Yamaku Book Club (20191111 Two Old & Colourful Pieces)

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dewelar
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by dewelar » Mon Jan 18, 2016 3:23 am

Okay, so, let's talk about this thing.
Hoitash wrote:I am really, really bad at this kind of thing, but here goes (before I begin I just wanna say I enjoyed the story immensely, but felt it was overly long and convoluted almost but not quite to its detriment. I'll explain below):

At first glance Developments seems like a long walk for a pretzel, in that what started as the Not Good Ending for Lilly becomes a Good Ending for Hisao and Emi. The thing is that this story is very much NOT a Hisao/Emi fic, in my opinion. It's this whole web of relationships and lives that are moving forward with their own past pains, and Hisao and Emi (and Lilly and Hana and their families and the kitchen sink) are sort of caught along for the ride.

Then again, Lilly and Hisao's relationship ending was the catalyst for this, but on the whole the story is about Hisao and the students of Yamaku -and their families- moving forward with their lives. Which is for the best, really, because its that web of stories that makes Developments. Without that greater web I don't think the story would work, honestly, or at least not as well (Hana's imagined love triangle angst would certainly be more annoying, poor thing). On the other hand, some of the greater story seems kinda superfluous (Shizune's mother is a thing now? Sure why not.) The web might be large, but it isn't tangled -just a little loose with the weaving (Lilly and Hana/Shizune and her family/Emi and her family/Hisao playing gopher between them all.)

My point if I even have one here is Developments does or does not work based on how much of the story you can tolerate and how well woven you believe the stories are. If you want an expansive story of people moving on with their lives as they sort through pains catalyzed by a young woman with no spine (no offense Lilly), you're in the right place. If you just wanna see Hisao get with a girl after his breakup with Lilly, well... here's a pretzel.
Actually, I think you're better at this than you think ;-) . I can't really argue too much with any of this.
kaserkin wrote:Hisao's last chapter is probably the greatest individual chapter I've read on this site. Hisao's past is rarely the focus of the KS fics I've read, and so many interesting insights of it are given in a single chapter. The very original take on the Nakai family, Hisao meeting some of his old friends, the reunion with Iwanako that doesn't go too well,... Everything in the chapter works is awesome!
Thanks! I knew I was going to be talking about this chapter a lot here, so I'm glad to start off with something positive.
The only "issue" I have with it is that it ends "too well". I think everyone's story deserves proper (and happy) closure, but I feel the return to "normalcy" is a bit out of place, especially for Lilly and Hanako, who went through a lot of soul searching only to end up very close to where they started. That's the impression I had, at least.
*nods* Well, since it's being seen through the eyes of someone outside the situation, that may not be the reality. My own take is that Lilly and Hanako still have a long way to go to attain the closeness they once had (if indeed they ever do), but at the very least they're back on (relatively) good terms. In the larger picture, though, their relationship has changed to a great extent, hopefully for the better.
Mahorfeus wrote:It might sound weird, but the final chapter felt like a bit of a downer ending to me. It wasn't bad or anything... it just wasn't the kind of ending I wanted for the story, which is stupidly selfish, of course. For all the closure that the other characters throughout the story receive, I felt that the chapter threw in a lot of unresolved, last-minute conflict, which was especially painful for me because a lot of it rested on blank slate characters that, up until that point, had no presence in the story. I understand that "life goes on" and "happily ever afters are unrealistic," but just from a narrative standpoint I found it frustrating. For me it had almost overshadowed everything Hisao and Emi had managed to accomplish, and even the appropriately saccharine epilogue couldn't uplift my spirits afterwards.
*nods* I can understand this perspective. However, keep in mind that this chapter is here to show how Hisao has changed over the course of the story. Lilly!Hisao at the beginning would have avoided this whole deal if he could. He would have likely withered under his mother's gaze. He does neither, and then caps it off by having a shag with Emi in the shower. Also...this conflict is not one that resolves easily -- it might be years, or decades, or never, before Mrs. Nakai accepts this conclusion. Yeah, perhaps not as satisfying as it could have been, but to my mind it was the appropriate ending for Hisao, and the best one he was going to get within the parameters I set out for this story.
But alas! Asides from my being a sucker for happy endings, I think that my feelings on the matter are just an indication of how much I grew to care about the characters. Petty complaints aside, it still ranks as one of my favorite fanfics on this forum. Never have I read a story that ties so many of KS' characters, established or otherwise, into such an entertaining story.
*bows* I'm honored.
Mirage_GSM wrote:Oh yes, Hisao's parents... On that I agree. starting THAT conflict in the last chapter was unnecessary. It's one thing not to resolve all the conflicts of all the characters in the story, but introducing new characters in the final chapter just to start a new conflict that ends up unresolved is a little bit evil...
*nods* Fair. I could have written this last chapter without including a meeting with Hisao's parents at all (or written another fifty chapters, but even then I don't think the conflict would have ever been resolved to anyone's satisfaction), but I think the story as a whole would have lost something.
Oscar Wildecat wrote:Now, my feeling is that the point of the conflict was that it wasn't there to introduce a new plot point to be resolved, but to help illustrate how Yamaku and it's environs have become Hisao's true home, and that he's moved on from who he was before that ill-fated winter day.
This, too. Part of the chapter was meant to show Hisao attempting to reconnect with his past, but not quite being able to do so. Life has gone on while he's been away, and (as he notes himself in KS proper) part of that is because he's become accustomed to the pace of Yamaku. At the same time, it leaves the door open to the possibility that someday, somehow, he might be able to be a part of both.
As a thought experiment, I asked myself how that scene would had played out if Hanako had been Hisao's girl of choice. (After all she's not "missing anything".) The thought experiment did not go well. In a nutshell, I see this Mrs. Nakai trying to turn Hanako into some sort of Iwanako v2.0, loosing sight of the girl in front of her. [I don't see either Hanako or Hisao putting up with this for too long, though.]
*shivers* Actually, had things fallen to Hanako, I don't think Hisao would have gone back home yet. He would likely have gotten caught up in her drama with Lilly and remained behind to support her in recovering that relationship. The two would then likely return over winter break, perhaps with Lilly along as well. There are some stray notes in my writing folder along these lines...
Mahorfeus wrote:The circumstances of Hisao's birth/conception still vex me. In particular, the way he tells the story to Emi. He states that his grandfather was deliberately vague about the details. What convinced his parents to try again after all of that grief?
Hmmm... *strokes non-existent beard*
brythain wrote:A long time ago, I developed (haha) the habit of trying to summarise every work I read in one sentence. [...] Developments is '66 chapters about Hisao resolving his love-life while growing up'—or so I would've thought before. On a second re-read, it's a lot about solving, resolving, and re-solving. Those characters enter into conflicts with themselves and others that might seem naive, repetitive, convoluted or silly—but that's what real people do.
And that highlights one of the driving forces behind why I wrote Developments the way I did. I was constantly saying to myself, "if these were real people, how would they react to this?" The answer would determine the direction of the story from there. In the process, these characters became real to me to the point where, despite how draining it could be at times, I had a need to get the entirety of the story out here to make things right for them, for all of you, and for me. That's pretty much my one and only defense for writing things the way I did, because to do otherwise would mean not feeling like I was being true to these characters.

