So You Wanna Write/Read Fanfics?
(6/23/03: Fixed link to A Sailor Moon Romance)

For anyone who doesn't know, "fanfiction" (or a "fanfic" for short) is a piece of writing that borrows characters and/or settings from something previously created. And what, exactly, does that mean? ^_^ If you were to write a new, original episode of "The X-Files", you'd be writing an "X-Files" fanfic. If you wrote a story about you being the newest student at Hogwarts school of magic, you'd be writing a "Harry Potter" fanfic. Not only is writing fanfiction fun, but it provides an easier place to start for aspiring writers - being able to use characters and settings that have already been created and/or developed saves a new writer a lot of work. Writing fanfiction over time helps the writer develop her own style, and, once she feels more comfortable with writing and storytelling in general and has come up with some characters and settings of her own, she can slip out of fanfiction and begin writing original stories.

In addition, fanfiction can provide a writer with badly-needed feedback. Have you written a story but want people other than your mother and best friend to tell you what they think? Since fanfiction is based on shows/movies/books/etc. that already have many fans, fanfiction can instantly appeal to many of those fans. If you've written a piece of "Pokemon" fanfiction and want people to give you feedback on it, you can send it to a popular "Pokemon" website that has a section for fanfiction (or better yet, a popular website that focuses entirely on "Pokemon" fanfiction), and "Pokemon" fans who visit that website can read your fanfic and tell you what they think. That's not to say everyone who reads your fanfic will e-mail you with feedback - indeed, most fanfic readers send feedback rarely or never - but fanfic writers can receive quite a bit of feedback over time. NOTE: When you receive feedback, it's always nice to write your fan back. They took time to write to you, so it's good to at least acknowledge them. ^_^

So where to post? Heavily-visited fanfiction-centered websites are an excellent place (particularly sites dedicated to your type of fanfiction in particular, such as an all-"Pokemon" fanfic webpage). You can use any internet search engine (like http://www.yahoo.com or http://www.netscape.com) to find a list of fanfiction sites, but if you're writing Sailor Moon fanfiction, I have a particular place to recommend ...

What's the biggest Sailor Moon fanfic page online?

There is a website, that, to my knowledge, is the most well-known Sailor Moon fanfic site on the web. I must put a warning, though - this website does contain some adult content. Like any bookstore, this page carries a huge range of story topics, and both very innocent stories and very adult pieces of fanfiction are available. Any rating system used can't be considered 100% reliable because everyone's idea of "appropriate" is different. Therefore, please surf this site with caution, as some stories and pictures are not appropriate for all audiences. Also, the "hentai" section ("hentai" is Japanese for "perverted") is most certainly not appropriate for all audiences (I don't think anyone under 18 is even allowed in that section).

That said, here's the place:

A Sailor Moon Romance: http://www.moonromance.net

This page has been around for quite a few years, is updated just about every week, and has well over 3.25 million hits. The people who run this site are very kind to new writers, as they were very kind to me when I had technical difficulties sending them my first Sailor Moon fanfic almost 5 years ago. This is the place to get your fic posted, because it's so heavily-visited that thousands of eyes may end up scanning your work. There are a few submission guidlines - you need to do a bit of easy html work in order to make updating for them much easier - but other than that, you don't have to have any kind of award for your writing or even be at a particular skill level. New writers can make their debut here quite easily, and seasoned writers can get a very large new audience. When it comes to Sailor Moon fanfiction, A Sailor Moon Romance is by far the most extensive site out there. If you visit, be sure to click on the banners for their sponsers, because it's important that the site gets funding.

That said, I'd also like to personally thank those kind people who run the site, as they helped me back when I was just beginning fanfiction, and posting on their website helped me develop my writing and get the incredible writing job I have now.

What are some other sites that feature a large number of fanfics?

Just remember, always visit other sites with caution! Fanfiction is a hobby of people of all ages, so adult stories and discussions frequently come up. If you're young and/or impressionable, get someone you trust (like a parent) to help find what's appropriate for you.

T.M. Chiba has a very large, very extensive website that lists and organizes webpages that house Sailor Moon fanfics. Check it out here:

The Definitive Sailor Moon Fanfiction Directory - http://www.sailormoonfanfic.com/

V.P. T.M. Chiba is a very kind individual whose Fanfiction Directory features many of the smaller fanfiction sites (often run by fanfiction authors) that don't get much promotion. He allows the site runners to describe the fanfiction featured on their sites, which is a wonderful feature not all search engines allow. Want to find a huge list of Sailor Moon fanfiction sites? This is your place. Have a Sailor Moon fanfiction site that doesn't get enough hits from search engines and want a new, unique site to promote it? This is your place. Considering how much time T.M. Chiba puts into the page and how valuable it can be to talented Sailor Moon fanfiction authors who need more promotion, this site doesn't get nearly enough hits. Please visit it and support it. By the way, he changed web addresses, so I updated it above. Check out his new layout!

One of the best and most diverse fanfiction sites out there, not just for Sailor Moon, but for everything (anime, Star Wars, Britney Spears; the entire planet and all of its aspects have been fanficced at some point or another ^_^) is right here:

http://www.fanfiction.net

This site features all sorts of nifty features, like quick story summaries, pages that feature each author's favorite stories and authors, a cool search system, and some of the most amazing fanfiction columns you'll ever read. Columns can be found on the main page, but again, read the columns with caution as they sometimes discuss adult topics and/or stuff I morally can't agree with. Most of those columns that I've encountered, though, have been exceedingly insightful when it comes to fanfiction and writing in general, and can be an invaluable resource particularly for those who wish to know more about fanfics. Fanfiction.net is highly, highly recommended (I waste all sorts of time here, as can be shown by this ^_^).

*Sailor Moon and all its characters are copyright Naoko Takeuchi/Kodansha Ltd./Toei Animation, Co., Ltd. and the English adaptation is copyright 1995 DIC productions, LP. This page is copyright Lianne Sentar, October 2000 and July 2002.

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