Author has written 25 stories for Ranma, Naruto, Stargate: SG-1, Oh My Goddess!, Warhammer, Justice League, and Star Wars.
Yep it's been a minute. Life on top of life with a side helping of life. And recently, COVID 19 shenanigans. There's about a 90% I have it after being quarantined (with pay, thank God) from work because of an infected coworker. Lab stuff is still out, but I'm not overly fond of coincidences at that level. Right now it registers as an annoying flu, so there's no need to go all Save Ferris Bueller.
I am trying to use my time somewhat irresponsibly, however. You may or may not have noticed stuff dumped into crap space. You would not believe the amount of aborted crap that pre-readers have to wade through that may never come to fruition. Some of it is even good, but ultimately fails at something. That's where we're going to restart this shit-show. I'm going to give you crap, and you're going to read it. Or not. While you're doing that, I'm trying to push the next chapter of SAO out the door, sitting at 90% completion. An Overlord fic is really trying to gain my attention, but I'd rather push the DC and/or Marvel fics. Its honestly incredible how much background material Ranma teh Marvel Succubus actually has waiting to be plugged into a coherent plot.
On a side note, I had to teach my 8yr old son (a more child friendly version of) Fanfiction Failure #5 as we worked through his summer workbook. I didn't even realize it until the neurons connected and I LMAO'd.
So that's where we are. I apologize for the long delay in nearly everything. If you want to see a specific fic, visit my Patr30n link here. LOL, gotcha. The easier way seems to be my Discord at Mulletproof#6729
Wait. Did ffnet actually filter out the correct spelling of Patr30n? lolthefuck.
Srsly. Is this still a thing? I've been in author here for how many years and you're just now realizing it? Chill out and go read one of the many Ranma/Akane fics out there. It's better for your sanity in the long run.
“This is dumb.”
Ranma Saotome, heir to the Anything Goes School of Martial Arts fingered the plastic shell of the visor, his fingers tracing an aggressive ridge of LED lighting along its leading edge as he watched Daisuke plug another cable into a rectangular piece of hardware. The student rolled his eyes, glancing back to the martial artist with an edge of humor in his voice.
“Yeah, well not everybody can be a bad-ass martial artist,” He replied with mock indignation as he turned back to finish his preparations. “This is a game where anybody can be the hero.”
“Alright, alright.” Ranma sighed, resigning himself to his fate. He eyed the comfortable looking lounging chair next to the unit. “Hiroshi’s gonna be there too?”
“It’s the guild’s last get-together before the servers shut down,” Daisuke explained, touching a switch on the console. The subtle hum of electricity being applied to a cooling fan could be discerned as he continued. “Everybody’s going be there.”
“And your brother isn’t going to mind me usin’ his stuff?” The pigtailed teen confirmed, nodding to the visor he held.
“He’s in South Korea.” The other boy offered with a shrug as he turned for the bedroom door. “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him. Put it on, touch the button. The game will do the rest.”
“Okay…?” Ranma’s voice was clearly hesitant, forcing Hiroshi to elaborate.
“He never liked the game anyway, so we use the account as a bank alts to move around money and stuff.” He explained, watching as Ranma scrunched a brow.
“You make it sound like money laundering or somethin’.” The black haired teen posed, causing Hiroshi to chuckle from the doorway.
“Sort of is.” He admitted. “Either way, it’s yours until they pull the plug. Just look for the level one in your name. We’ll all spawn in the same place.”
“I’ll take your word for it,” Ranma returned blandly as he fitted the visor, still not looking forward to the experience. Still, a favor was a favor and there were worse ways to return one. His thoughts immediately turned to a certain Tendo, with a mental shiver. Daisuke nodded and ducked out of sight, presumable to his own room and another unit much like the one the martial artist now held. He cast another less than enthusiastic look at the wireless headset and offered it his own indifferent shrug.
Put it on, press the button.
Ranma slid the visor over his eyes and adjusted the temple strap, sealing his vision to darkness before his index finger found the button located in the area roughly around where his left temple would be. A light touch was all it took and the darkness suddenly sprang to life in the form of a rainbow explosion across his vision, causing him minor panic as he seemed to race down a tunnel. Even as he boggled at the lightshow, a feminine voice intruded upon his awareness.
