Closure

WORDS WORDS WORDS
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gecko
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Re: Closure

Post by gecko » Thu Feb 16, 2012 6:17 pm

That's a nice romantic plot you've got there. A bit on the classical tear-jerker side, but hits the point, I had to read it all in one go, so I can't complain about that.

Hisao's job, and his relationships with co-workers, were nice ideas, and nicely done.

Still, I have noted three points you might want to work on:

1) Writing style: the sentences don't flow for me. Honestly, I don't know why, maybe it's me not being a native English speaker... I thought it was about time mixes, but I can't find any to point. The only thing I can point is when you call Hisao "the man". I think it's too distant for the POV character, I'd rather see you using "he" and keeping "the man" for other, more distant, characters (like Misha's lawyer friends) For the rest, unless another reader can help pinpoint it, just forget it, it must be me being tired.

2) Hisao's backstory: unless the dead baby really has a significance for you I didn't catch, I think you could lighten the story a bit. Having one's first love die suddenly is tragic enough, you don't need to add a dead baby for us to feel sorry for him. To me it felt like you really wanted to make sure I found it tragic, and as a reader, I don't like it when I'm told what to feel – I prefer understatement.

3) Misha's porn: The way you explain it away is my biggest peeve with your story. You have a nice evolution in Hisao, from him being disgusted by what he saw to him realizing that whether she's (or has been) a porn-star or not, Misha is still his friend – and then you cheapen it by explaining that it wasn't like that, Misha was coerced into it, and she did it only three times and with only one man... I think the story would be even stronger if Hisao really had to show his evolution and accept a Misha who's really been a porn actress. I wouldn't mind her having done it only shortly to pay bills, if you think more wouldn't suit the character, but I really think your story would be stronger if she owned what little she did and Hisao really had to deal with it.
Here, I felt like you told me "you know, that problem that lead to that character introspection and evolution, it's actually not a real problem, it was just to make you feel like the stakes were higher."
(plus instead of the problem disappearing, I would really have loved Hisao going to his colleague and saying: "yes, my girlfriend's a porn star, so what? Jealous?")

Oops that was long. I hope you're not thinking I hated your story. I wouldn't have taken the time to write all that if I did. I only review things I have appreciated.
99% completion.
Mind-worm meter: Rin>>Emi>Lily>Hanako>>Shizune
Fanfic: The lamb and the fox

Grayjack
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Re: Closure

Post by Grayjack » Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:35 pm

That was a very long read, but well worth the time. You have real talent, and I'm looking forward to reading anything you write in the future.

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WetCrate
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Re: Closure

Post by WetCrate » Thu Feb 16, 2012 11:41 pm

First, thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read. It's long, and I appreciate the time commitment.

Second, thanks to anyone who has said anything kind. Not much more I can say. Thank you very much.

Finally, gecko, you gave me what I'm looking for out of this. Thank you for not only reading the story, but viewing it with a critical eye and offering solid, well-reasoned critique. Ultimately, I enjoy having people tell me they like my stories; however, if I'm ever going to get better, I have to have feedback and criticism on both the construction and art of my writing. I'm not complaining; I truly do appreciate that people have read and enjoyed my shitty little story. But if I were to choose between praise and criticism, I'd go with criticism every time.
gecko wrote: 1) Writing style: the sentences don't flow for me. Honestly, I don't know why, maybe it's me not being a native English speaker... I thought it was about time mixes, but I can't find any to point. The only thing I can point is when you call Hisao "the man". I think it's too distant for the POV character, I'd rather see you using "he" and keeping "the man" for other, more distant, characters (like Misha's lawyer friends) For the rest, unless another reader can help pinpoint it, just forget it, it must be me being tired.
I also have a problem with my voice. It's a struggle writing in the third-person (though I'm not particularly good at first-person, either), and I'm still trying to wrangle myself into a consistent writing style. Your comments are noted and appreciated, and I will keep them in mind as I continue working.
gecko wrote: 2) Hisao's backstory: unless the dead baby really has a significance for you I didn't catch, I think you could lighten the story a bit. Having one's first love die suddenly is tragic enough, you don't need to add a dead baby for us to feel sorry for him. To me it felt like you really wanted to make sure I found it tragic, and as a reader, I don't like it when I'm told what to feel – I prefer understatement.
In this case, my choice had to do with my impression of Hisao and of human nature in general. Granted, I was working off of the Act 1 Hisao only, so a lot of his personality is completely fabricated; but he didn't strike me as the kind of guy who would change his entire personality after losing an important person in his life, even if that one person were his wife. He's not invincible, but he's not going to fall to pieces the next time he spills a glass of milk, either.

