Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

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FstrthnU
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Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by FstrthnU » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:36 am

This is just a thought exercise I came up with, would KS have worked as a physical novel? Like basically putting the text of the entire game into a written novel, with each of the character paths different chapters that one would jump to after reading Act 1 (and choices handled by separating sections). So no backing artwork, music, sound effects. Would the text be able to spark the imagination enough to visualize the game's events? The writing is superb, of course, but how well would we view the whole thing without support A/V elements?

GaseousMask
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by GaseousMask » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:43 am

IMO it wouldn't have worked. It was the combination of the music and the dialogue along with the ever changing character face emotions that really made me get "the feels". With just writing, it would be hard to visualize the characters emotions as everyone has a different imagination. But with visuals, the readers would be able to understand exactly what the writers and artists are trying to convey without much thinking and of course is really strengthened by the soundtrack.

tony246
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by tony246 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:21 am

Well, in my un-expert opinion, in any sort of storytelling media, the character's personality and standard mood needs to be established in some way. Otherwise the person who is reading/watching/whatevering the whatever will fail to be interested in the characters at all. This would naturally mean bad story which would mean no sell. Well, unless its a certain type of story like wish-fulfillment or fairy tale, but that's an entirely unrelated matter.

Anyways, with writing in novels, this translates into certain areas of repeated facial descriptions and dialogue and actions and just plain blatant descriptions stating them. Eventually the audience would internalize the character and would understand what that character would be doing, even if the character is not being detailed at that moment. It's as if the reader knows the character is pacing the room or making a certain kind of face at that point in time due to imagination, letting the author focus on important things, like flow or foreshadowing.

In visual novels, this tedious task is tremendously less boggled down by the fact that there are certain...um, I don't know the word, but I guess 'visual art sets' for the characters, you know, the certain picture of that character in that pose. This would then require very minor detailing at the beginning (only really serving to standardize the visual associations to mental 'bookmarks' of what they are thinking) and tremendous focus on other important things. Furthermore, the depiction of the world/environment is also cut down due to being actually able to see the environment. In regular novels, these things have to be repeated so often and at least minimally for every scene change. In visual novels, the scenery is pretty much only described when it is particularly important.

And on the subject matter itself, jumping from one chapter to another is a bid tedious. But ultimately if the text was elaborated on, then the 'possible written novel' form of KS may just be ok. Maybe. I mean, you would have to get someone really good to compile all that into a high quality story.
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nyttyn
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by nyttyn » Thu Feb 09, 2012 5:50 am

Yes and no.

While it might semi-work, to be a really effective novel, it would have to be pretty heavily overhauled, edited, and rewritten. It was written with the fact that it was a VN in mind, and as such, just throwing it onto paper and calling it a day wouldn't work so well.
Why does the OST feature so much piano, despite the fact that not even a single piano exists in the entire game!?

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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by hickwarrior » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:14 am

nyttyn wrote:Yes and no.

While it might semi-work, to be a really effective novel, it would have to be pretty heavily overhauled, edited, and rewritten. It was written with the fact that it was a VN in mind, and as such, just throwing it onto paper and calling it a day wouldn't work so well.
Case in point, P4 the animation. It's a nice story, but it's far removed from great.

Besides that, most of the stories only involve maybe one other main female, so they are all stories that stand on their own.
Meh, I just liked how the location sounded in my mind. I'm not really into sailing myself.

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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by newnar » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:33 am

Maybe, they can add in some time travel shit in the anime version to make it groundhog-day-esque. So that, you know, Hisao can go arc after arc. Idea inspired by whoever posted groundhog day on my thread.
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by hickwarrior » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:16 am

Still don't think it would work. If Hisao remembers, we go down a different path from KS entirely. IIRC, the main point of KS is characterization, so assuming he remembers, he wants to know how to get out of it.
Meh, I just liked how the location sounded in my mind. I'm not really into sailing myself.

nyttyn
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by nyttyn » Thu Feb 09, 2012 7:50 am

The anime is actually the hidden sixth Misha bros 4 life route, in which Hisao attempts to, with Misha, obtain chicks in a manner similar to a buddy cop film.

I mean, it's only logical.
Why does the OST feature so much piano, despite the fact that not even a single piano exists in the entire game!?

Prof. Coyote
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by Prof. Coyote » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:42 am

If I may ...

Considering the level of descriptive action taking place in the text of every scene ... whereas not only is there a visual element to the scene but that element is actually described in extensive detail in the text ... I feel that KS would probably work as a standard print novel. It would be one where you would want to try something very different with the work ... say, write it as a series of 5 novels, each one focusing on one girl, and possibly re-write each route so that you integrate the good and bad endings (which the VN already does with Lilly's path). Each book would then represent one possibility that Hisao could have followed.