“New user detected, profile setup,” The voice advised, as the rainbow rays flickered around his vision. “Please do not remove your headset.”
Ranma’s lips were just parting to call Daisuke back in when the voice continued. The rainbow lightshow collapsed into a three-dimensional triangular prism. A light orchestra piece began to play in the background. “Visual calibration complete. Auditory calibration complete. Neural mapping…”
A wave of vertigo hit the martial artist, throwing off his sense of balance even though logical he knew he was still in the chair.
“…complete.” The unpleasant sensation was gone almost as soon as it manifested itself, and now he couldn’t even feel the chair. Suddenly, he had a body that looked exactly like the one he had left behind in real life. Before he had a chance to marvel at the level of realism, the prism that had hung in the air throughout the process shattered, exploding around him into tiny glass shards that resonated in his ears before promptly reforming into a new word composed in beautiful, flowing script. The light orchestra in the background took on a deeper, more dramatic note.
The artistically rendered title persisted for a moment before fading into a floating player portrait with the number ‘100’ inlayed amid the intricate bronze scrollwork of the portrait’s frame. Within the periphery of his vision floated two smaller tiles, one labelled support and the other log-off. Discerning the menu’s purpose wasn’t overly difficult for the martial artist, thoug it was the discrepancies that caused him pause. The level one in his name, for example, appeared to actually be a level 100 named ‘Sidhereal’. In fact, he couldn’t help but to notice that the character looked suspiciously looked like his girl-type. Beiong the only choice present, Ranma hesitantly reached for the portrait and the icon illuminated, abruptly flaring to blinding brilliance. By the time it faded and his eyes adjusted, he was there.
‘There’ apparently consisted of an ostentatious bedroom suite, reminiscent of some of the mansions Ranma had voluntarily and involuntarily taken up residence in real life. A glance behind him revealed a luxurious canopy bed draped in translucent white silk. The mocha carpet pile beneath his feet was plush and expensive, while the grand wooden tables and massive armoire spoke of wealth. The graceful architecture of the room drew his eyes up to the ceiling and the vaulted ceiling where an artistic mural much like he would expect from a church filled the space.
The digital placard floating on the periphery of his vision, on the other hand, were an unwelcome distaraction. While he was certain the information they contained was probably important, most of it held no meaning to the martial artist and only served to distract him from wherever ‘there’ was.
Even though Ranma wanted to be impressed by how real it all seemed, his slow study of the room had unwittingly drawn his attention to his own movement. Or rather, her own movements. One look down the valley of a very gifted female bosom was all it took to confirm her gender and she muttered a silent curse for Daisuke’s sake. The martial artist shook her head in irritation, almost too inured to her own curse to hold on to any real anger over having one in a game. Still, something was off. There was, of course, her current wardrobe. While it would take a mirror to get the full effect, the general theme appeared to be that of a miko… a very naughty miko. Present and accounted for was the familiar white kosode and red hakama; familiar, if only because Ranma had unwittingly been forced to wear the same costume on a number of occasions. A mental twitch accompanied the thought as she reviewed what hadn’t been accounted for. The modest white blouse that would have normally served to maintain the shrine maiden’s modesty had been modified, replaced instead by a naughtier version that wrapped low around her shoulders in a manner that barely conceal her bust. The obnoxious red bow riding just below them was helping matters, either. The obi’s normal function was to secure the hamaka like a belt. Here, it acted like a corset, proudly pushing her breasts up upon a shelf to be admired by all. The hamaka-turned-mini-skirt was noted almost as an afterthought, showing off a tantalizing length of thigh before disappearing into white silk stockings that ended with her feet nestled in a pair of braided geta.
If that would have been the end of it, Ranma would have simply committed to hang her friend upside down from the homeroom window once she returned to the real world, but it wasn’t.