Furthermore, while it's true that drastic changes in personality can happen for little or no reason, I haven't seen much evidence of it. If I were to lose my wife, I would be devastated, but I wouldn't wear black for the rest of my life; if I were also to lose my daughter, I might become more religious, but I wouldn't convert to Judaism; if I were also to be alienated from my family and friends? THEN I'd be more bitter and cynical about the world.

All in all, though, I think you do have a good point. Perhaps it could have been handled differently, or better.
gecko wrote: 3) Misha's porn: The way you explain it away is my biggest peeve with your story. You have a nice evolution in Hisao, from him being disgusted by what he saw to him realizing that whether she's (or has been) a porn-star or not, Misha is still his friend – and then you cheapen it by explaining that it wasn't like that, Misha was coerced into it, and she did it only three times and with only one man... I think the story would be even stronger if Hisao really had to show his evolution and accept a Misha who's really been a porn actress. I wouldn't mind her having done it only shortly to pay bills, if you think more wouldn't suit the character, but I really think your story would be stronger if she owned what little she did and Hisao really had to deal with it.
Here, I felt like you told me "you know, that problem that lead to that character introspection and evolution, it's actually not a real problem, it was just to make you feel like the stakes were higher."
(plus instead of the problem disappearing, I would really have loved Hisao going to his colleague and saying: "yes, my girlfriend's a porn star, so what? Jealous?")
I think you've touched on a point that I'd forgotten about until just now: that secondary conflict was a late addition. Truthfully, I wish I'd taken the time to flesh out the 'porn' subplot, given it the consideration it probably deserves. Alas, I progressed slowly, and I was already afraid of breaking the forum with my 30,000 word story. So it stayed as it was. I think that is why it seems a bit tacked on, or out of place.

Ultimately, though, I don't necessarily agree with your position on this one. Again, it's a matter of choice and perspective, but I don't see Misha as that kind of person. The whole story really started with Shizune's death, at least chronologically. From there, Hisao and Misha were broken people, and made some choices that they ended up regretting. Time passed, and their growth took different paths: Misha stopped living in the past and tried to make herself the person she wanted to be, while Hisao lingered in his own memories and refused to give up the ghost of his wife. What drew Misha to Hisao was (aside from their shared past) that she saw a bit of herself in him. She recognized that he was making the same mistakes that she'd made, refusing to pay attention to the world around him and continuing to screw up his future, and felt drawn to help.

If Misha had truly owned her porn career, she would have become a different character than the person I wrote. Instead of being an ultimately fragile woman who'd made mistakes but was trying to move past them, she'd have been a strong, unrepentant woman with some unhappy memories but no regrets. Maybe that would have been better. But it was a conscious decision to write her that way.

ANYWAY.

Thanks again, gecko, for the kind words and the thought-provoking critique. I'll certainly take your thoughts to heart if I ever get of my lazy ass and write anything in the future. Bro-fist etc.

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txalolrn9
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Re: Closure

Post by txalolrn9 » Sat Feb 18, 2012 1:18 am

I'm going to be honest: shizune was my least favorite girl

I'm guessing you wrote this after the act 1 demo but before the final release (and Misha's lesbianism was establish) - sorry if that's already answered I read through your entire story and am now too tired to go through the pages of responses

all and all, this was a wonderful story and kudos

only complaint was how you strangely attributed spoken words to distant person when we know it's Hisao or Misha

the other times it gets confusing a bit on who says what because of it

but overall, wow that was a great story
It only hurts when I breathe

Guest

Re: Closure

Post by Guest » Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:24 pm

I should probably make an account but I'm lazy,

During the final scene of the ff where the narration switches from Hisao to Misha was a bit confusing because normally in 3rd person narration, especially limited, switching of narration would make most readers confused or take time to comprehend as there are no significant sings of the switch as when used in first person, you can tell from the I being Hisao to I of Misha. Either way, the switching was a neat trick to bring something new in and it made the ending better but rather confusing

