Brogurt's Chocolatey Hanako Fanfiction (Updated Nov 26th)

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scott1and
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Re: Brogurt's One-Stop Shop for Hanako Fanfiction: Revengean

Post by scott1and » Fri Dec 23, 2011 8:06 am

Happy endings are happy, and the whole apology aspect just never occurred to that it could happen before, and the story was better than just having a completely fluffy date.

Again, in terms of criticism nothing really stuck out, sorry.
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Re: Brogurt's One-Stop Shop for Hanako Fanfiction: Revengean

Post by Brogurt » Sat Dec 24, 2011 11:52 pm

Redid the intro to Lunatics. Think of it as a Christmas present. The final line is still
Brogurt wrote:What is she-?
so you can stop reading there if you want.

Or you could reread it anyway, if you actually, uh, like my work.

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Two for Two

Post by Brogurt » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:09 am

Two for Two

I never thought the day would come when I would need Kenji’s help. But in my defense, it sounded like a good idea at the time. I just didn’t think fortune would look upon me so unfavorably today.

I can’t find any other guys I know on the campus, and Lilly still needs a date for tonight. I guess I can only blame myself for offering to find her someone to go with. Because really, the responsibility should be on her, since she suggested the whole “double date” thing in the first place, and named the place. But I wanted to be a nice guy, so that’s that, I guess.

It sort of reminds me of one of Kenji’s insane theories, as if all the male students except for him and I were sucked into an alternate dimension. But in reality, he seems to be my best shot, and I doubt he has plans for tonight anyway.

I’ve been standing in front of his door for a while now, and have not yet accomplished anything. Hoping to change that, I give three quick knocks on his door.

Somehow, the extended clatter of locks turning and chains clinking never fails to amuse me. He finally cracks the door open and sticks his head out, almost comically.

“What do you want?”

I nearly freeze on the spot. Shit, why didn’t I think this over? What am I supposed to tell him? That I want him to go out? Outside? With a girl?

“Uh… yeah. This is uh… urgent. It’s about… feminists.”

“What about them?”

“I, uh… there’s a mission I need your assistance with.”

“A mission?”

“Yeah, you see, I’ve obtained some… information regarding the whereabouts of one of the feminist leader’s secret bases.”

I’m sure if I could see his eyes right now, I could see them ignite with anticipation.

“Alright what’s the plan?”

“There’s this place downtown, The First Garden. I have the directions to it here, and as part of the operation, we’ll have to, well… We’ll have to pretend to be dating two ladies while we’re there.”

“…You’re joking.”

“No, I’m not. Like I said, it’s a feminist H.Q., which means that they are capable of, uh, brainwashing techniques. I trust nobody other than you to accompany me there.”

He clearly takes his time thinking it over. As odd as it sounds, I do want him to accept the offer. I’d hate to look like a fool by telling Lilly that I couldn’t find anyone for her to go with.

“You know what, man? I’m in. We may never get another chance at something like this. For the greater good, brother.”

“Alright… so here’s your copy of the directions; and I guess I can expect to see you there, huh?”

I outstretch my hand, holding a slip of paper with the written directions on it, which Kenji stealthily takes from me and begins to look over.

“Sounds good.”

He shuts the door before I can say goodbye. So be it. Anyway, I’d better let Lilly know that I’ve found someone for her to go with. The quicker I deliver the news, the more time we have to get prepared for tonight.

With this in mind, I journey back to the tea room, where Lilly and Hanako are supposed to be waiting for me. I just hope Lilly doesn’t know Kenji well enough to make any objections.

I take a moment to enjoy the light scent of freshly brewed tea emanating from inside. It sort of reminds me of the first time I stumbled upon the tea room. Back when the polite wavy-haired blonde was a stranger, and her shy dark-haired friend was even more enigmatic.

I then open the door and invite myself in, to be greeted by a near-tackle to my chest in the form of Hanako. The pain makes me wince, but she’s light enough that it’s nothing I can’t shrug off.

After our embrace runs its course, I am the first to speak of our double date- the whole reason I came here. I guess Lilly understood what was going on back there with me and Hanako well enough to know that she shouldn’t interrupt.

“Hey, Lilly, I found a date for you.”

“That’s good to hear.”

She says this sincerely enough, but her tone quickly switches to one of faux disappointment.

“For your sake, at least. It may end up being disappointing for me… I still don’t know who my date is, and I’m certain that you will be going with Hanako, so I know you can’t share the two of us…”

I waste no time in lightheartedly calling her out on her joking.

“Don’t play coy. You know quite well that Hanako and I are together now. This was not going to happen any other way.”

Lilly lets out a giggle at my accusation, and I feel Hanako move in a little to clasp my hand. I give her an acknowledging glance, and then my thoughts return to the topic at hand.

“Anyway, do you know Kenji Setou? He’s in your class.”

“I believe so, yes. I try to make sure I’m quite familiar with everyone in the class, but he hasn’t been as cooperative… He doesn’t show up often, and when he does, he rarely speaks.”

“Satou and Setou, from Class 3-2. How about it?”

A dreary silence washes over the tea room. I can’t help but think that this was a bad idea. I try to amend the situation.

“I’m sorry, but this was the best I could do.”

She gives me a reassuring smile.

“Don’t be sorry; I’m sure it won’t be too bad. I was just trying to recall the finer details surrounding him.”

His paranoid tendencies being one of them, I imagine. But before I can contemplate what else Lilly might be thinking about him, Hanako speaks up.

“I-I remember him. Since he’s in Class 3-2, that means he’s blind, right?”

“You got it. But not fully, just legally, he says.”

“So, what’s the difference?”

“…Hey, uh, do you know this one, Lilly?”

“Total blindness is an inability to sense light, like what I’ve got, and like what you might expect when you hear the word ‘blindness’. Legal blindness is when one’s vision is so poor, that while their eyes still function, it is very impractical to use them for anything but basic navigation and recognizing the daily light-dark cycle.”

I think, in the corner of my eye, I can see Hanako heave a sigh of relief. I guess, even now, she’s only really comfortable around blind people and myself.