There was still something wrong out of the corner of her eye, prompting the martial artist to twist around in order to ascertain the anomaly. Her eyes widened. A tail. She blinked, trying to twist around to view it from another angle. It wasn’t just a tail, but a luxurious fox tail; its plush fur fading from the red of her own hair color to blond tip. Ranma’s mouth opened to try and voice the surprise working its way up her throat, but could only wallow in silence for several long moments before some form of coherent thought managed to make its way through the traffic jam of neurons. The befuddled martial artist watched as it moved back and forth of its own accord. By all rights, it didn’t exist according to her senses, but there it was, swaying like a cobra. The blinking renewed as her awareness finally registered a dresser mirror taking up a large amount of space opposite of the bed. The martial artist turned to get a better view of herself and would have gapped if she could.
She was a fox.
Literally and figuratively. The image Ranma beheld in the mirror was similar to the curse she knew in real life, but radically different in many ways. The reddish tail was only the first, riding her backside like a furry dress train. The fox ears were no less striking, occasionally twitching as if they really were part of her. Her eyes were a shade lighter than the sapphire she had originally been cursed with, but it was the unnatural slits that held her attention. There was something inhuman and predatory about the entire package despite the obvious attempt at sex appeal.
After that, her attire was almost beneath notice, but vastly more revealing than her original estimation. The kosode was not only minimalist, but fit like it was a size too small for the generous charms they struggled to contain. Ranma’s attempt to express her visible annoyance was thwarted by a flirty expression seemingly frozen on her characters face, though it did nothing to stop her swearing as she stared at her own bust that was somehow even more obnoxious than its real-life counterpart. Her figure was likewise absolutely idealized to the point of impossibility and she turned to eye her curves from a different angle. She was taller, even. The martial artist gawked for several long moments before coming to the most obvious conclusion available.
She was going to murder Daisuke.
Not every time. Not all the time. But in most cases, the following should serve as a guide on how not to fail at writing fanfiction in nearly any genre you care to tackle. Sure, there are always exceptions to the rule, but if you have to ask yourself if you're that exception, then you probably aren't and should defer to the advice below. For those who have stumbled across this before, I've edited this introduction to be a fraction more professional in nature and slightly less abrasive, but you can still blame my overuse of the word 'fail' on DCG.
1) Your summary fails. It really does. This is the hook, your foot in the door. Avoid asking your readers questions here and avoid references to other parts of said fic. "What if Ranma fell into the world of Mario and saved the princess?" HE'LL EXPLODE INTO GOOEY CHUNKS AND SHOWER THE MUSHROOM KINGDOM WITH CRIMSON RAIN, DROWNING TURTLES AND PLUMBERS ALIKE IN A LAKE OF MARTIAL ARTS CARNAGE. Seriously, don't give your reader a chance to answer that question themselves. Next time you read a summary that's formed into a question, please remember the above reply. Secondly, such summaries impart no useful information to your audience. Likewise, "Continuing from part five, review my ass please" is similarly annoying. Hey genius, I didn't read part one. What's that about again? Convince me I should take the time to read chapter 1 before even considering part five. Be creative, give them a little bite of what to expect. Most entertaining is "I'm bad at summaries." The amount of fail in that statement could light Crystal Tokyo for a couple hundred years and encourages nobody to read your fic.
2) Your Grammar/Spelling fails. This is a direct indication of how much you care about your fic, and therefore how much we as readers should care about the fic. Every time you fail miserably at this, Chuck Norris kills a kitten. What's worse, you know you're failing and release the fic anyway. Don't cry when you get reamed by your reviewers. Why you aren't molesting the spell/grammar check function at a minimum is beyond me.
3) Your Plot Bludgeons fail. What is a plot bludgeon? You know, those pieces of information you impart on readers so obvious it hurts to read. An example of one I recently encountered-- Ukyo was really a flat chested man, unwraps himself to reveal that fact and say, "heheh, I can't believe I keep fooling them!" ...And i would have gotten away with it too if it hadn't been for those darn kids. Okay, so you want to get a point across to the reader. Great. But very rarely is there call to light your plot point up as a huge neon lit Las Vegas strip sign. Learn subtlety. Weave it naturally into the story. Ranma is a genius! Great, but tell me a story about it, not as an outright fact. Exceptions do exist, though most don't apply to you anyway.
