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17678
Since it seems like we need yet another one!

Previous one: >>16035
I'm not sure why you'd want to see the ones before that one.

Don't be afraid to ask if you're unsure about something. There's nothing worse than making a stupid mistake because you didn't bother to ask about it.
Expand all images
how do i write
>>17679
1) msward
2) tap key
3) ???
4) VOTES!
>>17679

Five elements of a story: Plot (What happens?), setting (Where/When does it happen?), characters (Who does it happen to?), tone (How does it happen?), and theme (Why does it happen?). Decide which you want to focus on and build a firm foundation with them before you even start writing. Without a foundation, how can a house stand in a storm?

Don't write to be popular, or to be loved. Popularity should be a side-effect of a good story, not a goal. Those who write only to be loved stop writing when they discover they are not. Write because you believe in writing. Write because you believe the words you are writing have meaning and value, either to you or to others. Don't write something that you would think is boring and stop reading if someone else wrote it.

Realize that anything you will write has been written before, in some form. Try to write something original, but realize you will likely fail. Instead, just have fun. Have fun writing how you think the story could have gone instead. Have fun making your voice heard. But never profess the quality of your voice; that is for others to judge.
>>17682
When all else fails, write Sweet Bro and Hella Jeff in Gensokyo and make it dialogue heavy so you don't even have to worry about spelling.
>>17682
Agreed on pretty much all points, other than:
>never profess the quality of your voice

I feel that you should always have a strong opinion on the quality of your work. If you're looking to improve, you need to know what you do well and what you do poorly, and you can only know that by comparing to the vast array of writings in existence.

However, don't get stuck on it. Don't feel the need to defend your work against others, or boast about how amazing you are. As long as you are happy with your work, then everything is good.
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17685
>>17684
>Don't feel the need to defend your work against others
This shit right here. You can’t imagine how hard your cred will fall if you start acting like someone’s criticism isn’t valid or doesn’t hold its water. It screams insecurity.

As someone with a keen interest in psychology, let me share with you something I’ve realised as a writer. There is no such thing as good writing. No bad writing, either. As long as you stick to the technical rules (grammar, style, anything set in stone by rigid guidelines), you cannot truthfully say “My writing is bad” or “My writing sucks a swollen Tigrex screamer.” The truth is, there is no universally good or bad writing. There is writing that appeals to this man, and writing that appeals to another man. Someone might not like your writing, big fuckin’ deal; somewhere out there is someone who would enjoy and deem it good – because writing is a medium infinitely dependant on the personal interpretation of the reader.

Now, that don’t mean your nigga ass can flomp down on the laurels and be a bitch ass mo’fo all day. The thing here is, you’re writing for a set audience. For Tea Hat Party. Ten Humongous Patches. The Honed Patricians. Whatever. As the audience is set, you’re generally going to want to adjust to their feedback. That don’t mean in turn you should listen to every piece of whining you’ll inevitably get; but if that whining is chorused by the major part of your readerbase, well... You can do the math. And that’s the deal: you can write for THP, but you have to write for it. If we don’t like it, that doesn’t mean you suck. It doesn’t mean our opinion of your writing is wrong (because in my view it literally cannot be wrong) and you have to correct it. It certainly doesn’t mean we’re looking to give your poor little ego a black eye. It only means our preferences don’t align.

The problem is, if you want to maintain a functioning CYOA with us, they have to.

Also, I know what you’re thinking. “But Yaffy, you whoring midget slav monster-hunting asshole, there are things that are universally bad! Twilight! Self-inserts! Clichés!” I hear you and I say “Fuck you.” There are things generally looked down upon in the current literary climate, yes. But they’re not universally bad. Because somewhere out there there are people who enjoy it. It’s a problem if authors here use elements we find unacceptable, but outside of THP those elements may very well be embraced. And as much as I personally despise Twilight, so they have been.
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17686
>>17685
Come to think of it this may be why I despise Bioshock Infinite and The Last of Us fans. Arguing that I didn’t like their stories because I just “don’t get it” is 100% retrograde bowel movement. If I “don’t get it,” it means the story failed to do its job, as a story is worth only as much as the reader makes out of it. If your intended audience “fails” to grasp the points you wished to convey, you’re clearly tackling it from a wrong angle.

Have a Futo.
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>>17685
>Everyfthing is subjective!

You are such a ninny. Do you have a liberal arts degree or something?
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17689
Pfah! Degrees are way too arbitrary for me. Geniuses such as me carve their own path.
>>17686
How the hell does one not understand the last of us. Linear as a naughty dog could make it.
Damn fine voice acting though.
>>17685
How tall are you Yaf?
>>17691
Well, he needs a booster seat to see out the window. Can't be depressed by the weather else wise now can he?
I think I'm doing fairly well for myself so far, but there's one thing I've been worried I'll mess up.

Fight scenes.

Specifically, how to make them not suck?
>>17694
Don't be explicit and let the reader draw his own image in his head. Use your vocubulary. Certain words just carry a stronger impact. This is a fight, right? Use impactful sentences and structure. Spice it with some exposition and detail. Make it serve more of a purpose than just a resolution to a fight.

Bad:
"Reimu swung her left fist at Marisa, trying to knock the witch off-balance with her hook. Marisa saw it coming. She countered by raising her off arm to block Reimu's fist and then raised her right leg to knee Reimu in the gut, before letting the shrine maiden keel to the floor."

Good
"Reimu swung a hook at Marisa, trying to push her rival off-balance, but the black-white witch blocked the incoming hit with her arm, grunting in pain from the shrine-maiden's haymaker, as she pulled the miko forward and drove her knee into Reimu's gut with a satisfying slam. The witch couldn't help but feel smug as the other girl keeled over, face first, to the wet grass."
>>17682
>Realize that anything you will write has been written before, in some form.
>Have fun writing how you think the story could have gone instead.

Uh, that two is kinda contradictory since by doing number two, you will avoid number one since, y'know, the plot differs.

>>17686
Who says you're their intended audience?
>>17685
>you must pander to THP's taste
Reminds me of that one guy who keeps saying "THP culture".
>>17697
>THP
>Culture
>Can't seem to the find any mention of the word "Lacks" where it should be.
>>17698
"THP lacks culture"?
>>17697
It's not pandering, and it's not just about THP's taste. One of the most basic rules of effective public performance of any kind is to know your audience, and tailor what you do accordingly. It doesn't matter if it's an internet fanfic, a PowerPoint presentation, or a standup comedy routine you're doing, you won't get far if you're not doing that.
>>17700
Isn't that what pandering means? Catering to the taste of your audience?
>>17701
It does, but pandering implies a negative connotation, as if you're lowering the quality of something to meet the lowest common denominator.
>>17702
>>17701

More than that, pandering is typically used to refer doing things to appease or gratify especially base desires/urges, or doing so in a way that is meant to be self-serving. There's a reason the word has associations with both politics and prostitution.
>>17705
>doing things to appease or gratify especially base desires/urges

Romancing Touhous.
>>17707
>doing things to appease or gratify especially base desires/urges


Killing Touhous.
>>17708
You sick fuck.
>>17708
>doing things to appease or gratify especially base desires/urges

Updating your story.
>>17710
>doing things to appease or gratify especially base desires/urges

Finishing your story.
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17713
>>17712
Why would I finish my story if I can move on to the next, better one? Come on, it's a no-brainer.
>>17713
I know you're joking I hope, but nevertheless I want to point out to the rest of writers here that this mentality is one of the main causes of many dropped stories all over the site. In case it wasn't clear enough.

That's it, Captain Obvious signing off.
>>17714
Never start anything, ever.
>>17715
This guy knows his shit.
>>17715
I'll be taking this advice to heart.
Dear new writers,

Please don't title your stories X in Gensokyo. It implies you've only read old stories. This isn't the only reason however. All of the X in Gensokyo titles blend together after a while. Ctrl-F in the story list gets 48 hits for the words "in Gensokyo". Fourty-Eight. Or, about 25-30 stories, plus spinoffs. That is an absurd number. You won't stand out from the herd or be noticed with a name like that.

Beyond that, naming your story as such displays a lack of imagination. Your story's name should be more than just what the protagonist is. You need to put some thought into your title. Names have power. They have the power to serve as eyecatches and garner new readers. So please come up with a good name. Or a good acronym at least.
Uhh, to people who are planning to write longer stories, try to present a variety of different tones. Some examples would be RaAN, A Fairy's Tale (Owen said this himself) or FoM (Lion used three distinct perspectives to reach many of these), and probably Being Meiling (only read the first 2 threads) for a slice of life example. As much as I squee over Gensokyoland Saga and Palingesia, I found myself bored in the back of my mind towards the latter 2/3rds because there was similiar situations, mindsets, and tones which the stories kept returning to. Spending a wall to paint an image that's already been painted, with only nominal plot advancement, is a waste of good effort and reader time. Keep parallel situations brief, and devote the bulk of words to show what's different this time and advance the story.

To Ballista, Tainted Bonds is one of the longer ongoing stories, and there should be no shortage of fights scenes in the future. About that. While d&d is delicious, make sure you show why each fight is important somehow to the story. The implications of said fights will have a far longer lasting impact than the fights themselves.

>>17726 Begin with an end in mind. Always.

