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12456 No. 12456
See >>10770 for general advices. We're giving vague hints, but we're not writing a story for you. Come ask for advice if you don't know how to write something, but we can't help if it's too specific. In such cases, go discuss with your readers.

No. 12464
I've been wondering, is it wrong to not post your fanfic on the internet?

I'm currently writing a Touhou fic myself and I have doubts on posting it up for everyone to see, since the writing's not particularly good and it carries a certain unpopular agenda that many people would surely hate.
No. 12465
What’s the worst that could happen?
No. 12466
As long as you're willing, you can only improve. I don't know how a writefag can get worse, but I imagine that stopping writing for a while can do that.
No. 12467
If you feel comfortable posting it, and want to post it in the first place, by all means go for it. It's not really wrong, but if your writing is decent then there are people would enjoy reading it.

That brings up a question I've been wanting to ask. Say there's a writefag who's been here awhile, and he just wants to write a story that isn't a CYOA or a short, but instead fairly long. Would it be cool if he just posted it on the /shorts/ board, or would he have to fuck off and post it elsewhere? And what if someone who never posted a story before tried doing it, would he get shafted no matter what just because he never tried writing a CYOA here before?
No. 12468
To your first question, unless it was novel-length, /shorts/ would probably be the best place, yeah. To the second, definitely not, a number of the classic stories were started by writers who had never written a CYOA here before.
No. 12469
Well, if you're going to post it, post it when it's finished, so that when you get hordes of angry people after you with their hateful comments, you can say "Well, it's finished. What can you do about it?" rather than going into depression and ending up never finishing your story.
No. 12470
Even if it is novel length, /shorts/ is probably the best place. Giving people a reason to check that board regularly can only be a good thing.
No. 12471
Also, an important thing: don't start writing a story unless you're absolutely positive your plot (or yourself) is solid enough. Otherwise, you'll get tired of your story, and you'll give up. That's why I recommend starting with shorts before starting a CYOA.
No. 12473
All right, figure I’ll ask this here.

I want to read a story from one of those “newbie” writers asking advice in these threads. Any suggestions?

Monster related, because monsters are always in fashion.
No. 12474

No. 12475
Viridian's fairy story is... decent.

I don't think >>/th/157288 's writer has asked for advice, but I'm posting it anyway.

No. 12476
>is... decent.
You seem a bit reluctant to say that. Care to elaborate?

And yeah, which other actual writers have posted in these so far? Not many have name/trip-fagged.
No. 12477
What for? Tripfagging is for losers.
No. 12478
I get real taciturn when recommending stuff I like. I wouldn't have posted at all if >>12474 hadn't posted.
No. 12479
Eh, the only times I've used a trip so far are in my own story or if I forgot to take it out. Being a loser isn't appealing.

To appease your curiosity, I've contributed to these threads, so that's at least one more writefag's opinions.
No. 12480
Now who the hell are you?
No. 12481
He writes the Alice story in /underground/.
No. 12482
One of those "newbie" writefags that the conversation is about?
No. 12492
Cool story.
No. 12504
So, I really want to read a certain kind of story. Sadly, nobody has ever written it before. You'll probably tell me to write it myself. The problem is, if I write it myself, I wouldn't be able to enjoy reading it as much as if it's written by anyone else. I tend to be able to enjoy flawed works of others but I will be really harsh on my own creation.
No. 12507
What kind of story?
No. 12508
Yeah, it's like fapping to an H-scene that you wrote yourself.
No. 12509
A Lunarian invasion story where the Lunarians are portrayed positively.
No. 12510
I mislike to think I’ve particularly high standards, but the first paragraph had me groan. Could you likely get any more clichéd?

Aren’t these the most popular?
> >>/sdm/53047
>First story.
>Had an idea, went with it,
>let's see how this goes.
>I hope to entertain you all.
This surely bodes well! I give it a month at best.
> >>/th/157288
The formatting in this one makes me want to smack a rack. What in the blazes would you need all these empty lines for? Why are dialogues just huge sequences of quotes? Why are there hyphens instead of dashes – and why are they so awfully (not) spaced?

Maybe I ought to stick to reading books. I’m clearly not cut out for this.

Oh yeah, since this is an advice thread, see the picture attached.
No. 12511
>Why are dialogues just huge sequences of quotes?
You just insulted Ddyk, YAF.
No. 12513
God forbid!
No. 12514
Why are your prose so purple, YAF? They make me want to vomit.
No. 12515
This is now a thread to insult writefags.

Good job everyone.
No. 12517
Criticizing writing is not the same as insulting people. Not even close.
No. 12519
I like it. It’s completely subjective. Your grammar, on the other hand, is factually terrible.
No. 12520
How could you like such a thing? It's like Stephenie Meyer's writing.

I just want to yell "Get on with it!" when I read stuff like that.
No. 12521
Ever considered the idea that not everybody likes the things you like/dislikes the things you do?
No. 12522
Of course not. Why would I? It's pointless to do on the internet. I've learned that lesson a long time ago.
No. 12523
My good man.
No. 12524

Not everyone likes your overly-detailed and meandering writing style, YAF. Stories with a short and simple writing are easier to read and easier to get into.
No. 12525

>Stories with a short and simple writing are easier to read and easier to get into.

Says you. Some of us like the padding in the prose we read. Plain English might be faster and less "difficult" to understand but it isn't any fun.
No. 12526
What’s your point? See >>12521. There’s different things for people with different likes. Variety. I could write a simple style, but I find a florid one much more fun. And let me tell you, you’ll get the farthest by writing what you, as a writer, enjoy writing most. Pandering and sucking up praise will only get you so far. I write because I like writing, like what I write and write what I like.

If you’ve got a problem with that, you’re free to come @ me bro.
No. 12527
Padding your writing is really hard to do well. It should function as a tool to increase the immersion of the readers. For example, if you want to describe a beautiful waterfall, you could just tell that it's beautiful, or you could make the readers see how beautiful it is with your words.

Most of the time however, it feels like it's only used to increase the word-count for your NaNoWriMo entry.

>Lanternlight flickered across the pale flat panes of her cheeks as he turned.

>The charcoal-black flagstone grated under the soles of his boots. Walls dark glistered alight. The flame winked then flashed as it caught more oil. A huff of hot air came out between the shutters, reminding him how chill otherwise was the black hidden place. The boy lowered the lamp to the floor. Brass clattered on the rock. The small person on the chair gave him no favour of startling. Still she sat, still and ever still, her bare toes suspended inches from the ground; gagged and bound and helpless. An image of pity, but there was none of that left in him.

Overdramatic as heck.
No. 12529
What I'm saying is that your >>12510 criticism of Favors Owed is not necessarily valid. It's written with a style that's the opposite of yours; a minimalistic and simplistic style. Sure, it might lack some "meat" but it's fun to read.

Of course, you'll hate it since it's not your style and your style is obviously the best one, right?
No. 12532
I didn’t say a word about the style, you oaf. I criticised the formatting, which is plainly wasteful for no good reason, in addition to poor choice of typography and its spacing, which is as much of an objective flaw as my personal opinion (because not all will find this as grating) as someone who’s had an affair with a field of work dealing with this aspect of writing specifically (among other things).

Once again, I said nothing about the style itself; moreover, I actively avoided voicing my expression of it, since this is an advice thread and not an opinion thread (which opinions, as we see, differ from person to person and therefore aren’t subject to objective criticism).

Christ, you’re oversensitive.
No. 12533
Everybody, calm down or I'll erase this thread.
No. 12534

That's like saying "everyone calm down or I'll blow us all up". That's not very calming.

Personally, I'm finding this discussion enlightening. The line-for-every-sentence typesetting of Favors Owed bothered me deeply as well; it's nice to see others have the same opinion, for much of the same reason, and also interesting to see that some people have zero problem with it, considering it to be a legitimate style.

Even if I think claims of "it's a legitimate style" is just an excuse for negative qualities.
No. 12537
No need to go that far, yes the arguments are getting stupid but there's still at least some on-topic posts.

And anyway, even most of the more recent posts have reasonable points, namely that different stylistic levels of verbosity are acceptable and liked by different people.

But still, take it easy, people, and can we keep personal attacks out of this?

>This surely bodes well! I give it a month at best.
Already lasted longer than that, actually. Any feedback about the actual content? I'm genuinely interested in hearing your opinion, although it might involve stylistic complaints similar to Favors Owed.
No. 12538
Style =/= formatting/typography. That’s for starters. I thought your attitude smacked strongly of a typical newfriend’s “let’s do/put X in Gensokyo” (and then progressively slow down until we stop because the idea was all I had and I hadn’t thought of any plot aside from that) mindset. As for the story itself, I didn’t read it because I dislike the SPP narrative in general. I don’t cross it out completely, but if I have my choice, I’ll sooner read something in FPP/TPP. And I’ve got plenty to read anyway, so yes, sorry. Otherwise, standard stuff: spacing, hyphens, minor issues with punctuation. Technical stuff I notice at a glance.

Out of curiosity, how in the bloody heck did you manage to use curly quotes alongside typesetter apostrophes in the first couple of posts? What kind of unholy word processor did you use?
No. 12540

Feedback time? Feeeeeedback time.

Fairies aren't my thing, I'll be honest. Yet despite this fact, I still enjoy reading your work based on quality of mechanics alone. It flows without bogging itself down or leaving way too many questions unanswered for the reader.

You have what I feel is an "average" or "neutral" style; not the bad kind of average, but rather you have a comfortable amount of description and detail compared to action. To compare, I say YAF has a "heavy" style, and Favors Owed-anon - or should I say Rabbit-trip? - has a "light" style. I have a heavier style than yours, but not to YAF's level.

I'll never be a rabid fan checking hourly for updates, if only due to preference of story focus, but I feel I can safely say keep up the good work.

... on a related note, I'll send out a writing-quality audit request as well. Recently I feel like my writing's gotten very clunky, mostly due to the abstract and metaphorical natures of what Sai is having to deal with. I'm really starting to look forward to the point where Sai gets to enter Gensokyo proper, if only to get out of all this spirit/mind/magic nonsense (the novelty of writing it has started to wear off, and it's getting painful to work on and I can only imagine how painful it must be to read) and get back to describing honest physical detail.
No. 12541
Er, *typewriter
No. 12542
Oh great, YAF is starting up a shitstorm again.

Just like the old days, eh?
No. 12543
Hey, as long as people are giving out free story evaluations, I'll take some.

I did think the physical mind analogies (or whatever you'd call them) got a little excessive in the last couple updates.
No. 12544
>Why are dialogues just huge sequences of quotes?
Hang on, haven't you said before that “” were fine?
No. 12546

It's only a shitstorm if you think it OH WAIT TOO LATE

It's just YAF being YAF. Keep calm and carry on; as far as I've seen always been forward and brutal with his words, traits which more people should have (along with being more thick-skinned and less prone to urges to call people out for perceived flaming because they're butthurt).

>SPP, FPP, TPP narratives

Google's got nothing. Regale me, because you're probably abbreviating something that hasn't been abbreviated in that way before.
No. 12547
... And what does that have to do with anything?
No. 12548
What he means is that there's very little breaking up the dialogue. Usually you'd have more descriptions of actions and stuff alongside the talky parts.

I assume.
No. 12549
second person perspective, etc. context is your friend.
No. 12550
Sorry, a habit of the old days when we had FFP games instead of “FPS.” FPP = First Person Perspective. TPP = Third Person... and so on, you get it.
No. 12551
>as far as I've seen always been forward and brutal with his words, traits which more people should have

Traits like these make the internet a hellish place.

