So, I head that you would like to write a magical girl story, set in the great megacrossover magical girl story known as the Battle Fantasia Project. Perhaps you would like to take on one of the well known magical girls from their respective anime, and write their reactions to the mess caused by Akiko’s jump. Or perhaps you would like to write a story where Mami Tomoe and Nanoha Takamachi idle chat about ways to defeat monsters over a cup of tea. Or maybe you have your own OC magical girl, maybe even a fangirl of Sailor Moon, and desperately want to write a story where they both fight crime together... you get the picture.
If so, then welcome to the New Writer’s Guideline! This article will give you the basic knowledge you need to know in order to contribute to the project, and help you write stories that can fit within the wider universe of Battle Fantasia, or that can inspire you to write your own Alternate Universe take of the Battle Fantasia storyline, your own What If? Scenarios.
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
THE VERY BASICSEdit
In order to write a magical girl story, well,you would need to at least be familiar with the genre Fortunately for you, TV Tropes has a pretty good guide right here for you to read complete with some of the best examples of the genre at the bottom of the page, as well as some potential ideas that you can take on!
Also, you might want to take a look at the basic premise and themes of the project, @LinkComingSoon
Those of you writing a character from a pre-estabilished series should also be at least familiar with the series, and the characters you are writing. We would warmly recommend you watch the anime or read the manga beforehand, and have a look around any resources compiled on them, such as their dedicated wikis. We will do our best to provide links to the resources you need.
WHICH ARC ARE YOU WRITING FOR?Edit
The next thing you need to consider is in which arc of the Battle Fantasia Project your stories will be set.
The Battle Fantasia main universe will have a series of Main Arcs in its storyline. Each arc will have an overall arc theme (e.g.: Arc 1 has “You are not alone” as it’s main theme), possibly an overarching enemy (for Arc 1 that would be the Nightmare Factory), a number of key events that will happen within that arc, certain specifications for the setting, and also a number of sub-arcs. Some storylines fit better in a certain setting than in others, so if you want your story to fit in canon, or are looking for a place from which to start your own What If? Alternate universe, then we would strongly advise you to read through our compiled list of general Arc information and related articles, which you can find linked below:
(Arc -1: The fall of the Silver Millenium????) @Proposed arc for crossovers happening before the fall of the Silver Millenium
Arc 0: The world before Akiko @Link coming soon
Arc 1: “Unity” (Akiko and the Nightmare Factory) @Link coming soon
Arc 2: (Birth of the MGA) @Link coming soon
Arc 3: (This Brave New Magical World) @Link coming soon
Arc 4: (Inter-planetary/dimensional shenanigans/politics/adventures). @Link coming soon
Omega Arc: Mahou Shojou Ragnarok @Proposed “very final arc” where the descendants of the 21st century magical girls join forces with the goddesses of the magical mythos in the “final” battle against evil. Will possibly involve many heroic sacrifices and the birth of the next universe.
PLOT MASTER PLAN:Edit
Once you’ve read the basics, read the main arc plots, and have some ideas on what you want to write about, then we would strongly advise you to fill out this template as much as you can, and present it to the other authors in the arc for approval.
It's not mandatory to fill it in, just as long as the authors of the arc and subsequent arcs know the main points you want to include in your story, especially series characters and important plot points that have major ramifications for other timelines. We do advise you to fill out the form mainly because it makes it more presentable for other to see, and as a bonus, you may find it useful yourself to organize your own stuff, both Battle Fantasia related and non-Battle Fantasia related.
NOTES ON USING SERIES MAGICAL GIRLSEdit
If you plan to write stories that feature majorly one of the established magical girls from an anime series (such as Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Sailor Moon, Puella Magi Madoka Magica), or perhaps include something that’s not exactly a magical girl show but does have elements that fit in, then these extra rules apply:
-The first major rule is PLEASE, PLEASE DISCUSS THIS WITH THE OTHER AUTHORS OF THE PROJECT. There may be “fixed points in time and space” set in place for the arc, or by previous arcs, and it would not do good for the universe at large if they don’t happen, as any good Dr. Who fan should know. Unless, of course, you are writing a What If? AU, in which case that doesn’t matter much...just as long as you make clear in your story what happens differently compared to the “canon” continuity.
