All About TMNT Fanfiction
Note: Below I have written some of my personal thoughts about the TMNT fandom and fanfiction in general. If you feel that I have missed something out or would like to add something to this page, then please feel free to email me. My writing is nowhere near perfect, nor do I ever expect it to be. I do however strive to improve my writing wherever possible. These are only some things and tips I have noticed and picked up during my time on most of this is based off personal experience, I will sometimes reference my own fics.

The Basics.

How did you get started?

After watching a few episodes of TMNT:TNM, I was curious and searched the web one day to see if there were any fansites. I was inundated with links, which I then clicked and lurked through systematically. Going through some webrings, I was first only interested in fanart, but one day I decided to read someone's fanfiction and thoroughly enjoyed it. I always had a story about the TMNT planned in my head, but up until then I didn't know that people wrote about them because of all the ownership and copyright issues. Feeling inspired after reading Sue Stitler's rather lengthy 'True Forces', I finally signed up to geocities and started to write my own fanfiction. At this point in time my friends were really supportive and told me about So once I had enough time and I had felt I had written enough chapters, I posted on instead and never looked back.

How should I start?

Before you sign up to I would suggest that you read other's stories first. This way I feel that you can gain a greater insight into the characters while also learning what storylines have been done to death; what does work and what doesn't.

Next you should decide your reasons for writing fanfiction in the first place. Is it for the love of writing? Or is it to simply get reviews? I've read a few stories that have been written for all the wrong reasons. Once I read a fic that's main purpose was to tease a girl the author hated at school. Generally speaking, you'll do better as a writer if you like writing for fun. Getting reviews is nice, however the number of reviews you recieve should not determine whether you should continue your fic or not. Some people like to read the whole fic through before reviewing. I also found that the more fics I wrote, the more reviews I recieved as I became more familiar to other authors on Begging people for reviews is knowing as 'review whoring' and generally it will cause more people to neglect your fic or flame. If this is the first time you're writing in the TMNT section, then don't expect to get as many reviews as you did if you came from, say the Pokemon fandom. The anime section is a lot more popular then the TMNT, and reviews will come slower.

Writing your first story.

Do NOT start posting your story as soon as you come up with an idea. If you haven't thought the story the whole way through, then you're most likely going to get stuck with Writer's Block and have a lot of impatient reviewers breathing down your neck. You should sit on your idea for a while and develop it in your mind to see if it can become more complex. What I always do that I find works for me, is that you should write a plot outline, detailing from start to finish. When I write a plot outline, I notice the small things that still need to be worked out, like the time of day, the motivations needed for responses etc. Once I sort most of the story outline out first, then I have an easier time writing. I have a friend who posts in the anime section who told me that plot outlines don't work for her because she always deviates from them too much. Fair enough. As long as you do what works for you.

Some authors also like to write their entire story out first before posting. I've only managed to do this with 'SimTurtles', but then I got too impatient and posted it all up in one night! This method requires patience, which is why I prefer to post it while I'm writing it. Naturally, the positive side of doing this is that you're never going to be in risk of late updates (some people post months apart). The negative side is that if a reviewer spots a major plothole, then you've got a lot of fixing up to do.

I usually post as I write. The positive side of this is that I can adapt the story to suit some of the reviewers (though really you shouldn't change YOUR story for them), and you also have time to fix plot mistakes as they happen. The bad side of doing this is that something might come up in the real world, thus you cannot update frequently.

Thinking up a plot.

As an author, you should trying to explore an aspect of the show that is rarely done. You can do this by reading other people's fics and finding out what has and what hasn't been done before. Since I find it hard to describe how you should come up with ideas for a fic, I'll just say how I came up with a few of mine.

'SimTurtles' was obviously inspired by the computer game, 'The Sims'. Most of the events that occurred actually happened to me while playing the game, so it was based off real life. Since Donatello owns a computer, it made it easy to make him the central character. I then developed the idea further.

