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Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:50 am
by Blank Mage
Leaty wrote:I know that it's a holiday weekend for all the Americans on the board, but I'm honestly feeling a little sheepish about constantly barfing out these long walls of text. Am I bogarting the YBC too much right now and driving people off?
Upholding a long-standing American tradition, I expect I'll (temporarily?) lose the use of one/several of my fingers at some point very soon. I come from a very, ah, hazardous family. I couple years back, I hunted for Easter Eggs while getting shot at with paintballs in a pitch-black forest. My mother partially buried a leafblower full of cow manure and glitter, and hooked it up to a tripwire. The tripwire was also electrified. My sister had to call off work the next day because she had swallowed too much cheap cologne. No, that's not a misspelling. But enough about me!

The thread does seem awfully quiet recently. I've already offered my criticisms on the earlier pieces, so I was biding my time until others had a chance to comment. I'm never sure how long that window should be, though. I'm also a little unsure as to whether or not discussions are now open on early MTtB chapters, and was hoping that someone else would make the first move. Also, I've never really had a problem with anyone's walls of text, let alone yours. I mean, reading insightful commentary is kind of why I'm here, and I can't remember the last time you said anything that didn't give me something to consider. Walls of text are really only an issue when the poster is kind of an ass, and those guys get Cooked pretty quick.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:59 am
by Leaty
Blank Mage wrote:Walls of text are really only an issue when the poster is kind of an ass, and those guys get Cooked pretty quick.
Well, the last time I commented on Developments, people said I stole all the comments.
Blank Mage wrote:I'm also a little unsure as to whether or not discussions are now open on early MTtB chapters, and was hoping that someone else would make the first move.
Errr, yes. If I'm not mistaken (and since this is my fic I feel so weird and uncomfortable about being the one to say this), Discussion is currently open on the prologue (Scenes One and Two) of Mean Time to Breakdown. I guess me and Brythain started us off.

In a couple days (really not many at all, since these bits are so short,) we'll cross into discussion of Scenes Three through Six, aka Sunday and Monday.

Also your family terrifies me.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:51 am
by Fardels
FWIW:
On silence: about Tuesday, people started lobbing Things That Must Be Done Before The Holiday at me. They stopped at about ten last night. Others may have that problem.
On Leaty's blocks of text: two and three sentence paragraphs do not count as blocks of text in my world. On my box, they wind up being two or three lines. Furthermore, their content is interesting enough that I would have read them even if they were all smooshed together.
On the topic at hand (for once): I read the short pieces and didn't really have much to say about them. I'm a little passive about picking at other works anyway (probably not a good thing for this board). There were editorial glitches in one, but somebody already pointed that out.
Specifically on the MTtB scenes: The big thing for me is Leaty's Iwanako is entering the KS world with edges and passions that Hisao did not have. This brings her closer to real life. It also makes the story much more difficult to write, and to date, the writing has held up, to say the least. Hisao didn't have much of an agenda entering Yamaku. Iwanako seems to bring a lot with her.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:59 am
by Puncyclopedia
With notes written down for how I'd handle writing Iwanako if I ever get around to it (in hopes that I won't be colored too badly by MTtB), I have read the Prologue.

FROZEN SOPOR:

Very well written, hard for me to comment on because it's obviously meant to be her perspective of the novel's opening scene - and then, of course, everything goes trousers. It feels very real, and betrays no hint of what's going to happen - really important, because in spite of knowing what Katawa Shoujo is, somehow the serene opening scene was enough to suck me in. This keeps the essence of that scene, and was quite good.

SALVAGE OPERATION:

I like the differences and parallels that you establish here - movies vs. books, the more active roles of the NPCS in the scene vs. the general passiveness of everyone in the original KS prologue.

I don't actually think Hisao and Iwanako are initially that different, at least as presented here in the prologue (with one admittedly very large exception I'll get to). What makes them seem different for 90% of the piece is the reactions of the other characters in the scene - Iwanako's parents and the doctor. Both Hisao & Iwanako blame themselves for the end of their not-quite-a-relationship with the other, though Iwanako is more explicit about it, while Hisao mentally tapdances around it a bit, but the point's still there and evident. They both essentially write off any possibility of a relationship the second they end up in the hospital, IMO. They're both changed people from what they were before. They're both bitter and frustrated with their plight - which is perfectly understandable because, well, the same thing happened to them.

