"Out Of The Blue" (Neko Book 4) Chapter 24b (20181116)

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"Out Of The Blue" (Neko Book 4) Chapter 24b (20181116)

Post by NekoDude » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:13 am

I was never terribly fond of the formatting limitations of the site, and the scope of this work has been steadily growing as I make progress which is not all that amenable to forum posting either. (Changing the order of chapters, or inserting a new chapter in between two existing ones, for example, are difficult at best in this format.) So, as promised some time ago -- it's a book!

It would be rather pointless to try to spoiler-tag everything that might push your buttons in this document, but you'll probably find something that makes you a bit uncomfortable. That's alright, some of it made me uncomfortable writing it, but it's not in there gratuitously. Everything has a purpose, everything is going somewhere even if you can't see just where yet. One spoiler I'll throw out there though: NOBODY DIES. (Preceding statement withdrawn starting with Book 3.)

Enjoy. It's taken me three months to write this volume, and it's a pretty safe bet the next will be on a similar time scale.

EDIT Feb 13, 2014: The formatting has changed, and the first "book" runs 326 pages. ...And Nakai Makes Three (box.com link, I dropped Dropbox). No content has been deleted (in fact, a little bit has been added), but some margin tweaks allowed me to drop two pages of white space. (Further minor edits Feb. 18 -- I accidentally a word so I fixed that, harmonized some inconsistent punctuation, and added half a sentence to squeeze in a song reference.) (Further minor edits Mar. 31 -- I changed Neko's call sign to something she actually would have been issued in 2006, and fixed the inconsistent capitalization of Mum throughout the work.)

You can also read the story as I post it directly to the forum here, and if you want to follow along to the musical references, I have compiled a Youtube playlist for that purpose.

EDIT March 28, 2014: A playlist has been generated for the second book, Three Of A Perfect Pair.

EDIT June 16, 2014: Progress continues in bursts.The buffer is down to 40 or so pages. Iwanako is now a POV character (not posted yet, don't go looking). Neko, being a side character in another project, now has her own theme song. (The June 2018 remaster is the version currently posted, which uses my own homemade electric guitar VST – in both possible ways you could interpret that. Both the VST, and the guitar that produced the samples, were assembled by me personally.)

Also, I made a model of Neko in 3D Custom Girl.
SFW. | NSFW. | SFW. | NSFW.


You can't actually make katawas in this program, but you can twist limbs around in ways they shouldn't go, so as to render them invisible.

EDIT: August 22, 2014: I have posted a Kindle-specific .mobi file of the first book here, and the second book here. This is for the old-school black-and-white eInk kindle but should work on later ones as well.

EDIT: November 3, 2014: I can see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as the second book goes. Of course, that may just be an oncoming train. In any case, it will be done when it is done. More noteworthy is that I plan to change the format of the third book significantly. No more short chapters and POV switches. It will all be written in "over the shoulder" narrator-omniscient. That means that while the narrator can read minds, he can only do so for one person at a time, and events will still be portrayed as if from the location and angle of that character. This reduces the amount of temporal overlap I have to deal with -- there are several places where chapters are covering the same period of time, but one of them had to come before the other because I couldn't just alternate between the two plot lines or POVs. I admit this can get confusing, but I didn't see any way around it in the all-first-person format. A narrator format alleviates this, and also alleviates problems with chapter length. No more one-page chapters. Finally, it allows me to stop worrying about dialects so much. Instead of the translation happening in the POV character's own dialect of English, I can just pick one and stick with it. (No more "honour" in one chapter and "honor" in the next, "arse" in one chapter and "ass" in the next, etc.) On the down side, it may make things come across a bit less "personal".

I also came up with a name for this series of books. It had been tentatively called the "Nekoverse", but that was never more than a working title. I came up with something a couple days ago that made me laugh, and I knew it was the right answer, even though it's a really bad pun. So what did I name this series?

Nekonomicon. I told you it was a bad pun.

EDIT: December 26, 2014: Completion. Just posted the three final chapters. PDF posted, .mobi posted.
Yes, it really ends with Neko doing a header over handlebars. You'll have to wait for Book Three to start to see how this works out.

EDIT: March 17, 2015: Prologue of new book (working title "Into The Dark") posted.

EDIT: April 1, 2015: No Fresh Prince post for April Fools this year. I was too busy converting a bunch of my music into chiptunes for a different April Fools prank. This one is for real.

