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

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Leaty
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Leaty » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:34 am

Reese8 wrote:I was planning to post here anyway, but it seems that one can't subscribe to a thread without posting in it (I've not found out how to do so, at least). I've been lurking for a while (and I posted some anonymous things back when that was allowed), but it was the desire for notifications of updates to this story that pushed me into registering. I really hope that this isn't dead, as it's quite good. :)
Woo, okay. First of all, let me say thank you for the compliments, and thank you for reading my story. I'm glad people appreciate and enjoy what I'm doing.

This is not deadfic, and in the unlikely scenario it ever becomes deadfic, there will be no question that it is dead, because I will edit the words DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC LEAVE ME ALONE DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC into every one of my posts in this thread. But that will never happen, because leaving things unfinished is a sign of poor character. (Fuck you, dad Image)

I'm aware it seems like when I'm not updating this fic that I've ceased to exist, but that's because the culture on this forum is a lot more friendly than I'm honestly comfortable being on the internet, and I don't want to be literally the only woman in this forum crass enough to tell a person that their "Mary Sue from America transfers into Yamaku" or "Hanako's Bad Ending becomes the Good Ending" fics are terribly ill-conceived and uninformed. I'm kind of a fanfiction fascist (urgh, how can I type that unironically,) and knowing that I've become the person who made me cry in seventh grade by comparing my fanfiction to Valium has made me conscientious enough to keep an arms' length from the community in general. In fact, the only threads I'm following right now are Tomorrow's Doom and Kagami Pseudo-Route, both of which I direly need to catch up on. So yeah.

There's two reasons why a new chapter hasn't come out yet; the first, and more important one, is that my landlord sold the place I've been living in while I was on vacation and gave me a month to find a place and vacate. The second reason is that much of the constructive criticism I've been getting has been really uninspiring (all over the internet, not specifically here;) most of the comments I get on this story complement me on the concept of the fic, which, while that's nice, is something I came up with over a year ago, and doesn't really have any bearing on my voice or writing ability, which is what I really want people's perspective on. Mind you, this doesn't make me want to abandon the fic, nothing would, but it did dampen my enthusiasm to write. I'll never be able to update this story as fast as Helbereth because I haven't made an unholy pact with the demon lord Shabranigdo, but I definitely could be writing faster than I am.

Not blaming anybody, and again, nobody owes me anything, but I'm curious how people are viewing the more idiosyncratic aspects of the fic (Iwanako's voice, whether the canon characters are staying in character, do they enjoy Momomi, are they surprised/pleased/annoyed I turned Aoi and Keiko into fleshed-out characters, etc) and hearing what the readers want to see happen, and the sheer intensity of the radio silence has been a little maddening. On some level this is my fault, because I'm too subtle, I bloviate about irrelevant topics, and the pace of Mean Time to Breakdown has been glacial (it's been a year and nobody knows who Iwanako's love interest is yet,) but it's still distressing.

Watch, now I've scared newbies from ever bumping my threads ever again. Image

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Reese8 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 8:40 am

