Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

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Xeraeo
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:48 pm
Location: Chicago(ish), United States

Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Sat Aug 15, 2020 1:34 am

Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
I guess the usual critics have gone astray for a bit.
Yeah, I sorta expected Mirage to rip me a new one within the first week, based on what I've read in other threads, lol.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
The alternate interpretation of Iwanako's letter feels plausible and interesting, for example.
This idea about her letter being interpreted differently was what led me to start this story in the first place. We get Hisao's assumption that it's intended as just a goodbye in some of the routes, but Iwanako's actual intention is never confirmed in the VN, and we all know our dude is not the brightest when it comes to understanding women. Having him re-read the letter in the light of his breakup with Lilly was the original idea, and it just sort of grew organically in my head from that point.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
But the girl herself and the setting could use a bit more fleshing out. Hisao reminiscing of the city while walking with Hanako and Iwanako's new friend are steps in the right direction, so I'm interested to see what comes next.
Good to hear. That was the intention. I felt I was dreadfully neglecting the setting and focusing entirely on the relationships, so I've tried to course-correct a bit here. I have a nebulous mess of other ideas that will help further flesh out the setting, but I'm not sure how long I want this story to actually go, so I have to balance that with advancing the plot to the main conflict, or I'll end up writing myself into a corner and giving up on the whole thing.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
Hisao and Iwa sleeping together right away is pretty weird, but not unbelievable. It certainly is the kind of thing that could happen to a couple of isolated and mildly traumatized teenagers. But, I think it would have been beneficial to have had more insight as to how such a dramatic development came to be, rather than just cutting from the cafe straight to cuddling naked. I can understand the reluctance to straight up write a sex scene for sure, but maybe it would have been interesting to show us what happened when they got to her house- the awkwardness, the suffocating emotion, the moment when they snap and just start going at it, maybe- before cutting to after. It's also the ideal place to explore the thing you've got going on with Iwanako trying not to inflict death by snu-snu.
Yeah, now that I have a better idea of where I'm going with things, I regret writing this the way I did. Not them rushing into things physically; that's something I intended as part of the main conflict, and a consequence of Hisao's previous relationship with Lilly. But rather that, in an effort to avoid writing an actual sex scene, I completely skipped over some stuff that could have helped with developing the tension of Iwanako's fear of hurting Hisao: exactly like you called out. I'm torn between actually revising Chapters 4 and 5 a bit (I was already considering this before your comment) and just making it work. I'll probably decide after Chapter 10 is done. Any significant changes I make mean I have to go over the rest of the story with a fine-tooth comb for inconsistencies.
Hacksorus wrote:
Sat Aug 15, 2020 12:55 am
It takes a lot of determination to put this much work in a fic in a forum that's.. not as active as it used to be, and I respect that.
Thanks. The level of activity is only really relevant to me insofar as I can get useful feedback. (Well, admittedly the ego boost when someone actually ENJOYS reading something I wrote is nice too, but that's not why I'm really here. Probably.) Mostly I'm writing this story because it came into my head, and I wanted to write it, and having consumed so much of the work from this forum myself it made sense to contribute what I could. Although every time I read one of the better works on here (Learning to Fly comes to mind) I'm simultaneously inspired to write more and better, and discouraged that I'll never be that good or tie my various plot strands together well enough.

Anyway, thanks for the feedback. It's sincerely appreciated. Seeing that people are interested in the story is what helps motivate me to keep writing it.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)

Xeraeo
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:48 pm
Location: Chicago(ish), United States

Chapter 4 Rewrite/Addition

Post by Xeraeo » Mon Aug 31, 2020 1:47 am

So as Hacksorus pointed out, it felt like something was missing in the buildup to Hisao and Nako sleeping together at the end of Chapter 4. As I said then, that was partly just my hesitation to actually write that part, so I sort of glossed over it, even though it had a lot of potential to build on some important story points. I've been having a lot of trouble with Chapter 10, which is a pretty critical chapter in which a lot happens, so I decided to go back and rewrite Chapter 4 to include a more interesting and thorough buildup to Chapter 5.

In the end, I just removed the last few paragraphs of Chapter 4 and wrote an addition that takes us from the cafe where Nako confessed to Hisao for the second time to her house, and her bedroom. I'm not 100% pleased with how it turned out- much of it feels awkward- but I suppose that's fitting for what it is: a first time sexual encounter between awkward young people with a lot of issues.

I've already gone back and added this to Chapter 4, but I figured I'd post the addition here as well for anyone who has already read through the story so far to look at and review without having to go back and read through the entire chapter again. If and when I finish this story, or at least make significant headway with it, I will finally figure out how to make hyperlinks and "next chapter" buttons work, so having this 1/3 of a chapter in the middle of the thread shouldn't be an issue.

