Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

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A Country Where the Thunder Goes Notes

Post by Feurox » Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:05 pm

This story was written in response to the YA server competition, where we are given pairings, locations, and modifiers to write a yarn. Below are my options for each, though I think really all the modifies apply in some way or another.


A significant amount of this story is inspired by Brythain's Miki arc in AtD, please do me and him the honour of reading it. Of course, massive thanks to Lap for your feedback, help, and proofreading.

Here are some songs that I think fit the theme of this tale:

Her's - What Once Was

Lauv - Tired of Love Songs

JT Roach - Symmetry

Sorry Crafty, only three songs this time. And Mirage - the next one will be a happy one, I promise.

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Re: Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

Post by brythain » Sun Apr 26, 2020 10:05 pm

Ah that's some good writing, that is. Good characterisation, obligatory time-blips, has a nice stormy atmosphere of the time just before an end, fin-de-siecle kind of feeling. Or perhaps a new beginning. Melancholia plus a hint of petrichor. It's a winner in my book.

Taro, Miki, Hanako and Suzu are nothing like AtD-versions. But they're good ones anyway. :)
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: Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

Post by Hanako Fancopter » Mon May 04, 2020 6:18 pm

Lilly is a centerpiece in everyone's stories it seems. Taro was an interesting choice for a focus character as well. I have to say I think the idea of people mourning at Hisao's funeral is a bit cliched, but this one was still interesting due to the different perspectives and all of the lore-building. I came away from reading it with this image of Hisao as this Gatsby-esque figure throwing all these parties in his and Lilly's mansion with the social world of the Katawaverse revolving around him. Which, honestly, doesn't fit my image of Hisao very well, but it's an entertaining take nonetheless.
An Unusual Friendship (Misha x Hanako Route)
Riposte (Rika Mini-Route)
One-Shots Thread (Random Smut/Meme Stories)

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Re: Feurox's Den of Sadness [04/26/2020]

Post by Craftyatom » Thu May 14, 2020 12:33 am

A Country Where the Thunder Goes
I've seen this scenario come up as an option in a lot of my competition prompt assignments, and have considered it from time to time, but it never seemed that appealing. Specifically, having it be Hisao's funeral always seemed a bit cliche, as copter said - but I also believe you handled it quite well. You gave Hisao a decent lifespan, though it's left kind of ambiguous, and I did wonder at some points how he got such a high academic standing at such a young age. I guess it's some combination of his being a wunderkind and his drive to do as much as possible with the time he has.

I feel like you definitely took my advice on an earlier story about making things a bit clearer to the reader, without overdoing it. The characters are properly assigned names fairly quickly, but in a way that focuses on how they've changed since high school. You did leave the identity of Hisao's widow open-ended for the first section, with some clues here and there before the reveal, which I liked. I also didn't realize that the venue was Hisao's house at first - again, partly because his status is a bit higher than expected at first, and partly because it's not immediately confirmed that he's married to Lilly.

The characterization is good, and the dialogue feels fluid, as always. The way you portray the emotions of people who had varying levels of connection to Hisao is superb, and the theme of conflicting emotions at a wake is particularly powerful. At first, I thought that everyone had the right kind of response except Miki, who seemed too invested for just a random friend from high school, but that got cleared up in the end, and was (again) particularly poignant.
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
“Things can’t be that bad, you still living in New York?”

“Just outside, it’s a cheap commute to work,” I explain and he nods.
This part felt kind of out-of-place to me. Miki is lamenting how she needs to get her life together and hasn't really accomplished anything in her (now noticeably limited) time. She went to university in Japan, then went to work for a Japanese company in marketing, but was good enough at English that they moved her to work in New York? It's entirely feasible, but the story isn't set up in such a way that we can really find out. Or maybe this is one of those After the Dream references that I wouldn't get because I've never managed to read all of those.

Also, on a less technical note, I don't think anyone working in NY would ever refer to the commute as "cheap"; more like "hellacious, but cheaper than the outrageously expensive alternative". :P
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
Lilly’s father gives me a hug as I pass him, and we briefly talk about how things are getting on at our respective works. He’s always been very kind to me, and even offered to adopt me a long time ago.
Say what you want about Sisterhood, but I maintain that it leaves an impression on everyone's headcanon. Again, you'll have to forgive me if it's also a plot point in AtD.
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
“You know,” I begin, and sigh over the balcony edge. “I think he was my best friend, and I don’t think I ever told him that.” It’s a really long way down from here.
Feurox wrote:
Sun Apr 26, 2020 4:00 pm
“At my place? Too small. Nah, but these guys have a balcony, you’re always talking about yours, so it got me thinking about you,” she explains.
I must admit, I really thought this was foreshadowing the cheesiest death ever: Hisao getting too caught up in his conversation with Miki, and accidentally falling off of the beautiful balcony of his own house. Thank you for not doing that.
Hanako Fancopter wrote:
Mon May 04, 2020 6:18 pm
I came away from reading it with this image of Hisao as this Gatsby-esque figure throwing all these parties in his and Lilly's mansion with the social world of the Katawaverse revolving around him.
I got that kind of feeling as well - particularly with the mentions of Lilly and her affinity for such things, which seemed to be emphasized. I personally quite liked it, even if there were one or two moments where it got laid on a bit thick.

As with your previous story, I think the quotes got better as the story progressed. The first had a good idea but was poorly worded and rather disconnected from the story's theme, the second was funny and wise (good old Pratchett) but those two aspects clashed with each other a bit, and the third had gravity in both subject matter and execution.

Anyways, overall, quite an enjoyable story! Not even that sad, all things considered! Quite possibly one of my favorites from you.
Main route: COM(promise)
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