The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

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Total Destruction
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Total Destruction » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:23 pm

Hoitash wrote:I hope you enjoyed reading this. Personally, I found it fun to write, hard to write, and even harder to write well. The feedback was far more positive then I expected- though it is what I hoped for. It’s good to write for an audience and receive feedback, so thank you for that. Also, thanks to everyone who has read and commented- griffon8, bradpara, new guy Helbereth, and everyone else- your feedback and readership is greatly appreciated. If this is what success feels like, I understand the appeal
Somehow I missed like five chapters of this and I feel awful, because it's a really good story.

Pre-emptive I LOVE THE WHOLE THING.

:twisted:

Catch-up commencing. Got some work to do now.

'Grats!

EDIT: I just killed like half the story right now, and everyone's comments/criticisms prolly do anything I've gotta say WAY better. This has been a great success! Ow, my BRAIN.
Last edited by Total Destruction on Tue Jul 10, 2012 8:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Hoitash » Tue Jul 10, 2012 5:35 pm

Total Destruction wrote:
'Grats!
Thanks, /bows.

Hope you feel that way in five chapters :).
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by ProfAllister » Tue Jul 10, 2012 6:48 pm

Congratulations on a finished story. That alone is worth praise.

The prose is nice. I have some quibbles with the story and pacing, but I think the entire sequence as a whole deserves a second time over before I commit to any such critique.

Of course, we then get into the subjective element. This isn't the Misha I know. I can point out tangible details, as Misha is one of the biggest victims of Flanderization(Warning: TV Tropes link), but it's bigger than that. I'm becoming more convinced that the only way people can see the Misha I know is if I make my own story with her. I'm such a Rin...

Good job. You completed a work, and it's a pretty good job at that. Hopefully, I'll have the presence of mind to remember my review and critique...
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Hoitash » Tue Jul 10, 2012 7:03 pm

ProfAllister wrote: Hopefully, I'll have the presence of mind to remember my review and critique...
I look forward to it. I knew my pacing was lackluster, but I'm glad it didn't detract too much from the overall story.

I feel the need to point out that the Flanderization is in part intentional, but you probably knew that :). There's a fine line between that and Character Development, after all, and I was worried on more then one occaison which side I was on. Again, though, I'm glad you liked it overall. "Good, not great" is sort of my work mantra now, and... well, I guess I'm fine with that :)
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by VenomSymbiote » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:42 pm

I liked the story a lot. I felt the epilouge was slightly anti-climatic, almost cliche (after all, doesn't everyone propose at the end?), but just the same, I liked the story a lot, and the fact that you finished it earns you a big round of applause. CONGRATS!

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Hoitash » Wed Jul 11, 2012 6:55 pm

VenomSymbiote wrote:I liked the story a lot. I felt the epilouge was slightly anti-climatic, almost cliche (after all, doesn't everyone propose at the end?), but just the same, I liked the story a lot, and the fact that you finished it earns you a big round of applause. CONGRATS!
/bows graciously to applause.

As I said, I wanted sappy closure :)

Although I think the fact that Misha is the one that proposes is significant from a character standpoint.

Thanks for reading, glad you liked it :)
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by ProfAllister » Sun Jul 15, 2012 10:47 pm

Okay, finished my reread, and, unfortunately, it's probably harsher than I wanted it to be...

On spelling and grammar, you often use then when than is proper, use apostrophes/contractions at the wrong times. Also, may want to reference http://grammar.quickanddirtytips.com/th ... an-me.aspx and http://www.dailywritingtips.com/inquire-vs-enquire/

First, the OCs:

Henry seems to be pretty interesting. Unfortunately, he has about four scenes, and is then loses pretty much all relevance.

Lorraine is introduced as if she would be important, but becomes more irrelevant than Henry.

Will is... actually quite good. He only has a little more relevance than Henry, but his placement in the story makes his scenes shine a bit more. He's probably one of the few OC B characters that manages to remain a character rather than being reduced to a wall decoration.