As always, thanks for all the kind -- and even the not-so-kind -- words.
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Closing Comments

Post by brythain » Tue Jan 26, 2016 11:58 pm

Besides the lengthy discussions in the 'Developments' thread itself, we've had a few key perspectives outlined here.

I'd like to encourage further commentary till the end of this month, and then phase in the next round of discussion, if that's okay?
Apologies to dewelar for keeping him 'on call' for so long. There are so many things in 'Developments' that people can discuss! :)
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 (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by Oddball » Sat Jan 30, 2016 7:24 am

One thing I forgot to add.

I loved the little detail about how Emi didn't want to run professionally, she's not the best and Miki could have beat her with just a little more effort. Too many writers treat her like he's the fastest thing ever.
Not Dead Yet

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by brythain » Sat Jan 30, 2016 9:53 am

Oddball wrote:One thing I forgot to add.

I loved the little detail about how Emi didn't want to run professionally, she's not the best and Miki could have beat her with just a little more effort. Too many writers treat her like she's the fastest thing ever.
One thing of note is that they'd never run in the same category. Emi is a T43 and Miki would be considered unimpaired for sprints.
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 (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by Mahorfeus » Sun Jan 31, 2016 2:37 am

Oh phew, Developments is still the point of order. My fingers started typing for some reason, so here are some thoughts on a few of the blank-slate/OC/deuterocanon characters. Not necessarily a point of discussion, but this is as good a place to spill my rambles as any!

