You Know When You Wrote A Bad Sailor Moon Fic When...
Section 1: Mechanics and Overall Nitpickiness
A)... You decide to write your fic in any of the following tenses:
1) Present progressive; third person plural. (i.e. We see Usagi and Mamoru kissing in the sunset.) C’mon people! That particular tense is used primarily for script writing. Unless you are writing in script format, don’t do it!
2) Present emphatic; third person plural. (i.e. Tuxedo Kamen looks at Sailor Moon. She is about to be hit by a youma. Tuxie decides to rescue her.)
Ok... So, what have we learned from this? DO NOT WRITE IN THE PRESENT TENSE! Cripes, what have your English teachers been teaching you? Fiction is always written in the past tense. PAST TENSE. Remember that!
B)... The following quote from Scandiadream’s "Rini’s Prince" describes your writing style: The Dead Moon Circus family tried to rampage Tokyo. It was once again time for the Sailor Soldiers to battle them.
He looked at her. She looked at him. “Hold me,” she said. “But I do not want your father to kill me,” he replied.... For crying out loud, develop some style! Write with flare! Play with words! This is bound to bore anyone unfortunate enough to be caught reading it!
C)... Every sentence of your fic is roughly four lines long and filled with a ton of adjectives. I don’t know who you’re trying to impress, but it isn’t me. I’d rather read anything by Faulkner than be subjected to all of that unnecessary flowery language.
D)... You decide to write in the first person but you keep switching who that person is. Double points if you repeat parts just so that you can get multiple reactions.... Quite frankly, this is the one I see the most. It’s jumpy and fragmented and no one needs to read the exact same plot points twice. If you want to write in the first person, then fine... but keep it the same person!
E)... You litter your fic with flashbacks in places where they don’t really belong. Again, it’s jumpy and fragmented and will most likely give your readers a headache.
F)... You couldn’t format your fic if your life depended on it. First and foremost, wrap your text! The minute I see a horizontal scroll bar, I’m hitting the back button. Second of all, please choose a text that most people have. You can’t go wrong with “Times New Roman.” Quite frankly, I’m a fan of “Book Antigua.” There’s nothing more annoying than having to read odd “Õ”s instead of quotation marks. And if you decide to post your fic in html instead of a text file, use dark text on a light background, please. No matter how much you may like your pastels; pale pink on baby blue does not mix.
G)... You mix sub and dub versions of your characters names. I don’t mind if you use sub names or dub names. Really. I don’t. Just please keep them straight.
H)... You decide to use dub names, but since you don’t like the names that CWi gave the outers, you decide to make up and use your own. Furthermore, you want the three lights to be in your fic, but since they never received names, you have to make those up, too. Anyone who reads this will spend their time lamenting, “Who the hell are these people? Olivia? Celia? Give me a break!” Rule of thumb: when writing a fic with the outers or Sailor Starlights, just use sub versions. It looks better and less people will attempt to hurt you.
I)... You misspell the names of the lead characters. “Serina”? Who? I once saw a fic entitled “The Name Momo-chan” about Mamoru. Someone should inform this person that Mamoru is “MAMO-CHAN.” Momo-chan is actually Chibiusa’s friend “Momoko.” I’m sure that you can all imagine the confusion that this particular fic causes.
J)... You decide to type out Molly’s Brooklyn accent phonetically.
K)... Your grammar resembles that of an eight year-old. This is why editors were invented. Better yet, go out of your way to learn the proper ways to use commas, apostrophes and semi-colons ON YOUR OWN. You will thank me later.
L)... Spell check is a foreign concept in your life. Don’t teachers give spelling tests anymore? A big one I always see is people spelling “psychic” as “physic.” What the Hell? Here’s another thought for you guys: use a dictionary! They are useful books and everybody should have one!
M)... Your beta-reader is your best friend. If you are a 12 year-old writer that can’t spell, then your friend probably can’t either. Get a good beta that actually knows what he/she is doing... preferably someone with at least SOME knowledge about Sailor Moon.
N)... In your author’s notes you ramble on and on about how much this fic sucks. IF YOU THINK YOUR FIC SUCKS, THEN WHY IN THE HELL DID YOU SUBMIT IT? You know what? If you do that, then I’m not going to bother reading that fic. Why should I? It sucks... remember? Your problem is that you want attention and are hoping for a lot of pity feedback to stroke your ego. Bite me.
O)... In your author’s notes you use the phrase, “I am a first time author so please be easy on me.” What this means is that you will take any constructive criticism as a personal attack against you. Get over yourself.
P)... Your author’s notes read like this: Yo, doods. Hear is my latest ficcie jest fer U! I hope u LIKE! ... Uh... I won’t even go there....
