The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: June 15th, 2002

How to Write?
A response to Athena's "Fanfic Peeves, Cliches, and Inhumanities"

By: Azurite

Note: This Lemures Article is in response to "Fanfic Peeves, Cliches, and Inhumanities" by Athena.

My comments are in bold type, while Athena's original comments are in italics.

Woah! An actual Lemure File not about "Thanking Dic" or "Why all the great sites are closing."

*All breathe a sigh of relief*

A Lemures File a while back complained about how a lot of Sailor Moon fanfics these days are uncreative, a.k.a. boring. Being a fanfic junkie myself, I totally agreed with this. There are so many Sailor Moon fanfics out there that sometimes it seems like the same formula is being used over and over again. So I, along with a few friends, put together a list of cliches, peeves and down right inhumanities in Sailor Moon fanfics.

Before you continue on, I'd like to warn you that I do quote from actual fanfics I have read for examples. If you do find a quote from one of your fanfics here please remember: Most of the time I'm poking fun at the idea, not the writing. If I do comment on your writing, please look at it as constructive criticism. Finally, I'd like to point out that if you're a good enough writer you could probably write about all that is said here and make a good story. But because most of us out there aren't a Nobel Prize winning novelist, here are a few things to watch out for:

The Cliches

"I'm late again!! Why didn't someone wake me [up]?!"

Alright, how many times has this facet of Usagi has been used to begin a fanfic? Too many. If you open up with Usagi actually being on time for a change the reader's attention is captured immediately and they know something is up.

I can understand how it might catch a reader's attention, but not every fanfic opens up with this. Everyone knows it's either the title of the story (or the author, if you are one to read everything by a certain author) or the first line of the fic. In my case, if the first paragraph or two doesn't deliver, I skim. If it doesn't get better -and that's not just plot, I mean word wrapping and grammar too- then I leave the fic behind. But the truth is that not only is Usagi perpetually late -it is part of her character in the first four anime seasons, and a bit of the fifth season as well, and parts of the manga- but it sets a stage for the rest of the fanfiction. For example, if this takes place long after Sailor Stars, Usagi waking up late might be weird. Or even if she still is perpetually late, what if the fic is an alternate universe, where Usagi is the immaculate, perfect Princess of Juuban High? Or she's the Usagi from another universe all together, and then suddenly she has our Usagi's traits! It really helps to have familiar traits expressed in dialogue, action, and thought of a character to "set the stage" and then, when you grab your reader not too long from that point, the twist starts happening. People get hooked-- and read. That's what you want, isn't it?

Characters being too in character.

"Wahhh!" "He looks like my old boyfriend!" or "I have to study."

This stuff makes for boring fanfics. Create a challenge for the senshi personalities. Get inside their heads and figure out how they tick. Jadeite comes back from eternal sleep. For some reason I don't like this plot very much. Maybe if his mind jumps into some other villain's body and runs around Tokyo killing everybody in bloody revenge. That could be interesting. Or he could be a mysterious voice in Rei's head that helps the senshi out in critical moments. I don't know.

As previously stated, if things are too different, then people tend to think you don't know much about what you say you're writing about. While it can get annoying if 22-year-old, college-bound Usagi is still late and acts like she did in Junior High, it sets the stage for twists and plot turns. Can you honestly see Ami saying "Hey, why don't we all go clubbing tonight?" or Makoto saying "Cute guys? Like I care." ? Challenges, however, are what make fanfics enticing. If you plan on writing an introspective (into a character's head) or a one-shot with just that one senshi in it, it better be good. Ignoring all of the stated traits of a character is like burning the manga and claiming it never existed. Unless you're big on the alternate reality, ignoring or dismissing in one way or another all the character's known traits is a big taboo. But then again, if it's so alternate that you change the character completely, the fic mine as well be an Original.

As for Jadeite, I haven't seen this plot a lot. Actually, I never have. Both of the ideas Athena presented -Jadeite as the voice in Rei's head, for example- are good ones. But if you have a new twist on an old or overused cliché, no one is stopping you from writing it. After all, people who flame authors are either jealous or lazy and have nothing better to do. Constructove criticism is to be taken lightly, especially when it sounds more like complaining and constant suggesting of how you should revise. If you like your work, that's all that matters.