“So, if that’s that, I guess I’d better start getting ready. You two gonna stay here for a while?”

“That sounds splendid. And yes, Hanako and I have some cleaning up to do. We’ll meet you there.”

“Alright, see you later then.”

I share a goodbye kiss with Hanako, then make my exit.

As I pass through the halls and the school grounds, making my way to my room to prepare for tonight, I can’t help but think that I should have just told Lilly that I can’t find anyone. Too late now, I guess



Several hours later, I am standing alone in front of the The First Garden. The air down here stinks, contrary what the restaurant name might lead me to believe. It’s nothing like the clean air around Yamaku. I take a seat on a nearby bench, as it may be necessary if the air continues to hinder my breathing like it did on the way down.

Out of the corner of my eye, I see a familiar face. But the hair, the clothes, there’s no way that’s Kenji. I keep facing in my usual direction, expecting him to pass me by, but instead, the lone figure takes a seat right beside me. I use the opportunity to take a look straight at him- yep, it’s Kenji. He seems to have done an amazing job of cleaning up; his hair is no longer the shaggy mess that I’ve come to expect, and I hadn’t expected him to even own such nice clothes. I almost worry that this suave specimen of handsomeness might steal Hanako away from me.

“Oh man, Hisao, how did I let you convince me to come here?! What the hell was I thinking? There’s no way I’m ready for something like this!”

Yeah, Hanako’s not going anywhere. I suppose I might want to calm Kenji down though, before he makes a scene.

“What happened? You seemed so composed earlier- ah, forget it. Alright, look here for a sec. We have done something like this before, a while back. It was during the preparations for that festival that the school had at the beginning of the year. Do you remember anything about that?”

He takes a while to ruminate my question, deep in thought.

“…No.”

At least he’s honest.

“Well, we’ve gone undercover like this-”

“Incognito.”

“What?”

“Incognito. Don’t use words like ‘undercover’ around here. They’ll be on to us quicker than a… Something that’s quick, if you talk like that.”

I almost question him as to why he would say something like that, but it would be a wasted effort.

“Okay, so we’ve gone incognito like this before. Just keep your wits about you, stick to your guns, follow your instincts, and everything will turn out all right. Deal?”

“…Alright. Know what, Hisao? I’ve got a piece of advice for you, too.”

Fantastic. I roll my eyes instinctively, and it works out better than expected, since he can’t actually see my gesture of disrespect.

“Okay… let’s hear it.”

“This knowledge was passed down though my family for generations. You’ll be the first in a long time to have this information bestowed upon you. Are you ready?”

“Um, yes?”

Kenji leans in close to whisper to me.

“A gentleman never tells.”

He leans back, then continues on.

“Never reveals his secrets. A gentleman is the ultimate form of masculinity and freedom from the female influence, and to compromise that would to be to compromise everything it mean to be a man!”

I guess I'll just ignore the fact that gentlemen are courteous to women. On top of that, I'm fairly sure that's not what the quote even means.

“Hear me, Hisao?”

"Yes."

"What did I say?"

"A gentleman never tells..."

"With more conviction, Hisao!"

"A gentleman never tells!"

I try to overdo the bravado, if anything. And now that I’ve made a fool out of myself, he seems happy.

"Good work, and just in time, too. Here they come."

What the-? I look in the direction that Kenji is facing. It appears to be Lilly and Hanako, just as he said. How did he notice them so quickly? As they approach, the finer details of their attire come into view.

Lilly is sporting a long white dress, reminiscent of a wedding dress. I might say that the only thing keeping it from being one is the lack of adornments. Her hair has been let down, yet still retains its distinct wavy appearance. Hanako is dressed much more modestly, with a black dress that, unlike Lilly’s, covers her arms entirely. She has also kept her hair in the same style as usual, which, although disappointing, isn’t unusual. I’d be kidding myself if I said I didn’t like it, however.

Once we are all standing before the restaurant, each of us takes our partner’s hand and we file inside. Hanako and I choose to lead, so that Kenji and Lilly may follow behind us.

I guess this is what a “nice” restaurant is supposed to look like. Laminated countertops, incandescent lighting, and tile flooring without so much as a speck of dirt on them. The tables and chairs seem as if they’d be incredibly expensive too, and many of the suits here easily put mine to shame. It’s actually quite loud inside, since the sound reverberates off the many flat surfaces. Because of this, I hear Lilly raise her voice in order to be heard.

“Hmm. It doesn’t sound like much has changed.”

“You’ve been here before?”

She seems to be caught off guard by my question for a moment.

“Oh, I don’t believe I’ve told you. Yes, Akira and I used to go here quite often.”

Hanako decides to speak for once, probably for the purpose of spurring some small-talk.

“It certainly s-seems like a nice place.”

“It is a nice place. But we didn’t come here to simply stand around, did we?’

A soft giggle appears to emanate from Lilly’s mouth.

“I believe we should be eating soon.”

I chuckle and express my agreement.

“I concur.”



Before I know it, we are already seated -at a four person table, with Kenji to my right and Hanako to my left- and have already ordered, and conversation is starting up. Unfortunately, it’s not the free-for-all that I was expecting, and is instead more along the lines of Hanako and Lilly waiting quietly while Kenji keeps trying to talk to me.

He’s taken to tenting his fingers in the air and resting his mouth behind them while whispering to me, in order to avoid suspicion, I guess. The only reason it seems to be working is the fact that Lilly can’t see him, and Hanako appears to be more interested in the other things happening around the restaurant.

“Whoa man, you were right!”

I look vacantly toward Kenji.

“Look at all the brainwashed guys around here. And none of them seem to have any idea what’s going on.”

I return my gaze to the two girls in front of me.

“So why does that dark-haired girl have to be here? She’ll ruin our plans.”

I raise a menu in front of my face to make my rebuttal.

“Those two are inseparable. There was no other way.”

It seems like I'm coming to understand Kenji’s thinking a bit better, as I no longer need to really think through my responses.

