Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 1/12)

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:02 am

I may regret this, but I can't let Saki walk back in there with that black aura pouring out of her. I stop.

“Hey.”

Saki takes two more steps before she realizes what I've said and that I'm not beside her anymore. She turns back to look at me with a look of annoyed expectation. “Yeah?”

“Takamura and the others can wait. Let's take a minute so you can calm down, okay?”

Saki takes in a breath and squares herself, giving me a look that shows she's considering me yet another obstacle in a day that's testing the limits of her patience. I close the gap between us and put my hands on her shoulders. I can feel her shaking.

“Come on. Let's go sit down.”

Saki doesn't give any verbal acknowledgment, but doesn't object when I herd the both of us back to the bench outside the studio door. We both sit down at the same time and it's another two minutes or so before Saki breaks the silence.

“I'll pay you back when we get to Yamaku,” she mumbles.

I start to tell her not to worry about it, but after she offered to pay and wasn't able to, that would definitely be wrong.

“Just pay for coffee the next time we go to Shanghai and we'll call it even,” I say, trying to sound lighthearted and that it's no big deal. I see Saki nod out of the corner of my eye, and after a few more seconds, she reaches up to pinch the bridge of her nose.

“God, that was embarrassing.”

“Do you need to call your bank, or something?” I ask.

“No,” Saki says darkly. “It's probably my father, again. He controls the account the card is tied to and can shut it off. He does it every once in a while.”

“It's not because of the outfit you bought the last time we came down here, is it? It was pretty expensive.”

“I don't think it was that. It's...” Saki starts, then sighs heavily. “He gets like this when he wants me to call him. I haven't been exactly returning his calls for a week or two.”

I think back. That would have been roughly the time she claimed to tell her parents she quit the art club. But why now, if she explained it? Unless something happened in that call and it didn't end very well. Saki had started to tell me about the relationship she had with her parents, but couldn't go through with it.

Maybe all of this is related. Then again, maybe not.

The door of the studio opens and both of us look up to see Mrs. Sakamoto step out. She takes a second to look around and find us, and when she does, she smiles as if nothing happened. “Ah! There you two are! I was hoping you weren't lost or something.”

“Just needed a quick coffee break,” I offer up. The teacher nods, but keeps her eyes trained on Saki.

“Shogo says he's ready whenever you are,” she tells her.

“I'm ready now,” Saki says, back to her usual self, or at least a facsimile of it. She stands up on her own without waiting for me to offer her my arm, and walks through the door as the older woman holds it open for her.

When she passes through, Mrs. Sakamoto finally looks at me, a look of concern on her face and her voice quiet.

“How is she?”

“She'll be okay, I think,” standing up myself. “She just needed to get out of there for a few minutes.”

She nods, the corners of her mouth turning up again. “Good. These things happen, and while frustrating, it's normal. I'm sure Shogo can't even begin to tell you how many times I stormed out of rehearsals. She'll be fine once she starts playing again.”

“I'll take your word for it,” I say, nodding my thanks as she continues to hold the door open for me. By the time I get back inside, Saki's made it clear she's all business by already being back at her position, with Chisato, Noriko, and Takamura bent over the mixing board. All three turn to look at me, and with various nods or smiles to acknowledge I'm there, turn back towards the console.

Takamura pushes a few buttons and twists a few dials, then leans towards the intercom.

“Okay Saki, I have the metronome set at eighty percent of normal speed for this piece. Is that okay?”

Saki nods, taking a seat on the stool and slipping on her headphones. She listens to the beat for a few seconds, then gives a thumbs up.

“Good. Give us a quick note so I can make sure we're recording.”

Saki brings her violin up, resting it in place against her chin, and tentatively draws out a note, causing a line on one of the computer screens to bulge into a series of colorful spikes and valleys. Takamura's fingers fly across the board, making a few quick adjustments.

“Alright, that looks good. We're recording, so go ahead whenever you're ready.”

Saki closes her eyes and begins to play, although at a slower pace than she was doing with Chisato. It takes a few seconds, but before long I fall into the same trance I always seem to do when I hear her work her magic...and in another minute or so, it seems to be having a calming effect on Saki as well as her movements become more fluid and relaxed.

