Sometimes the truth is a bitter pill to swallow.
Update March 10th, 2013:
Fanfic Challenge taken!
Update March 28th, 2011:
New Fanfic Challenge!
Update November 25th, 2010:
New Fanfic Challenges!
Updated Fanfic Challenges:
Update November 14th, 2009:
Update November 25th, 2010: I've decided to give these a little more structure and flesh them out a bit.
General Rules: Basically the following rules could be applied to any and/or all of my challenges unless otherwise stated in the specific challenge:
1) No Character Bashing. There is no value in it at all. It only detracts from a story.
2) No Naruto/Hinata. There are already plenty of Naruto/Hinata stories out there and seeing something different would be nice. Naru/Hina would only be acceptable if Hinata has a radically different personality from canon.
3) Epic Length. One shots are nice and all, and little novelettes can be fun. However I just feel unless you have a story be epic in length you simply cannot explore enough of the world for it to be truly satisfying. How many of you always remember the one shots or novelettes you've read? I certainly do not. The ones I remember are the epic stories, with lush vibrant worlds, deep characters, and stories that just suck you in. So all stories should be of epic length.
4) No Breaking the Fourth Wall. I read to go to other worlds and immerse myself in them. Having that broken by breaking the fourth wall just kills a story for me.
5) Serious Business. Comedy in moderation is fine, comedy where every other line is a bad joke is not. I prefer stories that are more serious overall than they are humorous. As such stories should not be comedies.
6) Good Grammar/spelling. Stories are more enjoyable when you can follow them. If they are written in such a broken fashion where it's painful to read then they're just not worth it. I do not expect perfect, but above average for what we see on ff.net would be nice. (Good) Betas are your friends!
7) No Yaoi. There is more than enough of that for you pervs out there. I'd rather see no romance or porn at all then put up with another badly written one.
8) Chuunin Exams once every Nine Months. This is probably a strange one for people. The reason is simple. If you do them every six months, then they would always be held during the same seasons. Either summer/Winter, or Spring/Fall. By doing them every nine months, it's always a different season each exam, which adds another element for those taking the exams. I personally always felt once every six months was a bit too frequently anyhow.
Other Thoughts/guidelines: The challenge is "simple". A Naruto fanfic where the Sannin have a bit of a role reversal. Jiraiya is a traitor, Orochimaru is still loyal, and Tsunade is a pervert. Their personalities are otherwise as close to canon as you think is workable. Preferably Naruto/Team Seven centric and how this effects them. I think this would lead to a whole interesting series of changes within the story of Naruto.
Again overall preferably Naruto and/or Team Seven centric. Probably best suited as an adventure/drama.
Other thoughts/guidelines: Sakura is the child of a drunken night between Sasuke's father Uchiha Fugaku and Sakura's mother in the wake of the tragic events of Kyuubi's attack. Fugaku was never told of his illegitimate child and it is only after Team Seven confronts Sakura's mother that the truth comes out.
Overprotective brother Sasuke! Realizing he has a living relative (even if only a half-sibling), and a younger sister at that, Sasuke's personality begins to change. He takes on qualities of a very overprotective brother, to the point of annoying Sakura with it at times. He begins to train even harder not to avenge what he's lost, but to protect what he has left. He also begins training Sakura, hard, so that she can protect herself.
Sasuke leaving the village? Less likely, unless Sakura comes with so he can protect her (and perhaps Naruto too).
Suggest Naruto/Sakura. If Sasuke will come to recognize one thing, it's that Naruto will do anything to protect what's precious to him. He will be one of the only ones that Sasuke will allow to approach Sakura. And besides, can Sakura still be all fan-girly for Sasuke after learning he's her brother? Not likely.
Team Seven-centric. Probably best as Adventure/Drama or Drama/Adventure.
Naruto is Blinded:
Other thoughts/guidelines: It has been done before, but it is not often that it is done well. Typically the method of blindness is "Angry village mob" or some other such stupidity. Lame. Not for this challenge. I would rather see a story where poor Naruto is blinded accidentally. Perhaps a prank goes horribly wrong. Maybe he jumps in front of a team-mate to protect them and is blinded as a result. From there the focus should show the trials Naruto must now face. How he deals with hearing the news, how he comes to terms with his own blindness. How he works begins to work around it and continue forward. He will continue to be a ninja and adapt to his disability as best he can. Think about your own self and imagine what it would be like not to see again. Never see those who love you, never know what new people you meet would look like. Seriously try to envision what it would be like to suddenly not be able to see. Character changes and development are your call.