You know of this thing called "ethics"?
No. 12553
Yes, in retrospect that opening bit does lend itself to that kind of interpretation. Ah well, hopefully it'll become obvious to most people that I have considerably more of a plot planned.
As for disliking second-person perspective, understandable if a bit disappointing. And at least my issues with punctuation are apparently fairly minor. As for the different quote / apostrophe types, no idea, possibly copy/pasting from Word to Google Docs.

Ah, well I wasn't expecting you to respond but I'm not complaining. Glad to know that you think my writing's enjoyable and flows well, and that it has a decent ratio of descriptions to actions.

To keep from whoring up the thread more than is strictly necessary, I'll probably be trying some evaluations of TB and Human Divinity, although no promises about the quality thereof.

And can we stop talking about posting behaviors of YAF/people in general, please? That's not on-topic.
No. 12554

Bah, I'm more used to seeing those abbreviated with numbers or 1st/2nd/3rd. I couldn't make the mental bridge to fully spelled out words.


I'm pretty sure what you're referring to is YAF's attention to exactly what kind of punctuation to use, and what YAF is referring to now is the amount of words accompanying a dialogue: descriptions, body language, internal thought, etc.


There's brutal as in not withholding any problems you observe, otherwise known as honesty, and then brutal as in attaching ad hominem attacks to everything, otherwise known as being a complete douchebag. I mean the former, but that probably wasn't clear from the context, my apologies.
No. 12555

Out of curiosity, just how much control does a writer even have over this sort of thing on here? I don't know enough about the standards of formatting or typography to tell good from bad, but I have to question just how much you can fairly hold people to those standards when dealing with a medium that wasn't really made with those standards in mind.
No. 12557
First, props for actually writing an Aki sister story.
As for actual evaluation, your prose is rather more flowery than my own, but not excessively so, and it does a very good job of setting the atmosphere, with a good amount of detail that aids in this. Your characterizations of the Akis and the MC are solid and engaging, as well.

No real criticisms from me. There's the occasional punctuation or word choice error, but that's pretty standard.
No. 12560

A lot of control, really. One of the more prominent traits is how often linebreaks are. While there might appear to be "linebreaks every line", far more important is how much actual content there is. The sentence to linebreak ratio is unaffected no matter what your screen's dimensions are.

And if you want to see how creative formatting can go a long way towards creating an atmosphere... read Fallout Gensokyo. Beautiful. Just. Beautiful. Writefag must have spent as much time doing some of what he did as I spend on entire updates.
No. 12561
No, don't read Fallout Gensokyo. It's never going to be finished and you'll end up being sad for that fact for the rest of your life if you know that story.

And every time someone mentions Fallout Gensokyo, I am reminded that our rival has already had their own version of it, and it's finished.

No. 12562
The trick is to use spacing in place of proper formatting. An instance of that would be starting a new paragraph: you’ve got to space it from the rest of the text as to make clear you’re starting a new paragraph, as opposed to simply breaking up your text to avoid building walls (as seen in the first post of >>12543’s link [though not so much the later ones]). You have to strike a balance between stacking up walls and wasting space by putting each sentence in a separate line (sometimes separated by an additional, empty line). A sequence of dialogue does not need to be so widely spaced as to have so many empty lines, because the reader won’t lose their way in it as they would in a stream of unbroken description (unless the speakers are speaking walls themselves, then you’d be well advised to break it up as well). In short, you’ll want to break up your narration so your reader doesn’t get lost in the text (which we so often do), but there’s literally no reason for a dialogue that’s a sequence of short, easily distinguishable lines to be spaced to widely. Moreover, it may even toss up the flow of the conversation.

Work out a system and stick with it. I, personally, use a single empty line as a break, two empty lines as a new paragraph (also used before and after dialogue sequences), and three empty lines to denote a shift in scene or the end of it. I’m not saying this is the best way to do it, but this is what I’ve figured. If we had stuff like indentations, leading... there’d be no need for these. Alas.

You can also use spacing for pacing your text. An old trick for writing action scenes is to have each of your descriptive sentences occupy a separate, spaced line, so as to create an illusion of a series of quick bursts of actions. The same applies to a stream-of-consciousness type of narrative, where you can use spacing to pace the speaker’s thoughts and your readers’ reading speed. On the other hand, a “block” of steady text will effect a fuller and more “flowing” image (as opposed to frantic “jumping” of an action scene).

Other than that, for the typeset, I’d advise against typing out your updates in the board’s comment box. Use a word processor, use the grammar/spell check function and make sure autocorrect for those is on (to get stuff like en and em dashes and curly quotes/apostrophes and cut down the number of typos). Also, tap CTRL+S every so often. You’ll save yourself a lot of frustration.
No. 12565
Reading that makes me curious about my own stories, but since I can't figure what "spacing" and "formatting" exactly mean, I think I'll pass.
No. 12566
You'll get bashed criticized by YAF to hell and back in this thread.
No. 12567
Eh, na, unless he asks me specifically.
No. 12568
That rabbit trip guy didn't ask for your criticism, no?
No. 12569
No. So what? I don’t feel like bashing criticizing Ddyk. What are you going to do about it?
No. 12571
Well, it would be mostly useless anyway.
Moving heavy things all day long usually tire people, and put them in a "I don't want to read a text countaining too many long words" mood.
No. 12581
Someone pointed this out to me and I figured I'd have a look.

I'm almost in complete agreement with you here as far as the wasted lines bothering me, but there's a significant difference between reading something on a 1680 pixel wide screen and typing it in a word processor that has room for two pages.

The problem is, most things that people write, unless you're given to 5+ line paragraphs often, will look like this. Mine more so, though, because I do use smaller paragraphs.

As for the dialogue, as I was taught (and my own experience with reading dialogue that didn't have breaks between characters saying things), not having a line of dialogue and its attendant description have its own paragraph, no matter how small, is extremely poor form.

And bothers me terribly. While it doesn't bother me to read "they said" or some variant attached to most sentences, it bores me terribly to write it myself. I try to be clear to indicate who's talking at the beginning, and periodically throughout dialogue so that readers don't get lost, but if I'm not doing this enough and people are losing the thread of conversation, let me know.

The hyphens/dashes thing is a hell of a nitpick though. And I'm not entirely certain it's incorrect. It's just one of those things.

Picture is related. Also, is there anything story related you'd criticize? That interests me a lot more.

Finally, I still love you, Yaf. For you, my heart will go on, forever.
No. 12583
What's a decent word processor? I've been using notepad++, which is a programming thing. It doesn't even have spellcheck.
No. 12584
I'm not bothered by it. It's probably a good thing there's criticism, especially since I'm currently in the process of writing the bad out.

Openoffice is decent and free. It's what I use, but I'm sure there's going to be a couple of "Openoffice is terrible and you're terrible for using it" posts.
No. 12585
>not having a line of dialogue and its attendant description have its own paragraph, no matter how small, is extremely poor form
Yes, but I have the feeling you may have misunderstood the lesson. This does not mean you should put each line of dialogue in a separate space. The point of it was, you shouldn’t have lines from two different characters in the same line-of-text for possibility of confusion; that is why we put an enter after the end of a spoken line by one character. See picture attached for an example. There is an enter after each line (or a sequence spoken by the same person), ergo, each line is a separate paragraph technically, regardless of the leading or the lack of it.

>“Who are you?” she asked. “Your prom date, you ugly sack of shit,” said he.
>“Who are you?” she asked.
>“Your prom date, you ugly sack of shit,” said he.
In the former case, you’re all but led to believe the second sentence is being spoken by the same “she” as before, until the “said he” at the end. In the latter case, it’s clear the second sentence is spoken by someone else. That’s the point of putting each line in a separate paragraph. Once again, this does not mean you’ve got to dedicate a completely separate space for each spoken line. Only to tap enter at the end of a line as to avoid this type of confusion.

I suppose it comes down to personal preference, but in this constricted image board format, you’d do well to strike a balance between spacing and keeping your text tight. An empty line between blocks of solid narration will help the reader keep track of his progress and introduce a “breather” into the flow. An empty line between lines of dialogue that are already short and very easily distinguishable (as opposed to a solid block of text in the former case where lines mingle with each other in your eyes), is simply needless.

On the “they said”s, they’re sort of an invisible sequence, really. Sure, to you as a writer they will be perfectly apparent (having to type them out yourself), but to a reader, they will appear as well as transparent, while still performing their function. In fact, I’ve read authors that stuck “X said” after every new line of dialogue, even when there were just two people talking, and it still didn’t do anything to reduce my reading pleasure or flow.

The sequence “X said” is almost glossed over by the brain when you take in the text, but its information is still transferred.* It may seem redundant to you, but you’ll have to remember, you are the one writing the story, therefore you know with perfect surety who is saying which line, and who’s taking part in the scene. Your readers may not. So don’t be afraid to subtly impart that sort of information.

*This, by the way, is precisely why it is generally ill-advised to invent “they said”s that are new or needlessly complicated: because then they stop being transparent, the reader starts to notice their existence, and they become grating.
No. 12586
And naturally I forget my picture.
No. 12587
I'm COMPLETELY FUCKING BLOCKED AAAAAAAAAGHRAEG on my own update due to a new experimental style (I'm giving up in a couple hours and rewriting it if I can't improve it), so I'll take a break to analyze that writing sample and your commentary, and try to help you out.

>The problem is, most things that people write, unless you're given to 5+ line paragraphs often, will look like this. Mine more so, though, because I do use smaller paragraphs.

Again, it's not about the number or frequency of linebreaks, but rather how much content one reads before coming across a linebreak. It doesn't matter if your screen is wide enough to fit a Shakespeare monologue onto a single line (although that really should be broken into lines, heh).

Readers are trained to interpret linebreaks as shifts of topic, tone, or interest. This is why:

>As for the dialogue, as I was taught (and my own experience with reading dialogue that didn't have breaks between characters saying things), not having a line of dialogue and its attendant description have its own paragraph, no matter how small, is extremely poor form.

You're correct here. This is good. No one is saying throw this away, because if you try to get creative with this people will throw bricks at you. There's a linebreak with every change of speaker because shift; YAF explains it better than me, so I'll just leave that to him.

So what does bother us?

First of all, almost all your narration and description is broken up to a greater degree than most are used to. Remember that a linebreak means shift, and a lot of the time you're shifting when talking about the same thing.

Secondly, addressing this:

>And bothers me terribly. While it doesn't bother me to read "they said" or some variant attached to most sentences, it bores me terribly to write it myself. I try to be clear to indicate who's talking at the beginning, and periodically throughout dialogue so that readers don't get lost, but if I'm not doing this enough and people are losing the thread of conversation, let me know.

We're not talking about "X said" tags, specifically. I daresay that avoiding these tags is the modern style, and that using context clues and linebreaks alone is the new trendy thing to do. We're talking about description, thought, and body language. A lot of your (you, Rabbit-trip, in case this is getting confusing) dialogue boils down to "talking heads"; two people have a conversation, and the author doesn't keep track of anything but what they say and who's saying it. That's bare minimum of what we need in order to know what was said, but it's not a very good way to tell us how things were said.

Addressing both linebreaks and dialogue; IIRC you occasionally have Reisen/our viewpoint throw out a thought or description of something, then say something aloud. You don't need a linebreak before the dialogue there; just saying.

And now, for the FUN PART:

I've reworked your writing sample with the above advice in mind. Watch this. Changes are italicized.


Reimu’s grin widens knowingly. “Trashy romance novels, Reisen? I’d have never guessed.”

