You know that old adage, “Write for you, not for anyone else?” Well this post is taking that concept and ramping it up to 11. I’ve written before, numerous times, about how much Jimmy Neutron means to me and why I began my writing career with dozens of Jimmy Neutron fanfiction stories. I’ve hinted at my previous works, but never explained them in depth. That all changes today.
I am going to go over every single one of my Jimmy Neutron stories, from the ones I love to those I completely regret. I’ll go in chronological order, starting all the way back in July 2005. I’ll show my favorite moment from each story (or in some cases, the absolute worst), go over what I wanted to accomplish with each piece, what it taught me, and just whatever else I can remember about it.
I often look over my favorite fanfics when I want to read something for a few moments, but some of these I haven’t really looked through in years. So prepare to get my honest appraisal of all my works. I truly, truly hope that this post is interesting to whoever reads it. I’ll do my best to at least ramp up the humor in this post while keeping it honest; I can at least give my readers that.
Written on July 13, 2005
This was the first Jimmy Neutron story that I ever wrote. Appropriately, it’s also the simplest. Jimmy discovers that he’s moving away, he gives a few touching gifts to his friends, and Cindy fails to tell Jimmy how she truly feels. That’s it.
There’s nothing really to like here. The concept took about five minutes of brainstorming and I probably wrote it in an hour. I suppose I should get some credit for trying to have a downer ending, I at least kept this thing from being a complete cliche where Jimmy and Cindy fall madly in love and Jimmy’s move is cancelled. But really, this has no value except being the start of my fanfiction and writing career.
Final verdict: Not the worst thing ever written, but there’s nothing redeeming here. There’s no reason to read this piece.
Written from July 17, 2005 – July 30, 2005
Oh, god. Seriously, what the fuck was wrong with me? I’ve done a lot of awful things in my life, but this has got to be the worst. What was I even thinking?
I hate this story so much. I’ve considered just deleting it from my fanfiction profile a dozen times, but I can never bring myself to do it. It just seems wrong to remove all the bad stories and leave the good ones; it would make me seem like I started out with my current skill set. That is most certainly not the case.
I do understand what I was trying to do here. After a lifetime of having watched kids’ shows and read happily-ever-after stories, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to create a more realistic story where the good guys didn’t win. But my gosh did I take it too far. This story was supposed to be a sequel to Moving Day, which of course makes no sense because that story was a single chapter. Why not just write more chapters? Anyway, I wanted to make a sequel where Jimmy struggled to balance keeping in touch with his old friends while moving on from them.
That actually sounds pretty cool. If I wrote this story now I could probably make it really good and touching. But at 14 years old, with maybe two hours of writing experience under my belt, I failed in every way possible.
The only good thing that came out of this piece was me realizing that I took things too far. My biggest goal when crafting future action-adventure stories was creating a believable sense of danger. For a long time, I kept thinking that in order to accomplish that I needed to have characters die. It took me years before I was able to effectively balance the threat of death with actual death, but I at least made sure to never again make things so needlessly brutal and cruel. Well, at least not until Hooky, anyway (we’ll get there).
Final Verdict: I’m sorry for making this.
Written on July 31, 2005
Okay, this is much better. Or at least less emotionally damaging. Early in my fanfiction career, I dabbled in poetry. While I hadn’t written fiction for fun since elementary school, I did make a few short-lived attempts to become a poet in middle school. As such, I actually don’t think this is that bad.
In this short poem, I sum up the JImmy / Cindy relationship. Then Jimmy has to move away (again), Cindy tells him how she feels, but he still has to leave. It was another attempt at a realistic and sad ending, but this one actually kind of worked. The rhyming was a little loose at times and the paired sentences were often of completely different lengths, but for a first Jimmy Neutron poem it’s not too bad. I even tried to incorporate a nice little lesson at the end about how important it is to tell people how you feel about them while you have the chance.
Final verdict: This is decent. Not great, but decent. It’s so short that if you need a Jimmy Neutron poem in your life, you might as well give it a shot.