A random observation. While rereading Fragmentations of memories, I realized Sanae is an instant emotional hook at the beginning. She's introduced as a virtually undislikable character. What's interesting is that the emotion is based on d'awwwwwww'ing instead of tragedy or attraction based. She is a child that is mature for her age, but doesn't share any the usual anime loli traits (super intelligent, haughty/high class, have some super power and is "fighting", tsundere). It makes for a somber but sweet tone. Similar is the character of ASSM's Cirno. She's the adorable fairy that's trying to grow up. Both of these "cute" characters end up involved in the fighting (I believe), but because it only happens scarcely and it's obvious things are serious when that happens, the scene is not cheapened even though anime commonly use this trope to death.
>>17747
Speaking of RaAn, is there any way to read it nowadays?
>>17748
Yup.
http://www.mediafire.com/download/2da389iqedbdw9w/others_RaAN_01-08.zip

I don't know why the author requested the story taken down. Maybe he didn't want people to suffer a dropped story?
>>17749

I've only heard rumors, but within those rumors, I heard that the author had some bad blood with either his readers or the site as a whole, and requested the story's removal as a slight against the people he didn't like. He left the site altogether soon afterwards.
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>>17726

I don't know about that. A good title can certainly be the capstone on a fine novel, but I think their importance is over-rated given the CYOA format and all the pitfalls and caveats of it. It pales in comparison to the importance of the opening post - even the opening sentence. And it's significantly better then those anime-ish story names; "Psychedelic Tripping in Ballzang Phantasmgoria" and shit, which leaves you with absolutely no fucking clue what's going on in the story. At least those "X in Gensokyo" titles are clear and to the point; they convey the basic story question, the premise, flat-out. And yes, this is a fucking touhou fanfiction site, a lot of these stories start out with no premise beyond "X in Gensokyo." God knows I didn't (and soon came to regret not finishing my plot before I started writing.) From my own experience I can say its vital to get that first story done, even if its just "X in Gensokyo." The experience from that is vital to make the next story something really worth reading, and then the title will be more nuanced, naturally, because the writer is thinking in more nuanced terms.

Or, to put it a different way: a good title can help, yes, but for a new writer it'll probably just be a fancier wrapper on the same shit (much like a Final Fantasy sequel.) If you want the newbies to aim higher from the get-go, (or the newbies themselves do, if they're reading this) then its best to tell them that "X in Gensokyo" as a premise is woefully insufficient for making a real good story. That's because you need a character, not a cardboard cutout, to be thrust into Gensokyo to make it work. Like that story that just started up; "Gunslinger in Gensokyo." If it becomes "man with a gun in Gensokyo" it will fall flat on its face. There's nothing to explore there. But if its about a gunslinger, the figure of mythic Westerns and all that implies, that's much, much different. It comes pre-packaged with themes and tones and implications - and you can take that classic example of Western mythos and fling it headlong at Gensokyo, which is distilled Eastern mythos and watch as the sparks fly; laugh at the clashes and develop the strong parallels (the Wandering Samurai and the Wandering Gunslinger are very similar archetypes with very similar themes, after all.) That's what you have to think about when you sit down to write a story - what do you want to evoke? Do you want a sweeping allegory for this or that? Do you want to explore the journey of one person from boyhood to manhood? Or is at about an experienced man struggling to save himself from his own past mistakes before its too late? These deeper themes are the story. They mean something. And if you've got them in mind, you can write multi-leveled fiction almost without trying - dumbass shenanigans in cutesy fantasy-land on the surface, but with serious themes running under the surface.

And with those in mind, your title almost writes itself. Suddenly you'll find yourself wanting a title speaking directly to what your story is about, not the costume the lead wears. And if your story is about everything that archetype symbolizes, then go for the "X in Gensokyo" title. The proof, after all, will be in the writing. And when people are browsing the story list years afterwards, its not the title that will attract or repel them, it'll be the (finished) tag on the end.
>>17765
the title thing wouldn't be so problmatic if there wasn't 9,001 dead stories that are titled "_____ in gensokyo" made by newbies trying to copy the classics (and failing).

Though it pales compared to being in /th/ in terms of being a kiss of death as AWiY is an exception in the sea of mediocrity (if not worse). it's a fly trap from the absolutely least talented writers, most of which without a clue what to do with the freedom /th/ gives.

Back to the title thing, "A Wizard is you" says "Wizard in Gensokyo" but creatively done so, that combined with the first post does what many XiG wannabes cannot: attract readers.
>>17769
>the title thing wouldn't be so problmatic if there wasn't 9,001 dead stories that are titled "_____ in gensokyo" made by newbies trying to copy the classics (and failing).

I think, and this could just be me, that this isn't nearly as problematic as you're trying to make it out to be. Yeah, sure, "_______ in Gensokyo" isn't exactly a creative title, but so what? Using the search function on the story list brings up only twenty-eight stories with a title like that, and of those there are seven that have had at least one completed run, and an additional two that are classified as shorts or one-shots. Considering this is from a list consisting of several hundred stories, at least, and spanning more than five years, I am really having troubling seeing how you can consider a dozen or so stories having similar and uninspired names to be anything close to an actual problem.

Besides that, using the same search function on the story list brings up about eighty stories with no title whatsoever. Eighty stories. Last time I checked, that is a bigger number than twenty-eight. Why are you not also complaining about that? No matter how boring a "Protagonist/Action/Reference in Gensokyo" title may be, at least it's more than nothing.
How to force oneself to write? And should a writer write even when he/she doesn't feel like it?
>>17784 The oldest trick. Sit down and devote at least 15 minutes to writing everyday. If sentences are out of wack, if ideas are not the way you want them, still write.
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17786
>>17784
Ya some kinda baby?
Anyone have a character they prefer to write about?

Anyone they least prefer to write about?
>>17790
I never liked writing about the gaphag.
Can formatting [bad or good] make or break a story on this site?

Long Walls of Text vs divided into short paragraphs for instance.

Gratuitous usage of bb codes and zalgo when applicable is also another one.
>>17793

I was literally about to ask how to properly format with this tiny message box.
>>17794
Write it in a text editor, and copy and paste it into the text box.

Some browsers also let you drag the bottom right corner of the text box to make it bigger.
>>17790
I kind of hate writing Eirin or Yukari. Anytime something happens it feels like a cop-out if they solve the problem but it brings up the question of why they don't get involved if they don't show up to solve the problem.
>>17790
I'd prefer to write about:

Shou, Nue, Utsuho, Kokoro, Flandre, Remilia, Mima, Cirno, and Seiga. I really like most of them and feel I could write them well.
Mystia never gets any love, so there's that in addition to the previous reasons.
Most any character I end up writing gradually becomes one I love.


Sort of in the on the fence:

Nue is incredibly frustrating to pin down a personality for, but is highly enjoyable otherwise. Same for any character I can't get a clear picture in my head of.
I don't feel I could do Satori justice.


I'd prefer not to write about:

Any characters I strongly dislike. I worry my negative bias would compromise the character.
Sanae, Alice, or any similar character I worry the readers might be tempted to drop everything to waifu.
Moonsues and Eiki, both for reasons of personal taste and for their relative isolation from other characters. There are too many characters I'd like to writ to hamstring myself in this way.
>>17798

I used to have characters I didn't like, but it seems like I can like anyone if I put some thought into it and come up with a few things I like about them. That was a great realization.

Komachi's a lot of fun for me, but I'd like to write Miko and/or the Watatsukis someday. I have a lot of respect for them.
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17800
I liked writing:
‣ Mokou

I loved writing:
‣ Satori

I’m not sure about writing:
‣ Reimu

I kinda liked writing:
‣ Renko

I’d like to write:
‣ Youmu
‣ Akyu

I’d love to write:
‣ Futo

I want to give more THP-time to:
‣ Miko

I’d love to give my dick to:
‣ Everyone


I disliked writing:
‣ Yuuka

I feel squeamish about writing:
‣ Yukari

I despise writing:
‣ Marisa

I absolutely despise writing:
‣ Alice

I absolutely, utterly and irrevocably despise writing:
‣ Anyone SDM (there is place for only one vampire in my heart and it is not a self-important, pitifully-winged, infantile, vampiric poseur)

I never wrote:
‣ UFO crew

I would absolutely grind her into the ground if I wrote:
‣ Byakuren

I prefer my personal reinterpretation of written:
‣ Kaguya (motherly Kaguya to be precise)

I have no feelings whatsoever for writing:
‣ MoF crew

I have even less feelings, negative on the feelings scale, an emotional singularity for writing:
‣ Moonsues

I have a silly dream of writing:
Alex Mercer in Gensokyo oh wait that’s not a Tohu
>>17797
Break them. Show them that they're not all-powerful.
>>17801
Break them how?
>>17797
Sounds like you're not that good of writer if you only see those two as plot devices and not actual falliable characters.
>>17803
I think it has less to do with writing capability and more to do with character perception. The threshold required to break the "not complete bullshit" barrier involving those two is significantly higher than other characters thanks to their characterization in the fandom.

