Yamaku Book Club (20191111 Two Old & Colourful Pieces)

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Omicronus
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Omicronus » Wed Jun 24, 2015 12:24 pm

Iwanako has always been an intriguing subject for me, just because there's plenty of room to establish a world for her. And, being the cause of Hisao's first heart attack, I can imagine things weren't exactly easy for her shortly after the events of the prologue.

I know this may be extremely off-topic, but I've considered writing a one-shot (at the very least) about Iwanako and how her life changed after that fateful snowy day.

I've already read through the book club's selected fics, and am waiting patiently for discussions to begin.

On that note, Leaty and brythain, you guys have some amazing content written on the forums. As I said before, thank you both for writing what you write.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Blank Mage » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:42 pm

I think what's interesting about Iwanako (and therefore Iwanako Month) is that at this point she's functionally Leaty's OC. I mean, I like Shizune, but I think Puncyclopedia likely has at least as good a handle on her as I do, probably better. There's Weekend at Hisao's or Megumeru's works. She's had her spotlight in Developments and AtD, and there's no shortage of Misha stories in our little library that deal with the Once and Future Student Council President.

But Iwanako? What other works are there besides MTtB? And at this point, I doubt there's an author on these forums that doesn't follow the angst ridden misadventures of our wonderfully bitter AU protagonist. Leaty is as inseparable from the character as Scissorlips and Suzu, or EBJ and Saki. Except even they have alternative interpretations.

And really, who even wants to write an Iwanako fic now? I sure as hell don't. That's like trying to write a contemporary fantasy piece on the same board as JK Rowling: you might be great, but comparisons will be drawn, and you will fail.
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:13 pm

I agree that Leaty writes a wonderful Iwanako - but it's an Iwanako who had a heart attack and had to go to Yamaku, so it's unlikely that it's the same Iwanako that appears in KS.
If I were to write a story about Iwanako it would probably be nothing like Leaty's version. Not likely to happen, but for different reasons.
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dewelar
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by dewelar » Wed Jun 24, 2015 5:20 pm

Blank Mage wrote:I think what's interesting about Iwanako (and therefore Iwanako Month) is that at this point she's functionally Leaty's OC. I mean, I like Shizune, but I think Puncyclopedia likely has at least as good a handle on her as I do, probably better. There's Weekend at Hisao's or Megumeru's works. She's had her spotlight in Developments and AtD, and there's no shortage of Misha stories in our little library that deal with the Once and Future Student Council President.

But Iwanako? What other works are there besides MTtB? And at this point, I doubt there's an author on these forums that doesn't follow the angst ridden misadventures of our wonderfully bitter AU protagonist. Leaty is as inseparable from the character as Scissorlips and Suzu, or EBJ and Saki. Except even they have alternative interpretations.

And really, who even wants to write an Iwanako fic now? I sure as hell don't. That's like trying to write a contemporary fantasy piece on the same board as JK Rowling: you might be great, but comparisons will be drawn, and you will fail.
While a lot of this is true, what's ironic is that, when it comes down to it, Leaty's character is only Iwanako tangentially. The Iwanako that appears in MTtB is an Iwanako that does not even follow the events in KS. Everything we know about the character in the VN beyond one datum (that she wrote the note that brought Hisao to the wood) does not exist in Leaty's story. She is, in essence, a completely different character than OTL!Iwanako.

And yet, that's the version that's become unassailable fanon.