Yoshi was an oddball case for me. A student with impaired vision that has/had some romantic interest in Yuuko that gets absolutely blitzed with Hisao. Now where have I heard that one before...? Kidding aside, he did initially feel like a stand in for Kenji. He struck me as being more convenient as a character by virtue of a) not being fucking weird and b) not being a primarily comedic character. I do believe dewelar pointed out that they disliked writing him, which is fair enough. That aside, it was nice to see Hisao striking up a friendship with a new character. I always found it odd how constrained Hisao's social circles were in the VN, but given this story's premise, it made sense for him to become more open. His inclusion actually struck me as being rather clever, given his implicit connection to two of the main girls - Rin and Lilly. Ultimately, I grew to like him as a character, which brings me to...

Noriko, who started out as monkey wrench that I initially groaned at the introduction of. Of course, the scenario that I feared would happen (Hanako thinking Hisao was shagging her) didn't actually pop up until many chapters later, but by then the character had really grown on me, and the resulting drama seemed more meaningful. Her existential "fuck everything (literally)" crisis made her hard to relate to, but she was a fun character to read. I love that she starts out wanting Hisao as a fuck buddy, but ends up having him as a friend instead. One who subtly changes her with his anime harem protagonist powers, making her want for life. I kid of course, though her "miracle treatment" at the end of the story seemed a bit much. Regardless, I am glad that she had something of a happy ending - I thought her... whatever she had with Yoshi was kind of cute. Maybe it'll go somewhere, or maybe it won't, but eh. I liked their friend triangle with Hisao.

Naomi and Natsume were Hanako's "other friends" in this story. I lump them together because I confess, I can't really much about them individually. Obviously, they were very much on Hanako's side in the story. Their nosiness struck me as being a bit annoying, but they were clearly just looking out for her. As far as supporting Hanako's bid for romance, I almost fear that they were worse than useless. I almost got the impression that Hanako didn't really consider them friends at all - her chemistry with Misha (another subject for another time) was a lot stronger.

Taka Taka. Heh. Still love the nickname, even if it ended up being a bit off. At first I thought that her idolization of Emi was a bit forced, even with the leg thing... but it was hardly unrealistic. Just a silly peeve that wore off rather quickly. And after all, it served as her primary motivation in helping her Hisao out, I think. It wouldn't be exaggerating to say that she catalyzed the big confession scene, which was doubtlessly a big victory to her.

Bah, I guess I didn't have much to say about the Newspaper Club. But they were on the losing team, so ha. :wink:

Mai and Iwanako. Honestly, their relationship flew right over my head - I didn't even realize it was a thing until I read the comment section of Bantamweights, something I quickly learned I was not alone in. It was very subtle, and nuanced in such a way that it could pass for a really strong friendship. I reacted much the same way as I did when Rowling revealed that Dumbledore was gay - I just kinda shrugged. It didn't really change anything for me, particularly since my feelings about the final chapter were already set in stone (okay, so they softened considerably, on all but one matter). It did give me some new insight on the dialogue when I reread both stories, which I did enjoy. At first I did not enjoy Leaty's Iwanako in Developments as much as I did in MTtB. Verbose, elegant, composed... I suppose I've always taken her for granted as being your stereotypical shy girl, which I admit that for a writer, must be positively boring. The way she is here meshes perfectly with the fact that Hisao never really knew her, which is to say, the Iwanako he meets in the last chapter isn't even the Iwanako he didn't know from the start, so ahhhhhhh. I do like that she was able to have a really good heart to heart (hardy har har) with Hisao, which was probably my favorite scene of the finale, as it essentially took things full circle.

I can't really say the same for Mai though, who was just a bit too salty for my taste. I get that she loved Iwanako, and didn't want Hisao to hurt her, and was hurt herself by his departure, but at the same time, her scathing personality made it hard for me to sympathize with her. Perhaps a part of it is that in this story, there is no blame placed on Hisao's friends for their "abandonment" of him - Hisao squarely puts the blame on himself, so he just sort of becomes a punching bag. I mean, yeah, there were no hard feelings with Shin, but I found it a hard pill to swallow that Hisao's BFF circle just kind of crumbled apart at the end. Hell, Takumi even got shipped off to some cram school where he'll probably have his own spinoff that'll only last half a season before getting canceled. I am just rambling at this point. :P

An odd thought: Hisao insists that he is no longer a leaf on the wind, that he took control of his own path. Had he done that in Lilly's route, we wouldn't even HAVE this wonderful story. At the same time, I'm almost compelled to disagree with him. Hisao is still a leaf, and Developments' many supporting cast members were the tiny puffs of air that blew him towards Emi. His destiny is forever under the control of the feminist conspiracy.
"A very small degree of hope is sufficient to cause the birth of love." -Stendhal
The verdict is (finally) in:
Hanako > Rin > Emi > Lilly = Shizune