Sailor Earth, Sailor Sun and Sailor Star.

I know, I know, mentioning these senshi is a cliché in itself. Everybody says don't write about them. These senshi have been used so much, it's tiresome. Unless you have a really unique story about one of these senshi, I wouldn't tell it.

People have a tendency to read fanfictions and then, whether or not it's finished, think to themselves, "Well what if this happened instead of that?" I know the feeling myself; one of my favorite fanfictions seemed to be on permanent hold for FOUR YEARS! In my journal, I plotted out all the possibilities, and then when the author finally re-emerged from the darkness, her ending was nothing like I'd envisioned. Goes to show how far creative vision can go. So when Athena says "unless you have a really unique story" that means you! No author writes the same way as another one -and plagarism isn't writing, it's copying word for word. Anyone can write a "unique story" about anything, it's up to you to make sure you feel that it's a special work too.

I can think of plenty of examples of good Sailor Earths and Sailor Suns. Crossover characters -people from other animes, for example- make excellent senshi. Especially if you leave them the way they were originally created, and dump them in the Sailormoon world. It makes for great laughs. The same applies to strangers in the fic world becoming senshi-- Jendra did a great job of that in "Sailor Moon Universal". But again, uniqueness isn't defined by how few clichés you load into your fic-- it's by reading other fics, developing your own style, and thinking along original talents. The whole idea behind fanfics is summed up in two words: "What if...?"

As for "Sailor Star" I've never heard of her. Or him. Or it. The truth is, most people think it's taboo to create senshi or knights or whoever based off of the senshi. As in "Sailor Mars Flame." Sailor Star is too close to the Sailor Starlights.

The almighty powerful sailor senshi.

If every senshi was the most powerful, there would be nothing to write about. I've read a fanfic where all the otaku senshi were all-powerful. The fanfic was pretty good, but the problem was that there was no climax. The battles were one big bang after another.

I can understand that. But the fact of the matter is, there is only one all powerful senshi, and that is Sailormoon. Sailorvenus is the leader of the Inners, Sailoruranus is the leader of the Outers. They are each powerful in their own respects. Sailorsaturn can destroy the Earth if summoned to do so, and Pluto can stop time-- but she kills herself in the process. Kinda funny how the other "all powerful senshi" all have little restrictions. Even Sailormoon, who has died on many occasions after using the Ginzuishou to its full power. So technically, there is no all powerful Senshi. Not even Galaxia was.

Sailor Chibi [insert name here] is Sailor [insert name here]'s daughter from the future.

If you want to have a chibi sailor, please don't make her Sailor so-and-so's daughter. I'm begging you. Have her be the sailor's future self, the daughter of some other almighty princess. Anything but the sailor's daughter.

The problem with this is if you "insert name here" any author could, mad-lib style, come up with something like this:

Sailor Chibi Venus is Sailor Mars' daughter from the future.

WOAH! Doesn't that very sentence make you wonder-- how the heck a daughter of Mars could have become Sailor Chibi Venus? If that isn't enough to convince you, the only reason why Small Lady Serenity was even called Sailor Chibimoon -or Chibiusa for that matter- was to differentiate her from Sailormoon. She hated the prefix "Chibi" on her name, as it means "runty, small, midget". Technically, when the Asteroid Senshi become her Sailorteam, she becomes Sailormoon, as her mother no longer has the powers of Sailormoon.

Sailor Ice Crystal, Sailor Love, Sailor Chibi, and Sailor Ruby.

Sailor Senshi come from planets, asteroids or moons. Not some gem, emotion or prefix.