“Incredible, isn't it?” I hear Mrs. Sakamoto's voice behind me. I turn to look at her, and the look of pride she has towards one of her students is remarkable to see. “See? I told you she'd be okay once she started playing again.”

I admit that I had my doubts, but it seems she's right. The piece sounds a bit different, played at a slower speed and without Chisato playing the piano as well, but it's no less beautiful than it was before.

Mrs. Sakamoto says nothing else, and neither do the rest of us as Saki plays through the piece in its entirety. When the last note is played, Takamura waits for a few more seconds before keying the intercom.

“Got it! Give me a minute here and I'll be ready to play it back for you.”

Saki nods and hops off the stool, setting her violin down on the stand and grabbing her cane. She plods towards the engineering booth, gratefully taking a seat. It seems that took more of a toll on her than she was letting on.

“That sounded great!” Noriko says, sitting down on the padded bench next to her friend. Saki manages to smile at her, then turn her gaze towards Chisato.

“It did,” Chisato says timidly, obviously nervous about what happened earlier.

“Thank you,” Saki answers, and it's almost as if I can see the weight lifted off of the other girl's shoulders.

“Shogo says he's ready for you,” Mrs. Sakamoto says, sticking her head around the corner to get our attention.

“That was fast!”

“I told you he was good.”

Just as soon as Saki's gotten comfortable, she stands up again and we make our way over to him. While Saki leans on the console for balance, he produces a set of headphones to hand to her before starting his explanation.

“I'll be playing it both through your headphones and the speakers here so everyone else can listen as well. I'm going to start from the beginning and bring the tempo up to normal. Listen to the whole thing before you say anything, okay?”

Saki brushes her hair out of the way and dons the headgear. “Okay.”

Takamura pushes a button, and both the computer screens and speakers come to life.

Even through a recording, her playing sounds amazing. The lines on the computer screen dance in time with the sound, forming a hypnotic sensation between what I'm seeing and what I'm hearing. About halfway through the piece, I turn to look at the others...and I'm confused by what I see.

Chisato, Takamura, and Mrs. Sakamoto all have impassive looks on their faces, and when I look at Saki, I understand why. Her eyes are closed, but she's obviously frustrated and distressed, with her eyebrows knitted deep in concentration. Noriko and I make eye contact, and she's just as confused as I am.

When the music finishes, nobody says anything while Saki takes off her headphones.

“What did you think?” Takamura asks her.

Saki frowns. “It sounds...wrong.

(continued...)
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Wed Nov 02, 2016 12:23 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 8/9)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:09 am

Takamura nods. “That's normal.”

“But why?” Saki asks him, a question I'm asking myself as well...because it sounded fine to me.

“You played the piece as if it was meant to be played at that speed, so when you speed it up, there are slight variations in the way it sounds as if it was normally played at the faster pace. Don't worry though, like I said, it's perfectly normal-”

“But...I don't want to record if it's going to sound like that! The pauses, the way the sound is off.”

Takamura cuts her off by raising a hand. “Now hold on, you didn't let me finish. When I said this was normal, I meant that this is normal the first time you do it. Even thought the computer keeps the pitch the same, there will be a few differences. When you get a chance to listen to what it sounds like at both normal and slowed speeds, you can compensate for it. You learn to play the piece as if it's slowed down, not as if it was written slower, does that make sense?”

“I guess so,” Saki says begrudgingly.

“It's not something that happens overnight,” he continues, “but you can get the hang of it pretty quickly, especially if you can play by ear. I'll burn you a disc with a few tracks on it that you can use, both with the part played at the slower speed, bumped up to normal speed, but also with Chisato's part slowed down by itself as well. Next time you come in here and record, I promise you, it's going to make a huge difference.”

Saki nods, not entirely convinced, but willing to take his assurances at face value. “Alright. I'll try.”

“Good! If you have time, see if you can do the same thing with the rest of the music you planned to do this with. Once you have some experience with it, it will become second nature.”

“Shogo's right,” Mrs. Sakamoto offers. “Trust him on this. He had to have the same talk with me.”

