Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

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Mirage_GSM
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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:41 am

Bagheera wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:Sorry, can't read it as it is. Please fix tenses, and I might try again.
It's present tense, it's always been like that.
I gave it another try, and it turns out it was just the first few paragraphs where past tense slipped in and present perfect was used oddly a few times. The rest of the chapter is fine regarding tenses...
Definitely not fun to read, though - too gloomy ^^°
What is she getting at?
Here you're suddenly in Hisao's head. The rest of the story isn't.
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: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Mahorfeus » Tue Sep 10, 2013 4:19 pm

I know I mentioned before that Miya and Rin's relationship seemed to be something short of friendship in spite of their seeming compatibility. Only now's it's kind of hitting me that it's more or less the same with Hisao as well.

I agree that this chapter was depressing, but it was nice to see Hisao continue to wise up a little. It's odd how someone like Miya could possibly be a positive influence.
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." -Stendhal
The verdict is (finally) in:
Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Dawnstorm » Tue Sep 10, 2013 5:58 pm

Joonwoo wrote:Oh god yes an update. Will post a more detailed review later but for now, YES.
Thanks. Looking forward to your ideas about my writing. It's always interesting to see how people react.
nemz wrote:I'm happy to see an update, though this update doesn't make me at all happy.
I tend to reflect the mood of the scene I'm writing in real life whenever I think about a scene, and I often do that when I have spare time (waiting for a train, etc.). I don't want to imagine what I may have looked like puzzling out this scene...
Mirage_GSM wrote:Sorry, can't read it as it is. Please fix tenses, and I might try again.
Mirage_GSM wrote:
What is she getting at?
Here you're suddenly in Hisao's head. The rest of the story isn't.
This scene was tough to write. On the one hand, I posted the scene too early (in terms of polish), but on the other hand I may have posted it too late (in terms of re-writes and re-organisation). The intro was giving me a lot of trouble in particular.

As for point of view: from various comments I read from you (also to other thread) I think that we're parsing point of view differently. But that said, I do think I don't have much control in this scene. I find writing Hisao hard; habit covers up the feeling a bit, but I still don't really connect to him. An example: it's been pointed out to me that bodies don't explode like Miya imagines. I'm aware of this, and I think Miya is, too, at least on some level. However, once this was pointed out to me, I realised that this is exactly the sort of thing Hisao would notice. Granted, he mightn't in this situation; but that was an oversight, not a deliberate decision. This sort of thing happens with all characters once in a while, but with Hisao it happens regularly. So, what I'm getting at is that I'm probably always farther away from his point of view than I notice.

It's about time for Hanako to return. She's fiendishly difficult to write as well, but for different reasons: it's voice. Whenever I try to get into her perspective I get a jumble of feelings and the desire to shut up and tell the readers that it's none of their business. First person might be easier, as this would constitute a deliberate attempt at communication. But filtered through a third person narrator? I never feel like I get it right. All my attempts so far have been off, in one way or another.

I'm bad at dealing with fan-fiction anxiety. Writing other people's characters clouds my judgement in a way that writing my own doesn't. It's a very interesting experience.
Mahorfeus wrote:I know I mentioned before that Miya and Rin's relationship seemed to be something short of friendship in spite of their seeming compatibility. Only now's it's kind of hitting me that it's more or less the same with Hisao as well.
It's a pattern, isn't it?
I agree that this chapter was depressing, but it was nice to see Hisao continue to wise up a little. It's odd how someone like Miya could possibly be a positive influence.
Such things can come as a surprise for me, too. When writing people, I think of it like this:

- You either make an effort or you don't.
- If you make an effort you succeed or you don't.
- No matter what you do or don't do, or whether you reach your goal or not, actions will have unintended consequences.
- Unintended consequences can be pleasant, unpleasant, or hidden.
- Hidden consequence can, but don't have to, become visible later.
- Life doesn't always offer closure. You'll have to work for that, too.

When writing, situations almost always turn out more complex than I planned. If they don't, there's a good chance the writing's flat.
Bagheera wrote:Glad to see an update, but I'm waiting for them to sit down and have an actual conversation.
It'll definitely be interesting to see how you react to what is to come.

