Page 112 of 126

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Some One-Shots)

Posted: Mon Jul 23, 2018 3:35 pm
by Craftyatom
Fire and Ashes was meh, imo. It's a really difficult premise to pull off, which involves striking a balance between "too dramatic" and "underwhelming". I found it to be on the "underwhelming" side, possibly due to the rather simple language: the characters' thoughts were written in the same manner as their speech, which does make them more personal, but also removes the level of narrative specificity that helps engross readers in the story. Sure, we can imagine how devastating or exhilarating these situations are, but including the extra narration, to really immerse the reader, would've taken it a step further. As is, it felt a bit like the characters were reading their lines from a script, which was my major qualm with this story. And I agree that Hanako is entirely too coherent - her lines would've worked better in a chapter 1.5, with her in the hospital. It could even involve a visit from the firefighter, which is realistic while still leading into...

After the Smoke Clears was well-written and nice. There was a bit of suspension of disbelief regarding them recognizing each other, but it's not entirely unreasonable (assuming we've accepted Hanako's coherency as a fault of the prior story, not this one). There wasn't really a lot of substance to this story, but that's fine, especially given its length. The part about the firefighter seeing a mirror of himself in Hisao was rather cliche, but also forgivable. All in all, pretty good.

Wake Up, Little Suzu is pretty standard early romance slice of life. Nothing ground-breaking here, just comfortable normality with some spice thrown in. It was somewhat lacking in terms of exposition and explanation, but again, it's too short to expect all that. A good read if you're pressed for time.

Nineteen Years was super cute, and definitely my favorite of these stories. It was pretty obvious from rather early on what the ending was going to be, but that didn't detract too much from the story. The party itself seemed crowded relative to her 18th, but I think that speaks to the story's theme: a year has passed, and things have changed. And of course, at the end they change a lot. Again, saw it coming from a mile away, but it was nice. Personally, I would've done it one-on-one rather than in front of the family, but that's just me. What I enjoyed even more than that scene, though, was the final part, where they both say it all feels too good to be true. That really tied it all off nicely for me.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180716 Some One-Shots)

Posted: Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:33 am
by Silentcook
Posts deleted, warnings sent. The "no requesting" sticky applies. That was EXACTLY the kind of thing we don't want on the forums, and the reason why that sticky was created.

Re: Yamaku Book Club ( Phantom Pains: Mirror Shoujo)

Posted: Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:22 pm
by Oddball
... has the heat died down yet?

... is it safe?

Either way, it's time for more bookclub!


I feel you deserve an extra helping ... no. A TRIPLE Helping of the bookclub this time, so here's THREE, count'em THREE, Hanako stories. There's no-kill like overkill after all. (None of them feature her making out with Akira though. Sorry for anyone who was looking for that sort of thing.)

Shopping trip by Req.

A story where Hanako goes to the convince store by herself.

Personally, I loved the part where she was so nervous she had to remind herself how to walk, but didn't care for the lines following it where she said she had a larger group of friends. That just didn't fit in with pre-good ending Hanako.

Separation, A Hanako Bad Ending Epilogue by PrymaL.

This one focuses on Hisao who has just messed up Hanako's route and been yelled at. There's actually very little Hanako in this one. There's more Misha. However it is her route, so it counts.

The story doesn't go anywhere. It looks like the author intended to write more chapters but didn't and there's no clue as to anything that would have followed if it had been continued. It's really just Hisao being depressed. Hisao feels a bit off in this story. He comes across as too melodramatic and wallowing in his own depression.

Diary of a Flower by bubeez

This is Hanako writing in a new diary she's started. Not much on plot, but it feels rather cute. Written Hanako comes across as somewhat of a rambler which I wouldn't have thought of, but it works here. The topic never got any actual replies when it was made and I feel it deserves better.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180716 Some One-Shots)

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 8:47 am
by Hoitash
Overkill is underrated.

Shopping Trip-

Must... give... hug....

I liked how this story showed the Lilly-Hana dynamic and how it showed Hanako herself. To me, it also shows how much she needs a another friend, not to go with her on the trip or anything, but... I dunno, so she knows she has someone else she can confide in. Someone else, so Lilly doesn't have to be the "mother goose" as the story puts it, and just be a friend.


That was a good start, all things considered. Then again, I'm a big Misha fan, so I'm probably biased.

Misha is the relationship counselor we deserve. Shame it never continued.