I'm not sure if that's a good thing.

“So, Hisao, Kenji. I assume you two now each other quite well?”

I was wondering when Lilly would speak up. It’s kind of a relief from Kenji’s nonsense, to be honest.

“Yeah, we’re…”

“Acquaintances.”

“Uh-huh. We’re acquaintances.”

I say so in an purposefully unamused manner. I don’t suppose Kenji picks up on my tone though, as he isn’t reactant in any way to my grumbling.

“S-so if you know him well enough to bring him here as Lilly’s date, and you’re just acquaintances… what does that make us?”

Sharp words coming from Hanako. She bears a childish smirk on her face, eliciting a laugh out of me.

“This is what we are.”

I lean over to her and deliver the best kiss I can. It lasts quite a while by our standards, and I only pull back in order to balance myself, as I nearly fall out of my chair. Kenji then takes his turn leaning towards me, but thankfully only to whisper in my ear.

“Hey man, what was up with that?”

I whisper back, to avoid suspicion.

That was to be legitimate. Why don’t you give it a shot?”

“No.”

He says this quite loudly before repositioning himself at his side of the table.

“If you two wouldn’t mind…”

Shit. Did Lilly hear our whispering?

“I must be using the restroom.”

“Alright. You know where it is?”

“Akira and I used to go here quite often.”

“I-I think I’ll be going too…”

I guess that makes sense. Hanako may not feel up to being left alone with two guys, only one of which she knows.

“Okay, be back soon.”

The two girls make their way out of the table, with Lilly taking quite a bit of time to do on account of her blindness and the necessity of her cane. Following that, they head off towards the entrance, where I assume the bathrooms must be located.

So now it’s just me and Kenji. To that extent, we can now speak more openly, and he decides to be the one to break the silence.

“Hey, so you said we’re just pretending, right?”

“Yeah, what of it?”

“Wanna trade?”

“Partners?”

“Yeah.”

“No- I mean, why? We’ve established that it’s a… uh, a facade.”

I hope I didn’t give myself away with that kneejerk response.

“No, man, it’s nothing like that.”

“Okay?”

“It’s just… blonde people.”

“Blonde people?”

“Yeah. They give me the creeps. They’re like, the highest class of succubi. The hardest to resist. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to handle it. You know, hair the color of gold, sky-blue eyes, that kind of stuff.”

“How are you so familiar with those colors? …And what makes you say they’re the most attractive?”

“…I have… accomplices who tell me these things.”

“Like who? I’ve never told you anything of the sort. And I’ve never seen you converse with anyone else in the school. You don’t even have a phone, if I recall correctly.”

His expression remains as still as a statue. No response either. Maybe this is his poker face.

Well, he seems serious, but there’s no way in hell I’m giving up Hanako. All of a sudden, a plan hatches in my head.

“Kenji…”

“Is that a yes?”

“The reason I put you up to this is because I thought you could take it. I know you’re more experienced at this than me. A gentleman never tells, right?”

“Yeah… Yeah! You’re right! A gentleman never tells! Thanks, Hisao. I was almost doubting my abilities for a second there.”



“Oh shit!”

He exclaims this rather loudly for a public place.

“What? What’s the matter?!”

“There’s something I forgot to tell you.”

Immediately, almost comically, my expression returns to a disinterested one.

"You see, you've got to be very careful around the females at this school. Like, even more than you normally would."

"Why's that?"

"Their disabilities."

“I… don’t follow.”

"Yamaku is a school for kids with disabilities right? Because they usually need help in one way or another, and that's why they come to this school. And the she-devils here will use that to their advantage. Since most of them can't really take care of themselves on their own, they'll use that to appeal to your protective instinct. They'll make you want to help them and protect them, and when you let your guard down..."

"Um, bad things happen?"

"Exactly! It's a weakness inducing mechanism. And what's scary is that IT WORKS. Those instincts I've been talking about, they're biological. Meant as a way for a father to ensure the safety of his mate, and subsequently, his offspring. And many of the neanderthals here don't have the willpower to break those instincts. But I do. My actions are dictated by logic and reason now, not petty feelings and emotions. And so are yours."

"Right..."

"And that's why we're partners!"

The awkward silence falls upon us once again. Neither of us really has anything to say about the matter, and Hanako and Lilly are still away. Hoping for their return, I face in the direction they left in, scouting my field of view for the two of them.

…Well, there they are, at least. I see Lilly heading this way, cane in one hand, and Hanako in the other. Suddenly, a stranger -apparently in a hurry- nearly runs into Lilly and causes her to lose her balance. This grabs my attention and nearly makes me stand up out of my chair, but I then notice Hanako move to catch her.

Luckily, they both find themselves upright again, and I notice Hanako come to the shocking realization that her bangs have parted from the right side of her face. She swiftly brings her hand in front of her face, as she often did back when we first met.

I wonder if maybe beneath all the conspiratorial rubbish Kenji was spewing about disabilities, there's a hint of truth.

Kenji suddenly breaks out into a nervous stammer.

"Hey, yeah, uh, thanks for the date and all, but I have some, uh, important stuff to do."

"Important stuff?"

"Yeah, I just remembered that there’s, uh… somewhere important I should be. Yeah."

Kenij then bursts into a full sprint before I can react. Without forking any money over for his order.

"What the hell, Kenji?!"

"It’s important!"

He’s out the door before I can do anything about this situation. I soberly bury my face in my hands, trying to fathom what just happened, until Hanako and Lilly arrive.

“D-did he just leave?”

Hanako seems to be as amazed as I am at this turn of events.

“Y-yeah. I think so.”

"At least… at least he didn't order much."

"He, well, usually doesn't eat a lot."

Lilly breaks in.

“is he malnourished?”

“I… have no idea.”

Not one of us really knows how to continue the conversation right now. The only reprieve from this silence comes when Lilly opens her mouth to speak.

"So, Hisao, I heard you and Kenji talking rather quietly earlier. Would you mind letting us know what it was about?"

“Well…”

I stall in order to prepare a response.