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by nemz » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:34 pm

Dawnstorm wrote:It's about time for Hanako to return. She's fiendishly difficult to write as well, but for different reasons: it's voice.
Actually this update seems like a really close example to how I picture Hanako in my mind's eye in terms of her brooding loneliness and perhaps a bit of a morbid imagination, but she'd always be more angry then depressed. Such a fantasy would for her be more likely to involve tossing someone else (Miya does seem like a likely candidate) out that window rather than jumping herself. She's definately not a quitter. If she were to hurt herself it would be in some more prolonged form like cutting, and it would be specifically a punishment for how ~unworthy~ she is rather than seeking an endorphin high.
Such things can come as a surprise for me, too. When writing people, I think of it like this:

- You either make an effort or you don't.
- If you make an effort you succeed or you don't.
- No matter what you do or don't do, or whether you reach your goal or not, actions will have unintended consequences.
- Unintended consequences can be pleasant, unpleasant, or hidden.
- Hidden consequence can, but don't have to, become visible later.
- Life doesn't always offer closure. You'll have to work for that, too.

When writing, situations almost always turn out more complex than I planned. If they don't, there's a good chance the writing's flat.
Seems like really good advice!
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:19 pm

As for point of view: from various comments I read from you (also to other thread) I think that we're parsing point of view differently. But that said, I do think I don't have much control in this scene. ... I'm aware of this, and I think Miya is, too, at least on some level. However, once this was pointed out to me, I realised that this is exactly the sort of thing Hisao would notice.
I don't object to your choice of point of view or narrative mode as it is more correctly called. It is certainly unusual (not really the narrative mode itself but the fact that you're using it with present tense, when that mode is most often used with past tense), and I personally think it's more difficult to write, but it's your choice.
As for what I meant with my comment:
The narrative mode you chose for your story is Third Person, Limited (or Third Person, Subjective), meaning that you have a narrator who tells a story while conveying the thoughts and feelings of (usually) the main character.
Anyway, what Third Person Limited does not have is Stream of Consciousness narration, and that's what the "What is she getting at?" is. You are leaving the narrator behind to jump into Hisao's head for a single sentence, that's why that part clashes with the rest of the story.
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: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Bagheera » Tue Sep 10, 2013 7:45 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Anyway, what Third Person Limited does not have is Stream of Consciousness narration, and that's what the "What is she getting at?" is. You are leaving the narrator behind to jump into Hisao's head for a single sentence, that's why that part clashes with the rest of the story.
I think it's a mistake to focus on that single phrase, since other examples of that sort of question are peppered throughout the work. "What does she see?", "Hisao considers he might have misheard", the bit about the pavement, etc. As you note this is Third Person Subjective mode, but such a mode needn't be limited to a single viewpoint character; Dawnstorm's in the clear here. If she were doing Third Person Objective this would be an issue, but since it isn't she can get into any character's head she likes. Stream of consciousness is totally legit here.
Girls: Emi = Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune = Rin
Routes: Rin = Shizune > Emi > Lilly = Hanako


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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Dawnstorm » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:17 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Anyway, what Third Person Limited does not have is Stream of Consciousness narration
Like Bagheera, I disagree with this statement. But:
You are leaving the narrator behind to jump into Hisao's head for a single sentence, that's why that part clashes with the rest of the story.
I think I do see some sort of problem here, or at least something worth thinking about more in depth. That takes time, but re-reading the first few paragraphs, I'm beginning to see a problem. However, it's the other way round: too much narrative distance in the beginning.

Here's the first paragraph (took out some commas, fixed some strange tensing):
On his way to the rooftop Hisao finds an open door. Only one more flight of stairs, and he would have reached the rooftop, the weekly lunch with Emi and Rin. The door isn't really open, not in the sense that you can see what's inside, but it hasn't quite clicked shut. No key sticks in the lock. There is no sign on the door to tell Hisao what sort of room it is. Hisao moves towards the door, intending to push it shut, but pauses. What if he trapped someone inside? He opens the door and blinks. The window is open, and for a moment the sunlight blinds him. He looks away from the window banishing a flurry of purple spots. What he sees surprises him.
Okay. First sentence:
On his way to the rooftop Hisao finds an open door.
This is quite external, already. I provide context: "On his way to the roof". I straight-out summarise the contents of the paragraph.
Only one more flight of stairs, and he would have reached the rooftop, the weekly lunch with Emi and Rin.
Here I'm actually increasing the narrative distance. Normally, a word like "only" should belong to the pov-character - Hisao in this case. But that makes little sense: This sentence has two different meanings, depending on who you assign the "only" (and in consequence "would have reached the rooftop") to:

1. Narratorial foreshadowing

2. A character distraction.

Now my intention rules out (1), but (2) makes no sense: there is nothing about an open door that should make Hisao think he won't reach the roof-top. The open door sounds ominous: like an obstacle. It's as if he expects to be dragged in by Miya... :oops:

More of the same sloppiness with "the door isn't really open..." - all things that don't quite work out the way they should. Then:
Hisao moves towards the door, intending to push it shut, but pauses. What if he trapped someone inside?
Straightforward narration, but the sentence "what if he trapped someone inside?" is quite clearly an explanation of Hisao's intentions, phrased as a question. Basically, the question (whether actually formulated in his mind or not) is what causes the pause.

(And it should be "traps", anyway. Conditional 1. It's a very real possibility, not a hypothetical one. I'll edit that one as well...)

This works in context, I think, as a narratorial explanation of the pause.

Some subtle misses follow (for example "the sunlight" shouldn't have a definite article, if it's Hisao's perspective, because he's been inside, and while he presumably knows it's sunny, it wouldn't have been on his mind), and then I close the paragraph with:
What he sees surprises him.
This is quite clearly the narrator arranging things for suspense. This should not be the organising principle of the scene, considering how I usually write this.

A quick improvisation more in line with my usual openings:
A door is slightly open. Hisao moves towards it, almost closes it, but then pauses. What if he traps someone inside. He wants to move on. Emi is waiting with her lunch. Only one more flight of stairs, and he'd reach the rooftop. But something is holding him back. There is no sign to tell him what's inside the room....
And so on. This won't win any prizes, but it's more in tune with the rest of what I wrote (or intended to write, I might have slipped more often than just this once).

With all the tense problems, punctuation problems, and now possible pov-problems, this scene wasn't ready to post. I think I'm getting too impatient with myself. Will try to do better next time, though I can't really promise. It's not like I posted prematurely on purpose this time round.

***

ETA:

Not that it matters much, but:
Bagheera wrote: If she were doing Third Person Objective...
he

Mostly, it makes no difference, but if I were to talk about how I hate shaving, for example...

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Bagheera » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:33 pm

Dawnstorm wrote:Mostly, it makes no difference, but if I were to talk about how I hate shaving, for example...
Ah, sorry, sorry. It was a guess, I suppose, and obviously an incorrect one. I'll remember for the future.

Past that, I think you're being awfully harsh here. It's always good to strive for self-improvement, and I understand well the state of being one's own worst critic, but even so I think you're going too far here. You communicate your intent readily enough, and that's sufficient. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
Girls: Emi = Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Shizune = Rin
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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Dawnstorm » Wed Sep 11, 2013 1:50 am

nemz wrote:
Dawnstorm wrote:It's about time for Hanako to return. She's fiendishly difficult to write as well, but for different reasons: it's voice.
Actually this update seems like a really close example to how I picture Hanako in my mind's eye in terms of her brooding loneliness and perhaps a bit of a morbid imagination, but she'd always be more angry then depressed. Such a fantasy would for her be more likely to involve tossing someone else (Miya does seem like a likely candidate) out that window rather than jumping herself. She's definately not a quitter. If she were to hurt herself it would be in some more prolonged form like cutting, and it would be specifically a punishment for how ~unworthy~ she is rather than seeking an endorphin high.
I do have a pretty good instinctive handle on Hanako's motivation (in the sense, that it should be easy to write about her; easier than Hisao, any way); it's just that it's primarily non-verbal, or pre-verbal. Hanako has the habit to put very complex thoughts into very simple words, and more often than not they hit home. That's hard enough to get right in conversation, but it's a nightmare for an extended point of view. How do you do that? She's probably the KS character with the largest gap in exterior and interior voice (unless you count Shizune); other people hold back content (Emi comes to mind), she economizes herself because speaking is hard. We get a teaser of what she might sound like near the end of her route, but that's not enough for me to get a feel and adapt for thought.