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by Leaty » Sun Jan 31, 2016 4:43 pm

Mahorfeus wrote:I mean, yeah, there were no hard feelings with Shin, but I found it a hard pill to swallow that Hisao's BFF circle just kind of crumbled apart at the end.
For what it's worth, Dewelar and I deliberately left ambiguous the question of whether or not Shin is aware of (or even suspects) Iwanako and Mai's relationship, but with the benefit of this much hindsight I personally believe that the fact that Mai and Shin haven't actually talked about it is what sort of hangs between them at the time of the final chapter of Developments. Shin knows/presumes Mai has become much closer to Iwanako, and can't seem to decide whether or not that step towards her is a step away from him.

Shin's contribution to the story reveals he always felt extremely uncertain and unsure of himself around Iwanako—for one thing, they come from different upbringings and exist in entirely disparate social circles, and then things are further complicated by the fact that one of his closest friends (and the one he constantly bickers with on the best of days) is incredibly protective of her. Iwanako's presence in his life doesn't make any sense, and Shin's not all that fond of puzzling out mysteries in the first place. So, naturally, at this point in their lives, when Mai and Iwanako have actualized their feelings for each other, Mai's preoccupation with the budding relationship leads Shin to feel like she's drifting away.

Hisao's left with the impression that his absence is what cleaved between Mai and Shin, but in this case that's not the whole story. Hisao's departure is what catalyzed it, by setting Iwanako adrift in the wind begin with. But it was Iwanako being anchored by Mai, and their subsequent admitting their feelings for each other, that's really resulted in this distance. And about that:
Shin wrote:"...[Mai]'s been actin' weird lately. Actually, since this year started, I hardly ever talk to her or Takumi. It's like when you left, the old gang just fell apart, bro."
So we hear they've drifted apart, but...
Mai wrote:I was planning on being the one to do the ripping, but after talking to her, to Shin, and to you, it sounds like you might already be doing it to yourself."
In this exchange, we can see that whatever silence there was between Mai and Shin up to this point has been broken—they've had a conversation, and I think the really fascinating thing about the finale is that the details of this conversation (and the other one she has, with Iwanako) are totally left to the reader's imagination. We don't know how long they talked, or what they talked about (other than Shin telling Mai his thoughts on Emi). We don't know how deep or soulful these conversations were, or how healing they were.

Now, my personal headcanon (which has not been endorsed by Dewelar), is that this phone conversation is when that talk that needed to happen finally happens—Mai and Shin, in their own, gutsy way, have a very sincere discussion about Hisao, which eventually segues into an admission about what Iwanako means to Mai (and what that means for her friendship with Shin.) And I think that this is the turning point where their friendship finally heals, even though, with the old posse broken up as it is, it can't be the same as it was. (Do you know the speed at which cherry blossoms fall? 5 centimeters per second...)

I think that the reason Shin and Mai's friendship is still viable, even with Iwanako in the place of Hisao, is because in coming together, Mai didn't really take a step towards Iwanako; rather, it was Iwanako who took a step towards Mai. The Iwanako Daidouji of Developments is much more relatable to Shin than the Iwanako Daidouji of Bantamweights. They're certainly never going to be what Shin was with Hisao, and they shouldn't be, but just as things between Hisao and Iwanako can be cool, Iwanako can be cool with Shin.

So in a roundabout way, Hisao's trip to Tokyo actually does his friends and loved ones a little more good than he comes away feeling; his visit is momentous enough that it pushes his friends to stop procrastinating a chat that they really needed to have. Which I think is really sweet. :)

Takumi's a total loss, though, I'll admit. I don't see that one getting fixed.

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Almost-Closing Comments

Post by brythain » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:24 am

Now we've had some really nice long posts to finish up with, and my own magnum opus on Developments can wait. :)

By the end of this week, I'll put up the next set of readings. But I'd like to thank dewelar for dropping by and lending his own views to this discussion (well, to be fair, a lot of discussion went on while he was writing it, and can be found in the Developments thread). I'll also be leaving the next few days for final comments and dewelar's closing remarks.

Are we awaiting further Developments? Time will tell...
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 (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by kaserkin » Mon Feb 01, 2016 1:58 pm

Wait, wait, wait. I think I've missed something.

