Yamaku Book Club (20180806 Oddball's Triple Decker)

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Craftyatom
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180204 'Birthday' by Nevice)

Post by Craftyatom » Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:51 am

Oddball wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:02 pm
Next up ...
Birthday by Nevice (or "Birthday" Hanako fan fiction by Nevice if you want to be one of those people.
I'm not entirely sure what to say about this one. SpaG isn't good, but that's to be expected from someone who prefaces the story with "[...] you may see lot of mistakes and crude langue." Story isn't canon, but because it specifically disregards explicitly stated (and memorable) points of the original work, I assume it did so intentionally. The actual content of the story has, as Mirage said, been written better many times - this one doesn't win me over with excellent writing, and it's certainly not going to win me over with surprise.

I think my main problem here was a breach of immersion. The entire time I was reading, I wasn't wondering what Hanako would think next, or even how she would portray what came next; I was thinking "What's the author going to do next?" This story read like a fairly boring, clinical description of events that accidentally ended up in first person. I could've forgiven that a little if the ending was decent - after all, clinical descriptions of events do happen in real life situations sometimes - but instead I got what is possibly the worst ending I have seen on this forum. After writing an entire story about one event from years ago, the author summarizes Hanako's life story as quickly as he can, then pulls a complete 180 in the span of one paragraph and suddenly the world is bright and cheery, and Hanako's at peace with her past.

Single greatest improvement this fic could've used: Hanako needs a reason to be telling this story. If she's trying to come to terms with her past, then that turmoil needs to be on display. If she's reviewing how far she's come, then there needs to be more emphasis on how she changed, and how long and slow that process was (took a lot longer than one paragraph). Personally, the most interesting reason I can think of is that she's actually telling this story to someone else - I would've enjoyed it if she ended with "So this is my birthday", then looks at Hisao, who's been sitting there listening the whole time, like the crayon scene from the VN. It would've given the story more meaning than just "Oh yeah, things really sucked, but it's cool now."

That was a harsher review than I thought I'd be giving. I'm quite readily immersed in stories, even bad ones, but apparently if you manage to break my immersion I will not be kind about it.
Many_Users wrote:The banner's too much!
Alright, alright, I hear ya. I put together two new ones with some help from Discord friends.
Primary: characters are by someone called Doodler, and the extra shelves are rtil's (though heavily modified).
Secondary: whole thing's by someone named "Ahmad Fuad Bin Ahiari" (except the text).
Feel free to use these links as hotlinks, they'll stay up for as long as I have any say in it. Changes can be made if need be. Ideas welcome!

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180128 'Constant Companion' by darrin)

Post by Pandas » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:15 pm

Oddball wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:02 pm
Is this too much? I think it might be too much.
It's certainly not bad. I could maybe give a lending hand to the banners. I used to be pretty big into photoshop, specifically with things like banners but that was... 4 or so years ago?

The story this time around was good. Obviously the English was broken up a bit here and there, but its certainly excusable considering the author isn't a native English speaker. I think it provides fairly solid insight to the kinds of things she may experience, and what others experience when traumatic events like these occur and the lasting effects of them. This is my first time posting in... well.. since i've read KS (years and years ago) and this certainly an emotional story to return on. :(

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180128 'Constant Companion' by darrin)

Post by QuietlySomething » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:06 pm

Pandas wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:15 pm
This is my first time posting in... well.. since i've read KS (years and years ago) and this certainly an emotional story to return on. :(
Hey! Thanks for chiming in- welcome back!

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180204 'Birthday' by Nevice)

Post by Oddball » Sat Feb 10, 2018 3:11 pm

Craftyatom wrote:
Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:51 am
Many_Users wrote:The banner's too much!
Alright, alright, I hear ya. I put together two new ones with some help from Discord friends.
Primary: characters are by someone called Doodler, and the extra shelves are rtil's (though heavily modified).
Secondary: whole thing's by someone named "Ahmad Fuad Bin Ahiari" (except the text).
Feel free to use these links as hotlinks, they'll stay up for as long as I have any say in it. Changes can be made if need be. Ideas welcome!
I like the first one better myself.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180128 'Constant Companion' by darrin)

Post by ProfAllister » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:21 pm

Oddball wrote:
Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:02 pm
Is this too much? I think it might be too much.