Also, while I do agree with your post, for some reason I now hear Hanako with Izumi Kitta's Kuroki Tomoko voice, which is... not what I ever imagined before. :lol:

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Sep 11, 2013 2:56 am

Bagheera wrote:I think it's a mistake to focus on that single phrase, since other examples of that sort of question are peppered throughout the work. "What does she see?", "Hisao considers he might have misheard",...
Yes, the "What does she see?" is another example.
"Hisao considers he might have misheard", is okay, though. It's not Stream of Consciousness.
@Dawnstorm:
Most of the lines you mentioned are okay after you fixed the tenses.
A limited narrator is allowed to make qualifying, subjective statements. In fact limited objective narration is mostly used for news - or should be ideally...
It's also okay to have the narrator know about the feelings of several different people - though you should be consistent about which people's feelings he knows about at least during a single chapter. If there was a problem regarding that, I didn't notice it.
If you want to continue using SoC in your story, feel free to do so.
I just wanted to make you aware that this is considered bad form, but writing is art, and in art you can always break the rules if you want to, but you should know that - and why - you do it.
For me, reading something like this is really jarring, though, and I believe there are others who feel the same.
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: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Dawnstorm » Thu Sep 12, 2013 3:03 am

Well, since I've written pretty much the entire story like that, I won't change the basic approach now. There's gotta be a reason why you brought it up with this scene, though (even if it's just cumulative frustration). I do remember a similar criticism from you back in - I think - part one.

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Mirage_GSM » Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:22 am

Well, the first few chapters happened a while back, but if I didn't comment on it before (I know I commented on inconsistent narrative mode in other stories - not sure about this one) it can't have happened very often.
Even in this chapter it was only two sentences.
As I said: I don't object to your choice of narrative mode in general. It's just unusual.
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: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Dawnstorm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 8:47 am

For story-post navigation please refer to the index post.


Soul Dissipation (#2): Childhood Friend

The banded mongooses at the Small Mammal House of Ueno Zoo have had children. Little mongooses, Kotori counts four, are bouncing this way and that, energetic, curious, careless. Baby mongooses are so cute they even effect Miya.

“Aww, look at the little one,” Miya says, pointing. One is separating itself from the group, coming closer to the fawning visitors. An adult comes running in a circle, gently herding it back towards the group. But the little one is quite the handful, darting off in the wrong direction three more times.

Kotori looks at the little one, but only briefly. She doesn't turn her head, but in the corner of her eye she watches Miya smile. It's a rare view these days. Praise the gods for small furry cuteness!

Earlier today, Kotori found Miya in the back room of her parents' shop, putting the used records Kotori's parents had already priced into protective plastic casings. That is never a good sign. Miya only ever does this to distract herself from something unpleasant. And so it was today. This is how Kotori remembers it.

It is after school. As usual, Kotori enters her house throug the shop. A short greeting to Mum, who's behind the counter. She intends to pass through the back room where the stairs to the living area are located, opens the door and immediately spots Miya busying herself with the records. Miya must have heard her, but she doesn't visibly react. Kotori closes the door, and for a while just stands there. Then she sighs and turns to her mother . “Did you ask Miya to help out?”

“Miya is wrapping up the records again?”

“She's wrapping up the records again.”

Kotori's mum nods and gives her that resigned smile. “Cheer her up, honey, okay?”

“If I can. Where's aunt Hotaru?”

“I sent her on a delivery. On her way back she'll be buying stationary.”

“We're doing deliveries now?”

“We don't. It's an order from one of our regulars.”

“I see. How long do I have before aunt Hotaru returns?”

“Half an hour at minimum.”

“Understood. No promises, though.”

“I appreciate it, honey. You know how mopy Hotaru gets when she sees Miya like this.”

“That's mean, mum.”

“Why? It's true.”

It is true, but too much honesty doesn't do any good. The funny thing is aunt Hotaru, had she heard that, wouldn't have minded. Kotori is the only one to react like that. How that has happened she doesn't know. Miya certainly got her dose of surplus honesty, and see how that served here. Kotori shrugs, then returns to the back room. Miya is looking at the cover of some record Kotori doesn't know. “Yo,” says Kotori.

Miya doesn't react immediately. She tilts the record until it rests in one hand, then takes a plastic case and gently jiggles it in. She's extremely careful. And extremely slow. Eventually she speaks: “I'll be gone before mum gets back.” It's all she has to say, and she says it in her I-don't-want-to-be-a-bother-but-I-know-I-am voice.

“You're fired,” Kotori says. “You're such an inefficient worker. Too slow.”

“You get what you pay for,” Miya says.

