I can't remember a time when I didn't
want to tell stories, not to be pretentious about it. When I was a really
young girl, I used to construct these elaborate fantasies about princesses needing rescued or mermaids (which I had a thing for thanks to Disney) being awesome or whatnot. I just never really did anything with it until I was maybe five or six, when my family got our first computer, and I discovered the wonder that is MS Paint's text tool. So the first story that I can remember was actually written on MS Paint, using something like this font
. It was about a family who wound up stranded on a deserted island but made friends with whales, and ... actually, I don't remember what else.
I repeat. Six years old. I had an excuse.
But these were just things I did because I was bored. I didn't realize I could entertain someone else
with stories until I was in third grade. We used to do this writing exercise where we'd take our weekly vocabulary words and work them into sentences. Most of my classmates just did simple sentences, but for about a month, I wrote these long stories (three pages!) about this female detective named Alex who was a real, grown-up private eye who went around this town looking for missing kids while trying to stop a conspiracy involving cereal. My friends and teacher loved
those stories, so I just kept writing more until I got bored with that. There was a period in which I didn't write much at all after that, right up until fifth grade, when I put together a story about a snail named Jimmy. I ... I'd explain, but there's a long story behind that
Actually, fifth grade brought on a lot of writing milestones. To be honest, my first fanfic was actually a school assignment. There was this series of books wherein modern kids would be sent back in time to different periods (like the American Revolution), and they'd interact with people there before finding their way back. And my fifth grade teacher asked us to write stories set in that universe about different time periods. Having just seen a film adaptation of Les Miserables
for the first time right about then (because my mother had interesting ideas for what did and didn't constitute a movie appropriate for children), I wrote up this ten-page story in which the kids were caught up in the beginnings of the French Revolution, right up to the point where they got to see a beheading. Luckily, my teacher, for whatever reason, was more fascinated by the fact that I knew what the French Revolution was
than about the fact that I implied that someone died gruesomely in my story. This was also the year where we were asked to write poems that she might send to an anthology, and mine was chosen to be published. Except then I found out that the anthology in question is rather dodgy in terms of whether or not it's legit, so ... I don't talk about that as frequently as I used to.
And, of course, this is also the year that I discovered fanfiction in general thanks to the wonder that was Anipike's Sailor Moon and Pokémon categories. I thought it was pretty awesome that people could write stories about characters they loved, so I started writing my own. And thus, my very first fanfic on the internet was a crappy generic trainer fic rife with Mary Sues based on my friends and me. As in, basically, it was about Ash going back through Kanto to collect more badges and challenge the Elite Four (because this was before we knew anything about Gen II), but early in his journey, he crosses paths with a girl named Chasidy and her friends Becca, Katrina, and **** I forgot his name. While Becca and Katrina were Sueish themselves, Chasidy took the cake (because, of course, she was based on me). In a nutshell, Chasidy was the daughter of a Flying-type gym leader, and her mother died tragically from an illness in a scene that was literally the sappiest thing ever. Just before she died, Chasidy's mother gave her a Poké Ball containing a penguin-like fakemon and, idk, gave her really angsty advice. Years later, Chasidy stumbles across Ash's path and instantly falls in love-hate with him, and the two romp off and go on adventures while their friends just sort of hang out in the background.
Oh, and Chasidy and her friends, in the last chapters, turn out to be latent Sailor Scouts who awaken when Sailor Moon and her crew are captured. Ash is a scout too, complete with gender-swapping transformation.
Because why the **** not.
I posted these and a few other fics to Angelfire and have thankfully lost them since (except this, which I'm sharing because oh my god guys this is amazing
), but basically, that helped me get into fanfiction. I'd also deposit some pretty god-awful fics on Geocities and a Yahoo! Mail mailing list that I used to run until 2003 before, finally, I found Fanfiction.net in 2001. (I'm also kinda glossing over the other details, like how I used to roleplay with a bunch of girls on this close-knit forum before finding a small-time Pokémon fan board and being a complete *****y reviewer there and whatnot. All you need to know about those days is I didn't actually do much writing
, although I still avidly read and talked about fic.) Basically, through the comments I got there (as well as the essays I read, the stories I sampled, and the reviews to other people's fics I eavesdropped on), I started trying out foreign concepts like "proofreading" and "not creating terrible characters." Not to mention I figured out that it was a lot of fun to write and get noticed for it. Because I'm an attention princess. It probably didn't help that I was fourteen, and offline, my Honors English teacher heaped more writing assignments on us and went on about how I should be professional.