Brava, Leaty. Brava. The rest of us can only wish for such adulation.
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Omicronus
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Omicronus » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:15 pm

Blank Mage wrote:And really, who even wants to write an Iwanako fic now? I sure as hell don't. That's like trying to write a contemporary fantasy piece on the same board as JK Rowling: you might be great, but comparisons will be drawn, and you will fail.
*shyly raises hand*

Actually, it's because of Leaty that I had the idea to write an Iwanako fic. I considered writing an Iwanako route, but I'm not exactly sure that that can be done. If I figure something out, perhaps...maybe.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by brythain » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:29 pm

Blank Mage wrote:And really, who even wants to write an Iwanako fic now? I sure as hell don't. That's like trying to write a contemporary fantasy piece on the same board as JK Rowling: you might be great, but comparisons will be drawn, and you will fail.
I do. Implicit in Leaty's own approach is that she's created an Iwanako in a mirror-universe of sorts, and one more fully-realised than the one we canonically have. This allows at least one other approach — to mirror Leaty's Iwanako. The other approach is to create an Iwanako out of whole cloth with only the trimmings provided by canon (not many). There's a lurid one in Madam Lillian's and some nasty ones elsewhere, but those are in a way jokes.

What can be gained from critical discussion of the few 'minor' Iwanakos and Leaty's magnum opus is an understanding of how the character, no matter how blank-slate, can be developed from three things: the opening scene, the variability of the Iwanako Letter device, and Hisao's thoughts on the matter. Nobody's competing with Rowling, but her subject matter pays tribute to many sources, and in time fresh material that pays tribute to her will arise. It's a matter of time, inclination, and ability. For a long while, Tolkien bestrode the world like a colossus; but in that shadow, worthy tangential and orthogonal competitors have arisen over time.

Where failure will occur is certainly if you try to out-Leaty Leaty herself. :)
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
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dewelar
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by dewelar » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:30 pm

Omicronus wrote:
Blank Mage wrote:And really, who even wants to write an Iwanako fic now? I sure as hell don't. That's like trying to write a contemporary fantasy piece on the same board as JK Rowling: you might be great, but comparisons will be drawn, and you will fail.
*shyly raises hand*

Actually, it's because of Leaty that I had the idea to write an Iwanako fic. I considered writing an Iwanako route, but I'm not exactly sure that that can be done. If I figure something out, perhaps...maybe.
On the topic of Leaty and the ever-elusive Iwanako route, consider reading this post.

That said...in the course of assembling this response, I have come up with a few ideas about what shape an Iwanako route might take that would still allow for it to take place at Yamaku. I would probably start with the idea that Iwanako is actually a year behind Hisao in school (it's never stated what year she is in the VN, so this breaks nothing), and work my way outwards, determining why she wound up at Yamaku. It would make for a deliciously ironic turn, I think.

Wow, now I almost feel like I want to write this myself... :twisted:
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Numb » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:27 pm

dewelar wrote: On the topic of Leaty and the ever-elusive Iwanako route, consider reading this post.
At the risk of going somewhat off-topic for a moment, Leaty raises a lot of good points in that post. I'd say I agree with 99% of what she said, the only thing I would disagree with is the ending remark that "nobody wants to see your literary noodlings" because that was what happened with my Miki route. Sure, it's a rare case that the literary noodlings seem to actually go somewhere, but if you can keep it up for long enough, people will read it. I'm somewhat delirious from being awake at two in the morning after having studied psychology and film all day, so my grammar is probably atrocious in this post, and I'll probably forget I even made it when I wake up, but I figured I'd poke my head in with a late reply... About noodles. That is all, we will now return to scheduled programming.
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Puncyclopedia
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Puncyclopedia » Wed Jun 24, 2015 9:56 pm

Consider me someone who hasn't read MTtB, and also largely because I would like to write something (most likely not a route, though) with Iwanako in the future and I don't want to be too colored by it, given how seminal a work it is for KS fandom here.

I think a lot of the appeal of Iwanako comes in that she's this character who, were Katawa Shoujo a more conventional VN, would most likely be the "main girl" and get boatloads of development, but Katawa gives her precious little screentime in the beginning, and then suddenly she's gone.

She has a very interesting "hook" and appeals to my desire to write thinky things, which is against my usual modus operandi for writing. I prefer the challenge of trying to write main characters well to having the room to explore in a more open world, so to speak, but Iwanako's situation strikes me as something that could be interesting to work with.

I'll read these three fics before meeting, for sure.

