THE SELF-INSERTED MENACE
Part 2: Insert This!

By Lord Chaos

His lordship Chaos here again.

In the last rant, we fatally neutered the somewhat unholy creature known as the author avatar...only to discover that avatars can rarely take a hint and stay dead. True, if classified properly, you'd discover that most avatars are of the genus known as "unnatural selection."

So now you're able to identify those denizens of textual Ipecac. What's next? Well, now that we've examined what avatars do wrong, the time has come to look at what avatars can do to better themselves. This is as much a "successful avatarhood for dummies" guide as it's a rant, so pay careful attention.

I've chosen a few of the more absurd author avatars out there, and selected excerpts from one of their fanfics. Here we get to observe the avatar in their native environment--namely someone else's. I'll be covering all the basic mistakes each avatar makes, and how they could have avoided making their readers nauseous. Skim through the excerpts, and once you've atoned for your sins before the porcelain god, return and check with my pointers on how these otaku succeeded or failed as author avatars. And on what should be done if they (or you) wish to be a successful god-like avatar in future fics.

Let's dissect us some avatars, shall we? Get out your scalpels, and make sure you've got those lab aprons on, because this could get messy. Probably because you readers here to study the dissection will turn the scalpels on yourselves just to end the pain.

In the tradition of ladies first, we'll start with the female specimens. While not as testosterone-driven as their male counterparts, those avatars of the XX chromosome persuasion do offer insights on how to be a better self-inserted deity.

***

[AVATAR (GIRL-TYPE) 01]

Our first avatar goes by the run-on name of 'princessfelinaaekabannon'. In all honesty, that last part sounds a bit like some exotic Japanese vegetable, but one can never be sure.

Now some liberties have been taken with the presentation of her fic...namely because the illustrious Hime-chan decided that the pesky concept of separating paragraphs was outdated. And rightly so, since this is her fic and she is the god! But I still opted for splicing things apart, if only to be contrary.


>Sailor Earth To The Rescue

Mistake #1 - technically, Mamo-chump is the guardian of Earth. Yeah I know: if Mamo-chump's in charge, the Earth as we know it is screwed. Perhaps that's why the Powers That Be elected a new guardian (Sailor Earth) to take over his job, but even still, there are so many constellations a Senshi could be named after.

***


>Amy sat at the lunch table during school. She was eating with
>her best friend Leah. Leah had been Amy's best friend since
>the beginning of Amy's 10th grade year. Amy was now in the
>11th grade. When the sailor scouts had entered high school
>they had been split up.

Commendation - having the Sailor team be split apart, thus allowing for the 'divide & conquer' tactic to come into effect. It's much easier for an avatar to squash the competition for the spotlight if you take them down one at a time, plus it means more scene time for each individual squashing.

Mistake #2 - a true avatar would either be class representative or the student council president. You should only mingle with the commoners when needs be, and if it means you can have more scenes with the Senshi...Scouts...I hate that English dubjob.

***


>Leah had shoulder length light brown hair. A lot lighter than
>Lita's hair. She was almost as tall as Lita though. She wore
>glasses and had dark brown eyes.

Commendation - it seems to be implied later on that when Leah transforms into Sailor Earth (oh, like I really spoiled that surprise for you), she loses the glasses. Recall in Gundam Wing how Lady Une would go from demure to bad-ass battle queen depending on if she was wearing her glasses? Same thing applies here: Leah can achieve the same sweet, domineering effect. Granted, Lady Une was sane and gentle only while the glasses were *off*, but I'm sure something can be worked out.

Mistake #3 - having light light brown hair in effect renders you a 'dirty blonde.' Naturally, an avatar can't allow such potential teasings to inflict any damage on their raging ego, so it's best to have hair colours that everyone loves and never laughs at, like shades of gentle peach or orange cantaloupe.

***


>"Hey Amy" Serena said running up and hugging her.
>
>"Hey Serena nice to see you". "You too Rini" Amy said.

Mistake #4 - Chibiusa's presence and subsequent involvement in the fanfic. Why Leah/Sailor Earth doesn't trounce Yamstur the Unnamable at once is beyond me.

***


>Floating in the air above the city was a man. He had on a
>black outfit of armour and a black cape on. He had long bright
>green with streaks of orange hair. Under on air he had a thick
>golden book. "Yes the child is here I can feel it, with her I
>can control the universe" he said to no one, but himself.

Commendation - even the villains realise that this avatar controls the universe. Now that's respect!

Mistake #5 - green hair and orange streaks? Damn, and here I thought villains looked silly enough in the Anime. Remember, being an avatar is not an artistic license to make people's hair whatever colour you want. Try to keep hair colour natural, like a modest mauve tone.

***


>While this was going on Luna seeing the scouts needed help ran
>off toward the park. Luna ran on trying to ignore what could
>happen if the Black Night got a hold of Chibi Chibi Moon. Luna
>saw who she was looking for. "Leah, Leah the scouts are in
>trouble its time for Sailor Earth to be born", Luna yelled.
>
>"Ok hang on" Leah bent down and placed her palm flat on the
>ground. Her hand glowed. When she pulled it away a red rose
>grew up out of the ground. She gently flicked the rose with
>her finger and it opened. A gold key with a brown crystal
>floated up to her.