Right about here is where I started writing massive fics with actual points (as opposed to tiny fics with actual points or fics with no point at all, like the aforementioned trainer's fic). The first of these was Warp Series, which was basically a Quantum Leap-inspired fic in which Bill gets into an accident and then suddenly gains the power to transfer his soul into the bodies of other Pokémon in order to help their trainers. And like the main character of Quantum Leap, Bill didn't have any control over when or where he shifted (i.e., sent off his soul), but on the positive side, there was no time travel involved, amirite? Ultimately, though, this fic was probably killed by the fact that I had
to inject some kind of ancient prophecy and magical shenanigans into it, and the whole shebang, which was silly and campy (even if I didn't intend on it) turned very dark, dry, and boring very quickly. Never finished it, unfortunately, but I've always been tempted to go back and add a chapter about rocks falling and everyone dying. Especially at its tenth anniversary.
After that, there was How Bizarre, a fic I did
complete but would rather not talk about because it was basically Cat Soup with a point and a shitton more angst.
At the end of high school, though, I started in on my second serious attempt at a fic called Midsummer Knights: DREAM (later A Midsummer Knight's Dream). It was based on an RPG I'd created, which in turn was based loosely on the manga Dream Gold. In short, it was a cyberpunk dystopia Pokémon fanfiction in which a young woman named Vee (short for Viola) accidentally joins the ranks of the Midsummer Knights, people who participate in a city-wide event known as the Midsummer Game. Her job was basically to follow directions from a PDA blindly with the hopes that she: A) gets one step closer to the Midsummer Treasure, an artifact that would supposedly grant her every wish and B) not die. All while Romeo and Juliet
was literally happening in the background, and someone else was planning on using the people around Vee to spark a revolution in all of the romantic shenanigans. While I still love this concept (to the point where I've been planning on finishing it for years), it was also
dry and slow, and it wasn't much of a Pokémon fanfiction because most people tended to use weapons instead of Pokémon. And when they did
use Pokémon, the Pokémon were basically just props, except for Vee's Haunter (who was awesome).
Eventually, I put MKD on the back burner for the time being while I tried my hand at other fics in my early years at college. One involved Bill washing up on the shore of a fan region with no memory and a split personality, and while that story didn't really go anywhere (literally—it had only one chapter), it did
make me realize I wanted to write a Bill fic again. Problem was, I couldn't figure out what I wanted to write about.
Then, in January of 2009, I came back to campus for a half-term, just in time for a film series about science in B-movies. The idea of hit me like a lightning bolt on the second night (which featured Alien
, naturally), so I started drawing up plans. Originally, I was embarrassed by how much I was talking about Bill (even though I wanted to write a Bill fic again), so I created a plot concept featuring a vaguely defined scientist, just in case I wanted to create an OC. Also in the original plans, the ixodida came from another dimension and were referred to as daemons
. They were also all
bloodthirsty, meaning Adam's personality didn't even exist. (True story? Fun fact! Adam did not exist at all
until about three chapters into the original version of the story.) But there were discussions of racism themes and sci-fi tropes and all kinds of other good stuff in the following months, and let's just say I was really jazzed about this idea. Extremely jazzed. More jazzed than any other idea I've had. So I set a release date of October 1, fleshed out the concepts, wrote up a few initial chapters, refined everything, and punted the original version onto Pokécommunity and Fanfiction.net that year.
Months later, I got my first scathing review of the story and decided to go back and do the first reboot, which wound up being the first version I put up here. And then months after that
, I rebooted the story again
, and here we are.
Of course, there were other side stories beyond that. Like how I continued to write original fiction on the side with varying results. I'd taken a class in creative writing in my senior year and came up with a bunch of short story ideas I swore
I would finish but never did. (There was a steampunk novel set in a fantasy European city, for example, that featured an exorcist and a snarky talking crow who would hunt down demons controlled by the queen, who was a vampire. Again, stuff I don't talk about.) Then, my senior project for high school was to write a novel, and I started in on one that was basically Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in Hell, except I failed at finishing it or really getting anywhere with it, and actually, that was just all really pretentious. I'd also won NaNoWriMo 2010 with a novel about a girl who finds out she has the power to make her writing come alive and subsequently gets recruited by an MIB-like organization ... which I also don't talk about because it was really terrible. Then this past NaNo, I'd won again with a CYOA story based on creepypasta, which I do
fully intend on finishing.