'The Glass Prison' started off being a 'what if?' question. At that point in time I was reading a lot of the more angsty fics. What I found was that although the turtles were repeatedly captured, never were they exposed to society in a negative light. The turtles always managed to escape before that happened. There also was a few fics where the turtles were discovered, yet they became celebrities, hence mixing fiction with our real world. I wanted to explore the negative aspects and possibly give a fairly realistic, bleak outcome. With that motive in mind, I used that as a juping block to create that story. So basically, to develop a plot, you should question other people's works and write what they didn't include.

Similarly, 'Mary Sue' was also inspired by other people's works. Over the American summer break, the TMNT section exploded into activity. Naturally, with good fics, there were also badfics. I took what was generally stereotypical and parodied it. Along with the help of reading some of's columns (located on the front page of the site), I tried to include and break every single fanfiction rule.

With 'The Right Guy', that was, oddly enough, inspired by the English school text I was studying at the time, 'Pride and Prejudice' - hence the references within the story. This fic also included a lot of short fics that I was orginally going to post seperately. I sat on the plots for a long time before I decided to join them all together to form one story. So your story could be inspired by events happening in your own life, or by combining several mini-plots to form a more complex story.

Know your characters.

Start to question a character's motive in order to write about them more accurately. OOCness (Out Of Character) is the mistake that is seen most frequently, especially with Raphael. Ask yourself questions and develop your own understanding of the turtles and their allies. Why is Raphael so angry? Why does Mike feel the need to be the comic relief, even though he risks being the butt of his brother's jokes? Why is Donatello shy/introverted? Why is Leo so loyal? Is Splinter really that wise or unselfish? Why does Shredder loathe the turtles? Why do April and Casey continue to put their lives in danger in order to help some freaks? Answering these types of questions and knowing your characters will greatly help your writing in the long run.

What plots have been done before?

Generally speaking;

- Female mutant turtle who has been created in a science lab joins the ninja turtles. This plot is in great danger of becoming a Mary Sue since it involves an Original Character. Also, a lot of these stories are left unfinished because they aren't thought through well enough. Be sure you know how your fic ends first. This idea should be a jumping board only, and because it has been done so many times, your story will need to have complex themes or subplots to make it more original.

A female human who has been attacked, is taken back to the lair by the ninja turtles. When doing this type of story, try not to make it too similar to April's first encounter. This story also has the potential to become a Mary Sue. To make the story more captivating, add more problems later on in the story; DON'T make the human be friends and that is the end of that. If turning into a romance, make it realistic and raise the problems and issues associated with a human dating a mutant turtle.

One of the turtles gets sick, causing everyone else to mope around for the rest of the story. This storyline has only been appearing frequently only fairly recently. It gets a bit mundane after a while mainly because there's only two resolutions; they either get better, or die. The more popular ending is obviously, the turtle gets better. These fics are usually fairly short because they start to run out of steam after a while. I've seen some authors pull this storyline off really well, however they usually have something else going on to lighten the mood a bit. Also, you shouldn't be afraid to kill a canon character off, as long as it advances the storyline.

A turtle contemplates suicide. The problem with this storyline is that the character (who is almost always Raphael in this scenario) is portrayed wrongly ie; out of character (OOC). Generally it is an extreme case of an author wanting to do an angsty fic. There are heaps of other ways to produce angst that doesn't require the turtle to be hurt. Like the illness storyline, this also can only end up with two outcomes (unless you're creative); they die or don't kill themselves. Suicide is also a very serious issue and might upset some readers, so you must be very careful not to make it too light hearted. To make it a bit more original, you could always add in the ninja tradition of seppuku.

Shredder strikes back. Yeah, yeah, I know that Shredder is the main villain, however he is fairly straight forward and stories revolving around him can become generic. There are a LOT of other enemies that haven't been thoroughly explored. The only downside is that they aren't as well known. Shredder attacking the turtles is also very common within the actual series, so readers might find the story predictable. 