Carla is fun, but she kinda degenerates into a source for snarky comments and a (very) few heartwarming scenes.

Kelly is interesting. She appears early, and just kind of floats around, never forgotten, but playing very little role. Then, right before the end, she starts opening up to Misha, and it looks like it will be a big dramatic buildup. Then it fizzles into much ado about nothing. I'm left to wonder if that final scene, and, by extension, the whole of her character, was really necessary.

Finally, we have Lynda. I'll be honest, I don't like her. In her introduction, I get less a sense of "charming and quirky" and more "predator." The entire first half with her really skeeves me out. I see her slipping back and forth between unnaturally scripted and passive-aggressive controlling. I see what you're going for. By my reading, you were trying for sweet, quirky, and mutually dependent without being codependent. What I saw was an ingenue being manipulated into thinking she's in love with a controlling predatory individual. She's perhaps confused and not trying to be controlling and predatory, but that doesn't make it a healthy relationship.
And then there's her personality and who she is. Unfortunately, much of it is informed for us. It feels like Lynda uses “I'm bipolar” and “I don't like my meds, but I take them for her sake” as a substitute for letting people get to know her (Misha included). The audience gets very little sense of who Lynda actually is. That, along with the frequency of sex, makes it feel like Misha's ended up in a "sex without connection" relationship. The only sense I get that the girls care for each other as people is because you tell us the girls care for each other.

On to the imports:

Shizune was reasonably believable in comparison tot eh actual character, but it doesn't feel like she has much of a real role. She plays her part well, but she doesn't have much of a part.
Hisao seems to have become the ever-popular Philosopher-Hisao. Nothing wrong with that, and he actually serves as a decent confidant and guidepost for Misha. Unlike Shizune, his role felt a bit more relevant.

And we have Misha. I want to disagree on various matters of interpretation, but I'll try to hold my tongue. I am kinda wondering why your Misha uses diminutives for everyone but has dropped or toned down most of her other quirks. Also, was there a particular logic you used in tilde placement? It's a hard thing to judge, but your tilde's seem... off. Also, for what it's worth, having Misha turning 19 would mean she was 17 during the events of KS which means "ZOMG statutory rape and underage models! O.o"

Then some random notes:

- I'm assuming the meticulous penmanship (for the schedules) was Shizune's. That being said, I'd have assumed she'd write “Shizune” and “Hisao” (or possibly their full names).
- You have lots of people wearing lots of pink. You also tend to use the exact same adjectives and phrases to describe casual wear.
- Not sure if you're trying to have Misha use too-proper English early on (a common habit for foreigners), but it's inconsistent. Especially when it comes to use of contractions (or lack thereof).
- Do people actually DO Cosplay/LARP Warhammer 40K games? And if so, why didn't anyone ever tell me? :p
- From my personal experience, it sounds like you illustrated the difficulties of a long-distance relationship well.

In the end, my notes probably come off as a bit too harsh. You did do a very good job, and, as I said, simply finishing is an accomplishment. The general arc and story beats fit well, and you're good at expressing emotions being felt. But... well, you can see my complaints up there.

You did a good job. Hope to see more, especially using what you've learned from this experience.
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jul 16, 2012 1:41 am

Is there any LARP W40K in the story? I was under the impression they were playing with the miniatures.
Regarding Lynda - I wouldn't go quite as far in my critique, but I sometimes wondered if she was really bipolar. If she hadn't told us, I wouldn't have guessed.
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Hoitash » Mon Jul 16, 2012 9:17 am

You call that harsh? HA! You, sir, are clearly a psychic spy- pretty much everything you said I thought while writing the story. So, while accepting your critiscism, I would not be a good acadmeic if I didn't try and defend myself at least partialy (I don't mean to diminish your criticism, because its all perfectly valid and correct):

Grammar- I fail at my native tongue. I'm an American, and I apoligize :)

Henry- I was afriad of that. I kind of meant for him to be an Obi-Wan figure, except instead of dying he just faded into the background. You're right though, he's a bit of a ghost in the machine, so to speak.

