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Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200427 Two Flat Jokes)

Posted: Wed Apr 29, 2020 6:36 am
by woohootouhou
Rookie error is funny, but there's really not much there other than joking about kenjixakira
OMD was pretty short too, but actually pretty good for a gag ending. That's actually how I would imagine misha acting about that situation.
But man, that ending.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Three stories!)

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:09 pm
by Oddball
Decided to try something new.

Let me know what you think of the new logo. I'm not attached to it so if anybody wants to mess around and come up with a different one, let me know.

So... on to the stories.

I didn't update at all last month. (I'm a bit behind on my stories too.) If that happens again, I need somebody to poke me with a stick and make sure I'm still alive. To make matters worse, the last two stories I left off with weren't that hot.

To make up for lost time, let's do three stories.

Yes. Three.
I do expect you to read them all and get back to me.

Mutou Gets Fired by Atario.
(Guess what happens in this story. I bet you can't.)

There were Five by Megumeru.

Life doesn't loop like a musicbox tune by Ben KSTF

I'll wait here while you read them.


Did you read them yet? Good.

Now here's MY thoughts on the stories.

Mutou gets fired.
Considering the title, this is a surprisingly optimistic story. Still, it feels kinda lacking. A story like this should gives you a better view of the kind of person Mutou is, but I never really got that feeling from it.

There were Five
I've always had a fascination for the supernatural myself, and given the conditions of some of those people at Yamaku, the idea that there would be ghost stories passed along makes a lot of sense to me. It's also not a subject you see brought up in stories very often.
While the cast members themselves didn't stick out much, they carried the story well and you could really feel the enthusiasm and effort they put into their investigation.

There's also a nice little bit of creepiness at the ending.

Life Doesn't loop like a musicbox tune.
The title seems rather clumsy and the sentence structure and style feels off.
Other than that, the story itself is almost pretty good. I actually really like when it focuses on Lilly and her thoughts. It's a nice view of her bad ending from her side. It's the ending of this story that kills it though. It seems like it's going somewhere and ... doesn't. It just stops.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200427 Two Flat Jokes)

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 5:33 pm
by calcifer
I like the new logo. It's been a few years since the last one, change is good!

Mutou Gets Fired

Bittersweet, but a bit empty. Perhaps Mutou should have gone to the pub with his mates, it'd have given the author an opportunity to explore his state of mind a bit, with an inner monologue maybe? I got nerd sniped by this bit though:
Though it’s an unaccustomed early hour for it, I catch my usual train, and sit under a heating vent to counter the cold as it carries me ever closer to home.
Heating vents are placed on the floor, not the ceiling, so the warm air can rise. He would have been sitting over the vent.

There were Five

Not interested in supernatural fics, so didn't read this one.

Life doesn't loop like a musicbox tune

It could have been an interesting chapter 1 for a bigger story but it doesn't go anywhere. Meh.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200608 Triple Shot)

Posted: Mon Jun 08, 2020 10:02 pm
by woohootouhou
Mutou Gets Fired
I liked this one, but that might be just because I like Mutou. I think it's a decent enough backstory, but a bit lacking, yeah. For a under 2000 word story I think there was a bit too much focus on him getting fired and not enough on his actual backstory.

There were Five
I didn't like this one. It kinda just felt like a mediocre slightly spooky story with KS thrown in for no good reason. The ending was cute though, and I liked the way they figured out she was there.

Life Doesn't loop like a musicbox tune
Where's the resolution? It feels like it got cut off not even halfway through. More of a prologue than a standalone story

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200608 Triple Shot)

Posted: Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:26 am
by brythain
Mutou Gets Fired seemed like a nice but too-easy one-shot for me. That year, I had written 'Pavane', so MGF (especially since it wasn't posted properly on the forum) seemed thin.

There Were Five was okay. I used an idea in it when considering the non-Euclidean geometry of the room in the basement which Oddball will remember from a certain unreliable narrative experience. Megumeru always had interesting ideas, but his horror-Shizune one is still best—and it's not this one, it's 'The Haunting', still as yet incomplete.

Life Doesn't Loop… is better than my own Lilly airplane scene, I have to say. But that's all it is, the airplane scene.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Queens of the Land)

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:29 pm
by Oddball

I'm going to try to make an effort to not loose track and have more consistent updates from here on.
Ideally, you're going to be looking at a new story (or two, or three) every other week, give or take a day or so depending on how my days off line up.

We'll see how long that lasts.

(and I am sticking with the new banner.)

Queens of the Land by SilentCook.

Here we have a pre-release story with a confrontation between Shizune and Lilly with Misha stuck in the middle.

It's interesting for a number of reasons. It doesn't play either to really be in the right and features a slightly skewed version of the characters we're used to.

This story dates back to when Lilly was going to be musically inclined before that idea was dropped. She's also far more willing to throw her money around in this story (again her being super rich was an earlier concept.)