Q)... You write a fic using Japanese names for the main characters, but then give everyone else in the fic English ones. There are Japanese name servers out there, people. Use them. I highly doubt that Mamoru had a father named “Edward.”
R)... Your fic is nothing but quotes. It starts on a quote and continues in this fashion for the rest of the fic. Eventually, the readers and possibly even the author, forgets just who is speaking when and saying what.
S)... You forget Artemis and Luna. C’mon folks! Give kitties a chance! Artemis, especially needs some attention. All he does in the series is get beat up a lot.
T)...You stick ANs all throughout the fic. There are only TWO places where these belong: before and after the fic. They do not belong in the middle of a sentence. It says tons about your ineptitude as a writer if you can’t convey your ideas in your fic and need to TELL your readers instead.
U)...You decide to use a lot of really complicated Japanese expressions in your fics, but only place the definitions in some obscure place where most people will not read them.
V)... Despite the fact that you don’t know Japanese and are not in Japan, you insist on writing your ANs mostly in Japanese. It’s annoying.
W)... From Jed-chan: You fill your
fic with "gratutious, misused mixture of Japanese and English within [your]
stories. You know, the stuff that inspires such sentences as- 'Mamo-chan! Matte
yo! I want to go with you demo I can't. Tell minna-san I really want to be there
soshite pick me up some Carvel ice cream kudasai.' Maybe it's just my Japanese
minor screaming out at me, but such language...er... mixing only to serve to
drag down the story into a muddy mess."
X)... From Aly-chan: "I
have an entry for the section on your page (which i love by the way). I hate it
when people go and make up stupid ass last names for the characters. Why do
people feel the need to make up last names such as Serena/Usagi Moonstar or
livingston or whatever else you can think of. The last names of the characters
are laid out for people IN the animes...both dub and sub. Why is there a need to
change what was written. Tsukino, Chiba, Furuhata, Aino...these are laid out
perfectly clear. I hate it when you read a fic and come across one of these
weird ass last names. Most are probably the author's last name or something
stupid like that. I dont see it as creative, i see it as stupid. Dont change the
last names. This is especially true if you are using japanese names. Can you
imagine Mamoru Shields. I mean What the hell? Does Shields sound like a japanese
last name to you?"
Y)... From TaTa: You "write about
the character 'profiles' at the beginning of the fic. These things include: the
characters' age, appearance (hair and eye colour), and occupation, hobbies,
likes/dislikes, current boyfriend/girlfriend, or where they live and with whom."
Sophia Prester adds onto this and clarifies a few points with the following: ..."You post a chapter of your fic that is nothing but a list of your original character's birthday, astrological sign, blood type, favorite color, favorite and least favorite subjects, favorite and least favorite foods, etc. In addition, you spend more time thinking up a distinctive fuku color combo and hairstyle for your new character than you do in giving her anything resembling a personality."
Z)... Sophia then rounds out the
alphabet in this section! "You use turn anime sight gags into prose rather than
attempting to show actual reactions. This includes, but is not limited to:
sweatdropping, facefaulting, super-deforming, or pulling hammers out of nowhere.
In summary, despite the fact that you are NOT a professional, that should not stop you from at least ATTEMPTING to appear to be as professional as possible in your fic. Typos and minor grammar errors are acceptable, but please don’t make a habit of it.
Section 2: Been There. Done That. Grandma Wrote the Book on It.
A)... You write a First Season Romance. In that First Season Romance, one or more of the following things occur:
1) Mamoru insults Usagi until Usagi starts to cry.
2) Usagi runs away from Mamoru in tears. Naturally Mamoru follows her and suddenly comes to the realization that, dammit, he loves her!
3) Usagi trips, falls, and sprains her ankle. Mamoru is forced to take care of her and they both realize their feelings for one another. Double points if it is during a thunderstorm or there is ice on the road.
4) Motoki and the girls try to play cupid.
5) Someone from the orphanage that Mamoru was close to dies. Usagi takes it upon herself to “comfort” him.
6) Usagi tries to show Mamoru what true Christmas spirit is like, gosh darned it!
7) It takes place on Valentine’s Day. Mamoru showers Usagi with many roses.
8) The fic ends with Usagi and Mamoru making out under a tree or on “their” bench under the sunset.
9) Mamoru gets in an accident. Usagi takes care of him. He realizes just how much he loves her.
10) Mamoru and Usagi find out that the other is Tuxie and Sailor Moon. They both summarily freak out. Usagi cries because now she thinks that Mamoru is very disappointed.