Lorraine- I think I had more planned for her that never got written. Really, though, I just like making quarky characters that only have a few scenes. Makes the read more fun, I think. I'll work on that.

Will- Ah, my Author Avatar. I'm glad my use of him was precise and well timed, thank you. Probably because if I used him too often the audience would hate him.

Carla- Yeah, again, I think I had more planned for her, but I also wanted her in the background so she wouldn't detract from the main relationship. Also again, I like my quarky characters with few scenes. She needed to be fleshed out a bit, I agree.

Kelly- okay, here's the thing. Originally, I planned for Lynda to not come back, and Misha and Kelly to end up together. I didn't do it because- ironically- I came to like Lynda too much to do that to her. Hence the fizzling out, which I knew no matter how I handled would come off as odd in the end. I'm not sure what I could have done better there, but thanks for pointng that out- it shows what happens when you change a plot point halfway through writing something :)

Lynda- This is why I don't write in omnicient viewpoint. The entire fic I was thnking "show, don't tell," and I failed at that with Lynda. I needed to show off her compassionate side- maybe had her help with the LGBT at NYU- and make the bipolar disorder more of a background issue. My intent for their relationship is as you described, and I'm sorry I couldn't pull it off. Omnicient, never again. Though I'd like to think I get bonus points for not having Lynda say "eh" at any point :wink:

Shizune- I wanted her and Hisao in the background, because this fic was about Misha moving on from her past pains. She was a big part of Misha's life though, and maybe should've had her around more and be more helpful.

Hisao- thanks, glad I got one of 'em half decent :)

Misha- ...Yeah... Okay, the tilda thing was random, but here's my reasoning for it and her quirks. I decided early on that the Misha you meet in Shizune's route with the short hair and the near teary eyed red eyes and despondant nature was the real Misha. so, I needed to get her between that and the "fake" Misha, some of which I had her do before she arrived on US soil- that was a mistake. The tilda thing was my figuring she was working on volume control and tone as a part of an effort to be more socially aware- again, sorry for not making that clear. Over the course of the fic, as her skills in English grew, I figured her verbal tics might fade away as the new Misha was born. Her other character tics, well frankly I tended to forget them, so I lumped them in with the "old Misha" as an excuse. Sorry about that. What is the age of consent in Japan, cuz here in Michigan it's 16.

Random note stuff-

the penmanship- I figured Shizune was being a bit playful for Misha's sake. Shoulda made that clearer.

Clothing is an issue with me, cuz I don't really pay attention to it. Pink is Misha's color, and I ended up using it as a "crap need a color- PINK!" sorry about that, too.

Misha's grammar- Yeah, it was too random. I was trying to show Liily's influence on her tutoring, but the randomness...sorry.

Warhammer 40k- I'd call that roleplaying, and Mirage, it occurs in Chapter Five- For the Emperor! But yes, they were playing with the minitaures. They just really get into it- although Lynda's just in it for the cape. See, that's the kind of stuff, had I made clearer, woulda made her character less creepy, I bet.

Long distance relationship- thanks, glad I got something right :)

Again, thank you very much for this critisicm, it is very much appreciated, and I apoligize profusely for my reply. Think of this post as strengthening your criticism by showing where my flaws came from- a Director's Commentary of where I went wrong :)
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Jul 16, 2012 4:55 pm

Hoitash wrote:Warhammer 40k- I'd call that roleplaying, and Mirage, it occurs in Chapter Five- For the Emperor! But yes, they were playing with the minitaures. They just really get into it- although Lynda's just in it for the cape. See, that's the kind of stuff, had I made clearer, woulda made her character less creepy, I bet.
Yeah, I remember the scene, though I didn't remember that they were a bit dressed up.
Still, what I'd call LARP is quite different. I know a few people who actually do LARPs, camping out for a week in some out of the way place dressed up as fantasy figures.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by ProfAllister » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:13 pm

Regarding the age thing, it's more of a perception thing. In part, there are many places where the age of consent is under 18, but an under 18 and an over 18 is statutory rape. Also, we live in a crazy world where people freak out if there's an implication of sexual depictions of underage girls. Yes, even drawings of fictional characters.