Diary of a Flower-

Hugging Desire Intensifies...

Wait, Hana means flower... oh right. Kanji. Anywho...

That was... sad. In a good way. I could see Hana keeping a diary, and if this is how it would start, I wouldn't mind seeing how it progressed as she met Lilly, and Akira, and Hisao. Well, there's a fic of her route from her pov which is sorta like that, but on topic I like the idea of Hanako having an internal rambling monologue, which makes sense when you consider how much she just observes.

When you spend a lot of time watching and listening, you do a lot of thinking. It can suck.

Re: Yamaku Book Club ( Phantom Pains: Mirror Shoujo)

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 12:30 pm
by calcifer
Shopping trip

This one actually made me think about grocery stores like Amazon Go where someone like Hanako could shop without any human interaction whatsoever. But is that a good thing? On one hand, it allows her to avoid significant - sometimes debilitating - anxiety. On the other hand, by letting stores like these proliferate we are getting rid of what little public social interaction we have left and pushing people into further isolation and loneliness. This problem is already worse in Japan than anywhere else.

Rationally, I know nothing can or will stop the spread of these stores, but I can't help but feel we are actively making our society worse and that's just... sad.

Separation, A Hanako Bad Ending Epilogue

Meh. The stuff brythain complained about on the original thread bothered me enough to not really care for it.

Diary of a Flower

I really like the concept. Imagine an entire multi-POV fic written only in diary entries! The actual content wasn't anything special, but it could have been something if the author continued with it.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180716 Some One-Shots)

Posted: Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:08 pm
by QuietlySomething
Wow, three Hanako stories and zero Akira stories. I see how it is, Oddball... I see...

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180806 Oddball's Triple Decker)

Posted: Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:42 pm
by Craftyatom
Shopping Trip
I quite liked this one - no real surprises, but well-done nonetheless. Anxiety, a small but repressed desire to belong, the terrifying reality of social interaction, and a comfy ending to top it all off. I identified with more of this story than I expected to. I will say, however, that the mixture of Hanako's internal monologue and third-person narration took some getting used to.

I like the premise of this story, but there's really not enough here to judge how well said premise was executed. The end looked promising, since it implied that Hisao's emotions were going to be the focus of the story, which is a good direction to take (one of my personal favorite stories did the same exact thing); that's really all we have to go on, though.

Diary of a Flower
I'm always torn when it comes to diary stories. On one hand, it's a fascinating concept in terms of storytelling, but on the other, the writing tends to feel a bit hollow. It differs depending on who's writing, but the tone used in most diary entries just seems a bit flat - there's not much of a desire to include explicit emotion, so it comes off as more of a monotone listing of events, leaving it up to the reader to figure out how the diary's author felt. This story didn't completely fall victim to that issue, but it definitely played a part, and I can't help but feel that the events would've been better told in real time. Actually, there's a section of "real-time" storytelling (which I initially thought was a jarring change of frame, but ended up just being a very strange portion of the diary entry) that felt more natural to me. Personal preference, all subjective, but personally, the "diary entry" style isn't my cup of tea. That aside, I liked a lot of the detail the author included.
Oddball wrote:
Sun Aug 05, 2018 10:22 pm
None of them feature her making out with Akira though. Sorry for anyone who was looking for that sort of thing.
Pssh, who would want something like that? Certainly not a pure and wholesome man like myself. <_< >_>

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180806 Oddball's Triple Decker)

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 12:53 am
by WorldlyWiseman
Life is strange for lots of folks. Your dedication to this is admirable, Oddball, don't beat yourself up!

emmjay One-shots
Fire and Ashes and Smoke should've been combined and had the scenario in Smoke be structured differently but they were written years apart so eh. Suzu kinda wanders a bit and I don't quite detect the chemistry between these two but they're each cute and maybe I'm just dense and/or heartless.

19 Years is fun and I'm not just saying that because Akira shows up. I could grumble a bit about how the 'suspicious Hanako' element could have been extended a bit and given the story a conflict to build around, but the climax has Hisao stammer instead of Hanako and that's just adorable. One could have it both ways by just deleting the line where she immediately reassures herself and just let that doubt hang in the air a while.

Triple decker tales
Separation perfectly demonstrates a tendency I've noticed in first-time writers to write everything in blow-by-blow detail but fail to utilize any of it. I still do it and it's why I tend to just edit my stuff out of existence, and I wish I could knock it off.