EDIT: April 20, 2016: Third book posted as PDF (also here) and Kindle (also here).

EDIT: May 2, 2016: Third book posting (to the forum) is complete. The title of the fourth (and hopefully final, for this series) book is Out Of The Blue.

EDIT: June 17, 2016: Prologue posted for the new book. I don't yet have my 30 page buffer (I have had more than a little music to work on), but I didn't want it to look like I'd forgotten about it either.

EDIT: September 16, 2016: I've been "stuck" musically so I've turned to writing, hoping that shakes things loose. It seems to work in the reverse direction.

EDIT: December 1, 2016: Well, no, I guess it didn't. It just resulted in producing more music. But then, that's what I get paid for.

EDIT: July 2, 2018: Dropping an extra update because the last one was so short. The next chapter will come in three installments because it's a board-chokingly big wall of text.

EDIT: November 16, 2018: Totally OT: Thinking of Van Halen's Hot For Teacher is a good way to count seconds in your head. At a tempo of 240 bpm, that means one bar is one second. The drumming lets you subdivide this second into twelve roughly equal parts, if you need additional precision. And if you can't get the real thing, you can use my send-up: [Intro] [Song]. That's why I noticed the property of the song.
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by TheGoatman » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:42 am

You have the most ironic timing you know that right? Nice to see you back, will await the next 200-400 pages(parts 2 and 3)
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by bhtooefr » Sat Dec 21, 2013 9:04 am

I'll note that if you read the original incarnation of the story on the old thread, things have changed quite a bit since then.
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Excerpt. (Now posted in the storyline itself.)

Post by NekoDude » Sat Jan 11, 2014 8:21 pm

(Excerpt deleted as redundant, I just posted it to the actual story.)
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by Silentcook » Sun Jan 12, 2014 5:50 am

You have more POV switches than a beauty pageant, but at least you labeled them clearly - you'd be surprised to find how often that's not the case.

As a result, it's sort of hard to say what you're trying to do here since there doesn't seem to be a major focus to concentrate on. I suppose "slice-of-life at its loosest" can be as good a description as any of the impression I got by my skimming through.

I noticed some chronological issues on page 109 directly contradicting the VN.

Your writing has a very American tone to it, for lack of a better word. The dialogue is very snappy and at times almost brusque, and everything has an openness if not an outright feeling of in-your-face which I feel doesn't match the location.

I'll say that this extends to the sexual motifs, therefore doubling your readers with this single sentence. :mrgreen:
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by Trivun » Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:45 am

I really should not be reading this right now since I have coursework that needs to be in for Tuesday. So I won't. However, I've skimmed through the first 20 or so pages and read a few passages and it looks pretty damn good, 184 pages will be a bit of a stretch for me to get through in a reasonable amount of time but I am definitely going to have to find the time to get through this. I'm actually really impressed so far :D
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by Yukarin » Sun Jan 12, 2014 10:49 am

Posting here because I want to get updated when there's a new chapter or something.

Great read, I'm patiently waiting for the next part!

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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by NekoDude » Sun Jan 12, 2014 3:40 pm

Silentcook wrote:You have more POV switches than a beauty pageant, but at least you labeled them clearly - you'd be surprised to find how often that's not the case.

As a result, it's sort of hard to say what you're trying to do here since there doesn't seem to be a major focus to concentrate on. I suppose "slice-of-life at its loosest" can be as good a description as any of the impression I got by my skimming through.

I noticed some chronological issues on page 109 directly contradicting the VN.

Your writing has a very American tone to it, for lack of a better word. The dialogue is very snappy and at times almost brusque, and everything has an openness if not an outright feeling of in-your-face which I feel doesn't match the location.

I'll say that this extends to the sexual motifs, therefore doubling your readers with this single sentence. :mrgreen:
Chronological contradictions are one consequence of choosing to use the actual Japanese school year from 2007, along with the dates for other events such as Tanabata (which Yamaku will not participate in, being in the middle of summer break and all). Where the VN is in conflict with the calendar, the calendar wins. Similarly, I had to nail down a specific location for Yamaku and chose Moniwadai for several reasons. Any inconsistencies with the VN after that I just have to write off as "oh well".