Written from July 26, 2005 – July 31, 2005
This was my first romantic comedy; which would be one of my fanfiction staples over the rest of my career. (Action-adventure stories were my other.) When Principal Willoughby announces that there will be a spring fling dance, the JN gang volunteers to decorate it. Jimmy and Cindy resist the urge to ask each other but of course end up dancing together.
If I had to choose one word to describe this piece, it would be basic. There is nothing here that hadn’t been done before. The dialogue is forgettable, the plot is straightforward, and there’s no great jokes or even memorable moments. But it is coherent, and this is where I started to feel like I had some talent as a writer. Of course back then that feeling was unearned, but I was starting to really enjoy writing at this point and felt like if I kept going I could be really good at it someday.
Final verdict: A basic story with maybe a couple of funny quotes and a too-sweet ending that wasn’t earned. Not really worth your time.
Written on August 2, 2005
What a shock, another poem that ends with Jimmy and Cindy sharing their feelings too late. Haven’t written that before! Seriously, this is basically a repeat of Too Late. This time Jimmy finally works up the courage to propose to Cindy, but he waited too long and now she’s with someone else. Ugh, I even ended the poem with another few line explaining how important it is to tell people how you feel.
I guess it was good to practice my poetry, but I couldn’t spend another five minutes thinking up an original idea? Jeez.
Final verdict: Step up your game, Quietthinker.
Written from August 4, 2005 – August 5, 2005
Oh, this is cute. Little 14 year-old Ryan thinks he can write an action-adventure story! This was my first attempt at the genre, although it didn’t quite reach the bar I’d set for myself. While the JN gang takes one of their usual trips in Jimmy’s hover car, Calamitous goes back in time and murders the gang’s parents. Due to some confusing techno-babble, the kids still exist and have to defeat Calamitous in order to revert the timeline back to its usual state.
I know I was 14 and just starting to write, but had I never heard of giving your work a quick editing pass? I’m serious, back then as soon as I finished writing something I’d just post it online. This story is just confusing and weird. The staging makes little sense, Jimmy and Cindy have romantic moments right after seeing those they love killed, and I put zero effort into the necessary scientific explanations. I would end up really loving writing action and adventure stuff, so I’m glad I gave the genre a chance with this story, but it just isn’t that good.
Final verdict: Confusing staging + bad characterization + poor science ≠ Good story
Written August 4, 2005
You guys, you’ll never believe this! I wrote another story where Jimmy and Cindy don’t get together, but this time it’s because Jimmy is moving away. Never done that before!
Seriously, how am I repeating myself so much long before I’d hit ten stories? I remember always having a vivid imagination, but you wouldn’t know it from my writing back then. This is me trying to make a better version of Moving Day, but there was very little improvement here. I think my writing style is actually a bit superior here, but not by much. The biggest issue is that I go straight for heartfelt conversations without doing anything to earn those declarations. Plus, during the climactic goodbye between Jimmy and Cindy, I actually have Mrs. Neutron just run up and tell them they decided not to move, and then she leaves.
Not to mention the fact that, for really no reason, I had Jimmy erase Cindy’s memory of his love-riddled confession. Why? Because he wasn’t ready, of course!
This is just like those Hollywood reboots that make no effort to improve on the original.
Great job, Ryan. You’re the writing equivalent of Total Recall. Proud of yourself?
Final Verdict: If you really need to read a story where Jimmy is moving away, like you have that insane urge right now, than I guess go read this. It’s Slightly better than Moving Day, maybe.
Written from August 5, 2005 to August 10, 2005
Whoa. Is this actually a half-decent story? Does this actually have an okay plot, attempts at real characterization, and some decent action? I think it just might!
This was my second action-adventure story and the first to show some promise. It’s definitely not my best work, but this was an original idea that actually aspired to be something. When Jimmy is framed for five murders in Retroville that occurred in the past week (did it have to be so many?!), he takes Cindy as a hostage to escape from the cops. He explains his actions, and the two struggle to figure out who the killer was and clear Jimmy’s name.