“You mean you went through this too, sensei?” Saki asks, her eyes growing wide.

“I did it when I started to get arthritis and couldn't play as well as I used to,” she explains. “It didn't take too long to pick up, and I'll help you if you need it.”

“Thank you,” her student says, some of the light returning to her eyes. I see Noriko breathe a sigh of relief, and I do the same. I didn't understand much of what was just said between everyone involved, but I do know that Saki seems more at ease, and that's always a plus.

Takamura makes us jump by slapping his hands on his thighs. “Well then, now that that's out of the way, there were a few other things you wanted to record today, right?”

“I think there's a few more things we can do that don't need the, um, machine,” Chisato says, looking to Saki for affirmation. Saki nods.

“We can play a few solo pieces, if that's alright?”

Takamura nods and turns back to the board. “Give me a few minutes to change the setup. Who's going first?”

----------

Several hours later, I'm glad I brought the book.

Not to say that it hasn't been fascinating to watch, but after Takamura asks Chisato and Saki to play each piece at least three times, eventually even I got bored. At least Noriko has an interest in the board, shadowing Takamura as he shares his wisdom and observations eagerly as long as he has an interested audience. He really does remind me of Mutou in that regard.

The afternoon turns to early evening before they finish up. Takamura calls all of us to join him at the end of the session, and we all crowd around among the equipment in the room.

“Today was a good day,” he starts. “You both put in a lot of work and made a lot of progress. I have the computer burning a few copies of everything we recorded today so the two of you can take them with you. I do the best I can here, but as you've learned from listening back to how you play, sometimes it just sounds a bit different when it's recorded. I want you two to listen to the music, and how it sounds. That way if you want to make any changes or revisions before the next time we get together, we can then try those out the same way. If not, we can get right into recording, now that you understand how the process works a bit more and you're not entirely new to it.” He claps his hands. “Any questions?”

“How long will the CD's take to burn?” Saki asks.

“About twenty minutes for the computer to process them and burn them. You can gather up your things if you want. After it's done I'm closing down here since karaoke opens in...half an hour. Anything else?” When nobody raises any objections, he nods. “Ms. Souma, can you give me a hand cleaning and covering the piano?”

Tasks are quickly delegated to prepare the studio for closing, and I'm given the task of emptying the various small wastebaskets and transporting the contents of their larger cousin to the dumpster. I do so quickly, and on the way back I take a seat on the bench outside to catch my breath.

Before I know it, I seem to have settled in to watch the traffic go by. It's starting to pick up a bit from earlier as work lets out and commuters start to go home. The temperature has also cooled off by a few degrees, which isn't happening nearly as often as it used to with the summer coming up.

All in all, it looks like it may be shaping up to be a very pleasant evening.

“What did you think of today?” Takamura's voice sounds in my ear. I jump slightly and turn to see him standing next to me, staring out at the street. I didn't even hear him come out the front door.

“It was fun to watch. I don't really know anything about music or computers so I didn't understand a lot of what was going on, but it was fun to see the two of them play.”

“Part of the reason is that they're fun to work with,” he says. “You should see some of the other people that I've worked with in the past, or some of the ones I still do.”

I watch as the older man pulls out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter, bringing one to his mouth with practiced ease and lighting it. Almost as an afterthought, he offers me the pack. When I look at him incredulously, he shrugs. “Thought it would be polite to at least offer.”

“Um, no thank you. I don't smoke.”

“Good. It's a filthy habit. At least, that's what Hana keeps telling me. You a fan of karaoke?” Takamura asks me, exhaling a long stream of smoke from his lips.

“I've only done it a few times with my friends, but I can't really sing.”

He laughs. “That never stopped anyone. That's what makes it fun.”

“Why do you ask?”

“Well, the girls will be done finishing up here fairly soon and there's a booth that hasn't been booked later tonight. It's yours if you want it. I figure you all could use it after the day you've had.

“That's very generous of you. What did they say when you asked them?”

“I haven't yet,” he says, running a hand through his pompadour. “I will in a minute though. I figured I'd ask you first to get a feel for what they'd say.”

