Crafty's One-Shots (Mar 15th, 2020: In the Know)

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brythain
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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:46 am

You're still with writing the mini-VNs in response to prompts, eh? I liked it, but I have ONE issue. I always click on the 'latest' button in the forums, and that, in your case, leads me to 4/4 rather than 1/4 in your usual 4-parters.

I could smell the heatwave.
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.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:15 am

Hmm... This is a tough one...
One of the problems of stories written for a prompt is that you have to include the prompt somehow. (obviously)

In this case I think the story would have been perfect if it had ended after part 3 - not so much a fan of part 4 with angel mom and dad.

I seem to remember another story some time ago that would have been a lot better if the author had not been compelled to add a prompt scene at the end - and that one was also at the track I think :-)
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:45 pm

The thing that stood out to me most for this story was actually not the dream sequence or surprise supernatural aspect, but rather the fact that it includes a "fixed" version of Hanako's good ending. As in, a scene where Hisao and Hanako fall for each other in a semi sensible fashion instead of tossing away their virginities in a silly act of teenage stupidity. That was kind of cool to see. Definitely an enjoyable read.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Craftyatom » Mon Feb 10, 2020 10:44 pm

brythain wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:46 am
You're still with writing the mini-VNs in response to prompts, eh?
As always. Luckily they've been more reasonable as of late, as opposed to the 20k monsters I occasionally produce.
brythain wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 2:46 am
I liked it, but I have ONE issue. I always click on the 'latest' button in the forums, and that, in your case, leads me to 4/4 rather than 1/4 in your usual 4-parters.
I'm not even sure if the old graphical glitch that required segmentation of posts still exists, but I can't help myself. It's force of habit by this point. You'll just have to scroll up like the rest of us :P
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Mon Feb 03, 2020 11:15 am
In this case I think the story would have been perfect if it had ended after part 3 - not so much a fan of part 4 with angel mom and dad.

I seem to remember another story some time ago that would have been a lot better if the author had not been compelled to add a prompt scene at the end - and that one was also at the track I think :-)
I understand what you're getting at, but beg to differ. Someone did indeed have an "extraneous" scene at the end, which had value in the form of wrapping things up, but wasn't an important part of the story. In this case, however, the last part was the climax. I wrote the former parts with the intent that they would lead into the revelation at the end. Without it, they have a whole bunch of red herrings, and the reader would be left a bit confused.

Basically, remove the final scene, and the dreams become almost pointless. Remove the dreams, and the first two parts become almost pointless. Could the third scene have existed in a vacuum? Maybe. But, as I said, I have a strong preference for extensive exposition - the reader doesn't need to know everything as they read, but they should know everything by the end. Could I have reworked the entire story to use different plot points than the dreams? Absolutely. But this was the idea I had, and it seemed a lot more interesting, which helps keep it short, in my opinion: large conflict needs little introduction, small conflict needs to be dwelled upon.

But I can see why it might have seemed out of place. Says far less about their relationship than any of the previous parts. Hanako's reaction does play into her take on Hisao's weakness, and it helps give a sense of finality, but nowhere near the same style as the rest.
Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:45 pm
The thing that stood out to me most for this story was actually not the dream sequence or surprise supernatural aspect, but rather the fact that it includes a "fixed" version of Hanako's good ending. As in, a scene where Hisao and Hanako fall for each other in a semi sensible fashion instead of tossing away their virginities in a silly act of teenage stupidity.
That was actually a big part of what I wanted out of this story. It seemed like a great opportunity to provide a different, albeit not perfect, take on the end of Hanako's route - there are aspects of the canon endings that I liked, but also many I didn't, so I felt like switching things up.

Though I will say, "tossing away their virginities in a silly act of teenage stupidity" is a totally viable plot point for plenty of stories - just not necessarily this one. (Though I know for a fact opinions vary on that!) Oh, and this story wasn't supernatural.

