The Lemures Files
  Guest Article: April 25th, 2000

More Otaku Tips

By: Scarlett

Lately I've noticed a surge in otaku webrings. While I'm happy to see more people out there in the lovely (yet under appreciated) field of otaku, a lot of them really suck.

I don't mean to be... mean. I'm just stating this so that maybe you can look back over your site and see why the hits aren't building up on your counter (A: Because no one ever LOOKS at otaku pages...)

So, I'm back, with yet another list.

  1. Don't take yourself seriously: Just don't. Make your page funny! No one wants to sit there reading some horrible drama that is to cheezy to take seriously. Have some FUN! Okay? You are not Orson Welles (as he is my soulbond), you are not Alfred Hitchcock. Take pride in your Farelly brother-ness.

  2. Don't use 'young' language.: Don't over populate your writings with the words 'kewl,' 'cuz,' 'ne1,' or 'L8r.' Okay? It's annoying to read and people will get pissed if you do that.

  3. Let's do the time-warp again!: Hey, no one said that SM had to take place from the early nineties on. Set it in WWII, on the Titanic, in the Salem Witch Trials... whatever you want and know you will have fun with. Don't fall into the trap of having to stay after the time the original senshi appeared.

  4. Try not to use the same elements as the senshi: I do this, I know, but try not to, especially if you're trying to set your story with the original senshi. Good ideas for a power base would be the name you use (such as Sailorathena = war/knowledge Sailorlatis = beer/fish *grins* that'd be fun). This really only works if you choose the name of a god/goddess.

  5. Forget the dark=evil trap: Okay, this is a bit of a weird stretch type thing. But people ALWAYS name their villains something like 'The black planets.' When you get right down to it, white would be the evil colour. And what is this thing the villains have for black? Why can't Sailorevilangrymouseketeer's favourite colour be pink? You don't have to be a megalomaniac trying to destroy the Earth to like black. Back to my original point. Give your villains a name that doesn't have the words 'dark, black, gloomy, murky, ect...' in them. Try another language, mine are the 'militia templi' which is 'Soldiers of the Templar' in Latin. So rustle up that old French-English dictionary and get cracking! Same with the planet they come from. A lot of people make their antagonists come from the planet "Eviltron," once, just once, I'd like to see a villain from "Happyland" or "Bubblesvill."

  6. Don't cliche up your senshi either: Never call them heavenly, celestial, starry tralalala... Find something relevant to their name (mine are technically named the Dieppe Soldiers) and use it. Good things to use, myths (Olympian Senshi, Trojan Senshi [though I wouldn't use THAT one for obvious reason -.-]), poetry/ books (The Stone Angels, The Catcher's In the Rye *snickers*, The Cremators of Sam McGee.... ) battles or something (Vimy Soldiers, Battlers of the Bulge *more snickering, yes I know I'm being insensitive*)

  7. Throw some ATTITUDE into it: Don't just toss yourself into this halfway. When you write, throw yourself into it, snap, crackle, pop, whatever you think is best. Nothing makes a site more interesting then the fact that it is a manifestation of the owner's personality.

  8. Give your character's profiles more than just a list of stats : I HATE this. It's annoying to go to a page, trying to find out more about a character and finding six lines of pointless crap and a picture. Give me a description of her personality, her history, who she is. I can't comprehend a character when all I know is her favourite food and her shoe size (which usually matches or is bigger than her IQ).

  9. Write want YOU want to write: Okay, I have a page that a lot of people hate. Recently in one of my diary entries I made a jab at Sharon Tate and Jay Sebring, the flames just poured in. Apparently people don't understand the concept of the dark comedy. Anyway, write what you want to write, if you write like Anne Rice, or Robertson Davies, or Margaret Laurence... it doesn't matter because the page is to make you happy. It's not going to be deleted because you have an average of .3 people visiting the page per day. And, this is just my little philosophy but, if it doesn't cause some sort of controversy, it isn't worth writing. I revel in flames I receive because A: It means the ignorant masses have stumbled upon my little page and B: They're to stupid to understand the satirism in my page. So treat flames about your writing as little ego boosters, remind yourself that you're smarter than this person who's complaining about your Godfather parody.

  10. Don't use any part of your site as a crutch for your stories : When you write, pretend that the story is ALL that your audience will see. They have to understand it without reading the background story and the character profiles. Don't skip over some major part of the story just because they can read about it elsewhere on your site. But don't go too useless. "She was about 5'5" with a slim build and beautiful features. Pink was her favourite colour and she loved pizza. She walked up to Jim and said, 'hi.'" Uh... no. Don't do that.

