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The Early Writing Tag: Many Self-Inserts

Prepare yourself for a long post.

The esteemable Kate tagged me and now I must divulge the horrendous secrets of my past…that all young writers have as a common shame: PLAGIARISM!

Or possibly really terrible and confused fanfiction.

And unfinished plots.

Let us begin.

Official Tag Rules:

  • Thank your tagger.
  • Answer these two questions:

What horrendous book did you write as a child?

What did you learn from it?

  • Talk about any number of writing projects.
  • Tag 5 other bloggers. (Haha, NEVER!)

Thank you, Kate.  The experience has been enlightening, and I mean that both sincerely and snarkily.

My Early Writing Projects:

1. The Shrek Rip-off

My first project, near as I can tell, was a direct rip-off of Shrek, drawn like a picture book. It was before I could write, at least before I could write well. I replaced Shrek with some random blond guy because I didn’t care to draw ugly ogres. The donkey still tagged along for the journey, despite lacking suitable neck length to be anything remotely equine. He also lacked any personality.

I was the princess.

That’s right, it was self-insert fanfiction. I gotta be along for the adventure, that’s all there is to it.

Now, at the point when the highly triangular dragon cast Shrek/Blond Guy into the castle tower I was awakened just as Fiona was. I later edited in my reaction as being “I want to slay orcs, drow, and shadow dragons,” to relate my interest in The Lord of the Rings, D&D, and my own storyworld, respectively.

And to show the fact that I never intended to be the princess getting married at the end of the story. Nope.

Blond Guy apparently officially shook me awake and explained things, and then we all left and the dragon was trapped. The adventure continued on according to the original. You know, the travel scenes. Nothing else was remotely the same.

I randomly recited, “Fee, fi, fo, fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman,” apparently intent on eating Blond Guy, for I was now a giantess?  Armed with something sharp and stabby?

However, I pretended to go along with the plot. Thus we came to Lord Farquaad’s castle.  I think the Blond Guy and the donkey tried to crash the wedding?

But I had other plans.

I revealed myself to be a Space Ranger and all the forces of Star Command and Zurg’s evil empire crashed through the cathedral ceiling to battle each other!

The End.

What?  That’s how it ended.

Lesson Learned: Here we see my earliest love of crossovers and sticking myself into stories to see how I would react differently.  And also that I will always turn stories into galactic battlegrounds.  I cannot write small stories.

2. The Dragon Keep

This was a real story about Princess Lanuka and the Knight Glanorin who was cursed to be a silver dragon. Lanuka was enchanted to turn into a unicorn if she stepped into moonlight, and an evil red dragon was chasing them down on the order of the wizard villain. It was supposed to be all quite fairy tale-ish.

It was partly inspired by the beginning of Dealing with Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles), because there Princess Cimorene disdains the boring, fancy prince she is arranged to marry. So she runs away. In Lanuka’s case, she meets the prince who is to be her suitor and he is just as boring and fancy. But then she gets kidnapped, and when she is found again she has to convince people to let her marry Glanorin instead of the prince.

It was also slightly inspired by Shrek, because I latched onto the idea of the dragon guarding the castle with the sleeping princess and played with a crocodile Beanie Baby guarding my toy castle and decided that this story should be called The Dragon Keep.

It would be nice to complete it someday. Though it would be rather different in tone.

And it was the very beginning of Thren, back in 2003!

Lesson Learned: I make great storyworlds. 😛  And princes are usually boring.  At least compared to knights.  Perhaps I should allow myself to be a little more whimsical with magic, as well.

3. That Thing

That thing I wrote with Trixsy (my toy horse) and LotR characters in my living room and Trixsy got in trouble and had to peel a million potatoes but there was some sort of actual plot going on and I have no idea.

Lesson Learned: I like to bring characters out of their normal setting into my own domain, apparently. *Glances at the Great Castle Deathmatch Tournament and how I still do that in recent times (though with my own characters now!)*

And I might be bad at plots.

4. The Harry Potter Fanfic

This wasn’t just a rip-off of Harry Potter. This was a rip-off of my sister’s silly fanfiction where everyone went crazy at Hogwarts, so Harry, Ron, and Hermione had to go on an adventure to set things to rights.  It was extremely goofy.

I did, at least, go a slightly different direction with it. I didn’t make people crazy (not much), I just…made it a massive crossover.  It was set after Voldemort’s defeat, and the trio decided to visit Hogwarts again even though they had graduated (I predicted they would defeat him at the end of their school years! I must have the Sight! [Get your Chosen One prophecies for half-off!]). For there was danger still threatening the world.  Random drow lurking in the streets of Hogsmeade, Ring Wraiths flying about, orcs and other things menacing the populace.

Oh, yes, I was also tagging along with the main characters too.  The self-inserting never ends does it?

When we arrived at Hogwarts, who else would join us during these strangely dangerous times but…Link!

Hogwarts was now a Dungeon.

It seems apt, surely the moving staircases supply a good puzzle for him. And it’s really a dangerous place.  Seriously.  Why do people send their kids there?