Commendation - Leah has the right approach in making the Scouts come to *her* for help. Not that you have to make them beg every time, but it's always a boost to know that you're in great demand.

Mistake #6 - "The key which hides power of the Dark! Show your true form before me! I, Sakura, command you under our contract! RE--" Whoops, I mistook the resident Anime of this fanfic for a moment there....

***


>"Earth Crystal Key" she yelled. The key floated down around
>her neck. Brown lights swirled around her covering her whole
>body in a bubble of light. When the lights stopped she was in
>her Sailor outfit. Her out fit was brown with light green bows
>like the rest of the Sailor Scouts. Her terra had a brown
>crystal with sparkles in it. Her gloves the light green rolls
>on the ends also had sparkles. Near the top of the skirt was
>a belt. Light green with sparkles. And hanging from the belt
>was a thick, foot long poll. Her boots were brown go go boots
>like Mercury's with light green on top with sparkles.

Commendation - low-cut shirts and long, supple legs will guarantee hordes of adoring fanboys worshiping your feet. Male otaku reading a fic like this are easy suckers that way.

Mistake #7 - what, no ruffles? No corsets? No long, frilly laces? And go go boots?! What kind of magical avatar accessorising is this?! This is why it's always best to discreetly hire a fashion consultant for your fanfic. Why not Setsuna, if she's not doing much at the Gates of Time this season?

***


>The other Sailor Scouts were awake but they were to hurt and
>tired to move. Sailor Earth reached down and grabbed the poll
>from her belt.

Mistake #8 - while I do commend Leah for using as unique a weapon a poll against an enemy, it's doubtful the villain-du- jour will recant of its evil after seeing how the people of Tokyo voted you as having the most attractive body, the most vibrant eyes, the most charming self-inserted personality, and so forth. Unless the poll was asking Tokyo citizens which method of ass-kicking they prefer she use against said youma.

***


>It was like Pluto's Hey Staff except the staff park was dark
>blue with green zig zags going down it. The top went into a
>oval shaped ball. It was green with the symbol of the Earth in
>blue in the middle. On the very top was a small Earth. She
>spun it in a circle above her head.

Commendation - avatars should always have the use of some large medieval-like weapon to help slice, dice & Julian Fry their daemonic victims--er, opponents.

Mistake #9 - Leah's mistake here is taking her cue from Setsuna and having a look-alike Time Staff. Avatars are wholly original god-like creatures, so it's only fitting that their weaponry is original also. In this example, good substitutes for a staff would be a halberd, a katana or an airhorn.

***


>"Mother Nature Strike!" the earth stopped and blue, green and
>brown balls of light shot and the creature. The creature
>disappeared.

Commendation - mother nature can be a bitch sometimes, and Leah here is proving that she inherited said bitchiness from mommy dearest. Everyone loves a babe who can kick ass. Why else would Xena have lasted as long as it did?

Mistake #10 - even in an attack, the colour brown just detracts from the overall coolness. Regardless if it *is* considered an earth tone, other more neon colours should be used. And followed by detonating the youma in a large explosion of fire too. Readers are always into fanciful pyrotechnics displays.

***


>The Sailor Scouts got up to think Sailor Earth but she ran
>off. "Who is Sailor Earth" Sailor Moon asked Luna.
>
>"She's the Sailor Scouts of the Earth she's even stronger then
>Saturn" Luna answered.

Commendation - as Tim (the Toolman) Allen used to say, "More power!!!" And as we all know, where avatars are concerned, more power is a good thing.

Mistake #11 - okay, so Leah has established that she's more powerful than Saturn. Only problem is that (Sailor) Galaxia was credited as being the most powerful and feared Senshi in the galaxy. This is a matter of pride for an avatar; you can't let someone else upstage you like that!

***

[AVATAR (GIRL-TYPE) 02]

Next up, we have a young self-inserted lass by the name of Serene, who proves that sometimes soap opera plot devices are still the best plot devices around!


>Where Oh Where has my Serena Gone (part 2)
>By Serene
>serene_chiba@hotmail.com

Commendation - the title indicates that we no longer have to worry about Serena. Now while I'm not a big dub fan, I will admit that the original voice actress for Serena (who also did the voice for Shrieky in Carebears...don't ask how I know that) was perfect. But if this fic takes place in the S and Super dubs, where we encounter the new but definitely not improved VA for Serena, I say "Sayonara, Serena, and good riddance!"

Mistake #1 - the only thing more distracting than the use of the dub cast is having hybrids between the Japanese and English versions. In this case, the use of 'Serene (and Darien) Chiba'. This sort of thing will distract readers from the avatar, whose magnanimous presence is what the readers came here for in the first place. Remember: if you're an avatar, you can't let anyone or anything steal your spotlight, even for the briefest of paragraphs.

***


>"All right you guys, we've got to talk." Artimis said. "If the
>Negaverse is going to return well.... I hate to say it but we
>will need to find a replacement for Sailor Moon."