4) Your obscure plot fails. Big rule... The more obscure/complex your plot is, the more it needs built up through detail and story telling. Likewise, the more important an event is in that plot, the more attention you need to pay it. Glossing over critical events is not allowed. Zap! Ranma is a female permanently now and feels suicidal. Huh? What? Ranma got mad and killed his father for all the injustices visited upon him. Whoa there, Tex. Might want to tell us what triggered that rampage or what led up to the critical events that you insist require only one sentence of explanation. If you have something weird going on, your readers might like to know some basic information... Like who, what, why, how, where, some history, motivations, etc...
5) Your Dialogue fails. (revised!) This mainly pertains to the structuring of said dialogue, not the content. The Pope will visit you tonight and rape your keyboard if you ever post a page full of dialogue without framing and context again. Don't assume your reader knows who's talking. Tell them who is talking. If you're feeling frisky, tell them how that character feels when they're talking. maybe the expressions on their face. What they're doing. Characters never just "said" anything. They never should just "reply". Dialogue is like a picture... It needs a frame if you're going to hang it on the wall properly. Of course, you could just nail it up there, but that's why you fail.
6) Your Shallow characters fail. Believe it or not, not everybody has read your favorite series. I KNOW! It's tough to swallow, but it's true. Take a moment to tell us a bit about their appearance. Detail their mannerisms though story telling. Sure, you can assume that if they're reading in a certain section they probably have at least basic knowledge of the series, but frankly that's a poor excuse not to embellish your characters with detail and depth. Sure, everybody knows who Optimus Prime is (did I just use him as an example? Yeck), but your story will fail less if you paint him in color instead of black and white.
7) Your short chapters fail. Hardcore. Mainly, because they give you very little space to impart critical plot and/or knowledge to the reader, forcing you to condense a lot of information into a short blurb. This normally leads to failures 2 through 6. Similarly, you drag out scenes that really should be combined into one flowing work. For example, watching Ranma wallow in angst for several short chapters while not really taking the story anywhere is not fun. It's like watching an episode of Dragonball Z once a week. It's excruciating.
8) Your derivative plot fails. Wheee! Ranma loses his memory after being locked as a female! Most readers are not opposed to this on average, but before you go thinking you're Stephen King, remember two things: He's dead, and assume it's been done before and buy a six pack of originality down at the corner 7-11. Your story/chapter needs a hook, no matter how good it is. Just because it has been done doesn't mean you shouldn't try your hand at it, but do your research on the competition before you just dive right in.
9) Your reviewers fail. Actually, no they don't. They're entitled to their opinion. Don't get defensive and don't argue with them because you're inherently insecure about your work. Self-confidence is required when facing your reviewers and actually debating their opinion on your work is bad taste. Honestly, why did you even bother posting in the first place? If you're writing for enjoyment, they shouldn't matter anyway. If you're writing to improve yourself, take notes. Nothing says insecurity and ass like a running review war. Yes, reviewers CAN be wrong, but so what? Arguing with them is a waste of your time anyway.
10) Your Alterverse fails. What do you get when you strip your main character of his canon personality, kill off all the supporting cast and send him off into another crossover series? You get one big bucket of suck. Any story where you can replace the main character with the name "Ed" and not know the difference automatically fails nine times out of ten. Do yourself a favor and assume you aren't that tenth time. Why did you even bother choosing that character and series to begin with if you were just going to piss all over the story and abandon it next chapter? Ha ha ha! Ranma doesn't have a curse, lost all his memories to the neko-ken and is now a faerie-vampire training with Bruce Lee in the cyber-wars of 2010! Of course that's ridiculous sounding, but its amazing how many aspiring authors totally divorce the characters from their original canon so completely. The sooner you accept the fact that you should scrub these fics from your hard drive with a brillo pad, the better.