Wow! I wasn't expecting a reply from the author at all, much less such a long one.
Leaty wrote:
Reese8 wrote:I was planning to post here anyway, but it seems that one can't subscribe to a thread without posting in it (I've not found out how to do so, at least). I've been lurking for a while (and I posted some anonymous things back when that was allowed), but it was the desire for notifications of updates to this story that pushed me into registering. I really hope that this isn't dead, as it's quite good. :)
Woo, okay. First of all, let me say thank you for the compliments, and thank you for reading my story. I'm glad people appreciate and enjoy what I'm doing.
You're welcome, for what it's worth (keeping my eyes pointed at my monitor long enough to read this was so tremendously arduous and something for which I clearly deserve Australia), and thank you very much for writing it (a much more gratitude-worthy activity, I think).
Leaty wrote:This is not deadfic, and in the unlikely scenario it ever becomes deadfic, there will be no question that it is dead, because I will edit the words DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC LEAVE ME ALONE DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC into every one of my posts in this thread. But that will never happen, because leaving things unfinished is a sign of poor character. (Fuck you, dad Image)
Yay!
Leaty wrote:I'm aware it seems like when I'm not updating this fic that I've ceased to exist, but that's because the culture on this forum is a lot more friendly than I'm honestly comfortable being on the internet, and I don't want to be literally the only woman in this forum crass enough to tell a person that their "Mary Sue from America transfers into Yamaku" or "Hanako's Bad Ending becomes the Good Ending" fics are terribly ill-conceived and uninformed. I'm kind of a fanfiction fascist (urgh, how can I type that unironically,) and knowing that I've become the person who made me cry in seventh grade by comparing my fanfiction to Valium has made me conscientious enough to keep an arms' length from the community in general. In fact, the only threads I'm following right now are Tomorrow's Doom and Kagami Pseudo-Route, both of which I direly need to catch up on. So yeah.
Understandable, if not a view that I hear very often (likely due to there being few places on the internet that can readily be accused of being too polite).
Leaty wrote:There's two reasons why a new chapter hasn't come out yet; the first, and more important one, is that my landlord sold the place I've been living in while I was on vacation and gave me a month to find a place and vacate.
…Your landlord sold your residence while you were on vacation. Well isn't that nice. Sorry about that, and good luck with it.
Leaty wrote: The second reason is that much of the constructive criticism I've been getting has been really uninspiring (all over the internet, not specifically here;) most of the comments I get on this story complement me on the concept of the fic, which, while that's nice, is something I came up with over a year ago, and doesn't really have any bearing on my voice or writing ability, which is what I really want people's perspective on. Mind you, this doesn't make me want to abandon the fic, nothing would, but it did dampen my enthusiasm to write. I'll never be able to update this story as fast as Helbereth because I haven't made an unholy pact with the demon lord Shabranigdo, but I definitely could be writing faster than I am.
Nothing from the current chapters leaps out of my recollections, but I'll try to remember to leave more detailed commentary on the next chapter. Unfortunately, I'm mostly just good at spotting typos.
Leaty wrote:Not blaming anybody, and again, nobody owes me anything, but I'm curious how people are viewing the more idiosyncratic aspects of the fic (Iwanako's voice, whether the canon characters are staying in character, do they enjoy Momomi, are they surprised/pleased/annoyed I turned Aoi and Keiko into fleshed-out characters, etc) and hearing what the readers want to see happen, and the sheer intensity of the radio silence has been a little maddening. On some level this is my fault, because I'm too subtle, I bloviate about irrelevant topics, and the pace of Mean Time to Breakdown has been glacial (it's been a year and nobody knows who Iwanako's love interest is yet,) but it's still distressing.
Let's see, which of those can I make a useful comment on…
Well, I find Momomi rather interesting. Certainly don't dislike here; the only reason I might want to see less of her is the opportunity cost of writing that instead of something else.
What I'd like to have happen… I don't really know. I'm trusting you to come up with something good. My current leading hypothesis for the pairing is that it will end up being Iwanako/Hanako, but that's basically just a guess. Oh, and I'm rather curious about what the title comes from… it does sound rather ominous. :)
Oh, one thing, since you asked: there's a short fic out there in which Suzu is a drug dealer, which I found an interesting concept (okay, so my tastes sometimes run a bit to the grimdark…). I realize that this isn't a terribly good suggestion, but it was the only thing that I could think of with which to fill the radio silence in the wake of your question regarding reader desires.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Mahorfeus » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:32 am

"A delayed game fanfic is eventually good, but a rushed game fanfic is forever bad."
-Shigeru Miyamoto Some asshole on the internet

Some things are worth waiting for.
"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: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Silentcook » Sat Jun 29, 2013 12:41 pm

Leaty wrote:This is not deadfic, and in the unlikely scenario it ever becomes deadfic, there will be no question that it is dead, because I will edit the words DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC LEAVE ME ALONE DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC into every one of my posts in this thread. But that will never happen, because leaving things unfinished is a sign of poor character. (Fuck you, dad Image)
:shock: Uh... I don't know about newbies, but you mildly startled me. If it counts. So yeah.

Dunno if this could be of any interest to you or anyone else frequenting this wretched hive of scum and villainy, but I hardly ever comment on works in progress beyond mentioning very basic or very big issues, since I feel I can't give good critique unless I'm looking at a finished product. You know, the feeling of having run your mouth like a smartass because you didn't catch on the twist reversal at all? Yeah, that.

Shabranigdo is a cool dude though.You should hang out with sometime. :3
Shattering your dreams since '94. I also fought COVID in '20 and all I got was this lousy forum sig.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Jun 29, 2013 2:13 pm

For me, no comments usually means that the recent chapter was good with no major things to criticize.
I don't believe in posting after every chapter with nothing more to say than "That chapter was great again"
If I haven't complained about any characters being OOC, chances are that I think you did well.
And even though I always try to keep my criticism friendly, I don't usually keep it quiet if I think it is warranted.