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Elcor
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Re: Closure

Post by Elcor » Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:57 pm

The story, while hard to read in some spots (emotions and all), it was well written. It was interesting and I look forward to reading more of your work.
Fan Fiction writer's are drug dealers and they don't even know it.

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acewing905
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Re: Closure

Post by acewing905 » Fri May 04, 2012 1:08 pm

Woah... What a rollercoaster... If the bit about Shizune's father is taken out or changed to properly fit with Jigoro, this would even fit as a good ending follow up fic to Shizune. Misha can always be bisexual, I guess. Great writing!
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Helbereth
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Re: Closure

Post by Helbereth » Thu Jun 28, 2012 2:24 am

I really liked the Shizune story in the VN, even though it was probably the simplest to complete. The dynamic between the three characters was compelling.

I just stayed up about 3 hours past when I should have to read this.

If not for a few muddy references to story points from the VN, this would actually work as its own stand-alone short story assuming name changes and the like for key characters. The story you wove by placing one broken blood vessel in Shizune's head is artful, compelling and believable. Especially the private interactions revealed through the flashback sequences. I love how you ended it by going right back to the beginning to show a scene left out by the VN, with Shizune and Misha girlishly giggling about the new boy in class - it was oddly fitting.

This might be months late, but, what can I say? I joined the boards like a week ago. I have to catch up on stuff like this. That said, I should probably go to bed.

FlyingRiceBowl
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Re: Closure

Post by FlyingRiceBowl » Mon Dec 24, 2012 4:42 pm

That was...
That was interesting.

TheDepressedStranger
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Re: Closure

Post by TheDepressedStranger » Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:01 am

It took me literally a month to get over Katawa Shoujo. Came back and read this. Im depressed again. You touched my heart as much as the VN did. Well played sir, you have officially weakened my manliness. Again.

I can't find the comment to quote it but I agree, if this were to become a movie without anything edited in the plot it would be a hit. You would make people cry worldwide. Sorry if I can't think of anything else I am literally crying right now.
"Don't ever try to read fanfics made by writers in the KS forums. They add drugs in their stories to keep you hooked. And also cats. Never forget cats. Drug-dealing drugged cat drugging drugged readers."

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YutoTheOrc
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Re: Closure

Post by YutoTheOrc » Wed Aug 28, 2013 10:56 pm

Nice story, really found it well done. :D . I love the idea with Shizune, Definitely one of my favorite stories on the forums so far!

Hanako Scars
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Re: Closure

Post by Hanako Scars » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:11 am

txalolrn9 wrote:
I'm guessing you wrote this after the act 1 demo but before the final release (and Misha's lesbianism was establish) - sorry if that's already answered I read through your entire story and am now too tired to go through the pages of responses
To be fair, it isn't known if Misha is a lesbian. All we know is she is attracted to Shizune, but she could just as easily be bi.
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Carighan
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Re: Closure

Post by Carighan » Thu Aug 29, 2013 10:28 am

Yeah, that's something I never quite understood. I can understand her identifying as a lesbian at the beginning of the story, but at that age especially, it's questionable whether she's 100% rock solid on her own sexual preferences.
The strength of heart to face oneself has been made manifest. The persona Carighan has appeared.

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Peorth
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Re: Closure

Post by Peorth » Tue Sep 24, 2013 7:21 am

Well.



Wow.

Yeah...I started reading this randomly, kinda skimming it because of the late hour (5am!). Kinda regret doing so because I got really stuck into it.


Great work.


Also, the PDF link is broken
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Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
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WetCrate
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Re: Closure

Post by WetCrate » Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:16 am

Got a request for re-upload of the PDF, and I am nothing if not lazy and easily distracted so it's taken a few weeks. Anyway, here.
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