Somewhere along the line while writing Slayers New, I realized that I hadnít done something that seems customary among ficwriters--I never put up a section for authorís notes. Since the story seems to lack a personal touch without notes, Iíll ramble for awhile here to give anyone who cares enough about the story a little bit of an idea of what was going on in my mind as I wrote it.
First, Slayers New is not a new story. I came up with the idea more than four years ago, after watching the first six tapes of Slayers subtitled. The original idea was born from a little scene that popped into my head in which a princess squared off against an ordinary dragon in the middle of a forest, wielding a sword and using some very non-magic-like powers, much to the surprise of Linaís merry band of adventurers, who were merely looking on. Not a terribly Slayers-esque scene, Iíll admit--Lina, for one, is not one to stand around passively while thereís a fight going on. I didnít know Slayers well at that point, though, and so I started to construct a story around that scene. I got about halfway through the story, which was originally going to be a one-shot deal, but stopped when I got to college.
I didnít stop thinking about the story, however. In fact, the long walks I had between classes allowed me plenty of time to ponder what I had written, and how I wanted the rest of the story to turn out. Finally, at some point during my freshman year, I reread what I had written and realized that it frankly sucked. It was my first fic, and believe me, it showed. So I started rehashing and rewriting the plot, and somewhere along the line, a rough storyline for a sequel began to form. A year later, I started to get more ideas, and finally, I began to set up a framework for three stories, the first of which I entitled Slayers New.
While writing comes much easier to me than, say, drawing, there were plenty of times I wanted to throw in the towel and stop writing altogether. But, in the end, I couldnít let myself do that. Why? I simply couldnít get the idea out of my head until I wrote it. This story has been my daydream and hobby for years now, and Iíve gotten so attached to it that I didnít want it to die. A story is only good if itís told, and thatís what kept me writing, even when I was slogging through some long, descriptive passage, or struggling to figure out just how Gourry or Ameria would react to a situation. I hope itís entertained at least someone out there as much as itís entertained me.
A word about stylistic elements in Slayers New: First, I am a sub devotťe, and thatís why I kept the spell chants in their original Japanese and used honorifics like -san (Mr./Ms.) and -hime (Princess) after the charactersí names. I understand not everyone watches the sub, but I feel that the Japanese is kept to a minimum, and is something any anime fan should be willing to accept in fanfiction, even if they prefer dubs. Second, my sister described Slayers New as a season of Slayers with all the screwball episodes taken out, so that the plot cuts right to the chase. What can I say--Iím not Godís gift to slapstick humor, and my writing forte is characterization (Iím getting better at writing description, though). I feel like I have a good feel for the anime, however, and I hope I kept the spirit of the anime in Slayers New, so that it feels like a continuation of the anime series.
The only thing I wasnít satisfied with at the end of Slayers Try was the characterization--while everyone behaved typically in the epilogue, it still didnít sum up the main charactersí relationships to each other very neatly, and I felt it left the series open to a sequel in that respect. Nothing could come close to the drama of the end of Try, so Iíve chosen not to compete with that. Instead, my main goal is to conclude the stories of the characters themselves, using the events around them as a tool for the reader to gain greater understanding of them.
That pretty much sums up everything I really wanted to say about Slayers New. I could ramble more, but Iíll spare you all and instead just say that constructive feedback is always appreciated. Iíd like to know what people think of the story, including what they liked and what they didnít like. Thanks for reading, and I hope you will all enjoy the sequel to Slayers New: Slayers Balance.
Throughout the New World Trilogy, I made up several proper names and places, and their pronounciation may not be entirely obvious. Here's a list of some words that could be easily mixed up and how to pronounce them correctly. The syllables are broken with - marks and accented syllables will be capitalized (ie SLAY-ers). Try flipping your 'R's for a more Japanese-sounding accent (it's how I imagine the Japanese seiyuu would pronounce the worlds).
Slayers New is dedicated to my sister, Akane no Hime, who shares many of Princess Erikaís traits, including her indomitable spirit and her graceful strength. May all who read this story have someone like her to brighten your lives.
Second, this story would not have been possible without the help and encouragement of several people. First, a huge thank you to Xanthix, my editor, who pointed out my mistakes and poorly-written description with patience, gentleness, and a genuine appreciation for the story. Also, thanks go to Akane, Aluminum Siren, Dan, and Mango for their feedback and pointers. And of course, Iíd like to thank my parents, without whose influence I never would have written anything in the first place.
Iíd also like to thank the entire Slayers Trad Mailing List, especially: Ai-Chan, Alyson, Christine, Dani, Diane, Jesse, Neko-Chan, Pairaka, Sharlene, Stan, Stara, and anyone else I forgot. Iíd especially like to thank Astra--without the Victory Shrine to Love, I never would have appreciated all the characters for who they are. Thanks to everyone on the inverse.org message board who took the time to answer my questions, especially QP/Diana, Avatar, Ikari, Stan, Xelloss, and Lina. And, lastly, thanks to everyone who emailed me with feedback--your encouragement and the fact that you actually READ the darn thing in the first place mean more to me than I could ever express here.
"Slayers" is copyright H. Kanzaka / R. Araizumi. Original ideas, artwork, and text present on this page are copyright Esther Nairn, unless otherwise noted. No reproduction is allowed without express written or emailed permission. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.