How do you write and post your stories

I write out my disclaimer, Author's notes (if any) and chapter in Microsoft Word. I then save the story, then open up another Microsoft Word document. I highlight everything that I want posted, copy, paste, then click 'save as'. I save the second Microsoft Word as a HTML document (option available in the drop down menu as you save). I then close this window.

I log into and go into Document Manager. I browse for the file I want (the HTML document) and upload it. I then check it for any formatting mistakes and correct them if need be using the option availble on the site. I then click on 'Create a Story' or 'Edit Story' depending if I'm posting a new fic or updating another chapter. From then on it should be relatively straight forward.



A lot of authors find this genre fairly easy to write. However it's particularly difficult to pull it off in the TMNT fandom. Why? Because there is a severe shortage of female characters. Your options are April O'Neil, Venus de Milo, Ninjara, Mona Lisa, or if you're feeling adventurous, Karai. Otherwise you'll have to invent an OC (original character) which can ultimately end up as a Mary Sue. So use this genre with caution.


A very popular genre that is probably best used in the 80s cartoon or the TMNT:TNM universe since the turtles weren't too serious in the first place. If the story's set in the new Fox Box version, then be careful as you won't be able to get away with making the turtles OOC so easily. Uncharacteristic responses to create humour isn't as appreciated by readers when compared to a story that is both funny and in keeping with the character's normal personality.


A relatively safe genre to use, as long as the story doesn't become melodramatic like a soap opera. Most stories listed in the genre tend to focus more on family values and issues.


Don't post in this style/format unless you feel you are very good with writing poetry. I see quite a few poems in the TMNT section, however a lot of them are very generalised and could be claimed as original pieces of fiction. Make sure you mention the canon characters to appeal to your audience. Also, try not to base your poem off a song, aka, songfic. Songfics rarely ever work.


With the guys knowing ninjitsu, it's very easy to write an action fic. But alas, it's not as easy as it seems. I even do karate and know heaps of moves, however I cannot write an indepth fight scene. You might be able to get away with a general description of a fight eg; swords clashed and whirled with fury, yet you'll need to focus more on the adventure side of the fic; the acomplishments and downfalls.


A genre which is rarely seen, mainly because you'll have to keep adding twists to the plot. This genre is nice with one-shot fics though.


Another genre that isn't seen all that much. Horror, unlike suspense, tends to focus on more of the gore. I feel the imagery would work better in movies though. This genre can also come into conflict with the rating - no longer allows fics rated NC-17.


It's probably the second most popular genre, right after humour, however it is also the most abused. Random sillyness and inside jokes completely wreck the characters and the fic, as a result, it isn't funny. Since the actual show is being made fun of, characters are often wrongly portrayed. This genre was usually used in script fics (or were chat fics disguised as 'script' fics) but these formats are no longer allowed to be used on Fangirls and author inserts are also in common with this genre. Some readers absolutely loathe OOCness, however you'll still have readers who'll love it. Just be careful with parody fics. Don't make them too bizarre.


Another abused genre. When writing your fic, try not to cross over into wangst (an overly melodramatic and illogical version of angst). Things like, "Master Splinter being angry at me for not being good at ninjitsu has caused me to become suicidal, despite the fact that my family loves me deeply. I have also impregnated my Spanish girlfriend who is also in love with my brother, yet because she can't choose between the two of us, she is now moving to the African nation of Chad. Oh woe is me, my life is so strict and my parent is a big meanie!" starts to cross over into what is seen on soap operas like The Bold and the Beautiful. When doing angst, make the character look at every available alternative or solution to the problem that is raised, otherwise the story will tend to drag. Also try to have several problems that need to be solved (unless doing a one shot) so that your readers don't become bored while waiting for the resolution.


This genre fits in well with the TMNT series although it is not commonly seen in fanfiction. I've read quite a few lovely fics that have used this genre, all of which were thoroughly developed and had a suspenseful build up. Don't rush into a supernatural story; think things through first, especially if you're inventing a make believe monster/character, or if you're combining with science fiction. If your fic only has some supernatural themes, then make supernatural the secondary genre.