Iwanako has the better support system. She has parents who (in spite of implications that she's not the favored child that she now has to question - another strong point of the scene) are willing to push her a bit. They're considerably less milquetoasty than Hisao's parents, who may as well be background window dressing for all of their relevance in the novel. The doctor's lines are probably the best part of this whole prologue - they're a kick in the ass that Hisao never got, and they seem like potential to send this down a different path than Hisao's pretty much from jump.

At the same time, though, reading this, I get the feeling that Iwanako's going to be okay. That's not a feeling that I got from Hisao the first time I read KS, nor is it a feeling that I got reading through Act 1 any number of times. I think my thoughts on Iwanako are because she, even now, even seeing herself slip into the depths of despair, has a sense of self that Hisao doesn't. Hisao seems to have completely lost his. He's withdrawn into himself. He has comebacks to anything except in his own mind. He's going to Yamaku because he has nothing else to do and he's going to plod his way through life. He can't help himself. He needs someone to meet him halfway (or more than halfway, depending on the route).

Iwanako at least has some sense of self left. Some sense of willingness to fight. She says that she doesn't have fighting spirit, but she has more of it than she thinks she does - she wouldn't react to the doctor's words as she did otherwise. Hisao would have ignored them, probably, or tuned them out. She's not going to throw in the sponge. The idea of going to Yamaku isn't the anathema that it is for Hisao.

It's going to be interesting to see where this goes, because Iwanako is going to Yamaku to live. Hisao was, in my opinion, very much going there, if not to die, at least to just sort of lazily float with the current of life.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 12:03 pm
by Oscar Wildecat
brythain wrote: 1. I wondered about why Hisao mentioned only these friends, and not others. .... Why? Answer: Hisao was peripheral to the clique, for such it was...

...

3. ...the peripheral hanger-on, Hisao Nakai...
Puncyclopedia wrote: Iwanako at least has some sense of self left. Some sense of willingness to fight. She says that she doesn't have fighting spirit, but she has more of it than she thinks she does - she wouldn't react to the doctor's words as she did otherwise. Hisao would have ignored them, probably, or tuned them out. She's not going to throw in the sponge. The idea of going to Yamaku isn't the anathema that it is for Hisao.
I pulled these phrases to illustrate the greatest difference between MTTB!Iwanako and VN!Hisao. Whatever her other faults, Iwanako is her own person, with (as Pun says) a core sense of self that isn't going to budge come hell or high water. Hisao, on the other hand, is a social chameleon. One doesn't get that sense of self from Hisao at the start of the VN that Iwanako has in MTTB, and in some cases (depending upon the route), it never develops.

On a Meta level, this is a necessary artifact of the difference between a VN with numerous cannon and pseudo-cannon endings and a story written with (presumably) a single ending in mind. However, on an "In-Character" level, I think MTTB!Iwanako would be a far more interesting person to interact with. (However, if I ever did a self-insert into fan fiction, it would be as an orange feline, so interacting with her would be limited to "meow". :D )
Leaty wrote:
Blank Mage wrote:Walls of text are really only an issue when the poster is kind of an ass, and those guys get Cooked pretty quick.
Well, the last time I commented on Developments, people said I stole all the comments.
Don't think of it as stealing comments. Think of it as saving other people the difficulty of making the hard comments. :wink:

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 3:36 pm
by Blank Mage
Now there's the discussion I wanted to see.

Frozon Sopor: I'm seeing a little early installment weirdness, personally. Iwanako undergoes a severe character change between this opening (shy and unsure of herself) and leaving the hospital (nihilistic and vitriolic). Of course, this is all easily attributed to dying a little bit, and I've always enjoyed how realistic her reaction is comparatively. Hisao kind of just goes 'Well this sucks.'