“You see…”

I guess there’s no other option.

"A gentleman never tells."

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Re: Two for Two

Post by Brogurt » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:10 am

I hope the timeskips weren’t too cheap. I also felt kind of conflicted when I was writing this piece, as if there was too little romance. And I’m actually surprised at how small the finished piece is compared to what I had in mind.

I actually think this was one of the hardest fics to write, due to the scenario having 4 people speaking at once some times. This format does not work well with that kind of conversation. I’d have really liked for multiple things to be happening at once, like what could go on in a movie.

So, I’ll probably be going on an indefinite hiatus from writing after the release of KS, but I’ve still got ideas that I want to give form to, so I’ll probably be back eventually.

I don’t expect anybody to read any of this until weeks after KS releases.

Also this was really rushed. Just thought you should know.

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Re: Brogurt's Six Songs of Hanako

Post by Brogurt » Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:31 pm

Pretty funny how inconsistent my accuracy is when guessing things that would happen in the routes.

Pills: Yes, she does have a therapist.

Tea for Two: Romance? Please, all you get is one-sided white-knighting on Hisao's behalf until the very end.

Lunatics: Pretty much the exact fucking (hah) opposite, where the two do, in fact, regret that event happening due to a misunderstanding.

Sorry: Something heart-wrenchingly sad prefaced by -get this- redox reactions. I have no idea how that even happened.

Hicchan: While Shizune and Misha do show concern for Hanako, it never comes to fruition, it seems.

Two for Two: N/A

>that feel when you're the only one in the thread

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Re: Brogurt's Six Songs of Hanako

Post by Catgirl Kleptocracy » Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:16 am

Just read through all of them. I really liked it! Great work on these, and thanks for some entertaining stories.

Usually when I do these kinds of things I'll pick out one or two points I noted to improve on, but since you asked for feedback (specifically critical feedback, which isn't easy to ask for), and because I really like your stories, I'll write out something a bit more comprehensive for ya'. Some of these points will be minor. Some major. Others nitpicky. But they're all things I'd like to at least note if you're asking for feedback. Also, look more to the general rule or observation that I'm making than to the specific example I'm using - understanding why the segments should be changed and applying that to the rest of your future writing is more important than fixing those lines themselves.

After your first segment it was noted by other posters that it's tough to follow the dialogue - specifically which lines belong to which character. It is, and It's a problem throughout all of the stories. You said you purposely shied away from writing out what character says which line (ex. Hanako: Y-Yes...). You were right to do that - at least if we're talking about doing it in that format (Character: Dialogue). That's never a good idea unless you're actually writing a script. That said, I think you DO need to put speech tags in. A speech tag is a "he said"/"she said" after a chunk of dialogue. They're largely invisible to readers, and will not hurt a story. There are some times where their use is necessary, or else the reader loses who is saying what. A speech tag would look something like...
“Hopefully sooner rather than later,” I say.
Note that the period at the end of his dialogue becomes a comma, as the speech tag is actually a continuation of the sentence. There are exceptions to the "change punctuation to a comma at the end of the dialogue" rule - notably exclamation points and question marks. Those stay as they are, though the sentence still technically ends at the end of the tag.
"...What’s to stop you from doing the same?” she asks.


Speech tags are only really necessary to avoid confusion, though - you don't need them after every line of dialogue. The rule of thumb is that when there is a conversation, you use them to establish the order of speech, and then they can disappear when it becomes clear who is saying what.
“Hear me, Hisao?” Kenji asks.

"Yes," I reply.

"What did I say?"

"A gentleman never tells..."

"With more conviction, Hisao!"

"A gentleman never tells!"
(Awesome dialogue, btw)

There's a lot more to speech tags (entire topics can be devoted to them alone), but those are the basics, and speech tags aside I think there's an even bigger contributor to the confusion of who says what than the lack of tags. The formatting needs changed. The biggest thing confusing me as a reader is that you're dropping to a new line every time there is a new string of dialogue. Don't. The rule is (again, at its basics), and I think this is what's causing your confusion, that you drop to a new line every time there is a different speaker. That is, if Lilly says something, you have to drop to a new paragraph before Hisao can open his mouth. But, you DON'T have to drop to a new line if it's the same person speaking twice -- even if there is unspoken text in between. For example, you wrote...
“How disappointing.”

She says this in a frank manner. I don’t suppose I disagree with her, though, even if getting here early was kind of nice.

“Would you like some tea, at least?”
Lilly spoke both lines of dialogue. Part of what is causing confusion is that since the second set of dialogue is dropped, it is implied that the speaker has changed, and that Hisao is actually saying it. He's not. Since all of that is by the same speaker, the entire segment should be bundled together. Then Hisao's response is laid out in the next paragraph.
“How disappointing.” She says this in a frank manner. I don’t suppose I disagree with her, though, even if getting here early was kind of nice. “Would you like some tea, at least?”

I prepare to make my rebuttal in a lighthearted tone. I don’t want to sound like I don’t enjoy being here, and sound happens to be one of the few things Lilly can gauge someone’s intentions on. “Do I really still have to answer that?”


After the second section (Tea for Two) there was some back and forth conversation about the lines, "I know this feeling. It’s called embarrassment." Silentcook said it should be cut. I concur. He told you to cut it because it made Hisao stupid for a split moment while he was not stupid for the rest of the section. I don't agree with his reasoning. That said, lines like this should be cut because they're redundant - they don't tell us anything that we don't already know. Here's the full relevant segment.
My face is overrun by a wave of heat as the blood rushes to it. I know this feeling. It’s called embarrassment. Luckily, Lilly can’t see my face, which -I’m certain- is bright red at the moment, but my silence probably conveys the same message. I tap my knuckle against the side of the desk to see if I can’t ease the situation a bit.
There are actually a few redundancies here, and I'd cut more than just the "I know this feeling" bit. It starts out with the blood rushing to his face. That gives us an image showing his reaction. Given the context of the scene, we know why it's happening, and it tells us what he's feeling. We don't need to be told he's embarrassed - we can already see it. The "I know this feeling" bit tells us the same thing twice, and in my opinion even drags the image we've been given before it down a bit. Also, what happens when blood rushes to your face? It turns red. That part can be cut too.
My face is overrun by a wave of heat as the blood rushes to it. Luckily, Lilly can’t see it, though my silence probably conveys the same message. I tap my knuckle against the side of the desk to see if I can’t ease the situation a bit.