Team Seven is Blinded:
Other thoughts/guidlines: This little plot bunny/idea/mutant-thing has been gnawing at my brain for a while now. I had to get it out of my head. Not just Naruto is blinded by a tragic turn of events at the bridge, but Sasuke and Sakura are as well! How do they cope? How do they survive? Sasuke embittered by the loss of his family legacy so shortly after attaining it does not take the end well, and Sakura is feeling useless and helpless. Naruto himself is feeling lost in his way, but he will not give up on his friends! As he helps get them back on their feet and they all go into the world, together, they grow closer than any of them ever thought possible, and face the challenges the world has for them, together!
This story should be a threesome! Yes, you read that right. No, this is not "Naruto/Sakura with Sasuke on the side", "Naruto/Sasuke with Sakura on the side" or "Sasuke/Sakura, with Naruto on the side". This is a true loving relationship between all three of them, equally. Together, all three are as one. No "adult scenes" are needed, but the implied loving romance between all three should be there.
Probably best fits as a tragedy, adventure, drama, some combination thereof. Maybe romance...
Obviously Team Seven-centric.
Other thoughts/guidelines: What can I say? I am a reader of peculiar taste. And I happen to like the idea of an Undead Naruto. I have only ever read a single story where Naruto was undead and I really rather enjoyed it. Sadly it has not been updated in years. That being said, I have liked the idea ever since and have wanted to see more takes on it.
This one will probably be a challenge. Ideally, it is not his choice to become undead. It is forced upon him and now he must "live" with the consequences. He will no longer be able to grow. Conventionally at least. I suppose surgical alterations or strange jutsu could help him in this area. He will no longer be able to have a family of his own. While he won't necessarily lose any fingers or whatnot, his body will probably experience rot, leaving him to needing to cover up most of his form and probably wear a mask. Will he still have a sense of taste? Can he enjoy Ramen anymore? Can he sleep? Things like that to take into consideration. Things most people take for granted and enjoy or experience on a daily basis that Naruto would be unable to experience anymore. Really quite a tragic existence.
To keep from decaying too much, he would likely need to do something involving killing others. Be it a jutsu or ability that drains life from his victims and leaves them a shriveled husk, or cannibalizing their corpses. Is his will entirely his own, or does what caused him to be this way still have an influence on him he cannot entirely ignore and no-one else can detect?
Others an be aware of it, and likely slightly set off by it. It is quite unnatural even if Naruto is mostly the same. I do not expect him to be a hyper happy ball of energy after such an occurance after all.
Perhaps at some point Sasuke will be interested in it, as it would give him the ability to kill Itachi. However Naruto would need to discourage him, reminding him quite bluntly that if he was like him now, the Uchiha clan would die with Itachi, not Sasuke. Sasuke would never be able to revive it or have children. And after Naruto's own revelations about that facts, it will be something he will do his damnedest to ensure no-one he cares about will ever have to go through.
Probably best suited as an adventure/drama/horror, or some combination thereof.
Badsy - Remnants of Life: A Dead Man's Chronicles
Other thoughts/Guidelines: This is one of those things I have seen done a couple times, but never done well. It is a slight crossover idea, but I have become intrigued by the idea of Naruto becoming a Homunculus like those in Full Metal Alchemist in some manner. Either having been one since before he can remember and later discovering the fact, or somehow getting into a situation where he is made one. Alterations to Naruto's personality are at your discretion. Make him strong, but do not make him super or invincible. The Homunculus may be tough, but they are far from invincible. Focus should be on Naruto of course. Must be longer than a one-shot. Good grammar is also required, as always.
The Joy of Destruction:
Other thoughts/Guidelines: It's another brainchild/tumor thing that's been lurking around in my mind for a while now and I felt the need to post it. As stated above, Kefka was defeated atop his tower but did not die. Hurling himself into a new dimension to lick his wounds he ponders his defeat and decides to see if there actually was something to the Returner's words. Still bat-shit crazy, nihilistic and genocidal for the most part, but it's curtailed for now while his powers recoup and he tries to figure out how the hell he's supposed to take care of this blond brat he grabbed off the street. Though he does learn he finds it fun teaching him the joy of destruction. Naruto in the end becomes a "Dark Grey" character. The Light of Judgement should make an appearance at some point!
Anyone up to a challenge? If you are, please be sure to let me know!
And now, an entirely pointless list of:
"Things that piss me off in Naruto fanfiction or fanfiction in general"!
Danzo and his "I want to be Hokage" routine
As an afterthought note based on manga chapter 450, I would also like to state that Kishimoto is an idiot.
"Instant" Strong/Super Naruto
Sasuke gets the Cursed Seal
"Eyes only for you..."
People seem to forget one very important thing. Orochimaru comments that if Kimimaro had not gotten sick, he would have preferred his body even more over Sasuke's. As such, if there is someone showing far more potential then Sasuke during the encounter (most often in the Forest of Death), why would he not pursue them as other potential servants or host bodies?
"You are Banished!"