Another genre that easily fits in with a ninja's life. It's also quite hard to write, since a lot of suspense is simply just waiting, and probably works better in film. It might be best to read or watch a few thrillers before trying to tackle an overly suspenseful fic. A little bit of suspense is seen in most action/mystery/supernatural/horror type fics, though it is hard to keep up the suspense if it is in the majority of the fic. If you're writing your first fic, stick to romance, humour or angst unless your used to this style of writing.


Gotta love this genre as, unlike most other fandoms, it fits in really well with the TMNT series, especially with all the multi-dimensional traveling, space travel, time warps etc. By definition, science fiction is where the plot of a story is moved forward by the advances in technology. Although it may sound easy to think up all these imaginary gadget thingy-majiggies, out of all of the other genres, this one requires the most research. If you're going to do a fic about cloning, mutagens/mutations, high-tech nuclear weaponry or other advances of earth-based technology, then do some background research into what has already been achieved, how it is done etc. If at school you were never interested in science, then think twice about doing a sci-fi fic since an interest in science is a big plus. If you're going to write a fic which is tied in closely with some particular episodes eg; the Fox Box version second season where the turtles meet the Triceraton army through space travel, then you have the option of taking the easy way out since the technology is already seen within the show and therefore you don't have to make anything up.


There is a fine line between supernatural and fantasy, so I'll leave that up to you in how to classify your own fic. Fantasy, however, tends to be more imaginative while the supernatural tends to just circle around UFOs, ghosts, witchcraft etc. It's a hard genre, mainly because everything you think of has to be pretty original, and also it is hard to bring the turtles into it; supernatural themes would be easier since it can be tied in with particular characters eg; Fox Box Shredder, Dragon Lord, Venus and Vam Mi from Next Mutation etc. Since portals are seen in the TMNT series, then you can have them enter into a fantasy realm, otherwise I don't really know how else you'll get the ninja turtles and fantasy to mix. If you have some good ideas, then try it and see how it turns out.


...I don't think I've ever read a TMNT fic which had spirituality as the primary genre, which is a bit weird considering that Master Splinter and Leonardo are fairly spiritual themselves. A spiritual fic would work well if you focused on the meditation/chi/chakra/ninja beliefs type aspects that are seen in the show, however some research will have to be done so you know what you're talking about. I would not use the spiritual genre as a way to rant about my own personal religious beliefs. I repeat, don't do it. Religion is a very hot topic and WILL cause arguments if some beliefs haven't been represented. If you are going to bring up the topic of religion, then make it a discussion between two characters who would have the appropriate views you are trying to express eg; Splinter and Raphael, Leonardo and Donatello. Don't make the conversation one sided and don't make one the winner. There is no answer as to what religion is the best, so make sure you just simply raise the issue you want to express and leave it open-ended. Once again, the only religious elements that are seen in the show are to do with meditation and Bushido, so if you're going to make one of the turtles really religious, then make sure you can back up your reasoning.


This genre is usually used with angst and most commonly features character death/s (though it doesn't have to). If you do a one shot where a character dies, prepare to get a few angry reviews; some readers always like to get a happy ending even though it might be more artistic/stronger to let the character pass away. For multi-chapter fics, try not to give away the ending if it results in character death (unless the death happens at the start), as the reviewers tend to try and convince you that a happy ending would be better even though that might not be the case. For instance, my friend who writes in the Anime section wanted to change her story into a tragedy and not make it a romance. She told her reviewers that, and they manage to convince her to make it a romance. She then made the ending romantic even though the ending would have been stronger and would have made more sense if it was tragic, and thus she now starts to regret it. As I said at the beginning, write for yourself, not for your readers.

Another thing you have to watch out for is that you don't slip into wangst, especially if you're writing a long story which is broken down into chapters. Life has it's ups and downs, and so do stories. Remember that some of the greater tragedies that have been written eg; Shakespeare's MacBeth, Romeo and Juliet, and the bleak King Lear, even have their light hearted comedic moments. Don't make the whole story depressing as you'll depress your readers. Add some jokes or family moments to break the grief up and make the story more enjoyable as a whole.