You’re confused. And then you’re embarrassed. And then you realize it: divine providence has give you your out. linebreak removed “Yeah well you see it’s this sort of thing it’s not for me but it’s totally something a book but I got it for someone else and it’s not the kind of thing I’d read anyway-“

This linebreak is needed. Your mouth is running a mile a minute, but in the back of your mind, where you always imagined a mini-you sitting a control desk full of buttons and levers driving you, mini-you is slouched back in her seat, breathing heavily from panic, followed by relief.

This one too; this sentence needs the weight of its own line. That. Was real close.

Reimu puts a finger to your lips. You shut up instantly. “Shh. Don’t worry about it. I won’t tell Aya about it if you do me a favor…”

You breathe a sigh of relief again. Externally, this time. “But, I don’t know, I’m real busy right now…”

She shakes her head. “It’s a small favor. I need someone to help me with cleaning up the shrine, and getting it ready for Tanabata.”

You’re confused. “But… Tanabata isn’t traditionally a festival people go to shrines for.”

“Who cares?” Reimu says harshly, taking you by surprise. “Someone might. And then they might hook me up with some cash. I’m running low on money, and I don’t want to have to go on a diet of packaged ramen.” Her voice softens as a conniving smile grows across her voice. “And if you do this, I’ll owe you a favor.”

You have to think about this. “Well…”


Note how the dialogue is more colorful now, especially Reimu’s. Maybe it’s not the kind of color you were trying to convey to the reader, but this is better than nothing; the reader doesn’t have to try and interpret her tone by herself.


Where does the day go? As you’re slowly cycling next to Reimu, you can see that the sun is beginning to set, and an orange glow covers the sky. It’s about an hour and a half to the Hakuerei Shrine – faster, of course, if you weren’t keeping to a walking pace. During the ride there, you and Reimu engage in idle chatter – about books, mostly. Reimu’s not much into romances, preferring a good thriller, the likes of a decent Crichton. Of course, that was before he became a “hack”, as she calls it.

Lost a paragraph here, but it doesn’t seem to be vital. As you ride up through the tori at the entrance to the Shrine, you dismount your bike and start to walk it up the steps with Reimu. [i](Redundancy removed.) Riding down those steps would be a pain in the ass, if you have to make a quick escape.

Can’t believe you’ve gotten rattled enough so that you’re already thinking in those terms. Linebreak removed. Oh well. Nothing for it, just got to take it easy.

As you crest the hill, something seems odd. The Hakurei Shrine is in good order, and looks recently swept. You file this in the back of your mind, and lean your bike against the tori at the top of the steps. As you stretch, Reimu asks, “How about a cup of tea?”

Tea. One of the great pleasures of anyone’s life. How people drink coffee to relax is beyond you. Surely it smells good. Tastes like ass, though. And feels like an acidic lump in your stomach. “Please. Tea would be excellent,” you say, beaming.

You follow Reimu into the living area of the shrine where she lives day-to-day. “I’ll put on the water to boil, make yourself at home,” she calls as she leaves to the small kitchen. (We don’t have viewpoint on her actually making the tea, so that little bit of narration is slightly out of place with a limited perspective. Just my thoughts, though.)

While she’s doing that, you scan your surroundings, and notice that Reimu really, really doesn’t need your help to clean. She’s obviously asked you here for another reason. Her Spartan surroundings are clean enough, even though she’s left her futon out on top of the tatami. Well, it’s not like she really needs the floor space when she’s gone all day, right? Aside from a few portraits and landscapes hung on the wall, a small, lacquered table in the middle of the room, and her small bookshelf, Reimu has a fairly simple home.

She comes back with two empty mugs and a teapot. “Let’s go sit outside and look at the sunset.” Linebreak removed. She’d left the door open when you came in, so she doesn’t have to open it with your hands full.

Instead of moving towards the doorway, though, you just look at her. (You didn’t actually say they went out; I’m interpreting this as Reisen not budging. This is the main thing you need to work on; weaving action and dialogue together.) Linebreak removed. “You didn’t ask me to help you clean up for Tanabata, did you?”

Reimu smiles. “The place being clean gave it away, didn’t it?”

“Yeah, kind of.” Even a child could have seen that.

“Well, yeah, I kind of lied to you about that.” Despite her confession, she doesn’t look at all ashamed, though.

Crossing your arms, you continue staring at her. “So what’s on your mind, Reimu?”


Call me a faget for brutalizing your work like that, but I hope that by comparing this to your original work I’ve made myself clearer on the things I think you can improve on. Feel free to discuss what you disagree with, or ask for clarification on things I was vague about.
No. 12588
Oh yes, while we’re at it, here’s another technical intricacy related to the topic.

If you’re having a character speak at length and need to make a break, do NOT close the quote before the break, UNLESS you’re planning to introduce a “X said”/“X went on”/“X continued” right after the first words of the line after the break.

What I mean is approximately this:
>“Imagine this is someone telling a story,” said I, “a story of good and a story of bad. A story of dicks roving the land in human skin, and a lot of meaningless text that’s pretty much whatever comes to my mind. The problem with this type of text is that oft-times I fail to think of anything irrelevant, let alone relevant, and end up just typing random gibberish. Well, I’m feeling generous today, so here’s some actual coherent text. Appreciate it. I could have been typing out random words or gibberish for the sake of this advice, yet here I am, doing actual work where none need be done.
>“I’m overall a pretty nice guy. Notice how the previous ‘paragraph’ ended with the quote still open? That’s what I’m talking about. All in all,” I concluded, “I could have also closed the quote there, then begun the next line with ‘ “Overall,” I went on, “I’m a pretty cool dude,” ’ but at the end of the day, it’s your own choice whether you want to continue the line uninterrupted, or insert that frightful ‘X said.’ It’s your choice, really. I’m only showing a possible alternative.”

Something like this.
No. 12589
Open Office or MSWord come to mind, for their autocorrect functions. I couldn’t say which iteration of OO is the best (there being so many out right now), so I’ll defer to somebody else in this matter.
I’ve found though, that in my experience Word takes less time to save a huge file in .doc/.docx than OOO does with .doc/.odt – which was the primary reason I switched to Word Starter when I got the new laptop, being a person who compulsively taps CTRL+S every third word (a courtesy of my old, old Toshiba that just adored bluescreening my balls out of nowhere at least twenty times a day).
No. 12590

>"Oh man," I chuckle, "it's been a very long time since I've seen the ol' 'don't close the quote if you want a line-break but have the same speaker' trick.

>"What's sad is that a lot of people these days won't even recognize it for what it is, and will make some faget post about 'YOU FORGOT YOUR END QUOTE LOL'." I shrug. "Times are changing, I guess. Not that putting an end quote there would be a mistake - I don't use this technique anymore in my own work, precisely because of the aforementioned lack of recognition."
No. 12591
>“Well yes,” said I on the other hand, “but I’m a man of craft, and for my own sake I will recognise and employ these ‘tricks,’ as you have the humour to call them, whether they are recognised by the majority or not. I write for my own pleasure, and for my own pleasure I shall stick to the rules. Additionally, I’ll point out something else right there.” I lifted a finger. Not only did you not need the break after merely just one line (space-wise) of speech there—” here I lifted another, “—you also led me to think the following line was not completely related to the first by putting that empty line between the two—let alone one being a direct continuation of the other.”

All right, but let’s stop this now. This is pretty gay.
No. 12594
This is not bad and you should not feel bad.

In fact, that's actually really helpful.

Now I understand what you're going for with the dialogue thing and lines. It's not getting changed, though. I'm not a fan of what you're describing. It just bothers me with the inconsistency of paragraph separators. And the fact that you suggested the separate line for larger chunks of dialogue just seems like it would lead to inconsistent dialogue spacing.
No. 12605
Is it wrong to take fanfiction writing seriously? I mean, when I write my fanfic, I feel I'm pouring a part of my soul into it. Maybe that's why it's hard for me to accept criticisms, as I take them too personally.

Yeah, I know I'm being overly melodramatic here. Just want to let this out of my system.
No. 12606
Not at all. That you take it seriously means that you actually care about what you're doing. The only way it becomes a problem is if you take it too seriously.
No. 12607
How much is "too seriously"?
No. 12609
It depends on what you're doing, but in this case I would say "too seriously" happens around the point where it begins to affect your ability to enjoy what you're doing. Getting mad at the tiniest bit of criticism would probably fall into that territory.
No. 12619
>And the fact that you suggested the separate line for larger chunks of dialogue just seems like it would lead to inconsistent dialogue spacing.
But that’s why you—
Actually, never mind. Do as you please, if it looks better in your eyes. I’ll not complain again.
No. 12644
There's something really important I'm missing.
About those breather segment in a story, you're supposed to use them after an intensive action/reflexion/plot scene, but how often exactly? And what are you supposed to put inside those breather segment? Am I supposed to fill those breather parts with slice-of-life, or something else?
No. 12646
Use the force, Luke.
No. 12648
In this case, we’re talking about “breathers” as breaks in the text; what you’re thinking is fillers. In essence, imagine reading a solid paragraph is like dipping your head underwater to see what’s sparkling there under the surface; now, that’s very entertaining and all, but you’ve got to come back out every now and again to get more air: that’s a break in the text, a breather. You stay down too long and you’ll start to choke, drift away, and lose your progress through the show. Jump up too often, and you’ll find the spectacle is too broken up and segmented to be an integral whole.

What it comes down to is your feeling about the scene: when a sequence of actions has gone long enough to stand on its own and when you should separate it from the other segments without hurting the continuity. On the other hand, you can’t have too many sequences follow one another in a row for fear of losing your reader’s attention and seeming like too many things are happening in too short of a time-frame.

What you can do is go back and re-read the scene: see if at any point through it it strikes you that “this is enough, what happens next isn’t THAT closely bound, it can be put separately.” An instance: you’ll want to describe a character dressing up in a single paragraph/segment because it’s a single continuity; but when that character is finished and leaves the room, there’s no reason to describe that in the same sequence as the dressing, since it’s pretty much a separate action. This is, of course, provided that you’re actually describing the dressing and not simply stating that a character is getting their habit on as part of their morning activities (which can be put into one sequence of quick, short actions that are part of a whole [morning routine]).

Cut up your updates into scenes, basically, decide what belongs in which scene, then make breaks between the scenes to indicate the shift. This also applies to things of the like of internal monologue, where you can separate the monologue into differing thoughts. Take this example I rip straight from the part of Game of Thrones I’m reading right now:

>They have never seen the Wall before, not even the Magnar, Jon realized. It frightens them. In the Seven Kingdoms it was said that the Wall marked the end of the world. That was true for them as well. It was all in where you stood.
>[new paragraph] And where do I stand? Jon did not know. To stay with Ygritte, he would need to become...

And so on and so on. Can you see why the second line is given a new paragraph?
No. 12649
Because Jon has gone from describing the wall to pondering about his own position?
No. 12650
Yes, even though it’s still the same general train of thought/internal rumination. The topic has shifted slightly, ergo, it’s a good time to place a break.

As for fillers, that’s all up to you. A good device (if not a whit infuriating) for building suspense is to have a cliffhanger followed by a flashback/meanwhile-elsewhere type of scene. Cut an action/plot scene at or before the climax (just make sure it isn’t the climax of the entire story, just this single scene), make a separator, begin by describing something detached from the tension of the previous scene. Also, don’t leave your readers hanging for too long. There’s a fine line between tension and frustration.