11) Your Cause and Effect fails. Logical continuity will save plots that have no right being saved. Even yours. Thinking things through to their most logical conclusion is the hallmark of a well written story; as opposed to just going with a theme that sounds good and plowing though cause and effect like a semi plowing through a 30 car pile-up. When you're writing up a plot device, think the consequences of that path through and write the story around those consequences. Outlandish plot points are fine toward this end. You want Naruto to be a sexy demon slayer? Great! But think over. How you get there will make or break your fic, and generally the most easily explainable means toward that end are the best ones. Ask cause and effect questions at every stage of your fic. For every decision your character makes. For every action that happens in their proximity. Treat them as real people. How will they react? The more you have to justify those reactions and the more outlandish they sound, the more you are failing at it. This failure not only runs hand in hand with Fanfiction Failure #4, but has far reaching consequences in other failures at well.
12) Your plot vehicle fails. Because you obviously don't know how to drive. Stories are divided up into vehicles and destination, and one without the other is absolutely worthless. In fact, reading this particular failure to execute is like salting your eyeballs and dipping them in vinegar; something that can be avoided with some good ol' common sense. Harry Potter the magical girl is not a plot in and of itself. It's a way way to get to your plot. How Harry Potter becomes Queen of the magical girls is. That's your end destination, and everything in your fic should revolve around getting there. Fics without an end destination have a shelf life before your readers become as tired of reading it as you are of writing an endless, go nowhere exercise in futility. Your reader base might laugh at first, but all you've really done is sentence them to a slow, lingering death; though this can be reversed by simply remembering where you're going. Fics without vehicles, however, are always immediately fatal, mainly because how you're getting to that end plot makes no sense what-so ever. You tried to insert BS instead of substance in your point A to B plot, and it's a failure strongly related to number twelve. Harry Potter the magical girl queen is a laudable goal, but if you can't substantiate a way to make that happen, its best you leave that one to the big boys and girls.
13) Your Characterizations fail. Didn't we already visit this one? No, we did not. Characters are the lifeblood of your fic, and since your plots are obviously bleeding out, let me impart a bit of wisdom concerning them. KNOW YOUR GODDAMN CAST. Simply doing so is what will set you apart from your failing brethern, giving your fic an ever so slight chance to win. Canon will tell you everything you need to know about them: Their likes, dislikes, general disposition and best of all- repeat after me kids -how they will react to any situation you write them into. Not only does an authentically written character lend credbility to your story, knowing how they will react in regards to canon is solid fanfic gold for your readers. Even when you OC the hell out of the cast, this rule is vital just so you have a baseline, since you will at least know what you're doing to a given character when you take the mary sue torch to their ass. Building realistic characters also requires a grasp of Rule #11... Good character behavior plus cause and effect go hand in hand-- to the point where the story plot points will all but write themselves because you did your job as an author.
14) Your Overarching Plot fails. Here we have another incestuous relative of Failure #4 and like squicky brother and sister relationships, should be avoided at all costs. Most fics are built on tried and true formulas... Time travel to make things right. Harem for the hell of it. Matchmaking A to B. Excreta goddamn excreta. While tackling this subject matter won't cause the universe to spontaneously detonate, you've not only had impure relations with failure #4, but more than likely began to make googley eyes at her cousins, failure #8 and failure #12. What does this lead to, friends? BIRTH DEFECTS. Sure, you probably had some fun and your readers will enjoy it for a bit, but take a step back and ask yourself... Should you be looking at your sister that way? Friend, just say no and take the following advice: You can write these thoroughly mundane plots, but dress it up. Give it an overarching plot beyond the core you're trying to achieve. Tell us a story about something grand. You want a Ranma harem? Great! So do I, but tell us a story about how Ranma became The Dragon Lord of China (thanks MB) and work the harem in as branching story, not the end all be all of the story itself. And best of all, you can avoid giving birth to a four armed, six eyed baby plottling.
Fanfiction Failure Metarules for Writers
Things to look out for as an author to help you win more than fail at fanfiction.
Fanfiction Failure Metarule #1-- Readers will absolute love a completed work but will invariably pick apart and inadvertently attempt to destroy it if given a hand in its creation. Be especially wary of open forums and chat channels in this regard as they usually have opinionated folks who haven't ever written anything or anything in nearly forever. Either have a healthy self image or screen your pre-readers carefully to avoid this failure.