Why do I actually think this was good? Well, there’s a few cool action scenes that go beyond two characters point guns at each other. Jimmy and Cindy have a few emotional moments which are actually earned by them having some real hostility earlier in the story. I think the best part about this story is that towards the end, Jimmy kills one of the villain’s henchman. It’s not strictly necessary, and it puts a rift between Jimmy and Cindy as Jimmy wonders if he has it in him to become a villain himself. It was far from handled perfectly, but this is something leaps and bounds beyond what I’d attempted in my earlier fics.
I also really liked this story because it began in an unconventional way. I just started writing an action scene where Jimmy Neutron was dodging sniper fire and evading cops. I had no background for this and didn’t really think I could turn it into a story; I’d basically done it as a writing exercise. But I sat down after and actually managed to think of a way for this to make sense.
So in spite of the fact that the prose isn’t fantastic and sometimes I wrote Jimmy and Cindy out of character (would Jimmy ever really act like the way I wrote him above?), I still think this is my first good story.
Final verdict: Worth a read.
Written August 12, 2015
Oh for the love of…
Yep, we’re doing this again. A oneshot where Jimmy and Cindy have some conflict, devolve into argument, and share their feelings. The plot is that Jimmy and Cindy and blah, bleh bleh, bluh blah. Does anyone even care anymore? It’s the same freaking thing over and over.
Well, not exactly the same. No one’s moving away and for the first time the story ends completely happily. No one died at all during this one! I’d say I deserve slight praise for trying something new here, but having a happy ending isn’t exactly uncharted territory for writing.
What makes this even worse is that it’s all out of character. I simply cannot picture Cindy yanking Jimmy into his lab and saying that they are going to settle their love / hate relationship once and for all. And it ends in such sickening, diabetes-inducing sweetness that these two characters would never be a part of. I raised the bar with Framed, but this just yanked it back down.
Final verdict: Bleh.
Written August 13, 2005
What in the fuck?
Let’s just get through this. Cindy is sick, but not just with the flu because where’s the fun in that? No, I had to give Cindy Vortex AIDS. Who does that?
This nerdy asshole right here.
Cindy apparently got AIDS when she got her ears pierced as a baby, and the only two blood tests she’s ever had since then mistakenly came back negative. (Two!) So now, ten years later, she’s dying and Jimmy has to come up with a cure to save her.
I guess it’s…original? Seriously, this has to be the most random thing I’ve ever written for Jimmy Neutron. This makes absolutely no logical sense. Sometimes Ed and I will look over the older Jimmy Neutron stories and wonder how people could ever make the choices they did. I always try to pull back and keep from attacking these writers, because who the heck am I to judge? How can I even try to sell my book after all I’ve done?
Read the debut psychological thriller from Ryan Fortier, the author who castrated Jimmy Neutron and gave Cindy Vortex AIDS.
I tried to…I don’t even know. Let’s just move on.
Final Verdict: What do you want me to say? I’m sorry.
Written on August 14, 2005
Okay, at least this story has some decent writing even if it is another emo-tastic emotional slugfest. Jeez, I didn’t think I’d get this angry looking over my old stuff.
So Cindy is driving home when her car flies off a road into an icy river, because this incredibly intelligent and capable young woman just can’t manage to stay alive in anything I write. She’s drowning, Jimmy tries to save her, and he runs out of air. Does he go back up and save himself, or die with her?
He dies, because it’s 14 year-old Ryan writing this.
This story is short and doesn’t really have anything to do with Jimmy and Cindy. I could have easily just made this an original piece with two teenagers I said were in love. It doesn’t even say that much, really, just that being in love is like being insane. Which is a cool thought, but I don’t think I did it justice. This isn’t a horrible piece, it’s just not very good.
Final verdict: An average story that doesn’t utilize the characters of Jimmy and Cindy well at all. Maybe read if you haven’t seen enough of your favorite childhood characters die yet.
Okay, this is taking way longer than I thought and I’m emotionally ravaged at this point. My stuff started to get better around this time, so I’m taking a shower to clear my head. I guess it’s fitting that my first three-part post is about the origins of my writing career anyway.
If you’ve managed to read this far, you’re a trooper. If you’ve actually checked out any of these stories, bless you. You’re a brave soul indeed.