This confuses me. “Why's that? You know Chisato and Saki longer than I have.”

He turns to look at me. “This is only my third time meeting them. I've actually met them through Hana. She was the one that set all of this up, you know.”

“Really? I didn't know that.”

Takamura mumbles his reply around another cigarette as he brings it to his lips to light it. “Hana first told me about them around the end of the last school year. She mentioned how talented they were. I actually went to the year end recital last year to hear the two of them play. Hana was right; they were absolutely incredible. But you already know that, right?”

I think back to the festival. “Yeah, they really are. The first time I heard Saki play, it was like...I don't know,” I remember, letting my voice trail off. “I had never heard anything like it before.” It seems like such a trite thing to say, but it's definitely the truth.

He chuckles. “They have that effect on people. When Hana asked me for a favor, to let the girls use the studio, I decided I would help the two of them out.”

I already know why Chisato is so insistent on making this album, since she's going to use it as a way to try and launch a career or at least a good school. She was pretty adamant about it and didn't have any wavering or doubt in her conviction when I spoke to her in the spa the other day.

After today though, I'm not sure if the motivation is the same for Saki. She's mentioned that playing the violin is what she wants to do, and I know that she gave up the art club to focus on it. Even so, when I've heard her talk about it, it seemed like it was more an immediate desire than a plan or direction like it is with Chisato. At the very least, we graduate this year, and she has to have at least some idea of what she's going to do after graduation, right?

“They're both good,” Takamura says, interrupting my thoughts. “I've known people two or three times their age that barely play that well.”

“They've put in a lot of hard work.”

“Oh without a doubt. But there's more to it than that. Even if you work as hard as you can, that hard work will only take you so far. You have to have talent as well.”

This answer intrigues me. “So you think talent is more important than hard work?” I ask, but before I finish the question, he's already shaking his head.

“Not at all. They go hand in hand. You can be talented, but unless you have the discipline to refine it, you won't get any further than hard work alone will get you. The people that go the farthest in life find something that they can apply both to. That's the idea, anyway. But sometimes even that isn't enough, if you never get the chance to go for it if you don't have the connections. It's more of who you know instead of what you know, a lot of the time.”

“What do you mean?”

Takamura takes another long drag before answering me. “You see it in some areas more than others, and the arts is especially burdened with it. There are people that have such amazing potential, but they're never given a chance or an opportunity to explore it. How many times have you seen someone selling their art on the street, or playing a guitar with the case open next to them begging for pocket change? Some of the most beautiful things I've seen or heard have come from people like that, but they were never given a chance to turn it into something more.”

He pauses for a second, his eyes glazed over in memory.

“A few months ago, I heard someone playing a guitar down by the train station, and I just stopped to listen for a few minutes. She was amazingly talented, but her playing was still rough around the edges. She had the passion though; the drive, the soul of what she was trying to play was bright as day. And here she was, with barely enough yen to buy a coffee. I placed a few notes in the case and she thanked me, and we got to talking for a few minutes. I asked her if she'd ever considered pursuing music further, but she told me it never really crossed her mind. When I asked her if she would ever feel like coming into a studio to record her playing, she thanked me but said she didn't think she was good enough, and that it would just be silly. And that saddens me on a level it's hard to express.”

I just look at him, drawn in by his story, waiting for him to continue.

“When you don't have someone who believes in you enough to give you a chance, eventually, you stop believing in yourself. And when a chance does come along...you don't take it. That's why, when Hana told me about the two of them, and I heard them play... I resolved I'd do what I could to help give them that chance...while they still wanted to take it.”

I'm in awe at this answer, and it takes me a few moments to reply. “They're really lucky to have people like you in their lives.”

Takamura gives a low laugh. “Maybe so, but luck is also a skill. Well, maybe that's the wrong way to put it. You have to be skilled enough to recognize and take advantage of luck when it comes your way.” He suddenly looks a bit embarrassed. “Sorry about that. I didn't mean to turn that into a speech.”

“You have a tendency to do that sometimes,” I hear a voice behind us. Both of us turn to see Mrs. Sakamoto standing in the doorway, with a knowing grin.