A writer can see the characters one way all he wants, but if that view isn't conveyed to the readers, all hope is lost. I mean, sure, that basically means "be a better writer" but, uh...Nyeh.
>>17807
That isn't exactly true though it doesn't help most people tend to use these two more as plot devices than actual characters.
>>17800 I like how the image completely changes the tone of the post.
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>>17800
If you want to write Youmu so much and like Rising so much, then why the fuck aren't you writing this?
I would like to ask of a question: How would you make a writing with many characters still engaging? I find it difficult to do that sort of writing without making it sound too turn-based. Currently I've been given feedback that I am using too many pronouns, but I just cannot find a way to circumvent that without accidentally confusing the characters.

Thanks in Advance!
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17825
>>17821
>"From your perspective, it will seem as though the enemy is frozen in time, or at least, moving very slowly."

Sakuya would fit Blade Mode better than anything Youmu does.
>>17825
Wrong. Sakuya actually stops time. Youmu, however, is able to move so fast as to slow down time during her attacks (at least in PCB). Thus that's another reason Youmu would work.
>>17826
Youmu doesn't do rapid highspeed slashes though, she does single, powerful ones.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKein_Mkp2Q
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>>17821
>I hear only one in fifty house servants can cover 200 Yojana in One Slash. Guess I’m a two-percenter, huh.
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>>17825
Yeah no. Not even close.
>>17826 is dead on; >>17827 is just arguing silly semantics.

>>17829
That's something, at least, but not enough.

>>17828
And you! Give a real answer!
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17833
So if both Sakuya and Youmu make a decent Raiden analogue, who would be this magnificent fucker?
>>17833
hard to tell considering Sundowner's basically a bully that likes things lopsided in his favor. Who would that be in touhou though?
>>17835
Gapbitch.
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17838
>>17833
>All we’re sayin’ is… GIVE LOVE A CHANCE!
>>17835
>>17836

He was also more or less honest and unapologetic about his motivations and goals. Gaphag doesn't quite make the cut.

>>17838
This though, I could get behind.
How to retcon any mistakes that you've written before?
>>17865
Ignore them and pretend they don't exist.

Take advantage of vague wordings to spin it in another direction.

Say "I fucked up" and retcon that shit like magic with the power of god.
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17869
>>17865
Believe it or not, unless a detail is practically screaming its importance or it's a major plot point that needs changing, most readers won't notice the change. This is due to two things:

The first factor is reader awareness. Readers don't know everything the writer knows, so they tend not to always pick up on things. In some cases though, the readers don't really pay that much attention to what they're reading. They won't indicate that they've noticed a plot point, or a lot of the extra things you put in. They don't seem to notice things like the titles you give your images, references, or whatever little details you put in. Generally, there's nothing you can do about this factor.

The second factor could maybe be called the writer time/reader time disconnect. Essentially, you as the writer probably think about your story almost all of the time. Readers meanwhile, mostly think about it while reading and commenting. While you might perceive an event as having happened four days ago in story, a reader might not remember it, as it was four months ago outside the story. To combat this disconnect, you can try something like having recaps with all the important points at the start or end of each thread. Being prepared for your readers only remembering details that occurred one thread ago is probably good. If you go on a lengthy hiatus, you may want to give a recap when you return as well.
>>17869
>To combat this disconnect, you can try something like having recaps with all the important points at the start or end of each thread.

Previously, on...
>>17870
Personally, I'm partial to the phrase "When we last left our intrepid heroes...".

But yeah, spinning them in a parody fashion could make recaps more interesting than simply adding to an ever expanding list of events.

Another good thing about recaps is that it refreshes the author's memory and helps to avoid contradicting oneself. Personally, I find myself checking back over my story with most updates, mostly to check which plot details have and have not been revealed.
Question.

How would you pace the speed of voters?
Variances between boards? (The difference between /th/ and /forest/ for instance)
Obviously there would be spikes on weekdays/common vacation time for Students but it can't be relied on.

I'd like to know before I bench a mystery based story that totally feels more and more unreasonable to run when I think about it.
>>17871
Teruyo does this for ToY. Each story post tends to start with a short sentence that reflects the chosen choice and past event. Far less obtrusive than "Previously on"
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>>17838
And Sam? You need to make him easy to hate but still likable at some level.
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>>17880
A strong vigilante from a long-running family of warriors who fights in a traditional style, who is also by circumstance pressured into associating with the “bad guys,” you say?
>>17880
Sakuya?
How should I handle timeskips? So far, my story's been taking a while to get past only a couple of days, but my next plot points are going to require weeks passing by with little happening. What's worse is that it's pretty hard to do the romance aspect with timeskips, since the whole point is to write out the things, both large and small, that show the protagonist and the lucky lady falling in love. Any advice?
If anyone would be so kind as to read through my writing and proofread it for me, since I have been told that I should get a proofreader for my stories.

http://pastebin.com/0N6fpnes

General opinions and changes to writing style gladly accepted.

(I am not sure of the 'proper' way to ask for proofreading, so yeah. Pardon me if I asked for it in a wrong way.)
>>17891
You could go to IRC and see if you get some help there.
>>17894

IRC pointed me here, so. . .
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17896
>>17891
Yeah, you do need a proofreader. Lots and lots of awkward phrasing and weird stuff here. Is english a second language?

I think this'll be good practice for me, so I'll try for a write-up by tomorrow.
>>17897

I am just more proficient with Chinese. English is a first language in the education system in my country; I happen to not be good at it.

Thank you for helping me, kind Anon.
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17899
>>17886
I suppose Sakuya would fit as a rival/mentor for Miss Lightning Bolt as far as showing her what it means to be a true swordsman servant.

Then again,
>bringing knives to a swordfight
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17900
>>17887
Ya gotta think fast and write faster.
When making time shifts you need to remember that its purpose is to allow the readers to make connections of causality and irony between widely separated events. You can touch on the events that happened during that span of time, but you'd do better plopping us in where the heart-throbbing adventures take place.

Fiction nowadays is given to 'naturalizing' operations of memory, either through a representation of a character's stream of consciousness or a reminiscence of a character-narrator. The former would have a character shifting in monologue from one phase of their life to another. I don't know which you're doing in your story so I can only jab at possible approaches. If you are shooting for the third person I'd recommend doing a back n' forth, where you move the reader through current and past events in a frequent time shift. what this accomplishes is calling attention to to the artificial construction fo the text instead of the temporal shift or the thoughts of the central character.

>>17891
Skimmed it but I can offer you this much: stay the hell away from to be verbs, those things are poison when you drop them in that much. Also, cut back on your sentence length, I'm catching a lot of phrase that can be pared to at least half their length. Brevity is good,is holiness, is our time spent reading what could've been said in fewer words. As for style, I think yaffers mentioned some good points on the unexpected in the last thread. Can't be bothered to link right now. Good style comes with time buddyboy, keep at it.
>>17900
Fuck my trip.
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17904
MEMORIES BROKEN
THE TRUTH GOES UNSPOKEN
I'VE EVEN FORGOTTEN MY NAME
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17905
>>17904
She's recieved a lot of love recently, didn't she? Little Soldier Lost, Gensokyo's Public Enemy, Learn Music with Sacchin, and someone's talking about her in the Story Ideas thread. Quite impressive for a character who isn't even supposed to exist.

Also, this "shit"threading should go in the Rage Thread if you asked me, but don't mind me.
>>17898
http://pastebin.com/VRAh6aE8
There it is. I got lazy towards the end, but I think I got the worst of it and typos out at least. I was a little hesitant to rewrite too much.
For each line I copied the original line, rewrote it and added an observation.

I'd put a big disclaimer here about how I'm a bad writer, don't really know much and all that stuff, but I think we're all a little sick of writer self-flagellation. So instead I'll post with my name so you can go "Oh, it's this ponce. I can ignore anything he says about writing since his story is shite." If that's how you feel.
>>17909

Although I decided to rewrite the chapter in the end, I do thank you for the comments that you have given. It's nice to have someone walk me through the mistakes, so I can correct them. Thank you!
>>17754
Oh hai, I just scrolled down.

>completely dropping phrases like "you think" or "you remember;" since such phrases are naturally absent in our own day-to-day self-narrations
Which is exactly what you should be doing when “breaking the mould.” It’s a good method you suggest here: thinking of the most common phrases you’d use in communication (which is what you’re doing when telling a story to other people) and not using them no matter what. These kinds of self-restriction will, hopefully, get your brain working on more creative (i.e. not already-registered and ready-made) phrasings, spicing up your narrative. It’s a simple, yet effective, way of putting it; I have no idea why I failed to summarise it as that in my long-arse wall of a post.

>After reading that bit in /shorts/, I really want to get back to experimenting with more novel syntax.
>novel syntax
I don’t know if you noticed, audience, but that was a pune, or play on words.
>>17919
Because you write better when you're doing short, terrible, faggoty sentences, a la "This Shrine"
I recently wrote an Alice short in /skirts/ rather /shorts/. I would like a review of ... nearly everything. I felt that /shorts/ is the most appropriate board to post that in, since I'd like to set-up a collection of Touhou-related shorts/monologues there. If I get good enough then maybe I'll start a CYOA, but I need to plan the whole thing first before starting.
Also, is the attitude that 'I am always not good enough' good for a writer or not?
Thanks.
>>17942
Yes and No. For example, the faggot above you has an ego approximately three times the size of Kaiba Corps' blimp, yet manages to write excellent stories. Consistently hating your work and doubting yourself will make you hate writing itself until it becomes a chore, and that's when you'll quit.

