EftW Help Center

Submission Rules and Guidelines

First things first: EftW is a moderated archive.

What does that mean?
This simply means that all fictions must be approved by a moderator before they can be published. This page attempts to illustrate to you what kind of things the moderator team looks out for. The first part is listed as 'rules', but rules are rarely hard and fast, and exceptions can be made occasionally. Emphasis on the 'occasionally'. The second part is listed as 'guidelines', which are basically common mistakes to look out for, and are not required per se, but recommended.

Rules!

1. Your fanfiction must be based on Saiyuki (RELOAD) -- it must be based on in Saiyuki universe, or contain one or more of the Saiyuki characters. By implication, that means that crossovers are allowed, so long as they are based in the Saiyuki world, or feature the Saiyuki characters in some other series.

2. No Mary Sues.
A Mary Sue (or Marty Stue -- the male counterpart) is a bombastic, unrealistic or unbelievable original female (or male) character (OFC/OMC) who typically takes center-stage in a fiction. There are many types of MSes, but some common characteristics are:
1. Supernatural powers (angels, gods, etc)
2. Becomes the romantic interest of one of the canon characters.
3. Is sometimes (but not always) a Self Insert -- i.e. a projection of the author into the series.
To see whether your original character is an MS, please refer to the Mary Sue Litmus Test.

Just to clarify: Original characters are allowed. It's only the extreme ones that fall into the Sue category that aren't.

Exceptions: We sometimes make exceptions for Mary Sue parodies, if they're obviously parodies and well-written ones, at that.

Also, there is often scope for original characters whose existence is acknowledged but who not actually described by Minekura sensei -- examples include the Dragon Kings, generals and marshalls of the other armies in Heaven, etc. These are original characters only in the sense that the author has put names, faces and personalities to otherwise unillustrated characters, and are perfectly acceptable.

If you are still uncertain as to whether your orignial character qualifies as an MS or not, feel free to contact Elvaron and ask.

3. Your fanfiction must be written in English.
EftW is an English fanfiction archive and does not accept works in any other language, including japanese.

Some use of foreign languages within an English fic is normal and acceptable. However, please keep this to a minimum -- the occasional suffix, title, noun, exclamation or short phrase is fine; long sentences, multiple sentenced descriptions, conversations are not.

4. No MSTs
An MST (Mystery Science Theatre) is the line by line trashing of another person's fanfiction (i.e. quoting and commenting on another person's fic). This is not fanfiction, and it contravenes copyright. There are no exceptions to this rule.


Guidelines!
Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder -- although you should be advised that the moderator team never tackles submissions when drunk ^^. At any rate, it is impossible to quantitively state what would constitute a good fanfiction, but below are some pointers to good writing.

a. Try to avoid Script-format stories. This is a fanfiction archive, which means that we're looking for prose, and very occasionally, poetry.
An example of a script fic that certainly wouldn't be allowed:
Goku: I'm HUNGRRY~!!!!! ;_______;
Sanzo: URUSEE! KOROSUZOU! *whips out harisen* *thwackthwackthwack*
Goku: Ittte!!! Sanzo ga warusugi!)

b. Spelling and grammar
Everyone makes occasional errors. These only become glaring when they are scattered in profusion throughout the fiction. Since these make it difficult for readers to enjoy the fic, do try to keep them to a minimum -- use a spell checker or a beta reader. This also applies to any japanese you might use in the fic. EftW is not adverse to japanese usage in fics (do provide translations, preferably in the footnotes); however, this being an English fanfiction archive, please avoid writing conversations or long sentences in japanese. And do check accuracy of your japanese, or get a beta reader to do it for you. (The golden rule is -- if you aren't sure of your japanese, try and find a way to write it in English! ^_^)