(Also thanks to Blank Mage for the compliment, we'll see how you feel after the chapter I'm writing now. ;p)
Characters: Shizune > Lilly > Rin > Emi > Hanako
Routes: Lilly > Rin > Shizune > Hanako > Emi

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by brythain » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:48 pm

Numb wrote:
dewelar wrote: On the topic of Leaty and the ever-elusive Iwanako route, consider reading this post.
At the risk of going somewhat off-topic for a moment, Leaty raises a lot of good points in that post. I'd say I agree with 99% of what she said, the only thing I would disagree with is the ending remark that "nobody wants to see your literary noodlings" because that was what happened with my Miki route.
When I first came here on February 24th, 2014, I began 'After The Dream' and received some sterling commentary:
Not sure what you are trying to do here. The first post has almost no context, and the writing is quite dreamy.
To be honest I couldn't get motivated to look at the stories in this continuity yet.
...this is easily one of the most chilling, soulless incarnations of Shizune I've encountered.
However, whatever doesn't kill you might well help you along to convert the noodlings into a casserole that someone might enjoy. So go for it, after considering the negative criticism and whether it's justified. In some cases, I've completely rewritten whole chapters and arcs because someone launched a well-timed and well-deserved kick up my arse. :)
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)

Omicronus
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Omicronus » Wed Jun 24, 2015 11:02 pm

dewelar wrote:On the topic of Leaty and the ever-elusive Iwanako route, consider reading this post.

That said...in the course of assembling this response, I have come up with a few ideas about what shape an Iwanako route might take that would still allow for it to take place at Yamaku. I would probably start with the idea that Iwanako is actually a year behind Hisao in school (it's never stated what year she is in the VN, so this breaks nothing), and work my way outwards, determining why she wound up at Yamaku. It would make for a deliciously ironic turn, I think.

Wow, now I almost feel like I want to write this myself... :twisted:
Puncyclopedia wrote:I think a lot of the appeal of Iwanako comes in that she's this character who, were Katawa Shoujo a more conventional VN, would most likely be the "main girl" and get boatloads of development, but Katawa gives her precious little screentime in the beginning, and then suddenly she's gone.

She has a very interesting "hook" and appeals to my desire to write thinky things, which is against my usual modus operandi for writing. I prefer the challenge of trying to write main characters well to having the room to explore in a more open world, so to speak, but Iwanako's situation strikes me as something that could be interesting to work with.
Leaty does indeed bring up very valid points in that post, but Puncyclopedia's view on the subject of Iwanako has its merits. I agree with the latter where the appeal of Iwanako is concerned, and, in an odd way of looking at it, if there were to be a written Iwanako pseudo-route, it wouldn't exactly be going back to your first love, at least, in my vision. The route would involve building a strong foundation with many obstacles (distance, school, the ever-present elephant in the room, even the involved parties in some cases), and in the end, it's not exactly the first love, but a new one, one that was built (in this case, anew) from the ground up.

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Leaty » Thu Jun 25, 2015 10:57 pm

Numb wrote:the only thing I would disagree with is the ending remark that "nobody wants to see your literary noodlings" because that was what happened with my Miki route. Sure, it's a rare case that the literary noodlings seem to actually go somewhere, but if you can keep it up for long enough, people will read it.
Late response (I just got home from a road trip,) but I think the quoted line on my two-year-old post has been slightly misconstrued.

I didn't mean something like "writing without an outline is never interesting." MTtB doesn't have an outline, either. Most things I write don't have them (the Daphne Greengrass fanfic I'd like to someday write being the sole exception: I have like seventy notes on that motherfucker). Writing freestyle is great. Doing anything freestyle, up to and including cooking (but not so far as explosive ordnance disposal) is always awesome. I would never advocate for writers to perform their recreation so rigidly.