Otherwise, filler positioning depends entirely on you. Take note though, while making cliffhangers is good for action/plot-intense scenes, your regular scenes should not have their climax “spoiled” as so, especially not other filler/character development scenes. Those fall under the general rule that a scene should end very soon after its climax. It’s in very, very poor taste to have a scene (or indeed a story) going on for a prolonged time after the climax has been presented and tied up.
No. 12651
Man, I should finish reading Game of Thrones before I forget what the hell's currently going on. Seriously, it's hard to keep track of things when you have so many protagonists running around.
No. 12652
I think I understand your point.
But that trick of creating cliffhangers, I don't really understand how you can pull one if you're writing a FPP story. With a TPP, you can pull it out easily with "Meanwhile, Master Roshi was watching TV" or something like that.
Byt with a FPP, you're often (if not always) following the same character for the whole story, and I don't see how you can switch to another scene without being dickish. I dunno, it goes like that in my imagination:
"Ha-ah, I'm going to enter in the evil overlord's castle to put an end to his reign of terror!"
I look at the really impressive castle, decorated with numerous spikes of doom. And I enter after kicking the main door open while screaming "Remi, I'm home!".

I remember when I was a young boy, I used to pick my nose. And then I took a bat in the face."

So yeah, I don't understand how you can create a cliffhanger while using a FPP.
No. 12657
What you do is end the post once you get to the 'cliff'.

To use your example:
"Ha-ah, I'm going to enter in the evil overlord's castle to put an end to his reign of terror!"
I look at the really impressive castle, decorated with numerous spikes of doom. And I enter after kicking the main door open while screaming "Remi, I'm home!".

Unrelated, but a personal pet peeve of mine is forcing pop culture into Gensokyo denizens, whether it's because of coincidence or "Nitori/Yukari/Outsiders got us access to the internet/told us about animes, mangas, and memes."
No. 12658
Wait, I'm idiot.
I did exactly that while working on Friction About Ground. Interrupting the action to put an unrelated short telling about a third party somewhere else.
But yeah, I never did that as a climax. I should try, just to piss off my reader take a break before starting teh epic final battle against Murmur/Eirin/Moriarty.
No. 12659
Mine is putting modern figures of speech/idioms based on pop-culture in the mouths of characters that plainly shouldn’t be aware of them.

Awful stuff.
No. 12668
English lesson: a pet peeve is something that annoys you.
No. 12671
English is clearly not something I'm good with.
My bad.
No. 12676
The Moriya Shrine and the SDM would be most aware of pop culture as they were pretty recent immigrants.

Though Marisa spouts off references in canon and she's been a life long Gensokyo resident. It might not be as far fetched as you'd think.
No. 12730
A quick question, here. Let's say I have two characters talking. Do I have to specify who they are for every description or can I just use a pronoun and assume the readers will infer what I mean?

For example:

“It sure is a beautiful day here in THPland,” said Anonymous A.

“I must say, that's not true at all! There's rivers of human waste running down the streets,” replied Anonymous B, confused.

“Why, I haven't a clue what you're talking about, friend,” said he.

as opposed to

“Why, I haven't a clue what you're talking about, friend,” said Anonymous A.
No. 12731
Unless it becomes a long, convoluted conversation spanning several paragraphs, you're fine.
No. 12733
A question here from >>>/shrine/34731

>Problems only happen if he has a set plan but makes it seem like there's a choice to do otherwise.

>From what I understand what offends people isn't the narrow path but attempts to hide it with choices that all result in the same thing.

I'm not exactly clear about that. Can someone give an example?

Also, talking about choices, let's say the protag is facing against the villain, and he's clearly not strong enough to face him/her. Then, there will be two choices, one is to stand and fight and the other is to run away. If anon chooses to stand and fight, they will get a bad end.

I heard anon hates bad ends, so is it okay to make choices like that? Or should the writer just skips the voting session entirely, making the protag runs away without anon's consent?

One more thing, making choices should account the protag's personality right? Like if the protag's a youkai hater, he'll obviously not going to free Rumia who's caught in a bear trap (yeah, that's from Megasen's story) so the choice should never exist.
No. 12734
>Also, talking about choices, let's say the protag is facing against the villain, and he's clearly not strong enough to face him/her. Then, there will be two choices, one is to stand and fight and the other is to run away. If anon chooses to stand and fight, they will get a bad end.
>I heard anon hates bad ends, so is it okay to make choices like that?
I'm interested in that.
No. 12736
Context clues is the magic way many authors these days show dialogue. If there's only two people speaking, the reader is intelligent enough to follow the conversation since, generally, it'll be one person talking than the other.

In other words, sure you can do that, but I'd prefer to drop the "said he" entirely.
No. 12737
If it makes sense, it makes sense. If you try and fight the raid boss at level one, you should get smacked. Bad ends are only stupid if the author just says "oops you died, try something else." Bad ends have the potential to clue the reader in to important plot points they otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to learn (or at least correct the assumptions that got them killed in the first place).

As far as the personality bit goes, it depends on how you want the story to go. Is your character already well-defined, or is Anon acting as her inner conscious? Some people like to have the freedom of expression while others prefer stronger narrative. Your story, your choice.
No. 12739
Just don't make it that the protag needs a certain item to defeat the villain, and anon already missed on getting that item 52 choices back.

Then you'll give them a bad end while saying, "Woops, for a better ending, go back 52 choices."

God damn it, Kira!
No. 12741
In general, you’d do well to set the order (and roles) of the conversation with the initial two or so lines (given only two persons are speaking); however, while you don’t have to put “said he”s after or in the mid of every single line, it’s good to have them re-appear somewhere farther into the convo. Also, don’t forget you can use varying “said he”s to indicate the mood or tone of the spoken lines, which is always a very nice thing to have.

>“It sure is a beautiful day here in THPland,” said Anonymous A.
>“I must say, that's not true at all!” replied Anonymous B, confused. “There's rivers of human waste running down the streets!”
>“Why, I haven't a clue what you're talking about, friend.”
>“Are you blind, man? Look, over there!”
>“Oh,” Anonymous A made a gasp. “Why, that appears to be the case.”
>“Not there!” Anonymous B said, exasperated. “You’re looking the wrong way. That’s only /blue/.”
No. 12742
I dislike not spacing dialogues like that.
No. 12745
Well, you can suck my cock, dude.
No. 12749
I'm amazed by how quickly Anon overestimates the main character's strength. I know that usually, protag doesn't die because of some convenient plot armour, but when Anon decides to send the weak protag against an youkai, I very often facepalm.
No. 12750
See? I'm not the only one. EAT A DICK YAF

No. 12752
Now shut up. It's a writing advice thread, not a dickfest.
No. 12761
So, any idea what time zone this imageboard is using?

I'm thinking of calling my votes after a certain hour every day but I'm having difficulty to translate my clock to the clock over here.
No. 12763
Nevermind. I'll just have to deduce 7 hours from my clock.

So it's GMT, then?
No. 12764
GMT, yes, but that's not exactly on-topic.

To try and make this thread more so, what are more peoples' (writers and readers both) thoughts on using bad ends in stories?
No. 12767
>Shark End from F/ST

Wait a sec. Wasn't that from Tsukihime?
No. 12768
In my opinion, if the story reaches a bad end, it means that someone failed. Either the writefag was too subtle while dropping hints, either the readers failed at reading said hints.
To pick up >>12733's example, if the main character is facing the Devil McBigbad, the writefag should make it clear which option is the "good" option. For example, insisting on your character's clumsiness, or repeat several time during or before the fight that he's not a warrior is a good way to make sure that Anon won't pick the Leroy Jenkins option.
And if he does, well, Anon has nobody else to blame than himself.

Still in my opinion, a good example of a wrong bad end would be that one in Shikigami of the Heart (that's a very interesting story, by the way, you should read it). At one moment, protag can choose between going berzerk or staying on the defensive. Anon chose to go berzerk, and was bad ended.
Why do I think it was a bad idea? Because it made Anon paranoid.

But there's also another reason why you should avoid bad end: because it's meta. There are several infamous bad end, such as the Shark End from Tsukihime, or the "lol my childhood friend stabbed me becuz i asxed to much lol" end. Those things are just bad, because instead of using logic, common sense, or even your own knowledge to avoid them, it's all about trial-and-error. You will avoid voting for said option, not because that seem suicidal, stupid, or funny, but because you know that you're going to lose if you do.
No. 12769
I don't see what you're talking about.
>Thanks for pointing that out.
No. 12775
The problem I have with bad ends is that they are too often used to avoid the consequences of something, or as a way of telling anon to not to go there.

Oh noes, he saw who the evil mastermind is! He must die! And we get a bad end.
Oh noes, he flirted with the wrong girl! He must die instead of getting rejected. Bad end.
Oh noes, he opened the plotprotected door before he should have done so, even if there was no reason for him to be interested in yet another door in the hallway. He must die. Bad end.

That was a little confusing, but what I'm trying to say is:
Don't make the evil badguy supermofo leave obvious evidence about his evil badassery behind an unlocked door, especially if said door will for some reason draw the MC in like honey. Also, it's not good writing to make the MC ignore something that is painfully clear to the readers - like the identity of the evil badguy supermofo. Make her use a fake name if necessary, or just skip those "meanwhile in evil badguy supermofo's castle" scenes altogether.,

Don't make the girls that are not supposed to be romanceable, like, you know, romanceable at all. A girl can say no, you know.
No. 12776

Accepting the consequences of a choice and living (writing on) with them is more fun, I dare think, both to read and to write. It’s also more of a challenge, and challenge is always welcome.
No. 12777
Well it might be the trend of MCs that are strong. For a while there was a trend of timid voting due to all the bad end minefields/pathetically weak MCs.

People dislike bad ends these days as they feel too many cause a writer to drop their story. Though judging from certain trends, this trend may be lessening; either that or anon's being quite stupid.

it depends on how the bad end was executed. But the girl romancing point sounds more like the writer being unable to tell anon no.
No. 12778
I kinda want to add something to >>12775's post.
CYOA are convenient, because you can change them anytime.

For example, let's say that while visiting Kourindou, the protag sneaks a little, and find evidence that Rinnosuke is in fact Evil McBigbad. From here, we have two differents choices: the first being confronting Evil McBigbad, while the second would be playing dumb.
In most cases, the "good" choice will the the "play dumb", while the "confront Evil McBigbad" choice would lead to a bad end.
That's just an example, of course. But CYOA are flexibles, and that's something great. Of course, you can bad end Anon because it was kinda dumb from him, but you can also totally change your story if he decides to confront Evil McBigbad.

I remember a story, but don't remember the title; at some point in this story, the main character murders Alice (I don't really know why, I haven't been following it), but there were request to "go back and pick another choice".

Sometimes, bad end is how the writefag build his "invisible wall" to keep Anon from derailing his story. And that shouldn't be the case, because in this case, you're just pulling a bad end because you can.

A bad end should be something fair, not something you decide to write out of the blue because you want to. I'm all out of comparaison, but, personally, when I see that my choice has lead us to a bad end, I feel like I've been slapped in the face.
No. 12780
If you can think of a bad end that you feel is worth being written, go ahead and write it without Anon's input.
No. 12781
This brings us back to the basics.
Using his example of MC and Rinnosuke:
Why would Rinnosuke hide his evilness in the first place?
If Rinnosuke wants to get rid of the MC, then why doesn't he do it while he is asleep/lost/alone? Honor matters little if someone's ready to kill.

When writing, ask questions from yourself. Do it often. Do it when you're stuck, do it when something important happens.
For example:
Why would he/she do that? Does she gain something from it? People don't do things without a reason. 'Because the plot requires it' is not a reason.
No. 12785
inb4 ASSM.
No. 12788
In that example, Rinnosuke would be something like a serial killer. In other words, you know there's an evil person killing people, and you found who it was by accident. It's not intentional from Rinnosuke, as he never planned to be found out.
No. 12792
A little outside of the realm of writing here, but how much fanservice is appropriate? I feel a little weird describing a touhou's body in detail.
No. 12793
Physically, just enough to recognize the touhou. But you shoud detail their clothes too.
No. 12796
There’s nothing wrong with physicality or fanservice. You’ll find there is plenty of eye (brain?) appreciating even the sensual descriptions deemed “inappropriate” or “cheap” by others. I might argue there’s something wrong with your story if fanservice is its only attractor, but the objective truth is, there’s an audience for everything.