Next up ...
Birthday by Nevice (or "Birthday" Hanako fan fiction by Nevice if you want to be one of those people.

This is the one and only post Nevice made on the forum... whoever they are.
I was thinking it should be animated, to cycle colors, and maybe blink, too.

As for the story, a little late to the discussion. What struck me was the fact that the grammatical issues actually made for a nice effect of a child's mindset. When it spilled over to grow Hanako, though, the same effect implied some sort of arrested development, which is... unfortunate.

That aside, its next biggest weakness is one of timing. If it were an Act 1 fic, it would have been acceptable. Coming in a year too late for that, its conflict with canon just came across as distracting.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180204 'Birthday' by Nevice)

Post by Oddball » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:43 pm

Image

New banner!

... hmm... It might be a tad too small. It's better than the last one though.


This week we will look at the topic Eat my shorts. Stories that is. by NekoDude.

I said topic, but it's really just one quick short story that doesn't have a title and a haiku (that also does not have a title). Have we covered anything by authors that are still active in the forum yet (since I took over?) I think this may be a first.

Well, happy reading.
(I need to come up with a cool closing line.)
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180204 'Birthday' by Nevice)

Post by QuietlySomething » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:29 am

Oddball wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:43 pm
New banner!

... hmm... It might be a tad too small. It's better than the last one though.
Love it! I actually like the small size of the banner.
Oddball wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:43 pm
This week we will look at the topic Eat my shorts. Stories that is. by NekoDude.

I said topic, but it's really just one quick short story that doesn't have a title and a haiku (that also does not have a title). Have we covered anything by authors that are still active in the forum yet (since I took over?) I think this may be a first.
...Yeah, no, this one isn't working for me at all.

The way this thread was prefaced left a bad taste in my mouth:
Comment and critique if you like, but rudeness will be met by rudeness. I'm not sure I would have started at all if I'd known "all the rules" -- but now that I know as many as I do, I deliberately subvert them when it makes sense to do so. Sometimes it's "rule of funny", sometimes it's just me flipping the bird to your conventions. As I have said in another thread, sacred cows make the tastiest burgers.
Feels to me like a way of essentially preemptively deflecting criticism and accusing people who don't like it of not 'getting it'. Immediately it turns me off from reading any further.

Moving down a post... grammatically and stylistically there are no problems as far as I can tell; it reads pretty well and the dialogue is natural. But the story itself- outside of diverging from canon which is obviously intentional- just feels like it serves no real purpose. It doesn't feel like it's expanding on the relationship they already have in the VN and other than that the payoff is pretty weak in general. It doesn't really feel like there's anything meaningful about the breaking of this news. It's just, the Nurse explains something, Emi hears it and takes it surprisingly well, and that's pretty much it- Emi gets over it, they hug, and she leaves. It's really overly-expository and then it doesn't go anywhere.

I can't really comment on the haiku, just that it's strange and I don't know who Kenta is.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:47 am

Okay, that was one of the rare stories on this forum I hadn't read previously - mostly because the author had made it clear from the first time he posted that he wasn't intersted in constructive feedback.
Now that others are interested in feedback...
I mostly agree with QS. The technical side of the story is okay, but other than that it felt rather unnecessary. The whole premise might have worked as the climax of a larger story, but as it is there is just not enough to get the reader to care about the characters. And that might not have been too bad if the characters had been KS characters, but since they are basically OCs who coincidentally share names with KS characters, it is.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
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Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:58 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:47 am
And that might not have been too bad if the characters had been KS characters, but since they are basically OCs who coincidentally share names with KS characters, it is.
It seems to be the author's intention, and that auctorial intention is fairly well-established by the range of the author's writing.
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 12, 2018 2:54 pm

Well, the author's intention rarely factors into my enjoyment of their stories...
It would have to be exceptionally well done to do so. I can think of a few stories that did, some by the current curator of this thread.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by scratchminus » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:42 pm

I don't really know what to say about this that someone hasn't already said. The story is written decently, and there's nothing grammar wise or whatnot that particularly bothers me. But overall it just doesn't feel like anything of substance takes place.