Salvage Operation: As stated, Iwanako is pretty bitter here, which is understandable. If anything, it's making me glance at more recent chapters in a more positive light; perhaps Iwanako has made more progress than she gives herself credit for? This chapter also introduces a few literary devices that make Leaty's work so damn interesting, most prominently the use of repetition. I've come to realize that the main allure of (MTtB) Iwanako is how cathartic her responses invariably seem to be. Her inner commentary usually mirrors that polite, long-suffering mentality that we've all had at some point. (But we'll come back to that as we get further in the text.)
Puncyclopedia wrote:At the same time, though, reading this, I get the feeling that Iwanako's going to be okay. That's not a feeling that I got from Hisao the first time I read KS, nor is it a feeling that I got reading through Act 1 any number of times. I think my thoughts on Iwanako are because she, even now, even seeing herself slip into the depths of despair, has a sense of self that Hisao doesn't. Hisao seems to have completely lost his. He's withdrawn into himself. He has comebacks to anything except in his own mind. He's going to Yamaku because he has nothing else to do and he's going to plod his way through life. He can't help himself. He needs someone to meet him halfway (or more than halfway, depending on the route).
Funny enough, I find that our opinions are opposite again. I came away from these chapters thinking that Iwanako was almost certainly not going to be okay, partially for those selfsame reasons. Perhaps I'm a bit meta about Hisao; much the same way that you know your main character will return for the sequel, and therefore survives the events of the first installment, we knew ahead of time that Hisao would find his happy ending, indeed several of them. It's just what visual novels do. (Most of the time.) But here in the realm of AU fan-fic, Iwanako has no such safety net. We aren't guaranteed anything.

Hisao is apathetic and nihilistic in our opening, but Iwanako is borderline self-destructive. That sense of self she carries is her source of impetus, but it's a double edged sword - Hisao never hated himself to the extent that Iwanako does by the end of chapter one. It might be what drives her to improve... but it might just as easily drive her off a cliff. Hisao might be the less active of the two, but given their mindset, I think that's probably for the best.
Puncyclopedia wrote:It's going to be interesting to see where this goes, because Iwanako is going to Yamaku to live. Hisao was, in my opinion, very much going there, if not to die, at least to just sort of lazily float with the current of life.
The way I see this is kind of like betting; Hisao doesn't bet anything. Sure, he won't win that way, but he can't lose, either. He doesn't have much hope, but by playing it emotionally safe, he can't be let down too hard. Iwanako is all in, because she thinks (correctly?) that she has to win big if she wants to break even at this point. Hisao doesn't stand to recover easily, but Iwanako puts herself in a very precarious position.

....Actually, I think I'm applying too much of what I know from future chapters into these early two. I think you might be right, if we're extrapolating solely from these first two chapters.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 6:45 pm
by Puncyclopedia
Hooray, discussion. Some replies to Blank and the Wildecat, which make me feel bad as they're mostly about Hisao and not Iwanako, though Iwanako discussion will get in there.

@Wildecat - I've read the social chameleon theory on these forums a handful of times (possibly from you), and I don't particularly believe it. I firmly believe that Hisao had a sense of self at one point, but his heart attack and extended stay in the hospital obliterated it and turned it into the shell you see at the start of the VN. I don't think he's intelligently adapting to whatever situation he finds himself in, but rather goes with the flow and ends up being deeply affected by the path he chooses. It's possible, I suppose, that his pre-heart attack self is a social chameleon, but we'll never know that. The Hisao we see in Katawa Shoujo, IMO, just isn't smart enough or good enough at reading people to be able to naturally adjust his behavior to fit in that well.

@Blank - We disagree on so many things it's sort of funny. xD There's a saying that goes something to the effect of "if you think you're a psychopath, you're probably not." The fact that Iwanako's aware of the fact that she's becoming a worse person and wants to change it means that I'm less worried about her going forward than I am Hisao, who doesn't seem as aware of what he's becoming, and to the extent he does know, doesn't care. Iwanako's apathy gets broken, Hisao's does not.

I wrote in the most recent chapter of my fic that Hisao more or less credits Shizune with saving his life. I think this is true (to varying degrees) of all of the girls on all of the routes. I'm not suggesting at all that Hisao would take his own life, but rather that he would have simply continued going on being a shell of himself, stumbling through life enjoying nothing.

That scares me more than Iwanako, because the end result is terrifying. I think if not for the doctor's outburst, Iwanako had the POTENTIAL to be even scarier in that regard (what with her initial belief that she's just sort of there, even to her parents), but as things work out, she just seems a lot more functional of a human being going to Yamaku than Hisao did.