Also, too little fanservice can also be a problem. I’ll fully expect you to include at least some steamy words in a scene having to do with romance (especially in later stages of it), and failing to meet that expectation will hurt you as much as slapping gratuitous amounts of sex in the mid of an otherwise serious story would. It’s all about the balance. Try to measure your fanservice against the other elements of the story.
Once again, there is nothing wrong with fanservice, even “copious” amounts of it. It’s all about its placement and relevance.
No. 12804
Depends who your character is. If he's clearly not interested, or if he's homosexual, don't describe the girls too much. If he's, insist on the girl's curves.
No. 12807
Requesting a story where all descriptions of girls are of their bust or panties.
No. 12812
This, I mean it'd be hard to run into Komachi and not take note of her rack. That or taking note of Kaguya's beauty as I don't think most art does it justice, just lumping her off as yet another girl with that type of hair.
No. 12815
What, Komachi's rack is canon?
No. 12818
hard to say but her SWR art is one of the few with a visable one and she is said to be "imposing". It's mainly fan opinion (even Alphas in a unofficial piece of art drew her pretty stacked)

Most fans equate Komachi with exceptionally sizable boobs.

Most touhou figures are up in the air with fans deciding things as the official art never helps (ZUN seems to insist on a certain level of flatness for most official things, the Alphes SA promo is a rarity)
No. 12821
Besides in the poster, Yuugi also has large breasts in her in-game sprite art.
No. 12822
The only characters confirmed for boobs via word of god would be Yuyuko and Yuugi. If not for ZUN's seeming flatness guidelines, we may get a better idea. Until then we have to go on common fanart trends.

This brings up Patchouli, infamous for her "variable figure" as not even fans can fully decide on what it's like.
No. 12827
Elly had a nonzero breast size in ZUN's in-game portrait of her in Lotus Land Story.

But nobody cares about PC-98 characters.
No. 12829
well she was actually from another manga that ZUN liked, that and her personality is too innocent to think dirty thoughts of her.

Though I did hear of a touhou game with some cheesecake shots for winning, not sure which one if any. ZUN might have changed his priorities when he made it to the windows era.
No. 12831
That was Ellen from Phantasmagoria of Dim. Dream.

Elly was the scythe-wielding (and infamously boomerang-scythe-throwing) third stage boss of the subsequent game.
No. 12835
oops, got confused. ZUN's style for PC-98 was definitely different.
No. 12838
Hey guys.

So I'm going to try a method of writing where stalling anywhere (ex. Camping out in the SDM to talk to your favorite character) would result in very bad things happening, while actively sequence breaking to find secrets or revelations would be treated as a regular plot development.

Also, no routes, because honestly do you think you, as an ordinary human, can get romantically involved with anybody far older and more powerful than you?

Or would this just fuck me over?

Also, copying from MS Word to the messaging space fucks up formatting. I have to delete and repost multiple times over to get it right. What is the word processor that best emulates imageboard formats anyway?
No. 12839
But it doesn't check typos.
No. 12840
What do you have to lose? Like any innovation, it could work or it could flop horribly.
I like more traditional style stories myself, but best of luck to you.
No. 12841
So, I tried to write an action scene where two touhous are fighting.
But when I wondered: "Since danmaku is essentially harmless, that makes a boring fight". So I decided to scrap the danmaku and write a real fight, à la IaMP. And I just can't figure how those fights (border of duel, guard break, etc...) can make for an interesting read.

So in the end, I just skipped the fight, and now my shorts is two lines long. First line is the touhous meeting, second line is touhous drinking tea.

How can I write interesting fights? Danmaku are just ininteresting to write and read, and I don't know how I can write a fighting scene without it sounding like a game.
In my imagination, it goes like this:
"Die, monster! You don't belong in this land!"
"Yeah, fuck you too Reimu!"
And then Remilia dashes forward, but Reimu attempts a Guard Crush, but is countered by Remilia's high speed, throwing the miko against the wall.

And that's not what I want. I want to write a fight that seems interesting, not one that looks like a tennis game "I attack! Drat and double drat!" "My turn! Darn!".
No. 12842
Saying danmaku is harmless is like saying riot control water cannons are harmless.

It's not lethal, but hurts like hell and does a good deal of cosmetic wear.

So instead of a lazy tea party-ish skirmish, it'll be more like a dogfight between fighters.
No. 12860
What's the acceptable word count / update waiting time ratio?

I can usually write only 400 words per day. If the update's going to be in 2000 words, it'll take me 5 days to finish it. I'm afraid anon will expect a wall when waiting for an update for almost a week.
No. 12861
Anon's not going to demand a wall. Just that you update. That's the important thing, really. Besides, having a requirement like that would be dumb and counterproductive.
No. 12862
As long as your update isn't two lines short and doesn't end with a stupid choice such as "pick your nose/go poop", it will do. A half-done update can be tolerated once in a while, but something like that is just an insult to your readers.
No. 12867
I still don't quite understand on how to think up your plot first before starting a CYOA.

I mean, how detailed should it be? Is it like those videogames with choices, meaning the choices would not change the story considerably, only the minor details and the ending?

Or the story should adapt to the choices, meaning the writefag should only define how the characters would react given the changing circumstances.

For example:
In an AU Gensokyo, the Touhous are split into factions, each and every one of them trying to take over Gensokyo for themselves.

Let's say we're controlling Keine with her Human Village faction. There are two factions near her, the Wild Youkai faction and the Fairy faction. Now, we can choose either to:

[] Make an alliance with the Wild Youkai faction and declare war against the Fairy faction
[] Make an alliance with the Fairy faction and declare war against the Wild Youkai faction
[] Make an alliance with both, making a coalition to face the other, stronger factions
[] Declare war with both

Now, the writefag will already write some notes on how the factions will react with each other. For example, if we're allied with the Fairies when we attack the SDM, the Fairies will end up betraying us as they feel it's safer for them to join up with the SDM instead. Of course, if we're allied with the Wild Youkai instead, that event won't happen. However, they also have their own "betrayal criteria", such as fighting against Yukari's faction.
No. 12868
Honestly, it depends what kind of plot you prefer. Some writefags prefers having their whole plot already planned when starting a story (I suspect YAF of being that kind of writefag), while some just have a basic idea and are improvising as they're writing (like that guy called Cokk or something like that).
Of course, you MUST have some plot, no matter how basic is it, before posting. Even DtRT has a plot when it started.

Also, as I said before, CYOA are flexible, which means that you don't have to write pages of what would happened if Anon chose an alliance with the fairies instead of the Lunarians. As long as you know what would happen, it's fine.
If you're introducing votes just to change the ending and a few minors options, then drop CYOA, download Quest, Ren'Py or Game Maker, and create a video game instead of writing a story.
No. 12871
Who the fuck is Cokk?
No. 12872
No. 12873
I want Keine’s “ahnung.”
No. 12874
For one thing, danmaku actually can be lethal, it's Spell Cards that are designed to be harmless. For advice on writing fight scenes, I'm not quite sure what to recommend apart from emulating other writers'. Idea of Alice had some good ones, if I recall, and there's a lot of fantasy novels with good action sequences.

On a different note, question: if I realize and/or decide several threads into a story that the current board isn't accurate location-wise anymore, can I make an announcement and, say, make the next thread in /th/? How many enraged or dropping readers could I expect to result from this? (Don't ask which story, please, I won't answer.)
No. 12875
Update: If you wish to move your thread to another board (ex. to /underground/, or from /gensokyo/ to a story board) go ahead and ask your local friendly admin (HY, Kapow, Zer00). Just note that the thread and post numbers will be different on the new board.
No. 12876
An ahnung is an idea.
No. 12877
Thanks, but I was more asking in terms of etiquette than actual methods for moving stories.

Are you saying you don't want Keine's long, hard ideas inside you?
No. 12879
I wouldn't mind if a story I was reading changed boards. It's just a cosmetic change as far as I'm concerned. Just ask your readers if there are any objections for whatever reason. If no, just make a new thread and post a link.
No. 12880
I doubt most people would mind, but given that there seems to be a stigma about /th/ voters the example you cited might cause problems.
No. 12882
There's no stigma about /th/ voters. It's just one or two guys who won't shut up about it.
No. 12883
So, apparently, buddhism monks have some powers. But what can they do exactly? And it's the same about Taoist monks.
I know that ascended buddhists have some pretty impressive power, but what kind of power exactly?
No. 12885
Read "Legend of the White Snake"

The sorcerer Fahai is also a buddhist monk, who has hax-level sealing powers and whatnot.
No. 13004
So Byakuren can do a better job than Reimu at sealing youkais and mean thingies.
No. 13030
I'd like to add something midly important.
Dear readers: writefags aren't your bitches.
Dear writefags: readers aren't your bitches.

It's fine once in a while to call a lazy writefag out, but insulting him or threatening him is not a smart thing. While it is true that a writefag has a responsability toward his readers and his stories, keep in mind that writing is essentially wasting one's time. Said time could be spent doing useful things, such as cleaning socks or having childrens.

But insulting your readers because they're disagreeing with some choice you made in your story is also retarded. Jerkasses writefags aren't good writefags, just for your information, because jerkasses writefags quickly become "I don't need your opinion I know I'm good" writefags. And that means stagnation, anti-spiral, and all sort of bad things that I'm not going to explain because I'm currently using someone else's Internet.

There's a little thing called "respect". It's important for writefags and readers to respect each others. Notice how I'm using "readers" instead of "posters" or "voters", it's relevant.
Also, if you happen to disagree with a "fellow" writefag, don't go flame him in his thread.
I'd like to quote >>/eientei/23914/ for example. To give you an idea, it happened during the /nue/ fiasco, when Teruyo was accused of cheating with the polls. Someone showed up in his thread and asked him if he was going to cheat with the votes in his story. But as said in the quoted post, Teruyo as an admin and Teruyo as a writer are different.
Another example, is YAF. Apparently, he's s a famous (or infamous, your opinion might vary) poster. But as a writefag, he wrote a few gems, making him a decent writer.

That's another point I'd like to discuss. People may be jerkasses when posting somewhere else, but trying to screw their story is just plain retarded. And also doomed to fail. Of course writefags are arrogant, they CAN be arrogant, because they're writing. But trying to break an arrogant writefag will either fail, either backfire, and, very rarely, will turn him into a decent writefag listening to people's advices.

And one last thing : stop freaking comparing writers! Thank you.

EDIT: And another thing, don't feel obliged, as a writefag, to answer to a flame post. People on THP are mature, they won't say "Ooooooooooh, he says bad things about your stoooory! If I were you, I would punch him in the groin and kill his dog".
No. 13031
>stop freaking comparing writers!
No. 13032
No. 13042
Because each time writers are compared, it's always "hey you're not as good as that guy" or "hey that guy sucks even more than you".
No. 13044
I wouldn't be so sure about trying to screw up a story being doomed to failure. If such an effort involves enough people, there's not too much the writer can do until he catches on and starts trying to counteract it.
No. 13050
He can counteract it by telling a mod or admin. They generally do not condone thread invasions.
No. 13053
Would an admin really stands against an angry mob?
No. 13054

You weren't on IRC when Reiji came whining to the admins about anon attacking him, were you? They laughed at him and told him to deal with it himself.
No. 13055
the hard part appears to be realizing people are out to screw the story over before it's too late. Actually doing something after finding out is pretty easy.