Thank you, everyone, for your feedback! I knew this one wouldn't be my best work, but I'm glad it at least piqued people's interests.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Feb 2nd, 2020: Nudge to Nurture)

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:50 pm

DISCLAIMER wrote:The following post was written in response to Stiles Long's writing contest. Each participant was given a list of KS character pairings and a list of locations. One of each was chosen for this fic.

There were a limited set of options available to participants in the contest and it may be that this fic resembles others. Any such resemblance is coincidental.
Hello again! The 8th small writing contest has come around, and (as per usual), I’ve given it a go. I had some real trouble making a good plot out of the prompts available to me, but I think I managed it, with the prompt Shizune and Akira at the Shanghai. I also managed to keep it fairly short, as my stories go, despite having lots of free time to work on it (since this past week has been spring break, and the coming weeks are a bit of a mess due to cancellations and the like).

I wasn’t completely satisfied with the ending, myself, and seriously considered going further - long after fulfilling the prompt, mind. In the end, I decided that it was better to leave it where I did, and keep the possibility of writing a subsequent story open. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for opportunities to make a continuation, because I had some nice ideas, but that’s all for another day.

For now, please enjoy In the Know!
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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In the Know

Post by Craftyatom » Sun Mar 15, 2020 9:50 pm

In the Know
There was something chilling about being told to come alone.

Such a thing would have been strange regardless, but it meant a lot more to Shizune. She relied on Misha to translate for her, which made conversations so much easier. But not today, apparently. Today, she had been asked to meet Akira at the Shanghai - alone.

Shizune got along quite well with the elder Satou sister. As cousins, they knew each other rather well. Furthermore, Akira was a respectable businesswoman, with a commanding air of confidence. It was hard not to look up to her sometimes.

Sure, in the past year Shizune had somewhat fallen out with Akira's younger sister, but the two were very different, in many ways. Lilly was a fellow student, reported to the student council, and had a whole cadre of friends at Yamaku. Akira only showed up a few times a year, at most.

Which, really, made it even stranger that she would want to meet with Shizune, and only Shizune, at the Shanghai. Something was definitely up.

As Shizune walked through the front door of the small restaurant, Yuuko rushed to greet her, then seemed to become very worried about something, in an almost humorously characteristic manner. Shizune simply waved at her, then turned and walked over to one of the booths along the wall, where she had spotted Akira drinking a cup of coffee.

She slid into the booth opposite the blonde girl in a neat suit, who looked up and smiled, though she definitely had to force it a little. She reached into one of the inner pockets of her suit jacket, and pulled out a quaint-looking little notepad and a sleek black pen, both with gold-colored accents, and slid them across the table to Shizune.

Surely this would’ve been easier with Misha.

Shizune, ever prepared, took out her own pen - just a plastic one from the nearby convenience store, in stark contrast with the one on the table - and grabbed the presented notepad.

Her first message was simple. [What’s wrong?]

She slid it across the table to Akira, who picked it up, chuckled, and wrote back. [Is it that obvious?]

[Why else would you not want to involve Misha? Or your sister?]

Akira’s smile relaxed into a somewhat tired expression. [You’re right. In fact, I came here to talk about Lilly.]

That made sense - it was one of the few topics that they might both be invested in. Shizune nodded, and passed the notepad back without writing anything. If Akira wanted to talk about Lilly, then Shizune wanted to listen.

[You remember a few weeks ago, when she went to Scotland with me to visit some relatives?]

Once again, Shizune nodded and passed the pad back to Akira without writing anything.

[That was the first time she had been to visit them in many years, and it seems she made a good impression. They want us both to move to Scotland with them, for good.]

Shizune had to re-read the last part, not realizing what it meant until she got to the end.She took a moment to try to come to terms with everything. It would probably take a long time for it to properly sink in.

From an immediate perspective, Lilly's duties as a class representative would need to be transferred to someone else, preferably with enough time for them to learn the position. Shizune didn’t always agree with Lilly’s handling of that role, but she knew full well that her successor couldn’t possibly be an improvement. [Why didn’t she tell me this herself?]