Honestly, though, the level of writing in the game, as I mentioned to someone in PM, is on the level of high-quality Young Adult fiction, which would be suitable for a 16+ age range as a book. Because of the quality of the writing, textually and otherwise, I think if you added more sensory details to the text it would make a serviceable novel series.

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encrypted12345
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by encrypted12345 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:37 pm

Prof. Coyote wrote:If I may ...

Considering the level of descriptive action taking place in the text of every scene ... whereas not only is there a visual element to the scene but that element is actually described in extensive detail in the text ... I feel that KS would probably work as a standard print novel. It would be one where you would want to try something very different with the work ... say, write it as a series of 5 novels, each one focusing on one girl, and possibly re-write each route so that you integrate the good and bad endings (which the VN already does with Lilly's path). Each book would then represent one possibility that Hisao could have followed.

Honestly, though, the level of writing in the game, as I mentioned to someone in PM, is on the level of high-quality Young Adult fiction, which would be suitable for a 16+ age range as a book. Because of the quality of the writing, textually and otherwise, I think if you added more sensory details to the text it would make a serviceable novel series.
I see your point. I would also like to add that each route is different enough in tone and execution for each theoretical novel to not be a rip-off. I'm pretty sure that this is the only visual novel I know of that could work that way. Other visual novels have certain characteristics that simply won't work in a novel format even if the writing and stories are good.

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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by Tezzeret » Thu Feb 09, 2012 3:56 pm

I belive it would have worked out quite well. Descriptions and scenarios would need greater detail and such so the reader understands but i see no reason why it couldn't work out.

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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by UncleJellyfish » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:39 pm

I've been thinking about this a lot recently, and it seems like it might be an interesting project. Is there any way to access to text files of the game (I'm rather computer-illiterate) so that I could do a simple copy/paste before editing/touching up/etc., or would I have to go through the game and manually transcribe all the lines?
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by Nekken » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:46 pm

FstrthnU wrote:This is just a thought exercise I came up with, would KS have worked as a physical novel? Like basically putting the text of the entire game into a written novel, with each of the character paths different chapters that one would jump to after reading Act 1 (and choices handled by separating sections). So no backing artwork, music, sound effects. Would the text be able to spark the imagination enough to visualize the game's events? The writing is superb, of course, but how well would we view the whole thing without support A/V elements?
IIRC, the devs said that the text of the game ran at about 400,000 words. If that's correct, then you're talking about a CYOA book over 1600 pages long.

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encrypted12345
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by encrypted12345 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:55 pm

Nekken wrote:
FstrthnU wrote:This is just a thought exercise I came up with, would KS have worked as a physical novel? Like basically putting the text of the entire game into a written novel, with each of the character paths different chapters that one would jump to after reading Act 1 (and choices handled by separating sections). So no backing artwork, music, sound effects. Would the text be able to spark the imagination enough to visualize the game's events? The writing is superb, of course, but how well would we view the whole thing without support A/V elements?
IIRC, the devs said that the text of the game ran at about 400,000 words. If that's correct, then you're talking about a CYOA book over 1600 pages long.
Seriously? 1600 pages? Even if you split that up per route, you'll get roughly 350 page novels since Act 1 is redundant.

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UncleJellyfish
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Re: Would Katawa Shoujo have worked as a written novel?

Post by UncleJellyfish » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:37 pm

encrypted12345 wrote:
Nekken wrote:
FstrthnU wrote:This is just a thought exercise I came up with, would KS have worked as a physical novel? Like basically putting the text of the entire game into a written novel, with each of the character paths different chapters that one would jump to after reading Act 1 (and choices handled by separating sections). So no backing artwork, music, sound effects. Would the text be able to spark the imagination enough to visualize the game's events? The writing is superb, of course, but how well would we view the whole thing without support A/V elements?
IIRC, the devs said that the text of the game ran at about 400,000 words. If that's correct, then you're talking about a CYOA book over 1600 pages long.
Seriously? 1600 pages? Even if you split that up per route, you'll get roughly 350 page novels since Act 1 is redundant.
That was actually something I was thinking of doing. Splitting the five routes into five books (each with an Act 1, since the ending of the Act is different per route taken). However, rewriting everything word for word from the game would be time consuming (not that I'm not up to it, it'd just be tedious), so I was wondering if the text files were possible to access, or if I had to do it all manually. I have a lot of free time at work between customers, and it'd give me something to do.
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Rin♥ > Hanako > Shizune/Lilly > Emi
My Katawa Shoujo Impressions.
Katawa Shoujo - Written Novel Project
I hate spoiler tags, so I will never use them in discussion. If you don't want me to spoil something for you, then don't read what I write.

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