Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated/New Art 5/26)

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Leaty
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by Leaty » Tue Jun 24, 2014 8:31 pm

Eurobeatjester wrote:I'm trying to commission one of my artsy friends to do some character/CGesque drawings in the next month or so :)
Wuh-oh. You might want to make sure that's okay with the devs before paying somebody to do KS art. Or at least, pay them in something other than cash. Maybe offer to help them move or something.

I have a "casual outfit" design for Iwanako I've wanted to see in sprite form for a long time, but I don't think its ever going to happen for that exact reason.

Anyway, I really liked this chapter; even though I've been through the Yamaku Festival about a thousand times, it's interesting to see new authors putting a unique spin on it. And, to some degree, I think you've done that; there's certainly parts where you go over familiar territory (by now, we're pretty familiar with Hisao's attitude at this point in the timeline, and Saki's influence hasn't set in on him quite enough for his outlook to be especially different,) but the additional element that Saki presents is unique enough that it's still a compelling story. And your voice when writing Hisao is very close to the normal tone of Act One, in a good way. I could actually see myself reading the VN, going through these chapters.

(As a side note, I do like how your take on Saki's route has a very "Easter Egg" feel to it. I feel like it'd be the kind of thing you'd only stumble on accidentally unless you were looking for it, and since you skipped around a lot during Act One it really does kind of feel like she only makes a handful of appearances until the Festival. I automatically contextualize all KS fanfics into VN format, it's my curse.)

One thing I do notice about your Saki is that she's an incredibly down-to-earth character, almost to a fault; i.e., there are characters in Katawa Shoujo with more ostentatious personalities alongside whom Saki would seem out of place, since her personality is significantly more subdued. It's because of the very mellow nature of your writing (which I envy; my own stories always seem to drip with bitterness and resentment.) One of the qualities of the girls in Act One is that their personalities are all a little louder than they are in their own routes; their personalities get firmly established early on, and then sort of evolve over the course of the story, but since Saki is such a relaxed character, comparatively, at this point in the story I still kind of find myself wondering what Saki is really like. I don't feel like I have a firm grasp on her characterization yet. I hope to see that change over the course of the story.

Hmm, then again, maybe that's the point? Much is made of how Saki is a soothing presence, and perhaps that's why she doesn't have an over-the-top element to her personality. When Hisao is around her, there's not this upwelling of primal sexual desire so much as there's this sense of the two of them being completely comfortable around each other early on in a manner that's unique to this particular route; there's still a sort of distance needing to be crossed in the canon Act One finales, but here they already seem to have an almost familial sort of closeness. Like Hisao is just more himself when he's with and directly after he's around Saki. But conversely, I don't necessarily feel like that wholly goes both ways; Saki's outreach to Hisao still almost seems more like a generosity than anything. Like, there's obviously a sense of attraction there, but it feels mostly like Saki is still just trying to "help" Hisao.

Also, I'm not sure what you're doing with your supporting cast. Again, the mellowness of your writing (which is a strength) comes into play here. I don't really know what Chisato is like, or even if she's meant to be important. (Part of this is probably because this is a story, not a VN, so I can't tell how many art assets she's been given to help clue me in...) Right now, she's not much more defined than Aoi or Keiko, which I know isn't the point, but I don't really know what to think about her yet. Same goes for all the other characters you introduced here.

Anyway, those comments aside, this is a real filet mignon of a story, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue Jun 24, 2014 11:02 pm

Leaty wrote:Wuh-oh. You might want to make sure that's okay with the devs before paying somebody to do KS art. Or at least, pay them in something other than cash. Maybe offer to help them move or something.