!@#$%^&!! This in itself is a travesty. If all the senshi have to come from "Planets, asteroids, or moons," then explain the Sailor Starlights. There is no Sailor Kinmoku, the planet they came from. There is a Sailor Starfighter, Sailor Starhealer, and Sailor Starmaker. When Kakyuu-hime becomes a Senshi, she is Sailor Kakyuu. There's also the matter of ChibiChibi. While she wasn't ever really meant to be a senshi -in the anime, she is Galaxia's star seed, and in the manga, she is Sailor Cosmos' (also not a planet, asteroid, or moon) powered-down form- she is not Sailor Chibichibimoon. She is simply Sailor Chibichibi. There's also the matter of the Animates (or the Metal Knights). There's Sailor Galaxia (hmm... is "Galaxia" a planet, asteroid, or moon? Strikingly reminds me of the word "galaxy," don't you think?), Lead Crow (not Red Crow, all you Mixxers), Tin Nyanko (Tin Cat is also acceptable), Aluminum Siren, Heavy Metal Papillion (Papillion is French for Butterfly), Phi and Chi, Iron Mouse, Lethe, Mnemosyne... and the original holders of the Sailor crystals that gave the Metal Knights power, Sailor Kronos (Lead Crow), Sailor Mau (Tin Nyanko), Sailor Mermaid (Aluminum Siren), and Sailor Chuu (Iron Mouse). =P None of them are planets, asteroids, or moons!

Musn't forget about the Asteroid Senshi-- Ceres, Vesta, Palla, and Juno. While they are technically asteroids in the Belt, you gotta remember that all the celestial bodies in our solar system (and others elsewhere that we have identified) were named after GODS. You know, as in Venus, the goddess of love and beauty in Roman mythology? Sound familiar? It should-- the senshi aren't named after any planetary bodies, they're named for gods and goddesses!

Besides, if we did stick to the rule of "asteroids, planets and moons" then authors would run out of ideas. Why do you think Sailor Sun and Sailor Earth are so popular? People thought Naoko would have kept on making senshi with the solar system here. Maybe Tuxedo Mask is the guardian of Earth and Elysion, but who's to say he didn't have a sister way back when? Or that his parents weren't the only ones in the car accident when he was six-- so was his baby cousin, or his unborn brother or sister?

What's more, in the last manga act, Sailor Cosmos says that there is an infinite amount of senshi-- and infinite means that anything can be associated with a senshi -zodiac signs, animals, rubies, gems, prefixes, even gibberish, like Mytzlptlk! After all, if there are Senshi all throughout the Galaxy (there had to be, considering Galaxia was the one going around stealing all their crystals... plus there was the whole matter of a Sailor Wars. There'd have to be a lot of senshi controlling a lot of things to start wars). With that settled, keep in mind that there is one rule when creating fan-senshi-- there aren't any rules. Have a ball, and be creative!

Sailor 'Ice Crystal's' fuku looks exactly like the Sailor Senshi.

C'mon people! Be a little creative! Not every Sailor Senshi in the universe has the same fuku! Look at the Starlights!

Good point. But then again, the Senshi's uniforms differ from each other-- not just in color. In the Materials Collection (the last Artbook, or Volume 6), this can be seen much easier. For example, Sailor Venus and Mars have one stripe on their collars, while Jupiter and Mercury have two. Because Mars and Venus are both depicted as being closer to the princess -in both the anime and the manga- they hold a higher "rank." Sailormoon's 3+ stripes and Jupiter/Mercury's two show the number of stripes go in a descending order-- after all, Sailormoon holds no real position in the senshi, and serves as the healer, energy source, and motivation. She's the Princess and Future Queen above all else.

The materials book shows Jupiter as having a belt with a pink ball filled with flower petals in it-- so she can perform her Flower Hurricane, it is assumed. Her tiara is the only one able to extend an antenna. Venus always has her mask from when she was Sailor V, as well as her Love-Me chain. Mars, in the materials collection, has a pendant on her waistline, while Mercury has long sleeves instead of the ribbed ones all the other senshi. In the final cut of the manga, she has no sleeves at all. Moon always has a different uniform, varying in colors, lengths, layers, and bows. Cosmos has no gloves, but rings instead. She also wears a cape, something which has only been seen on the Knights and Generals (Tuxedo Mask, Jadeite, Nephrite, etc.) and on Sailormoon from time to time. Did I forget to mention Sailormoon's wings?

Also, look at the Metal Knights (Animates). Each one of them has a different "uniform", especially Galaxia in that metal suit of hers. Some don't even have skirts. The original holders of the Animate's Sailor crystals had different outfits too. You have to kinda think that people on other planets don't have the same fashion taste as you, so... So it's pretty much impossible that someone could say "Sailor Such-And-Such's fuku looks just like the Sailor Senshi" (waitaminute, how could a piece of clothing look like a Sailor Senshi!? Does that mean the uniform has V's face all over it, or Mars' eyes?) It's easy to create a standard, and most do it just to save time (considering describing some wild outfit would take forever and a day) but others are just lazy. Take your pick people-- be creative. That's what fic writing and fan-senshi creation is all about.