[As a note, if you DO want to make it absolutely clear that he's embarrassed, you could add it in at the end and instead of what you have say, "...to see if I can't ease my embarrassment." I'd argue this is even better than "ease the situation," as that's a bit vague]
There are other kinds of redundancies throughout. Watch out for them. Specifically, I'll note some with adjectives. First of all, be very careful with adjectives and adverbs even when they aren't redundant. They're unnecessary 95% of the time, and ironically (irony intended) end up weakening sentences instead of making them stronger. An example from "Two for Two":
“It is a nice place. But we didn’t come here to simply stand around, did we?" A soft giggle appears to emanate from Lilly’s mouth. “I believe we should be eating soon.”


I don't think I've ever heard anything that could be hard enough to need qualifying that I would ever consider a giggle. The "soft" seems implicit in "giggle". They're light and bouncy by definition. The adjective "soft" can be removed without losing anything. Cut it. Going even further with this sentence, you can't giggle from anything but your mouth. We know the giggle had to come from there. "Emanat[ing] from Lilly's mouth" tells us something we already know implicitly. Cut that too. We're left with something like "Lilly appears to giggle," at which point you might as well just say fuck it and write "She giggles."
“It is a nice place. But we didn’t come here to simply stand around, did we?" She giggles. “I believe we should be eating soon.”
As a general rule, you want to cut as much as you possibly can. If it doesn't add anything, get rid of it. If it says something twice, that thing had better be REALLY important. If that thing IS really important, you should still probably cut it half the time anyway. I'll post up a few more examples of things that can be trimmed or removed.
It elicits a groan out of me. I groan.

She must genuinely believe what she’s saying.

I open my eyes for a moment to absorb the view. The moon shines[,] brightly in the night sky, unopposed. [and] (s)tars speckle and dot the rest of the canvass [above][.], and not a single cloud is present to detract from the scene. Looking downwards, I see the cityscape on the horizon flourishing with color[.] and [T]he jagged contours of rooftops and buildings strik[e] out into the sky.

“How disappointing[,]” (s)he says this in a frank manner. I don’t suppose I disagree with her, though, even if getting here early was kind of nice. “Would you like some tea, at least?”
Watch out for how you use ellipses (the ... things that denote a pause or an unfinished sentence). Unless they're absolutely necessary it's best to avoid using them. They don't actually convey anything. All they denote is a pause, and if the pause is important enough to mention, there are usually better ways of including them than using ellipses.
...I’d hate to say that the final, biggest step in our relationship is one that I’m not willing to take right now. I want her to know that I love her, but I fear for my own well-being too. I guess I’d better give her some sort of response.

“…”

I keep trying to get something out, but my muscles aren’t cooperating. It feels like I’m seizing up. Damn it, what am I trying to say? Do we dare engage in this sensual dance with Death?
In this segment, it's very important that Hisao pauses. However, I don't think an ellipses is the best way to convey that. There's no actual depth to the ellipses - they are absolutely meaningless beyond their function. Use text instead, and try something like this:
...I’d hate to deny her something so important. I’d hate to say that the final, biggest step in our relationship is one that I’m not willing to take right now. I want her to know that I love her, but I fear for my own well-being too. I guess I’d better give her some sort of response.

But I can't think of anything. It feels like I’m seizing up. Damn it, what am I trying to say? Do we dare engage in this sensual dance with Death?
The "..." is replaced with "But I can't think of anything." It provides the same function (indicating a pause), but it also provides a little extra depth that the ellipses couldn't. Ellipses are important in visual mediums such as comic books or video games, where we don't have a constant connection to the character's thoughts outside of what's spoken in dialogue, but in those mediums they're only used because that deeper connection isn't as easy to create, if feasible at all. In written mediums, we do have a direct link to the character. Don't use substitutes. Even if you're not going for anything more than just a simple pause (with no deeper meaning), actually writing out "I pause" or "I don't respond" is better than "..."

Similarly, if ellipses are overused in dialogue or thought the character sounds very stilted. This is actually where ellipses can be very handy -- IF you're writing a character like Hanako whose speech patterns are, forgive me, crippled. With any other kind of character, though, it's best to drop the ellipses in most cases. Here's a string of thought form Hisao:
I know how she is, so I won’t blame her for this, but… it’s not something that we’ve talked about before.
The ellipses don't add anything to this. Does it show he's thinking? They're already his thoughts. He'd be thinking about thinking. I don't think it's a good idea to get meta here. It could be showing his unease, but, again, the content of the text already conveys that. Just drop the ellipses and have him think the lines like the man he is!

Again, though, that doesn't mean never use them. They're great for characters like Hanako (though I wouldn't use an ellipses to start a sentence), and they should still be used as proper punctuation if a line is left unfinished.

That's it for my comments on the actual writing. You asked a few questions about story. Overall I think you're doing an excellent job on that front. I especially liked "Sorry Is Just a Word". I think that one had the strongest conflict, and the best writing overall. As a thought, though, if they're watching a video on reactions, why not have it be on exothermic reactions, specifically ones like combustion? I think that would make a stronger flashpoint for Hanako's meltdown, and it would mislead readers in a good way - they, along with Hisao, think she's upset about the fire, only to get punched in the face harder than he is with the revelation that it's actually their relationship that's got her down.

You specifically asked about the two endings for "Lunatics". I thought the second ending was much weaker than the first. As I saw it, the story was about their relationship, and acceptance of one another. That's hit on at the start of the second ending, when Hanako is afraid that he doesn't accept her because of her scars. The conflict within their relationship is building. But then suddenly he has a heart attack, and the conflict that was established is switched out just when it's getting good. I wanted to see the conflict be between Hisao and Hanako - the switch to his health was jarring. I also didn't believe her reaction would be enough to trigger a heart attack, especially after, as another reader noted, they were rolling down the hill like they were.