Depends, but it's more likely to happen if the admin in question doesn't hate the story.
No. 13056
So it's just a contest between who can suck the admin's ass.
No. 13058
It's more about not pissing them off. If you do piss one off, they'd be far less likely to help. Pissing off Teruyo to that point is a very difficult task.
No. 13062

It's more not having a reputation for being horrible.
No. 13122
>They generally do not condone thread invasions.

I think you're on the wrong site, buddy.
No. 13151
Well, at least on THP you can insult an admin and not get banned. It's different on other websites, such as Maidens of the Kaleidoscope.
And, strangely enough, we don't have those "whose neck do you want to break" thread.
So, yeah, sometimes admins are jerkasses ("you're being raided? LOL GOOD LUCK"), but they could be worse.
They could be constantly starting new stories while dorpping their current ones, for example.
No. 13153
this isn't writing advice
No. 13154
So true. So let's get back on topic, and please inform me about something midly interesting: what's the best tool to place a transition? Several "=======", or just 5 blank lines?
No. 13155
Does that really warrant a question? You can use an ascii penis for all people will care.
No. 13157
It doesn't matter as long as you're consistent.

If you want to get creative, unicode has tons of random shit nobody will ever use.
No. 13254
This. Only do not make it anything too fancy. Asterisks, hyphens and ellipses are the most common separators, though in varying number and arrangement. ***, ..., -, ==, ---, ✱✱✱, ٭٭٭, ✻✻✻ – these are some of your basic options. Just keep it consistent, as the previous poster said.
No. 13363

So, I know I want a third OC supporting character for Tainted Bonds. We've already Marcus, the brotastic construct who will be re-entering Tainted Bonds within two updates, tops and Gand, the down-on-his-luck musician whose own short is way behind schedule but will be entering Tainted Bonds proper soon enough alongside Marcus, but I know I want a third who will not be entering alongside Marcus and Gand, because I need to brew on the character for a while before I do anything.

Thing is, I'm feeling brave, and would like to do a poll of sorts. It would go through a progression of votes, each one deciding one particular aspect of the character. Once I'm satisfied, I'd close the votes, and then in the farflung future, after I've had time to incorporate the character in future plot notes, drop the character in.

/words/ was suggested, but let's be honest, no one actually reads that. Where would you guys like to see it? I don't want to drop it in the main story thread itself, simply because the poll would be a massive derail. I'm not sure I want to put it in its own thread in /th/, because let's be frank, it's a damn poll (albeit one I plan on spicing up in a narrative sense, I have a creative idea). I certainly don't want to put it in /gensokyo/, and /at/ is completely out of the question. /blue/ is a possibility, but I'm not sure that many random anons would trip across it.

tl;dr: Character generation thread for existing story, don't want to put in main story thread, what do?
No. 13364
if you link to words, people will read it so you can put a link in a post and go from there.
No. 13367
>progressive series of votes to decide a character that will appear in the far future
Make it a long-term derail in your main thread by putting a small portion in with your regular updates, or whenever you don't have an update prepared at your regular time.
No. 13381
So, I tried to start a story, and I failed in a spectacular way.
Is there something I should do before trying to write? I dunno, should I try to mimick some author's style, or should I try to develop my own? How can I make sure that my story has a nice flow, and isn't composed of huge walls of text?
What can I do to get better, in short?

And please don't tell me to join IRC. Just to post this, I already had to retry several times.
No. 13382
Lurk and read various stories, both old and present. You should get an idea of how a story works. Also try finding a proofreader somehow though to do this easily you'd need some sort of IRC access.

Try getting chatzilla as that's easily better than the site's built in Mibbit chat.
No. 13383
The trouble isn't coming from the application, but from my connection. I can't use it more than 2 minutes, it usually crashes after that and I have to retry everything.
And about your advice to read old stories, can you suggest one that's well-written?
No. 13384
Ah, you're like me then.
No. 13385

Patchwork's Hakugyukurou LA and Hungry Youkai's Expectation of Sanguine Disorder are both "classics". Pretty good writing, too. Klaymen's I, Youkai is also up there.

Not trying to snub anyone by exclusion, of course.

A story basically needs at least two of three to avoid being completely run out of town on a splintery rail, provided the lacking aspect isn't completely tanked to zero: good mechanical writing, interesting characters, and a good plot. Drop good mechanical writing, and people will grit their teeth and read past your typos and incorrect because the story is intriguing. Drop interesting characters, and people will stick around to see the epic plot through. Drop a good plot, and you have, well, every slice-of-life story that didn't/doesn't have a particularly clear direction.

Get all three, of course, and you're flying high.

Here on THP, there's also a fourth hidden requirement: style requirements. There are certain things that just... aren't done, and certain things that receive great appreciation. The only real way to learn these is to lurk moar, but as long as you don't accidentally shit on everyone (which is going to be pretty hard, even for a newbie) you can start writing. Just keep a steady head on your shoulders, don't rage at anyone, have enough backbone to stand up to those who rage at you... and then we can keep helping you.

Oh yeah, and a lot of people on THP have this love of bringing up the sordid pasts and histories of stories and writefags. Personally, I'm unfamiliar with most of it, so I don't care, but there are a lot of people, writefags and anons alike, who will do anything to bring up their pet peeve, whether it's an old dropped story, a particular writefag, a "faction of anons"... the list goes on.

I'd like to see this site be a little less ragey in story threads (except for /blue/, since I know it's /blue/ and so can read everything with a silly grin on my face), so keep your nose clean, kid.

Looking forward to see what you can produce in the future.
No. 13386
>factions of anons
Can somebody give me a list of them? Just curious.
No. 13387

Kahi's voters and supporters.
To contrast, Kahi's haters and major detractors. Especially "let's drag my Kahi hate into an unrelated story thread-anon", although he seems to have calmed down of late. Thankfully.
Youkai power fags.
Various MAI WAIFU fags, whether the waifu is Reisen, Youmu, Flandre, or some other Touhou who hasn't received a romantic route on THP yet. Or has, it doesn't really matter.
More recently, due to the distinct and official way with which he dropped one of his two stories, MegaSen has his own haters and supporters. Some hate vocally for dropping, some support him for continuing on his second work.

Minor faction: Demetrious's fans from /tg/, who follow his other work involving Strike Witches and sporadically migrate here to A Wizard is You when they feel Deme needs more attention. They're kind of like gypsies. Kinda.

There's also "Wiseman hunter-fags" who make a point of calling out every anon they think is Wiseman. It's pretty funny, actually. I'm not sure if they count as a faction or not.
No. 13388
What kind of connection do you use? It's not usual for it to be THAT bad.

For well written stories? There's the recommendations thread in /gensokyo/, all of them have some nice stories.

But as far as stories applicable to your concept, that's a bit trickier as there's not many high school stories that puttered out. You should take a look at them and observe how various things are done.

My picks for modern stories:
Wizard is You (/th/)
Tainted Bonds (/th/)
Little Soldier Lost /eientei/ (sure it may be old but with time it's becoming more and more polished and it's still ongoing)
Eldest Scarlet /sdm/
Aeolist's Aki story /youkai/

But look around other stories as each has lessons to learn from both what they do right and what they do wrong.

I think one of the best examples of teenage romance would be Oracle's story in /forest/.

Personally you're better off avoiding the whole HS setting until you get some experience under the belt. It's just too difficult for a first timer.

But based on my observations, there's some general musts to try such a story: Some structure (including route lock point), a plan (as a story can't live on its concept alone), and a non-blatant vote structure (no "This girl" "that girl votes as they do nothing but start shitstorms)

You forgot modern stories as many classics do have some glaring flaws when looked at objectively.

Looking at modern trends in writing is also important (fits under style for one)
No. 13389

Eh, I didn't forget, I just didn't want to name ongoing stories because sometimes Anon gets slighted when their favorite doesn't get mentioned. People tend not to get so offended about classics. Except Gensokyo High, huehuehuehue.

... although I am flattered that you recommend my own work.
No. 13390
>Gensokyo High

Newfriend, please.
No. 13391
>What kind of connection do you use? It's not usual for it to be THAT bad.
A thing called "hot spot". It's as slow as a 56K, and it's unstable as fuck.

>Personally you're better off avoiding the whole HS setting until you get some experience under the belt. It's just too difficult for a first timer.
Well, personally, I don't plan to write a great HS story. I just want to gain some experience, and I also want to break the curse.

>But based on my observations, there's some general musts to try such a story: Some structure (including route lock point), a plan (as a story can't live on its concept alone), and a non-blatant vote structure (no "This girl" "that girl votes as they do nothing but start shitstorms)
I have those, but only in a really basic form. I'll try to avoid the obvious "choose girl X over girl Y" option, but given how vast the setting is, it may be unavoidable.

Also, I'm posting my text here. I edited it a little, and I can't really make it perfect given my lack of experience, but if you find any big mistakes, feel free to point. In the meanwhile, I'll read those stories ballistafreak suggested:
“Air tastes so damn good!”
True enough, being locked in a bus for hours makes everything more awesome. Including fresh air.
And here you stand, with your suitcase, ready to start a new life at the Gensokyo University.

Or that's what you said to your father. In fact, your true goal is to get laid. You have three years before leaving this place forever, that should be enough. But even if your goal is to get laid, you still have standards. You don't want your first time to be with a drunken girl in a closet. You want something memorable. Something romantic! Something you can tell to your jealous friends when you get home.
You smile at the tall white-haired secretary standing behind the counter.
“Yes, sir?”
“Room 219.” He points at the stairs. “You have a roommate.”
Thanking the old man, you grab your suitcase, and start looking for your room. Asking another student, a weird girl wearing a red cape, you learn that your room is on the second floor. Wonderful, you'll be able to throw your roommate through the window if he's too noisy. Damn brat gonna learn who's the boss.
“217, 218...”
That's it! Room 219! Proudly, you put your hand on the knob, and you enter your room in a manly way. You're the boss, and you're going to show it!
Well, the old man did warned you about your roommate. But he forgot to warn you about:
1) Your roommate being a girl.
2) Your roommate being some youkai.
And a really weird one on top of that. Completely dressed in black, she looks like an emo, if it wasn't for that red ribbon in her hair. Why she's wearing a ribbon is beyond your limited grasp on reality, but you decide to apply your old family adage: "don't care about what you can't understand".

Politely knocking on the door, you wait for the girl to unpack her things, before turning to greet you.
“Hello. You're sleeping on the bed near the door. Any objections?”
“Well, I ...” Her smile is kind of threatening, now that you're close enough to see it. “Nothing.”
“Great. The name's Rumia. If you have a problem, you tell me, otherwise there's no problem. So, do you have a problem with me?” Walking closer to you, she smiles even more than before, showing all her teeth. Her sharp teeth.
“No, ma'am.”
“Wonderful. Don't touch my stuff, don't walk in the bathroom without knocking first, and if you do anything funny,” she presses her finger against your forehead, “I'll gouge your eyes out and throw them in the toilets and you through the window. Clear?”
“Yes, ma'am.” You resist the urge of saluting.
“Good boy!” She claps her hands, as if she was applauding you.
Nothing funny in the bedroom then. It will be better for you if you stay away from here as often as you can.

