Whew, finally this day has arrived, the day I reveal my past online pseudonyms and the stories I’ve written! This kinda feels like Superman saying, “I’m actually… Clark Kent.” (Dun dun dun!) Except real life isn’t that dramatic, is it? 😆
In this post, I’m finally ready to reveal my past pseudonyms, to take ownership of them, both good and bad, and say “They’re me!” rather than keeping them separate as though they’re different people. 🙂
I’d like to thank my blogging community for making this possible for me! Thanks so much for all the positive words and support all these months, that really helps to improve my self-esteem. Also, special thanks to a certain close friend who helped me work through my fears! (She shall forever be unnamed otherwise she’d be buried under a mountain of people wanting her help to conquer theirs, unless she insists. 😆) Thanks very much, I couldn’t have done it with all of you. ❤
Some Back Story
From the first time I made my debut in the digital world in 2003 until before this blog started in Feb 2017, I’ve never used my real name (even my first name) to introduce myself. It had always been a pseudonym of some sort, though I’ve only used a total of two (unless you count all the funky character names I came up with for gaming 😛🎮).
Why pseudonyms, though?
At first it was kind of a cool thing, especially in a gaming community. Like, isn’t it cooler to call yourself, say, Dragon of the Ancient Shadow Flames and Rainbow Phoenix rather than just Jack and Jill? 😆
At the same time, it was about online safety; even as a teenager, I’ve heard horror stories of predator men pretending they were high school girls to lure teenage girls out to do unsavory stuff with them. So by using an online pseudonym and being careful about what I write (especially where I live and what school I go to), I hoped it’d deter these predators because they couldn’t find anything about me. 🙂
However, aside from these plus reasons, I’ve had my own minus reason for using it too; because of my low self-esteem, having a pseudonym was like living a double life. By day I could act how I was supposed to act as a teenage girl (and later a college student and a working adult), by night I could be free and write my stories under a pseudonym. And even if I did mess up epically somehow, all I had to do was to throw the pseudonym away and create a new one, like starting a new video game!
But eventually I realised; even if these were throwaway pseudonyms, the one interacting was me. The one receiving comments, good or bad, was me. Even if I start a new “life” with a new pseudonym, I’d still have memories of whatever I did with the old pseudonym. And on the bright side, the one who wrote and completed all those stories was me, regardless of my pseudonym at the time!
After more than 7 months of blogging here at Stories of a Highly Sensitive Introvert and writing self-compassionate letters, I’ve felt like I’ve become more positive. After having met with so many wonderful bloggers here, who only have good things to say to me and openly supported me, I’ve felt like my self-esteem has gone up. And now, finally I’m ready. ❤️
So here it is, the grand revealing of my past pseudonyms and the stories I’ve ever published (for free)! 😀
Blue Dragon-sy (2003 – 2006)
Yep, in my adolescence, I had this digital pseudonym! I love the colour blue and I love dragons (I still do), so mesh them together with the initials of my Chinese name and you get this pseudonym. Not exactly very interesting, but hey, at sixteen I thought it was cool. 😛
When I first entered the digital world, I had lots of dreams. In fact, these were probably my most creative and outgoing years of all time! You might be surprised to know I did all the following:
- Wrote my first and only completed original novel and published it online at a free fiction website! (More on that later.) 📝
- Drew pictures of all the characters for my original novel and even designed a cover! 🖼
- Composed some music soundtracks that I thought would suit my original novel if it were to be turned into a video game! 🎼
- Arranged some video game soundtracks to piano! (Uh, well, I cheated a little, but hey, the end results were still piano sheets!) 🎹
- Opened a (free) website to host my creative endeavours #2 – #4! (Sadly the website is gone after years of unable to access it. Yeah, I lost the password and the email that went with it. 😅)
- Actively participating at multiple video game forums, including a year-long tenure as a forum moderator! I was actually offered to be a Game Master (think in-game moderator) in a private server, but I declined because I didn’t want to be in a position of power over other players. 😅
Yep, I was really active at the time! I explored a lot of things I wanted to try doing; writing novels, drawing, arranging piano pieces, composing music, maintaining a website, interacting with fellow gamers, even forum moderating!
However, here’s the problem; the time I was using this pseudonym was the prelude of my depression. I was outgoing like I am now, but I was ignoring the depression that was slowly creeping up on me, pretending it wasn’t there. Every piece of art I did was strangely depressing – I enjoyed sad music more than happy ones, I wrote more sad ones than happy or funny ones. Eventually it became so terrible that I shut myself from the world, and I stopped interacting with anyone online. This was when I lost touch with a lot of friends, as I barely had enough energy to go through day by day. 🙁
Still, now that I’m no longer gripped by depression, I could look back at this time fondly enough and realise I did quite a lot of things then, so it wasn’t all bad. 😀
(Sadly the cover is missing; I didn’t manage to back it up from back then. 😢)
Magic is the power that humans forgot long ago and the Dragons are legendary. But when Rapheon is doomed with a wound brought by darkness, he finds that they still exist, and his destiny is deeply intertwined with them.