The journey for Iwanako is going to be fraught with peril, but I believe that she'd get there eventually, and when she does, she can claim a lot of the credit for her triumph. I can't say that for Hisao.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sat Jul 04, 2015 7:48 pm
by Oscar Wildecat
Puncyclopedia wrote: @Wildecat - I've read the social chameleon theory on these forums a handful of times (possibly from you), and I don't particularly believe it. I firmly believe that Hisao had a sense of self at one point, but his heart attack and extended stay in the hospital obliterated it and turned it into the shell you see at the start of the VN. I don't think he's intelligently adapting to whatever situation he finds himself in, but rather goes with the flow and ends up being deeply affected by the path he chooses. It's possible, I suppose, that his pre-heart attack self is a social chameleon, but we'll never know that. The Hisao we see in Katawa Shoujo, IMO, just isn't smart enough or good enough at reading people to be able to naturally adjust his behavior to fit in that well.
I would agree that that Hisao is not a social chameleon by conscience choice -- as you said he lacks the "social intelligence" to pull off the quick changes that a true social chameleon would possess. However, I think his "go with the flow" attitude gives him many the traits of one on a larger scale. So, he was (perhaps) one person pre-heart attack, and he adapts as a different person at Yamaku. Depending upon which ending you choose for him, one can see him going on to university and then work, becoming different people at each place -- all by going with the flow. Chameleon-like behavior, all unconscious.

That said, because of this, I think Yamaku!Hisao meeting Iwanako or any of his pre-heart attack friends would be a recipe for disaster. The same could be said for University!Hisao meeting anybody from his Yamaku days, especially a post-bad end.
Puncyclopedia wrote: The journey for Iwanako is going to be fraught with peril, but I believe that she'd get there eventually, and when she does, she can claim a lot of the credit for her triumph. I can't say that for Hisao.
QFT

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:18 pm
by brythain
Oscar Wildecat wrote:
Puncyclopedia wrote: @Wildecat - I've read the social chameleon theory on these forums a handful of times (possibly from you), and I don't particularly believe it. I firmly believe that Hisao had a sense of self at one point, but his heart attack and extended stay in the hospital obliterated it and turned it into the shell you see at the start of the VN.
I would agree that that Hisao is not a social chameleon by conscience choice -- as you said he lacks the "social intelligence" to pull off the quick changes that a true social chameleon would possess. However, I think his "go with the flow" attitude gives him many the traits of one on a larger scale. So, he was (perhaps) one person pre-heart attack, and he adapts as a different person at Yamaku.
I'd suggest that we have two perspectives that we're unconsciously merging. 1) Hisao as the protagonist of a VN, whose POV is deliberately elided and dumbed down so that the reader/player has something to do, to scream at, to attempt to manipulate; and 2) Hisao as a person before and after Yamaku, when this false perspective is removed. Whether true or not, it's a much more satisfying solution for the fanfic writer. You can think of it as metacanonical—the events as portrayed in whichever route he takes are true for that route, but there's a lot we're not seeing, as there would be in any human life.

What Leaty's Iwanako is some sort of analogue to, although being a completely different character, is Hisao in which Hisao-1 never occurred and Hisao was a normally-developing person in the sense that he responded in fairly understandable ways to his heart attack and his new circumstances. He always had a sense of humour, deprecating and fatalistic. He tended to do things without thinking much, as many teenage males do. In recalling episodes of his past, he'd exaggerate, over-dramatize a bit, or just try not to remember them at all. He had more expressed angst than he truly possessed, because angst is the default sensation and expression of most teenage males with problems. There's a lot he's not saying in the VN, and many of us can guess what those unsaid things might be.

The Iwanako of MTtB is a protagonist who never had to be shoehorned into a VN lead-character template. She can be a more fully-realised person. This is why I don't think of Hisao as a social chameleon. I think of him as several different Hisaos from alternate timelines, each simplified by "[t]ime's wrong-way telescope", a man altered in our view by design and not by nature. The trick is to look at him as he really is, which is very difficult and requires us to scrape parts of the KS-veneer away. Leaty's MTtB attempts that trick without the burden of a KS-veneer.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 11:06 pm
by Fardels
We've had some articulate, well-thought out theories of Hisao here. In some cases, they seem to contend with each other. I don't think any of them can be discounted, at least not totally.

People make thousands of decisions every day. In every case, they juggle a bunch of factors to come up with a decision. Usually, if most of the factors say do something, you do it. Unmixed motives are as rare as toothless tiger sharks, and about as successful. Any decision Hisao makes is a compilation of his former self, the impact of his condition, how much coffee he's had, whether he's confident he can mathematically rotate a cube inside a sphere if called upon, and a universe of other unknowable things.