“How long were you standing there?” Takamura asks.

“Oh don't mind me, it's nothing I haven't heard before.”

“Well, did you hear the part where I asked about the karaoke?”

“I must have missed that part,” Mrs. Sakamoto says. “I think I'll leave it up to the three of them, and Mr. Nakai, of course,” she finishes, bowing her head slightly towards me.

“Where are they, anyway?” I ask.

“They're just getting ready to leave. Saki's putting her violin away.”

“I think we made some good progress today,” Takamura states.

Mrs. Sakamoto nods. “At least now they know enough about the process involved so they can rewrite and rework a few things.”

“They're picking it up pretty fast. It will be interesting to see what they come up with the next time they come in.”

“That probably won't be until after the summer break.”

Takamura nods. “Just let me know when. I'm just a phone call away.”

At this moment, there's a noise as all three girls walk out of the studio together. Without a word, I move next to Saki to take her violin case from her so she has at least one free hand. Chisato adjusts her backpack, and Noriko makes sure the strap on her purse is firmly on her shoulder.

“Thank you for today, Mr. Takamura,” Chisato says with a bow, and the other two girls follow suit.

“You're welcome,” he replies with a huge grin. “I was actually discussing this with your teacher and Mr. Nakai here, but what were all of you planning on doing after this?”

This prompts the three girls to look at each other in confusion, and then at Mrs. Sakamoto. None of them seemed to have thought that far ahead, or if they did, they didn't share with each other.

“Maybe go out to eat then head back up to Yamaku, I thought?” Noriko ventures.

Takamura smiles again, then tells the three of them about the open karaoke booth. While Chisato and Saki seem keen to the idea, Noriko's easily the most excited as her face instantly lights up.

“Really?” she asks, with unabashed enthusiasm. “You're letting us use it for the night?” She turns back towards the rest of us with an expression so full of expectation and fear that we'll raise an objection that it causes all of us to laugh. We all cast a glance at our ride for the evening – after all, it's up to her.

“As long as we don't stay too late,” Mrs. Sakamoto states. “I need to get home sometime tonight.”

“I like the idea of getting something to eat first,” Saki says. “Any ideas?”

“Um...how about ramen?” Noriko asks hopefully.

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Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Thu Jan 19, 2017 4:13 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Blackmambauk » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:27 am

Will provide my full chapter commentary later on today as I'm at work currently.

But I have to say that you have outdone yourself this time euro.

And congrats on getting your spot at the convention for next year, hope you managed to sell a few of your work.

This story is going from strength to strength each chapter.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Peorth » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:57 am

Glad to see you back in the saddle, keep it up! :)
Even if the author is silenced, the performance is stopped, the story will not end.

Whether it's a comedy or a tragedy, if there is cheering, the story will continue on.
Just like the many lives.
For the us who are still in it and still in the journey, send warm blessings.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Oct 31, 2016 9:37 am

Very good chapter again, but I'm not quite sold on the pitch thing:
“Okay Saki, I have the metronome set at two thirds of normal speed for this piece. Is that okay?”
If you've got a player with speed control try listening to a piece of music at 66% speed...
That's going to be harder to play than original tempo. It's going to sound like chewing gum, too :-)
We used to slow down music for practice as well, but 90% is already a huge deal, and we never even tried anything slower than 80%. It definitely won't "sound great".
When I said this was normal, I meant that this is normal the first time you do it. When you get a chance to listen to what it sounds like at both normal and slowed speeds, you can compensate for it. You learn to play the piece as if it's slowed down, not as if it was written slower, does that make sense?”
Not really... True, if you speed up something by 50% it's going to sound like the violin has been inhaling helium, but I think it would be impossible to compensate for that by playing at a deeper pitch. It would be like learning to talk backwards, and I'm not even sure you CAN pitch a violin so low as to compensate for 50% difference in speed.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Edible_Funk » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:18 pm

A pleasant surprise to see this story updated today. I don't have much to offer in the way of constructive criticism, but I do want to say how much I enjoy your take on Saki and all of the characters you've introduced. This is one of my favorite works here, and I'm glad to see you still at it. Anyway, happy Halloween, and thanks for the update!

