The Story Behind Shadows of the Night
I know some of you don't care about this, and will probably skip this chapter, but to those of you who do, this is to explain how Shadows was born, developed, and eventually, became the story you have just finished reading. So, I now present to you, The Story Behind Shadows of the Night.
As many of you know, Shadows was my idea that I came up with while reading In Darkness by AngelONight. I don't really remember how I stumbled across In Darkness, but all I do remember is that it was the most intriguing story I had ever read in the Sailor Moon fandom. However, I stumbled across the story as AngelONight was writing it and when I reached chapter eleven, I couldn't help but think about how hopeless Serena's situation was, because I knew even before the next chapter was published that Sailor Venus would turn to the Darkness. It was all inevitable, I pitied Serena for having to deal with that. But, it wasn't then that I came up with the idea for Shadows. In fact, the idea for Shadows originally began as a song.
During this time, I was listening to "Ticket to Heaven" by 3 Doors Down, and I really wanted to use the song somewhere in my fanfiction. But none of the stories that I was writing at the time fit the song. I had already written some of the lyrics of the song in a blank Word document, and decided to just write something out. The first words I wrote were the dream sequence in the very first chapter where Serena is talking with Queen Selene. When I finished writing the dialogue between the two, I realized that I had just created a different dimension to In Darkness, and I had no idea where I was going to go from there. So, I saved the document and left it on my computer until one day I came up with an idea. What if, Serena had left when Sailor Venus turned to the Darkness? What if it was three years later, and something astronomical brought Serena back to Tokyo, stronger, for a final clash between good and evil?
To Publish or Not to Publish?
I started writing again. And I have to say this right here, while I was writing the first chapter I had no intentions of ever posting this story. None whatsoever. It was just a little thing to keep me entertained while I worked on other stories and while I waited for new chapters of In Darkness. But, then something changed.
I had been working on the first chapter, then an untitled story, on and off for a few months when I wrote myself into an ending. The scene with Endymion whisking Serenity away to his apartment was actually the end of the whole thing at one point, but for some reason I couldn't let it end there. And, I couldn't let Endymion take Serenity either. It just didn't seem to work with the whole Serena coming back stronger subplot. So I continued writing, figuring that she had to tell him why she was back in the first place. That's how the ending of chapter one came about. When I wrote those final words, "You wanted a war, Endymion. You got one." I knew then, that I might have to publish this. There was no way that I was going to let this story go.
So, on December 7, 2009, while I was at school for my final exams, I uploaded the chapter to the site, and created a new story.
I wasn't really expecting the story to generate any huge reaction. I was only expecting a few reviews telling me to continue on with the story. But, before I left campus that day, I had six e-mails all singing the praises of this story and how everyone desperately wanted to read more. Before I even published chapter two, chapter one alone had fifteen reviews, the most, I believe, I had ever received for a single chapter back then.
As I read the reviews, I couldn't help but start thinking of where I was going to take this story. Since I hadn't really expected such a strong reaction to the story, I hadn't planned anything out. And I was still thinking that Shadows was going to sit and become another one of my stories where it doesn't get updated for years. I began to get really frustrated with planning out the story, and was really considering just letting the story sit and not go back to it ever, when I got the most surprising review yet.
I hadn't thought that AngelONight would ever stumble across Shadows, and I didn't think that she would ever read it. But one day, I checked my e-mail and was very shocked to find that a new review had been submitted to Shadows and was from AngelONight herself. Soon, my shock wore off and turned into nervousness. Did she hate it? Did she think that I shouldn't have borrowed her idea? But, I read the review anyway. She was really surprised to stumble across my story, touched that I spinned off of her original idea and wished me luck with the story.
It was that review that helped push me to figure out this story.
As I wrote the next chapter to Shadows I was already planning out the rest of it in my head, picking out the song choices that I was going to use. And even back then, I somewhat knew that this story was not going to end on a happy note. But I had hoped that I would be wrong, and would somehow write myself into a happy ending. But when I finally figured out that the story was going to be ten chapters long, the final two chapters began to form hazily in my head. As I continued writing each chapter, some of the ideas cemented themselves in my head. Sailor Moon was going to die at the end of the ninth chapter, and then come back like in the manga to save the world, in the final chapter.