Sailor 'Love' is Usagi's new best friend.

Just because she's the princess doesn't mean your senshi has to be her best friend.

Is anyone actually weird enough to put this? I mean, maybe beginners, but people tend to research before they write-- it saves them the trouble of revising, or having to make explanations why so-and-so did such and such instead of her real attack, which is "blah blah." Usagi, in truth, doesn't have a stated "best friend". All of her senshi mean a lot to her-- otherwise she wouldn't have been so upset (the word doesn't begin to cover the expression on her face in manga 16) when all her senshi died right before her eyes!!!

And More Peeves

"Her skirt was blue, her bows, collar and boots were pink. Her gloves..."

This is what profiles are for. Try not to have a whole paragraph of the description of the senshi's fuku or transformation in the middle of the story. Try to keep it down to a couple sentences.

An example of lack of description: "He removed Chibimoon's power from her brooch and put it in a test tube" Let's just disregard the fact that this villain is putting the power of the silver crystal in a test tube. Don't you think the heavens would shake, Chibiusa would scream and the world would end if her power was being removed?

Make up your mind!! People can either be wordy or not. If they aren't, then they mine as well describe their fan-senshi's uniform as "looking like the other Senshi's." People can actually be quite vivid when describing new senshi and their fuku-- most don't blab things in short little statements like above. Tell me, which is more vivid--

1) Sailor Andromida stared at herself in bewilderment. She was dressed in a strange garb-- a tight fitting bodysuit that resembled something comic book superheroes wore. Only at the small of her back, a strange flare of indigo fabric was gathered and flared out to her feet. A sheer deep violet hood rested on her head, while calf-length boots with an inverted triange as their tip graced her feet.


2) Sailor Andromida looked at herself in wonderment. She was wearing the same kind of fuku that the famous Sailor Senshi wore! It was a deep purple-- just like Sailor Saturn's! If you tend to be very wordy, then yes, profiles are a solution. But if people envision your character and her fuku differently than you did, it can cause problems, such as "hey, where did her cape/hood/boots come from?" or people sending in fanart that looks nothing like your character. So try to keep descriptions from being too bare or too thick. Everything in moderation, as they say.

Live action/anime crossover.

This is just too weird. Why would anyone want to cross two shows when one is a cartoon?

Hmm... lots of reasons! Actually, quite a few good fanfictions are crossovers with live-action and anime. Yes, anime. Not cartoon. They are both in a dictionary, despite anime simply being the common, shortened form of "animation". But anime is not cartoons. Cartoons tend to be senseless, comedic blather, or action-oriented, or magical-pony type things. Anime has a plot, runs longer, lasts longer, and makes a far bigger impact on the world and the market industry. Thus, people could want to cross anime and live action because they have similar plots, or characters. One I see frequently (and I admit, I have done as well) is Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sailormoon. I think people do it because Buffy is another girl-power type show. That and, the two have lots in common. Don't believe me?

Usagi Tsukino, a girl approached by a stranger, is thrust into a position where she must fight. She is highly reluctant, but grows to accept her position. Friends soon join her in her fight, and her identity is revealed to a privileged few. She also has a mysterious savior whom she grows to love, but he ends up getting turned to the dark side and she is forced to kill him. Buffy Summers, a girl approached by a stranger, is thrust into a position where she must fight. She is highly reluctant at first, wanting to retain her cheerleader-ness, but grows to accept her position as the Chosen One. Friends soon join her in her fight, and her identity is revealed to a privileged few. She also has a mysterious savior whom she grows to love, but he ends up getting turned evil and she is forced to kill him.

Need more proof? Animerica Magazine pointed it out to me. Go check out their features on Sailormoon and Buffy at their website, For now, here's some excerpts:

Serena/Sailor Moon=Buffy
Destined to do battle with the forces of evil, stronger and more courageous by far than she appears, this cute blond is better known for cutting class than studying, and is head over heels in love with a dark, handsome, mysterious, older man. Could there be some kind of... fate, tying them together?