My 2- cents. Don't worry about Anon, don't worry about how good it is. Just write it, and post it. And keep doing it, because you enjoy it, and because you're having fun. Interact with voters etc. but do it for yourself and no one else. That's what I believe made all the older stories you keep seeing referenced so successful. The authors weren't trying to write a serious novel, it was for fun, writing things and seeing Anon's react and talk about it. HLA comes to mind, if you've ever talked to him, you can tell Patch enjoys writing lewd things and routing towards lewd things.

Improvement? Good writing? It'll come with experience. YAF over there was a shitty writer when he started. "This Shrine" is archived proof. Except now he's gotten to the point where Deme of AWiY was fucking stunned and left wondering exactly when YAF's writing had changed.

<%Demetrious> this mofo, he's got voice
<%Demetrious> I loved hawthorne's imagery and shit. He just needed to be, you know, more concise with it
<%Demetrious> it felt like watching a beautiful ship trying to sail through molassas

Same thing goes for Teruyo. Deluge of Lunar Fantasy, especially the first few threads, was terrible.
DEFT was much better. Glass Half Empty was a great improvement in storytelling and pacing. Theater of Youth is the best work he's done and the only thing he's currently writing/hiatusing.

And for Deme as well. SWQ starts off much poorer than AWiY. Same thing for Winged Ikaros (he scrapped his story in /eientei/ and restarted it. It's much better this time), for FactorialSalsa (Thread 1 of Animating is much poorer than the current threads.), for Rabbit (His older detective story can't compare to Three Favors) and even Keymaster.

Guess this Demequoterious semi-quoting Card is the best advice:
<%Demetrious> Orson Scott Card himself said writers ahve to simultaniously believe their writing is great, and awful

Final thought. Abandon the story once you get bored with or just can't write anymore. I know Anon harps about stories dying, but if you as a writefag, just can't keep it up, cut the loss and move on to a new story. The only absolute is that you can't stop writing.
>>17942
>Also, is the attitude that 'I am always not good enough' good for a writer or not?
Allow me to rephrase your questions. Will a nigga who hates his work have a high old time doing it? Will a nigga who hates a thing engage willingly in the thing which he hates in his spare time? The answer is: “Aw, heeeeell, naw.” It’s both healthy and logical to like what you’re doing as a hobby; only an insane man does with his free time what he heartily despises. You should like your writing. What’s more, because you like it, you should be most interested in working to improve it. It’s not a matter of being bad and thinking you need to improve. It’s a matter of being good and wanting to be even better.

Look at me; many mistake my confidence for arrogance, but that’s not what it is. It is only that – confidence. I know exactly what kind of ground I’m standing on. I know what I can do well, and more importantly, what I cannot. This allows me comfortable freedom when I am moving about in familiar environments, and to be carefully attentive when I’m treading on more shaky terrain. And to be a generally very happy and practical person, but that’s beside the point.

Also I read a lot of books.


The key, my honorary black gentleman person, is to know yourself and like what you do. You can’t expect me to like your work if you yourself despise it. Nor will any of your readers.
>>17944
>Also I read a lot of books.
Every 2nd post. What do you read YAF? And make it as long as the rest of your rants.

But I would love if if you were to just ignore me and use that time to write.
>>17945
There’ll be an update tonight, don’t you fret. I’d originally planned on posting the one from this morning yesterday night, but my wifi ran out of oxygen and exploded.

Anyway, here’s what I’m in the process of reading at the moment:

 ※ Merde Happens – which is part of a series about a Britishman’s mishaps in France and near. Cheap, light comedy with a whiff of autobiographic self-inserting from the author. Re-reading.
 ※ Fulgrim – UUUUUEAARRRUUUGGHHRRTFFFFF. Part of the Horus Heresy series that I’ve reached and have been stuck at for YEARS now. I’m wearing it down little by little. WHY?
 ※ Metro 2033 – the English translation. Hilariously bad for western standards. The best part is I can see the typical themes and phrasings characteristic for Slav teenage fiction (that I used to read a lot when I was a wee-er kid), but translated so directly into English they become awkward instead of intriguing.
 ※ The Book Thief – a story of an adopted Jewish girl in the turmoils of World War II. Narrated by Death. Yes, that guy. It is from this book that I nicked the “narrator aside in quirky format” shtick that I used in the Gensokyo Delenda Est series of shorts.
 ※ Lord of the Rings series – re-reading. Will probably re-read Silmarillion again next. Or Hurin’s Children, that I bought thinking it was something more than just the appropriate chapters from Silmarillion re-released as a separate book.
 ※ A Dance with Dragons – re-reading.
 ※ How to Analyze People on Sight – psychology stuff.
 ※ What every BODY is Saying – more psych.
 ※ Perdido Street Station – HY recommended this to me and I’m trying it out again after getting turned off of it the first time.

Also I’m getting ready to tackle the Ciaphas Cain (HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!) series. Of the recently finished things, I really, really liked the Black Magician/Traitor Queen trilogies by Trudi Canavan. That was some rather simple, but really engaging stuff.
I remember YAF mentioning not writing a story until you have an idea about a beginning, middle, and ending.

I'm curious: by middle do you mean the story's climax?
>>17947
That's my problem. I already know the start and the end, but I can't find enough materials for the middle.
>>17946
>>17946

> all of that.

You seem like a quick reader.

Is that thing about cutting out subvocalization and just looking at the words without reading it really true?
>>17949
>You seem like a quick reader.
Not entirely. I am a quick reader when I do read, but my problem is easily being distracted by other activities. Too many beautiful days I would rather spend on a bike than sit around reading books. That’s why I do most reading in winter, even though I am usually busy with work or school then. That’s why, despite reading fast, I don’t do, say, a book a week or something as impressive.
>Is that thing about cutting out subvocalization and just looking at the words without reading it really true?
Absolutely. Actually, when I read, I really have to consciously and forcibly push my mind to “vocalize” the words (which I do when I encounter an unfamiliar or an interesting one); otherwise my eyes just slide along the lines and my mind constructs the meaning quite automatically. Then again, I have been reading for 21 years now (as a child I picked up reading much sooner than my peers; I read a shitton of Donald Duck comics from magazines), so it might be just an experience thing.

>>17947
>I'm curious: by middle do you mean the story's climax?
Yes and no. Of course, in the crawling stages of writing your story you will want to know what your story is progressing toward, meaning, in most cases, the climax, the prime twist, the reveal, etc. This is important, actually; your story will progress best when it is constantly going toward something. The way I’ve always dealt with that was deciding on a few scenes I wanted to write, then worked toward those while padding the rest with whatever came to my mind or was otherwise appropriate. I wasn’t always going toward the great climax, but rather smaller, more numerous milestones. That way I was always motivated to write (because I wanted to get at the next milestone scene already), and knew where my story was going (toward that milestone scene, duh).

You ever done those skeletal plans of mandatory readings in school? What I mean is pointing out the main-est points the story was going through, then between those points writing out more specific events; I have no idea what you English-speaking peoples call it. Anyhow, it’s kind of like that. Work from point to point. You’ll always know where you’re going, and you’ll still have enough flexibility to squeeze whatever comes to your mind at the last minute in between.
Anyone know how to get more attention for one's story?

Let's say that, theoretically, we have a newfag writing a story. Let's say that its on its second thread. Let's say that no one has said anything negative about the story within its thread. Let's say it still isn't hitting more than 5 votes on average.

What should said writer do? Beg the readers to tell him/her what's wrong? Flat out beg for more votes?
How do you portray a clusterfuck discussion/debate between a large group of people while keeping it readable?

The only thing I can think of would be something similar to a chatlog:

<PersonA> Which would look something like this.
<PersonB> but doesnt this look a little bit unreadable lol?
<PersonD> stpid chatter wud prubably b crosd out or spoilrd
<PersonC> It looks cancerous and is probably a horrible idea.

.. But I can't really think of anything better that doesn't end up with an overflow of "___ said/says" [and whatever synonym fits the statements] which leads to a huge wordcount.

Thoughts?
>>17952
Suck it up and find happiness in those five voters and improving your own writing.

I'm only half-kidding, unfortunately. You can look around for all the discussions on raising story awareness and site awareness and blah blah that have been around, but in the end people read what they find interesting and don't what they don't.

If you desperately want more votes, advertising is the only way to go about it. It doesn't matter how many cool and awesome changes you make, if it's not in the OP, nobody skimming by for a new story will notice.

If you do start spamming a link on IRC, other sites, friends, wherever, be prepared for the results. You might miss the times you had five loyal, supportive voters.
>>17952
cut the crap, which story is it? Honestly he'd be best coming here and asking what's wrong and getting some advice.

Let me guess, /th/ story right?
>>17955

Okay, maybe it was phrased badly. What I meant to say was how do you get the readers to criticize problems when they do not do so proactively. As in the author wants to improve but cannot find a way to.
>>17956
teruyo is that you?
>>17956
Ask, as if it's not "What the fuck is Meta Knight doing here?" awful, most will not say a thing as they accept the flaw. They didn't come here to be a story critic after all.
>>17954
>Suck it up and find happiness in those five voters and improving your own writing.
You. I like you.
>>17943
>>17944
Thanks gentlemen.
Up until now I did not realize that thinking that you are good is always better than thinking that you are bad.
I had always loved writing, but I can't seem to know what my mindset should be. Now I know. Thanks.