Commendation - Serene shows her initiative in taking over the central role of Sailor Moon here. Who needs to create a new slot to fill, when you can just catapult one of the central characters out of an already cushy slot? Swift, simple, and this automatically guarantees a high status of power for the avatar.

Mistake #2 - has no one clued in that the Negaverse is like a bad reality TV show? No matter how many times you try to kill it, it keeps resurrecting itself and coming back to suck. Not necessarily sucking your blood or your braincells. It just sucks, period. Negaverse plot devices are often overused, so a new sort of villain should be created to keep the fic original. Why not have hordes of Elder Gods or Angels suddenly start attacking Tokyo?

***


>Suddenly [Darien] heard a knock at the door. Must be one of
>the girls.
>
>
>When he opened the door he saw a Woman about 30, with short brown hair, and
>big brown eyes. She wore a big smile, and a
>T-shirt with genes.

This isn't as much a mistake as it is a curious note: anyone know where I can buy Tshirts with genetic sequences on them? It sounds like a cool thing an avatar would wear.


>Holding on to her hand was a little girl about 9 or 10 years
>old. She had big blue eyes,(just like Serena's)And short blond
>hair put up in braids. Strange, when I look at her I feel as
>though I am looking at Serena
>

Commendation - note how Serene is roping in her victims--I mean, the audience by acting all shy and innocent. This is a good way for female avatars especially to attract attention in the initial stages. No one can resist a cute little girl-type avatar; everyone will faun & coo all over her, putting all the focus on her.

Mistake #3 - being only a 10 year-old avatar. Even though you're cute, no one will really take you seriously...even if you have to smite someone with your god powers just to prove a point. Teen avatars allow for the best angst, WAFF, fanservice, you name it. Not to mention if you're a teen avatar, you also qualify to fly any mecha you want--so long as you're under 17.

***


>"Are you Darien Chiba?" She inquired with a hopeful look in
>her eyes.
>
>"Yes, and you are?"
>
>"OH. Sorry, I'm Janice Shonday from Cross Roads Orphanage,
>and this is Serene."

Commendation - the troubled, angst-ridden orphan is a sure-fire way to get everyone lavishing comfort and attention on you. The avatar has to make little effort at all to get pampered, as Serene demonstrates in later chapters.

Mistake #4 - being from a local orphanage takes away from all your potential, avatar-enriched angsty scenes. I'd recommend you check out a map of Japan and point to a city at random. That's where your orphanage was, which allows you to talk for a long time about how alone you felt in a strange city, how you coped in a new surrounding, and of the grueling travels you underwent to reach your family. No one can resist a gut- wrenching story like that!

***


>"I would appreciate it if you get to the point."
>
>"All right. Serene is your little sister."
>
>He gave her a questioning look. "What makes you think she is
>*my* little sister?"
>
>"We've traced her back to the accident when she lost her
>parents. She was found in the Chiba home with her sitter the
>night of the accident. The sitter told us she had a big
>Brother named Darien Chiba."

Mistake #5 - even avatars have to bow to the thin line of realism sometimes. The fact that Darien and Serene wound up stuck in different orphanages during their childhood and never learned about or remembered each other is a stretch. Rather, a good technique is to make your avatar (in this case, Serene) a distant relative, like a cousin twice removed. She became orphaned and only Darien can take her in & care for her. The bonding begins quickly when they identify so well with each other. Ladies, this means your talons sink into him faster than you can beat down a Bon-Bon Baddie!

***


>He looked at Serene and noticed she had a very interesting
>look in hereyes. OH how she reminded him of Serena. "How do
>you feel about this Serene?"
>
>"I want to get out of there. It's to crowded and the kids are
>so mean." He thought he saw a tear form but she blinked it
>away.
>
>"All right, but I'll have to get some things in order first."

Commendable - avatar tears: are there no better crocodile tears to shed in order to get your way?

Mistake #6 - obviously Serene isn't working her full influence on Darien, otherwise he would have immediately glomped onto her and insisted she not go back to that horrible, terrible no good very bad place. Give us some godhood, Serene! Don't be afraid to use it!

***


>Rei had asked Darien to stay a minute. After the girls had
>left Darien asked her to tell him what she wanted. "There was
>something in my vision that I didn't tell the girls, but I
>think you should know."
>
>"What is it Rei?" She definitely had his attention.

Rei: "I wasn't wearing any pants in that vision."

(Just kidding! ^-^)


>"My vision also showed a little girl that we should be on the
>lookout for. I didn't get a clear picture of her, but she try
>and find you. To seek refuge with you if you will. This new
>enemy is after her because she has some special connection
>with Serena that hasn't been revealed to me yet."

Commendable - ooooh, intrigue! Readers love it when they put the pieces together faster than the characters. It makes them feel all superior--though we really know who's the superior one in this self-insertion, don't we?

Mistake #7 - at this point in the story, a reader might mistake the avatar for a Serena clone, thusly ruining all the avatar's sheer lusciousness. Clones never work out, even when DNAvatar is concerned.

***

[AVATAR (GIRL-TYPE) 03]

Our last contribution to the female side of the self-inserted coin is from Sailor Sirius (not to be confused with the similar-sounding avatar, Sailor Serious), where we get to see some original spins on the old avatar ideals.


