Tips for Writing LNH Stories

Respect Characters

Let's face it, whether they're Writer-based Characters (WCs) or Non-Writer-based Characters (NWCs), someone created them. That means there is a right way and a wrong way to write them. There are five ways to help ensure that a character is done right: 1) read the roster, 2) email the creator (if known), 3) read stories that feature the character in question, 4) email the author and 5) don't portray a character in a way that could be considered insulting.

Don't Do Anything too Suddenly

People tend to have long term plans. Sometimes their long term plans will involve your character in some essential way. Give the net some advance notice of what is going to happen to your character and be prepared to compromise. Some of our veterans have dined on fried newbie after said newbie has decided to remake the Looniverse in their image. Also, start out with only one, two, or maybe three new characters at first; let the readers get to know them, then slowly bring in more. Nothing turns off many people quicker than dumping 15 berzillion new characters on them in your first issue. Also, you'd be wise not to do more than an issue or two a week; a faster pace will cause some people not to read.

Be Consistant with What Others Have Written

You have some leeway here: for one thing, it seems that the size of any given room varies directly with the number of Legionnaires in it; similarly, the conference table in the Central Command Centre appears to adapt for the number of Legionnaires around it. Nevertheless, some effort has been made by certain writers to visualize Legion Headquarters as having a lobby, a cafeteria, laboratories, HoloDecStations, etc. Some consistency in their description would surely be appreciated.

Follow Continuity

This is tricky: on one hand, you should place stories in continuity; on the other hand, the story might not fit where you want it to. You have four options: 1) make changes and repost, 2) have Doctor Stomper explain the continuity error way :) 3) declare your story a dream / Elsewhirl or 4) negotiate a compromise with the conflicting writer to the effect that at least one of you can make the necessary changes.

Don't Start a Storyline You Can't Finish

The exception here is a subplot: people can feel free to write subplots for no other reason than to inspire others. For example, a couple of recent McLaughlin Man subplots in Deja Dude and Master Blaster set the stage for the use of McLaughlin Man in Ultimate Ninja #10 and LNH: Open House.

For Legion Stories, Use Existing Legionnaires

Feel free to create your own characters for your solo stories but for stories that take place inside Legion Headquarters, chances are the character you have in mind is already in the roster. This, of course, will make writing more challenging but, then again, you'd be more likely to receive feedback this way.

Make Use of the Characters that Appear in your Stories

The exception being Useless-Background-Character Lad. Don't just have Canadian Smelling Guy, your great new creation, appear in one issue never to be seen again. No need to overpopulate the Looniverse. =)

Use Your Character Wisely

Your stories will give people an idea of how your character should be used. Assuming you want your character to be used, it's a good idea to appear useful.

Read LNH Stories

Obviously the roster won't tell you everything. One thing to look for is how the characters interact. The best way to see this is to read previous stories. It's also a good idea to write the character's owner and make sure you're portraying the character well.

Have Fun

No one is forcing you to write. Hopefully, if it's good for you, it'll be good for us.

Martin Phipps /

This page last updated: 1/18/96.