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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190520 Overdrive)

Posted: Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:42 am
by Hanako Fancopter
That was a fun little romp, though a bit jarring when Hisao is standing there with Misha's blood on his hands and she just laughs it off and skips away. The Misha that we got in the final version of the game was much more sensitive about losing her virginity. This one definitely works as an "evil Misha" concept though, it fits when I imagine her as wanting to take Hisao for herself.

Also noticed that Misha starts off saying "Hisao-kun" then somehow switches to "Hicchan" sometime around when they have sex. I like the idea of her using different suffixes for friends and romantic partners.... and what that implies about her saying "Shizu-chan" in this story 8)

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190520 Overdrive)

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 12:42 am
by Craftyatom
Sweet Voice
The story stands well enough on its own, in my opinion - the interesting component is, as HiveMind mentioned, how it relates to canon.

This is going to sound strange, but in my mind, the alcohol really made it work, far better than its counterparts in the VN. Misha's "tragedy" is a rather dull and constant ache, not the kind of thing that really spikes on its own - it needs something to set it off, otherwise it buries itself after only a minor showing. In the VN, it surfaces almost out of the blue - which is characteristic - but it seems to flow rather smoothly once it has - which isn't. In my mind, this story did a much better job getting the pacing right: it's set into motion by external events, and gradually gains ground until it erupts in full. It's like Chernobyl: an unusual circumstance, followed by a specific series of unusual but related and seemingly benign events, and then by the time you realize things are going wrong, they can't be stopped.

Basically, the breakdown and segue into naughtiness felt much more natural here than I remember in the VN. Part of that is the fact that they're both inebriated, it's true. But I think a bigger component is that Misha makes the decision to order alcohol. It's a self-destructive decision, but when it doesn't ruin things, it makes her want to try even harder, to let things erupt. End scene.

Hisao's internal monologue felt really on-point, too. Couldn't put my finger on any one thing, but it read very much like the Hisao in canon. Only change I would've made is after the "taking responsibility" joke - he's relieved, but he shouldn't be that relieved. I feel like that dread would transform into dread at the thought of the other consequences of his actions.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190520 Overdrive)

Posted: Sun Jun 09, 2019 5:42 am
by TheHivemind
Oddball wrote:
Fri Jun 07, 2019 4:11 pm
although he was my editor for the duration and put up with me in a way nobody really should have.
Any interesting stories there you'd care to share?
The unrelenting march of time has erased most of the details from my brain, unfortunately. It suffices to say that, as I've said on this very forum at least a few times, I very quietly attempted to walk away from the project, and by the time the final draft was finished was all too ready to never think about it again. SC's unenviable task was to gently prod me into fixing and/or re-writing the bits that were still rubbish. Also he's the one who said it was lemon-scented lube, which is the only thing people remember about the path anyway.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190520 Overdrive) -- I think you mean "Sweet Voice"

Posted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 6:48 pm
by LordDarknus
Oddball wrote:
Thu Jun 06, 2019 5:12 pm
Maybe this one will capture more people's attention.

'Sweet Voice' by our very own Silentcook.
So... was it really Misha's first time? Or was Auntie Flo visiting?

"Booo~! That's rude Lord Baka!" Misha yells; she crumples up a piece of paper and hurls it at me.

"What? I mean, it's implied strongly by Hisao's narration that he took your virginity, sure, but, well, you know, he's Hisao -- I mean, he forgot to charge his phone on his date!"

"He was nervous! It happens~!"

"Okay! Okay! Fine! ... Wait, did you crumple up one of my drafts?"

"Umm... so, what else did you think about my Sweet little story~?"

"Well... it was okay, I guess."

Misha comes close to me, and leans uncomfortably into my face.

"Oh? Just, "okay", Lord Baka-san?"

"Eh, well..." I carefully begin to reply.

"Are you sure you have nothing else to add? Hmmmm~!?"

"It-it had solid characterisation, on the whole, and I'm guessing it must have informed the development of Shizune's route and helped make you... well, you!"