>The Mysterious Guardian By Sailor Sirius
>Staris1013@aol.com

Mistake #1 - the only thing more evil than some avatars is AOL. It will corrupt even the most benevolent of the self-inserted masses, so avoid AOhelL at all costs! But on the good side, if you are stuck using AOL, you can then spam the chatrooms and message boards with your fic, that way gaining yourself more adoring fans. Always try to look for that silver lining in the cloud, ne?

***


>As I glanced at the crisp pages, my thoughts turned to the
>recent defeat of Galaxia, my mother. Now that the Sailor Wars
>were over for this generation, what would happen next? After
>Galaxia I thought I could handle anything, hopefully anything. Maybe, for
>once, there could be a chance that I could actually
>live a somewhat less hectic life for awhile.

Commendable - Sirius gives herself incredible plausibility for being so damned powerful. Come on, the offspring of Sailor Galaxia has to be able to send comets across the solar system with just the flick of her wrists. Bonus points are awarded if her father's a Super Saiyan, since all human/Saiyan progeny wind up even stronger than their parents.

Mistake #2 - wanting a less hectic life. Sirius should know better. The avatar manifesto demands that if there isn't already some action, then avatars must create the action themselves! How else is an avatar supposed to display their radiance? In a game of strip Backgammon? Say, that gives me an idea....

***


>I sighed and went back to my book. Suddenly the laptop on my
>desk cackled to life. It spun around and the electric cord
>broke lamp that Hotaru gave me. "Computer!" I yelled.
>
>A distorted image appeared on the screen, a face I knew every
>well.
>
>"Sailor Vesta?" I said as I grabbed the computer from the air.
>
>"Sirius, can you hear me?!" The image started to fuzz.

Commendable - having a voice-activated computer system to take all your calls. Hands-free communication allows the avatar to strive for more spotlight-filled action. Not to mention it makes any avatar seem more important when other Senshi have to call you on the phone.

Mistake #3 - a laptop? Come now, this sort of hyper sci-fi computer should be akin to something that came out of Washuu's lab. Ie., computers with shadow-like keyboards that float in the air and disappear when you're not using them. The screens should also be very large, and have onscreen menus accessible by touch. Sirius should also have a sailor beeper handy too, because you just never know what might happen.

Besides...that was one of Hotaru's favourite (and cutest) lamps!

***


>"Sirius Silver Star Armor!"
>
>Silver plates covered my body and replaced my street cloths.
>My feet were covered in silver knee high boots and finally my
>helmet appeared and ended the transformation. Lita walked into
>the room, a feather duster was in her hand, and she raised an
>eyebrow.
>
>"No time to explain, I need to go," I explained.

Commendable - already Sirius has got the right idea. Lita's her personal maid!

Mistake #4 - another case of mix & match with the Japanese and English names. First Hotaru, then Lita. Readers will be perplexed and forget all about you! They should never forget about an avatar's elegant performance.

Mistake #5 - Nevermind that silver is a soft metal and unsuitable for armor...or that people might try to mug her for it so that they can smelt it down and resell it. But while silver plated armour looks fancy, it's heavy. The last thing an avatar needs is to be weighed down. Granted, some avatars are so strong they wouldn't notice, but all that armour will make you look bulky. Plus, helmets are meant for Power Rangers (gyaaaaaa...) and mecha pilots, not magical girls. Avatars are not exempt from this either.

***


>I leaped over the buildings to get to the apartment Serena and
>Darien shared ... I landed on the balcony, I didn't bother
>knocking this late at night. I put my hand directly through
>the sliding glass door, the rest of my body followed. Ever
>since I had realized my powers existed, I have been able to do
>many things. Going through walls, creating holograms, reading
>minds, telepathic, and telekinesis were some of the first
>things I could do.

Commendable - anyone who can mimic Miss Deep's ability to pass through solid matter (from the great anime, Read Or Die) deserves kudos. That can create some very cool fight scenes where you can really get the readers riled up & cheering wildly for you.

Mistake #6 - let's consult the god-powers checklist: passing through solid matter, holographic projection, telepathy, telekinesis and mindreading. Yet I note the all-important ability to make great dim sum is missing. Making good dim sum is harder than it looks, so all avatars need to include that in their list of god-powers.

***


>"Wait, I recognize her," Hermes grasped the mirror to get a
>better look. "That's Sailor Sirius! I remember her from the
>Silver Millennium."
>
>"She's still alive?"

Commendable - Sirius proves that real avatars never die, they just take a nap and graciously allow any secondary characters (in other words, everyone else) to have a chance at the spotlight for a short while.

Mistake #7 - Silver Millennium past lives are definitely not in vogue. These days, everyone's from the Silver Millennium. My French poodle had a past life as Queen Serenity's royal cat, and my pool cleaner's the reincarnation of a garden shrubbery in the Moon Palace. If you want your avatar to be really cool, go for a funky past life, like being the reincarnation of Leonardo DaVinci or Patrick Stewart's hair.