Shizune seems far more petty and willing to act out of spite. In fact, they both seem more aggressive than usual. i suppose that's what helps make it all the more interesting when they're forced to work together.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200629 Queens of the Land)

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:48 pm
by brythain
I love this story. It has a lot of character, and it was very helpful to me when I first started out writing my own stuff. You learn how they communicate, and how they might interact; even though this is not their final canonical relationship, it is a good read with only minor infelicities of language. I enjoyed it then, and enjoy it still.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200629 Queens of the Land) - I don't get the wordplay

Posted: Fri Jun 26, 2020 9:53 pm
by LordDarknus
Nice new banner, Oddball. I like it.
Oddball wrote:
Wed Jun 24, 2020 1:29 pm
Queens of the Land by SilentCook.


The electric string quartet begins playing... With Lilly Satou as the cellist, and guiding the other three students, who are actually deaf or hard of hearing.

The audience watches in awed silence, as Satou subtly guides their playing, by facing specifically at one or more of them when she hears a problem, then tilting her head left or right to mean 'faster' or 'slower', or up or down for 'softer' or 'harder', respectively.

Shicchan, standing nearby offstage, stares intently at the audience, studying their delighted and amazed expressions.

I wonder if Shicchan likes feeling the vibrations from the speakers, as I sit in the dark corner, alone, watching Shicchan stand incredibly still, most likely focusing all her attention on trying to understand what the audience is experiencing as they listen to the beautiful music.

'Hello Misha, my old friend,' someone quietly says as he takes a seat beside me. 'I've come to talk with you again.'

'Hello, LordDarknus-san,' I greet him back, quietly.

'So... what did you think of 'Queens of the Land'?'

'I don't know, I was asleep. What do you think of 'The Sound of Silence', 'Darknus~'?'

'Umm, well, I think it's about someone who 'talks to darkness' by wondering deeply about his visions.'


'Yeah, his 'restless dreams', in a town Ebenezer Scrooge might like, are about people descending into materialism, blinding themselves from compassion, and systemically exploiting the less fortunate.'

'I thought it was just about people being bad at talking to each other.'

'Yeah, I guess that works too. Speaking of which, Lilly and Shizune managing to 'talk' to each other, for the first time too, to try and escape together, makes for a pretty good read!'

'Not so loud.'

'Sorry. These earlier versions of their characters are also pretty interesting. Lilly seems to be just as childish as Shizune, and Shizune seems to be much more mischievous. And Misha - err, you - seem a lot less... 'cartoony'? I guess? While still managing to be just as funny, as far as I can tell.'


'Their inner thoughts are nicely conveyed too, as they navigate obstacles and end up having to trust one another, though still clearly hating each other, making for some hilarious moments.'

'Silentcook is very good.'

'Yes, he is. The comedy revolves around the characters and their personalities, and he did an excellent job writing them - err, you, Lilly, and Shizune - and made the story flow naturally from start to finish.'

'Anything else?'

'Hmm... I'm not sure why Shizune didn't notice the same stairs that Mish- that you used to get down? Was it that dark?'

'Maybe she was really angry at Satou at the time?'

'I guess that must be why... in any case, I'm glad Shizune agreed to this whole public classical music event in the end.'

'Yeah, and Satou practised really hard with her quartet too.'

And they finish their performance just as I say it. After a moment, the entire audience applauds thunderously, thoroughly impressing Shicchan.

Satou and her quartet look exhausted, but relieved and satisfied as they bow, and then leave the stage with their instruments.

As they make their way backstage, Shicchan walks up to Satou, and taps her hand.

With a smile, Satou holds out a hand, and politely accepts Shicchan's handshake.

And the sound of silence between them, for this one moment at least, is banished.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200629 Queens of the Land)

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 6:11 am
by woohootouhou
A really great short story. Silentcook does a great job of making each characters inner dialogue different, even before their disability is taken into account. Obviously the characters act a bit different than they do in works post release, and in the actual game, but the whole story is still totally plausible after the personality changes. Very satisfying ending, too.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200629 Queens of the Land)

Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2020 2:02 am
by Hacksorus
I also quite liked this one. I joined the forums only after KS released, so seeing these "beta" characters is always an interesting, if strange, experience. The Lilly we know today remains my preferred iteration of her though- she just has an irreplacable spot in my heart by now.

Even so, I think this earlier version of Lilly might be better suited to these fights with Shizune. I guess heated arguments are more fun to watch when both parties are being equally and overtly aggressive. Or maybe it was just that I found their parting words hilarious, and couldn't imagine that kind of exchange happening with a more reserved Lilly. Either way, fun stuff.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (Scarred Angel)

Posted: Sat Jul 11, 2020 10:07 am
by Oddball

It's that time again. I know you were all looking forward to it.

