Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 2015-4-1}

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Leaty
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Leaty » Sat Nov 23, 2013 6:35 am

AntonSlavik020 wrote:I figure it has something to do with the fact that Hisao, being a guy who she may or may not like at that point, would make her more nervous than a girl who might be shorter than her and is about as un-intimidating as possible.
Might nothing. Iwanako is only two centimeters taller than Emi and borderline dangerously underweight.

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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Reese8 » Sat Nov 23, 2013 7:39 pm

Leaty wrote:
AntonSlavik020 wrote:I figure it has something to do with the fact that Hisao, being a guy who she may or may not like at that point, would make her more nervous than a girl who might be shorter than her and is about as un-intimidating as possible.
Might nothing. Iwanako is only two centimeters taller than Emi and borderline dangerously underweight.
Hm, I wasn't thinking of that at all. Thanks.

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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by cptngarlock » Sat Nov 23, 2013 11:49 pm

Leaty wrote:I don't know if I flinched, but I replayed Emi's route to write this chapter, and, yeah, I definitely thought "this. This is the moment where my readership turns on Iwanako." Obviously Iwanako has little idea of the gravity of what she said (she didn't even notice Emi's prosthetics,) but I thought for sure that people were going to think Iwanako was a psycho bitch anyway. I'm more than a little surprised that most people think Emi had it coming, especially since she's so well-liked.
I think part of the reason why a lot of people didn't seem to react so negatively to Iwanako's anger was because of how much lead-up there was to her flipping out, and because we saw all the rationalization before she actually spoke up and went into a tirade. I'm having a hard time articulating it, but basically you led us through all the arguments for why she was angry and why she had had enough and didn't appreciate Emi's presence. I think if you really did want Iwanako to seem more like a "psycho-bitch," the best thing would have been to move several of the paragraphs between when Emi's speaking and intersperse them between when Iwanako is speaking - it would have contributed to the shock factor and would have reduce the amount of empathy I felt for her.

I also think there should have been a bit longer between when she yelled Emi out of the room and she wondered what the hell was wrong with her - it seemed like she cooled down a little too quickly.

Again, your story, your choices, your characters. That's just what I would've done. Please don't hurt me
Leaty wrote:First of all, memento mori is a pretty common phrase, and when I was a kid I learned the word "daguerreotype" from Dinotopia: The World Beneath, literally a children's book (but still one of my very favorites ever.) Tabula rasa is the name of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, and the word "lachrymose" not only appears in this excellent essay by Tim Kreider but is also etymologically related to "lacrimosa," a Mozart composition that was covered by Evanescence. So these words are out there and exist in popular culture.
Shit, I just got slammed! I can see where you're coming from, and while I'm not totally convinced, I'll withdraw my complaint; looking back, I guess I'm not giving Iwanako enough credit for her grasp of vocabulary.

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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Leaty » Mon Nov 25, 2013 6:43 pm

I think part of the reason why a lot of people didn't seem to react so negatively to Iwanako's anger was because of how much lead-up there was to her flipping out, and because we saw all the rationalization before she actually spoke up and went into a tirade. I'm having a hard time articulating it, but basically you led us through all the arguments for why she was angry and why she had had enough and didn't appreciate Emi's presence. I think if you really did want Iwanako to seem more like a "psycho-bitch," the best thing would have been to move several of the paragraphs between when Emi's speaking and intersperse them between when Iwanako is speaking - it would have contributed to the shock factor and would have reduce the amount of empathy I felt for her.
I didn't want her to seem unsympathetic, but I wanted to emphasize that Iwanako isn't really in her right mind, either—when Iwanako of all people is shouting down a stranger in a hospital, in full view of an adult, something is seriously off. Accordingly, her thought process in this chapter wasn't supposed to be grounded; a lot of the conclusions she comes to are deliberately melodramatic, to highlight the manner in which she's twisting everything that comes her way to the worst possible interpretation.

In a vacuum, I think a well-adjusted person would be able to handle a situation like that more amicably; even Iwanako would probably have accepted the apology gracefully if not for all the other garbage that she'd just been through. In fact, from a narrative aspect that's why I needed for Emi to confess that she'd hit somebody with brittle bone disease before; without that detail, Iwanako's eruption would have seemed more contrived. (I don't think it's unreasonable, either; Kenji claims Emi has hospitalized students before, and even if we take his claims with a grain of salt there's probably more than a little truth to it.)