I also thought there could have been more in the last story, "Two For Two". A few things to think about - Kenji and Lilly were on a date, but we never see them interact with one another. In fact, they don't say anything to each other at all, save for Lilly asking a question to the both of them, which Hisao answers (though Kenji finishes the sentence for him - with one word). If the conflict is Kenji on a date, I want to see him do date like things. Actually interacting with a woman. Second, he knows Lilly. He has to have an opinion of her. What is it? We're never told, other than the fact that she's blonde, and he's especially weak for blondes. I want to know what he thinks about her specifically.

----------

I think that's the longest actual discussion post I've written in a few years. Must be something in the water. Ah well. They say explaining something is the best way to understand it yourself, so hopefully it'll help both of us. Like I said, I really enjoyed your stories, and I'm looking forward to the next one you put out. The only real way to improve is to practice, so keep at it.

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Re: Brogurt's Six Songs of Hanako

Post by Brogurt » Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:02 pm

That's a lot of words so I might have a hard time responding to all of them.
Anyway, the main reason for me choosing the formatting that I did was it's similarities to an actual VN script. I figured that I would sometimes describe a spoken line and even more occasionally indicate a speaker when it was necessary to the comprehension of the line. And I planned on doing so in a separate line entirely, as if there were prefaces for every spoken line.
Hisao: "This is what I'm saying." This is what I'm thinking.
The above is an example of something that I would not find acceptable (and it certainly never did happen ingame, to my knowledge), and by extension
"This is what I'm saying." This is what I'm thinking.
was not desirable for me either.


For the same reason, I planned on straying away from
"Ur a faget," said Dante.
since if the line was prefaced with a name, it wouldn't make much sense.


But after thinking about it, it might not be too rash to do something like you said
Lilly spoke both lines of dialogue. Part of what is causing confusion is that since the second set of dialogue is dropped, it is implied that the speaker has changed, and that Hisao is actually saying it. He's not. Since all of that is by the same speaker, the entire segment should be bundled together. Then Hisao's response is laid out in the next paragraph.
“How disappointing.” She says this in a frank manner. I don’t suppose I disagree with her, though, even if getting here early was kind of nice. “Would you like some tea, at least?”

I prepare to make my rebuttal in a lighthearted tone. I don’t want to sound like I don’t enjoy being here, and sound happens to be one of the few things Lilly can gauge someone’s intentions on. “Do I really still have to answer that?”
As long as no changes are made to the text, sticking things together like that doesn't seem like a bad idea. But I'm still apprehensive about the speech tags. I'm actually kind of writing two stories side-by-side albeit very slowly at the moment so maybe I'll do that kind of thing with one of them.

I really liked the idea about exothermic reactions, but there's two things about it that I have issue with.
1. It was specifically exothermic reactions that were mentioned in the actual game during the breakdown scene, and while I sort of "predicted" the redox part, I don't really want it to seem like I am just now just ripping things from the source material as sloppily as that.
2. My pride. A pretty hard obstacle to overcome, since I was enthusiastic about having done the entire thing in the course of one day. I'd be forsaking that victory for a different one, and I have already denied myself the pleasure of making edits to it since I didn't want to taint that "24 hour purity". Yeah, probably not a good thing.

As for Kenji's role in "Two For Two", there was a line that I specifically cut for being way too melodramatic and out of character. I can't remember exactly how it went, but in it, Hisao stated that he's here in the city with a blind person, a social wreck, and a person that's both. This may have then developed into Hisao monologue-ing about Kenji's inability to accomplish anything in a situation like this, so I'd hardly call it an issue that went unaddressed. But then I removed all that and created a void due to Kenji's sudden insignificance. I guess I could have made Kenji a bit more important to fill that void, but it didn't seem like an issue at the time. If I had to flimsily justify it, I'd say that Kenji doesn't like speaking or socializing when on a strictly business mission.
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Re: Brogurt's Six Songs of Hanako

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jan 13, 2012 3:41 am

Brogurt wrote:Anyway, the main reason for me choosing the formatting that I did was it's similarities to an actual VN script. I figured that I would sometimes describe a spoken line and even more occasionally indicate a speaker when it was necessary to the comprehension of the line. And I planned on doing so in a separate line entirely, as if there were prefaces for every spoken line.
Hisao: "This is what I'm saying." This is what I'm thinking.
The above is an example of something that I would not find acceptable (and it certainly never did happen ingame, to my knowledge), and by extension.
The latter is for technical reasons only and it's not entirely true either.
Ingame you have the little box above the actual textbox showing you who is talking at the moment, which is kind of like
Hisao: "XXX"
It's also the reason why you can't have spoken text and thoughts in the same line, because then you'd have to decide whether or not to use a speaker tag. (I think there was one instance in Act 1 where they did it anyway for some reason. Can't remember where...)
When you're writing a fanfiction you don't have this limitation.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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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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The Reason

Post by Brogurt » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:44 pm

The Reason

It’s been a couple weeks now. Nearly half a month.

I’ve been trying to block the thoughts out of my mind, and I’ve succeeded, for a time. But they keep returning, each time more rattling than the last. It all feels like a cancer that’s been eating away at me, and I can’t ignore it anymore.

It’s been fifteen days since Hanako and I first had sex. And I want to do it with her again.

But not in the same way that things happened previously. Not even close to it. Last time, we made mistakes that I don’t want to repeat. Looking back on it, I might call it nothing short of terrible. Her confidence had hit rock bottom, and she figured that was the only thing she could give me, so that I might see her differently. She did not just want to be a toy or a doll to be protected, but that night, I turned her into a different kind of toy. The images of that encounter, branded into my mind as if by blistering iron, refuse to stop haunting me. The way she simply laid down and submitted, letting me have my way with her. The way I tossed aside any thoughts about comforting her, appreciating her, or showing her some semblance of love during the act.