[I think she’s still trying to tell herself that she hasn’t decided yet. She won’t even give me a firm answer.]

[So she still has a choice.]

Akira sighed before writing her response. [Technically speaking, yes. But there's a lot of pressure on both of us. I'm not sure either of us can really say no.] That last part had visibly affected her - clearly she wasn’t entirely happy with her perceived lack of a choice.

Of course, there were plenty of reasons that Lilly might want to stay, despite any sort of pressure. [What about Hisao? And Ikezawa?]

Another sigh. [I don’t know. I don’t think she’s told them. She doesn’t want them to worry. And, I think, she’s trying not to let them influence her decision. I worry that she’s going to wait until the very last minute to say anything, which would be even worse for them. I might have to have a meeting like this with them as well.]

That certainly seemed like a good idea. Hisao would certainly survive - things seemed to be going well between them, but they hadn’t really been dating for that long - but Ikezawa was sure to take it badly. Her dependence on Lilly was significant - even the brief trip earlier had noticeably affected her, both emotionally and academically. Hisao might be able to take on some of that burden, but far from all of it.

After taking a minute to mentally chew on everything she had learned in the past few minutes, Shizune wrote back. [Thank you for telling me.]

Akira smiled. [No problem. You deserved to know.]

Shizune was ready to finish the conversation and be done with it, but one last thought crossed her mind. [Please do tell Hisao and Ikezawa. I think they deserve to know. Even more than I do.]

Akira had to think about it a little herself, but eventually nodded. [I will. I promise.]

Shizune passed the notepad back to Akira, put away her own pen, and got up. Akira followed suit, but before she could go anywhere, she found herself wrapped in a surprise hug by Shizune. It was a rather uncharacteristic display of affection, but this entire meeting had been uncharacteristic, so perhaps it made sense.

When she pulled away, Shizune smiled at Akira, and signed briefly. [I’ll miss you.]

She didn’t know whether Akira even knew what those basic signs meant - she had never really had a reason to learn sign - but she smiled back and nodded nonetheless.

Even if she didn’t know, she fully understood.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Lilly quietly sipped her tea, ignoring both her lunch and the conversation. She had no appetite for the former, and Hanako and Hisao seemed to be taking care of the latter. Lilly wasn’t really in the mood to add anything - part of her had hoped that having them around would help her think, but another part knew that it wouldn’t. Just being here with them made her anxious.

For a few days she had come up with reasons to avoid spending time with them, but she quickly realized that that wasn’t really fair - not to mention that she had pretty much run out of excuses. So now she was back where she started, trying desperately to keep up appearances in front of her best friend and her boyfriend, her mind racing through the same arguments it had been working on for the past few weeks.

Instead of launching into them again, however, her train of thought, as well as the conversation, was interrupted by a loud knock on the door. Lilly reflexively called “Come-” she heard the door open before she finished - “in!”

The atmosphere in the room seemed to freeze, as if none of the people in it wanted to risk making a sound. Hisao took his chances first, and it quickly became apparent why. “O-oh, it’s Shizune.”

Of course. It couldn’t have been anyone pleasant or comforting, it had to be miss student council president, calling to collect on some debt of paperwork, no doubt. Strangely, though Lilly readied herself for Misha to translate a long-winded speech about whatever responsibility had been neglected today, nothing of the sort occurred. Even more strangely, she heard footsteps approach her, and then felt a hand come to rest on her shoulder.

For the first time in a very long time, Shizune wanted to contact sign.

Warily, Lilly put a hand on Shizune’s shoulder in return, and offered her free hand to ‘listen’ with. She was out of practice, but couldn’t possibly have forgotten the basics, even after so long.

[Akira gEj^N me.]

Lilly couldn’t remember that sign, and motioned for Shizune to try again.

[Akira speaks to me.] Or wait, no, that was probably ‘spoke’.

Content that she understood, at least a little, Lilly tapped Shizune’s shoulder in affirmation.