And I won't comment on Shabranigdo-sama.
It's never recommended to talk about your boss on the internet.
Last edited by Mirage_GSM on Fri Jul 19, 2013 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Steinherz » Sat Jun 29, 2013 6:50 pm

Silentcook wrote:
Leaty wrote:This is not deadfic, and in the unlikely scenario it ever becomes deadfic, there will be no question that it is dead, because I will edit the words DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC LEAVE ME ALONE DEADFIC DEADFIC DEADFIC into every one of my posts in this thread. But that will never happen, because leaving things unfinished is a sign of poor character. (Fuck you, dad Image)
:shock: Uh... I don't know about newbies, but you mildly startled me. If it counts. So yeah.

Dunno if this could be of any interest to you or anyone else frequenting this wretched hive of scum and villainy, but I hardly ever comment on works in progress beyond mentioning very basic or very big issues, since I feel I can't give good critique unless I'm looking at a finished product. You know, the feeling of having run your mouth like a smartass because you didn't catch on the twist reversal at all? Yeah, that.

Shabranigdo is a cool dude though.You should hang out with sometime. :3
If you startle one of the mods, you're doing something right :lol:
Seriously :lol:
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Reese8 » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:44 pm

Oh, yes, and there's this thing that I completely forgot to mention before. I've a connection to Iwanako that I don't have to main-continuity Hisao: while I was lucky enough to avoid inheriting it, my mother was born with a bad heart. The specifics are different (as evidenced by my being here, though my mother was warned not to have any more children after me), but she's been dealing with it her entire life, her multiple surgery scars including one down her chest like Iwanako's. While I don't know the details of what has gone through my mother's head about this (one doesn't just walk up to one's mother and say "Hey, Mom, I want to hear all about any mental trauma you may have experienced due to being poked at by doctors since before you entered gradeschool!"), it's still a slightly closer relation than I have with Hisao.

You know, speaking as someone who wants to be an engineer, it really does seem quite a stupid design to have an entire array of vital systems depend on one single pump, including the pump itself.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by forgetmenot » Sat Jun 29, 2013 7:44 pm

Silentcook wrote:Dunno if this could be of any interest to you or anyone else frequenting this wretched hive of scum and villainy, but I hardly ever comment on works in progress beyond mentioning very basic or very big issues, since I feel I can't give good critique unless I'm looking at a finished product. You know, the feeling of having run your mouth like a smartass because you didn't catch on the twist reversal at all? Yeah, that.
I'm with the chef on this one. I consider chapters uploaded to the forums, for the most part, are what the author intended to post. Mostly for reasons mentioned above. If I'm editing someone's story beforehand (and you can ask Umber and Pandaphil for affirmation of this), I can be quite the harsh critic. Maybe it's due to the aforementioned aura of politeness that surrounds this forum, but it makes me feel uncomfortable wandering into someone (who I don't know) else's thread and ripping their story to shreds in the public eye.

Then again, I'm fairly new to the fanfiction thing anyhow so any unwritten rules about giving/taking offense in this kind of environment are most likely lost on me.
Leaty wrote:The second reason is that much of the constructive criticism I've been getting has been really uninspiring (all over the internet, not specifically here;) most of the comments I get on this story complement me on the concept of the fic, which, while that's nice, is something I came up with over a year ago, and doesn't really have any bearing on my voice or writing ability, which is what I really want people's perspective on.
Bear in mind: I think most people will say "feedback is welcome", but will mean (or at least hope for) "positive feedback only is welcome". Personally, I write to learn, so any constructive pointers that can be given to me are gladly accepted (and I believe you are the same way). That being said, I'm sure we've all witnessed our fair share of authors (or anyone, really) refusing to take friendly advice. If one or two people react like that, it can dissuade one from offering help where it is not asked for.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by ProfAllister » Sat Jun 29, 2013 10:40 pm

Well, I've been meaning to real this (It's on "the list"), but haven't gotten around to it yet. Normally that means I wouldn't even be here, but I dropped by on a whim.

Personally, I think there are advantages to either form of critique. For a work in progress, it helps to identify what is working and what isn't working. It's expected that every reader will read from the start to the finish, so any thoughts toward the work in progress in that vein are certainly worth considering. It is true that some oddities are intentional, and will make sense in the end, but that's not always the case - sometimes an author simply misses something. As far as that goes, you can (and should) bring up issues that concern you, but you shouldn't expect the author to "fix" them, since they may be intentional. With a finished work, you can help an author figure what did work and what didn't, for future use (especially here, where very few people even consider rewrites).

Personally, I read stuff and state what I think. I often feel that I might be being a little harsh, but the authors have usually taken it well.