For me, his condition is a major driver, but there are certainly others. In a situation where he is unsure of the game, he may well resort to social chameleon-ism. Analysis of any sort is happiest when it can up with a smoking gun, a single factor that drives the action, causes the reaction, and leads to a tidy conclusion. Reality frequently leaves analysis sulky and depressive.

If Hisao is to be a character instead of a caricature, we need to leave him some wiggle. On a meta level, within the game, that fuzziness makes Hisao easier to create, sure, but it also explains why he can go catatonic in one route and flame up in a similar situation in another. That would be true of a real Hisao as well.

MTtB's Iwanako is clearly more engaged and brings more baggage. Haven't read ahead, so I don't know whether that's better or not - it could go either way. But she is a different character entirely. I'm enjoying the story.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 9:49 pm
by Leaty
Jesus, guys, my birthday isn't until October.Image
Puncyclopedia wrote:the more active roles of the NPCS in the scene vs. the general passiveness of everyone in the original KS prologue.
You know, of all the intentional parallels I put into my writing, I can't actually remember if that was supposed to be one.

As my feelings about Observations probably demonstrate, I really hate "robot" spear carriers--minor characters who are treated by the author as faceless silhouetted MacGuffins. My feeling about writing is that every character should have agency, even if they don't have relevance. They should be, you know, human, and stuff. (Based on what I've read of your writing, I suspect you feel the same way.) I didn't want to make Iwanako's parents an off-brand version of Hisao's parents, because that would have been easy and lazy. I've never liked how Hisao and Rin's parents stay almost entirely out of the plot simply because nobody felt up to the task of characterizing them. (Even though it was stylistic, I hated it in Ed, Edd and Eddy, too...)
Blank Mage wrote:I'm seeing a little early installment weirdness, personally. Iwanako undergoes a severe character change between this opening (shy and unsure of herself) and leaving the hospital (nihilistic and vitriolic).
I have mixed feelings about this--honestly, it really undermines the integrity of my entire premise if literally the only canon Iwanako dialogue in MTtB sounds strange coming out of her mouth. I alluded to this in my previous post, but that scene feels to me like...forgetting to pay the rent, or running a red light, or something. I just feel like I made a mess and left without cleaning it up.

On one hand, I think that scene is perfect just as it is--it feels like the VN prologue, but it isn't textually the VN prologue. Mission accomplished. But I'll always feel like the stark contrast between that moment and the next one is slightly too stark, and yet, literally nothing can be done about it because I've gone and solidly characterized Iwanako that way over the following 65,000 words.

My Watsonian explanation for that scene is that we aren't really seeing Iwanako in her natural habitat during Frozen Sopor--she is shy and unsure of herself, but those are behaviors, not character traits--Iwanako is introverted, but she's certainly not bashful. She's never been a shrinking violet or an ingenue. Here, though, she's put an awful lot of hope and emotional weight into this confession, and it's not like she's experienced at these kinds of things; I don't even think this kind of confession is really her style, in the abstract. Iwanako has a good sense for what is romantic but isn't necessarily so great at being romantic. Ergo, I think the reason she seems out-of-character in that scene is textual rather than metatextual; she's being out of character, doing something that doesn't come naturally to her. (And in the text of the story, it was Mai who pushed her to do this, so that fits.)
brythain wrote:What Leaty's Iwanako is some sort of analogue to, although being a completely different character, is Hisao in which Hisao-1 never occurred and Hisao was a normally-developing person in the sense that he responded in fairly understandable ways to his heart attack and his new circumstances.
I really don't have any one single interpretation or understanding of Hisao--I keep many different grades and weights of Hisaos in my toolbox so that I'll always have the proper Hisao for the job.

I think, though, that you've described the situation in MTtB as cogently as I've ever seen it. The Hisao that Iwanako is a reflection of is, indeed, a Hisao that literally never existed in the visual novel. He's the Pruned Hisao: the iteration of Hisao that appears in the twenty-six-episode anime adaptation of Katawa Shoujo (produced by Shaft and directed by Shin Ōnuma in an AU to our actual U) that canonically winds up with Shizune, Hanako, or Emi (but only one of them).