Having quickly unpacked your things, you instantly leave the building to visit the campus.
“Okaaay, so that big building here is the one where all the classes are located.” Speaking to yourself, you start walking, keeping an eye on the map while trying to figure out where you're going to spend most of your time. The building behind you is the dormitory, so you're probably going to sleep in it and avoid it during daylight, that small building here is the administration, so you'll probably never go there once you're finished with all the papers, those are the stables, here the sport ground, and those four houses are definitely weird, and not in a good way. “What are those? They're not on the map!”
“Of course not.”
You jump.
“W-who the hell are you?”
The girl standing previously behind you is now standing in front of you, and is slightly bowing in a highly dignified move. Despite her common clothes, she's well-mannered and therefore probably rich.
“My name is Izayoi Sakuya. I am the current leader of the Scarlet Fraternity, but I would appreciate if you could refer to me as 'the chairwoman'.”
Oh wow. That's girl is the real deal, and not to spoil anything, she's also damn pretty! Wearing a really fine pair of jeans, those clothes are stressing her perfect thighs and her round bottom. She's also wearing a shirt, but her breasts aren't really that impressive, unlike her butt.
“Nice...” You mutter under your breath, talking as an amateur appreciating a painting.
Sakuya's dry voice pulls you out of your appreciation as she remarks, “May I advise you to not look at my backside?”
“Right. Sorry. You were saying?”
“Those buildings you can see here aren't on the map, because they're a blight on the campus.” Given Sakuya's tone, she probably knows what she's talking about. “They're housing the different fraternities, and while one of them is tolerable, the others are just housing nerds, pranksters, or pervert drunkards.”
“Sounds interestin- I mean totally illegal.”
Sakuya blinks several times before continuing.
“Your face is familiar. Did I see you before?” She asks, while slightly tilting her head, staring at you with her inexpressive eyes.
“I don't think. I would remember those thigh-” Think before talking, you fool! “I mean your face.”
“If you say so.” She clearly doesn't believe you. And with that, she just leaves, walking to the cleanest house in the line.

No. 13396

Still utterly terrible. May I suggest completing a high school course in English before attempting to write again?
No. 13398
You heard him, mate.

Not everyone has the talent to write. For those who have however, it's very easy for them to do so.

For example, there's this one non-native English speaker writefag who can write really fast and without a proofreader but still make good stories.
No. 13403
that's a terribly lackluster beginning that doesn't give any reason behind a high school in Gensokyo or how the main character wound up there.

Defining your main character would be a nice step.

And breaking a curse won't really be counted if the story itself is horribly lackluster. That and if better writers couldn't handle it, what exactly makes you think you can handle it?
No. 13405
>That and if better writers couldn't handle it, what exactly makes you think you can handle it?
That’s quite literally the worst thing you might say to an aspiring writer’s ideas. “Better writers than you have tried this and failed. What makes you think you’ll do any better?” You may not realise, but this line of thinking is terribly demotivating (while not even being very constructive), and only fuels the inherent depression/laziness/lack of self-esteem that most writers seem to be afflicted with. Christ, if you want to discourage the guy, at least throw him some bone, something he might learn from.

Where you say “What makes you think you can handle it?,” I say “Many have tried before you and failed... high time we change that state of affairs, no?” Let him write and let him try. What’s the harm in it? Either he’ll win or he’ll walk away defeated but with more experience and confidence on his hands than before.
No. 13408
I'm only going from what I see: Megasen's getting shit for dropping his and Taisa's basically crippled as a writer.

It's like trying to invade Russian anywhere near the winter.
No. 13410
Taisa is mental. He should see about fixing his own bloody head before he fixes his writing.

I don’t know about Megasen.

Still don’t see why that should bar anyone from trying their hand.
No. 13412

It should bar terrible writers from trying their hands, though.
No. 13414
I like how a new writer is promptly kicked off the website, even through he asked for help instead of ignoring criticism.
No. 13415
Just wanting to spare him of that horrible feeling you have when you've tried hard yet still fail at writing.
No. 13416
I'm not saying he should get lost, just that he should try gaining experience doing something else before a high school story.
No. 13417
Where should I go, then? I cannot really afford a "full English" course, and I really want to write that story.
No. 13419
You said you can't do IRC, right? I would say you should ask other writers, but without IRC that's kind of tough.

You could always make a thread in /words/ asking for specific advice on your own writing. I'd be glad to link it in the IRC and ask any writers to offer their advice with trips on so you could know you were getting tips from people who actually write here.
No. 13420
Failing is part of learning. Nobody is proficient at anything from the get-go.
No. 13422
Thank you.
I'm going to read hakugyourou LA and expectation of a sanguine disorder, work a bit more on my story, and once it's done, I'll open that thread on /words/.
No. 13425

Since it seems that there's more to your lack of proficiency than just the genres of stories around here on THP...

And well, I don't mean that in an insulting way. It seems to be the truth, that you're unfamiliar with the conventions of narrative, dialogue, characterization, and so on....

Forget what I said about reading those two stories. Those will help you get an idea of what people like(d) around here, but as far as story-telling conventions go they do have some gaping flaws, as people have pointed out.

If you're that unschooled, you need to start with the basics.

Some people will tell you to go take an English class. Okay, yes, that can help, but if you ask me, there's only one good way to learn to write.


Read more.

Read old books, like Lord of the Rings, even if you think it's too damn archaic to be good. Learn why it was good in its time, or why you still enjoy it today.

Read new books, like The Hunger Games, even if you think it's too damn trendy to be good. Learn why people like it today, or why you think it's just a passing fad.

Read terrible books, like the Eragon series, and learn why a child writing a book is mainly interesting for that fact, and not any inherent talent of the child. Then do better than him. (For the record, I was in middle school when Eragon was writing his books and I thought he was a damn hack even then. He certainly hasn't gotten better.)

Read awesome books, like... I dunno. There are a lot out there. Keep it as a paragon to aspire to, your ultimate quality goal.

Read a series that has a character go from naive childhood to adulthood, like Harry Potter. Learn what makes the young different than the old, and how to use fantastic elements - try not to explain them thermodynamically.

Read a series that starts out damn good then proceeds to herp the derp, like Artemis Fowl. I'm still not sure what that author did after the Arctic Incident.

Read a series that's horrible in a literary sense yet somehow remains popular, like Twilight. Learn how to write a blank slate of a character... then never, ever, do it yourself.

Then don't just read. Play some video games that tell a tale. The Mass Effect series is a classic, if you can stomach the third one's ending GODDAMN IT BIOWARE I TRUSTED YOU. To that end, there are a few other Bioware works that are worth going through, if you can stomach the often-clunky RPG interface: Planescape: Torment and the Baldur's Gate games. (Wouldn't play the Neverwinter Nights series though.)

Watch some film, ranging from classic Western film like Citizen Kane to cheesy Eastern wuxia. For someone interested in writing a Touhou fic, certain anime may be of interest, although I'm honestly not sure what few titles I should pick out. Puella Magi Madoka Magica is a cute but uplifting series, good for watching with kids.

I'm sure other people have their own recommendations to add.

I had carved through the Redwall series by 3rd grade, finished Lord of the Rings by 5th, and only spiraled out of control from there. As a result, English class in middle and high schools only ever taught me things about the short kind of poetry (which I couldn't give two farts about), and taught me the exact names of things and techniques I already knew about. Three years ago, I wrote a rather shitty and REALLY weeaboo Valkyria Chronicles fanfiction that I dropped because they announced a sequel to it, thus breaking all my headcanons. It got to 90K+ words in three months. I was 15 or 16 at the time, I forget. I consider that my failure before (reasonable) success here, and hopefully in some later year I'll have improved to the point where I look back on Tainted Bonds and consider it a child's hackjob as well. For now, though, it's my baby.

tl;dr: So you want to write a story, but have no idea how? The first step of writing something good is steeping yourself in what's out there, in the good, the bad, and the different. Only when you know literature can you truly work with it.

As much as I want to be supportive YAF, I like your sentiment and your words, if you, Paragraph-Symbol here, don't really have very many good books underneath your proverbial belt, my first advice to you is to drop your illusions of grandeur and read moar.

But even if this is true, and you want to press on, like Ash without a starter Pokemon walking into the tall grass...

Well, I won't try and stop you. I'll try and help you still.
No. 13426
Just as ballista said. Read moar.

Also, I suggest getting experienced with some shorts. That way, you don't have to worry too much, since shorts are, well, short. Not too much to worry about plot, and unlike stories, you can write them on whim and finish them in a day.
But if you're afraid of Anon, you can still publish them elsewhere. I don't suggest ff.net, since most stories here are ignored, but perhaps on Maidens you'll have the reviews you need.
No. 13427
Of course not, but when he says "I just want to gain some experience, and I also want to break the curse," it sounds like someone saying "I just want to learn how to jog, and I also want to win the Boston Marathon". It's all well and good if the plan is to have one eventually lead into the other, but he makes it sound as if he wants to do both at the exact same time.

Failing is a part of learning, but when one of your big goals is to do something that requires you to not fail, you really shouldn't just rush in blindly and hope you can figure out everything you need to as you go along. At the very least, he should make sure he has a good understanding of how and why previous attempts to do what he wants to do failed. He's not going to be breaking any trends by getting in over his head, especially not when that's part of the reason the trend exists in the first place.
No. 13428
>Mass Effect
Mass Effect was never good storywriting-wise past the first game, and the first game had clunky constricted mechanics and levels, as well as really poor visual aesthetics. The second game looks much better (I dare say I enjoyed ME2’s aesthetics), but the writing goes down the shitter. ME3 makes me cringe when I listen to its dialogue.

I approve, even though Planescape as a game is somewhat dull. It’s a great read, don’t get me wrong, but the gameplay is rather bare for an aspiring top-down cRPG. There’s a novelisation available out there, but it’s mostly the brilliant dialogue ripped from the game, punctuated with simple “I did X. Y did Z.” sentences that will most likely tell you next to nothing if you haven’t “played” the game before. It tries very hard not to make too much original text, which effectively robs it of the “visual” aspect that the game possesses by nature.
And the game aged badly, at that.

>finished Lord of the Rings by 5th
What a coincidence. I did the same—or was it the sixth grade? No matter. A year after, I found an old copy of Silmarillion among my grandma’s pre-war books. Wanting to read it? The worst mistake I could make at that age. I still loved it, even if I’d sooner slit my wrists than venture to read it again.

Out of my own favourites, let me mention David Eddings’s series. Belgariad, Malloreon, Ellenium, Tamuli, all written in a very simple style and set in a pretty standard medieval-fantasy world. The kicker with these series is Eddings openly states his goal as utilising every fantasy trope and cliché ever, while still achieving an entertaining read. SPOILER: he succeeds, hard. It’s a neat example of how clichés can be used without making your story jarring, and a damn good read besides.

Out of video games, I’m a known fanboy of the Legacy of Kain series. Amy Hennig, the writer, a woman at that, makes a series about vampires that completely blows you out of the water with its intricate plot, genius dialogue and grim but inspiring setting. The vampires? Ugly and more mutated the longer they live. The theme? Time travel, revenge, fatalism and fighting against your fate. Easily the best-written series I had the pleasure to play. The games aged a bit, and you’d be better off emulating the console version of Soul Reaver 1, but they’re still a very good play. I’m still very keen on either reading or writing a LoK-inspired SDM story.

But yes, the painless way to learn writing is to read, read and read. And steal everything good-looking you come upon. After all, imitation is the purest form of flattery, and certainly not simply a despicable rip-off, right?
No. 13458
How the heck do you guys write so fast?

I mean, when I write, I try to go directly to the important plot events, but then this funny thing happens when I have to write all the transition scenes and those scenes end up taking the bulk of my time.

For example, I want my MC to walk from the a certain point on the shrine-to-village road to the village itself, where he will decide on the next course of action. Now, on the way, I feel the need to describe the fields, the farmhouses, the farmers, what they're wearing, etc. And that basically reduces my update pace to a snail's crawl.

Would it be better if I just go with a minimal amount of detail? I didn't do that because I feared it would reduce the immersion factor.
No. 13460
>Would it be better if I just go with a minimal amount of detail?

