Actually, I think you're better at this than you think . I can't really argue too much with any of this.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.
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.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!
*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.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* 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.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.
*bows* I'm honored.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.
*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.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...
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.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.
*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...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.]
Hmmm... *strokes non-existent beard*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?
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.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.
As always, thanks for all the kind -- and even the not-so-kind -- words.