Time for some more action.
Writing now.
> Up until now I did not realize that thinking that you are good is always better than thinking that you are bad.

I'm pretty sure this is the modus operandi that YAF follows. Sure worked out for him.

shots fired
>>17961
RAIN FIRE UPON US AND WE SHALL RETURN IT
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17963
>>17962

Here you go.
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17964
>>17963
YOU FIGHT WELL, MORA, BUT NOT WELL ENOUGH
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17965
>>17963
A rain is but the pitter-patter of nature; random, and indiscriminate. It cares not for a wanderer in the wild, and with no large quantity of skill he may dance through its droplets and come out dry on the other side. No, what is required is an avenue with a bit more skin in the game.
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17966
Since we're posting fire and fire-related images for some reason...

Anyway, a question on pacing, particularly time skips. I've seen these used a fair bit, occasionally successfully (can't think of an example at the moment), but most times when they happen it just doesn't seem to work.

As an example, Worm recently had a two year time skip, which occurred in the middle of a major battle. It felt rather like a book had ended mid-sentence, and it was so jarring that I read back over it several times trying to figure out what I was reading. It felt like I had accidentally picked up the sequel instead of moving to the next update.

With that in mind, I'd like to ask if anyone has ideas for how to use a time skip well.
>>17966

I’d say it depends on how much time you pass.

Let’s say we skip a day.
They way I’d do it is simply end the day like a usually would, by either going to sleep or “fade out” from the scene. Then start up again after the time skip.
Depending on the situation the indication of how much time passed can be placed either before or after.
Like if you were waiting for a smith to finish some work, you can say it’ll take so long to finish, then skip to the point where it’s ready.
Or if you’re waiting for Patchouli to finish preparing a spell, you can simply refer to the time passed like “It took a few days.” Or “After a day’s preparation it’s finished.”

Now, let’s try with skipping a month.
Since no major event worth writing about is going to happen in that time frame, I’d prefer to treat it as an end of a chapter. Preferably the end up the current update as well.
Then once you start the next update of the story, look back at the events that happened before the time skip, and at how much time that passed, maybe give a quick briefing about what happened, but no longer than 1 or 2 sentences.


My bottom line is:
Treat a time skip as an ending and a beginning.
That’s what I do anyway. It might not fit your style
>>17966
Well how long of a time-skip are we talking about here?
Like >>17900 mentioned it's more important to fill in the gaps piece by piece instead of just, like you said, blatantly pushing us so and so much time into the future and expecting our brains to understand the transition smoothly.

>>17967 Like he said, you'd do well treating those shifts as literary fade to blacks, makes it much easier on the reader and makes for more convenient scene-prepping.
Is the "~" acceptable in normal writing? I've seen it used quite a bit here, and I still have no idea what it means.
>>18010
It means whatever they're saying is super kawaii uguu~ sounding.

Don't use it.
>>18010
That's called a "tilde". In most other languages it's an accent mark placed above a letter, but in Japanese it can be used as a punctuation. The formal use of a tilde is to indicate a range of things, like an en dash in English (4:00〜6:00 means "From 4:00 to 6:00"), or to separate a title and a subtitle, like a colon in English (Breakin' 2 〜Electric Boogaloo〜). The informal use is to place it an the end of a sentence instead of a period, to denote a playful or sing-song voice ("Okay〜").

A tilde should not be used in formal English writing, both because it is a "slang" punctuation and because it is a Japanese punctuation. However, stories on this board are not exactly "formal" per-se, so writers will still tend to use them, and readers won't tend to chew them out for it.

Side note: Technically speaking, the punctuation mark used by the Japanese is actually the "wave dash", which is "〜", but since that's not on an English keyboard, it's faster for people to just use the tilde, which is "~".
>>18013
Don't forget, language adapts over time. If people start using ~ in formal English writing, I say more power to them.
If someone wanted to write about a Danmaku duel, would trying to write the battle similar to a dogfight (the plane kind) be too far fetched?
>>18016
No, but I wouldn't recommend it.
I can't remember reading a single rendition of danmaku that was compelling for as long as I've been in this site. If you really must, make it short.
I'm thinking of writing a 'prototype' version of a story that I want to start somewhen later, and want to see if the story will take flight. Is there some board that is like a 'testing grounds' where I can write something, and then get criticism, suggestions and see if it can take flight?
>>18017
This right here. If you want to do battles, do them like Hisoutensoku: a melee with a battle field prevents lethal damage and with danmaku as just a bonus.
>>18018
/shorts/
>>18019

Why are Danmaku duels so disliked on this site? Is it precisely because they don't translate well onto paper?
>>18021
Because writers can't just write them exciting enough.
>>18021
Okay, here's a danmaku battle from the games: at the start they fly around taking potshots at each other until a spellcard is declared. The declarer then makes some pretty bullet patterns that you can't really describe well in writing while the other touhou continues shooting until you say "oh no they got hit". The end.
Oh yeah, sometimes there's multiple spellcards and the writer struggles once again to tell us why they look pretty.

The fighting games offer a much more versatile perspective of what fights in gensokyo would be like.
>>18023
I dare say the core of the issue here is that danmaku battles are inherently not all that exciting. Myself, I wrote a danmaku sequence in one of my recent stories (though it was from a spectator’s PoV), and while I tried making it sound as powerful and awe-inspiring as possible, in the end it’s just danmaku. It isn’t lethal, it doesn’t pack a notable punch, it doesn’t smite your foes mightily as a hook in the jaw would.

Hence why most writers lean toward more physical confrontations.
>>18023
YAF beat me to it.
If you were serious, and I'll tell you to give it a shot, go look up Deme's Strike Witches Quest for planes, guess cute girls really, dog fighting in close quarters. There's plenty of books around that have similar subject matter, but I guess starting with Tom Clancy isn't a bad idea. Or watch Top Gun.

Summery: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sOcMFeWUsuM
>>18025

I'm actually pretty okay on the whole reading books front. Hell the reason I brought the whole thing up is that I'm reading Fighter Combat: Tactics and Maneuvering right now.

That and seeing a bunch of movies involving Dogfights made me wonder if I could translate a Danmaku duels into something similar. I know their not exciting for some people put Touhou was built on the whole thing. I'd feel like I'd be doing the series a disservice if I didn't include them.

Read Strike Witches Quest (both of em).
>>18025
If it’s about reading rap, I’m more partial to the “Credits” song of this video. http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/flash/kingdom

What the fuck has happened to Albinoblacksheep?
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18028
>>18024
Myself, I would say that you're misinterpreting the nature of "danmaku", and most likely confusing it with "spellcard duel", which seems to be pretty prevalent here. "Danmaku" literally means "curtain fire". It is by no means limited to spellcard duels, within and particularly outside Touhou. Lethality only makes a difference in spellcard duels, and it makes just as much of a difference in hand-to-hand spellcard duels as it does in danmaku spellcard duels and any other kind of hypothetical spellcard duel.

Some of the fights in (particularly recent parts of) Girl of Death might be called danmaku fights, as a matter of fact.

>>18026
Given that the majority of non-Touhou danmaku games are about fighter craft of some variety and in turn heavily inspired by airplane dogfights, I would say that that would probably be your best bet.
>>18028
Mistake recognised and admitted. Not helping that within Tohu games we never see a lethal kind of danmaku (PC-98 doesn’t exist). Even Sakuya’s knives are neutered.
>>18029
even in PC-98 there wasn't really any lethal attacks. It makes me think that the spell card rules merely formalized non-leathal Danmaku on a wide scale. If Danmaku in PC-98 was lethal then why is Marisa still alive?
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18031
>>18030
> If Danmaku in PC-98 was lethal then why is Marisa still alive?

Who says she is?
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18032
>>18030
This can be resolved with only the player characters not shooting to kill in the first place. Since Reimu tended to seal problematic youkai in the earlier PC-98 games, this makes sense. Getting shot down is pretty much the same as getting shot down in any other video game, so whether the fluff says Reimu or Marisa would die or not then doesn't make much difference with regards to what we'd see in the game.

>>18029
It occurs to me that the only draft of spellcard rules we've seen says absolutely nothing about killing things that aren't human, Reimu and others have used lethal force against Fujiwara no Mokou, and most of Great Fairy Wars is made up of fairly explicitly lethal spellcard combat involving entities that do not die when they are killed.
>>18032

. . . Is the Strongest gonna have to choke a bitch?

. . I am SO sorry.
>>18032
>Reimu and others have used lethal force against Fujiwara no Mokou
Where?
>>18034
In their only canon fight, during the 'test of courage' after Kaguya's defeat.
>>18035
I mean the dialogue.
>>18038
Near the end of the dialogue with Mokou:

>Mokou: Don't go thinking I'm some ordinary human.

>I won't die. I'm completely unable to die.
>Thanks to that lousy Kaguya.

>Yes, no matter how hard she tries to eliminate me,
>it won't do her any good at all.

>She knows that, and she still sends you messengers.
>This cannot get any more annoying.