I have a "casual outfit" design for Iwanako I've wanted to see in sprite form for a long time, but I don't think its ever going to happen for that exact reason.
I don't think it would be too much of an issue given what the developers have stated about any type of fan-made expansion pack. That's a huge discussion though, not suited for this thread.
Anyway, I really liked this chapter; even though I've been through the Yamaku Festival about a thousand times, it's interesting to see new authors putting a unique spin on it. And, to some degree, I think you've done that; there's certainly parts where you go over familiar territory (by now, we're pretty familiar with Hisao's attitude at this point in the timeline, and Saki's influence hasn't set in on him quite enough for his outlook to be especially different,) but the additional element that Saki presents is unique enough that it's still a compelling story. And your voice when writing Hisao is very close to the normal tone of Act One, in a good way. I could actually see myself reading the VN, going through these chapters.

(As a side note, I do like how your take on Saki's route has a very "Easter Egg" feel to it. I feel like it'd be the kind of thing you'd only stumble on accidentally unless you were looking for it, and since you skipped around a lot during Act One it really does kind of feel like she only makes a handful of appearances until the Festival. I automatically contextualize all KS fanfics into VN format, it's my curse.)

One thing I do notice about your Saki is that she's an incredibly down-to-earth character, almost to a fault; i.e., there are characters in Katawa Shoujo with more ostentatious personalities alongside whom Saki would seem out of place, since her personality is significantly more subdued. It's because of the very mellow nature of your writing (which I envy; my own stories always seem to drip with bitterness and resentment.) One of the qualities of the girls in Act One is that their personalities are all a little louder than they are in their own routes; their personalities get firmly established early on, and then sort of evolve over the course of the story, but since Saki is such a relaxed character, comparatively, at this point in the story I still kind of find myself wondering what Saki is really like. I don't feel like I have a firm grasp on her characterization yet. I hope to see that change over the course of the story.

Hmm, then again, maybe that's the point? Much is made of how Saki is a soothing presence, and perhaps that's why she doesn't have an over-the-top element to her personality. When Hisao is around her, there's not this upwelling of primal sexual desire so much as there's this sense of the two of them being completely comfortable around each other early on in a manner that's unique to this particular route; there's still a sort of distance needing to be crossed in the canon Act One finales, but here they already seem to have an almost familial sort of closeness. Like Hisao is just more himself when he's with and directly after he's around Saki. But conversely, I don't necessarily feel like that wholly goes both ways; Saki's outreach to Hisao still almost seems more like a generosity than anything. Like, there's obviously a sense of attraction there, but it feels mostly like Saki is still just trying to "help" Hisao.
I find this statement interesting, because first off, I always considered my "mellowness" in writing to be a weak point for me. It's a bit alien that someone else thinks of it as a strength.

The things you mention are some of the reasons I was so up in the air on even writing an Act 1. There's only so many ways you can tell the same story from different points of view, and we get 6 of them in the game already. I wanted to make the festival feel unique enough while still keeping true to the overall feeling. I played through all of the festival scenes, and wrote down the common elements, threads, and even word for word sayings that happened between them and tried to weave them in when it felt right. That was probably the hardest part of writing this chapter.

I'm writing a lot of myself into Hisao's experiences and character. I remember very vividly when my whole life changed when my own injury happened. While I wasn't in the hospital as long as Hisao was (only about six weeks) the sense of everyone trying to rush me to get back to normalcy afterwards was extremely real. What I appreciated more than anything were the people that let me be myself, afterwards. And I don't mean "the person they remembered me as" because you cannot go through an event like that without it changing you on some very deep, fundamental levels. I needed people that would not only let me be myself, but would allow me to work out what that meant.

None of the girls really do that for Hisao, at least in the first act. I like the idea of Saki being unique because she's not over-the-top.

If I had to compare how I see/am trying to write the first impression of Saki to the other girls, I see her as kindof having Lilly's sense of concern combined with Rin's lack of tact. I love Rin, but her lack of tact is from the perspective of someone who's never had it, as opposed to someone who doesn't see the point in using it as an excuse to skirt around issues. I find that very refreshing in writing (as long as it doesn't come off as Sue-ish) but I can't write a character like Rin to save my life. I would get too frustrated.