On top of that, I don't really know if I like the way Nurse and Emi are characterized. Nurse is just straightforward and to the point throughout the story, and Emi only has like one line that even remotely sounds like her typical self. I understand that it's a story focusing on a serious issue, but for something so short I don't think it would've been a problem to add more at the beginning or end to make the characters feel like themselves.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by Oddball » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:56 pm

The opening author's note comes across as somewhat dismissive and arrogant, but I'll not hold that against Neko. I do agree that sometimes it's fun trying to mess with people. I just try not to telegraph it.

Okay, as for the story ...

For two people standing there talking it feels exceptionally dark.

With just Nurse talking it doesn't leave much room for characterization, especially with him trying to play it seriously. However because of that, it does lack any real characterization of Nurse.

Really though, I just feel it adds layers of dark and complicated and gets nothing in return. The idea that Nurse was close to Emi simply because he worked with her in the hospital is really the only explanation I feel you need.
Emi laughs, but it’s a bitter cackle that sends chills down my spine. “Well, considering why I came here today, is there anyone else I need to avoid throwing myself at? Do I have some secret half-brother running around?”
This part I actually like and it really does feel like Emi to me. Not Emi at her most flattering or positive, but the Emi that's had enough and is about to snap at somebody. It works well.
I can't really comment on the haiku, just that it's strange and I don't know who Kenta is.
This is actually a reference to another of the author's works, where a gay guy on the track team (the captain I think?) is anally fisted by Miki's lack of fist.

... Don't look at me. I don't make this stuff up.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by ProfAllister » Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:25 pm

Want to try not to pile on with the others, but I have to agree that the introductory post is poor form. It looks like this is the result of an extremely tumultuous first week on the forums. Rather than relitigate old wounds or otherwise belabor the point, let's focus on the art, rather than the artist.

Right off the bat, I'm rejecting the premise. There's nothing suspicious about the Nurse and Emi's relationship - they've known each other for eight years. Anyway, suspension of disbelief. Let's see where this goes.

Okay, apparently, she just confessed her love for Nurse. Ara ara. And Nurse's reason for refusal is a contrived, overly dramatic explanation about how they're blood relatives, but the Horrible Truth was kept from her in order to preserve her feelings.

Now, on a technical level, spelling, grammar, even word choice, there's not much to complain about. A slight criticism of the phrasing for describing Emi with her legs not reaching the ground. (Side note: I've never really thought about what doctors do with amputated limbs. I doubt the Stonewall Jackson treatment is the norm. Chances are I don't really want to know.)

But where the concern comes in is the simple question: "why?" What does this add to the lore? How is the KS world more vibrant for it? And is this building on the KS lore, or is it tearing it down to pave way for headcanon?

Which in turn brings us to the complex topic of "deviation from the script". Generally, it's expected that Fan Fiction will branch out in new directions, explore the unvisited, and build upon the world we're presented. A story which takes no risks is dead. On the other hand, there is an inherent risk to making these bold stands - deviation from fanon (i.e., the collective headcanon) risks loss or alienation of readers; contradicting canon is a greater risk - you need a damn good reason to convince readers that your "how it really happened" is credible.

And, on a similar token, the more you strike out to establish your own rules, the more it needs to be asked - is the fan fiction groundwork truly a part of the story, or is it simply a tumorous mass dragging down your original story? Is this really "Katawa Shoujo" in a meaningful sense, or might it just as well be "Daze of Our Lives"?

Worst of all, I feel like this diminishes the characters. Emi would never allow herself to admit that she's madly in love with someone so clearly in the position of a benefactor. Her strength of will on this point is a defining issue in her canon route. As for Nurse, him making major career decisions in order to hover over his secret quasi-daughter just comes off as kinda creepy/skeevy.