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Wecthil » Mon Oct 31, 2016 1:01 pm

Holy cow... Jester. You continue to do an awesome job at this.
I really, sincerely hope that your health gets better and I can only say how much I appreciate that work of art you are doing here.

Bless you, mate, and happy halloween.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 3:29 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Very good chapter again, but I'm not quite sold on the pitch thing:
Holy crap, somehow there was an entire paragraph explaining this that didn't get copied over. I'll fix that when I get home.

The idea is that the computer ups the speed but keeps the pitch the same, so you simply play the tune at a slower pace and then it gets sped up later. The effect would be like using one of the speed modifiers on a youtube video.

Thank you so much for the feedback everyone! This chapter was a fun one to write, but trying to keep a conversation going between five different people can be a bit tough :D
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Blackmambauk » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:05 pm

Right Commentary time.

Lots of great moments in this chapter, Chisato as ever just makes ever scene she is in stronger, from wanting her bag, to throwing it like she had just gotten home from school. I bet it was some sort of stuffy Pikachu bag or some line, it would just fit Chisato perfectly.

To flustering with Takamura when checking out the Piano again. Speaking of I loved how Hisao felt intimidated by his appearance of looking like a biker.

Guess he never ran into any K rock bands in his time :).

Liked the little detail of Takamure and how he feels about those playing on the streets and how very few ever try to give them the chance and instil the belief they could expand their potential.

It's a very sad fact that many never reach their potential because no one ever gave them the encouragement that they needed or jadedness crept in so much that they lost all passion.

Nice potent moment for a minor character.

All this starts off the chapter nicely and whimsical like, all nicely setting up Hisao jinxing it with how great and wonderful it all is.

With Saki starting to slip up for no doubt many reasons, from possible nerves of recording in a studio, to as we learn family issues starting to ever creep up more on her.

Her father again with a great call-back to the shopping chapter and actually pulling the card on Saki, that I must say is good subtle indication of financial control freak behaviour on his part that leaves more ponder the audience on his character. Now her brother get's brought up in her moment of anger.

I wonder what he must be like for her to bring him up in the moment she did. Of course we are only getting her side at the moment in regards to both so I'm holding off on anymore til we get the full picture.

Liked the moment of anger between Chisato and Saki, you can see that this isn't the first time they no doubt have had tensions on music.

I think there is potential in where you could go in how they are each approaching their album. Will they keep it together and create some music? Or will they become McCartney and Lennon/ Nigel and David and their possible differences become too great?

Though Hisao I could see in trying to be Not Yoko Ono/Ian Faith and Noriko (liked her interest in the recording stuff, there's potential there as well) possibly being George Martin (the producer not the writer).

And yet the regret they have of that brief blow up by Saki, seeks volume of how strong their friendship is to make her like a sister comment potent and not feel baiting as too often that sort of sugary line can be in fiction.

Loved how this chapter really exposed how proud Saki is and really doesn't like bearing her frustrations or burdens to anyone.

You can tell that the crash is coming and when it does, it's going to be quite the read.

You know something I have been wondering, Hisao has taken up swimming, got a girlfriend and friends etc.

Has mentioned of looking into doing something science based afterwards and that's all been interesting like it is in the game, but it feels like something's missing, you how he has the science club with Mutou in Emi's route, That one thing in the story that he has that is focused on him without the route girl.

This isn't criticism, just something that on recent rereading of this brilliant fic is something I feel that is nipping at me more and more.

Hisao has always been more thinner in the characterization department in comparison to the girl's of the route.

But the more I measure him against Saki and Chisato. It just feels like Hisao needs an extra rock to balance the scales.

I have full faith in your future chapter plans as I'm sure you have something in mind.

But I felt to bring this one since to not do so would leave the third rail ongoing.

Overall excellent chapter again, full of humour, real drama and more of Saki's frustrations and where lies beneath surfacing even more.

Keep up the fab work.