Fanfiction Failure Metarule #2-- The phrase "...that's just another excuse to (plot device)." indicates you are dealing with a person of below average insight as to how fiction is written. These people should not be allowed to influence your work in any way because everything is a means to an end and is therefore "an excuse" to achieve that end. For example; "...(plot device) is just another excuse to lock Ranma as a girl." This is an empty statement attempting to hide behind factual expertise; a bludgeon used by particular readers that don't get their way or don't approve of your plot. It contains no value beyond personal opinion and should therefor be treated as such.
Fanfiction Failure Metarule #3-- There is no impossible in fanfiction. Every once in a while you'll run into that anal retentive plot nazi that will say it simply can't be done like that. It doesn't matter what 'that' is because 'it' simply can't be done and they are, of course, the foremost authority on such matters. Normally this advisement is made by people that don't know they're closet creativity thieves; people who don't realize that their favorite series usually has either plot holes you can drive a death star through or that same series has Lucky God martial Artists, Flying airships, and springs of drowned Asura-zebra-octopi-phoenix-yeti-bulls. Sadly, their disagreements usual come down to little more than opinion of what is in reality- say it with me -magical bullshit. As such, these people should be given as little creative share in your work as possible. All that said, there is a difference between the broken ideology of "can't be done" and the more realistic "shouldn't be done". Consult the Rules of Fanfiction Failure for a head start on those.
Fanfiction Failure Metarule #4-- "It's been done before!" is never an excuse not to do it again. Some of the best works you will ever read in fanfiction "have been done before" and it's still amazing how these will be the first words out of reader's mouths when running an idea past them- even though they absolutely HAVE to know somewhere in the back of their mind that this is an empty statement, because half the fics they enjoy "have been done before". Don't take this one personally. It's reflex. Smile, nod and continue writing anyway with Rule of Fanfiction Failure #8 somewhere in the back of your mind.
Fanfiction Failure Metarule #5-- Fanon is not a sin. That's right folks, its time to drop the rosaries and stop going to those cleansing ceremonies because contrary to what you have been led to believe, fanon is not the end of the world. What is the end of the world is not knowing the difference between fanon and canon. Even if you don't know, your readers will and there's a good chance that your fic will deserve the smack-down heaped upon you even as your pitiful cries of "no flames" go unnoticed in the fic summary. Fanon often personalizes a fic and can- and I stress can -make it better than the original source material, but like Fan Fic Failure #13, knowing what you're doing to canon before you rape it at the alter will make or break a fic.
Fanfiction Failure Metarule #6 -- Do what they tell you not to or shouldn't. Who are 'they'? They are the know-it-alls of fanfiction; even other authors. This particular rule is a close cousin to metarule #3 and has served me well over the years. They tell you not to put specific dates in your fic? Do it. They tell you that writing about X will only cause problems. Go for it. Not only will you set your work apart from theirs as unique, your readers will appreciate you tackling subject matter others are afraid to touch. Trusted prereader advice should always take precedence over this rule, but always keep it in the back of your mind. Asking yourself 'why' somebody advises against certain material is half the battle whether you take their advise or not.
NEW! Fanfiction Failure Metarule #7 -- Know your gimmick and ride it into the ground. Every series has a gimmick that the plot revolves around, and the people reading your fiction are there for that gimmick. Your job as an author is to know what that gimmick is and incorporate it obviously into your work. Transformers have transforming robot battles. Ranma1/2 has martial arts and gender curses. Harry Potter has clueless magical noobs in over their heads... And you think I'm joking. Be that as it may, your readers are exploring the genre because they like source material. Obviously you need to know the cast of characters and have a halfway decent plot, but folks, they're their for a reason. A transformer fic without a robot transforming is a travesty. A Ranma fic that doesn't feature a curvy redhead is stale. Harry Potter without its James and the Giant Peach derivative plot is... Well, I think you get the idea. The original fiction has a gimmick and that gimmick better feature prominently throughout your work as well.