Some other things happened and eventually…Halo aliens invaded.

Then I got tired of Hogwarts and invited people to come to my own magic school in Thren called Rosenda and there was something about shadow dragons attacking it. And kingdoms at war.

It drifted into unfinished oblivion thereafter.

Lesson Learned: Here, let me show you all the stories that have shaped my being. (Maybe needed some Star Wars in there too…)

Also…sometimes fanfic gets boring and it’s time to write real stories. Good lesson to learn.

5. Secret of Silria

Finally I set off to write my own original stories.

This was about Princess Silria and her kingdom that ended up getting betrayed by another kingdom. With a magical plague.  Then the royal family went into the plague infested city instead of ruling outside of it. Smart.  The Queen died.

As for my writing, people would enter and leave the scene very suddenly and Silria was annoyed at not getting enough clues about the colossal doom looming over her that she wasn’t aware of.   She did have a decent conversation with a magical fish named Flerno, who was gold and silvery.

It was supposed to turn into kind of an epic story and have elves and drow and was mainly inspired by LotR music. Not sure where the plot came from.

Lesson Learned: My stories may become obsolete and impossible to reconcile with the way Thren is now, but ah, there are hidden gems that can be held onto no matter what.

Flerno is now a Classic of Thren.

The End…of Self-Inserts and Obsolete Geography

Something I thought of after thinking about how much young writers directly copy stories so much, is that it’s rather like an artist copying a painting or a photo for practice.  Which is usually considered acceptable practice, yet writing the same or similar things always feels so off to people once they grow up.  Even though it is also practice when it gets down to it.

I think most of what I have learned from this is how necessary it is to allow ideas to percolate and age. How ideas from stories here and there can be transformed into something slightly of your own, and then with time they change and shift even more and become incredibly different and New.

I can’t go back to the way Thren was at the start, but it was a very good thing I started with my little storyworld as I did, else how could it have grown into something as immense and grand as it is now?  It was interesting looking back on my old writing and my old influences. To see where I came from.

Hopefully I will soon have something to share about my current stories.

Some things have surely developed enough over fourteen years….


The land of old lay in stillness,

Legends untold waited, restless.


Willow down the hill,

Wind blowing with strong will,

Come to bring dark ill,

Come to shatter and kill.

Come for blood to spill.

Willow down the hill,

The Rose is red, not white,

The sky has darkened to night,

Woe and Wrath have their fill.

Come for blood to spill.


The first poem and first two lines of the second poem have long been in my mind.  I never quite finished the “Willow Down the Hill,” I always made variations.  It’s one of my oldest attempts at poetry, so there’s certain timelessness about it to me.  But this composition works for a story now.


Nope.  No tags, everyone else has been tagged already! MWAHAHAHA!

Honestly, I was surprised by how many self-inserty stories I wrote.  I never thought I was much of a fanfic writer.  But apparently my younger self was?  Very young self…

Which of my fandoms do you most approve of? xD

13 thoughts on “The Early Writing Tag: Many Self-Inserts

  1. Oh my word, ALL OF THE FANDOMS IN THIS, ACK!!! I love Harry Potter and LoTR and the Legend of Zelda and STAR WARS!!! EEP! Too bad there weren’t any Star Wars characters in there. XD I think I once tried writing a story about the Marauders when they were at Hogwarts! It was yeaaaaarsss ago, though, and I’m pretty sure I only wrote one line and then quit. XD

    Also, might I just say how very Jethan-ish all of these stories sounded??? Like, I could perfectly envision young Jethan sitting down and writing these! Your imagination is just so vivid. It’s really quite awesome seeing just how your unique ideas have changed and morphed over the years, but there’s still something about your style that has remained through it all! I love it!

    AND FLERNO!!!!!! I remember Flerno!!!!! I LOVE Flerno!!!! He’s probably my favorite part about Thren…. XD

    And lastly (so I don’t spam you) JETHAN. THAT POEM. OH MY WORD. IT IS GORGEOUS. Why did you never tell me that you rocked at poetry????? DUDE!!!!!! I NEED MORE OF THIS!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSS!!! All of the fandoms! But Legend of Zelda is definitely my favorite, and I think Harry Potter is the most nostalgic to me of the other ones. I always want butterbeer, I imagine it has been like hot chocolate, except butterscotch flavored and foamy.
      *Pines for Breath of the Wild* (Which I have actually played a smidge of, but I can’t do it very often, noooo!)

      Oh, nifty! I like the idea of it still all being me though it has morphed. I also think it’s fun that we both had dragon-themed stories for our major writing “debuts.”

      It’s a good thing that Flerno is allowed to show up in any Threnian story that he chooses if it’s on the coast. ^.^ He’s sort of a forever easter egg or something.

      Thank you, I hope I can keep writing a few more atmospheric poems like that! I didn’t say much about my poetry because…it apparently takes me a decade to finish one. That is pretty much literally the case for “Willow Down the Hill.” XD THEY ARE SLOW IN THE COMING!!!