- Year Completed: 2005
- Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
- Length: ~180k words, 39 chapters
- Free to Read at: FictionPress.com
Yep, I actually completed a whole novel over 12 years ago! It was the first and only original novel I ever finished writing (and posted online), and I’m still proud enough of it! It follows the story of Rapheon Sarphoenix, an adolescent boy who is forced to leave his hometown in search of a cure when he is stricken with a wound caused by darkness that will soon consume him and turn him into a monster. Eventually his journey leads him to meet the fifteen Dragons that are the guardians of the world, and to face the darkness that will soon consume the world. 🐉🌏
Would I recommend you read this? Uh… not really. You see, I wrote this story when I was a bumbling newbie writer, so while I’m proud of it and still read it occasionally, it’s… well, full of newbie mistakes. A lot of things weren’t thought through enough (there were even some events that were just there for shock value! 😱), and the writing style… let’s just say I can’t help but to cringe when I read it again last week. It also has a lot of depressing parts, because I wrote this during the prelude of my depression. 😅
On the bright side, it has lots of elements I really love! The protagonist goes through the burdens of being the Chosen One, there are a lot of characters with distinctive personalities, and I love how the story unfolds towards the climax! I love it so much that a few months ago I decided to rewrite it again, to achieve the potential I envisioned with additional 12 years writing experience. 😀
Estrelita Farr (2009 – to-date)
Estrelita is a name I once saw in a novel, which means “little star” in Spanish. Farr is a random last name I thought up to go with it, and now that I looked it up, it means bull, as in a fierce man or a metonymic occupational name for someone who kept a bull. I guess that makes me “a little star that kept a bull”? 😛
I started using this nickname after disappearing from the internet for a couple of years, after the worst of my depression was over and I felt “awake” enough to step into the digital world once more. Think of a little mouse that stepped into a big, bright world after staying in darkness its whole life – I was super cautious and didn’t interact with anyone online aside from my best buddy and a couple of close enough friends. 😅
It was during this time I started a few blogs, such as this WordPress one (where I wrote about random things) and this Tumblr one (where I wrote random stories). I even shared this story roleplaying blog with two friends, where we took turns writing the next bit of a particular story! However, I eventually lost the motivation to write because at the time I didn’t realise blogging was actually about community and interacting with people, and the lack of readership was demotivating. Even our roleplaying one didn’t stick. 🙁
Still, I continued to write! I didn’t feel confident enough to write original novels, so I decided to start writing fanfiction, novelisations of my favourite old video games that I felt didn’t achieve their full story potential – I gave personalities to the silent protagonists (which was a more popular trope back then), I covered plot holes the best I could and even introduced additional plot that was my version of “this was why it happened.” And I started this Fanfiction.net account to post all the completed stories. 😀
And all these writing in a way brought me back to life! I was so proud of them and even enjoyed re-reading them as I would with my favourite books, and it gave me hope that, hey, I could be talented after all! I’ve had quite a few positive comments from readers who enjoyed my take on the game’s events, even as recently as last week. Plus I started participating in NaNoWriMo, and winning every year I joined definitely feels great! 📚
Breath of Fire III: Of Gods and Dragons
Dragons. Great beings the Goddess deemed evil, with a roar that shook the world, that struck terror in the heart of the bravest man. But they are now extinct, for reasons unbeknown to us… except for the last Dragon. This is his story. Full novelisation.
- Year Completed: 2009
- Genre: Fanfiction, Fantasy, Adventure
- Free to Read at: Fanfiction.net
- Length: ~203k words, 32 chapters
A novelisation of one of my favourite games! (Can you tell I love dragons? 🐉) It’s not exact a very dark story, but it’s not a rosy one either; a boy about 8 years old wakes up without memories, without knowing he is a Dragon, tries to live a peaceful life with his first friends who steals for a living, only to lose them to brutal enemies. And those enemies, upon finding out he was a Dragon, are bent on capturing him to sell him off to the black market. Now he is on the run, together with a same-age princess, as he searches for his friends and his Dragon family, and to return the princess to hers. Doesn’t sound like the standard save-the-world fantasy, is it? 😀
Would I recommend you read this? Yep! Despite my amateurish writing (hey, I did finish writing this 8 years ago after all!), I still enjoy re-reading it. I love the personality I gave the silent hero, and I love how each one of them interacted with each other, although I think I could have handled the romantic aspect better. And the best of all, I love the plot twist I created to fill the plot hole and to tie the story of the previous two games together! If you don’t mind the writing style, I do recommend this. (Plus it’s free. 😛)
Alundra: Shadow in the Dreamscape
Plagued by nightmares of beasts and flames, haunted by words of a dying wizard, a young adventurer sets foot in Inoa, a village cursed. Dreams turn into nightmares, sleep turns into death… the shadow lurks in the dreamscape. Full novelisation.