11) Usagi and Mamoru get locked in a closet. Double points if it is during a thunderstorm and Mamoru is forced to comfort a very distressed Usagi.
12) Usagi gets stood up at the school dance. Mamoru decides to take her and save her from the embarrassment.
13) Usagi gets an abusive boyfriend. Mamoru beats the crap out of him.
14) A random creep sexually attacks Usagi in the park after a battle. Mamoru beats the crap out of him. Go Mamo-chan, go! Mamo-chan can really kick some ass when he wants to, can’t he?
15) Mamoru is Usagi's tutor.
There are other variations on these. If I listed them all, I’d be here all day.
B)... You write a break-up fic where one or more of the following occurs:
1) Usagi spends the whole fic in tears.
2) Usagi is injured in battle and only Tuxie can help her, much to his distress.
3) It’s a character piece about how much Mamoru hates being broken up with Usagi.
4) Usagi is captured by the enemy and turned evil. Only Mamoru can save her. Naturally.
5) Mamoru attempts to date other girls just to get Usagi off of his back.
6) You write about that episode where Usagi is put in that eternal sleep.
7) Usagi gives up on Mamoru and decides that Demando really IS the one for her.
Again, there are so many that if I listed them all, it would take forever.
C)... Usagi gets amnesia.
D)... Usagi gets hurt by her friends and Mamoru and runs away to the states/Canada where she runs into Mamoru’s reincarnated generals. She then returns back to Tokyo with the generals in tow and decides to act like Batman: angsty and kickass. Meanwhile, her friends are all trying to make up with her.
Jade Hunter adds the following variation: "All the Inner Senshi and Mamoru turn against Usagi for no explained reason, causing Usagi and the Outers to move to a new country/dimension with some help from Pluto. Then, suddenly, we find out that a new enemy has been controlling the Inners and Mamoru and they go beg forgiveness. They meet up in either a teary reunion or a tense reunion filled with hostility from the Outers."
E)... Usagi fakes her death and runs away to the states.
F)... Usagi has a reincarnated brother from the Silver Millennium. He is older, very supportive of her, and kicks more ass than she ever could. If the fic uses dub names, his is Travis (or Tranquility).
G)... Usagi and Mamoru have more than just Chibiusa as a child. Chibiusa is
actually the younger of a set of twins. There is also a younger brother. If
using dub names, Rini’s sister is “Irene Lady Imbrium” and the brother is
“Travis Tranquility.” (Travis again? The Moon Kingdom must have been full of
rednecks and hicks! Btw, “imbrium” isn’t even a real word.)
H)... Either Mamoru or Usagi dies. The one left behind spends the rest of the fic going insane.
I)... Mamoru has a nice conversation with the various other aspects of his personality. Double points if his conscience attempts to beat Mamoru with a mallet. TRIPLE points if Mamoru actually feels it.
J)... Usagi has the worst day known to man. This culminates in her own “death.” But don’t worry! She’s eventually resurrected!
K)... After the battle with Galaxia, you write about Usagi coming to terms with not being Sailormoon.
L)... You write a fic that takes place in the doom tree arc. It features Usagi somehow getting Mamoru to kiss her. As soon as he does, he suddenly remembers everything. Double points if it takes place during that babysitting episode or involves Usagi crying at a pond/stream in the park.
M)... Your fic features any one of the following pairs: Ami/Urawa, Makoto/Shinozaki, Minako/Motoki, Ami/Zoisite, and/or Makoto/Nephrite. Let’s see here.... There is no reason to believe that any of those pairs exist! Urawa was in 2 episodes and he disappeared. Shinozaki was in all of 1 episode. Motoki is dating Reika. And I know how you guys love that manga pic with the inners and the Four Kings, but with the exception of Minako/Kunzite and POSSIBLY Rei/Jadeite, there’s no basis for any of those pairings.
N)... At the end, everyone lives happily ever after. Can’t you people write something with a bittersweet ending for once?
O)... Someone in your fic is named “Galen.” (Why? Are their only certain names that a person is allowed to use? First “Travis” and then “Galen.” I NEED TO KNOW!)
P)... The first line of your fic conists of Usagi screaming, "GAH! I'm running so late! Why didn't somebody WAKE me?!?!? WAAAAH!"
Q)... In your fic, after the battle against Beryl, it's MAMORU who has his memories back and Usagi who can't remember anything. (It was interesting the first time I read it. Now, it's gotten old.)
R)... From Sailor Serenity: "Mamoru buys Usagi that ring with the crescent moon shaped diamond. (This thing keeps popping up in fics! I work in a jewlery store. This ring does not exist, people.)"