She’s had a tough life, and has likely gotten used to being dealt a shitty hand. While she was willing to go through with what we did, it was not pleasurable for her in the same way it was for me.

I am disgusted with myself. There’s no other way to put it. Even though we’re still together and without complications, it’s not enough. When I think about sex, that is what comes to mind. The fact that our first time turned out the way it did. I want to amend that. I want to make things better. And, by doing so, maybe I can set us on the path towards a healthy and lasting relationship. Filled with lots of loving, both emotional and physical. Something we can both enjoy thoroughly.

At least that’s a pleasant thought.

This time, tonight, we do things right.



Many thoughts cross my mind while I cross the school grounds, leisurely walking towards the girls’ dorms. What should we do? What could we do? What would she like? Nothing too life-threatening for me, I hope.

I have vague memories of reading a translated copy of the Kama Sutra from one of the hospital’s libraries. Just as a farce, as if to say “who am I kidding?” That was back when I only ever wallowed in my self-pity, and I’d never have imagined that the six or seven positions that stuck in my head would ever become relevant; three if I only count the ones that could conceivably be done without months of practice.

Of course, if we were to try -for example- oral, I think I’d be giving rather than receiving, after what happened last time. I can’t consciously say if I like that thought or not, but my body seems to.

Strangely enough, there seems to be nobody around, and luckily too, since me walking alone to the girls’ dorms with a bulge in my pants might look suspicious.

Because it is.



Before I know it, I’ve found myself in front of Hanako’s room. Since my situation has diminished by now, I can comfortably approach her without raising alarm.

Her door is unlocked, so I help myself in. It’s nice not having to knock and make a big deal out of me being here.

Here I stand, at the site of the most painful mistake that I have ever known in my short life. The monotone gray color scheme only amplifies that feeling. I really feel like I should convince Hanako to liven this place up sometime. She at least has an eye for fashionable clothing, so it shouldn’t be too hard. Maybe we can make it look like an entirely new room altogether. Like a new beginning.

…After thinking about it, I must be blessed to have a girlfriend that, even though she brings me pain, is so absurdly lovable that the mere thoughts of our potential together can get me back on my feet.

Anyway, I didn’t come here to take in the view. After a split-second of scanning the room, my eyes witness Hanako sitting at her desk before me, working studiously at what appears to be schoolwork. These last couple days have been good to her; that’s for sure. Gone is the scared, hapless child of the past, and in her place is a bright and secure girl, no longer oppressed by her psyche.

The thought of shattering her peace of mind like this doesn’t sit well with me, so I try to make a bit of small talk, to lightly break the ice instead of crashing through with the big question.

“What’s that you’re working on?”

“Just math.”

“Got it under control?”

A sigh escapes from her mouth, and she then follows up by craning her neck to look straight at me. I’ve definitely broken her focus now.

“Yes.”

“That’s good, because there’s something else I’d like to bring up right now. It’s about us.”

Keeping her eyes locked on me with an unwavering stare, she twists her body towards me, giving me the complete “undivided attention” treatment. It suddenly dawns on me that her face is carrying the weight of a very worried look.

“Hey now, don’t look so afraid. This isn’t anything bad, for either of us. It’s just a suggestion.”

Her expression doesn’t change. The more I think about my word choice, the more I realize it must not be helping matters.

“Alright, I’ll just say it. Ever since I came to terms with my feelings for you, there’s been something that’s been bothering me… The first night we spent together. I… I want to redo that night. I want to try again. What we did -or maybe just what I did- was not okay. It was embarrassing. I’ve reached the point where I’d sooner hurt myself than think about it anymore. Simply knowing that I treated you the way I did that night pains me to no end. So… how about it? Want to give it another go? Later this night, maybe?”

She doesn’t respond straightaway, giving me the necessary pause to think about what I said, and what I meant. Is my hopeless romanticism too off-putting? I feel like I’m trying to overcompensate for the total lack of romance from our first time, but that’s only appropriate, isn’t it? Either way, we’ve done it under conditions that I’d surely call worse, so there’s no way she’d disagree to this. Fear and desperation ruled the two of us back then, and we’re on much better terms now.

“N-no. I’m sorry.”

No?

Did I hear that right?

The possibility that she might not agree had been lingering in the very recesses of my mind, but I hadn’t put much thought into it. I realize that she’s not nearly as submissive now as she was back then, but this should be something that she wants. I thought that she might like to improve our situation as much as I do.

Awestruck by this turnabout, it takes me a considerable amount of time to compose myself so that I may question her in response.

“W-w-why? Is there something you’re worried about? Is it- is it that time of month?”

That last question sounded like a joke. I wish it was, but neither of us is laughing.

“I don’t want to.”

As if through some divine, yet unholy channel, her words mercilessly dig into my heart, wrenching it about. I was so full of confidence too, just to be shot down; and not just by some stranger, but by someone I love. She doesn’t want to. What’s going on between us?

“W-why’s that? I’m not doing this just for me. I’m doing it for us. Hell, I’ll do it just for you, if you want. I just want us to have a happy relationship. I know that last time-”

“Why can’t ‘last time’ stay that way for a while?!” She stands up out of her chair with frightening speed to challenge me. “I thought we saw eye to eye. When you said that you didn’t want me just for sex, or just as someone to take care of, I was so elated! You said that I was a wonderful, capable person with merits of my own. How does that reflect at all in what you’re asking of me now?”

I find myself growing increasingly frustrated with what she’s saying. She has the wrong idea, and I don’t know who’s to blame here. But I’m not going to give up that easily.

“I’m asking you because I want to treat you fairly. You made it clear that you don’t want to be coddled, and I’m bringing this up because you’re more deserving of it than anyone I know. Because I love you and I want us to be happy together. Look, if I was with anyone else, and we had done the things that you and I did, I would try to set things straight. Why should our relationship be any different? Do you only want me to treat you like an equal when it’s convenient for you?”