But every time I tried to figure out what happened after that, it would always change. It really started to change when I got closer and closer to that last chapter. Especially, after I published chapter seven, and I had some reviewers crying out and pleading with me for Sailor Moon to triumph over the Darkness. I desperately wanted to change my mind and make the story end happily. I even talked it over with my friends who suggested that I do whatever I had to do. So, I began to think again. As I have said previously in chapter nine, I began researching for ways to end the story. I knew that I was going to rely heavily on a volume of the manga to finish it up I just didn't know which. As I read through them all again, I began plotting in my head. Some part of me already knew that Sailor Saturn was going to be brought in in the final chapter. And as I read volume ten, I realized that I had set it up perfectly with the whole world ending scenario and Sailor Moon's 'death.'
Now this leads me to explaining what the hell was going on with the Inner Senshi, the Generals, and the bring about of Queen Metallia. To those of you who have read In Darkness, you know that Metallia ultimately possessed Endymion. I hadn't thought of that until I was writing Saturn's scenes. If Endymion had been possessed by Metallia, then she needed to make an appearance, and what better way than when the world is ending? Since in the manga, Saturn is paralyzing/destroying Pharaoh 90, it made sense for her to go after Metallia. Now, with the demise of the dark entity, I figured that the brainwash spell that was on the Senshi would somehow lessen and since the Generals are connected to the Inner Senshi it would lessen on them as well. Once Saturn vanishes into that doomed dimension, the heartbreak of it all breaks the spell completely and the Inner Senshi turn back to the Light. However, the Generals don't because they're not as attached to other Senshi like the Inners are, but once Sailor Moon begins the healing process of the world, they are affected by the power of her Silver Crystal, ultimately healing them and turning them back to Light. This didn't work on Endymion because he had been engulfed in Darkness too long, even before Metallia had possessed him. I forgot to mention how Metallia ended up floating in the sky, and basically my thought process was just like with Darien disappearing to find Serenity, the despair of losing Sailor Moon lessened Metallia's possession and she was ultimately thrown out of Endymion's body and up into the sky.
The final fight between Serenity and Endymion was a real hard one for me to write, in fact as I realized what I was going to do to them, I cried a little. You see I originally got the idea for this part of the battle from volume three of the manga. So, if anyone is having an issue with the logistics of Serenity plunging a sword into Endymion's back and then ultimately stabbing herself, read the manga and stare at the pictures for a few hours. That's what I did, and I'm still having a tough time figuring out how it all worked.
The final scene between Darien and Serena was crazy for me. As I was writing it, I thought that maybe, just maybe, this story was going to have a happy ending. But as I wrote that line about how the Silver Crystal purified Endymion of the Darkness, I knew that it wouldn't. You see my mind, always working on future story ideas, planned out that it wasn't Serenity's crystal that healed him but his own. So, that's how I wrote out the ending. I'm sorry if it's not the one you guys were hoping for, especially to mangamania.
Will there be a sequel? At the moment, no, there will not be, and only because I have other fanfictions to finish up/continue on with. But eventually, there will be a sequel for this story entitled Shadows of the Night: Darkness Remains, which will end happily and will reveal how Endymion was able to hide the Darkness from Serena when she saw him after she stabbed him. That much I promise you, but I need a little feedback from you guys first. I have some ideas of how the sequel will go but before I post them, do you guys want the sequel to be a one-shot or do you want it to have multiple chapters like Shadows did? Please let me know!
So there you have it, the great Story Behind Shadows of the Night. I thank all of you, again, for reviewing, Story Alerting/Adding this story to your favorites, and just joining me in this interesting journey. It means a lot to me, and I hope that those of you who haven't already will read my other Sailor Moon stories as well, and if you have I thank you more. Please stay tuned!