Thanks for the critique, and it's something I'll definitely keep in mind when writing the last few chapters . Though, to be entirely fair, re-reading the VN for this project I have noticed a fair few times when Hisao does similar things talking about his own state of mind - that being said, given everything else I reckon Hisao is hardly the person I should be taking advice from in expressing feelings or being intelligent regarding feelings in any way or form xD.Markus Ramikin wrote:One thing that kind of bothers me about the way this is entire story written is that so much space is devoted to Hanako's psychological problems being discussed explicitly. All this talk about "mah progress" is kinda self centered and circular, and it just gets old.
A character's internal problems are best shown - by how they interfere with his or her external struggles, pursuit of external goals. Hisao, for example, is trying to deal with new circumstances, meets new people, falls in love, while needing to maintain his health etc. The internal factors related to his heart issue - the bitterness, the passivity, the desire to hide the problem and pretend it doesn't exist - are shown by the way they affect how he deals with those external issues, by the things he does (or fails to do). Not that they're not discussed explicitly at all, but you seem to do a whole lot more of that with Hanako.
I am reminded of how Aragorn in LotR never actually talks about, IIRC, his internal conflicts stopping him from assuming the role of king or pursuing the woman he loves, but it's very much there through the things that he does and, for a while, refuses to do, and at the end of the book we know those internal struggles are resolved just as the external conflict is. Now any KS fanfic is going to be way more introspective than that, and I accept that, but it's a thought to consider. If you took away Hanako's shell and insecurity, what remains? What would she be doing? What does she want, what does she like and dislike, what are her goals, how does she see reality and other people?
It reminds me of those self-improvement people who keep talking about the progress they've made in vague terms, but it has no reflection on reality; there is no corresponding real-world, visible, measurable accomplishment that will set it apart from happy self-delusion and timewasting. You've become more aware of dietary and fitness issues? If you say so. Have you actually lost weight?
Similarly, a character in fiction has overcome crippling shyness? Don't have them explicitly think about how they've overcome crippling shyness. Have them think about how they managed to talk to person X whom they wouldn't dare to approach before, and it was interesting and fun and it still felt pretty awkward but they've agreed to meet again so I guess that's okay. You know what I mean? If the reader's attention is on whether the protagonist succeeds socially or gets together with X or something like that, and the reader cares about that, it makes the shyness standing in the way of that meaningful, in a way just discussing the problem in itself is not.
Hanako resents others for treating her too little as a person, and too much as a vehicle for psychological issues - but that's what you, the author of this fic, do to her too.
PS. I only wrote so much of my critical thought because I've become invested in this fic; it's a good and needed story. "If I'm mean to you, it's because I care."
A large part of it though is that when writing third person, it's easier to describe certain things because you're writing from an outside perspective, whereas writing in the first person means delving directly into the character's mind and so you're forced effectively to deal with feelings and emotions in a more direct manner. In my case I've taken it too literally, perhaps, and I agree it's getting a bit stale going over the same motions each time. Considering that my next big project is my own novel, and that's going to be written in a first person perspective as well, it's good really that these aspects of my writing style are being identified nice and early through this story, so I can work on ironing out the kinks and becoming a better writer. For that as well as the general critique, thank you, and I'm happy to hear you're enjoying the story overall .
Ah, but even though it's almost over, at least we'll be ending on the best possible noteDeadpool021 wrote:I was at work, saw the update and couldn't wait to get home to read it. A little sad that its almost over though
To be honest I do enjoy reading third person stories, but as a writer I've always favoured first person. I've mentioned it before, but I've always felt my strengths to lie in character development and in dialogue (the latter more so than the former, since I also write the occasional short screenplay) - when writing in the first person it means I'm getting into the head of the character a lot more, and think about things from their point of view. I can't remember which author I read about who does this, but my own style of furthering a story has always been to set out the initial plot points, then think about the characters who I've already created, see what they would do in that situation, what the ramifications would be, and proceed from there. First person storytelling just serves to make that even more easier and less structural, more procedural . Although obviously in this case I'm limited to how the story of KS actually progressed, as opposed to using that route of writing...brythain wrote:What I like about this is that it's essentially KS, Hanako's route, but with a voiceover from her internal monologue, with extras. It fleshes out her character a fair bit, from within. You could of course build the character from without, theoretically speaking, but that would be omniscient third-person more than very personal and heartfelt first-person. Nostalgia is the result, plus a now-being-fulfilled urge to play it through again.