In this case, I can't really see any long-term intent here. Where is the craft? It makes me think of a virtuosic performance of mud splattered on a score - it's technically adept, but there's no meaning to it. It is, as it were, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

As for the haiku, it's amateurish and puerile, heavily aligning with the meme that a haiku is nothing more than glorified counting. Rather than those obvious issues, though, I'm most inclined to object to the meter: "chocolate" as three syllables is often unnaturally forced (for English speakers). It is far more natural to elide the syllables, with a pronunciation more akin to "chock-let". As such, you either go with an awkward pronunciation, or you break the "sacred" five-seven-five pattern that people seem to think is the entire extent of haiku.

From reading these, I see someone with a lot of talent and drive, but a severe lack of direction. Without someone he can trust to call him back to reality and steer him away from particularly bad decisions, I fear he runs the risk of writing himself into greater and more bizarre circles, without the slightest inkling that there's anything off.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by Craftyatom » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:52 pm

For the most part I agree with what others have said - SpaG is fine, characterizations are off, story seems purposeless (especially given that the "issue" it sets out to address is explained in full in canon), etc. I do have one more thing to add: this story impressed me with its ability to surprise.

I was expecting some simple exposition to begin with, just to kind of set the scene. Maybe some imagery of Nurse's office, the mood in the room or the beginning of a conversation between the characters. Nope: by the second paragraph it's established that Emi has just confessed to Nurse. Not in original canon, not in any of the fan-made stories I've read (though that's far from all of them), not in my strangest dreams, never had I considered this plot point. And it's less than an inch from the beginning of the story!

I should've thrown my expectations out of the window. I should've accepted, right then and there, that this is a story which takes risks with its plot, for better or worse. I didn't. I thought, "That's an interesting premise, I wonder how it will play out? The author must spend the next 2000 words explaining things." Nope: Nurse had a brother, who was Emi's godfather. Actually, no, wait, Emi's "real" dad was sterile, so instead she was conceived through Nurse's brother. Speaking of him, he died in an industrial accident a few years ago. Oh, and because of all the above, Nurse has been following Emi throughout her life without letting on to his superiors that he's doing so.

You could look at any of those spoilers and write an entire story about it. And in any of those stories, following a gradual buildup full of hints and red herrings, when all was finally revealed, your audience's eyes would go wide, and they'd think "Sweet heavens above, never in a million years would I have seen that coming." And this story had (arguably) five of them. When I say I was impressed by this, I mean it; regardless of what I thought of the story as a whole, it caught me off guard over and over, which made for an interesting read. Then, of course, the question is: was it doomed to inferiority by having too many surprises too close together, or was it simply a bad implementation of a decent idea? I'm not sure we can know that based on this story alone.
Oddball wrote:
Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:43 pm
... hmm... It might be a tad too small. It's better than the last one though.
That's because you posted it through imgur again. As much as hotlinking is usually a bad idea, it's the correct thing to do in this case: use the following code and it will display in full resolution every time.

Code: Select all

[img]http://craftyspace.net/imagehost/newstory2.png[/img]

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180211 'Eat My Shorts' by NekoDude)

Post by QuietlySomething » Wed Feb 14, 2018 12:32 am

I strongly disagree that being surprising (or unusual, which is how I would be more inclined to describe it) is something to be praised in and of itself. There is something to be said for originality and keeping the reader on their toes, but this does not mean making the story as weird and edgy as possible. Random plot twists are easy- incredibly easy, much easier than writing something logical enough to be believable. All this story has managed to do is take a relationship that worked to begin with and make it arbitrarily convoluted (and creepy I might add!) by filling it with soap opera clichés. I am not impressed by a plot that surprises me if I am only surprised because the plot twists are silly enough that most people would have known better than to try and include them in a serious story.
Craftyatom wrote:
Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:52 pm
Then, of course, the question is: was it doomed to inferiority by having too many surprises too close together, or was it simply a bad implementation of a decent idea? I'm not sure we can know that based on this story alone.
The problem is not that there are too many surprises close together or that it's a bad implementation of a decent idea! The problem is that most of the surprises are completely unnecessary and only serve to pad out the exposition- and hide the fact that without it, all you really have is a relatively shallow premise that goes nowhere.

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