***


>Again she threw the bolt at me and I didn't dodge this time.
>Instead I caught her weapon before it hit me.
>
>"Some trick there," I replied, "but just not good enough."
>
>"How can that be?! My bolt can only be caught and held by me!"
>
>"Well not anymore."
>
>I threw the bolt back at her. She tried to catch it, but
>unfortunately she missed. It scorched her arm and red blood
>started to drip from the mark.

Commendable - Sirius demonstrates a good way to make a villain wet their codpiece. And rightly so, since catching their most powerful attack proves you are the god, not them.

Mistake #8 - I find it hard to believe that Sirius only grazed her opponent. Whatever happened to taking the enemy's weapon and just impaling them with it? You can't have that "tee hee! I win I win I win!" giggle and victory dance without having first impaled your opponent now, can you?

***


>The Guardian is a senshi who is a Staris, the last of a
>powerful race that had long lives and great power. She is more
>powerful than any other Sailor Senshi in the Universe and is
>a servant to the Lord. No one can kill her, until her destiny
>has been accomplished and her destiny is unknown. The Guardian
>can destroy galaxies with the snap of a finger and can kill
>whole civilizations with a stomp of her foot. She spreads the
>good word of the Lord and shall serve Him for eternity. What
>is hard to believe is that the Guardian is me.

Commendable - stomping on civilisations, good. Destroying galaxies by snapping fingers, also good. Most powerful Senshi in the universe, excellent! See, Sirius has honed her avatar skills to near-perfection, so take all you rookie self-inserts take notes on these abilities of hers.

Mistake #9 - Sirius indicates that she's serving a Lord, when in fact she should be the one being served, worshiped, adored and so forth since the avatar is really meant to be Lord. Unless the Lord she's referring to is her author...which would really be weird since the avatar's a female and the Lord is mentioned as being a He.

***

[AVATAR (BOY-TYPE) 01]

Our first specimen of male self-insertion comes courtesy of a wheelchair-bound avatar known as "Tuxedo" Chris Caldwell, who's taken his cues from those wacky polygamists.


>Sailor Moon and the Scouts meet Chris by Chris Caldwell
>
>This story happens before we know each other. This is how we
>met. This is how we feel in love. This is Sailor Moon and the
>Scouts meet Chris...

Commendable - to be fair, Tuxedo Chris is being honest about how he equates groping with love. Don't all avatars? For that matter, don't all males?

Mistake #1 - Never let Setsuna and her somewhat skewed perspective on time edit the grammar in your fic. A story about you falling in love before you've even met the person makes about as much sense as a naughty tentacle monster on Sesame Street.


>This story happens after the 200th episode, I mean right after
>it, the day after...
>
>Starring the voices of the NA Sailor Moon Cast...

Commendable - since this is after Sailorstars, the readers don't have to be further tortured by the likes of the pink- haired creature known as Cthulhu--er, Chibiusa. Likewise, we are all spared the cruelty of having to witness another gender-bending transformation courtesy of those icky transsexual Sailor wanna-be Starlights.

Mistake #2 - the sad truth is that even avatars will eventually succumb to the maddening accents and inane stop-go dialogue of the dub cast. If an avatar wishes to indulge in fantasies with the girl(s) of their dreams, it's a good idea to make sure you won't strangle said girl of your dreams by the second date--or the first date if we're again talking the VA for Serena used in the S and SuperS dubs.

***


>Serena couldn't watch [Darien go]. She was so heartbroken
>again. She didn't know what to do. Returning back to the
>temple where Raye, Mina, Lita and Amy waited, she was full of
>thought.
>
>Before she could utter another crying word, Amy
>said..."Serena, we have a surprise for you. We're going to
>America, too. Actually, Viriginia and Rockbridge County to be
>exact!"

Commendable - already, Tuxedo Chris is off to a good start. Having eliminated the Yamhead and the Starlights from the cast list, he's gone one step further and taken Mamo-chump out of the picture. With all the males and 'are they really human?' characters gone, this paves the way for yuri!

Mistake #3 - technically, their conversation should have been as follows:

Serena: "Gee, we've defeated Galaxia and saved the Earth, and my boyfriend's gone. What are we going to do now?"

Scouts: ^-^ "We're going to Di$neyland!"


>(ed's note: I live in Natural Bridge, VA, and RC is about 30
>miles away from me so I bet you can guess what's going to
>happen next)

Mistake #4 - this is a self-insertion fanfic. A spoiler like this was made a very moot point right after the title. People don't like redundant avatars who always repeat the same things.

***


>Chris was one of the members of his drama class to be waiting
>on the Scouts.

Mistake #5 - avatars are meant to be gods, not the footstools. Chris' glaring mistake here is that he was waiting on the Scouts, and not the other way around. For that matter, they should have been waiting on him with grapes, sticks of Pocky and Vandread fansubs.

***


>We all had made signs so they would know that we were the
>ones. "Over there, it's them! " Chris screamed with delight.

Commendable - although it never made the final cut into the fic, it should be noted that Tuxedo Chris' sign read: 'Kiss the Kami-sama.' Having a sense of humour to go with your Raging Ego always makes for a great combination.

Mistake #6 - I see Tuxedo Chris is *still* letting Setsuna edit his tenses...not to mention his 1st person narration.

