My urge to write hit me at about the same time as puberty, and these two things clashed violently. I was about thirteen, and I still retained my childhood interests when it came to the subjects that I wanted to craft stories around. That’s my sheepish way of telling you that I wrote a lot of fan fiction.
Fan fiction is often the topic of some sort of moral debate: is it right to “steal” characters? My opinion, considering that I’ve written my fair share of it, is that it doesn’t matter. No one in the history of anyone reading fan fiction has ever said “Man, Nintendo is really heading into some new territory with this free-verse poem of Doctor Who fucking Fox McCloud.” It doesn’t harm the creators and any writer who feels threatened by fan fiction possibly destroying the sanctity of their “original works” has much bigger emotional issues to deal with than the repercussions of what the cast of their novel would look like if they all turned into ponies.
The main franchises that I chose to deal with were Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and Halloween. I loved the movies/books that made up these series and I expressed my love through scribbling shitty versions of them. I wrote Star Wars Episodes VII, VIII and IX, along with many shorter stories centered on teen heartthrob Boba Fett, another Lord of the Rings book, and three new Halloween sequels. There were other universes that I dabbled in, but I didn’t know enough names of their planets and forests to write a whole twenty pages about them.
I mentioned that puberty hit me soon after I started writing, and this manifested itself in the most bizarre way that I’ve ever seen. I wanted to deal with mature conflicts (sex) as much as possible in my fan fiction, but I couldn’t quite put into words how exactly the act was done. I wasn’t well versed enough in it to describe it to other people and too self-conscious to experiment with words like “erection on the Death Star III.” If you had asked me at thirteen what sex looks like, I would’ve shown you what I think is the sign language for “airplane.” It was frustrating, because all I wanted to do was have the characters get laid, regardless of plot or context. They were adults, and when adults weren’t at work or sleeping, that’s what they did. All the time, day and night, Honey, I’m home, sex, That was great, sex, sleep.
They say “write what you know”, and as much as I didn’t know about the technical aspects of sex, I was becoming well versed in my bedroom’s one man show. So, since the closest I could describe two people sexing was fast forwarding to the part in Hook where Robin Williams gets CPR from mermaids, I went with the next best thing: handjobs.
Now, I use this in the plural because it wasn’t just a one-time deal. Most couples don’t like to mess with them since many people give handjobs like they came unprepared to a wood carving class. The characters in my stories couldn’t stop giving them. I wish it had been different, I honestly do, since I spent a lot of time in my sixth grade class coming up with new ways to say “stroke boner”, surrounded by people who wanted to dunk my head in a toilet, simply because they sensed my personal rejection and recognized me as an enemy. But that was the first declaration of love in a Daniel Dockery masterpiece. Someone pulled their jeans down and someone else lovingly did the manual labor.
It would happen multiple times in each story. I don’t know what my problem was or why I was so fixated on it, but characters would make out, it would get hot and heavy, and then, boom, Cut To Handjob. In my brain, I guess it was the logical progression of things. And it never went any further than that. No one ever got to have actual sex. I wrote what must have been fifty stories in sixth and seventh grade, and none of my characters ever got past second base. If I had two people getting married, the honeymoon would be nothing but quoting romantic clichés and swift scenes of mutual masturbation. For instance, before I knew that she married Luke Skywalker, I had Mara Jade wed Lando Calrissian. And they literally consummated their marriage by going into the Millenium Falcon and jerking off.
It never turned into anything erotic, (a thirteen year old boy writing shyly about Han Solo asking for lotion rarely ever does), but characters would go out of their way to give each other handjobs. I know it is considered a blasphemous act, the penalty being death or forum ban, but I had Princess Leia cheat on Han with Boba Fett, for no real reason at all. And how did they cheat? Cue smooth saxophones and light every candle in the space-hotel room. You know the answer to that. And it got nasty.
This lasted for two goddamn straight years. Folders upon folders of stuff exploding and spells casting and people stabbing, all filler shit just so I could get to another part where someone got a handjob. I don’t have an exact count, but I might have written about one hundred different hand-to-dick encounters. Flannery O’Connor explored Southern morality, H.P. Lovecraft examined the philosophy of cosmic horror and Daniel Dockery obsessively wrote about dozens and dozens of handjobs between people who didn’t exist. It was my go-to motif. If they released a classy compilation of all my stories from this time period, I’d hope they’d call it “Daniel’s Below The Belt Jam Sessions.”
I never progressed past this, since I stopped writing soon after seventh grade, and when I returned to it, I was a completely different person with different things that I wanted to awkwardly elaborate on. But I shed a single tear for myself at thirteen, trying to fathom how people demonstrated their love for one another. All I can say is that those were far less subtle times. Now, I’d at least have them buy flowers for her first.
For more of me being weird and awful, read Daniel’s ADHD Walks.