-Magical Girls from series we have already planned to include, and have written extensively about (such as the Nanoha cast) will obviously be in high demand, and will most likely be a major focus in the main storylines, especially in the earlier arcs, such as 1 and 2. Again, please check in with other authors to make sure their use doesn’t clash too much.
That being said, Arc 3 should have a lot of “downtime” between major events, so they should be available for your stories. Bear in mind, though, that due to the Butterfly Effect, events in one story will influence future events, and these events may come back to haunt the characters you use in future stories by writers who pick your plot elements up.
-Magical Girls from series that we would like to include but haven’t written anything about should be free for you to use, as long as you take into consideration the main arc plot points. If you plan to have them interact with other characters in other author’s stories, then you would be best discuss this with the author in question. On the other hand, if you don’t want them to interact with other stories, you should be prepared to answer the question “and where were they when this major event happened? How come they have not dropped everything to go and help out?” this is a more pressing matter in Arc 1 and 2, but shouldn’t be much of a problem in other arcs.
-If you would like to include magical girl series that have not been mentioned, or other shows that share similar themes to magical girls, or magical girl expies from completely unrelated series (there was an idea of using Team Fortress 2-based magical girls at one point), then please 1) Check that the series is not on the banned series list first, and 2) seriously consider what you want to include from the series, how much, and in what way.
Oh, and don’t be surprised if we find reasons to reject your idea. Throwing various series together in a megacrossover sounds like an awesome idea at first, but at the end of the day, we are trying to write good stories, and we’ve found that such an attitude leads to major worldbuilding problems down the line, especially if the series included has an extended “mythos” behind it.
NOTES ON USING ORIGINAL CHARACTER MAGICAL GIRLSEdit
If you plan to create and use your own Original Characters for this story, then on top of reading the the above resources on how to write magical girl series, and the Arc specific details, and consulting with other authors if events happen to crossover, you will also have to decide in which Tier your Magical Girls belong to, and develop it from there.
TIER 1: MAGICAL GIRL TEAM:Edit
This is your standard magical girl team unit: a Magical Girl or team of Magical Girls, belonging to the same “mythos” (where “mythos” is what we define as the system behind their magical powers), working for a determined objective and/or fighting against one determined enemy per “series”. Most magical girl teams, especially the Tokyo ones, would fit into this category pre-Akiko’s jump and before the formation of the MGA.
In this category, Magical Girl teams are pretty much on their own. There is no contact with magical girls from other “mythoses”, and they usually only have each other in terms of mundane support, such as psychological and financial help. They may have their own “mythos” to support them, but most often it would be magical support (the Queen of Light for the Pretty Cure series, for example), or have a system in place that prevents them from operating extensively on Earth (such as the red tape that prevents the TSAB from intervening.).
You are most likely to find these teams before the MGA is set up and fully operational. After that, it would be rare and problematic for a new team to be formed and remain independent from the MGA for extended periods of time, unless there is a pretty good reason for that to happen.
TIER 1.5: THE TEAMS MEET UPEdit
This is the situation that you are most likely to encounter from arc 1 onwards, and would form the basis of most MGA teams. Basically, between 2 to 5 teams, from the same, similar or completely different mythoses (for example, the Pretty Cure All Stars crossovers), meet up together for a common goal, or to defeat a common enemy, in a one-shot adventure, and then go their separate ways, maybe exchanging contact details. They are not organized enough to provide full support, but they can exchange information and trade favours between each other.
This is the most common situation that you will find starting in Arc 1, as magical girl teams start to get in touch with other teams that are close by, and start collaborating with them, or get back in touch with their one-off allies. This will lead to the formation of new Tier 2 organizations, detailed below, which will eventually unite in the Tier 3 organization that is the MGA.