Kotori can't tell from Miya's voice if Miya thinks Kotori is a bother, or if she's glad she's here. Both has happened often enough. Kotori abandons the joke and points at the boxes full of records. “Is it working?”

Miya puts the record away, looks up. She gives Kotori a sad smile, then shakes her head. “I'm brooding.”

At least she wants to talk. Good. “What happened?”

“Someone at school said that if your parents don't love each other when they make you, you won't be able to love anyone either.”

“That's... silly. And harmless, considering.” Kotori pauses. “You are smart enough not to believe such nonsense, aren't you?”

“Am I?”

“You are.”

“I suppose.” The pause that follows feels awkward, but it's better not to interrupt Miya's silences. Eventually, she continues. “There's... something about this, though. In a very roundabout way. I don't know if I can explain. You see, it's about... boys. Everyone in class is fawning about boys. Who likes whom and stuff like that. Love love. I always thought it was silly. I get the hormones, too, but that's not love. Right?”

“Right.” It's not a completely honest “right”. It's not that Kotori disagrees completely, but the impulse to argue is there.

“However, what if... if I'm missing something? What if I really can't love anyone in... in that way. See? Maybe there's something past the hormones, and I'm not feeling it, and that's why it all sounds so... so silly. Maybe that's... a part of me that didn't develop, because... because I've always had to be different to defend Mum. Maybe if I allowed myself to... to feel that, I'd be too confused to... to do... anything... really... I'm not making sense, am I?”

Kotori sighs. “You're making plenty of sense. But... all that fawning over boys looks silly to me, too. Even though I do get what's behind this. But all those designer bento and shoe locker letters? Silly, silly, silly.”

“So there is something I'm missing?”

Oh, Miya. Always picking out the negatives. “How can I know that? I think what everyone feels is... different. There may not even be one single thing to get. You may not be missing anything, and that's maybe what you're missing.” She stops short. “Wait. Who doesn't make any sense now?”

Miya looks down. “I... I didn't think in... in that direction.” She stares at the table for some time, and then: “I... don't ever want to have children.”

Where did that come from? Sometimes Miya is hard to understand. “You know who does want children?” she improvises.

Miya looks up. Good, she's been caught off guard. “You?” she guesses.

“Huh?” A reversal, but Kotori regains her grounding. “Maybe. But certainly not now. No the answer is...” A dramatic pause. “...banded mongooses.”

“Ah.”

“See, they're social animals, and there's... a bit of a hierarchy. Not as strict as, say, wolves, but it's there. So there's usually a lead breeding pair, but the group's full of rascals and they sneak off to make babies anyway. See? And then, when the kids arrive, the entire group takes care of them anyway, so it doesn't really matter. It's so confusing that different researchers see things a bit differently, and I'm not sure I got it right in the first place. But they're going to some sort of trouble to have children anyway, and then they take care of them, all together.”

“You really like animals, do you?” says Miya. Good. She's pulling herself together. Now Kotori can't allow her the time to think things through:

“We're a bit like banded mongooses, aren't we?” Kotori says. “Who cares who made who? Who cares who's the lead breeding pair. Everyone takes care of everyone, right?”

“Kotori...”

No pausing. Go all out. Overwhelm her. “Anyway, the real reason I'm talking about baby banded mongooses is because there are some at Ueno right now, and they're lively and cute and imprisoned, but they don't care because there's always food and everything's interesting. Let's go see the baby mongooses. They can be our utopia.”

“Uh...”

“Baby Mongooses!” says Kotori. She jumps up, grabs Miya's hand, pulls. “Baby Mongooses, Miya.”

And Miya relents. “Ueno, right?”

“Right. And now hurry. They won't let us in after four.”

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by nemz » Sun Jan 12, 2014 9:22 am

Well, that was interesting. Makes me wonder if maybe Miya is asexual.

Kotori needs to grow up, come out, and raise mongooses (mongoosi?) with Misha.
Rin > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Lilly

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Re: Meanwhile I wait [Hisao x original character]

Post by Dawnstorm » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:17 pm

nemz wrote:Well, that was interesting. Makes me wonder if maybe Miya is asexual.
Never thought of her that way, but it's entirely possible.
Kotori needs to grow up, come out, and raise mongooses (mongoosi?) with Misha.
I'm pretty sure "mongooses" is correct, though I'm quite fond of "mongeese" myself. I wonder how popular a mongoose farm would be in Japan?

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