***


>Amy continued, "We've been e-mailing for over a year now and
>Chris has wanted to meet us and he also wanted us to meet his
>friends."

Commendable - odds are Tuxedo Chris was telepathic (how else could he have gotten Amy's Email address?), but he cleverly covered that up by using the Internet. If your omnipotence comes on too strong at the beginning, the readers--er, Scouts, might back away and never want to see you again.

Mistake #7 - horrors! There's more than one potential avatar in this fic, since Tuxedo Chris brought along his friends! God complexes never play well together. In the future, Tuxedo Chris should make sure he's the only focus in a fanfic, lest those other avatars try to hog the spotlight.

***


>Then, since each of them needed a place to stay, Chris's
>fellow classmates decided who would stay where. Serena would
>stay with Molly, Lita would stay with Brooke, Amy would stay
>with Jesse, Mina would stay with Ann, and Raye would stay with
>Sarah.

Mistake #8 - you're an avatar, you dolt! You mansion has more than enough guest rooms for the ladies. Then again...not having enough guest rooms means they'll all have to share your bedroom--while you're in it! Ecchi, romantic hijinks ensue!

***


>"I knew it," Luna said finally.
>
>"What?" All the scouts gasped.
>
>"Chris is someone very important to the Moon Kingdom."
>
>Mina, Raye, and Serena got this shock of extreme pain.

Commendable - obviously Mina, Raye and Serena were all suddenly overcome by the radiant glory of all that was the self- inserted manliness of Tuxedo Chris. If you can't exude this sort of magnificence, then you'll never make it as an avatar.

Mistake #9 - being a reincarnated guy (or gal) from the Moon Kingdom is more troublesome than you'd think. What if it's the middle of the night, you've got to hit the little avatar's room, and suddenly you get a memory flashback where the mental map of your house is replaced with a mental map of the palace? Needless to say, things get...er...messy, and your cool-o- meter drops down a notch. Best to have lived a different sort of past life, like being Hotaru's nanny or Makoto's favourite pillow.

***


>You see, before the Moon Kingdom was attacked, Chris was able
>to walk and everything he wishes to do now and he was in love
>with Serena, Mina, and Raye, and they, in turn, were in love
>with him, but Queen Serenity knew Chris wasn't as strong as
>Prince Darien, so she wanted Darien and Serena together.

Commendable - note how Tuxedo Chris has such potent animal magnetism that three of the Inner Senshi--er, Scouts (argh!) fell for him all at once. Granted, he wasn't able to attract them all, but it's a good try since this was his first time as acting god.

Mistake #10 - how dare he let that Mamo-chump show him up in a past life! Come on, Tuxedo Chris, are you a deity or are you a lifeless dork? Wait, don't answer that....

***


>Luna continued, "You [three] were to marry him, while Mercury
>and Jupiter protected you, but it was not to be.

Mistake #11 - woah! Hold the phone! Marriage?! No self- respecting male avatar would thoughtlessly throw away their carefree bachelor existence like that. if you get married, you no longer remain the god. She assumes that role--and in this case 'she' entails Raye, Mina and Serena. No wonder Tuxedo Chris never wrote a sequel: they put the smackdown on him right after the exchange of vows, and he's been puppywhipped ever since.

***


>"What did I do know?" Chris asked.

Mistake #12 - someone get Setsuna away from the keyboard already.

***


>"Don't you have Nega-villians to fight in Japan?" Chris asked,
>pondering.
>
>"No, they're all gone, and that's why we're here!" Sailor
>Mercury replied.

Mistake #13 - a lack of villains means a lack of ass to kick. How can any avatar look cool if they are a loss for ass- kicking? Villains may seem cliche, but hey, everyone needs a good punching bag. You as an avatar need to assert your power somehow.

***


>"We've told our friends, Brooke, Sarah, Jesse, Molly and Ann
>our true secret and they have aggreed not to say anything
>about us,"Raye said, "and since we're all here to protect you,
>we have asked Luna to give our powers to our new friends so
>that we may live and have a peaceful live with you..."

Commendable - living with 5 cute, nubile Anime babes. What's not to like about this arrangement? This is what being an avatar is all about, and Tuxedo Chris shows how well he understands this.

Mistake #14 - as mentioned before, a fic can quickly degenerate into a godplaying melee if there are too many avatars and not enough Bambi-eyed Sailor groupies. Making your self-inserted buddies as soldiers for love & justice is just asking for trouble, as they will not doubt try to upstage you in later chapters or sequel fics.

***


>"But don't we need someone to protect us?" Ann asked.
>
>"You already have him, " Lita answered.
>
>"It's me," Chris said. "I'm Tuxedo Chris, even though I
>haven't worn or will wear a tuxedo."

Commendable - fighting evil in a tuxedo only works for James Bond or Lupin III...mainly because their tuxedos come with exploding missiles and grappling hooks. Tuxedo Chris is only that in name alone, and thus ensures he will not get mistaken for a Mamo-chump wanna-be.

Mistake #14 - the fishnet stockings he chose to wear in favour over a tuxedo clash with his choice of lipstick. Avatars should always be fashion-friendly, especially since magical villains are obviously not.