When the MGA is formed, and starts training their members, most of the newly formed teams would be of this Tier, as the MGA will put girls of different mythoses together in a team, so as to promote collaboration, and allow the girls to experience working with other girls using different styles and different elemental associations.
TIER 2: THE MAGICAL GIRL SOCIETYEdit
This tier expands on the concept of the Tier 1.5 previously describe. It’s what would happen when, due to a glitch in the masquerade in a specific city (possibly due to ley-lines, rifts in space and time, portal to hell or some other reasons), Magical girl teams from different mythoses meet up more often in the city in which they operate, and may have overlapping enemy problems, and overlapping goals. This situation allows the girls to pool their resources and form a city based organization/society/support group to help out their colleagues.
Geography wise, these groups would operate with a city, or within an area where transport is relatively easy between their bases of operation, and where meeting up every week or every month is doable.
A Tier 2 organization would also have a few teams spanning 3-4 generations back, and you could get the teams of still operational Magical Mamas and Magical Grandmas, either in a support and leadership role, or even in a more active role on the Mamas side, with Magical Grandmas being the equivalent to the ‘nuke ‘em all’ option. This is due to the fact that because MG’s at this level are aware of other MG’s, and that the battle there is persistant in some way (a new Dark Kingdom replaces a defeated one within a year or so), then there is less of an incentive for Magical Girls there to voluntarily retire on a permanent basis.
Depending on how long the threat in their location has been going on (especially in the case of “Guarding a portal to hell”), the modern Tier 2 MG’s may find evidence of similar organizations being formed in the past, disbanding when there was too much of a generational gap between threats, and picking up again when a new generation of magical girls took place. If the same “mythoses” are involved, it is more likely for the modern teams to find books and messages penned by their predecessors, and thus learn their role quicker. There could also be ancient traditions and folklore tales passed down the generations.
Depending on how long they have been in operation, these Tier 2 organizations could form the basis of the future MGA, and could possibly teach the new MGA how to handle things. When the MGA is formed, they will form the core of the regional MGA divisions.
In terms of actual limits for Tier 2 organizations, let’s say that, on average, each country has 2 to 5 such organizations, with a maximum of 8 and 9 in big countries such as the USA and Russia. These groups would extend to just beyond a city, contain teams belonging to 5-10 different mythoses, and their recent incarnations should have been active for 3-4 generations of Magical Girls.
TIER 3: THE MAGICAL GIRL ORGANIZATION/CONSPIRACY:Edit
This is the tier where we see large organizations of mages, with rather large numbers of operatives controlling entire countries, and a large pool of resources to back them up. These organizations may also be in touch with one another, and can transfer resources to each other. This is the tier where the Nightmare Factory and the Hermetic Concordium, main enemy of arc 2, would reside, and this is the tier the MGA as a whole will eventually achieve after its inception. We could also include in this section organizations such as the TSAB and the various Light Kingdoms (such as the Kingdom of Juraiheim, Kandrakar from W.I.T.C.H. canon, the Magix dimension from the Winx Club canon etc.), as well as the Dark Kingdoms (such as Queen Yami’s Prime Materium).
For more details on writing characters within these groups, or even subfactions of these groups, please refer to their own faction pages (once we manage to provide you a link to them).
Writing a brand new Earth organization in this Tier is... well, unadvisable, as the organizations that have been created should cover most possibilities, and it could give us major worldbuilding headaches. Still, if you have a really good idea for such an organization, then by all means, suggest it!
An off-world organization would be a more viable alternative, but then you will have to factor in issues such as jurisdiction policies, agreeing with the other dimensional powers and the MGA, and so on and so forth, which may be too much of an effort. Unless you are positively sure that other writers will pick up on your Tier 3 organization, then it might be best to stick with lower tiers, and/or the organizations being proposed.
And that’s about it, really! There should be plenty of information within here and the links provided to get you started. Anything else you need to know, or feels should be added in here, please let us know on the official thread or on our IRC chat.
Now, go forth, and spread the befriending!