Misha smiles at me again, ...though with a little mischievous glint in her eyes.


"The writing sets up the appropriate moods seamlessly, Hisao's narration is good as it describes each scene, capturing the details and the atmosphere, while also simultaneously showing his thoughts and character. -- I mean, that's how Visual Novel writing works, and, basically, Silentcook did an admirable job."

"Ohh~? Are you saying Silentcook is... better than A22?"

"What? No! How did you infer that?"

Misha grins almost wickedly at me. "Answer the question, LordDarknus-san~!"

"...they both have their own unique styles, and it's obvious that Silentcook is writing in A22's-"

"Who do you think is better!? Say it! Say it!"

"... no."

"Awww~ you're no fun."

"They're both talented at what they do, Misha. And besides, comparing between a writer and his editor is a bit unfair, ...if not a little strange as well, under the circumstances."

"So, what else did you think was interesting about my Sweet Voice?"

"Well, it's clearly done an effective job of making the reader feel for you -- a tiny route of your own, if you will, where Hisao (thus, the player) could fall in love with you, while still within the confines of Shizune's route."

Misha looks away from me. She still has a smile on her face... but her eyes look a little wistful to me.

"Did you really think I was just... manipulating Hisao? -- Or..."

"Well, your actions could be interpreted as either deliberate scheming or-"

Misha looks at me, her smile gone, and her eyes ...seemingly full of loneliness.

I continue, with a gentler tone of voice.

"Or... a buried emotion, trying to emerge from beneath all that, bright, loud, pinkness."

Misha smiles slightly as I approach and gesture at her drills.

"As if... Misha, the real Misha -- Shiina -- wanted someone to see her, through the mask. Desperate enough, to give up something very precious, for a brief moment of happiness, and then, quietly continue on her long, lonely journey."

Misha raises her eyebrows, curious.

She asks, "Is that who I really am? Or just LordDarknus-san's overly-dramatic interpretation?"

"Well, I'm just a fan. It's how I see you."

Misha looks at me, a little surprised, unsure of what to say.

Then, she quickly smiles and gives me a good shove.

"You're seeing things, Baka~!"

She moves away, and picks up another one of my drafts.

"So, what's this?" she asks. "Another fan-fiction?"

"Oh, yeah. It's uhh, it's kind of a silly thing, really. Something of a review, but in the style of a story."

"Oh~? Why is Batman in it? And dressed in so many colours?"

"Well, it's Pride Month, I thought I'd work it in. -- Somehow."

Misha gives me a funny look.

"Don't judge me."

"Wah~hahaha~! You're so strange, LordDarknus-san! What's next?"


"Your silly story! What happens in it?"

"Oh, well, at the start, I have Batman show up in his Rainbow Batsuit in a karaoke bar, and he finds Mattyd and says to him:

"Mattyd! Put down the microphone and put on your pants! Bruce Willis needs you!"" ... 1943241728

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Saki meets Rika)

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:07 am
by Oddball

We're taking a look at one of my own this time, featuring the two April Fools girls.

Saki meets Rika by Oddball.

It's a short piece and nothing much happens. Since it's my story, if there's any questions as to why I did what i did, feel free to ask.

Fire away.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190520 Overdrive)

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:32 am
by Scroff
Oddball wrote:
Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:00 am
To pass the time she watched a particularity large insert scurry around on the pavement.
Was it a self-insert?

Ahem. I enjoyed it lots, particularly how much characterisation you packed in to a short piece.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190520 Overdrive)

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 11:34 am
by Oddball
:evil: I thought I went back and changed that last time it was pointed out.

Oh well. It's there now. Might as well preserve it for posterity's sake.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190701 Saki meets Rika)

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2019 10:02 pm
by brythain
I like the interaction and the curious personalities displayed, but something about this one has always... bugged me.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something))

Posted: Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:44 pm
by Oddball

Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something) by Scissorlips.

This is a bit longer, I hope you read it anyway because it's really good.