Tuxedo Mask=Angel
Dark-haired and mysterious, he's surprisingly tight-lipped about his past and has a habit of showing up to rescue our heroine at the oddest moments. At the same time, he's often captured, and at least once has been turned against our heroine. He seems so strong... and yet so vulnerable. What is it that draws him to this girl, and what is it that keeps pushing him away from her? Could it be some kind of... fate?

(Molly+Sailor Mercury)=Willow
Our heroine's spritely best friend, sometimes dizzy but generally brainy, her skill with computers and sage wisdom comes in handy time and time again when evil comes knocking.

Hopelessly nerdy, yet sympathetic friend, his position in our heroine's orbit is to provide a comic foil to the angst-riddled darker male character. Why not Andrew? Because Andrew doesn't hang around the Senshi the way Xander does with the Scoobies. Melvin, on the other hand, pops up anywhere and everywhere. He's known as "Amano" in the Sailor V manga.

Wizened advisor on combat technique and provider of arcane weaponry to battle the forces of evil. (Note that in the English version of the Sailor Moon TV series, Luna speaks with an English accent, just like Giles. Coincidence?)

Good enough? And Buffy isn't the only show SM is crossed with-- Star Trek happens to be a very popular, not to mention fun way to cross live action and anime. Besides, Sailormoon would have been live action if they'd gone through with making the live-action Sailormoon movie... *cough*

Spelling and grammar.

Doesn't everyone complain about this? Nobody's going to kill you for spelling one word wrong or punctuation. For heaven's sake, at least know the difference between "right" and "write".

It's true... a few mistakes are okay. But if you post a fanfiction with no wrapping, and mistakes every second word, then people get annoyed, and either flame you, or ignore you, denying you the positive feedback you want. It's not that hard to spell-check your work, and most word processors nowadays have grammar check too. If you don't, check online-- there's lots! It doesn't take too long. Or, get beta-editors or pre-readers. Seasoned, veteran authors can help!

Male senshi.

I don't mind the random Tuxedo Mask, but whole groups of guys dressed in tight pants and jewels on their foreheads? I think not.

Ehh... good point. I mean, in RedLady's Sailor Moon Eternal, there are the Planet Fighters, but they look more like Tuxedo Kamens than anything else. No one's saying you can't have diverse characters and a vivid imagination, but creativity means difference -not just between your creations and the originals, but between your created characters as well.

Parallels of the original senshi.

When you create a senshi, try very hard not to model her off one of your favorite original senshi. Especially in appearance. This is just too weird and not really creative.

Actually, there were "senshi" in the Another Story video game that looked just like the Senshi. There was Sin, the Sailormoon lookalike, Nabu, the Mercury counterpart (who, in my opinion, looked like a blue-haired Nabiki from Ranma ½), the ditzy, Venus-like Ishtar, the fiery Nergal, and the tough Marduk. (These names, by the way, also come from mythology, just like the regular senshi) The "Opposito Senshi" were surprisingly like the other senshi -favorite color, hair (in most cases) and overall appearance. The real differences lay in the fact that the Opposito were a) evil (what a difference that makes... ^^;) and b) wore black jumpsuits, not sailor suits. Overall though, their personalities were close to the real Senshi, and the only thing that made them such interesting characters was their back story, or their reason for being evil. So, if you do happen to create a fan-senshi, it's usually okay to model them off of other senshi -how else would you have a basis for creation? But in the long run, there has to be some significant differences that make them appealing characters. Plus, if they're "Evil Senshi" a'la Galaxia, then you better have a good reason why she's evil.

Also, quite a lot of fanfictions seem to come from the alternate universe category, where the Sailormoon and Senshi are totally different (or certain changes are made to the timeline altering them as characters). Likewise, if you focus on the concept of "A universe for every decision," then Naoko's Sailormoon isn't the same one featured in countless fanfictions! If you focus on an exact opposite, past relatives, or just the Negaverse (and I say that because the opposite is the Posiverse, where everything is one way-- the Negaverse is the exact opposite) version of said character. For great examples of this, check out Sailor Orion's Refuge.

The long (straight) brown colored haired, blue eyed senshi.

C'mon, this is anime people! You can do *anything* you want! Why look like every one else?