This pointer would include tensing. Unless you're working in funky changes in time line or perspective, stay in the same tense. It's much easier to write in past tense as if you're narrating events that are over. Present tense has, well, a tenseness (pun intended! ^^) to it that can be a very effective literary tool, but it's been found that a lot of people who attempt to write in present tense slip up. Whatever it is, remember that if you're writing in past tense, everything should be past tense. "Sanzo waited. Morning became afternoon, became evening", not "Sanzo waited. Morning becomes afternoon." Usually, the only exception is when you're talking about a universal truth that persists until today. "It is a little known fact that Jiipu was really a magical dragon." (Since by the time the story is told, it is assumed that Jiipu is long gone.)

c. Show, don't tell!
This is the golden rule of writing. 'Telling' would be writing something in a direct manner -- e.g. "Sanzo felt sad." 'Showing' would be to describe the scene without actually mentioning what happened, in a way that allows the reader to infer what's going on. e.g. "His face darkened and he turned away. Only Hakkai noticed the suspicious shine of tears in his eyes."

Showing keeps things far more interesting. A writer's job isn't just to get the reader from point A to B -- writers have to describe the scene and the scenary along the way. Remember that readers can't read your mind, so you have to provide them with visual cues!

Along the same vein is the need to explain why things happen. The line between an fic that would go into the reject bin due to bad characterization or bad plot and a fic that would get approved is your ability to describe and explain all the strange going-ons in your fiction. The prime example would be getting snarly, antisocial Sanzo to open up to anyone. It could happen, but it's not something that would occur out of the blue. Coming up with a plausible scenario or insight into Sanzo's mindset would be necessary to save a fic from the deep, dark pit of OOCness (out of character-ness.)

d. Points of View
There are three types of perspectives -- 1st person ("I"), 2nd person ("You"), and 3rd person ("He"). Most fictions use 1st or 3rd; the moderator personally prefers 3rd person. (1st person perspectives occasionally smack of self-inserts.)

3rd person then split into two types -- 3rd person omniscient and 3rd person limited. Omniscient is when you take a neutral stand as narrator, and is not easy to write. Consistency is the key -- you should devote equal amounts of attention to each character, and you should either see the thoughts of all the characters or none at all. You would be Kanzeon watching events in the lotus pond -- you see everything, and know everything, and should not focus over much on one character.

3rd person limited fics involve seeing the action through the eyes of one character, and one character only. The most important thing to remember in these fictions is that You are technically in the shoes of your narrator-character, and you cannot see into the heads of others! Thus, if you were to see the world through Hakkai's eyes, you shouldn't have, in the same scene, Sanzo's thoughts flying around (unless Hakkai is telepathic.) Also, don't impute knowledge to your narrator that he shouldn't have, or make him see through closed doors into the next door. If you want to do that, put in a scene break. "Meanwhile, Jiipu was sleeping in the next room..."

e. Plots
Fics that are clich�d are no fun at all. Themes such as 'Sanzo-ikkou in high school', 'Sanzo-ikkou meet a bunch of youkai and beat them up', 'Sanzo and Gojyo fight and have steamy sex' have been done too many times. Try putting in a twist, or making it a small scene in a larger fic, or writing it in a new and unusual manner.

f. Review begging
I won't say 'no review begging at all', but this practice is considered generally uncouth and is frowned upon. If you must, couch it politely as a request for feedback. Absolutely no threatening not to write unless you receive reviews.

g. Footnotes
Footnotes are beautiful things. Reference your authorities / sources in them, put your translations in them, put your comments in them. This helps to maintain the flow of the fiction - nothing distorts flow more than an ill-placed author's comment in the middle of the fic.

h. Author's notes, poll, interactive fictions, etc
Certain fanfiction archives have banned 'choose your own adventure' fanfictions, those that conduct polls or chapters comprised entirely of author's notes. EftW leaves it to your discretion whether you wish to do this.

h. In general...
If your fic looks like the typical fic on EftW, if it reads well, if it's new and original, it's probably good to go. The quality bar on EftW is not so high as to exclude the average writer. Writing is an art that's never completely cultivated, after all. If you have questions, you can always direct them to Elvaron at elvaron AT split-infinity.org, or just upload your fic and see how it goes. Rest assured that we never reject fictions without comprehensive reasons as to why.