Blackmambauk
Last edited by Blackmambauk on Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Favourite Route= All the Routes were done well. Each had it's strengths and weak points. But none were bad, a brilliant achievement by the KS Team.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:33 pm

Eurobeatjester wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:Very good chapter again, but I'm not quite sold on the pitch thing:
Holy crap, somehow there was an entire paragraph explaining this that didn't get copied over. I'll fix that when I get home.

The idea is that the computer ups the speed but keeps the pitch the same, so you simply play the tune at a slower pace and then it gets sped up later. The effect would be like using one of the speed modifiers on a youtube video.
Yes, using a computer to compensate might be feasible... I'm not sure if that would be considered cheating, though :-)

Anyway, 66% is probably still excessive. Try singing along to a song at 66% speed. This alone is probably difficult enough. I've never played the violin (or any string instruments) but I imagine it would be pretty hard holding each note that much longer. Not sure if it would be even possible on a piano.
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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 6:58 pm

Mirage_GSM wrote:Yes, using a computer to compensate might be feasible... I'm not sure if that would be considered cheating, though :-)

Anyway, 66% is probably still excessive. Try singing along to a song at 66% speed. This alone is probably difficult enough. I've never played the violin (or any string instruments) but I imagine it would be pretty hard holding each note that much longer. Not sure if it would be even possible on a piano.
Reading back on it again, it probably does seem a bit excessive. I'll update that as well to something a bit more reasonable.

And using the computer is totally cheating, but I wanted to use it more as a tool to show that Saki still wants to play and find ways to do it, despite her deteriorating condition.
Blackmambauk wrote:You know something I have been wondering, Hisao has taken up swimming, got a girlfriend and friends etc.

Has mentioned of looking into doing something science based afterwards and that's all been interesting like it is in the game, but it feels like something's missing, you how he has the science club with Mutou in Emi's route, That one thing in the story that he has that is focused on him without the route girl.

This isn't criticism, just something that on recent rereading of this brilliant fic is something I feel that is nipping at me more and more.

Hisao has always been more thinner in the characterization department in comparison to the girl's of the route.

But the more I measure him against Saki and Chisato. It just feels like Hisao needs an extra rock to balance the scales
I get where you're coming from with this, and there's a few reasons for it. The first is something common to a lot of VNs, KS included: The MC that you experience the story through, at the beginning, cannot be as strong a character as those he/she interacts with, so that their personality can change. Hisao at the moment (and in some routes more than others) is reactionary and not a driving force in the story - at least, not yet. In the VN, Hisao only really becomes a driving force once the main conflict of the path is revealed. You and others are right that I've been trying to set up that conflict, and I wish I was able to write faster because a large part of it is about to be revealed. Afterwards, Hisao will become more of a decision maker instead of just being pulled along for the ride.

It's kind of like what happens to Sansa Stark, and the differences between her character in the novels and in the Game Of Thrones TV show. She goes from being dragged along by everyone else to being a pretty influential character.

As far as hobbies go, Hisao does like to do swimming on his own, once Saki introduced it to him. He's also trying to find himself again and something he can do that might balance that, but it's something difficult to write because of the cast of characters in this fic. There's a good amount of crossover between the girls in the different routes, and some of what Hisao shows interest in outside of the girl he pursues comes from those crossovers and the Yamaku staff. I didn't intend to, but I ended up going off on a different path having introduced more OC's rather than have Hisao interact with established characters. I do eventually intend to give Hisao this extra rock you mentioned, but I didn't do it earlier in the story and since the current focus is building up on the conflicts between Saki, Chisato, and her family, I feel that trying to do anything with it right this moment wouldn't work too well.

Regarding Hisao's future as to doing something with science, I kind of threw that in there as a reference to the VN. In some paths he thinks about his future, and in others, it's barely mentioned. One of the reasons I'm not focusing too hard on it right now is because, timewise, it's not even two months since Hisao came to Yamaku, and one of the VN paths (Shizune's) goes all the way to graduation - others only last a few short months.

Side note: I chose "Black & Yellow" because I love how complex the piece is. It feels like it could go off the rails at any moment but it holds together beautifully. That was one of the songs I ended up using to try and "define" Saki's character in my mind. :D
Last edited by Eurobeatjester on Tue Sep 18, 2018 10:06 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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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Blackmambauk » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:20 pm

Oh of course, Hisao is very passive and reactionary, it's a big part of his characterization in the game and it needed to be kept to here as well for reason you have mentioned.