Anyway, here's the new stuff, which tacks onto the end of Chapter 4 from the moment they leave the cafe. Let me know if you think this was a bad idea, if the writing is missing something, or if I should just give up altogether. :wink:

Mild NSFW warning


As we're walking out together, Hisao takes my hand in his, smiling down at me. We soon reach the point where we would part to go to our homes, and hesitate. I realize that, having finally worked things out like this, I'm not ready to be away from my boyfriend again so soon. Wow, boyfriend? The thought feels strange, but I guess that's what we are now, right? But won't Hisao think I'm being too forward if I invite him over right away? I don't want to remind him of his ex, or anything…

This is stupid. I force myself to speak. "Um, my parents won't be home for a long time, still. I don’t really want to be alone yet… Do you want to come over for a while?"

Hisao looks a bit surprised, but then smiles. "Yeah, that would be nice, actually. I don't have any plans, anyway. And I've never seen your house, so I guess I'm a bit curious."

I smile back, and lead him the remaining short walk to my neighborhood, and eventually to my front door. Hisao looks intrigued as we approach the place. I'm used to living here, but I do notice the odd looks people often give my house the first time they see it, and Hisao is no different.

"Wow. It's- um… very modern."

The construction is primarily steel and glass, strikingly unique even in our rather eclectic neighborhood. My father told me the architect he hired to design the place a decade or so ago apparently went on to become some famous "abstract home designer", whatever that means. To me, it means our house is a bit weird compared to others, but in the end a house is just a house.

"Yeah, I guess that's one word for it. Come on, let's go in."

---

After giving Hisao a short tour- he was very impressed with the place, and far more interested in the design than I had expected- we got some drinks from the kitchen, and ended up in my room. I'm sitting on the edge of my bed, while Hisao has courteously taken the desk chair a meter or so away. Despite our unusual house, in the end my room is just that- a bedroom. There's only so much to look at before Hisao runs out of silly questions to ask, and we fall into a semi-uncomfortable silence.

For so long, I tried to get Hisao to talk to me. After I gave up, I spent the following months wishing that things had been different- that the two of us could have worked through things somehow and grown close. Most of all, I had just wanted to be able to be there for him, and with him. Now that my wishes have somehow come true, however, I find myself not knowing what to actually say.

"Hey, Iwanako… Are you okay?"

Hisao's voice pulls me from my thoughts, and I return my attention to him. He's watching me with a slightly worried expression, and I realize that I probably dropped a bit of my polite outer bearing while thinking about the last few months. I give him a weak smile, but the truth is, I'm not okay. This has been the hardest year of my life, and one amazing afternoon isn't enough to just fix all that.

"Hey…" He seems to hesitate for a second, but then comes over to sit beside me. He puts an arm around me, and I find myself automatically leaning against him. He's so warm.

I wrap my arms around his body, pulling him closer. I can't believe I actually have him! After all this time, we're here, and we're together, and maybe it was all worth it- no, that's an awful thing to think, poor Hisao went through so much more than I did, and-

He gives me a gentle squeeze, rocking me ever so slightly, not saying a word, and slowly, I feel my anxieties and my guilt and my memories of the last several long, painful months slowly fading into the background, replaced with something else entirely. The new anxiety is a welcome reprieve, and something I haven't felt for a long time, but it grows in intensity shockingly quickly, a burning itch that I can't ignore or suppress.

Lifting my head, I quickly wrap my arms around Hisao's neck and pull him in for a kiss again. He seems just as shocked as he did in the restaurant, but since this time I'm far more aggressive with it, I can't exactly blame him. It takes him several seconds before he kisses me back, and he's not nearly as passionate as I am- at first. I keep going, pressing for more, needing more…

His breathing starts to get heavy. Labored. The sound is familiar, but I can't remember exactly why-

A flash of white and cold in my mind tears me away from him, and I look at him in sudden shock and fear.

"I-I'm sorry! I shouldn't… I mean, we shouldn't…"

Hisao doesn't give me the time to continue the thought, however. This time, he kisses me, and he's just as forceful about it as I was. I feel his hands all over me, on my legs, my back, my chest… one slips under my blouse so smoothly I almost don't notice until I feel his hand squeezing me through my bra. I surprise myself by moaning into his mouth instinctively. It's been so long since anyone's touched me like this, and even then, it didn't feel nearly this good.

Again, sudden memories of terror pull me away from him, and I look into his eyes, searching for the fear I saw in them that day, but instead all I see is a reflection of the lust that's growing rapidly in my own body. Hisao pulls off his sweater vest and starts to unbutton his shirt, his expression suddenly growing shy.

"I guess you should see this. You were there when it happened, after all."

He finishes, and slowly removes his shirt. The scar looks like it's probably faded a bit, but the shocking, jagged line across his torso is still a jarring sight. Tentatively, I bring a hand to his chest, tracing the line with two fingers delicately. He smiles at me.

"I used to be embarrassed by it, but I'm starting to get used to it, I guess."

As fascinating as the scar is, my attention is drawn to more… Hisao may not be in the same shape he was in before his attack, but he still looks good. I guess he never really knew how I saw him, since even now with his newfound confidence he seems a bit shy, but he has no reason to be. Pushing him gently to his back, I remove and toss my cardigan to the floor, then pull my blouse off over my head.

