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
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