  11. Stop with the frikkin lesbians!: Don't get me wrong. It's great that you're so happy that you can create gay characters, but it gets annoying when every other main character is a lesbian. Okay? If you're that desperate to prove you're open minded, have a gay guy, you know, a brother, or a kamen type. Just try to separate yourself from the group.

  12. Try not to be completely scientifically minded: Well, unless you are really original, I'm sure that in their past lives, your senshi looked human. So, you might want to explain that. Maybe they came from a fairly advanced society that actually placed human's on Earth (for some reason people like to create societies that rely entirely on magic[k]). Scientific societies are FUN! Weapons trade is a GREAT way to provide the collapse of your society. And please, don't just have the senshi sent along as 'help.' Blow up the planet *yes, I'm harsh and weird, I know*. Even if it is a comedy you want to create some degree of psychological terror. The idea that these people have no place to go back to, that they are all alone, will, on some level, terrify your readers. After all, the entire reason a writer writes is because they don't want to know they are alone.

  13. Don't use tonnes of Japanese in your story: Unless you can actually carry on a conversation IN Japanese with a Japanese person, you shouldn't be throwing the language around. Saying 'gomen ne minna-san' doesn't make you cool. I know that sometimes the stuff just slips into your subconscious and you use it without thinking (I speak a garbled language consisting of English, German, Italian, Hebrew, Sanskrit and Latin, because I pick up random phrases and interchange them with English ones) and that's fine. But overuse gets annoying. I've received many flames telling me to 'just call them the *%&^$ soldiers of the temple[sic]!'

  14. Try to match your senshi's name and colour[s]: Okay, maybe this is just me, but wouldn't a character named Sailordraco (on Sailordrano ^_^) have colours like dark green and red (those are the colours a lot of people associate with dragons) rather than pink and green (BTW: Pink + green = watermelon). And wouldn't a character named Sailordorado (dorado being the goldfish) be orange and gold or something. Think about it. I'm am SO SICK of people with otaku senshi named something like 'Sailorlightningstormuglydeath' who's colours are pink and baby blue (which is an icky colour in itself...).

  15. Make Sure you CAN write: I'd say the leading cause of stupid otaku fanfics are the fact that the writer... isn't. Okay, I was at a book signing the other day for... a WWII author, can't remember a specific name. And a doctor walked up to the author and said, 'you know, after I retire, I think I'll write a novel.' To this, the author (I think his name was Bob or Bill) replied, 'after I retire, I think I'll do some brain surgery.' So don't throw yourself into this thinking that you can write and you are just THE WRITER now. Your first story you write for this, get someone to look it over, a teacher (preferably an English teacher) or a friend who is competent in the field of writing. Because face it, we are so sick of the Self-Insertion characters who suddenly find out that they and their three closest friends are Sailor Ice, Sailor Fire, Sailor Water and Sailor Love. Um.... yeah, don't EVER do this. Self-Insertion is bad and in all five years I've been on the net, I've only seen this nicely executed once.

  16. Spell check and grammer check are your friend: Okay, you know what? I find pages that say "I think I write this story good" absolutely hilarious. Who learned you to wrote so good? Check your spelling and grammar. You could be an absolutely wonderful and creative writer, but if your story starts out, 'It was a daark nite in th4e jumne' then... no one will give it a second look.

  17. Don't let the reviewers discourage you: Okay, for some god/allah/buddha/whateverforsaken reason, reviewers think that otaku pages are not Sailormoon pages. And I have gotten some pretty weird letters from reviewers telling me 'I won't review your page because I only review Sailormoon pages, you moron!' Okay? You will not receive much recognition because a lot of people are convinced that all otaku is like the ASMO or Sailor Orion. I mean, (no offence to the AQ) the last otaku page reviewed on the AQ was the ASMO and that was for a 'runner up' page in like, 1996 or something. So, if you're doing a page for hits make something like 'ThE BeSt S ClUb 7 BsB and N sYnC PaGe EvEr!' (however, if you do, I get to call you 'sellout' for the rest of your life)

  18. Most people are not examples of physical perfection: I don't give a damn if it's anime. People have physical faults too. And don't take the usual route and give your character a leg brace or braces or something. Give her some damn flesh! I admit that I am guilty of this too but I've been trying to fix that. I especially hate those pages that say 'she can eat whatever she wants but just doesn't get fat.' Do you actually know people like this? Give them a reason for being thin like, 'she's always working out' or 'she's an anorexic' or (but don't use it 'cause it's MINE ^_^) 'she doesn't take her thyroid medication.' Another note, unless your character has undergone SERIOUS plastic surgery, she will not have a measurement of 36-21-28. That's just sick.
So, yeah, have fun, email me the URL when you're done.

Comments on this article can be sent to: Scarlett.

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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