As far as feedback on my work goes, I truly welcome all forms. In fact, I've almost been a little (Disappointed? Scared?) that my own writing hasn't gotten much negative feedback. The chapters of the Misha route go through significant editing, but my one-shots are usually from the hip. Either way, though, people miss things. This isn't my first rodeo, though - I'm used to the feedback cycle. I'll still likely defend my choices, but I always make a point to keep any and all feedback in mind. Frankly, if my work deserves to be torn to shreds, I'd rather you do so BEFORE it's finished - it will save both of us time and makes it more likely it can be salvaged. That's assuming that you're right and can convince me, of course. Worst case, though, you'll make your point, other people will see it, and I'll ignore you to continue writing my fanfic where the all-American Mary Sue comes and cures everyone's disabilities, making Hanako's bad ending into a good ending by magic fairy dust and sprinkles.

As far as courtesy from critique goes, that's a little trickier. It's like giving feedback for anything else - point out what was good and did work as well as what doesn't work. The plot could be laughable, the characters could be acting inconsistent, and the description could be repetitive as all get-out, but if the writer somehow managed to make snappy and clever dialogue in spite of all that, make sure they know they're doing something right. Similarly, few things are actually perfect. Most readers will have something that bothers them. I understand that many people give a vague "great job" compliment because you need to reply to a thread to subscribe. I understand and respect that - not everyone needs to post a critique, and those little words of encouragement can be very helpful to a writer who's struggling. But you don't need to pull your punches because this is a generally pleasant atmosphere. You can have a pleasant atmosphere with negative feedback as well - the feedback can be negative even when the critique itself is helpful and supportive.

In short, go out there and say what you're going to say. If you cross a line, someone will be sure to let you know, but a truly substantial critique shouldn't be crossing any lines anyway. And most authors who are serious about their craft will appreciate that someone actually put some serious time and effort into reading their work, thinking about it, and giving a detailed analysis of what did work and what didn't. They may not actually listen to anything you have to say, but they'll still appreciate that you bothered to say it.
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Reese8 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 1:30 am

Oh! I've just though of something that I'd actually like to see, rather than a "Um... I guess that this thing I just pulled from the air might be interesting, maybe?" like last time: exploration of the other classes. We don't know anything about the homeroom teacher or many of the students of 3-2, we don't know anything at all, IIRC, about 3-1, and we don't even know if 3-4 and above exist. Now, I can understand you not going into this if the story's route is for someone (...or ones? Unlikely, but it's too early to discount anything) in 3-3, but, if the route is for someone from a different class, I think that it would be nice and not too difficult to get some more information.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:32 am

There are four classes. 3-4 is the one Emi and Rin are in.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

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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: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Reese8 » Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:39 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:There are four classes. 3-4 is the one Emi and Rin are in.
Oh, thanks.

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Helbereth » Sat Jul 06, 2013 4:19 pm

Reese8 wrote:we don't know anything at all, IIRC, about 3-1
My headcannon would like to dispute this remark:
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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Leaty » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:10 pm

Reese8 wrote:Oh, and I'm rather curious about what the title comes from… it does sound rather ominous. :)
"Mean/Average Time to Breakdown," or "MTB" is a term used in engineering circles, referring to the amount of time a machine is expected to function before it inevitably stops working. It can also be said to be synonymous with the "Life Expectancy" of a product. As Hisao's Act I is called "Life Expectancy," I wanted a title suggesting a world where everything was seemingly the same, but there were minor, obvious changes, like the wrong person having a heart attack.
forgetmenot wrote:I'm with the chef on this one. I consider chapters uploaded to the forums, for the most part, are what the author intended to post. Mostly for reasons mentioned above. If I'm editing someone's story beforehand (and you can ask Umber and Pandaphil for affirmation of this), I can be quite the harsh critic. Maybe it's due to the aforementioned aura of politeness that surrounds this forum, but it makes me feel uncomfortable wandering into someone (who I don't know) else's thread and ripping their story to shreds in the public eye.
Even so, there is one aspect of a work in progress that any reader can criticize without worrying about looking like a jackass later: characterization. If somebody is acting out of character, they should be policed on that, because canon characters staying in character are basically the glue that holds the whole concept of a fanfic together. You've mentioned before that writing Hisao is the hardest part of writing your pseudo-route, and that's a good thing, because we all want people to read and enjoy our fics, and nobody's going to do it (except, well, kids) if the characters aren't acting like themselves.