A weapon thrown aside is a weapon your enemy can pick up and use against you. A weapon destroyed or buried so deep it cannot be retrieved is a weapon your enemy cannot wield against you.
"I deserve it because I am an Uchiha."
The only reason I can see authors bashing characters is to display their own personal dislike of a character. Why bother?
If you dislike a character so much based on canon or for whatever reason, WHY are you going to go and write them in a way that removes whatever redeeming qualities they may have and then amplifies all their faults a hundred fold? It certainly does not make any sense to me.
What I do not understand is if an author hates a character so much instead of doing the above mentioned bashing, why not write the character in a way that appeals to you and makes them more interesting? Something to make them a richer, more diverse character.
Let us use Sasuke as an example.
Sasuke is cold and arrogant? Okay fine, that happens often enough... But how about instead of inflating those facets of his personality, why not introduce another side? Does he have nightmares about the massacre? Does he hear voices of his family demanding revenge? In private, does he ever just break down and cry because he cannot seem to get any closer to avenging them? Those kind of little things add more depth to the character and make it more worthwhile to read them. Instead of bashing try adding other things like these instead.
All characters, even villains and other antagonists should be interesting, add value to a story and make it more appealing overall, not make you question why you are reading it.
Why the hell can we not see a sultry Hinata, or a bloodthirsty sadistic Hinata? Or a Hinata that is pining for Sakura or Ino? Come on people! Let us see something different for a change!
The "Sewer/Dungeon Mindscape"
I can count the number of times I have read the mindscape be something different than a sewer/dungeon initially on one hand. I read it once as a Graveyard, and once as a forest.
Now granted, after the initial sewer/dungeon mindscape, Naruto will learn to alter it into something different, but sadly there is not that much variation in that either. It is typically some variant of a lush field surrounded by forest, a cozy cottage, perhaps a stout home or mansion. Honestly when people change it there is once again not that much variation...
Why can we not see something like a labyrinthine cave system? How about a desolate castle on a lonely mountain peak? What about a bloody UFO inspired by nightmares caused by expired ramen? Seriously this is one area where the author is truly free to portray something in any way they can think up. They are only limited by their own imagination.
Sigh. Sadly this is one area where people rarely exercise their imagination even a fraction of what they could if they chose to...
Yaoi/Yuri, and lemons in general
I do not know about other people, but I much prefer reading about the growth of a relationship, the interaction of the characters, the romance, and the emotional/spiritual bonds they share than I do about sex. Call me old fashioned but I could care less about reading about sex so long as the romance/relationship/interaction/bonding between the characters is well written.
So if you are going to write a Yaoi, Yuri, or hell any type of sex scene, at least make sure you put in a serious amount of development between characters involved first. Make it more about the bond between the characters and less about the sex.
If you are just looking for a reason to J# off, go find your jollies elsewhere and leave your poorly written crap off the site!
One-word and one-line reviews
These things honestly piss me off. Posting a review that consists solely of "great!", "continue!", "Awesome!", or even "That was fantastic! Please update!" are in my opinion worthless. The only thing you are doing with such pathetic "reviews" (and I use that term loosely) is wasting everyone's time and bandwidth. Your review does nothing for the author. It does not tell them what they are doing right. It does not tell them what they are doing wrong. It does not give them any clarification about things that they may or may not have right. It does not point out any potential plot holes or continuity errors they may have made. It does not give them any ideas that may help them continue with their story if they are stuck. It gives them nothing that could potentially give them a moment of inspiration. Such reviews give the authors absolutely nothing of value.
Such reviews also do not give other readers anything of value. No way to see if something a potential reviewer wants to point out or ask has already been spotted by someone else when they have to scroll through 10 pages of one-line and/or one-word reviews. It does not point out to other readers some things that they themselves may have missed.
If you are not going to post a review of at least some merit do not bother posting one at all, because that is effectively what you are doing anyhow. At least if you post nothing at all you will save everyone a little bit of time and bandwidth.
On the Nature of things
Is Henge is just an illusion?
The Coop de Grace of evidence though is during Naruto's fight with Shukaku. Gamabunta specifically says to Naruto that he does not have any fangs or claws to stop or hold onto Shukaku with, and tells Naruto to Henge them into something with claws and fangs. If Henge was a simple illusion, such a Henge would not do a damn bit of good now would it? Yet when Naruto performed it, those fangs and claws certainly seemed to be put to good work. If you take the Anime extras into account, they were even able to rip up trees with their tails.
So I think Henge must be some form of true transformation, and not some simple illusion. What is displayed by those using henge in the manga and anime does not make sense if it were simple illusion.
Strong/Super Naruto, is it possible?
2) Naruto was an orphan, who has been living on his own for who knows how long, he had no family training unlike the majority of the Rookie Nine (Sakura being the only other one not to come from a clan).