      1. Oh yeah! Zelda truly is awesome… AND SAAAAME! Actually, I’ve had an ice cream butterbeer before!!!! It was like this butterscotch-y drink with ice cream and whipped cream and I THINK caramel…. It was SOOOOOO good…. I want another… XD
        (Oh no!!!! I’m sorry!!! :(( Perhaps someday you’ll be able to get it and play it all you want??)

        I know, right?? And YESSSS! We are so cool. XD It’s like we realized that the only way to pave our writing journey was to go big or go home. XD

        Yes!!! I can’t wait to spot him in all of your stories!!! It’s gonna be so cool!!

        Same! I need more of this!! And ah, this makes sense! Poems are made of a tougher fiber than books in some cases. They require a bit more swirl and whimsy, which takes time and patience. But seriously, Willow Down The Hill is beautiful. Absolutely beautiful… I can’t even. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That sounds really good, except it is cold so I want the warm version. xD

        Gotta have dragons. I’ve noticed they show up in most of my stories. They’re just a fantasy staple for me. Sometimes I wish I could think of other fantastical beasts to include, so I hope I don’t overdo dragons and they lose their novelty somehow…

        It may take a while…
        Flerno: Maybe I can just pop onto the blog at times.

        It seems like poems are really tough until certain moments where I seem to have actual inspiration and things flow out and I don’t know how that happens.
        Thank you! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha, yeah… That might be a good idea…XD

        I’m not sure dragons could ever lose their novelty. There’s just something about dragons that MAKE them unique and mysterious and different. But yes! New creatures are always fun! I like inventing my own, too. There’s this one creature I thought up, and I’m planning on using him in a story someday. XD

        YESSSS! Give me all of the Flerno immediately!!! Like, make a page or something for him. XD

        Yes!! Same!!! Isn’t it weird??? Poems are bizarre creatures, I tell you.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Might have to make some hot chocolate today…

        I think I feel like I have a few major categories for how my dragons operate, and they don’t branch out much more from that. Except…it’s all the stuff in my head, not on paper, so who knows what’ll happen.
        Nice! I would like to make up more creatures, I just draw a blank. And then I insert a dragon. I guess it’s that I need to force myself to be more creative with critters.

        Maybe I’ll start with a blog post. But I need to think up some ideas for that. 🙂

        Tres bizarre. xD

        Liked by 1 person

      5. YES. Sadly, I didn’t make any, but yesterday would have been a wonderful day for hot chocolate! Today it’s like 63 degrees, though, and IT FEELS LIKE SPRIIIIIIIINGGG!!! I am so excited…

        Oh, yeah, that makes sense!!! And everything turns different once it’s on paper. It’s a terrible truth, but it is reality all the same. XD D:
        Yes!!! Definitely try making up some mystical creatures!!! It’s honestly so much fun. But also definitely hard. I think this creature just randomly popped into my head one day, so basically I took the cheater’s way out for creating creatures. XD

        OOOOH! This would be perfection!!!!!!

        Haha! XD

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It is freezing here right now. 63 degrees sounds great! (Mostly cuz I left my window open, so…brrrr…)

        It always changes…and I’m still not used to it. xD

        I definitely need to come up with more ideas, but none are magically popping into being. Alas. xD

        Liked by 1 person

      7. Oh no!!!!! Close the window!!! QUICK! Ugh, the temperature dropped again. I’m pretty sure that our weather is bipolar right now. :((

        Me either! It’s so hard not to have the same thing that’s in my head come out PERFECTLY on the page. It’s HARD.

        Haha! I think a lot of things just magically pop into my head for some reason. Most of them aren’t near as cool as some, though. XD

        Liked by 1 person

      8. It snowed. I don’t get the weather either. I’m ready for a spring thaw.

        ESPECIALLY VISUALLY!!! *Sobs over comics*

        I tend to just take whatever ubiquitous magical critters are out there and add them to my storyworld, maybe with a bit of my own spin on them, if I can think of something unique. I am trying…

        Liked by 1 person

      9. SAAAAAME! Which, thankfully, I think is beginning to happen! It’s still a little chilly, but THERE IS NO MORE SNOOOOW!!! XD

        UGH, YES. *sobs with you*

        Oooh! But that’s one of the coolest things to do, though! Adding your own spin to things is what makes your story stand out amongst all the rest! OOOOOH! Yes, let us create ALL OF THE MAGICAL CREATURES!!

        Liked by 1 person

      10. Maybe, maybe Spring is coming now…the weather might keep disagreeing with that, but the plants don’t seem to be…

        *Sketches some useful stuff and then totally zones out on the idea of actually making it a finished product*

        On the other hand, if I have some familiar fantasy critters, it may be nice for readers to have that to connect with when I introduce very UNfamiliar critters into the world… *Cackles gleefully*

        Liked by 1 person

      11. We have snow again. The weather is annoying me. XD

        *same* *except with writing* *because is deaD*

        That’s very true!! A good assortment of the familiar and unfamiliar is usually what keeps a reader intrigued!

        Liked by 1 person

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