It's harder to call me out on my characterization of Iwanako because she's such a cipher, but even so I'm still kind of puzzled that nobody's really commented on the liberties I've taken with her (e.g., she's a lot more logical and jaded than perhaps she needs to be based on what we know of her, and nearly-fatal heart attack notwithstanding, from Hisao's perspective she certainly seemed much much sweeter in the games) or told me I'm making Shizune too much of a bitch (which every author who puts her in a fic needs to consciously avoid.) I would have thought people would be confused about my decisions about Aoi and Keiko, as well, but apparently a lot of people don't realize they're canon; one review on fanfiction.net praises me for "for making an efford(sic) to create so many Interesting new characters" even though Momomi is the only OC in my fic.
ProfAllister wrote:In short, go out there and say what you're going to say. If you cross a line, someone will be sure to let you know, but a truly substantial critique shouldn't be crossing any lines anyway. And most authors who are serious about their craft will appreciate that someone actually put some serious time and effort into reading their work, thinking about it, and giving a detailed analysis of what did work and what didn't. They may not actually listen to anything you have to say, but they'll still appreciate that you bothered to say it.
Well, I mean, look at this:

Image

I know I go on and on and on about these types of fics, and to his credit this guy wrote 75,669 words, almost 150% of The Great Gatsby, but if I were to be perfectly candid with this author I would tell them to stop writing this fic immediately because it's a boondoggle. It's a house built on sand. I would have to tell this person "I did not read this fic, because the premise is completely nonsensical, and the genre itself is public masturbation. Your grammar and punctuation, however, are inoffensive, so you should come back and write something more inspired. Also, don't name an American character Adolf, what the hell is wrong with you?"

Obviously if I actually did that it wouldn't really heighten the discourse any. Like I said, I'm a bit of a jerk about fanfiction precisely because I've been a writer and "connoisseur" (imagine me making a wanking gesture here) for well over a decade at this point and I can't believe there are still people who dive headfirst into writing fanfiction without realizing that, in the year 2013, there's a prodigious wealth of resources explaining very cogently and elegantly (stickied on this very board, no less!) that Mary Sues are awful and terrible and nobody wants to read them. In fact, they rob writers who actually do put effort into their fanfics of readers (such as a girlfriend of mine who immediately closes the window if she even so much reads the name of a character that isn't canon) due to the likelihood of an OC being an awful Mary Sue. But nobody declared me Fanfiction Commandant, so I try to keep my mouth shut.
Reese8 wrote:Oh! I've just though of something that I'd actually like to see, rather than a "Um... I guess that this thing I just pulled from the air might be interesting, maybe?" like last time: exploration of the other classes. We don't know anything about the homeroom teacher or many of the students of 3-2, we don't know anything at all, IIRC, about 3-1, and we don't even know if 3-4 and above exist. Now, I can understand you not going into this if the story's route is for someone (...or ones? Unlikely, but it's too early to discount anything) in 3-3, but, if the route is for someone from a different class, I think that it would be nice and not too difficult to get some more information.
Sounds like you need to read Tomorrow's Doom. It does everything you're asking for (and I believe may have even been partially inspired by this thread? Helbereth?) I will probably never elucidate on 3-1 in my fic precisely because I don't see any point to reinventing the wheel. Helbereth's done a great job with 3-1 and anything I could write would just be derivative.

I wouldn't expect to see many more whole-cloth OCs in this fic other than Momomi; the reason that my fic appeals to me is because I like teasing out the new interactions with canon characters that result from having a different protagonist (that's also why I love the interactions between Aiko and Shizune in TD.) Momomi is kind of a load-bearing OC in that she needs to exist as a result of Kenji being unusable for obvious reasons. Of course, Molly, Aoi, and Keiko are practically OCs...

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Re: Mean Time to Breakdown — (Iwanako, Divergence) {u 5/03/2

Post by Helbereth » Sat Jul 06, 2013 5:26 pm

Leaty wrote:(and I believe may have even been partially inspired by this thread? Helbereth?)
There are probably some aspects that spawned from reading the initial chapter that was available before I started writing TD, but the idea of using 3-1 is a result of one of the public discussion threads--it may have been the Ask! thread--where someone mentioned the non-canonical classrooms and inquired as to their population. After I developed the initial crew of OCs to populate the room, which, at the time, only consisted of Aiko, Amaya, Tadao, and their homeroom teacher, Ito, who were necessary to start the story, I just started expanding whenever it became conducive to do so. To date, I only have four (which is a guess based on estimation) uninhabited chairs out of the 18 seats in 3-1, though I doubt I'll bother with the remainder this late in the tale. In a recent chapter I believe I had ten students sitting around talking in the classroom (during the post-finals by-week), and there were another four unaccounted for among those I've named within the story.

My OC list contains something in the neighborhood of twenty characters that have appeared in TD, each with various levels of frequency and importance.

I really should be writing right now...

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