I'm not disappointed my readers think Iwanako has a point; if anything, it means I've succeeded as a writer that people are willing to side with my "deuterocanon" protagonist over a "protocanon" character, even if the perspective is obviously biased in her direction.
I also think there should have been a bit longer between when she yelled Emi out of the room and she wondered what the hell was wrong with her - it seemed like she cooled down a little too quickly.
I agree with this, actually. At the time I wrote that transition, the quick snap to reality made sense to me because my image of Iwanako is so clearly-defined; in my head she's an extremely quiet, polite person with a lot of restraint, and so knowing what I know about her it felt like a more urgently horrifying thing for Iwanako to erupt into a (slightly) profanity-laced tirade despite her best efforts not to. Iwanako is perturbed by her rage as she's raging—even as she's shouting at Emi, she wants to stop herself, but she just can't.

The disconnect seems to be that the reader, in reading Iwanako's reaction, agrees that it's called for, thus they don't empathize as well with the disgust she feels with herself for snapping the way she does. In light of that, I probably will go back into this scene some time around the publishing of the next chapter and tinker with it slightly to make that mood swing more seamless. If I do, though, it won't be something I advertise, because I don't think the chapter failed to get its point across and requires a reread.

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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Bad Apple » Mon Nov 25, 2013 7:30 pm

I don't know if I flinched, but I replayed Emi's route to write this chapter, and, yeah, I definitely thought "this. This is the moment where my readership turns on Iwanako." Obviously Iwanako has little idea of the gravity of what she said (she didn't even notice Emi's prosthetics,) but I thought for sure that people were going to think Iwanako was a psycho bitch anyway. I'm more than a little surprised that most people think Emi had it coming, especially since she's so well-liked.
I'm not disappointed my readers think Iwanako has a point; if anything, it means I've succeeded as a writer that people are willing to side with my "deuterocanon" protagonist over a "protocanon" character, even if the perspective is obviously biased in her direction.
In the end though, "all" Iwanako did was verbally assault Emi. She'll live. Compared to Emi almost ending Iwanako's life, it's a minor offense; being angry at your would-be killer is, then, perceived as justified, almost like verbal self-defense.

Just to be clear, I'm on the fence with this one. It isn't like either side (purposely) crossed the line. Even from Iwanako's subjective POV it's clear both sides made understandably human mistakes. While Emi did deserve a chewing out, Iwanako went too far and she knows it. (And Iwanako only went too far because Emi's remorse is genuine.) Neither side's actions were out of malicious intent; this is a pretty clear-cut case of Hanlon's Razor. Then again, I'm not one for the epidemic tribalism that is taking sides and digging trenches for a fandom war like everybody else seems to do.
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by sanduba » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:41 pm

I was going to comment "I can say myself, I winced when I read that. I did a 'uuh' sound, like if someone punched me in the gut".

I forgot because doing other things. Feels ADHD, man.
Best story:
Hanako > Rin > Lilly > Emi > Shizune

best girl:
Lilly > Shizune > Emi > Hanako > Rin

Eh, that's my opinion.

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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Snapped » Tue Nov 26, 2013 1:37 am

Really love this story, and this chapter in particular. Going to agree with that "Oh snap!" moment, She hit Emi with... the force of a running-in-the-halls-Emi. And I did pick up the same vibe from the Hanako bad end, trying to keep things cool even with the emotions under the surface, and one inch too far just lets loose everything. Hanako and Iwanako are great foils for each other, and I am glad they're getting solid interaction.

As for the readers reaction, I think whats going on is that while you're trying to present the blow up as not really healthy for Iwanako, while others see it as a natural consequence of almost being killed. She is justified, but what her blow up says about her character might be worrysome.

While I'm guessing the story with Emi isn't finished yet, I wonder if she'll have much facetime in the story. I hope you don't feel like you need to keep all the 'cannon' characters in focus, Iwanako just doesn't seem the type to keep up with Emi or Rin's lives, while Shizune and Misha are still forced on her in the classroom times.

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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Mirage_GSM » Tue Nov 26, 2013 11:02 am

Hanako and Iwanako are great foils for each other
Really? A foil???
I'd rather say, as Iwanako is now, they are two peas in a pot: Both are depressed and insecure, and I'm not sure that that would be entirely healthy^^°
As a foil Emi would be a much better candidate.
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Leaty » Wed Nov 27, 2013 4:33 am

Snapped wrote:While I'm guessing the story with Emi isn't finished yet, I wonder if she'll have much facetime in the story. I hope you don't feel like you need to keep all the 'cannon' characters in focus, Iwanako just doesn't seem the type to keep up with Emi or Rin's lives, while Shizune and Misha are still forced on her in the classroom times.
Well, you have to understand that pre-heart attack Iwanako is like pre-heart attack Hisao in a lot of ways, but a major way that they differ (and I haven't been diligent about making this obvious in the fic) is that Iwanako, while never really in much of a leadership role, was a popular girl at her school. She was friendly with dozens of people and known to most of the student body. (This, I reason, is one of the major reasons why Hisao liked her so much, even though they never really spoke that often.) She is very like her mother in this regard. It would not at all be uncharacteristic of her to (try to) be close with all of the KS girls throughout the school year, if she ever managed to writhe her way out of the Bluescreen she's currently mired in and regain some semblance of her former self.