I know a lot of people don't like the alternate universe/post apocalypse/gun toting commando stuff, but this one really make sit work well. The characters still feel mostly like the characters should, give or take a few mutations and an apocalyptic environment.

I will warn you though, it's a bleak story and people die.

I also have to call out this line.
“You came to the wrong literature club, motherfucker.” Lezard taunts

That's just great.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190715 Radioactive/Call of Yamaku)

Posted: Sat Jul 20, 2019 2:15 pm
by NuclearStudent
There are pieces engineered to be towers of symbolism worth picking apart. There are pieces plotted either so elegantly or incredibly poorly that their tropes and narrative structure are worth analyzing.

In the discord you asked for comments. I say that reason is dead, we have put it down, and it would be necromancy to drag it out. Works like these are written on the spur of a whim. It's not that rational analysis is impossible or that it could not be fruitful, but I personally find it barely worth doing for campy stories. I'm not sure there are any secrets for us to find.

I will now do that analysis which I have been so pessimistic about. In terms of origins, there's definitely a STALKER vibe, as other commenters have pointed out. Tonally it veers between the serious (eg. Kenji's bomb and the end of the Ikuno arc) and the ridiculous (the Hulk nonsense.) The effect may vary.

The first chapter I found the strongest, the third second so, and the rest unremarkable. Individual moments spark. As mentioned, for me the Kenji-bomb and the Ikuno end were briefly poignant. A couple of the zingers were mildly funny. Other moments just made me annoyed and inpatient.

It was a reasonably enjoyable time and I wish I had never read this. Not because it's bad, but because now I have a sinking sense of depression without the feeling of having read something good enough to redeem it. I currently wish to walk into a well, transform into a troll, and sink underneath the water. Forget anything rational I can say, that image is enough to sum up my mood and reaction. I am currently not in a rational mood.

Anyway, I personally identify as someone with bad taste. I'll rattle off my own shitpost of a post apocalyptic piece with a similar setting for something to compare to. Maybe we all should. Reason is dead and art can only be matched by art, if we want to label the abominations we sometimes do as art.

I want to hide in a hole and sink back into the earth now. I have just read something that, basically, effectively conveys a sort of Borderlands/STALKER combo and now I am just depressed now.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something))

Posted: Fri Jul 26, 2019 8:04 pm
by KSFFWriter
Oddball wrote:
Fri Jul 12, 2019 12:44 pm
Radioactive (or Katawa: Call of Yamaku) (or something) by Scissorlips.
I remember reading this when it came out. Though, on pastebin back then, and during the middle of Suzu route, if I recall correctly. It was a bit of a change in tone, let alone switching to a Hisao post-Emi.

Anyway, it was a neat sort of change. How often is there really gunfighting and post-apoc adventure in KS fanfiction? While it's a bit goofy at times, I really do like the odd mutations and situations the various characters have found themselves in, though some of it doesn't make any sense really. Hisao has to kill like five people on his way to the school, and the school itself is full of zombies and death, but Saki runs a brothel there? Who's spending money there? Or, trading pills, I guess?

But plot holes aside, it's a fun read. A weird sorta pseudo-STALKER thing as a weird flight of fancy between all the angsty romance that goes on in most KS work. It's well written as far as action goes, with some creative mutations and situations for the characters to be in. I liked it back then, and I like it now.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190715 Radioactive/Call of Yamaku)

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 3:46 am
by Craftyatom
Okay, I'll start by saying that I'm not a huge fan of this type of story as KS fan fiction. It's difficult to make a good piece of first-person action as is, and tying it in with KS canon never felt like it offered anything. I felt the same way about Meadows' Titanium (similar style): it wasn't terrible, but it just felt a bit too forced. Putting old characters in new situations is the foundation of almost all good fsnfic, and these stories seem to ignore that completely. The characters are hardened gunmen now, with only minimal exposition explaining why. They have gunfights, they have long internal monologues, they have tricks up their sleeve, and they have absolutely nothing to do with the original setting except occasional disability-related one-liners. It's not a new story about Yamaku, it's an old action story with some cripple-patterned wallpaper (hence why so many characters seem to get their disabilities cured or ignored).