The subject of the book he reads isn't used for anything. Exactly what Kenji yells isn't needed to make the hallway and the school feel alien and hostile at that moment. The exact time isn't needed. What this needs is immediate purpose for Hisao's reactions, which is odd to say because of course he's reeling from Hanako dumping him. Getting back to his room should be a conflict (things keep stopping him or he's struggling to coordinate and navigate), scene should cut after he wakes up, and in the classroom he should be trying to not react to anything which Misha's prodding exacerbates. A story can be centered on internal conflict, but it needs to be made manifest in some way or it's not conflict.

Shopping Trip does well with the headspace of anxiety. The blow-by-blow approach works here because we get the sense that Hanako might bolt, so each thing that comes up incites conflict and changes how she relates to the environment.

I didn't get the sense that she had a larger group of friends? She was just recognizing people from her class.

Diary of a Flower stood out the most to me. It can be extraordinarily difficult to make your thoughts external when you live in your head all the time so I can empathize with the text as a whole. There's also some excellent turns of phrase here that manage to communicate not only Hanako's crushing loneliness but her incredible discomfort with her own body and existence.

"I mostly imagine finally, finally doing it. Getting up. Walking Over. Asking. Breaking away from myself, who I can still see sitting down, hidden in a book, as always."

Jesus. I can imagine a lot of folks checking out once the imagined sequence happens and wrecks any illusion of this being a diary entry but it really is a shame that it just sank without comment. I kinda want to just bump it?

Re: Yamaku Book Club ( Blue haired girls)

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 12:43 pm
by Oddball

Let's look at a story of Shizune and Suzu, Blue Haired Girls written by me.

You knew it was only a matter of time before I got around to highlighting my own work.
I hope it doesn't come across like bragging.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180820 Blue Haired Girls)

Posted: Mon Aug 20, 2018 4:58 pm
by Craftyatom
Nice and quaint. The girls were really well-written, and their interaction was pretty much as expected - which was the main selling point of the story, in my opinion. The two of them bouncing off of each other is guaranteed to be interesting if written well, and interesting it was. Overall, I found the story enjoyable.

The ending seemed a bit overdone to me. The fact that the pizza guy would've saved them if they had waited was a funny twist at the end, as was the power outage, but I feel like using both was going a bit overboard. Sure, it solidifies that the universe is screwing Suzu over, but we had already gathered that. Plus, in all aspects of the story, the two girls are in predicaments together, whereas the blackout is presented as Suzu's problem alone, kind of breaking the theme. Basically, the ending achieved extra tragic humor, but at the cost of some of the aspects that it did so well beforehand. Also, as a final note, there were a handful of SpaG errors - not a lot, but enough that it was noticeable.

... uh, I mean, this story was perfect in every way. And, on a completely unrelated note, I love my position in the book club, and really hope that said position is never challenged or complicated by anyone in a position of power - especially someone who took said power by performing a "mutiny". :lol:

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180820 Blue Haired Girls)

Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:51 am
by Mirage_GSM
Mirage_GSM wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2015 10:33 am
Well, that was fun.
It still is. :-)

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180820 Blue Haired Girls)

Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 4:00 pm
by calcifer
This was really fun, despite an eye-watering number of SPaG issues :P It felt like Scissorlips' Suzu, which I think is the highest compliment a Suzu fic can receive :)

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180820 Blue Haired Girls)

Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 7:33 pm
by Mirage_GSM
Hmm.. I didn't really have any issues with SpaG in this story.

...and I didn't feel reminded of Scissorlips' Suzu at all - which is also a compliment, because frankly I never liked that Suzu very much at all.

This one was... original. If anything she could have been replaced by any number of other characters without changing the story much. For example it would have worked just the same with Naomi or Ritsu chaningn nothing but the names - except of course those two don't have blue hair :-)

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180820 Blue Haired Girls)

Posted: Wed Aug 22, 2018 9:12 pm
by Oddball
except of course those two don't have blue hair :-)
And that, of course, is the important part of the story.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20180820 Blue Haired Girls)

Posted: Thu Aug 23, 2018 8:27 pm
by WorldlyWiseman
This is cute! I agree that it could have gone a bit longer and having two punchlines is weird. Since the table plan was Shiz's idea, Suzu could do something to help get the power outage situation under control, just in time for the pizza truck to arrive. The interaction feels just right, though.