But what if people are basing their characters off of the manga? While it's true Usagi, Haruka, Minako, and Makoto are obviously not Japanese by descent, it is possible that Setsuna, Hotaru, and Rei are "natural" Japanese, while Michiru, Ami, and Chibiusa dyed their hair. But in any case, some people prefer not to have wild looking senshi, simply for the sake of having them look like your run-of-the-mill humans. In anime, characters are given vividly colored hair and eyes to set them apart from other characters. After all, don't you think a blonde-haired girl who always wears her hair in 'odango' is pretty set from the crowd, as opposed to a brunette with brown eyes?

Technically, it's creative licensing in its highest form; people can identify more with characters that look and seem more real.

The Inhumanities

Ahhh, now these peeves featured here are down right inhumane and insulting.

*shudder* Mixing the dub and the original. Do I even have to explain this one? Most of the time people are mixing the names and attacks. For example, if you're talking about Kunzite, make sure not to refer to him as Malachite in the same story.

I have no arguments with this one whatsoever, unless you're doing some kind of phoenomenal crossover. In my case, I'm writing a fic where the manga and the anime get crossed-- one is the dub and the other is the original. Because the two (original/dub and manga/anime) differ so greatly from one another it allows people to make contrasts while staying true to "The Sailormoon Storyline" in both mediums.

The Unbelievable Sailor Moon Conspiracy Theory.

This is when someone takes a well known Sailor Moon Conspiracy, (Let's say why Chibiusa looks nothing like her parents) and slaps a REALLY stupid answer to it. Example: "How could you know that Rei-rei was actually ma-ma? It was so sad- I was the only one who could wash your black hair with the pink shampoo. I cried when I had to meld the red contacts onto your purple eyes" Puh-lease. And yes, that is an actual fanfic/poem.

*cough* Don't do it. It's really bad to try and mess with the original. The original manga, the original anime, whatever, but don't do it. If you haven't seen the new episodes, or have never read the manga, don't presume you know everything from looking at a few webpages. It is rare that one person is completely and totally right about something, or that they didn't leave something out. I have a lengthy readme about why it is disrespectful to fans and to the original author to screw around with "destiny" so blatantly. The facts are solid, undisputable, no matter how shady they are. Forget that you're a fan of Demando and not Mamoru, or that Seiya is just so much cooler. Forget that in the Silver Millenium, Haruka and Michiru might not have been involved. What you don't know, you can't always assume. These are hard core, indisputable facts. Mess with them, and well... may the wrath of Naoko-sama descend on you and yours. Chibiusa/Rini is Usagi and Mamoru's child. Not Demando, not Seiya, not some other random hottie from another anime (Ranma, for example... *shudder*)

Mamoru is NOT in love with Sailorpluto/Setsuna. Albeit the manga seemed to imply she had a bit of a crush on him, one can infer that, having to guard the Gate of Time with no one to talk to for millenia on end, and only reporting to the Royal Family, she would look up to someone-- and she blatantly says Serenity is her idol, and Endymion is her friend. Nothing more! Seiya and the other Sailor Starlights are 100% female in the manga. In the anime, they do change from guys into girls, but they weren't guys to begin with back on their home planet. It is highly doubtful they would permanently choose to stay in a "guy form". Rei, Minako, Setsuna, Hotaru, Makoto, Usagi, Ami, and Chibiusa are NOT homosexual or bi. On the other hand, Michiru and Haruka are. Screwing around with their relationships is just plain wrong.

Messing with the fates.

Usagi and Mamoru. Haruka and Michiru. Those couples are meant to be together. A bit of trouble or a break up as the plot is fine, just as long as they get back together (or at least headed on the right track).

Bring on the examples!

Example 1) "Princess Cesium was the lover of Prince Endymion back in the Silver Millennium. But he was meant for Princess Serenity, so after Neptune died in Crystal Tokyo, she became Uranus' lover." I swear, I'm not making this up!