Image

... Iwanako and Mai are lesbians?


I'm not sure if it's really good subtext or if I'm just somewhat dim.

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Re: Almost-Closing Comments

Post by dewelar » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:19 pm

Oddball wrote:One thing I forgot to add.

I loved the little detail about how Emi didn't want to run professionally, she's not the best and Miki could have beat her with just a little more effort. Too many writers treat her like he's the fastest thing ever.
That always bothered me a bit, too, although I understand the reasoning behind it. Glad you enjoyed it :).
Mahorfeus wrote:lots of good stuff about the side characters.
I don't really have a response to this other than to say I really enjoy reading these kinds of insights into the work, so thanks :).
kaserkin wrote:Wait, wait, wait. I think I've missed something. [...] Iwanako and Mai are lesbians?
Well, not necessarily. Iwanako and Mai are in a relationship, but whether they're lesbian, bi, or some other permutation is not established.
I'm not sure if it's really good subtext or if I'm just somewhat dim.
More the former than the latter, I'm sure, since almost everyone seemed to miss it the first time around. Mind you, in Developments this was intentional, as I intended it to be open to interpretation, although the fact that it's meant to be set in the same continuity as Bantamweights was meant to weight the interpretation in that direction. Unfortunately, both Leaty and I overestimated the level of subtext in the latter story, leading to the need to explain it. Repeatedly. :oops:.
brythain wrote:I'd like to thank dewelar for dropping by and lending his own views to this discussion
Glad to help. I'm always glad to take the opportunity to do some self-promotion to chat with everyone :wink:.
(well, to be fair, a lot of discussion went on while he was writing it, and can be found in the Developments thread).
*nods* I cannot recommend enough the experience of reading through the Developments thread in full at least once for this reason.
I'll also be leaving the next few days for final comments and dewelar's closing remarks.
(Reminds self to come up with appropriate closing remarks)
Are we awaiting further Developments? Time will tell...
Ideas occasionally pop into my head, but not yet enough to confirm or deny anything...
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by Oscar Wildecat » Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:54 pm

Oddball wrote:One thing I forgot to add.

I loved the little detail about how Emi didn't want to run professionally, she's not the best and Miki could have beat her with just a little more effort. Too many writers treat her like he's the fastest thing ever.
There are two other KS "tropes" that many writers use, that were avoided in Developments:
1. Mr. Satou: Usually, he is used as a "one note villian" or a "Super Jigoro" designed only make Hisao's and/or Lilly's life miserable. (Note, in this regard, my favorite Mr. Satou can be found in Thanatos's Akira Pseudo-Route.)
2. The Nakai's: Usually, they unconditionally accept whatever girl Hisao brings home.
I like all the girls in KS, but empathize with Hanako the most.
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Pre-Closing Comments

Post by brythain » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:14 pm

Next up: Emi Ibarazaki—Fastest Thing On No Legs

But before that, we'll allow dewelar to get his last licks in. :)
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: Pre-Closing Comments

Post by dewelar » Wed Feb 10, 2016 11:56 pm

brythain wrote:Next up: Emi Ibarazaki—Fastest Thing On No Legs

But before that, we'll allow dewelar to get his last licks in. :)
Heh, yeah, I've put this off long enough.

Developments was a lot of things for me, above and beyond my desire to explore who the characters of Katawa Shoujo were. As I've said before, I'd never written anything like it before, which also means I'd never been inspired to write anything like it before. The closest was when I used to watch General Hospital with my mother, and we would write a page or two that were loose parodies of the show's current plots and read them to each other. Since then, my creativity had been pretty much limited to running fantasy RPGs. So, really, I credit KS for reawakening my creative side, in an area that I'd never even thought to explore.

Once I realized that's what was happening, there was a part of me that viewed writing Developments as an opportunity to try writing in ways I'd never written before. Obviously, the PoV switching was the biggest, but the first, from the very first chapter, was writing in first person for a female character. That was slightly daunting, but it apparently went well, so I branched out further, giving voices to more and more characters. I intentionally challenged myself, starting with the Tanabata drabbles (and the debut of the Rin PoV), then working with Akira, and then writing for Lilly and the concept of not being able to use visual descriptions (which was difficult, at least initially, despite my own visual impairment) and on through creating and introducing OCs, coming up with an appropriate narrative style for Rin and -- the trickiest of all -- Shizune. Then there were all of the things that I was doing for the first time -- writing a dream (nightmare, really) sequence for Hanako, the ecchi scene for Hanako, the full-fledged sex scene for Emi, and the collaborative scenes with Leaty, and on and on. For each of these firsts, I posted with trepidation, half of me expecting that this, this would be the thing that lost me my audience, that would get rejected because I hadn't pulled it off.