Ah yes, this is the question that's been bothering me also.

>I didn't do that because I feared it would reduce the immersion factor.

Well, I used to write with minimal detail and I ended up not satisfied with my own story, especially if I read some of the better stuff we have here (like FoM for example).

I know that feel when you're annoyed by having to describe things and set up the "mood" for the scene. You just want to get to the point, right?

But frankly, they are necessary, just to make your story look better (compare FoM to Ddyk's works for example). Just don't go overboard by describing every single thing your MC comes across with great detail. The reader will get bored and will just skim your story.
No. 13461

>How the heck do you guys write so fast?

Personally, my writing speed is abysmal. If I use my "easygoing mode" (not thinking much about the writing's quality), I can churn out 400 words in about an hour.

However, If I'm in my "critic mode" (spending a lot of time checking each sentences to make sure they feel right), it's far slower than that.
No. 13462
>How the heck do you guys write so fast?

I only write what seems necessary (important objects, reactions).
Well, of course I'm not really good, but learning how and what to describe is part of the learning process.

>FoM to Ddyk's works
You're comparing the legendary undead elephant with the one-eyed one-armed one-legged stubborn dwarf here. Don't do that, please.
No. 13463
>one-eyed one-armed one-legged stubborn dwarf here

Must've been playing Dorf Fortress.
No. 13464
>For example, I want my MC to walk from the a certain point on the shrine-to-village road to the village itself, where he will decide on the next course of action. Now, on the way, I feel the need to describe the fields, the farmhouses, the farmers, what they're wearing, etc. And that basically reduces my update pace to a snail's crawl.

If it's business as usual for the MC, then the narration should reflect that by being brusque about it. When an alien drops from the sky, points a raygun at him, and demands that he take it to his leader, that's when you throw in walls of description. But the hills, the farmers, the roads, the sky, all the things that he's used to? Those should probably at most be mentioned in passing when discussing something that's actually important.

The very introduction of a story might give you some freedom to do such descriptions of the everyday, but other than that, try not to stray from "don't dwell on the humdrum". When you do that, you're not being poetic or eloquent, you're just stalling the reader from the important bits.
No. 13477
Wonder why HY never visits this thread.

I mean, he's already here since the birth of THP. Doesn't he have a few words to tell to those new, aspiring writefags?
No. 13478
it's better that he doesn't. What he reads here might drive him to drop the current story.
No. 13479
No. 13480
No. 13501
I have a problem with pacing.
It always feels to me like I'm rushing the story, and I never know if I'm putting the scenes in the right places or developing the characters at an appropriate speed.

I know this mostly comes down to experience, but any tips?
No. 13517

>how to learn how to pace

I got nothing kid, except >>13425. Read moar, and you'll learn what's too damn fast, and what's hopelessly stalling. Also, write moar. You'll eventually become comfortable with your own sense of pacing, and keep in mind that what's a good pace for one kind of story may not be suitable for another.

You may have to butcher a few stories to get to that point, but that's life.
No. 13524
You forgot to add "PC-98 is totally canon and it's still relevant to the Windows canon" faction and the "PC-98 canon is irrelevant to the Windows canon so stop bringing that up" faction.
No. 13527
I don't think we can call them faction. As far as I see, it's just two guys arguing.
No. 13553
Lies. Look at that thread and see that there are at least more than two people arguing there.
No. 13566
you'd find that anywhere touhou related.

This reminds me of another group: the yuri nuts who jump for the chance to have a female MC.
No. 13575
Would you rather have a male OC MC?
No. 13578
I reject both.

I choose the impossible.

I choose...

A story with no romance.
No. 13580
Yes. He would. He has made that position abundantly clear several times.
No. 13581
Wait, how do you know that? He's an anon. How the hell can you identify him?
No. 13584
He's assuming everyone that ever had such an opinion is the same guy.
No. 13585
If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck... it probably is the same bloody duck.
No. 13586

Your analogy is so deeply flawed magma is flowing out of it.
No. 13593
>If it walks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck... it's probably a witch!
No. 13600
I want to talk about following canon in writing fanfiction.

I find it odd that I can forgive a writer if he doesn't adhere to canon if he writes a Touhou fic. However, if he writes a non-Touhou fic like that, I will be pissed.

Makes me feel like a hypocrite and that makes me feel bad.
No. 13612
Don't worry. You're not a hypocrite. Touhou and, let's say, LoTR (assuming LoTR is included in the "non-Touhou fic"), have a very different approach to canon. You can get away with saying that Remilia has an OC brother that she doesn't know of but you can't get away with saying that Frodo has an OC sister for example. It's just common sense.

The real hypocrites are, in my opinion, those guys who like to call themselves "canonfags" while attacking Touhou fics they don't like by bringing up how it "rapes canon" and things like that while they still write Alice x Marisa fics in the back.
No. 13613
>Frodo has an OC sister
Oh boy, I don't even want to imagine. LotRfags are already arguing to know if the balrog has wings or not, I don't even want to imagine the the massive shitstorm something like that would do.
No. 13614

What shitstorm?

If someone writes a fic where Frodo has an OC sister, it'll be written off as a Mary Sue fic and they'll just leave it be (perhaps after leaving a hateful comment or two and posting it on their Mary Sue bashing community).

So, no shitstorm there.
No. 13615
Do they even have a bashing topic? I always imagined LorTfags as 30 years old gentlemen.
No. 13616
Well, they used to have Deleterius, which is also a place for Harry Potter sues since those two fandoms are so full of Mary Sues that they need to have their own community away from the general Mary Sue one.

>Think of deleterius as a place full of snarky, bitter, jaded, and somewhat bored canon nazis who will not hesitate to tear you several new orifices should you have the audacity to rape their beloved canon and their beloved canon characters.
>We make no attempts to be objective, fair, or even remotely nice here. This is OUR playground after all.

Kinda like /blue/ in a sense.

But it's closed now, since both fandoms are pretty much slowing down nowadays at least before The Hobbit movie comes out, then we'll see a flood of female OCs wanting to get into Thorin's pants.
No. 13617
Interesting. But let's stop here, we're getting off-topic.
No. 13619
How should you handle tl;dr anons?

You know, those guys who like to predict where the plot's going with detailed analysis and shit.

It's really awkward when they're thinking more of the story than you do.

I don't know if it's advisable to absorb anons' theories into your own plot, but it's hard to resist that especially if it's logical.
No. 13620
>I don't know if it's advisable to absorb anons' theories into your own plot, but it's hard to resist that especially if it's logical.
You decide. Some Anon like to be surprised, but if you are creating plot holes because ou absolutely want to refute their theories, your story will be deserted really fast.
No. 13621
Touhou canon is often vague and mixed in with intentional inaccuracies. This allows writers to bend it more than most canons.

Take the Remilia's brother example, if there's nothing saying she doesn't have one, then you can go ahead and write one.

Depends on the type of Marisa/Alice fic as there is actually something going on between them if IN's endings have anything to say about it. But the obsessive lonely alice/super dense marisa fics do piss me off.

Try continuing with your original plan as trying too hard to absorb or reject the theory in question might mess up the story.
No. 13623
How about when anon inadvertently points out a plot hole that makes your entire story crumble (like bypassing the moral dilemma, which is the main focus of your story, without any negative consequences)?

Should the writer just say "Sorry guys, I'm abandoning this story because I just realize there's a gaping plothole in the plot I'm planning" or "Sorry guys, I'm putting this story on hiatus because I want to rethink the plot first since I just realized there's a gaping plothole in it"?
No. 13625
He doesn't have to say anything. Do you know that real scenario writers are forbidden to read fanfics?

Because Anon pointed out a plot hole, you're not forced to react and say something. You can just think about how you can resolve it without having to say "sorry guys, hiatus" or "sorry guys abandoning".
Abandonning a story is one of the worst thing you can do as a writefag, so you should do it only if you really have no other way.
No. 13626
>Do you know that real scenario writers are forbidden to read fanfics?

Really? I never know that.
No. 13632
Say nothing. Carry on with the story.

If their theories match up with your scenario, that’s a point for them. If they don’t, well, tough jack, ripper. Don’t let reader theories sway or destroy the original plot course you thought up and perfected before starting the story. Because you DID think one up, right?

No. 13634
Pft. Planning is for CASUALS and NERDS.
No. 13641
Yeah, when I think that I'm writing notes about my Touhou fanfiction, I feel like there's something wrong with my life.
No. 13642
Tell me anyone who didn't plan and finished a story
No. 13644
No. 13649
Question. How to prevent getting disappointed by your own story? Like, one day you decide to read your own story from the start for whatever purpose, and think "WTF am I really write this shit?"

And second, how to undone major mistake that you accidentally have done(like out of character, forget one of the plot item/skill,etc)? Rewrite it, or explain to the readers that you make a mistake and this should the one that happens, or justify that mistake in later chapter by a scene/character?
No. 13652
>How to prevent getting disappointed by your own story? Like, one day you decide to read your own story from the start for whatever purpose, and think "WTF am I really write this shit?"

Sorry, there's no cure for that. You just have to be an "arrogant" writefag to avoid that.
No. 13653

>>Sorry, there's no cure for that. You just have to be an "arrogant" writefag to avoid that.

Or, if you don't want to be a prick about it, you could try to be a confident writer, instead. There's no need to be offensively self-important or prideful about your writing, you just need to be secure in what you do, and realize that if you are improving at it, your older works will inevitably look worse than you remember them. It's natural to find your old stuff embarrassing, but the fact you find it embarrassing is a sign that you've grown, and know that much more than you did when you first wrote it. It's a mark of improvement, and what's to be disappointed in that?

>>And second, how to undone major mistake that you accidentally have done(like out of character, forget one of the plot item/skill,etc)? Rewrite it, or explain to the readers that you make a mistake and this should the one that happens, or justify that mistake in later chapter by a scene/character?

It depends on what you feel most comfortable doing, really, but if you can figure out a way to fix it in-story without drawing attention to the fact you're fixing something, that is one of the better ways to go.

When an actor flubs a line in the middle of a play, or a musician hits a wrong note in the middle of a song, do they stop and tell the audience they screwed up? Do they try to have a do-over until they get it right? Of course they don't. They can't. They just press onward, recovering as best they can, and act as if nothing happened. When done well, most of the audience might not even realize any mistakes were made.

They key, of course, is that it has to be done well. Then again, since you have the benefit of not having to come up with your fix right on the spot, you do have the advantage of time on your side, and the luxury of being able to pick and choose when and how to apply it to your story.

If you don't think you can manage that, though, it is acceptable to announce that you need to retcon something. Just make it clear what it is you're doing, whether you're re-writing an entire scene or simply saying "this thing that happened never happened". Just be sure you give your readers a chance to re-vote if they want to.
No. 13655
Easier said than done as writers tend to go into extremes (emo self-loathing or sickening arrogance)

Look at it as seeing how much you improved with time.
No. 13657
>Sorry, there's no cure for that. You just have to be an "arrogant" writefag to avoid that.
Drop that. I corrected it a while ago.
You just need to be confident, not arrogant.
No. 13662
An arrogant writefriend wouldn’t be just okay with his stuff. He’d think his stuff is the best stuff there ever has been.

Otherwise, being dissatisfied with your work is all right, so long as you use that dissatisfaction to get better. You’re naturally going to get better at it as you do more and more of it, and there’s nothing wrong with looking back and noticing your past works weren’t as good (or indeed nearly as good) as your current level. Then a few years will pass, and you’ll look at your now-current stuff (then-past) and think the same thing. It’s perfectly natural.

The day you look back and see nothing wrong is the day you stop improving.
No. 21130
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