Now let's all read Scarred Angel by Beoran.

It's a "Hanako & Lilly erotic triangle," so if you don't like erotic triangles, you might not care for this one.
If you're okay with regular triangles or erotic shapes of other kinds you may be okay with it.

What are my thoughts on it?

Personally, It's not my thing. For starters, the title has almost nothing to do with the story. It's little more than a throw away line. I don't think the triangle relationship stories work. The fact that the format of the story was set up as the character explaining thing that had already happened robbed it of the drama it could have had. I also think it's odd that out of three chapters, one is told from Hanako's point of view, one from Lilly's, and ... Hanako's again. if it had all been Hanako's it would have been okay. I thin shifting points of view like this, the third really should have been from Hisao's. He feels very much like a non-entity in this story.

While it doesn't fully embrace the "everybody comes back to Yamaku" cliche, it does come close to it.

The story isn't horribly written, it just feels rather lacking.

And Lilly being the reason Hisao had a condom really felt unnecessary.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200713 Scarred Angel)

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 8:40 pm
by NuclearStudent
(I don't comment on that many of these, but Oddball needs company.)

The author can be forgiven for their use of language because they aren't native English speakers. It has a number of spelling errors eg. "niversities" ought to be "universities," but the prose is not exceptionally bad.

The storytelling, however, is rather badly paced. I don't feel like I'm reading a story, but reading someone give a brief overview of a story. It's generally a bad idea to have characters give overviews of the past like this. It's bland exposition, not good storytelling.

The story frequently violates "show not tell." Take this passage in the beginning:
I felt strange and ashamed. I felt overcome by pain, by sadness, by grief. But despite all that, I was happy to be with him. The next morning was awkward, but when we met later that day at the fountain, we told each other what was on our minds, and broke down in tears. Then I knew that Hisao and I finally had understood each other. We could finally open up and talk to each other honestly. And I kissed him for the first time. I loved Hisao.
This is barely a scene: it's a description of what a better-written scene would have tried to convey.

Part 2 is somewhat better than Part 1 in this regard. For example, it actually shows the cup-dropping scene rather than describing it. But it still commits the sin, such as when it breezes through a description of the argument between Lilly and her Western boyfriend. Oddball is right in that explaining events that have already happened robs the story of drama and pathos. I've seen it done well, but it hasn't been done well here.

Also, brief language remark:
I thought that this was the punishment I deserved for being so selfish and lewd.
The only people I've seen use the word "lewd" have been weebs overexposed to pornographic doujin.

The ending is, simply, quite silly. It's an erotic triangle fic, so whatever, I'm not expecting utter realism and high drama. Unfortunately, the fic doesn't linger on physical details, so it's hardly erotic.

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200713 Scarred Angel)

Posted: Mon Jul 13, 2020 11:12 pm
by Oddball
The only people I've seen use the word "lewd" have been weebs overexposed to pornographic doujin.
I thought about commenting on that as well. I've never heard lewd except from the anime set, but I wondered maybe if that was just me.

Another one on a similar note that gets me as when people describe things as erotic, like "making erotic sounds" or "you have such an erotic body." Wouldn't "sexy" be a much more natural word?

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200713 Scarred Angel)

Posted: Thu Jul 16, 2020 3:05 am
by Hacksorus
To be honest I couldn't really bring myself to read enough of this to bother commenting on it. But I like talking about words, so my time has come.

It's definitely the case that most of the contexts in which I hear the word "lewd" are anime-related, but it's definitely used elsewhere on occasion. It's just sort of caught on in these subcultures I think, partially due to its somewhat memetic status.

Regarding "sexy" vs. "erotic", "sexy" sounds more natural for sure. It's sort of more enthusiastic and passionate I think. "Erotic" seems to be more impersonal, in those awkward contexts in which one needs to talk about these matters in a more professional way. Reminds me of my Human Sexuality classes.

if only my passion for exploring the nuances of language extended to kanji memorization time

Re: Yamaku Book Club (20200713 Scarred Angel)

Posted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 10:42 pm
by woohootouhou
I've only read through the first part and I'm probably not gonna read further. If you pardon the grammatical errors dotted throughout the story it really isn't that badly written, especially for a non native speaker. However, the first part lacks a lot of substance. A lot of time in crammed into a not especially long section, including a recap of what happened during their time at Yamaku. Since the story flies along at such a fast pace, there really isn't much development at all for any of the characters. Maybe because there's so little development of what the characters are actually like, the story doesn't really feel like it's coming from Hanako's perspective. In my eyes, a pretty big chunk of this first part could've been crammed down into a couple sentences giving more room to actually develop the relationship of the three, and how they would actually act for the story.

Maybe it gets better in the later parts, but considering I'm not a fan of Lilly/Hanako pairing shit and the first part is not great, I think I'll pass on finding out.