[Akira says that you leave.] Once again, Lilly was having some trouble with tenses, but could figure out that-

Akira said that you’re going to leave.

She froze. It was as if her fears and worries had jumped out of her head and into reality - into the open arms of the one person she least wanted to be interfering. Her first instinct was to be angry, both at Shizune and Akira, but that was quickly overwhelmed by fear - fear that Shizune was going to be a leak, through which all of these problems would escape into the rest of Lilly’s life.

She quickly removed her hand from Shizune’s shoulder and began to sign in return, confident that she would be understood. [No! You not tell...] She realized that she didn’t have a sign for Hisao or Hanako - she hadn’t contact signed with Shizune since meeting them. She considered fingerspelling their names, but decided against it, worried that Hisao might know how to fingerspell his own name, and catch on. As surreptitiously as possible, very carefully controlling herself so as not to give anything away, she finished with [... them. You not tell them.]

Shizune, somewhat surprisingly, acquiesced, and signed back slowly. [I will not tell them. You will tell them.]

The emphasis was clear. Shizune wasn’t going to do this herself, but the pressure was on Lilly. Begrudgingly, she agreed. [Not now. I will tell them. Not now.]

Shizune replied with a single word. [SiA&n]

Lilly motioned for her to repeat herself.

[Sia&n.]

Lilly’s confused expression stayed put.

Shizune paused for a moment, then fingerspelled it out. [S-O-O-N.]

Lilly’s heart sank into her stomach. Still, she couldn’t say no. She sighed, nodded, and tapped Shizune on the shoulder, just to confirm that, yes, she would do it soon.

Shizune responded with a tap on the shoulder, then turned and left, closing the door behind herself, and leaving the room awkwardly silent.

Once again, Hisao was the first to speak. “Was that... sign language?”

Lilly’s muscles felt almost mechanical, as if she had to focus intensely on every single motion she made. Placing her fingers on the table, and using them to find her teacup again. Sitting up in her chair, keeping her legs crossed and her back straight. Looking at Hisao, and just barely managing to smile at him. “Yes, it was. Contact sign.”

“Neat. I, uh, I’ve never seen you use it before.”

“We used to sign to each other a lot, back when we were younger. But we don’t often have much to talk about nowadays, and there’s usually someone around to translate, so it’s not really necessary.” She hoped that he wouldn’t question Shizune’s choice not to bring Misha along.

“I guess it would be easier that way.” Hisao ate a bite of his lunch, and Lilly began to drink the last of her tea, before he asked her another question. “So what did she actually want to talk to you about?”

Lilly froze up, and it took all her willpower not to cough and splatter tea everywhere. After spending a few seconds trying desperately to both control herself and act natural, she cleared her throat and placed her teacup carefully back on the table. “She wanted to me- er, to see me, to talk about, you know, business.” It felt like less of a lie once she had actually said it.

“Ah.” Hisao sighed. “That student council work just never ends, does it.”

“No, it really doesn’t.” Except that it would, soon enough. “But we manage, with the help of our friends.” The ones who would be left behind.

“I’m always amazed at how well you handle it.”

Lilly’s stomach tightened up.

It felt good to hear Hisao compliment her - and that made it hurt.

S-O-O-N.

“You know, sometimes, I am too.”

END.
Main route: COM(promise)
One-shots: Crafty's One-Shots (Brief Exchanges, Dark Winter Sky, Dreamy, Project Blue Curtain, and more!)
Old poetry: Google Drive Collection

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Mar 15th, 2020: In the Know)

Post by brythain » Mon Mar 16, 2020 12:43 am

I like pieces that appear to be original KS lore, but literary and with a good kick in the feels to boot. I like the way you worked the contact signing into it—I was thinking for a while of the one I wrote which used this, but in a very different way, and yours is possibly better. Good job!
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.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Crafty's One-Shots (Mar 15th, 2020: In the Know)

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Fri Mar 20, 2020 2:58 pm

Yeah this is a good supplement to the game's story. In particular I think you nailed Lilly's character.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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