***

[AVATAR (BOY-TYPE) 02]

Our next self-inserted male specimen is known as Mike 'godboy' Franklin. Now we can already see he has learned what it means to be an avatar with the 'godboy' nickname. Here are some excerpts from his fanfic "Sailor Moon: Part 1".


>I would usually title all my stories, but I don't remember the
>title actually given to this one. When you read along, you'll
>figure out what episode it is of.

Commendation - honesty is the best policy. Not only does he admit to being a 'godboy', he tells us he hasn't bothered to research the title for this fic, which is based on an actual SM 1st season episode. He's not going to pretend this character isn't him. In fact, he's openly flaunting it! Way to be confident in yourself!

Mistake #1 - by the same token, all fanfics should have a catchy title that strings together a lot of cool-sounding words that, when combined, sound kinda Zen but don't make a lot of sense. For example, he could have entitled this: Deep Sailor Planet Henshin Future Action!!!

***


>Sailor Moon
>Ranger Saturn

Mistake #2 - if you are not Chuck Norris or based in Texas, being a Ranger lacks that same ass-kicking edge. In fact, it kinda gives one the impression of an avatar dressed up in khaki green shorts and a Tshirt, who sits in a forest outpost all day long. Who can take any self-inserted god seriously when they're dressed like that?

***


>Amy smiled to him. "Hello Mr. Baxter. How are you doing
>today?"
>
>Mr. Baxter removed his cap. "Pretty well, considering."
>
>She smiled again. "Serena, Rei, I'd like you to meet Mr.
>Baxter. He's the gardener here at the park."
>
>"Well, I'm soon not going to be, Amy."
>
>She looked at him with puzzlement. "What do you mean?"
>
>"There's a new commercial estates development coming through
>here. They're going to build a mini-mall on top of this land,
>so enjoy it while you can."
>
>"They can't do that!" Rei said angrily.
>
>Another male appeared behind Mr. Baxter. He was much younger
>than he, just about their age. All the girls were speechless.

Commendable - the girls were speechless because godboy was able to properly project his stunning beauty and superiority. As said with Tuxedo Chris, if an avatar can't do this, then they don't deserve to be an avatar.

Mistake #3 - omitting the error of using the dub, look at all those paragraphs we had to suffer through in order to finally reach godboy's grand appearance! The readers were in the throes of godboy withdrawal by then. If you want to captivate any reader with your self-inserted brilliance, you need to jump into the story sooner. Who cares about all that story build-up and plot exposition?

***


>The girls were still speechless as the teen handed Mr. Baxter
>a couple of pots of flowers. He smiled to them, noticing their
>silence. "Hi, I'm Mike Matthews," he said as he extended his
>hand toward them. "I had to help out here with Mr. Baxter
>'cause my mom suckered me into it. It's really nice though."

Commendable - here we see the caring, softer side of Sears--er, godboy. Now this is an excellent tactic: sucker the ladies in by acting all noble and virtuous. They'll be unable to resist your wily avatarish charms.

Mistake #4 - following up the philanthropist routine with a "mom made me do it." Nothing turns a girl off like learning that an avatar *still* lives with his mother. More than that, he inserted his mother into the fanfic so he could live with her.

***


>"Amy?" Rei asked her other friend, tapping her on the
>shoulder. "Are you listening to me?"
>
>Amy blinked her eyes and then shook her head quickly. "Yes..I
>am..It's just..he's.." Amy shook her head again. "Nothing. I'm
>fine."
>
>Quickly, she walked away from her friends, not waiting. Serena
>looked at Rei. "I saw the way you looked at him!"

Commendable - even though indications are that Amy will become godboy's main squeezetoy, we can see here that all the ladies present in the scene are infatuated with him. You have to love an avatar who can accomplish that after only a few lines of pointless dialogue.

Mistake #5 - having them fight over him like they've become Ryoko and Ayeka. Such triangles are tedious and become boring very quickly. Instead, Serena, Rei and Amy should be devising a time-share table, where each of them are slotted for an hour or two alone with godboy. After all, an avatar has a responsibility to treat all of his babes right!

***


>A monster, seemingly made completely of plant material, stood
>over the prone body of Mr. Baxter! It held in its 'hands'
>strings of vine, holding tight three girls dressed in student
>type uniforms.
>
>"What's going on here?" Mike exclaimed, not understanding the
>situation.

Commendable - godboy demonstrates that an avatar must always be in control and never panic or freak out. When you panic, you get reduced to Victim A-Type, and cease to be cool.

Mistake #6 - his response lacks panache. "What's going on here?" should be replaced with a devil-may-care attitude, a middle finger, and Hong kong-styled dialogue like, "I have been scared too shitless by monsters lately! Now, foul youma, I shall beat you out of recognisable shape!"

***


>The monster did not give up, firing more vine-like structures,
>wrapping the boy tight. [Godboy] grunted under the pressure of
>the strong organic material. He couldn't breathe. He heard
>someone call to him, then a black baton was pushed into one of
>his free hands.
>
>"Hold onto it and say 'Saturn Power'!" the voice told him.