That post was a response to a ficlet that, well, needed more time in the oven (and I'm not slamming the author in saying so, because they wiped the OP, so I think they'd be the first to agree—and though that thread did get heated, we did eventually cool down over PM, and they have gotten better). My perception of what was posted was that it was "practice" writing; it was written by somebody who didn't necessarily have a whole lot of experience writing this kind of thing, at least in English. When I said "don't expect to have much of an audience for your literary noodling," what I meant was "if you're just writing shit down to get better at writing shit down, don't expect to get a whole lot of praise or feedback."

And I still stand by what I said, whether or not it was warranted in that thread—writing communities really aren't a bunch of freelance English teachers. I mean, I don't know; maybe other people enjoy holding new writers' hands through their first couple crude drabbles, but for me it's like a second job I don't get paid for. If I'm literally correcting people's SPaG, I should at least get adjunct professor pay. Or an internship credit, or something.
brythain wrote:What can be gained from critical discussion of the few 'minor' Iwanakos and Leaty's magnum opus is an understanding of how the character, no matter how blank-slate, can be developed from three things: the opening scene, the variability of the Iwanako Letter device, and Hisao's thoughts on the matter.
I hesitate to interfere too much in this discussion, but there's one thing I'd like to point out, since I think it's been overlooked:

Iwanako, as she's portrayed in my fic, was developed in three stages from three different sources, respectively. The primary source, obviously, was the totality of Iwanako content that appears in the VN—the prologue, the letter, and Hisao's protean ruminations on her character (as well as secondary but still quasi-authoritative sources, like her depiction on the cover of Midwinter). Whatever personality Iwanako had in my story, she absolutely had to be emotionally, intellectually, and physically congruous with everything established about her. Some examples: the letter Iwanako wrote to Hisao was written on fancy stationery with a pink pen, so in MTtB she's extremely feminine and slightly vain. She's also described in more than one route as "fragile", and... well, I don't need to explain what I did with that, I don't think.

The secondary source was Hisao himself—I really wanted to play up the "mirror universe" vibe, and I wanted the story to feel as different (narratively, as opposed to tonally) from canon as possible, so wherever it was reasonable, I made Iwanako a literal inversion of Hisao's strengths and weaknesses. Hisao disliked TV and read books, so Iwanako watched TV and disliked books. Hisao's family didn't have a whole lot of money, so I made Iwanako pretty well-off. Hisao's an only child, so Iwanako has an older brother. Hisao's great at science and terrible at English, so Iwanako is the reverse. Hisao is somewhat oblivious, so Iwanako is somewhat paranoid. Et cetera, et cetera. At every step, Hisao was literally the guideline through which I characterized her. A lot of what people might attribute to my own invention was actually just my following a template.

The tertiary source is myself, obviously. Having established the character based on the guidelines above, I just did whatever I wanted with her—whatever I thought would be cool. All of her "miscellaneous" character traits—stuff that wouldn't have come from the above two sources—that's where I really made shit up from whole cloth, mostly for my own amusement. But I try to be diligent about having a "hierarchy"—the primary sources are what is primary and inviolable to the character, and so on and so forth.

So I wouldn't go quite so far as to say I treated Iwanako as a blank slate—ultimately I took cues from the devs in establishing her, albeit perhaps not directly. To me, making Iwanako a reflection of Hisao seemed pretty intuitive—she just looked to me like she would be as different from Hisao as possible. So I took it from there.

Oh, and before I forget, thank you all for the words of praise! This thread made me blush this morning.

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Chairman's Closing Comments (for June)

Post by brythain » Fri Jun 26, 2015 3:13 am

Leaty wrote:I hesitate to interfere too much in this discussion, but there's one thing I'd like to point out, since I think it's been overlooked...
Intentionally, your honour! :) I was going to leave it to you, but I'm glad you've already kickstarted it.
Leaty wrote:Oh, and before I forget, thank you all for the words of praise! This thread made me blush this morning.
That response makes it so very worthwhile. :)

=====

Last Call

This is a last call for Hisao responses. A few things I'd like to highlight while people get ready for July:

1. One genre that's somewhat related is the genre of KS AUs in which Hisao is either peripheral or doesn't exist — MTtB has the former, Popo's Katawa Aniki has the latter. There's been prior discussion on this, but I'd like to ask once more: if you take Hisao out of the AU, is it still KS fanfic?