- Year Completed: 2011
- Genre: Fanfiction, Fantasy, Adventure
- Length: ~135k words, 21 chapters
- Free to Read at: Fanfiction.net
When I played the game, I thought the plot was really interesting but the game didn’t really bring it out to its highest potential, so I took matters into my own hands and wrote a novelisation! This is the story of an adolescent elf adventurer who is forced to go to the village of Inoa by a repetitive nightmare that deprives him of sleep. Eventually he finds out there is a curse going around the village, a curse that pulls the victims into a deep sleep, tormented by nightmares… until eventually it takes their lives. That is when he realises what he needs to do – to help cure the cursed villagers with his newfound powers of dream walking, and find the source of the curse. I’ve always loved powers related to dreams, so you could see why I love this story. 😆
Would I recommend you read this? YES! This might sound strange being its author, but this is one story I love to re-read; I love my version of the silent protagonist (well, he’s not so silent here!), my version of the curse that turns the victim’s deepest fears or insecurities into nightmares, and how the story builds up to the climax! Granted, the writing style could be better (this one was completed 6 years ago, after all!), but it’s still a favourite of mine. 😀
[Short Story Collection in Progress]
Azure Dreams: Monsbaiyan Tales
In the azure sky, the Monster Tower looms. In its shadow, a town surrounded by golden sand. A place where dreams and hopes are realised, where everyone’s heart is touched by one monster tamer… this is Monsbaiya. One-shot novelisation collection. A NaNoWriMo 2013 winner.
- Year Completed: 2017 (hopefully? Just 1 short story left to write!)
- Genre: Fanfiction, Angst, Fantasy
- Length: ~56k words, 14 short stories
- Free to Read at: Fanfiction.net
You’d be surprise at how sparse the story in the game is; the game’s forte was the gameplay, so the story wasn’t executed very well. But because the storyline has so much space to expand and is episodic, I decided to use it as a guinea pig to try my luck at writing my first short story collection, with a recurring theme and an overhead main story!
There is a Monster Tower that looms over the oasis town of Monsbaiya, and when one turns into an adult at age 15, s/he is free to attempt climbing the Tower in search of treasure and monster eggs that could be raised as loyal familiars, only if s/he braves the ferocious monsters and the devious traps. In this town, there are many with hopes and dreams, many with their own philosophy and way of life, many with their own struggles. This is a collection of stories of those people, with a focus on their relationships with one particular monster tamer. 🙂
Actually I struggled with writing this for FIVE YEARS! Because it takes me a while to get into the point-of-view character, I write best when I write a longer story in 1 – 2 points of view (usually the protagonist). Short stories are harder for me because they usually end before I get used to the character, and this short story collection has everyone as the point-of-view character except the protagonist! Though I recently had a breakthrough on the toughest chapter, and now I only have one left to write that I hope to finish this year. 😀
Would I recommend you read this? Sure! Even though I’ve posted all the chapters but the last 3, they’re all short stories so you could read them in any order! (Of course, best if it’s read in the order I arranged them. 😆) These are different from my usual fantasy adventure kind of stories; they focus on the problem / thinking / philosophy each point-of-view character has and how interactions with a particular monster tamer change them. I love reading these subtle changes. 😀
What I’m Writing for NaNoWriMo 2017
Since we have less than a month to go for NaNoWriMo, I decided to add this section and make this post longer than it already is. 😛
[Novel in Progress]
Wild Arms: To the End of the Wilderness
A vast barren wasteland. A lone wanderer with a cursed weapon, a treasure hunter seeking power, a princess with a link to the Guardians of the world, drawn together by a common goal like migratory birds of the wilderness. They meet, they part… then, before their very eyes, the sky begins to crack. Full novelisation. A NaNoWriMo 2014-2016 winner.
- Genre: Fanfiction, Fantasy, Adventure
Actually if you checked out my NaNoWriMo page, you’ll see I’ve been writing this story for the last 3 years! Rather than starting a new novel each year like I’m supposed to, I decided to become a rebel and continue writing this story, and this year I’ll be doing the same. Hey, at least it keeps me writing. 😆
This is a novelisation of one of my favourite games, Wild Arms and its remake Wild Arms Alter Code: F! It has a Wild West theme with usual fantasy stuff like swords and magic and talking creatures, which I find interesting. 😀
The story is that there was a war with the Metal Demons 1,000 years ago, which damaged the world so badly that the barren wastelands are slowly taking over the greenery. 3+1 people – a lone wanderer, a treasure hunter (and a talking mouse companion) and a shaman princess – meet by chance by a common goal before they were swept by the events caused by the demons’ return that turns a prosperous kingdom into ruin. And now, the princess, joined by the other 2+1, must meet with the Guardians of the world and stop the demons from taking over the world. 🌏
This is the first novelisation I’m writing that has a save-the-world story! What I really like are the interactions between the 3+1 characters; each of them have a deep insecurity within, but they’re kind and support each other. Plus it’s my latest work, so I’m happier with the writing style. 😆
Although I do have a temptation to write another story… 😶
Wow, this is certainly a long post! I hope you enjoyed it, and do let me know what you think. 😀
A Short Self-Compassionate Letter
I’m happy you found the strength to conquer your fear! The world didn’t end after writing this post, did it? Rather than seeing these pseudonyms as black marks in your history, do see them as something you achieved. Yes, I say achieved, because not only you started these novels, you completed them, something many writers struggle to reach! I’m so proud of you. ❤