S)... From Kihin Rhanno: "In
the clichéd fics list, there is not one mention of Beryl coming back for revenge
or her son/brother/etc. going after the senshi to avenge her death... Usually
involving said son/brother wanting to screw Usagi over, make her his bride, take
her away from Mamoru... I've only seen that one a few million times..."
T)... From Jade Hunter:Usagi is really
adopted/a genius and she's been hiding her real self because others expected her
to act stupid and airheaded. Yeah, the others expected her to be a crybaby even
before they knew her, so in preparation she has been acting like an airhead for
14 years before she met them.
Disclaimer: It is entirely possible to write a good fic on any of these subjects. However, it is highly unlikely and your fic will probably suck, anyway. I recommend that you deal with it.
Part 3: I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About This
A)... You decide to write a songfic. Double points if your songfic uses a song by some Teenybopper act or Savage Garden. Triple points if a character is either playing that cd or singing it at a karaoke bar. QUADRUPLE points if the song either has nothing to do with the fic in question or you just randomly attach the song to the end or beginning of the fic!
All songfics really do are proclaim to the world what your taste in music is. No one really cares. May I suggest just adding a “soundtrack list” to ANs, instead?
B)... You decide to write a crossover.
This isn’t bad in theory but they tend to just look really hokey or the characterizations are all out of whack. The exceptions to this are crossovers with another anime or manga. And The Highlander. I have no idea why this is but you can cross The Highlander over with ANYTHING and it works.
C)... You write a hentai.
I’ve read good ones, but hentai are just bad by definition. (Btw, if you have the guts to use Chibi Chibi in a hentai, I will either fear you or worship you for life.)
D)... You create a brand new senshi! I really don’t see the point in this. Naoko created 35 senshi. Do we really need MORE?
E)... Your brand new senshi is either Sailor Earth or Sailor Sun/Sol. Never mind the fact that both the Earth and the sun are already represented by Mamoru and Elios, respectively.
F)... You create a knight for every planet to be the respective senshi’s lover.
G)... Your new character has your name.
H)... Your new character shares a majority of your personality traits and even rather looks either a hell of a lot like you or how you really wished that you looked.
I)... You feel the need to describe what every character is wearing.
J)... You create fan art of your brand new character and actually expect people to go out of their way to view it. Unfortunately, you have no artistic talent, whatsoever.
K)... You like your brand new dress so much that you write a fic that has Usagi wearing it to a dance.
L)... You decide to write in the first person but end up accidentally making that character your avatar.
M)... Your latest fic is for the Circles of Time series. (I'm sorry, but I have serious issues with that series. I mean, Hotaru is inbred and Usagi's father is a cat, for crying out loud! Though the latter WOULD explain ChibiUsa's... unique taste in men....[*shudders*])
N)... Your fic is posted ONLY at fanfiction.net.
O)... You wrote the fic that doesn't end. Yes, it goes on and on, my friend. One day you started writing it, not knowing what it was and you'll continue writing it forever just because it is the fic that doesn't end....
Q)... From Sailor Serenity: "All the senshi show up in dresses/bathing suits/hats/underwear in their "power" color (i.e. Pink for Usagi... Green for Makoto)"
R)... Also from Sailor Serenity: "Serena and Darien each have a sibling from the Silver Millenium. Serena's sister is named Selena and Darien's brother is named Damien. In order to further torture the reader, you make Selena and Damien fall in love. (This just made me ill. I mean, were their parents SO dense they couldn't just think of an original name for their second child? Oh, wait, maybe the AUTHOR is just that dull.)"
S)... From Amanda: "Writing a
hentai involving the night Chibiusa and Usagi switch ages, having chibi-Usagi
have sex with Mamoru, and not-so-chibi-Chibiusa with every single senshi in
various numbers, positions, then later with Helios."
T)... Also from Amanda: "Doing a Chibiusa/Mamoru hentai fic. See above, and she was her actual age of 8. Incest, child rape, and a multitude of other charges applicable."
U)... More from Sophia Prester! (Yes, we like her around here.): "The entire fic is a long, heartfelt monologue delivered by character #1 to character #2. It is only at the end of the monologue that we discover that character #2 is...(wait for it)...DEAD! Oh, the angst! The shock! The cheap audience manipulation! Bonus points if you actually end with a description of character #2's tombstone, or if character #2 has died thanks to some Lifetime Movie-of-the-week cliche(drunk driver, cancer, childbirth, etc. Why doesn't anyone ever plagiarize "Fargo" and use a tree-chipper?) Fling yourself directly into the Eighth Circle of Hell if character #2's death is in any way tied to September 11.