I'm not at all opposed to AU fics, I just think they need certain elements to really be worthwhile. I could sit here and praise Katawa Kijo all day, but most importsntly (in this context), it's not a story about an AU; it's a story about characters who are thrust into an AU, and have to learn about it and adapt to it. This is where characterizations can be really brilliant, because we're taking a known character and putting them into an unknown situation. That kind of growth is, in my opinion, very distinct from stories like Radioactive, which draw parallels between characters and their former selves, but make no attempt to explain how they went from one end to the other. In this story, anything strange was just due to the radiation and mutations. Literally anything could be explained away, which reduces the impact of the choices the author makes.

WITH THAT SAID, I think Radioactive might be the best take on this genre that I've seen so far (though I haven't read tbem all). It does make significant attempts to tell the reader what happened, even if it uses essentially no exposition (can't have exposition in an action fic, that'd ruin the fast-paced blow-by-blow nature!). Most characters are designed to line up with canon in such a way that the reader can make a guess about what's not being shown, so it's not a complete mystery why Hanako is now wearing full camouflage gear and proficient with modern firearms. Sort of. But even then, at best the characters were cleverly designed, and at worst they were just gimmicky. In the clever moments, I could appreciate the writing for a second before getting bogged down in the gritty action again, and in the gimmicky moments, I just wished the characters had been faceless instead.

Overall, a well-written story, just not a concept that I think works well. The author introduces some clever aspects, which make this fic better than most of the rest in its genre (imo), but in the end, it's just not very compelling. But I also know full well that, when writing a large work, it helps to take long and unusual breaks, and I think that's exactly what Scissorlips did here: got all the crazy stuff out of the way quickly, in order to keep their other work more sane.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20190715 Radioactive/Call of Yamaku)

Posted: Thu Aug 01, 2019 9:07 pm
by ProfAllister
Well, after some exceedingly subtle prodding from Oddball, I may as well toss in my two cents.

Between my initial post in the thread back when this was new and Crafty's post right above mine, there's not much else to say. It's a competently written short story that, frankly, has nothing more than a thin KS glaze.

It's well written, but I feel the idea is hardly worth the effort that was put into it. It's not really original enough or interesting enough to say much beyond "Yup. It exists."

Re: Yamaku Book Club (shit nobody cares about: the game)

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:27 pm
by Oddball

I meant to update this last week, but I hurt my back and wasn't really in a reading mood and I do try to read (or re-read) these stories before I force them on you all. :wink:

This time on the book club we have perhaps one of the least appealing titles that I've ran across here.

shit nobody cares about: the game by Henry Spencer.

I'll give you a warning first. It's a dream story. I know some people don't like those.

This was ... I don't want to say dark but there was a certain feeling of dread thoughout the story. I also feel it does a better job as capturing dream logic than most stories. As such, it does tend to lack a bit of narrative flow to it, but it never really feel incoherent either.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (shit nobody cares about: the game)

Posted: Sun Aug 11, 2019 6:00 pm
by Craftyatom
Oddball wrote:
Sun Aug 11, 2019 1:27 pm
shit nobody cares about: the game
An absolutely wonderful read. As you said, that feeling of dread is conveyed excellently, and I found Hisao's internal monologue to be well-characterized. The descriptions were raw and explicit, and the cascade of 'plot twists' - while far from surprising to the reader - all seemed both believable and terrifying. I've written a lot of dream sequences, both believable and unrealistic, and I think this was an excellent, fully-realistic take.

My one problem would be near the end, when he describes two old friends of his who died. It seemed like they were described in turn, with a lot of repetition. I personally would have written it such that he recognizes them each individually as people, then realizes in one fell swoop that they're all dead. As is, it breaks up the action a bit too much. (Also, I originally thought that having two dead friends was a bit much, but looking back, by age 18, I myself had two acquaintances my age who had died, so I guess it's reasonable.)

Overall, though, this is a great story that does its plot justice in just enough words. Except for the title.