There, I said it. No spit-shine and polish, no sugar-coating, and no gold trim. Now her eyes are welling up with tears, and while it makes me feel a very heavy pang of guilt to make her cry, I don’t regret saying those things. They are entirely true, and she needs to know them.

I stand in silence awaiting her answer; after all, that last question wasn’t rhetorical. After several moments pass, she ceases holding back her tears, and breaks down.

“I’m sorry I’m sorry I’m sorry! I keep… I keep saying that I’m strong, but I’m not! I just thought… that w-we would do it… that one time, and then you would love me, and then it wouldn’t have to happen again. But n-now you’re trying to treat me like a normal person, and I’m not ready for it! I-if you want to… fine… Go ahead.”

It breaks my heart to see her like this again, after such a long streak of normalness. But I know this is for the best, that we deal with these demons. Both mine and hers.

“‘If I want to, fine’? That’s what happened last time. I’m not going to repeat that. And I think I respect you enough to back down when I have your dissent. I just want you to understand my intentions.” A pang of remorse washes over me. “Communication is something we’ve been lacking.”

I wrap my arms loosely around her, but she doesn’t return the gesture. Her doing so feels like a punch on the gut, yet I soldier on, turning us toward her bed. One step at a time, we make progress towards it.

Due to her tenseness, it feels more and more like I’m leading her. The thought is familiar, and it stings. But I won’t let myself do anything like that again. I’m sure of that.

Once we reach our destination, she speaks out.

“B-but I thought you s-said…”

“Don’t worry.” With that, I not-so-gracefully fall down to her bed, taking her with me. The impact steals my breath, but I recover in time to continue where I left off without trouble. “That’s not what I have in mind. I just want to be with you right now.”

She lets out a silent breath of relief at my remark, with closed eyes and a smile on her face. She loosens up her muscles, her breathing evens out, and we soon find ourselves in a position that both of us can truly call comfortable.

“I don’t like saying this, but the fact that I took you in my arms, and you thought that was my intention, even after me telling you otherwise… says something about us. I think it’s a sign that we need to make some amendments.”

“Hisao…”

“Hmm?”

“We’ve already made amendments.”

“More, then.”

“…That's what I like to hear.”

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Re: Brogurt's Six Songs of Hanako

Post by Brogurt » Wed Jan 25, 2012 5:47 pm

YOU’LL NEVER GET ME TO WRITE SMUT.

You may notice that I only actually did the suggested quote-merging thing twice, even though there are more than two cases of a character saying something, then a non-speaking line, then the character speaking again.

Whenever I found a place where that would be applicable, I took the non-spoken line and pretended that it was a spoken line, said by the character that the line is primarily about. If the line was referring to the character that had spoken both the lines above and below it, then I merged them, if not, then I didn’t. For example, in script format:
Lilly: Ara ara.

Lilly raises her cup to her mouth, takes a sip, and sets it back down.

Lilly: Would you like some tea?
This is a situation where I would merge the three lines into one paragraph. Conversely:
Lilly: Would you like some tea?

Shizune flips Lilly the bird, then storms out of the room.

Lilly: I suppose not, then?
Since the middle line was about Shizune, putting it in the same paragraph as Lilly’s lines seemed stupid to me. The difference between these examples and my actual text is the fact that these all have the character names prefacing the lines, but, as usual, I think that’s a nonissue as long as I can communicate who’s saying what through speech patterns, context, and the occasional non-spoken line denoting who does what.

And as far as the story goes, part of the hopeless romantic in me died when I wrote that part at the beginning. I’m not sure if the latter half of the story rekindled it, but if it hasn’t been yet, then it will be later. Really though, it’ll take more than one confession in the park to right all the wrongs in the world; the problems are far from over.

And I’ve been noticing a lack of reception lately. Not to be demanding, but by all means, if there’s a part of my writing that you have a problem with, then tell me.

Story time later, can’t be assed at the moment.

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Re: Brogurt's Seven Symphonies of Hanako Ikezawa

Post by scott1and » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:14 pm

I like seeing realistic takes on Hanako's and Hisao's relationships, it's refreshing. Good job. I'm all for a bit of fluff every now and then but too much and eventually it suffocates you. Just like physical fluff, except you don't die.

Hope to see more of your writing :mrgreen:
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Re: Brogurt's Seven Symphonies of Hanako Ikezawa

Post by Brogurt » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:36 pm

STORY TIEM
I was originally planning on finishing the other fic I'm writing before this one. You'll get to see what the other one is later, but at the time, this one was just "something about relationships". It was supposed to deal with the topic of apology sex and all that, just like it does now, but I had an epiphany.

What if she said no?

I then had to throw out about half of what I had drafted (which admittedly wasn't much) and rewrite it to fit this agenda. The old one was very anemic, and seeing such an amazing change in what I was now capable of spurred me to finish this one before I could complete my other fic. It's still pretty close though. Just saying.

Part of the inspiration for the breakdown comes from one particular Anon that trolled a bunch of threads on /v/ and /a/ for a while saying that Hanako's a hypocrite because she doesn't want people to pity her, but acts in a way that makes not pitying her quite hard. While it is partially true, hypocrisy isn't how I'd describe it at all. And then comes the familiar tropes of "not being ready" and "nevermind I don't wanna have sex now" that showed up in Lunatics, but what the hell that shit's not canon anymore.

So, a bit of advice to fellow writefags: if your writing is ever not coming along very nicely, just change a 1 to a 0 and see where chaos theory takes you.

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Re: Brogurt's Seven Symphonies of Hanako Ikezawa

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jan 25, 2012 6:40 pm

Definitely one of your better pieces. Good stories need not contain smut.
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: Brogurt's Six Songs of Hanako

Post by xaolindragon » Wed Jan 25, 2012 8:26 pm

Brogurt wrote:YOU’LL NEVER GET ME TO WRITE SMUT.
And for that, I appreciate you and your writing. Thank you.

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Re: Brogurt's Seven Symphonies of Hanako Ikezawa

Post by scott1and » Thu Jan 26, 2012 11:59 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:Definitely one of your better pieces. Good stories need not contain smut.
I concur. On both points.
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