>Yukari: Look, Reimu.
>You missed another opportunity.

>Reimu: I still don't quite get it.

>But if she won't die, that means
>I can go all-out on her, right?

Reimu goes "all-out" on Mokou. Then, in the battle itself, Mokou visibly dies and resurrects every time one of her spellcards is broken.
>>18039
Eh, I've never interpreted "all-out" that way, since, y'know, she's still attacking the same way as usual.
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18041
>>18040
Later:

>Mokou: Ohhh man.
>You're too strong...

>Yukari: Wow, look, she's still alive.
>She really can't die, huh?

>Reimu: I'm seriously surprised. It looked like
>she was about to die a bunch of times.

>Mokou: Ow, ow! I won't die, but it still hurts~.

It seems that lethal grade shot looks just like normal shot. Or possibly that's an abstraction for the sake of gameplay.

Can we stop discussing the particulars of spellcard duels and go back to talking about how to write them, though? This thread seems to be comparable to this train engine at the moment.
>>18041
> Off_the_Rails
I don't mean to take away from the "how2writebulletduel" but...

on that note.

Railroading, why is it looked upon as a bad thing?

is there good railroading and bad railroading?
>>18042
Because the subgenre of fanfiction we have in this site is called CYOA: 'Choose your own adventure' Emphasis on 'choose'.
If our choices are not gonna have consequences, then why having choices at all?
>>18046
Because no one goes to /shorts/.
>>18048
...point taken.
>>18042
Railroading is a rather divisive issue. With no railroading, you get pretty much a sandbox style story. Full railroading, you might as well not even be writing a CYOA. Your best bet is to find a balance.

Now, I'm sure there are people who will say all railroading is bad. The thing they don't realize is that pretty much every story is railroaded to some extent. Even a story with a branching plot is designed by the writer. The writer gives the choices the readers can chose from (write ins are an exception).

The important thing is not being blatant about it. The absolute worst thing you can do is give a choice where every option has the same result. You might be able to get away with it for good outcomes, but if every option seems to screw the readers over, the readers will be furious.

Additionally, you tend to get a pass if you write well enough. The really well liked writers tend to have a bit more leeway with what they can do before people complain.

Overall, the writer mostly writes what they want to, but if readers don't feel they have input, don't count on having them.
Mmmm hard to take the battle dialogue exactly seriously considering how the same game had Mystia supposedly eaten. That and actually killing someone would have a good deal more blood splatter than fancy magical effects.

Either that or Mokou intentionally forsake the protective effects somehow.

>>18050
exactly and some structure is needed lest anon drive the train off the bridge, which has happened at least once in the site's history.
>>18052
>Mystia supposedly eaten

The scary thing is, some fanfics actually take that seriously.
>>18052
>That and actually killing someone would have a good deal more blood splatter than fancy magical effects.
And Mario jumping on various enemies would as well, significantly more than magic bullet wounds. It's a video game, and a cute one at that. Blood would be off-key.

This also applies to writers. Suddenly adding graphic violence to something that is otherwise mostly a cute-type story has a strongly dissonant effect.

Mystia, meanwhile, was on a six-hour buffet table alongside a bug, a beast, a moonbird, and in FinalB, a dragon. Or rather, everything in that regard seems to have been part of an extended bout of Yuyuko-brand obfuscating silliness and metaphor. Reimu, however, had no such running gag, and seemed much more straightforward than Yuyuko about the whole thing.
>>18050
Would you say it's more about the finish, or how you get there?
>>18053
I took it literally.
I thought they had sex.....
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18058
>>18056
That would be taking it metaphorically. That is exactly the opposite of taking it literally, even though it might be taking it seriously.
I'm not entirely sure this falls underneath the boundaries of the writing advice thread, but what the hell it's worth asking.

I'm a writefag with a dropped story from a few years back. Looking back on it, all I can see is how much a good chunk of it sucked, no small part to how I was just winging it the whole time without an inkling of planning, amongst a bunch of other problems. Anyway, I want to give it another go, this time with an actual plot in mind and everything.

I suppose my question is, would people want to wade through the rewritten parts up to the part where voting actually happens?
>>18060
If you made it interesting enough, probably. Since you're remaking it, it probably won't be exactly the same, right? I guess it depends on how much old ground you're treading over. If you add in new elements and content along the way, I'm sure you can make it engaging.
>>18061

I appreciate the advice, thanks. Yeah, I'd engage in some hardcore editing and merging and all sorts of things to make it flow better.

The main reason I asked the question, though, is that the old ground comes to about forty-four thousand words. Probably would have helped if I hadn't forgotten that in my first post, yeah.
>>18060
what story are you talking about?
>>18063

I'd rather not say. That way I don't get any hopes up.
>>18060
If you think you're capable of handling choices after catching up without a drop in quality, I don't see why you wouldn't be capable of handling voting from the restart.
When would it be considered “okay” to abandon a story?

In the last few weeks the amount of votes on my story has decreased quite a lot, which I can only assume is because they didn’t like it. It has left me unmotivated and ready to abandon the story.
>>18066

New stories get a lot of attention because anon isn't sure about where it's going to lead and whether it's going to hook them in. Eventually anon gets accustomed to its presence and you'll be left mainly with the voters who you hooked in from the start and the occasional passing new voter.

If you honestly like what your story is about, but you're contemplating dropping the story simply because you have fewer voters, consider this - how are you going to get better? (Well, unless you're deciding to wash your hands of writing completely, in which case we're sorry to see you go, but hey, maybe it's not for you.) You might step down thinking to try again later, but unless you can guarantee that you can improve sometime between now and later, your next work whether it's here or somewhere else will likely be of similar quality - and perhaps meet a similar fate. I'd personally suggest powering on while simultaneously studying how to generate attention: simple but divisive choices (waifu wars), for example, are more likely to get you votes than seemingly unimportant ones.

However, it is possible your story just got off on the wrong foot. Maybe this story you started is a pile of random events and shenananaigans without any real unifying theme or thread, because you started off with a mere skeleton of an idea and started irreversibly posting up from that unsteady start. Now you want to write something with a more unified plot, theme, or characterization, and you can't really assemble anything on top of the jumble that's what you currently have. In that case, as much as I hate to see stories die, I'd advise announce the story's discontinuation in favor of your new one, and start writing your more planned out story.
>>18066
What story do you write by the way? I ask as well it'd be easy to pinpoint issues causing the voter drop.
>>18067
I see.
My case tips towards the later. And while I really don’t like admitting it, that’s basically how I started.

>>18068
I really don’t want to tell.

But I talked it over with my proofreader and the guy I usually talk things over with and we came up with some theories. And to sum it up:
>Don’t make yourself look like a weeaboo
>Have a general idea before posting
>Avoid making choice seem like they’re less than they actually are
>>18069

It's like putting down an old, cancer-pained dog. Sure, it had a good run, but it's become something that can't live healthily any more. A lot of stories start with the best of intentions but little expertise nor deep thought behind them, and then as time goes on their shaky foundations prove to be their undoing.

But you're smarter now - you're more experienced, and now that you've found you enjoy writing and getting votes and essentially participating on THP, you find that you're unsatisfied with how you started, however bold and brave it was in the past.

Another analogy might be a D&D character. You started with some janky pile of classes and feats and good ideas that as you started adding on levels showed its lack of thought in the building process more and more. Now you think you can do better, but you'll have to start again from the ground up - but this time, with all your former experience and knowledge of how the writing process goes.
>>18069
are you by perchance a /th/ writer?
>>18072
No. I've only voted on that board.
Opinions on letting anon choose the protagonist's name?
>>18113
Names give characters personality and individuality. A character with a name given by the author sets them apart from the self-insert "unnamed" protagonists. The fact that you're letting the readers pick their name implies you haven't given much thought about the protagonist's character in the first place. Mind you, that is not a bad thing. If you want your readers to put themselves in the protagonist's boots, then allowing them to name him/her makes for a better immersion - but they tend to forget its name fast unless you're constantly using it. I'd even go as far as to not name the character to allow the readers insert themselves in the story.

tl;dr It helps reader immersion, but difficults characterization.
>>18114
there's a risk with name choosing: naming the guy after some existing character then having the voters try to make the guy into that character.

most infamous example being Shirou from DoLF/LAE.
>The fact that you're letting the readers pick their name implies you haven't given much thought about the protagonist's character in the first place.

This is not necessarily true. Names do not necessarily have to have significance in literature, though often enough they do. Also see JRPGs/VNs where they often let you rename the main character. Characters can be very well fleshed out without having a specific name.

I think that any self-insertion and living vicariously through a character ultimately comes down to the type of character he is and his thought process. Well, and his actions. These are, after all, mostly interactive stories. A name is just a name what matters is how you approach the interaction with touhous. I've written stories both with the protagonist's name already decided and also where the readers decide it. My experience says that either way gets people into the story about equally.
Hey, I'm thinking about a CYOA and I'm a bit nervous. Any tips?
>>18120
Drink some tea and take valium.
>>18120
Get wasted, write a bunch of shit, post results.
>>18120
Enjoy yourself. I can't express this enough: if you don't even enjoy writing the thing you're writing, it will show in both your update frequency and quality. Make sure whatever you write, you like.