However, when it comes to Emi, I used a depiction given in someone else's backstory, because it seemed far more fleshed out than anything else I had to work with. Sometimes I forget where canon ends and fanon begins. If it's just a matter of changing numbers, that I'll probably do.

Tone: I'm not sure I would want to write in a quiet and polite tone, although I certainly know how. For one thing it would make everything twice as long, and for another I'd probably fall asleep in the process. But yeah, that too is largely a consequence of the style I've chosen to use. The rapid POV-switching is not, actually -- the writing style I was emulating does use much longer slices but most of the events I'm depicting simply don't fit into multi-day chapters.
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Snippet. (Excerpt of an excerpt.)

Post by NekoDude » Tue Jan 14, 2014 2:33 am

Somehow I've gotten it into my head that if Emi spoke English, she'd sound like a Valley Girl. Like, totally. I am so sure.

This isn't even a whole chapter, just a piece of one, but hopefully it makes sense by itself.
---
(Deleted -- it's now in the story as posted. Like, totally.)
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by Silentcook » Tue Jan 14, 2014 6:34 am

NekoDude wrote:However, when it comes to Emi, I used a depiction given in someone else's backstory, because it seemed far more fleshed out than anything else I had to work with. Sometimes I forget where canon ends and fanon begins. If it's just a matter of changing numbers, that I'll probably do.
Well in this case that someone else slapped on a two-month coma out of nowhere, so yeah...
NekoDude wrote:Tone: I'm not sure I would want to write in a quiet and polite tone, although I certainly know how. For one thing it would make everything twice as long, and for another I'd probably fall asleep in the process. But yeah, that too is largely a consequence of the style I've chosen to use.
I can understand that but not agree with that. It's a statement akin to an actor saying that he'll act as himself insted of the character he got to play.

Then again, several people around here are fond of putting all of Yamaku knee-deep in zombies and/or gunplay for no reason at all, so what's one deviation more or less in comparison to THAT? :roll:

Also Valley girl Emi? What.
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by Steinherz » Tue Jan 14, 2014 5:01 pm

Silentcook wrote:Also Valley girl Emi? What.
Well you're going to laugh at this, but when it comes to dubbing accents Valley Girl is a common one for certain anime characters. Specifically ones with the Kansai-region dialect (well with that it's either Valley girl, Brooklyn, or Texan)
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by NekoDude » Fri Jan 17, 2014 11:04 pm

Silentcook wrote:
NekoDude wrote:Tone: I'm not sure I would want to write in a quiet and polite tone, although I certainly know how. For one thing it would make everything twice as long, and for another I'd probably fall asleep in the process. But yeah, that too is largely a consequence of the style I've chosen to use.
I can understand that but not agree with that. It's a statement akin to an actor saying that he'll act as himself insted of the character he got to play.
I actually think it's more like re-making a perfectly good foreign film, because the pacing and delivery don't match the expectations of an American audience. It generally doesn't make for a better film, just a more approachable one. Is Koenjihyakkei "better" than Ruins? I personally don't think so, but it's a lot more approachable.

This is now the Prologue to the book. It does show a great deal about why I think Miki becomes the person she is in my story, though I wait a couple hundred pages to reveal that the prologue was actually about her. If you find it disturbing, good. It was meant to be. This is not the Miki you all think you know and love, it's a clingy yet emotionally vacant and sociopathic, Neutral Evil Miki.

EDIT: I am going to start posting the book text itself. Therefore the version of the Prologue that was here was redundant.
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Re: The Miki Prologue

Post by NekoDude » Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:03 am

So... that Prologue unfortunately breaks what I had intended to be my cold open, but I don't really have a means of invoking flashbacks in this format. Compromises sometimes have to be made, not everything can go first at the same time.
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by NekoDude » Sat Jan 25, 2014 1:56 am

This is a comic relief chapter, Hanako POV.
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(Also deleted, this is now in the main story here.)
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Hope you like it. :lol:
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Re: It's a book! (The Neko story rises from the grave.)

Post by NekoDude » Sun Feb 02, 2014 5:21 pm

I have decided to change the format slightly from what I was originally planning. It's only a structural change, the story itself will be proceeding as planned.

I have about 48 hours of storyline time left to write, then I plan to close out this "book" and start in on "book two" which will have a new title. This means you can probably expect a release of the completed first book within the next week or two. This will leave the first book in the vicinity of 350 pages.
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