Writing longer stories

If you're planning to write a story which is longer than five chapters, then you're going to need a few subplots or introduce new complications to the story. Usually with a story, there's the beginning (which raises the issue/complication/problem at hand), a middle (solutions are tried and failed, or the different alternatives simply thought about) and an end (the resolution, unless it's open-ended). If you have a long story which deals with same problem, then the plot will drag out, unless the problem grows worse or evolves into something different. After saying that, every chapter should have a purpose, whether that be to advance the plot, develop character relationships or to raise or solve an issue. Try not to have gap-fillers; chapters which don't add anything to the story and are only posted because you're due for an update. If you do what I do and write a plot outline beforehand, then you're more likely to avoid meaningless chapters.

Script' fics and why they're bad

Stories written in script format are no longer allowed on, mainly because people abused the format and disguised them as chat fics. You can however, after a bit of searching, post script fics on other fanfic websites. Now, script fics aren't bad if they're done properly, and work very well for comedies since you can get the jokes out quickly without worrying about unnecessary prose. After all, most Simpsons and South Park fanfiction were written as scripts, though unfortunately, since decided to classify script and chat as the same thing, someone went report happy and the fandoms have almost gone extinct now o_0! Proper script fics aren't bad, but chat fics are, and it's a shame they are seen as the same thing.

If you're confused about the different types, I have used an extract from one of my own fics as an example of prose, scipt and chat. This extract will be from Mary Sue, chapter two, since this story is very dialogue driven and was originally inspired by a script in the first place. I would have liked to have seen it written as a script fic, but since made the rule, it's not as though I had a choice.

"You're surprisingly mentally stable though..." Don added somewhat as a compliment. Mary Sue nodded while she composed herself, causing Don to notice her right eye's change of colour. "You have very... unique eyes," Donatello tried to compliment again.

"Oh... thank you," Mary Sue said sweetly with another one of her smiles.

"What colour are they?" Raphael asked the question that Donatello was wondering all along.

"Well, my left eye is ruby-sapphire while my right changes colour according to my mood," Mary Sue said while her right eye changed from blue to yellow.

"What colour is ruby-sapphire?" Donatello asked while raising an eye-ridge.

"This colour, silly," Mary Sue answered while pointing to her left eye.

"...Oh..." Donatello uttered after observing the newly invented colour.

DONATELLO: (complimenting to Mary) You're surprisingly menatlly stable though.
Mary Sue nods and tries to compose herself while Donatello stares into her eyes. You have very (pause, not knowing the correct word) unique eyes.

MARY SUE: Oh (pause, acknowledging the compliment) thank you.
Mary Sue gives another one of her sweet smiles.

RAPHAEL: What colour are they?

MS: (completely composed. Perky) Well, my left eye is ruby-sapphire while my right changes colour according to my mood.
As she's talking, Mary Sue's right eye changes colour from blue to yellow.

DON: (confused) What colour is ruby-sapphire? Don raises an eye-ridge in intrigue.

MS: She points to her left eye. (teasing, cheeky) This colour, silly.

DON: (pause, feeling stupid) Oh.
He pauses again as he continues to observe her eyes.

Don: You're surprisingly mentally stable though. You have very... unique eyes.

Mary: Oh... thank you.

Raph: What colour are they?

Mary : Well my left eye is ruby-sapphire while my right changes colour according to my mood.

Don: What colour is ruby-sapphire?

Mary: This colour, silly.

Don: ...Oh...

As you can (hopefully) see, a proper script should be about 50% description. You could even make if for stage or film by detailing the performance space eg; stage left or right, or by describing the camera shots eg; pan, crash zoom, mid shot. Although the extract written in prose most likely set the scene the best, the script fic brought out more of the humour. The chat fic though didn't improve the story and some of the atmosphere and humour was lost because of the lack of description. This is the reason why chat fics are bad; a lot of experienced writers view chat fic writers as being lazy because they couldn't be bothered in describing the scene. As you can imagine, the script fic writers were pretty furious that they were treated the same as chat fic writers.