I see Saki as being a down-to-earth character, for reasons that (I hope) will be better explained further on in the story. She's grounded and practical, but she went through some extremely hard things to get to that point. That's all I can really say at this point not just because of spoilers, but because it's something that's always being refined when I write. Regardless, I hope the feeling you have is "I want to know more about her" in a positive way instead of "I can't get a read on her" - and that would be the reasoning for picking her at this point in the game when compared to the others.
Also, I'm not sure what you're doing with your supporting cast. Again, the mellowness of your writing (which is a strength) comes into play here. I don't really know what Chisato is like, or even if she's meant to be important. (Part of this is probably because this is a story, not a VN, so I can't tell how many art assets she's been given to help clue me in...) Right now, she's not much more defined than Aoi or Keiko, which I know isn't the point, but I don't really know what to think about her yet. Same goes for all the other characters you introduced here.

Anyway, those comments aside, this is a real filet mignon of a story, and I'm looking forward to seeing how it develops.
This was the piece of artwork from Wheee that inspired me to come up with Chisato and Noriko. It is the only piece where these two exist.
Image

I hope to get into their backstories and importance in the second act. I didn't want to try and shoehorn too much into an act where I was already shoehorning in another character. I put them in there mainly to set up for the rest of the story, and to bring out a little bit more of Saki's personality in Act 1.

Thank you for the kind compliments. They mean a lot :)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by dewelar » Wed Jun 25, 2014 5:43 pm

Enjoying this so far, but I mainly posted here to comment that I find it interesting that we both have side characters named Noriko that are friends with one of the April Fools characters (yours with Saki, mine with Rika). I doubt anyone will confuse the two, though :wink:.
Rin is orthogonal to everything.
Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by Stunner » Fri Jul 04, 2014 6:28 am

Holy crap, just when I thought nothing could compare to the Akira pseudo-route I find this.

The writing was beautiful, Saki has an amazing personality, and reading the fireworks scene on the 4th of July almost brought me to tears given my situation. I wish I could give you some words of encouragement but I can definitely say I'm going to be following you until you stop writing so consider me a fan.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by cptngarlock » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:11 am

Ahaha, oh wow. Imagine my luck - I literally had fireworks exploding outside my window just as I started this latest chapter. Maybe it was meant to be.

I think Leaty captured the one point I was thinking about as the arc came to a close:
[...] Saki's outreach to Hisao still almost seems more like a generosity than anything. Like, there's obviously a sense of attraction there, but it feels mostly like Saki is still just trying to "help" Hisao.
My primary...curiosity? Yes, curiosity. My primary curiosity is why Saki would take such a special effort. She clearly notices that students fall into the same traps that many in Hisao's situation go through. But why does she act on that when she sees Hisao? She's honestly going far beyond the call of common decency in what she did for him. She spent time with him, she's frank, and she knows almost exactly what to say. As I think Hisao said, she's exactly what he needed.

So then there's also the question of why does she know what to say? Few teenagers would be this wise. Is it experience? Either because she was once in Hisao's position?

Did she have someone intimately close to her in a similar position? That would be a convenient way of doing it - that uncomfortable hesitation that Saki had when Hisao asked if they came up with that rendition of Pachelbel's Canon implies that they weren't original composers. Maybe the original composer who is, for whatever reason, not there anymore also once went through Hisao's thing, or maybe helped Saki if she was the who was once in Hisao's position. This would also explain why she made such a special effort for some transfer student she's never met - she personally knows how bad it can be and so never wants to see it happen again on her watch.