Example 2) "Haruka and Michiru break up in this season. Michiru gets a new boyfriend named Eric. Haruka joins her new boyfriend, Alec, in the crusade for world domination"

*Shudder* As stated above, don't mess with couples. Usagi is meant to be with Mamoru. Not just to have Chibiusa, not just to rule Crystal Tokyo "for a while" but to stay with him. They love each other, and it's not just because of some damn royal titles from way back when. Michiru is meant to be with Haruka. They have an unbreakable bond, and they depend on each other. If you're homophobic well, welcome to the 21st century!!!! I can tell you right here, right now, that the senshi are mostly Christian(Usagi wears crosses, Rei goes to a Christian academy), so you can't say that in Christianty, or any other religion that condemns homosexuals, it's against God's will to love someone else of the same gender. Then I ask you this: if God created us all, then didn't He create the homosexuals too? Isn't all love precious and sacred, no matter who it's shared with? Besides, if you're so homophobic, then don't write about Haruka and Michiru at all. It's better not to do something against the original creation than to just jump off on a tangent because of your beliefs. I have nothing against religious parties except that some of them need to be a bit more progressive, and look at the world as it is today.

[cm break] and [opening scene] Personally, this is my biggest peeve. We're not watching the show, it's a story, a S-T-O-R-Y! And that's after the fact that I hate commercials in general! (Well, except some of the beer commercials, those can be pretty funny)

*Ahem* Not all fanfictions are written in prose format, where things happen in complete sentences. After all, the episodes we see, the movies we watch-- they were originally written in screenplay "script" format. Some of the best fanfics I've ever read (admittedly, not Sailormoon, but there are good SM script fics out there) are in script format. Besides being easier to write, actions, dialogue, thoughts, and pretty much everything that a character can do is enclosed in nifty little brackets. People who do [cm break] tend to have a cliffhanger. It's usually better to just end your chapter then and there than waste space typing [cm break]... unless of course, you're writing commercials too! As for [opening scene] I like this one, especially since people who like to continue past episode 200 do it in script format, developing new opening songs, actions, and more. If you can't make music videos, there's no better way to do it!

The slaughtering of the Japanese language.

We all know how much the Sailor Moon community loves to use Japanese. This love also bridges over into the fanfics. First, spell the words right. Second, don't over use the language. Yes, you may have a dictionary, but flipping back and forth gets annoying.

As Athena stated, there are acceptable "parameters" in which the use of Japanese language is used. But it is a pain to read entire sentences or phrases in Japanese when you have to either get a dictionary, go to a translation site, or scroll up/down for a glossary. It's better to use words that everyone knows, or include translations or general meanings within the sentence...

"Irrashaimase!" The store clerk welcomed the girls as they entered the charm shop.

From this, you can assume "Irrashaimase" means "Welcome". And you know what? You're right!

Acceptable Japanese language words that you can use in fanfics (safely) include: Odango Atama - Dumpling Head Gomen/Gomen ne/Gomenasai - I'm sorry (ranging from informal to polite) Genki/Daijoubu (Okay/Are you okay?) Mugen Gakuen/Azabu Juuban/Moto Azabu (the names of schools/ward) Minato-ku (the district Sailormoon takes place in) -baka (Idiot, Fool-- can be used as a suffix to someone's name or a word on its own) -san, -kun, -chan, -ko (honorifics. older person, usually female; younger person, usually male; younger person or person showing affection to; permanent suffix to girl's name respectively) Nani (what) Doushite (why)

But DON'T OVERDO IT. That means not trying to use every one in a single sentence/paragraph, or over and over.

In conclusion, I'd just like to say if you want to become a better writer - don't stop writing. Read more, take criticism, and have your friends and family proof read your stuff. In general, the most relevant peeve and biggest challenge for fanfic writers are flat, one-dimensional, stereotypical characters. If you can overcome this hump, you'll be ok. You don't have to take your fanfic seriously, have fun.

"Setsuna entered Hotaru's room bringing her tea, wearing a T-shirt that read 'Time's a bitch', obviously a gift from Haruka." This is one of my favorite lines from a great fanfic that doesn't take itself seriously. Lastly, to all those fanfic writers out there - good luck!

That's it. Overall, I think Athena has the right idea, but some things are just a bit off. No one should tell you what to do and not do in writing-- you have creative license over whatever you say or do, especially in the free-lance fic world. If your fic pleases you, then that's enough. =)

Comments on this article can be sent to: Azurite.

Comments made on this page are opinions of the author. They are not necessarily shared by Tripod and the Amazoness Quartet.

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