Ninx's "FtB" FAQ
Recently, as I have been perusing the ASMR New Stories list on Sunday's, I have noticed a replete of FAQ's for beginning writers. So, I read them. And you know what? I wasn't quite satisfied. In fact, a part of me began to rage, saying, "Okay, besides the good formatting part, how dare you tell me what to write? COME ON!" Also, the fact that some of these FAQ were...well, let's just say the writer forgot to practice what he preached. Anyhoo, I calmed myself down (somewhat) and decided, "You know, I could write my OWN FAQ! And instead of posting it on a page where it will rot, I could put it on my page and have people read it!" And this is how my "FtB"--"For the Beginner"--FAQ was born.

DISCLAIMER: Well, besides the usual, I'd like to state that some parts of this page are sarcastic, sardonic, and rude, while other parts are truthful expressions of what I feel is needed. I hope no one takes offense, but if they do, I suggest they go read the nicer FAQ's posted on ASMR. Well, actually, are they nicer? *g*

"FtB" FAQ's Ninx again. I suggest reading the "Rule #?" in different accents. It helps.

Rule Number 1: PLEASE, please, check your spelling, grammar, and format. PLEASE. I love reading good stories, but it is an immediate turnoff if I have to scroll. Really, it is. I know others have suggested setting macros, or returning at the end of a line, but I simply set my right margin in a coupla inches. If it's at about 4.5", it seems to fit best. However, experiment with the Notepad on your computer, or whatever functions in that capacity.

Rule Number 2: You know, I had to agree with one author: RESEARCH YOUR BUTT OFF. Sailor Moon is quite the complex universe when it comes down to it, and if you want to write in-depth, epic stories, you'd better get your facts write. This is NOT a request, really. Probably one of the BEST things to do is find the manga translations on the 'Net, or get them sent to you via e-mail. They give you some great character insight, and the pics are to die for. ('Specially of Mamoru, but that's a digression.)

Rule Number 3: It is generally not wise to go tamper crazy with your story. You want to write within the universe--okay. Stick to the rules of it: Attacks are usually vocalized, in one particuliar color, and of around the same element; the Silver Crystal will womp your butt; Tux is always hot, etc. etc. (okay, I was low on rules, but give me a break! it's 11:48 P.M. and I don't feel well.*g*) If you truly want to use the characters in a universe of your own creation, state so in the VERY FIRST PART OF YOUR STORY. "alt. universe" works like a charm.

Rule Number 4: On a very similiar note, introducing new characters into the SM universe is not a BAD thing. After all, it is a LARGE universe, with many planets; heck, the one it focuses mainly on has 6 billion or so people. So, yes, this introduction thing is not a bad thing. I will even cross the line and say, SURE! Give them abilities! However, there is a CATCH to this. Sailor Moon is about...yes, you guessed it, Sailor Moon! and her Sailor Senshi amigas! and some cats, too! So, focusing so much on your alternate character, and not on the interactions between them, is just wrong. Alt. C's should be catalysts, and not the main stars of the show.

Rule Number 5: Okay, I believe this is where I tangent into dub names and the "first" names. You see, I keep reading that you aren't supposed to mix them, and at first, I was kind of iffy about doing anything of the sort. And then, I thought, "Wait a second. The same people who don't want us to mix the names want the dub of Sailor S (may it come soon) to have the Senshi keep the Japanese names." Hrm...and furthermore, I can almost count the number of people who know the ACTUAL dub names of the Outer Senshi (I ain't talkin' fandub, either) on one hand. They're exotic, yes. Do they suit the purpose? Not in my opinion. And I would be EXTREMELY happy if they decided that they were going to use the Japanese names instead of the oddly spelled American dub ones. Much nicer. So, in my book, mix away!

Rule Number 6: Did I mention formatting? Spelling? Plot consistency? Ahh, I think I forgot to mention that. It helps if you build to things in plot, really. If you have a beginning, middle, end, with perhaps a conflict, climax, and resolution thrown in there, you are just DARN good. If you manage to maintain similiar characterization all the way through, or if you keep to the show's character, that's even better. If you evolve characters through the aforemention three's, heck, you are FABULOUS.

Rule Number 7: Start small. You want to write a series, fine--but get two, three, or more stories up before you launch into something big. Get comfortable writing Sailor Moon, and perhaps get some feedback, before launching into this HUGE monster of a 'fic.

Rule Number 8: Disclaimers. These are some of my favorite parts to writing the story, though you have to be really careful with them. They act as Author's Notes and/or spoilers for the piece of story after them, and therefore the writing must usually be pretty precise. Also, if you didn't know, you'd better include the "I-don't-own-don't-sue-me" disclaimer, along with the fact that if you copy the STORY, you should be tied to a stake and poked with hot brands for a long time.

Rule Number 9: Try not to end your story on a calm point. It kind of leaves the reader with a bad taste in their mouth. There are variations on the calm point that can be used, but impending action is usually what keeps people coming back for more.

Rule Number 10: Ahh, finally, around the end. Basically, write what you want to! Although there are some overused story ideas, be Roman--improve on it! Well...okay. If you have a story idea that bugs you to death, and will not stop until it gets onto paper, if it won't even stop until you've drawn up and outline and developed the characters for it...this is probably a good indication that this is a story you should write. If, however, you catch a glimmer of an idea, but cannot flesh it out...I suggest not. It is immensely frustrating to readers when a write suddenly...STOPS.

I am going to reveal what is probably "Ninx's School of Writing, Secret Technique" (yes, I like Ranma. woo!), a technique which has probably contributed to my small "popularity." And, simply, it is reading A LOT before even starting to write, and then corresponding with the authors of the stories you really like. If you use the name you post under, that is TEN X better. And if you advertise for them, it can be just about the best thing you could ever do. I am dead serious, though, about you LIKING it. Doing it just for popularity may end up casting some doubts upon your own abilities. Also, when you read, don't be daunted by some of the authors with LOTS of talent. For instance, had I read Fushigi Kismet before I started "Four Lovers," I might have reconsidered the series. She is just THAT good. Yet, that is NOT the attitude one should have, because one cannot judge one's writing! It's a fact, really; Inx University of Algo, Indiana has proved it. *g*

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the FAQ, and I promise to update at a more reasonable time at night! *g*

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