2. dewelar's brief piece, The New Class Rep, has somewhere slipped under everyone's radar; comments please? There's a reason for this: eventually (some months from now, towards year's end) we will be dealing with the enormous Developments, and this is possibly the most gentle of introductions to that very long work. Post-LillyBadEnd works were nearly made extinct by the parent work, some people think.

3. Hisao as Everyman is hard to nail down; after all, he is somewhat different in each route. Can there be a canon Hisao apart from the bare material facts up to the end of Act 1 or so? And if you had to make a canonical Hisao, what pieces of backstory etc would you like to add?

=====

And so, I shall leave you in peace to contemplate Iwanako.
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: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Mahorfeus » Fri Jun 26, 2015 5:59 am

To be honest, that piece struck me as an odd choice - it is more about Yoshi than Hisao. Outside of the context of the work as a whole, it really doesn't seem to say much about the latter. Asides from the ending maybe, which does point out how contemplative he is.

As for this hypothetical canon Hisao, there are a few defining relationships that might need to be established in order to solidify him as a character. To Iwanako, Mai, Takumi, Shin, his parents, his grandfather, and well, that's about it. The challenge being of course, that the bulk of those characters are more or less blank slates. Reaching out further, I guess you could try to put others things into context. He liked soccer, never really took it seriously, though. How good was he at it, though? Crazy good? And on the all-night stroll he took with Rin, he mentioned he had done it before. Under what circumstances?
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Iwanako Rising)

Post by Fardels » Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:27 pm

If it please the court...

I would like to address Question 3 in Chief Justice Brythain's instructions, being:
Hisao as Everyman is hard to nail down; after all, he is somewhat different in each route. Can there be a canon Hisao apart from the bare material facts up to the end of Act 1 or so? And if you had to make a canonical Hisao, what pieces of backstory etc would you like to add?
1. I ask for a clarification. Is Hisao Everyman or merely any man? I submit that whoever Hisao was before his heart attack, with one exception, that Hisao has been replaced by one who needs to adapt to a new set of circumstances in a new environment. He does so with more attention to his current circumstances than his past, as anyone who has had to adapt to a serious life change would do. To do otherwise would be suicidal. As it is, the choices made by the player will determine his relative success or failure in his new environment. I submit that this attention to the present is evolutionarily sound, based on the precedents and conventions established by Mr. Darwin.

2. I have stipulated one exception, that of Iwanako. In the canon, any course of action that allows Iwanako to assume any importance other than historical ends unhappily. I cite the refusal to discuss Iwanako in Lilly's route as a reference.

3. I submit that, with due regard to his circumstances and age, Hisao is even more a work in progress than any of the other characters. His malady is newly discovered, in a time of great personal upheaval for anyone of his age. He has not had the time to adapt to his malady that the other characters have, to the extent that they have adapted. Indeed, I would further submit that we all of us are works in progress, not excluding myself, perhaps to a lesser degree. I will share with you my suspicion that failure to adapt to current circumstances, based on historical experiences or otherwise, leads to failure.

4. I therefore contend that (a) Hisao is not a different person in the routes - he merely reacts differently to the circumstances that he encounters. He brings very little of who he used to be to the table, because he understands the relative lack of importance of those factors. This allows him to react to the personalities he encounters based wholly on his current situation, sometimes satisfactorily, sometimes not. (b) A canon Hisao based in history would not only be based on factors that are irrelevant, but that those factors, if allowed to pertain, would endanger the integrity of the canon. (c) Given that none of us has the power for or the interest in canon revision, the development of a canon Hisao is irrelevant to our work. This frees us to create Hisaos based on our own inclinations where the canon is silent. Hisao changes from author to author - even from story to story (when he appears at all). I believe that this is right and proper.

Submitted this day, the twenty-six of June, in the year 2015.

Phineas Taylor Bridgeport, Fardels-At-Law

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