That I have been good with since Hisao being proactive too soon would not work and rush his character development.

I just been having the fear that as Learning to Fly goes on, Hisao would fall behind Saki and Chisato in the characterization and arc department.

Which I feel was one of the weaknesses of the second half of Sisterhood, granted that had multiple POV's compared to only Hisao's here.

Where compared to Lilly and Hanako, Hisao felt like he just fell through the net and ended up feeling more like a bland love interest compared to Lilly and Hanako's complex characterisations and developments with their family or personality.

Even Naomi and an OC felt more developed and fleshed out compared to Hisao.

But you are right it needs to be dealt with at the right time. So not to take focus off what you have mentioned.

Again this is a minor thing in the larger picture, I just worry that it might weaken some of the later drama and make Hisao feel a little too vanilla and satellite.

I quite like Sansa's arc in the novel since it really plays with a lot of fantasy tropes and explores the ideas of them quite well, in fact I prefer it over those like Arya's for that purpose.

Along with the massive subtext and context there is to her POV that I think many miss.

One of my favourite devices in fiction is seeing passive people grow a spine and take charge of their life's.

Again You have shown you have something in mind and figured out.

Which i look forward to seeing bear fruit.

Blackmambauk
"I think the greatest skill a writer can have is simply having confidence in themselves to tell the story they want to tell, and to have confidence that their audience will make up their own minds on their story and characters." Blackmambauk

Favourite Route= All the Routes were done well. Each had it's strengths and weak points. But none were bad, a brilliant achievement by the KS Team.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Eurobeatjester » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:47 pm

Blackmambauk wrote:Where compared to Lilly and Hanako, Hisao felt like he just fell through the net and ended up feeling more like a bland love interest compared to Lilly and Hanako's complex characterisations and developments with their family or personality.
To be fair, it's really hard to write an interaction where over the course of a few months, someone new is suddenly injected into a dynamic between multiple characters with years of history between them and have them be on equal footing, because you have to have the history of interaction to have those types of characterizations and it's really easy to cheapen the existing relationships if you're not careful.

As a writer, you can have the luxury of defining those relationships without having to fully explain them until they become relevant to the plot, if ever.

Hisao perhaps did feel a little bland in those routes, but he did spend a lot of time trying to learn and understand those complex interactions of people that had known each other long before he came into the picture, and speaking from experience, you don't necessarily need that depth of history with someone before you end up dating them or falling in love.

I mentioned it before, but Hisao has proven by far to be the most challenging character to write because he's not set in stone, but he's not exactly a blank slate either. He has to be relatable to the character from the game. He has to be original enough to have his personality shape and change. But you can't go too far with it or else he loses the sense of connection with what's established about his character.

I used the Sansa comparison because while she's arguably the weakest character in terms of driving the story, her chapters serve an important purpose. Her character provides the eyes that we see other, non POV characters act through (The Hound, Littlefinger, Joffrey, etc) and I always felt that was Hisao's job during the first half of many of the paths in the game.
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 10/31)

Post by Blackmambauk » Mon Oct 31, 2016 7:55 pm

Very True what you have said above and I do agree with.

Hisao can only be developed so much or least at risk of deriving too much from what his character is.

As long as enough details and developments are there, it works well enough I think.

I'm just a sticker for things like this and of opinions that I have a recurrence of repeating.

Blackmamabuk
"I think the greatest skill a writer can have is simply having confidence in themselves to tell the story they want to tell, and to have confidence that their audience will make up their own minds on their story and characters." Blackmambauk

Favourite Route= All the Routes were done well. Each had it's strengths and weak points. But none were bad, a brilliant achievement by the KS Team.

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Re: Learning To Fly - A Saki pseudo-route (Updated 10/31)

Post by Lulzkiller49 » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:43 am

Been following this for a few months now and have finally decided to stop lurking. Don't have much to say besides that I'm enjoying your work and am excited to see what you have in store.

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