Original Characters (OCs) and how not to turn them into Mary Sues.

First of all, in order to avoid creating Mary Sues, we need to know what one is. A Mary Sue is an idealised, usually female 'original' character (males are called Marty Stus or Gary Stus) who fulfills the author's fantasies. In any show, there usually is an empty space left open so the audience can feel involved with the characters; laugh at their jokes, cry at their mistakes and the feeling of wanting to give them a hug. When a Mary Sue is created, these needs are met, since the author makes the Sue do what she would personally do, and therefore other readers feel distanced since this character is doing everything they wanted or imagined.

Mary Sues also tend to be perfect. They are smarter, more beautiful, fit, wise, and in the TMNT fandom, they can kick the turtle's ninja butt. As a result, they are very boring, predictable and cliched and will only succeed in severly annoying your readers. Because Mary Sue's are so perfect, they tend to overshadow the canon characters that everyone has grown up to enjoy. No one wants to read about how your perfect original character defeated the Shredder, rather they'd like to see how the turtles did it. There are also different types of Sues, from ones that are angsty, 'rebellious' bitches who somehow never get bitched slapped, to the ones that are loved by everyone.

Below I've compiled a list of some typical Mary Sue traits that are seen in the TMNT fandom;
- Has powers; c'mon! Not even the turtles have super powers! Already the character is too powerful.
- Has an angsty/tragedy ridden past; judging from all the horrible pasts, for some reason, heaps of kids were abused as a child o_0! If you're going to have a character that had a sad past, then make sure you write about some psycholgical problems that might be affecting your character from those experiences. No one is perfectly sane after they've been raped. Think about it.
- Is incredibly beautiful; be realistic. Only vain supermodels are drop dead gorgeous, and they know it. Also, give your character realistic traits like normal hair and eye colour. Having silver eyes and turquoise hair might sound cool and exotic, but no one, I mean NO ONE looks like that and in the end it is rather laughable.
- Falls in love with one of the turtles (usually Raph); this is very predictable, especially when another turtle whines with jealously about the fact that the drop dead Mary Sue didn't pick them.
- The Mary Sue is a female mutant ninja turtle; if you're going to do this, make sure you think of a good past (avoiding the lab rat cliche). Seriously though, just use the pre-created Venus.

Mary Sues are usually written by first time writers, meaning that a lot of the time, an author's first fic features a Mary Sue. This is mainly because new authors haven't read enough fics and think that the perfect character they've thought up is simply that; perfect. They don't realise that their 'fantastic' character is rather generic and boring because they empower the author's ultimate fantasies. So how do you avoid the horrible Mary Sue phenomenon? Below is a list on things you can do to avoid them;

- Always focus the story on the canon, not on your OC; it's okay to develop your OC, but don't go overboard. Let the plot be advanced by the turtles, and although your OC can do that as well, don't let her do it ALL the time.
- Give your OC flaws; being too beautiful does NOT count as a flaw. Make your OC ugly, impatient or possibly naive. You can make them pretty or nice if you want, just not overly so. Give them behavioural quirks or habits, no matter how small; each one develops some character.
- When first introducing your OC, don't describe their outfit; no one really cares about what your character is wearing. They would rather know what their personality's like. Only a small description is needed; try not to let it go for more than one paragraph. Remember that you can develop the OC later on throughout the story.
- Your OC won't get along with everybody; no one becomes friends instantly. Just because they like Raphael, it doesn't mean that they'll like Leonardo just as much. Just like in real life, your OC will treat each person as an individual and will have different relations with them.