Anyway, that's enough theorizing. I jumped back into the forums for the first time in a while, and I was so incredibly pleased to see another pseudo-route being started, and a really well-written one to boot. Don't let this pressure you, but do know there's one more person eagerly awaiting new chapters. Best of luck!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by brythain » Sat Jul 05, 2014 1:49 am

cptngarlock wrote:Did she have someone intimately close to her in a similar position? That would be a convenient way of doing it - that uncomfortable hesitation that Saki had when Hisao asked if they came up with that rendition of Pachelbel's Canon implies that they weren't original composers. Maybe the original composer who is, for whatever reason, not there anymore also once went through Hisao's thing, or maybe helped Saki if she was the who was once in Hisao's position. This would also explain why she made such a special effort for some transfer student she's never met - she personally knows how bad it can be and so never wants to see it happen again on her watch.
I had this momentary intuition that the original arranger was someone named Kagami Takahashi, but... wrong continuity. Damn! :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:41 pm

Yay! The artwork I mentioned is done, and I should be able to post it in a day or two after one final detail gets worked out. :mrgreen:

Same thing with the next chapter. Almost done with it, hope to have it out in the next few days if work doesn't kill me.
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by brythain » Tue Jul 15, 2014 11:46 pm

Eurobeatjester wrote:Yay! The artwork I mentioned is done, and I should be able to post it in a day or two after one final detail gets worked out. :mrgreen:

Same thing with the next chapter. Almost done with it, hope to have it out in the next few days if work doesn't kill me.
Most appreciated! Good wishes for your success! :)
Post-Yamaku, what happens? After The Dream is a mosaic that follows everyone to the (sometimes) bitter end.
Main Index (Complete)Shizune/Lilly/Emi/Hanako/Rin/Misha + Miki + Natsume
Secondary Arcs: Rika/Mutou/AkiraHideaki | Others (WIP): Straw—A Dream of SuzuSakura—The Kenji Saga.
"Much has been lost, and there is much left to lose." — Tim Powers, The Drawing of the Dark (1979)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by azumeow » Wed Jul 16, 2014 12:08 am

Eurobeatjester wrote:Yay! The artwork I mentioned is done, and I should be able to post it in a day or two after one final detail gets worked out. :mrgreen:

Same thing with the next chapter. Almost done with it, hope to have it out in the next few days if work doesn't kill me.
Looking forward to both with glee.
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 6/18)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:18 pm

Artwork by the amazing Scott Bennett on DeviantArt.

This completely blew away all my expectations and I couldn't be happier with it. My jaw hit the floor when he sent me the preview yesterday and it hasn't left since. :)

Image
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
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Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Artwork added 7/1

Post by azumeow » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:19 pm

Holy.........

that....it's....

Holy........
"I don’t want to be here anymore, I know there’s nothing left worth staying for.
Your paradise is something I’ve endured
See I don’t think I can fight this anymore, I’m listening with one foot out the door
And something has to die to be reborn-I don’t want to be here anymore"

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Artwork added 7/1

Post by Leaty » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:28 pm

I'm a little disappointed that she's not wearing the green jacket from your avatar, but yeah, dear god is that amazing.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Artwork added 7/1

Post by Eurobeatjester » Wed Jul 16, 2014 10:39 pm

It's extremely "slice-of-life," and captured the emotion beautifully :) I'll definitely be hitting him up for some more stuff in the future for the scene when Saki and Hisao made you look :wink:
Stuff I'm currently writing: Learning To Fly: A Saki Enomoto Pseudo Route
Two Turtledoves - A Lilly/Hisao Christmas Oneshot
Blank Mage wrote:
Eurobeatjester wrote:I doubt my ability to write convincing lesbian erotica
believe in yourself

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Artwork added 7/1

Post by Drebom » Thu Jul 17, 2014 8:17 am

I'm really enjoying this! I think your characterisation of Saki is really good, and your writing is excellent- can't wait for the next update! :D And that artwork...Wow!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Artwork added 7/1

Post by ParagonTerminus » Fri Jul 18, 2014 5:21 am

My only regret in reading this is that I didn't start later and be able to read the whole thing without the agony of waiting for an update.

Good job, sir, for making me realise that Saki is the secondbestgirl.
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