3) He mastered the Kage Bushin(Shadow Clone) within a single night.
4) Despite graduating "Dobe"(Dead last) of the academy, within six months he was able to defeat Kiba, Neji, and Gaara.
5) He mastered the Rasengan in about one month's time, compared to how long it took the Yondaime(4th) Hokage to make it (Three years was the figure I believe) and for Jiraiya to master it (I think the stated figure was like 4 months).
6) While I am not fond of it, he mastered Sage training among the toads in a very short amount of time and proved himself better at the sage arts than even Jiraiya.
7) He has shown amazing on-the-fly battle tactics and the ability to plan ahead during an engagement. The stunt with Zabuza during their first encounter. His fight against Neji during the chuunin exam finals. His fight against Pein during Pein's invasion of Konoha.
There is a ton of potential there, but Naruto went as an undiscovered genius, a diamond in the rough.
When you look at it, Naruto's biggest issues are simply due to the fact he had no one to raise him or guide him, he is socially clueless and emotionally retarded. No-one to scold him and teach him good manners. No one to tell him why people behave like they do or act like they do. He genuinely does not really know about what is or is not socially acceptable behavior, and by this point in this life he probably does not care. He has trouble relating to other people or even understanding why they behave like they do. coughHinatacough
As far as being a ninja goes, Naruto has the potential to be a true genius I think. Has displayed the potential. The finer points of social interaction and emotional understanding though are debatable.
For what little proper training he got, early on, Naruto has shown immense potential.
In conclusion, yes, I think Strong/Super Naruto is entirely possible. If he had had something akin to a mentor early on in life or been raised in a clan, he could have easily graduated earlier. He could have been much stronger than he was by the time the Chuunin exams rolled around. There is the potential to give him bloodline limits since his heritage from his mother is mostly unknown.
All that being said, I would also like to reference to my rant on "instant" strong/super Naruto above. If you are going to write a Strong/Super Naruto story, please do not do an "instant power" deal. Make him work for it, make it a journey for him that helps him develop and grow. Those types are so much more enjoyable to read than any "instant super" stories, which anymore have become hard to stomach for me.
Well if you have read all of that, props. I am honestly surprised anyone finds my rants and ponderings/ramblings worth the effort.
How to FAIL at writing Naruto Fanfiction (by Silentmaster)
Step One: Naruto is being chased by an angry mob even though he's only three years old (barely old enough to wipe his own ass) and living alone for some reason.
Step Two: He trips and/or reaches a dead end (oh noooo's) and they proceed to inflict grievous, crippling, and all around over exaggerated unsurvivable wounds.
Step Three: After ten minutes of stabbing and beating (Which miraculously avoided his vitals) someone comes in to inflict the the final blows at the crowds jeering.
Step Four: In a 'thrilling' and 'suspenseful' moment a giant war-hammer is swung down on Naruto, only to be stopped an inch from his head by token superhero #25.
Step Five: Token superhero #25 yells at crowd. "WHAT ARE DO DOING TO TO THIS POOR BOY?!," crowd replies. "KILLING THE DEMON!" or the like. Slaughter ensues.
Step Six: Sarutobi and an Anbu squad show up. (perfect timing) Hokage confronts token superhero #25. "WHO ARE YOU?!" hero responds. "I'm super awesome-man! (Relation to Naruto's parents optional) Now why are your villagers attacking this poor boy?"
Step Seven: The Hokage proceeds to break his own law and tells to complete strangers Narutos life story, much to their outrage.
Step Eight: Token superhero #25 says he's taking the boy away to train him. Sarutobi agrees immendiatly without arguement, but pleads for them to return for the Genins exams. #25 agrees. (The fact that he agreed to bring the kid back to a place that delivered a massive beating to a three year old didn't seem to bother him.)
Step Nine: Naruto wakes up after the ten minute conversation completely healed, energetic, and with enough brain damage to forgive the entire ordeal. (Apparently he's Jesus, filled with infinate forgiveness for the unforgivable)
Step Ten: They fill Naruto in on the details and he begs to be able to come back to be Hokage. (a three year old can comprehend that...how?) and the duo is off.
Step Eleven: Time skip. Naruto returns, covered in trench coats and pictures of foxes. (throwing all stigmas to the wind).
Step Twelve: Meets Hokage and dishes out all his skills in painful detail. (Throwing all ninja sense to the wind.) Assigned to go to the academy, which happens to be having its exam that day.
Step Thirteen: Shows off dramarically for the test and remainder of story, pwning everyone but Orochimaru in the Forest of death.
Step Fourteen: Falls in love with Hinata.
Side Note: If any one of the steps is used in your fiction...YOU FAIL!!
And as a personal note from ABitterPill: Should you perform any one of these steps, please take yourself out to the hills and shoot yourself to rid us of your stupidity