Songfics and why they should be avoided

A songfic is where song lyrics are used instead of description in order to communicate the mood of the scene. The lyrics are usually denoted with italics, yet sometimes they can be hard to distinguish from the rest of the story. They are usally pulled off badly mainly because the reader might not associate the song to the same type of feelings you personally experience. They also sometimes seems awkward or out of place. They can also be cliched and/or ridiculous, with Avril Lavinge, Britney Spears and Evanescence being the most popular choices. For instance, I once read an Alien fic (the Ridley Scott movie) where a girl (who was coincidentally a Mary Sue) was being attacked by an alien, all while Britney Spear's song 'Toxic' was playing in the background! I didn't connect with the girl, I simply burst out into a fit of laughter instead. A lot of people can't pull off a songfic, but you might have better luck in writing your own lyrics so that they fit in better. Write songfics if you know what you're doing otherwise it'll be a disaster.

Audience participation stories

An audience participation story is where reviewers can join in. A part of me admires these writer's mainly because they have to think of a flexible setting and adjust quickly to the demand of the readers. These are usually a lot of fun, however if you're not prepared, you could be overrun with requests if you're not too careful. Also, these fics rarely ever end, so I would suggest that you think of a flexible ending before you start.

Author Insertion

An author insert is where you write yourself into your own story. It may seem cool at first, but no one really wants to read about your adventures or personal fantasies with the ninja turtles. You can also turn yourself into a Mary Sue, where you end up being perfect because you cannot write about your own personal flaws. If you want to try and do this successfully, you'll have to turn yourself into a character; taking a few good and bad traits from yourself, even though you think that's too stereotypical. There tends to be two types of author fics; one is where the author is a mysterious narrator, a shadow like creature that has the ability to change things, while the other is more like an OC where they interact with the turtles on a more physical level.

Sex scenes: to do or not to do? no longer supports NC-17 rated fics, although there are other places where you can post your work. Generally speaking, it is better to do a 'fade out', than to describe the entire act; it all depends on the type of fic you're writing. If you've been writing a highly detailed and graphic/gory fic the whole way through, then it might be a bit strange if you don't describe the sex scene. Naturally this would be rated NC-17, however you could write it as an R rated story if you used weird euphemisms, though they could become so bizarre that the characters could be on a surf board or at a BBQ for all we know! Don't ask me about how to write a detailed sex scene since I tend to avoid NC-17 stuff altogether and I prefer the 'fade out' method, where the implication of sex is written before the scene cuts away. A confirmation of the deed can be written later on.

But before you go off and pair up every single character, ask yourself whether the relationship needs sex in the first place. Generally speaking, younger writers view sex as a sign of maturity and 'true love' while older adults think romance is actually the conversation and close friendship two characters have between each other. Try not to rush them off to bed too early as it may come across as being lust, not romance (unless you're writing about lust). Also, keep the characters in character, meaning that if they are the type to have morals, keep them eg; Leo really isn't the type to sleep around. Mike, on the other hand, is (though it depends on your own personal views of the characters).

Non-American writers

Being an Australian myself, I sometimes find it difficult to write about America. If, like me, you've never been to New York, just remember that the city that is depicted in the cartoons and comics are a stylised version of New York, not New York itself. Therefore the city is more gritty and crime infested than what it actually is (well I hope so!). Also remember that every city essentially looks the same; there's lots of people, tall buildings and congested streets. Since the show is usually set in the sewers and depicts what the outside world is like, you can usually get away with knowing very little about New York, unless you want to include specific landmarks in which you'd then need to do some research; don't worry, every second American movie is set in New York ^_^ As for culture, the turtles tend to be more Japanese when it comes to customs (except for Mike who is a pop culture sponge). Don't worry if you're not used to American sayings as the readers are often very nice and will help you out. If you're really self-conscious about it, then say what country you're from in your bio so then readers will understand if you're having problems. More often than not, they'll be happy to help you out.

Well I hope that helps some people out. Good luck on your upcoming fics. If you feel that I have left something out that needs to be discussed, don't be afraid to add stuff onto this, as I would like to see this become rather communal. You can contact me at
[email protected].
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