I credit A Dallop a Daisy for giving some ideas on the cliches, and the purple prose thing. -nods- Hopefully this pleases everyone...
Oh, and I credit S.P.A.M.S.P.O.T. for giving me some ideas too. Actually, lots of them. XD
We. NEED. This. SERIOUSLY!!!!!!!!!!!
I have just reached my limit for my exclamation quotes...for the day. XD. I think.
Welcome to the 'Guide On Writing A Good Prince Of Tennis Story'. Everyone, please take your seats. Class is about to begin.
1. Don't make a Mary Sue.
I seriously CANNOT stress this enough. Probably like, 1 out of 10 people in this fandom writes a Mary Sue character. There are many people who hate Mary Sues. Why? Well, I probably have different reasons, but a Mary Sue is someone who is completely perfect and does not have any flaws whatsoever. She is everything the author probably wants to be. Famous, a genius, a excellent singer, an excellent cook, a extremely young doctor, knows five different languages, etc. etc. She again, does not have any flaws in her appearance and is very attractive. I think you get the point now. She is most likely admired by everyone in the team, and has a very tragic past i.e. being an orphan, having someone come after her and try to kill her, or have her parents go against her. At the end, she usually has fallen in love with one of the characters from the series, or she has died, with everyone mourning for her.
Oh. And she is most likely related to one of the regulars. Most people make Ryoma have an imaginary twin sister.
You see? She is a FAKE. Why? Because no one in the world could be as disgustingly perfect as her! A Mary Sue is like inhumane! AND everyone knows how your story will go if you've made a Mary Sue, because HUNDREDS of people before you have written one just like it. You can almost guess what's about to happen.
If you're going to try to make an OC, please, at least let her have some flaws. Please don't say she's going to beat Ryoma in a tennis match. This IS called Prince of Tennis you know. NOT Princess of Tennis.
Oh, and two more things.
If this is your first story, please, don't write an OC. It's better if you start out with the actual characters, before writing an OC story.
And two, PLEASE don't make your OC enter the boy's tennis team. TEZUKA WOULDN'T ALLOW IT, RYUUZAKI-SENSEI WOULDN'T ALLOW IT, AND THE SCHOOL WOULDN'T ALLOW IT! If she's that good, let her be on the girl's team. She can help everyone over there. So PLEASE don't put her on the boy's tennis team. Because that is seriously like, cliche.
2. Romaji Abuse
This is like, my biggest pet peeve. Seriously.
You. Are. Writing. An. English. Story.
Not a Japanese story. The Romaji is completely unnecessary. Believe it or not, it breaks the flow of the story, so any suspense you had in your story immediately got chopped up by those useless Romaji words.
And those Romaji words you put in have a 40 percent chance of being correct. That's right. 40.
Just because you've learned some words from the anime doesn't mean you know how to spell them. Most people spell "arigatou" like this:
There's supposed to be a 'u' at the end, you know. Sure, you know how to say the words, but your spelling is most likely horrid. Which isn't really your fault, considering that you probably haven't taken a Japanese lesson before. I mean, half the people over here spell "senpai" like this:
"Only 'n' is allowed to be on its own. Not m. So it'd be something like "semupai" instead. Which is obviously wrong.
So, please. You're writing an English story. Let it stay that way, okay?
Of course, "Fuji-san" or "Ryoma-kun" are okay. Because they're the character's names, and you can't just name Ryoma "Bob". That's be a bit confusing, wouldn't it?
Oh. And it's "Romaji" not "Romanji".
3. Spelling and Grammar
No matter how good your story is, spelling and grammar are very important. If you have a very good story, but your spelling and grammar are off, people don't want to read it.
Please don't write online. Use Microsoft Word, or a Word processor. If you don't have any of those, download OpenOffice or NeoOffice from this site. It's free, and extremely easy to use.
That's only part of it, though. After you have used spell-check, you need to proofread. Spell-check doesn't look for mistakes like how you mispelled "bun" as "gun" by mistake. Those mistakes you need to find yourself. So proofread. Proofread. Proofread. PROOFREAD! For me, the best trick is reading backwards. Of course, that's only me. With time, you probably can find the way that works best for you.
Or, get a beta to help you.
Yes. Beta-readers are your best friend. It's fine to have one, or even a few. They can catch the mistakes that you don't normally find. And they can give you ideas to help make your story better. They can help you improve. That's the key word. Improving.
If you only have one or two tiny mistakes, it's okay. Just not something really big like this:
"He wen downsteirs and eight brakefast."
Now THAT is an eyeful.
4. Titles, Summaries, and whatnot
This could be classified as my second biggest pet peeve. Titles. And summaries.
Please. PLEASE. I'm begging you. If you're going to write a story, have your title be capitalized properly. If your title looks like this:
"the avdentures of prince of tenis"
I'm not going to read it. It needs to be presentable. Otherwise no one will click it. If it looks presentable, more people will read your story.
Same with summaries. Your summary needs to look presentable. Not this:
"yeah...ryoma's going on a cruise. who wil he met?"
I wouldn't click on a story if a summary looked like that.
Also, don't put in "I suck at summaries, so please read." It just doesn't look convincing. I mean, you're writing a story. You could ask your beta or PM someone and ask them to help you with your summary if you really couldn't think of one.
If you put in "PLZ NO FLAMES!!!1111" on the summary, it's like waving a giant banner saying "PLZ FLAME ME!!! I WANT IT!!". So don't put it in. Plus, it's a waste of space because barely anyone actually pays attention to that. Also, it makes your summary...not so presentable. In a way.
Don't say that "My OC isn't a Mary Sue!!". If you say that people will think your OC is actually a Mary Sue. Plus, your opinion may be different from someone else's. You shouldn't put in "My OC isn't a Sue" in your summary. It's about your story. Not about your opinion on your character.