Commendable - fighting is always a solution. If it's a 'happy resolution where both sides win' ending that you want, maybe violence isn't the way to go. But how else can an avatar prove they're cool? Ergo, fighting is the only solution (just so long as you win).

Mistake #7 - the last person to say 'Saturn Power' was Hotaru, and she wound up wearing a fuku and carrying a glaive. Now while the glaive may work for an avatar like godboy, the fuku on the other hand....

***


>Mike stood in the middle of the clearing dust, black cape
>flapping behind him. A cloth mask, also black, covered his
>face, bordered by a rigid black headress, crystal adorning the
>center forehead (Yup, also black). He had a shiny vest of
>solid chrome body armor, and cloth pants. He looked like an
>avenging shadow, angry for all the time it had been defeated
>by the overpowering light.

Commendable - with a primer paragraph like this, a cool ass- kicking scene is just around the corner. Godboy is about demonstrate his self-inserted superiority to the masses, as all avatars should do in the first chapter of any fanfic.

Mistake #8 - who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of avatars? The Shadow knows.... Um, sorry about that, wrong story. Anyhoo, dressing like a ninja who's poorly masquerading as a Renaissance knight just doesn't work. I'd recommend instead a wardrobe choice that makes an avatar look like Fabio, only less evil.

***


>"You did well, Mike. Welcome to the Sailor Scout team, Ranger
>Saturn."
>
>Mike looked around, not seeing the source of the voice. "Uhm..
>thanks..I..where are you?"
>
>"I'm right here." Mike looked down. A black cat sat at his
>feet, smiling at him gratefully.
>
>"A..a..cat. I must of hit myself on the head in that fight."

Mistake #9 - the Sailormoon universe has enough Mau cats, and adding one more to the mix will look too cliched. It's better for an avatar to have a more exotic, talking obligatory mascot. Such as a cockatrice or a basilisk.

***


>Mike smiled. "So let me get this right. I, when needed, can
>become a powerful magical being capable of a great source of
>energy used for the power of good. I've got a huge
>responsibility and could lose control at anytime, right?"

Commendable - magical zorching powers are always a plus. Think of the possibilities, especially if some jerk cuts you off while you're driving on the highway!

Mistake #10 - it's a common mistake for avatars to assume that they have to use their near-infinite powers solely for good. Villains always have derived so much entertainment over being evil, why should the avatar be left out of all that fun?

***

[AVATAR (BOY-TYPE...kinda) 03]

Our final self-inserted specimen of study is the somewhat infamous Oscar. Here we see his first prestigious work of fanfiction entitled "Artemis's Lover."


>"Artemis's lover"
>
>by Oscar allias"Artemis's lover"
>
>E-mail= oscaralfonso@hotmail.com

Mistake #1 - it's an Oscarfic. 'Nuff said. Plus, it looks as if ChibiChibi was left in charge of spellchecking. Avatars are supposed to look infalluble...er, infallible. You didn't see that.

***


>Hi, i'm Oscar, i'm 13 years old,
>
>and this is my little white companion, Artemis. Anyway Artemis
>& i, are much more than just amaster and a pet , its more like
>a human-cat relation.
>
>Cuz when i'm home alone....well....i...him...we...well "have
>sex" actually we just masturbate each other.

Mistake #2 - okay, this is the wrong kind of pussy a male avatar's supposed to be going after, and I do mean wrong in so many ways.

***


>we're here to tell you, how we met, how we fell in love with
>each other, and well how we lost our virginity. Oscar's an
>Hermaphrodite, i.e.=a boy that has a dick and pussy (with clit
>and everything) at the same time!!imagen that!"

Mistakes #3-7 - DON'T make me draw a picture for you, people. You should bloody well know what this avatar's problem is by now!

***

So, survived the gauntlet, have you? I hope that all of you reading this rant took excellent notes on how these avatars of the past succeeded and failed in being textual gods of their own design. To summarise....

Male avatars can and/or will:

- either retain the actual name of the author, or take some Japanese name the author thought sounded cool
- be a guardian, knight or some other pouf living by some old chivalric order
- wind up protecting (or stalking, whichever comes first) the Senshi the author is most attracted to
- eventually become the boyfriend of aforementioned Senshi
- subject you to their yawn-a-minute epic, filled with pointless battles but evidently no spellchecker.
- have large swords to make up for their lack of charming personality

Female avatars can and/or will:

- be Sailor Earth, Sailor Sun or Sailor insert-constellation-or-astrological-sign-name-here
- have more power than any of the Senshi, or all of them combined. The same deal can probably be said for breast size too.
- acquire a boyfriend (or else some cute guy dragged off the streets & brainwashed to be her soulmate)
- showcase perfection in academics, modeling and sports--but not in building models of clipper ships. No one can ever be perfect at model clipper ship building.
- own a wardrobe that must be described right down to the last stitch used for fastening the buttons on her blouse, which goes over the white chemise, and looks just so good with the blue pleated skirt and...you get the idea.

Almost all avatars can and/or will:

- make you want to kill yourself
- make you want to kill them
- make you want to kill their author

Thus ends the second part of this 3-part rant series. Until the final segment is unleashed, just remember: nothing says cool like an Asaba Sexy Self-Insertion Dance.

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