Unconventional Rules, 2019

Undergrad thesis project

Excerpts and process notes

Multiple word processors, InDesign, Archive of Our Own

Unconventional Rules is an over 30 000-word novella (approximately over 200 letter pages). The manuscript is a collection of eleven short stories, with accompanying poetry and footnotes. The stories are rewritten versions of anime fanfiction, revised into original fiction. All short stories feature the same five characters in different relationship configurations: as a group of friends, or as a romantic monogamous couple, all the way up to a polyamorous penta relationship (an intimate relationship between five people).

The book was completely written and designed by me, and edited by a team of close friends who are also authors.


I began this project by participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) for the first time ever in 2018. During NaNoWriMo, I used a calendar style mode of production.

nanowrimo prompt calendar

Here are excerpts from the writing exercise.

Amicable Amity

They were told that the storage room’s lock was broken. They were told that it was going to be replaced by the end of the week. They were told to be careful with it, to have some sort of doorstop ready so people could safely lock away all the equipment without trapping someone inside. They were told this multiple times throughout the week.

Azumane-san already had it happen to him, and no one wanted to repeat that fiasco again. Kei remembers the captain’s tired expression once they got their ace out.

Of course, misfortune enjoys annoying Kei at every opportunity.

Dumb Dumb

Tobio lines up the bottles by the net with practiced ease, and when he stands up he finds his girlfriend talking to Tsukishima at the sidelines. Hitoka easily catches his eyes and beams at him. Tsukishima just looks on with a straight face.

Then, it slowly morphs into his signature smirk.

Tobio wants to kiss the look right off his face.

That was when I went numb
You’ll be my sweet love

His teammates continue to beam at him like twin suns illuminating a clear sky. Tobio turns away before he does something embarrassing like trip over the bottles he just lined up.

Group Chat: baby crows

(Yamaguchi has added Tsukishima to the chat)

Yachi [9:23pm]
tsukishima-kun! 😀

• little giant #10 • [9:23pm]

Kageyama [9:24pm]

Tsukishima [9:24pm]

(Tsukishima has left the chat)

• little giant #10 • [9:25pm]

By the end of November, I completed and produced twenty individual fanfics with over 40 000 words using a calendar-style mode of production. I finished the remainder of my prompts by March 2019 with over 56 000 words.

The Book

Once I completed producing all of the raw fanfiction, I then chose eleven stories to revise into original fiction. What was produced was the short story collection, Unconventional Rules. Since this manuscript is published independently and not by an official publishing press, the original fanfiction is still available to read online.

Word Count: 31 400+
Rating: PG-13
Major Warnings: Descriptions of mental illness (mainly anxiety disorders), brief mentions of past bullying, rated for language and discussions not suitable for young audiences
Themes/Tropes: Volleyball, polyamory, friendship

Read Unconventional Rules as a PDF here. Mobile-friendly version coming soon~!

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