J.M. Williams

A home for all things fantasy and sci-fi.

Dakkar of the Outworld — My Writing Roots Vol. 2

Dec
01

As my previous post mentioned, I started writing heavily in the 6th grade. I wrote horror stories in my school journal, I played with the word processor on my home computer, I even assembled mini-books. Today I will be sharing one of those.

I must preface this by admitting to some of the blatant copyright violations in this story. I was just a kid; I had yet to learn the word “plagiarism.” I stole names in particular from everything around me. I was big into video games and Magic: the Gathering. The term “Outworld” in the title, comes straight from Mortal Kombat (On a unrelated note, a lot of people do not appreciate just how much lore was crafted for those old SNES games; the game manuals were dozes of pages long and usually this was half story. The first Mortal Kombat film is still one of the best video game adaptations in part because it followed the lore of the original game, and did it unabashedly.) The name of the main villain in my story series, Lim-Dul, was stolen from M:tG. In fact, Legions of Lim-Dul is even a card itself. I almost certainly stole the word “legions” from that very card. In addition to names, magic cards were a source of much of my complex vocabulary. Sometimes I didn’t use them right, but I tried.

So with that caveat (read: Don’t sue me Wizards of the Coast!), I would like to present the first full-length story I wrote in my youth, “Dakkar of the Outworld.” This story was nine pages hand-written! What 12-year-old writes that many pages of fiction? If I have to guess, it’s around 2000 words. That’s a full-size short story these days.

I apologize for the horrible handwriting. I did not want to type it out for a couple reasons. I wanted to show the original form, and I thought my textual OCD would prohibit me from typing it out with all the errors intact.

Without further ado, let me present “Dakkar of the Outworld.”

Dakkar CDakkar p1Dakkar p2Dakkar p3Dakkar p4Dakkar p5Dakkar p6Dakkar p7Dakkar p8Dakkar p9

Isn’t that something? Sure, it reads like a elementary school student wrote it, but that’s because one did! What’s amazing, reading it after all these years, is that there is a complete coherent plot inside this messy story. There are many standard fantasy conventions like the wandering warrior/mentor and the animal ally. I clearly had some idea what I was doing, even back then.

My fantasy roots can be seen in this story, though I leaned a lot more heavily towards horror (and gore in general, the appeal of which I no longer understand) back then. I imagine my youth was similar to Stephen King’s, but whereas he stuck with horror, and maybe even got darker over the years, I shifted to more uplifting and heroic styles of fantasy. As you also can see, I really liked similes when I was younger. Really, really liked similes.  I also had not come close to mastering the concept of paragraphing.

I hope you enjoyed this crazy kid’s story. I will be sharing the sequel “Lim-Dul’s Revenge” soon, as well as a few other things I wrote when I was that age. It’s been very interesting seeing all this stuff after such a long time.

~J.M.

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