V)... Items V-X courtesy of Kihin Ranno: "Your fic contains a hell of a lot of excessive swearing. Now God damn it, I like cussing and cursing as much as the next fucking jackass, but damn it I do not see the fucking need to have the fucking F-word inserted in every other fucking sentence! Look at the fucking show! Did you fucking see (or in this case fucking hear) any of the fucking Senshi Bitches swear THAT fucking much? And do you have any fucking idea how fucking stupid you look when you use that shit? Well you fucking should!!" [The Bitch: Well, Fuck! You fucking tell 'em, sister!]
W)... "Your fic's plot centers around rape, incest, or abuse. Now it is possible to write a good fic about these subjects, but for heaven's sake a little creativity, please... Not all abuse cases were perpetrated by the father, involved alcohol, and was primarily physical. Yes it exists, but mothers can be just as abusive as father. There are other kinds of abuse (financial, verbal, psychological, etc.). And not every human being that had a major character flaw is an alcoholic. Double points if the rape plot involves forcible oral sex."
X)... "Your fic involves either Mamoru or Usagi being a vampire/werewolf/witch/warlock *cringes at use of the word* with their soul mate being "the slayer". The other senshi are thrown in liberally as friends of "the slayer" or fellow "creatures of the night". "The slayer" ends up falling love with "the creature of the night" and vice versa, but it ends in blood. Can you say Buffy rip off? Oh and double points if you did absolutely no research on the subjects prior to starting your fic, thus getting everything wrong."
Section 4: When God Was Handing Out Brains, He Forgot You, Didn’t He?
A)... Your brand new, created character is the most perfect human being put on the planet. He/She shares your name, is a planetary knight/senshi, and is either dating or the sibling of your favorite character. Furthermore, if your character is female, she has a soul mate/boyfriend that is just like Tuxedo Kamen. Mary Sue/Marty Stu... it’s time for you to die!
B)... You know absolutely nothing about Sailor Moon and yet, you wrote a fic, anyway.
C)... You write about Mamoru having an affair on Usagi.
D)... You write about Mamoru beating the crap out of Usagi.
E)... Your fic features Usagi cheating on Mamoru with Seiya.
F)... Mamoru and Usagi break up... permanently.
G)... Haruka and Michiru break up. Double points if it is for another MAN. (Insert any comments about homophobia here.)
H)... You write a hentai that features Sailor Mercury, a pool table, and Tom Cruise’s character from The Color of Money. (What were you THINKING?!?)
I)... You write a fic where any of the characters attempt to commit suicide.
J)... You write a fic based on your own personal experiences that no one really cares about.
K)... You write a fic where Rei is the evil bitch from Hell who hates Usagi’s guts and is still mad at her for stealing Mamoru from her!
L)... You write a fic that features MALE sailor senshi. Um... it doesn’t happen. It’s impossible. DON’T DO IT!
M)... Your fic is about Mamoru temporarily turning into a woman. It features a part where Usagi tries to teach him/her how to put in a tampon.
N)... You torture Mamoru for no good reason. Torture him as much as you’d like! I enjoy reading those fics. Just make sure that there is a good reason for Mamoru to have his ass kicked/cause him to cry.
O)... You finally decide to write that Naru/Umino hentai that you’ve been threatening to do for a while.
P)... You kill senshi off needlessly.
Q)... You bring Mamoru’s parents back from the dead. Unfortunately, they’re EVIL.
R)... Wow! Mamoru has a sister! Who knew? But why is she YOUNGER than what is technically possible if you consider the minor fact that his parents died when he was six?
S)... Your fic contains NONE of the original senshi.
T)... You write an alternate reality fic where all of the characters are OUT of character.
U)... You write an alternate reality fic that is nothing more than a rewrite of some other movie or book with SM character names.
(A good example of this is Sailor Jes’ The Way. It was a nice fic. I enjoyed reading it. It was really good... for Anne of Green Gables. It wasn’t Sailor Moon. Which is why I always say that a good fic is able to maintain the spirit of the show that it was based on.)
V)... Your fic is about what happens when an insane environmentalist tries to take over the world by using some product known as “KooKoo Kola” that causes people to turn into stone when they get angry.
W)... You actually have the gall to hold your fic up for ransom and refuse to post parts of it until you get a certain amount of feedback. Feedback is nice, but holding your fic for ransom is low, you pretentious asshole. Where in the Hell do you think you get off?
X)... You plagiarized, you lowly piece of shit. Words can’t do justice describing the contempt that I hold for you.
Have something that you would like to add? Want to argue with me? Want to flame me over an open fire and roast marshmallows over my smoldering ashes? Please, send all comments and flames to me.