Somehow, that never seemed to happen. Oh, sure, I lost a chunk of said audience once the love triangle/quadrilateral wrapped up, but I expected that. I made the occasional noise about how disappointed I was that Emi PoV chapters always seemed to get the fewest comments, and perhaps that might have given the game away to some, but in the end I can't be disappointed with how well this story has been received -- and continues to be received -- overall by the fandom. Even here in the YBC, where stories often get treated to death by a thousand nitpicks, Developments has pretty much escaped with little more than minor scrapes.

Maybe I'm not such a bad writer after all. At the very least, I'd like to think I'm a much better one than I was when I started Developments.

Thanks, everyone. I couldn't have done it without this community.

Now, I turn things back over to brythain for the coming examination of BestGirl! :mrgreen:
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Stuff I've written: Developments, a continuation of Lilly's (bad? neutral?) ending - COMPLETE!

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Comment from the Chair

Post by brythain » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:25 pm

I think dewelar's done an excellent summing-up as well as (in the Developments thread as well as in this one) provided a lot of insight into the mind of the author. For me, what's notable about Developments is its ensemble cast — everyone with extras. While even dewelar admits a little of it looks a bit contrived, it is all plausibly messy, very human, and enjoyable enough that many of us got into waifu wars over it. :D

What's also great is that a lot of the characters are significantly fleshed out, with backstories and headstories. Shizune's mother comes to mind. Who could have seen that coming? But she's not the only side-character who provides a delightful surprise. Consider Noriko and Yoshi, for example. While you'd expect any 60-chapter novel to flag in spots, Developments just changes pace and location, character POV and character insight. Yes, it has slower spots. It also has faster ones.

In short, whatever you think of Developments in detail, it is one of the Great Works of KS fan-fiction. And of course, at the risk of being cooked, we all await further developments, whatever they might be. :)

=====

In keeping with the general idea of having a big work followed by smaller works centred around a main character and then side-characters, the next bunch of readings will cover everyone's favourite Yamaku track star (no, not you, Miki Miura) and company.

From 01 March onwards, we'll be discussing Emi Ibarazaki: Fastest Thing On No Legs followed by shorter Emi-related side-character pieces. Suggestions are always welcome! We've already read through a lot of the earlier 'classics' involving Emi, so newer recommendations are fine as well.
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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forgetmenot
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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Now Showing—Developments!)

Post by forgetmenot » Sun Feb 21, 2016 8:06 am

Man, it's been a while.

Developments, huh.

I think it's no secret that I was one of the more vocal users on the boards regarding certain aspects of the story I thought were less-than-perfect. I often voiced concern that certain characters might have been acting a little strangely, or that a plot point or two didn't make sense, or even that certain chapters (or characters!) were entirely unnecessary. Some of this was public, other times my opinions were communicated in PMs to Dewelar.

I think (and this is after having had a little time to digest the story) my main issue with the entire product of Developments was that it took a shotgun approach to resolution when the premise seemed rifle-sized. Many, many characters got some sort of resolution by the time the story finished, while I think the story would have been better served by keeping the cast of characters a little narrower. Depth, not breadth, as they say. It is the curse of fanfiction, I suppose, to be a vehicle for the author's wish fulfillment fantasies - my work is no different. I just think Developments may have suffered a bit for an eagerness to tie up all the loose ends.

That being said. Developments is fantastically written - and the fact that it is so beloved by the community here speaks volumes to the inherent quality of the work as it is. It is one of the all-time greats. In particular, I find the Hanako/Emi scenes to be among the most authentic-feeling KS fanfic ever to be put to pen.

Anyhow, that's my two cents. And you know what they say about loose change. It makes an awful lot of noise but ain't worth much.

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Post by brythain » Tue Mar 08, 2016 5:14 am

It is a curious fact that Emi is not the most pop(u)lar subject, or that fics involving her are less popular than others
However, this club has burned its way through almost all the big Emi fics that -do- exist.*

Despite that, I have a list of seven pieces that I'm thinking about. Apologies for not starting this discussion earlier.
Any further suggestions would be deeply appreciated. :)




*I wonder if you'd consider Developments and After The Dream to be Emi fics?
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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