As for the WH40K thing, I could tell they were actually playing the game, I was more reacting to the fact that they were all in costume and acting. And, as Mirage_GSM notes, LARPing is usually much more intense and in-depth. IT just came off as a bit beyond playing the game, cosplay, or both of them combined. Hence calling it cosplay/LARP.

Another note: You mention Catholicism several times. Specifically, that Lynda has enough background to know that explaining Purgatory is a headache, and the heavy (but not explicit?) implications that Kelly was Catholic. Any reason for that? Also, (for likely obvious reasons), Kelly seemed to have a mixed relationship with her religion. Was the abandoned arc planning on addressing that further?

(Come on, you didn't expect to avoid ALL the landmines, did you? :p)
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Hoitash » Mon Jul 16, 2012 5:24 pm

ProfAllister wrote: Another note: You mention Catholicism several times. Specifically, that Lynda has enough background to know that explaining Purgatory is a headache, and the heavy (but not explicit?) implications that Kelly was Catholic. Any reason for that? Also, (for likely obvious reasons), Kelly seemed to have a mixed relationship with her religion. Was the abandoned arc planning on addressing that further?
Nothing really with Lynda, she just dated a Catholic guy once. Knowing Purgatory is a tricky subject really just requires a course on Medieval Europe- it's not something that needs heavy anyllization :)

Kelly is Irish Catholic, but you're right, I never said as such in the fic. Her parents disowned her when she came out of the closet, so she has become a bit bitter towards her faith- the obvious notwhithstanding. Sorta like Mal Reynolds, but not as bad. I avoided mentioning it since I never went very far with Kelly as a character, however I kept it in mind when writing her, cuz I love worldbuilding. Extra details like that make for better characters, in my opinion.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by Helbereth » Mon Jul 16, 2012 6:07 pm

Hoitash wrote:Extra details like that make for better characters, in my opinion.
They make you write the character better, at least. When there's depth to look back into, it forces your hand to make them act a certain way. At least that's the idea.

World-building is fun... though tiring. Making sure you stick to how you made that world work can be tedious, but the story comes out better as a reward.

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Re: The United States of Misha Updated 7/10

Post by bradpara » Sat Jul 21, 2012 1:48 pm

Hoitash wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote: But flying to Japan three times a year has to cost a pretty penny :-)

I'm imagining parental and Shizune aid in that regard.

I could see them moving to Japan and Shizune has a bill for babysiitng for the next decade.
Ah yes, the perks of having rich friends.
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Re: The United States of Misha (Misha Post Shizune Good End)

Post by JTemby » Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:33 pm

Once again, I have stumbled upon a fanfic I had yet to read and once again I found myself reading it in one sitting then realising its currently 3am, yet still spending an extra 15-20 minutes to come up with a comment...

It's a good story, especially your characterisation of Misha, which was both clever and intriguing (Extra credit for the "Inner ear" thing) although, forgetting how many chapter there were, by chapter 18 I was kinda hoping you'd bring Kelly into the limelight a fair amount more considering I had trouble trying to give a single fuck about Lynda.
In fact, early on I was hoping Lynda, as a character, would be more of the overly seductive guiding figure rather than the love interest.

Oh yeah, I also loved Henry and wished I saw more from him.
Last point to make, before I started reading I took note that you decided to work with Themocaw's Shizune epilogue canon and was REALLY hoping you'd take more effort to work that into the story.

Despite my criticisms, thank you for the delightful read.

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