Make sure you plan a beginning, an ending, and a few "middle sequences." If you these planned, you have a general "skeleton" or direction that you can set towards. Just make sure you don't have these things so set-in-stone that Anon's votes would have little impact.

Good luck, and remember to have fun!
>>18120
Don't set your expectations too high. It should relax you and set you up for the likely results. That and it's hard to screw up so badly it kills your story.
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>>18120
If you're planning on starting a CYOA, there are a few things you should know.

First of all, your first story is probably going to suck. I'm not just being mean here, most first stories aren't very good. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule like Keymaster, Flanders, and Fell, but in general, first stories tend to go poorly. But that's okay, you're new at this. You'll learn from your mistakes and improve.

Now, there are several things you can do to help avoid failure. These are things every writer should probably try to follow:

First is Planning: You should have you beginning, a few middle scenes, and an end planned out in advance. Of course, that probably won't be the ending your readers pursue or get, so it's wise to have a few directions for the story to potentially go.

Your opening post is one of the most important posts you'll write, possibly even more important than the ending. It's what draws in readers more than anything else. This ought to be the most polished post you write. After all, you've got an infinite amount of time to work on it before posting since no one is waiting on it.

Second is Direction: You should always, ALWAYS, have an idea where your story is going. Directionless romps are fun and all, but they're unsustainable. You should always be working toward that next plot point. Make sure your readers have a clear goal to accomplish, even if they don't know how to do it yet.

Third is Momentum: Once you start a story, you need to keep at it. Set update deadlines and try your damnedest to meet them. Try to avoid hiatuses. Once you slow down, it's hell trying to catch back up. Yes, life will get in the way in the most frustrating ways possible. At times it will become almost impossible to write, but you need to at least make an effort of it.

Fourth is Flexibility: Your readers are going to do unexpected things and pick choices no sane, rational person would think to try. As the writer, you're going to have to know when to call them out on their shit and when to roll with the punches, so to speak. Sometimes your plans for the story come crashing down because the readers did something unexpected and either cause or solve a problem they weren't supposed to yet. You have to be able to improvise.

Finally, get a proofreader. Having someone else to look over your updates for mistakes is invaluable to most writers. Some are fine without one, but it's better to have one you don't need than to not have one and need them.

Oh yeah, and be willing to accept constructive criticism. People telling you that your story sucks can be ignored, but if they actually explain why, you might want to consider listening.
>>18120
Don't write for attention.

Easy words, hard practice. Everybody wants more readers. But once you learn that, nothing can stop you.
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>>18120
What ever you do, don't burn out! It sounds simple, but if you feel you're updating too much slow down a little. Your readers will understand and don't want you to suffer a breakdown because of an "Update everyday" kind of schedule.
Just a quick question.

In general, how’s a harem route looked upon, if it’s like the three prankster fairies or the Prismriver sisters, or any other group like that?
>>18221
It's difficult to pull off unless they come in a group (like your examples) 'Being Meiling' being the exception that proves the rule.
>>18221
>>18222
The First archetype of self did something similar though a nice chunk was Yukari's own harem that she decided to share.

But yeah it is tricky to pull off well, especially if you're aiming for something besides a typical "VN style harem route" which is generally has no story and why people are wary of it.
>>18222
>>18234
Well, my idea was an OC and Prismriver story. I just asked about the general to, well, get the general idea.

So the question is, any tips on writing harem?
Wait. Inb4 YAF
Any OTHER tips on writing harem than reading?
>>18267
Normal harems or special ones like the prismrivers?

If the latter, try to avoid favoring one over the other too much and consider how it'd affect their relationships.

If a more man-made one, perhaps consider a central girl that gets boosted a bit above the others just to provide structure.
>>18267

Well, my harem story is on /at/, but I might still be able to provide some insight.

Personally, I like to keep my characters dynamic. They won't stop growing once they join the harem, so it's good to always show how how they're reacting to the latest developments, and how they deal with each other in a variety of situations. Conflict within the harem can work well for this. If you can give all the characters legitimate character development, they'll seem like more than just notches on the MC's belt. Favoring a single one is probably a bad idea unless they've been routelocked.

If everyone lives together, it's also nice to focus on the little slice-of-life things. Who does the cooking, how they share the bathroom, conflicting sleep schedules, stuff like that. It makes the whole scenario seem more believable, and possibly more relatable as well.

Hope that helps.
err...total noob question? how do you post stories here? copy paste from MSword? or should i use other program? like notepad?
My ideal way to get into Gensokyo is smashing Yukari with A380 and then proceed to Kamikaze-ing Saigyou Ayakashi.
>>18360
Copying from word is how I do it. You just have to remember to tag any of the typefaces you want to use.
>>18360
Yep, most people copy+paste from Word or something like that. Also try Notepad++ (not MS notepad).
But when I tried to copy from Word all the paragraph,s gone and it turned into giant wall of text.
>>18364
Word will by default show extra space in-between the paragraphs. Use another line break and you should be fine.
>>18365
what? press enter twice?
>>18366
Yes.

Also keep in mind that indentation doesn't work.
>>18367
Unless you use alternative white space characters.

    You
          just
need
     to
                     get
           creative!
If you want to make sure you got the line breaks you want, you can always paste it in Notepad or something similar.

The message box on THP also allows for edits. (Duh)
To get a better view of the text, you can resize the message box.
So I noticed something about the stories here - at least, the ones with romance in them.

There's rarely, if ever, a rival suitor who's also wooing the Touhou the MC is. Usually, any stumbling blocks of the relationship are people who disapprove of the relationship, internal issues of the romance hero/heroine, or the simple growing pains of a new relationship.

This is a bit worrying, because I do plan to have a rival suitor for the ladies my readers are most interested in pursuing. Is there anything I should keep in mind about that? I'd usually read other works, but, well - there are very few of those.
>>18390
>Is there anything I should keep in mind about that?

Well the first thing that pops to my mind would be the fact that there will be multiple Main Characters (Don’t confuse with Protagonist).
The way I’d go about an idea like this would be to write the other MCs stories down as well. Depending on how you do things, it may either be in the story so we switch view, or in a separate document which you then could chose to post as a side story or keep to yourself and let anon figure out what the other parties did.
Another thing you should consider would be that each of their actions would affect the other more than a random no-name-NPC. This is why the above note seriously should be considered.

Imo. There hasn’t been a story like that because it’s more work than for the usual story.
>>18391

Er, that's not quite what I meant. I didn't mean that there would be two Outsiders persuing a Touhou, as much as...

Okay, for example: The main character is Hatate, and the story is about her newspaper and the slices of life that accompany the management.

The readers become romantically interested in Aya. Momiji is also interested in Aya.

Sparks begin to fly between Momiji and Hatate.

How would I write something like that, as opposed to two villagers/outsiders/random youkai falling in love with the same woman?
>>18392

I'm not >>18391, but I think his advice still stands. In every story, especially a slice of life, every character has its own agenda. How detailed it is depends on their importance on the plot. If you plan to introduce a rival (no matter if it's an OC or a toohoo) and have him/her antagonize the protagonist for the girl, then you should put great detail in what he/she does, even if we the readers will not see all of it.
>>18392
>How would I write something like that, as opposed to two villagers/outsiders/random youkai falling in love with the same woman?
I might just be narrow minded, but I don’t really see the difference other than the characters used.

But if I were to write a story like that, it’d go something like this:
Hatate have had a crush on Aya for some time now, and she’s decided to try and get closer to her to make a move.
She learns that Momiji is also trying to get closer to Aya, but she has the advantage since she’s closer with Aya.
Momiji then learns of Hatate and tries to prevent her from advancing.
The two of them gets more and bolder as they try to get closer to Aya while preventing the other from doing just that.
Aya of course had noticed it a while ago but kept silent.

All of the above while keeping >>18391 and >>18393 in mind.

Exactly what and how things happen is up to you.
If this wasn’t what you meant either, could you please explain it again a bit more clearly?
Around how many posts would it take for a story to no longer be considered a short?

I have this idea about a series of smaller stories which are going to happen chronologically but independently of each other. Kinda like sequels but a little more ‘close’ if you catch my thought.
Since I plan on shoving them into the same thread it’d be nice to know around where the standard of a Short is.
>>18399
In my opinion, any story that does not let the readers have a choice (read, any non-CYOA) should go in /shorts/, regardless of length. Take 'Learn Music With Sacchin' for example, it was about 16-17 chapters long (about 120 Word pages?) but since it didn't involve any direct interaction with the reader, it went to /shorts/ instead of /others/.
>>18399
>>18403

I feel that /shorts/ is bit of misnomer.
>>18403
I think the idea is that the chapters could be stand alone and not really connected.
>>18406
More or less.
Let me make an example to clarify.

You guys know Phoenix Wright, right? Good. Each chapter is a story of their own, playing a part in the bigger story.
That’s kinda what I mean. Each chapter of this story would be a small story of their own. But they’ll all be a part of a bigger story.

>>18403
I do plan on making it a CYOA.
How often can you expect anon to vote if you do short but sweet updates? [see: derp wars or yukkuri city quest in others]

I'd like to try something but I'm not too confident in my technical skill as a writer.

if wizanon author is around it'd be neat to her his opinion on the pacing differences from /tg/ and /THP/
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18413
>>18412
It really depends on how often you update too. If you update once a month with only 1,000 words, give or take a few hundred, then people won't be interested in checking back unless it's really good. BUT, if you update daily or every other day then people will check back and vote regularly.