One of the things I enjoy about writing this story is that I get to retread familiar territory while taking advantage of the different strengths and weaknesses inherent to a different format. I get to have my cake and eat it too--all the fun of the Katawa Shoujo sandbox but with a protagonist who rolled something other than Human Fighter. That said, for the purposes of this story it doesn't do me any good to adopt the headcanon of Hisao as a mild-mannered hanger-on--you'd be completely forgiven for missing this, because he's not an important character after the prologue, but the Hisao of this story is Pruned Hisao. He's just Pruned Hisao without arrhythmia.

Wow, that was a convoluted three paragraphs indeed.

...

Anyway: If we've finished teasing out most of the discussion for the prologue, would Wednesday be a good time to begin discussion on the following chapters?

Here's my sitch: My preference would be that we discuss the next four chapters as something of a set, because together they form a single episode. I did some calculating, however, and it turns out that's approximately 15,500 words--I certainly don't remember writing that much but apparently that's what they are.

So we could just discuss Slow Code to China and The Shallow End (~7500 words) on Wednesday, and add New Game Plus and Breaking the Loop on Friday or Saturday, if that's more reasonable. Or... I dunno. I'm open to ideas.

Oh, and you guys are the best. Srsly.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Wed Jul 08, 2015 12:19 am
by brythain
Here's a convenient link to the story index on its cover page (because the discussion was so extensive that the link was scrolled away).
Also, since nobody's said any different, let's go with Leaty's proposal. :)

Iwanako: Mean Time to Breakdown
— Prologue (Scenes 1 and 2) (from Wed 01 Jul 2015)
— Act 1, Part 1 (Scenes 3 and 4) (from Wed 08 Jul 2015)
— Act 1, Part 1 (Scenes 5 and 6) (from Sat 11 Jul 2015)

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:52 pm
by brythain
This is going to sound really strange, but I was just sitting around listening to a bunch of people in a restaurant. One of the things I do is ethnographic research, so I tend to do the necessary framing in my head when not otherwise occupied. And then it hit me: Leaty's Iwanako from Scenes 3 and 4 sounds like a forty-something female doctor with a looming midlife crisis. I could even tell you which one, down to the suspicion that a science teacher might despise her for not being good at science, if I could abandon confidentiality. What an odd moment of clarity, or perhaps insanity.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:30 pm
by Leaty
brythain wrote: And then it hit me: Leaty's Iwanako from Scenes 3 and 4 sounds like a forty-something female doctor with a looming midlife crisis.
You know, that's not actually all that surprising, despite Iwanako being seventeen and me being in my mid-twenties. One of the authors whose work I draw a great deal of inspiration from is Sue Grafton (a mystery novelist whose work I developed a taste for in middle school, even though it's seemingly most popular with the middle-aged and older women demographics). She writes her stories in first person limited past tense, so that's where I copied a lot of my technique from. Considering that in these early chapters I was still finding my sea legs, so to speak, it wouldn't surprise me if Iwanako wound up sounding not dissimilar to Grafton's protagonist, Kinsey Millhone (a detective in her late thirties), even after my more recent edits.

I almost want to say I dropped the ball, narratively, by giving teenage character such a precocious, world-weary outlook, but the truth is that I never picked up the ball to begin with—I just didn't give a fuck. This story isn't YA, and I'm certainly not going out of my way to connect with a teenage audience, so I never made any effort to revise her internal monologue on the grounds that it was perhaps preternaturally mature.

Also, I find it amusing that there's been very few posts on these chapters thus far—Three and Four have never been especially popular scenes, probably because they're mostly setup. Even when there were several scenes afterward, there was a weird trend on my FF.net traffic stats of Slow Code to China having much fewer pageviews than any other scene in the story. Like people were just looking at the chapter titles and deciding to skip over it based on that. Really odd.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Meeting Resumed: July—Iwanako)

Posted: Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:52 pm
by Fardels
Is this thing on? *taps microphone*

Interesting comment, Brythain, and not all that loony. As diverse as homo sap is, fear and uncertainty seems to drive us down many of the same streets. The parallel is a good one.

The chapters are a revelation for me. This will be a very fully-formed character, more so than the canon could or even should. The analogs to Hisao have been discussed, but (to date) I'm catching a whiff of Holden Caulfield too. That's very, very special. On to new chapters and loop-breaking for Friday.