Hisao takes several seconds looking me over, apparently mesmerized. I'm probably not as pretty as his last girlfriend apparently was, but I know I'm attractive. Judging by his reactions, he certainly thinks so too. However, I also see a bit of hesitation on his face, and it makes me pause as well.

"Um, Iwanako… I don't want to ruin the mood, but is this going where I think it is?"

I blush as my behavior comes crashing down on me all at once, and suddenly I'm filled with an intense shyness. I'm topless (well, still in a bra, at least) with a guy I've been dating for literally less than an hour, in my bed, and moving full steam ahead. Moving to cover myself, I stammer…

"Uh, sorry, I got a bit carried away there, and-"

Hisao sits up suddenly, and once again we're making out. This time, I don't think either of us is willing to hit the brakes again, either.

As one thing leads to another, I soon find myself completely naked, straddling my new boyfriend and just a few centimeters away from the moment of truth, when I realize just how much stress this could put on Hisao's heart. I know that he said he and Lilly were sexually active, but it's possible they always took things slowly, and that's not usually how I do things… obviously…

"Um, Hisao? Are you sure you're going to be okay?"

Again, flashes of the worst day of my life threaten to overwhelm me, and I have to force them down with concentrated effort.

"As long as we don't go crazy, and I pay attention to my heart, yes. More than okay." He's smiling so broadly that I can’t help but believe him.

"Then, I guess we can… you know…"

"Whenever you're ready."

I'm more than ready.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)

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Hacksorus
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Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Hacksorus » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:03 am

I'm far from an expert when it comes to scenes like this, but I definitely think it's a good addition. It does feel a bit awkward and rushed; perhaps a bit like going through the motions to reach the end? But maybe it's an inevitable kind of awkwardness for this scene, as you've said. In any case, I'd say the story's definitely better with it than without it.

Good luck with chapter 10! Here's hoping you find your way past the writer's block.
I go by Snowman in most places now (SnowmanSSB if I have to sometimes). If you run into me somewhere in the internet feel free to say hi!

Xeraeo
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:48 pm
Location: Chicago(ish), United States

Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by Xeraeo » Fri Sep 04, 2020 11:51 pm

Thanks! The awkwardness is partly intentional and partly just from me writing this kind of thing, but glad it sorta worked as intended. I definitely think events flow better after adding this, so all in all I'm glad I went back and did it.

And thank you. I hope so too. Often I go into a scene with only a vague idea of what I want to happen, and I let it write itself. With Chapter 10, there are several key events that need to take place, but I keep getting bogged down in the less important stuff that happens in between. I'll get through it eventually.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)

BoxNinja
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2013 1:45 pm

Re: Rebound - A Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story

Post by BoxNinja » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:21 am

I've really enjoyed this so far. I'm looking forward to the next chapter.

Xeraeo
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Jul 22, 2020 5:48 pm
Location: Chicago(ish), United States

Status Update (Both Stories)

Post by Xeraeo » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:15 pm

Okay so here's where I'm at:

I started Rebound on a single idea: Hisao re-reading Iwanako's letter in the light of losing Lilly, and gaining a new perspective as a result. The 9 chapters that followed grew organically from there.

Less than a week after I began posting my chapters for that story, the concept of Hitomi as a character came into my head, and I quickly decided she deserved her own work, and began writing To Miss The Mark.

For a while now, I've tried working on both stories simultaneously, with limited success. However, increasingly I've found that nearly all my creative ideas since beginning these two works have been related to the second. Particularly while trying to write the latest chapter in Rebound, I've found my mind continuously wandering back to Hitomi and her story.

The result of this is that both works are being slowed down and limited. I feel guilty whenever I do more work on To Miss the Mark when I still haven't made any progress on Rebound. I shouldn't feel guilty for making progress; I should feel satisfied.

Beyond this, I have a decent map of how I want To Miss the Mark to play out, all the way through Act 4. There's plenty to fill in as I go, but the overall story concepts and conflicts are there. For Rebound, I still only have the general idea of the conflicts I want to address, and those are subject to change as that story progresses.

The bottom line is this: I'm putting Rebound on hold for a bit while I focus on To Miss the Mark. I'm hoping this will allow me to make progress in that story more quickly and effectively, while freeing up the guilt I keep getting dragged down by. That being said, I have no intention to abandon Rebound; that's a story I still very much want to tell. I'll come back to it once I've made more significant progress in To Miss the Mark, or when sudden inspiration strikes me again like it did when I began that story.

I know it's likely that some of you have only read Rebound, and if you are more invested in that story, I apologize for the delay in its next update.

I'm posting this in both threads so readers of either story know what to expect.

If any of you more experienced writers have any advice for how to handle this type of thing, I'd love to hear it. Creative writing is still relatively new to me: particularly in a form where others are reading a story as it's ongoing.
Girls: Emi=Hanako=Lilly>Shizune=Rin
Routes: Lilly=Emi>Hanako>Rin>Shizune

(Name is pronounced "Zero". Stole it from Quake, I think)

My projects here:
Rebound - A Post Lilly NE Epilogue / Iwanako Story
To Miss the Mark - An OC Pseudo-Route (Hitomi)

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