Also, on a metatextual level, I kind of hate Rin's route. I hated the feeling of alienation that came with virtually every character but Rin vanishing from the story. It was asphyxiating. Plus Rin was the only character in KS I couldn't accept as attractive, and part of that is because I think feet are really gross, but... yeah. I get that people like that route (namely, my sibling,) but I never want to write anything even remotely like it.

Thanks for reading!
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Hanako and Iwanako are great foils for each other
Really? A foil???
I'd rather say, as Iwanako is now, they are two peas in a pot: Both are depressed and insecure, and I'm not sure that that would be entirely healthy^^°
As a foil Emi would be a much better candidate.
Eh, Iwanako and Hanako are interesting as foils because they're so similar that their differences contrast beautifully. It's hard to tell when you read it from Iwanako's perspective, but even then you could compare Iwanako in this fic to, say, Hanako in the first person in Developments or Sisterhood, and observe the ways in which their mindsets differ.

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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Blank Mage » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:19 am

Excellent story so far, really excited about the upcoming Hanako scene. If you told me 6 months ago I would be shipping Iwanako/Hanako, I would have laughed... (Hawanako FTW! )

I feel like Hanako is perfect for helping Iwanako through this, since she's really the only girl besides Emi who understands having your life completely destroyed by events outside your control, and Iwanako has already shown a strong sense of kinship toward her. Also, much of Iwanako's jaded outlook stems from the shallow and superficial support of people she trusted. Since Hanako clearly cares nothing for how others perceive her, her visit might be the first true act of selfless concern Iwanako has ever received, proof that not all relations are just moral obligations and pity.

As for Emi, I distinctly remember being angry at her back when she first nailed Hisao, only to instantly dash off again. Glad to see it finally had some repercussions, if only outside canon. (I really have no sympathy for repeated reckless endangerment.) I wonder how this might change her personality. We already know Emi is among the least capable of dealing with her emotions, bottling up or lashing out when troubled. The guilt of shaving years off of a life and the terrible precision of Iwanako's tirade might shut her down completely. At the very least, she won't be cheerful anytime soon.
Last edited by Blank Mage on Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by bhtooefr » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:56 am

Not only that, but Hanako detests pity herself.

Being able to care for Iwanako may actually be one of the healthier relationships that Hanako could have. But, they need to be open with each other about what's happened in their lives, and Hanako struggles with being open. Not sure about Iwanako, but if she is open with Hanako, that may be enough for Hanako to feel obligated to be open back, Hanako being arguably obsessed with equality in relationships of all kinds.
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by emmjay » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:57 am

Blank Mage wrote: Since Hanako clearly cares nothing for how others perceive her,
Wha? This is Hanako we're talking about. The girl who ran out of a library because someone was looking at her.
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by bhtooefr » Sat Dec 07, 2013 7:41 am

Hmm. I'd actually say it's not that she doesn't care how others perceive her, just that she assumes the worst automatically. Basically, she's more jaded than even Iwanako.

But, Hanako is clearly still capable of selfless concern, so I don't think Blank Mage's point changes much.
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by Blank Mage » Sat Dec 07, 2013 8:07 am

emmjay wrote:
Blank Mage wrote: Since Hanako clearly cares nothing for how others perceive her,
Wha? This is Hanako we're talking about. The girl who ran out of a library because someone was looking at her.
Correction, Hanako cares nothing for maintaining appearances and social standing. Iwanako's friends only visited her because it would be rude not to, not because they actually cared. Hanako's visit has nothing to do with peer pressure (like her friends), obligation (like her family), or guilt (like Emi and Hisao.)
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Re: Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown {updated 11/20/2013}

Post by emmjay » Sun Dec 08, 2013 7:46 am

Blank Mage wrote:
emmjay wrote:
Blank Mage wrote: Since Hanako clearly cares nothing for how others perceive her,
Wha? This is Hanako we're talking about. The girl who ran out of a library because someone was looking at her.
Correction, Hanako cares nothing for maintaining appearances and social standing. Iwanako's friends only visited her because it would be rude not to, not because they actually cared. Hanako's visit has nothing to do with peer pressure (like her friends), obligation (like her family), or guilt (like Emi and Hisao.)
Okay, I get your point now. And yeah, a visitor who isn't motivated by social obligations, but out of genuine concern, could be just what Iwanako needs right now.
Tangential thought: I wonder how much influence Lilly had on Hanako's decision to visit. There could have been a rather interesting conversation between those two sometime between the last time we saw Hanako and her appearance at the hospital.
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