back at our old stuff! we had no idea, it was all about the story!
great beginning!

M.J. Fifield said...

I don't think there are any copies left of my very first stories which is good because they'd be completely embarrassing. I don't even want to show people the first drafts of my current work because they're truly terrible. But I've always said if I went back to teaching, I'd show them to my students to illustrate the importance of revision.

And that was a nice tangent that went nowhere. Love the post, love the excerpt...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey, but all that melodrama got you to writing!

Sarah Pearson said...

I love that so many people starting writing through fanfiction. I have a daughter on this path :-)

Sarah said...

I love that the villain was named "Pat". We all have to start somewhere, right? Thanks for being brave and sharing this!

Catherine Stine said...

Your best line was "My mother's not dead... she's waiting around somewhere out there to kick your a*ss!"
Uh, Yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!
I wish I could participate in this fest, but I've got two on my site right now. I am looking forward to the (mostly inappropriate) teen crush one coming soon.

Siv Maria said...

What fun and what a great way to get the writing bug :)

Jessica Bell said...

haha, you've got guts, sistah.

TL Conway said...

"Because when you have like 30 characters, it gets harder to fit in back stories so we had to resort to future back stories. Natch"

^^ This is the funniest thing I've read so far today. :)

I'm loving this Origins blogfest! It's so reassuring to know no one popped out of the womb with a six-figure contract in hand!

Emily R. King said...

Reading my first writing makes me cringe. Yours was cute! Thanks for sharing it and your story.

Ninja Girl said...

Hey there,
Just wanted to let you know, I tagged you on my blog :D
Hope you're doing well,
Ninja Girl

nutschell said...

Hi sarah
I'm dropping by from the origins blogfest. I love that you shared with us your fanfic.


L.G.Smith said...


All that fan fiction was a great training ground for writing. And you were passionate about it, that's huge!

Can't believe you still have those stories!! Very cool.

Christine Rains said...

*LOL* Oh fanfiction. How awesome and horrible! I wrote Harry Potter fanfiction back in the day. I think it's still out there on the internet somewhere. Great origins story!

J.L. Campbell said...

Television characters do seem to spark people's creativity.

Nancy Thompson said...

I'm right there with you. When I go back and look at me first draft, it's absolutely humiliating. But I, too, have learned a lot and have come far in my writing. That is a very good feeling. And lately, I keep having this idea that I want to write with a partner. I think that would be very cool.

I'm your newest follower via the Origins bloghop!

vic caswell (aspiring-x) said...

heeheehee! love the magnitude of your adventures in early writing! :)

Hart Johnson said...

*Big high five to fellow fan fiction recruitee*

I loved that because there was an instant readership who already loved the setting and some of the characters so there was built in encouragement to develop the craft.

LTM said...

That's really cool. I've never done fan fiction, but my daughters and I are huge fans of Avatar. Maybe they could do some fan fiction and evolve into novelists. Hmmm... might encourage that~ :o) <3

Jackie Jordan said...

Thank you for sharing this inspiring story ... Awesome!

Jeremy Bates said...

cool story. love reading fanfiction stories too

Scarlett said...

First, Sarah. Every single time I see your profile pic in the comments I must pause to stare at THAT EYE! It is Awesome.

So, that said. So cool, you just shared your beginnings right here in front of everybody! I don't know that I have it in me. And Yours, by the by, fun and funny! I mean, an evil warlord named, Pat? LOL

And THIS ~ "I shouldn't be talking. To tell you the truth, if my mother was dead I wouldn't be here at all. I would cease to exist, so therefore she's not dead and that means she's somewhere out there just waiting for the right time to kick your ass."

Omigod! Priceless.

I bookmarked your post last night as my eyes were drifting off to sleep without me. Almost missed it when I started back up today. Got lots more to read yet. SO glad I remembered to come back!

PS: LOVE the kitties. I'm a sucker.

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