Author Notes. Sometimes these drive me CRAZY.
Why? Some people have author notes that are so long it's practically another story itself. Plus if you put in a conversation with you and the rest of the PoT characters, it's kind of pointless. I don't think anyone really cares to read it anyway. Of course, if it's pretty short, I guess I could deal with it. If it's longer than the story, I'd probably get a bit freaked out.
Oh. And don't just put in a random profile about your OC or an author note as a chapter. That isn't allowed because it isn't really a chapter. It's fine to put profiles or author notes at the front of a chapter, or at the end, but never alone. It's against the Guidelines (well, the author note is. I'm not sure about profiles).
Please. Please don't make the original characters OUT of character. It is highly unnecessary. We're supposed to be writing fan fiction based on the characters. If you want to write a story with everyone OOC, please, just go to Fiction Press and write it there. Because, we all know that Tezuka would never giggle, Fuji would never become hyper, Echizen would never become a hyper and loving person, and Atobe would DEFINITELY not, under any circumstances, become sadistic. NONE of those would happen at ALL. Their personalities would change far too much, even if you went like, 10 years into the future. Seriously.
6. Related to the Guidelines
Songfics. Are. Not. Allowed.
I don't know how many times I've had to say that. But these things just keep popping out.
They are not allowed. You have to read the Guidelines carefully, ya know? Of course, if you created the lyrics yourself, I'm thinking it's okay. But if it's by someone else, you absolutely cannot under any circumstances whatsoever post up a songfic. They are not allowed.
Just don't do it. Just don't.
Script form/Chat room script is not allowed either (I'm guilty of this one). Yes, it's easier to write a story if you use script form. But it's not really a STORY. It's just dialogue. You didn't really describe anything, and there's not much detail. If you are used to writing in script form, write the dialogue first. Then, you can go back and add in the details. Or, you could ask a friend for a few tips or suggestions.
Spelling/Grammar is related to the Guidelines too. They specifically state that you need to proofread. So do it!
7. Bold, Underlines, Italics, Spacing, and Internet Language
Please. I'm kind of begging you right now. Don't write your WHOLE story in bold, italics, or underline. It is extremely hard to read and it gives us eye spasms. It's not that hard to write in regular print, is it? Because it really would do all of us readers a favor. And it makes it look a lot more presentable.
Also, please don't bold every other word. Or underline every other word. That makes it harder to read too.
Don't write the whole story in CAPS either. I think everyone is more used to seeing lowercase letters. (I kind of am guilty of this one, too, seeing as I use CAPS a lot).
Don't. And I'm saying DON'T write your whole story in one big paragraph. With the format FanFiction uses, it becomes an eyeful and people stop reading after the second sentence. It hurts our eyes. Some of us have really bad vision, and we would appreciate it if you would have a bit of mercy on us and actually use proper spacing.
Don't put all the dialogues in ONE huge paragraph. Space them out, so it's easier to read. Remember, the Enter key is your friend. Kind of. It bites back at you if you abuse it too much.
Double space. That's the key thing. Double space, because it looks a lot nicer that way. And it makes a few readers happier. Like me, who has very bad vision.
Please don't replace "you" with "u". "U" will absolutely never replace "you". Just so we're clear.
Avoid using "OMFG" unless it's on purpose and you only use it once in a story. Because we're trying to use real English over here, not abuse it. Don't use "F.Y.I" or "lol" either. I think you get the point right now.
8. Purple prose
This one is probably a bit rare in the Prince of Tennis. Probably. Or probably I'm just too stupid and dumb, because I only learned this recently. But I'm putting it in.
"She had long, luscious, golden yellow hair like fields of corn with her clear aquamarine eyes..."
TOO much detail. Describing things WAY too much. We don't need to know that she has golden yellow hair that looks like corn. We don't need to know she has clear aquamarine eyes. Just plain "blond" or "blue" is fine.
Flawless details. We don't need those. At all.
9. Avoid cliches
Here are a few examples:
-There's a new girl who comes to Seigaku and becomes the 'Princess of Tennis'.
-Fuji suddenly gets a strange, incurable disease.
-A new foreign girl suddenly transfers to Seigaku/Hyoutei/Rikkai Dai.
-One of the characters has a really dark past.
-Someone gets raped, and their lover must try to help them.
-OT5s. Only if they're badly written, mind.
-OT3s. Same with OT5s.
-One of the character's parent/guardian abuses him/her.
-Sakuno gets all the guys.
-Sakuno becomes a really famous rock star.
-Echizen leaves and goes to America for a certain number of years.
-Fuji leaves for France/some random country and comes back to Japan 5 years later and meets Tezuka unexpectedly.
-A girl gets admitted to the BOY'S tennis team. THE BOY'S TENNIS TEAM.
Here's what I'm telling you. Be creative. Think of something NO ONE has ever thought of before.
10. Capitalization and Punctuation
Capitalize correctly. If you don't, it becomes an eyeful when your readers are reading your work.
Punctuation is important too. So, if you aren't really sure about those two, get a beta-reader.
Beta-readers. Are. Your. Friend.
Mukahi twitched. "No wonder I got so many flames...this SUCKS. I think I need a beta-reader now. Maybe I should ask Kirihara...he writes fanfiction. Or maybe Yuushi, but he doesn't read fanfiction. Hm..."
These are solely my opinions. Many people have different opinions. This is just a little guide to get you started with writing/improve a bit. 'Kay?
Because the Prince of Tennis section REALLY needs one. Although Mary Sues are the killer...XD
I hope you have enjoyed this. If you haven't, I sincerely apologize for wasting 10 minutes of your life.