Don't let the stigma of a board being "dead" stop you from writing there. If you update regularly then people will come to you to see what the hubbub is about!

For example, /shrine/ was fairly quiet when I started there. The only active story I can think of that was there at the time was MMMM (Marisa's Magically Magnificent Maktaba). I updated daily for almost two months straight and I got quite a few votes. Updates were usually short but were provided often enough for anon to start taking an interest in it. I can't say my story is any good, that's up to anon to decide.

As for pacing differences between THP and /tg/, I can't tell you anything because I don't go to 4chan.

My biggest advice is to just do it. Don't second guess yourself and just do it! The only way to improve is to read books and write. Practice what you read and adapt it into your own style of writing. If people don't like it, then you know you need to change something. Whether it be the concept, characters, or even the words you use. Remember, "Practice Makes Perfect".
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18414
>>18412

Not Demmy or anybody notable, but I browser /tg/ occasionally, so I guess I can be qualified answer the second part of your question. Obviously, /THP/ is much slower than /tg/, you shouldn't be staring at your thread, spamming F5 to see the votes roll in. Some of us do it anyways. Don't try to plan sessions, plan updates. Most readers on /thp/ prefer quality over quantity. The traffic does pick up during the holidays, especially over summer break, but it's still nowhere comparable to 4chan's.

If you're going to write short but sweet updates, know that you'll still have to wait a day, or at least a couple hours before you get enough votes to continue. Unless you're Keymaster, you won't get a steady stream of votes, so don't get mad when you don't get any. Your story will have a ton of votes at first, people tend to vote during the first update to see what it's about, but it'll likely slow after that. If you're determined on daily updates, don't burn out or write yourself into a corner. And make sure that you planned out EVERYTHING, because you won't get the time to take a breather if you have a real life stuff to do. Remember to keep it simple, your options shouldn't be gear loadout, or "Write a speech." If it takes an hour for anon to vote, they won't bother, or they'll just vote for whatever the first option someone suggests.

Finally, like Bar said, just write it. Wrangle somebody on IRC to edit your stuff, or get a friend to help write with you if you don't feel confident. Your first story will always be shameful, so don't give up when you suddenly lose the motivation to write. Force yourself to update, waiting for inspiration will kill your story faster than anything else. Hell, THP is a lot nicer than it used to be, go browse the archive for newbie stories, like the very first run of Restorer in Gensokyo. Look at her now. There was that guy who barely knew English who posted on /th/, and people didn't run him off the site. There's nothing wrong with being bad, as long as people enjoy your story.
What references and tips would you recommend to look over for writing high octane fight scenes?
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18426
>>18425

Well, it depends on what kind of "fight" we're talking about.

That being said, I felt that reading R.A. Salvatore helped me write scenes about hand-to-hand combat. Say what you will about Drizzt and how his stories are just processed logs of his D&D table, but the scenes where Entreri fights blade-to-blade helped me gave me a good idea of how to pace and write.

I would say DON'T study visual novels for fight scenes. I'll be the first to say that the fights in FSN, for example, were fun to "read", but they rely a lot on usage of sounds and, well, visual effects to carry a lot of the oomph of a fight. Trying to translate that into pure text probably wouldn't end well. I should know, I tried once already.
>>18425
I'd recommend reading up on different kinds of martial arts, watching some fight on YouTube; read some manga/watch some anime which focus on it.
I would recommend the Shijou Saikyou no Deshi Kenichi since it's focused on martial arts. Maybe browse through the category Martial Arts.

As for actually writing it. I would say make the description quick, short and precise while leaveing all of the unnecessary details to the readers mind.
This has been discussed earlier. >>17695
The biggest mistake you can do is making the fight come off as a turn-by-turn battle in writing. Fluidity is key.
>>18425
If you want to write hand-to-hand combat, the advice of >>18426 and >>18429 is solid, but most battles in Gensokyo outside the fighting games are danmaku duels, which are more like aerial or space-based dogfights or attack runs, if shmup games as a whole are any indication. If you want to write danmaku duels, I'd suggest more reading up on dogfights and/or reading literature about them, rather than hand-to-hand combat. Unfortunately, the only example of such literature I can think of off the top of my head is the Star Wars: X-Wing series.

Also, remember that spellcard duels aren't the same thing as danmaku duels. Specifically, the fighting games depict non-danmaku spellcard duels, and the PC-98 games depict spellcard-free danmaku duels. Keep in mind what kind of duel you're writing: non-spellcard duels tend to be rougher and uglier than spellcard duels, since the latter have a lot of formality and an explicit focus on beautiful and reasoned attacks over brute power. The majority of fights inside Gensokyo have been spellcard duels ever since EoSD, but outside Gensokyo such duels are extremely rare, if they occur at all.
>>18440

For examples of dog fighting just look up pretty much any book or article on air combat ever written.

I have a few suggestions. I’ll start with what I consider hard mode first:

Fighter Combat, Tactics, and Manuevering by Robert L. Shaw
This is probably one of the best books written on aerial combat period. Shaw is an accomplished fighter pilot of the US Navy, if you’re worried about credentials. It goes through every conceivable trick and maneuver a fighter pilot can use and probably has, intersperced with words of wisdom and experiences from pilots of generations past.

I warn you now, the book assumes you have a fair sized idea on how to fly and airplane, plus math and physics.

If a paragraph like say:
“Pursuit Curves were discussed previously in relation to missile trajectories; they are equally relevant to fighter maneuvering. The three forms of pursuit – lead, pure, and lag – are technically defined by the orientation of the attacking aircraft’s velocity vector ahread of, directly toward or behind the target aircraft, respectively.” (Shaw, pg. 63)

scares you, the book may not be for you, because it only gets more complex from there.

Now for the easier stuff, pick up damn near any fighter pilot biography or memoir written. A lot of these guys weren’t half a cerebral as Shaw in their writing, lacking the education for starters, but Shaw still held them up as examples on how to fly and fight.

Here’s just a few I would recommend:

Thunderbolt! By Robert S. Johnson: This one in particular I would recommend. Johnson was an American Ace in World War II, you get a real feel on how to fly and fight using different aircraft.

Samurai! By Saburo Sakai and Martin Caiden

Fighter Pilot by Robin Olds

But sometimes the best thing in the world is to see it for yourself. For writing danmaku duels, there are a good handful of 3D animated duels on Youtube

Marisa vs Flandre

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unRPhNH-YWo

There here is probably the best one I’ve seen. The speed, the expressions on their faces, the spellcards, all make for one exciting video. I highly recommend it.

Touhou Dogfight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLTpJJAraG8

This is probably the most famous 3d Animated Touhou duel. The animation is not quite as good now. But back in the day oh man! The animator apparently took a few liberties with the spellcard rules, blood and all, but it’s still pretty damn sweet.

Sonic Spark!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSnq5YMJ5qE

Another old favorite of mine. Marisa essentially charges up Youkai mountain and duels Aya and Momiji. Sadly no subtitles, which is a shame as I would love to know what Aya was saying to Marisa halfway through the video.

And finally my own personal advice: try to picture it in your mind. Neither opponent is flying still for very long, they are always in motion. In a way you can pretend the two duelists are two warbirds twisting and turning on the knife edge of endurance ( I got that line from Dogfights on the History Channel, I admit). A single mistake, a single improperly timed maneuver, a single lapse of attention, can spell defeat.

Hell you can bend canon and have the lasers and bullets do real harm on contact.

That’s my rambling two cents, at least.
How does people obtain spell cards anyway? did they make it themselves? what a whitespace? how does the spellcard rules works?
>>18442
From Perfect Memento in Strict Sense (http://en.touhouwiki.net/wiki/Perfect_Memento_in_Strict_Sense/Draft_of_Spell_Card_Rules):

Duel between youkai are cause for fear that the small land of Gensokyo may collapse. However, if youkai are unable to fight, their power will gradually vanish. Therefore, I propose the following contract to allow duels.

Concepts
- That youkai can easily cause disasters.
- That humans can easily resolve disasters.
- That deciding victors solely based on strength is unacceptable.
- That there is nothing superior to elegance and thought.

Law
- Give a name and a meaning to the elegance of each duel.
- The number of naming duels to be fought must be announced beforehand. Relying on stamina and repeating an attack is not allowed.
- Do not use meaningless attacks. Meaning is equivalent to power.
- If you are defeated in a naming duel, acknowledge the loss even if you have remaining strength.
- If victorious against a human, you may not kill them.

Write down the name of the duel on paper like a contract. With that, all of the aforementioned regulations become absolute. That paper will be called a "spell card." For more specific details on the duel process, discuss with the shrine maiden later.


That said, you as an author have all the liberty in the world to modify them as much as you like, if it suits your setting.
I've heard this site is dying.
can i post a paragraph or chapter here to see if my writing is up to standard?
>>18444
People've been saying that for two or three years. We're a far cry from what we used to be, but I think we still have a long way before being considered dead.

And sure, you can post your paragraph here anytime, and we'll see if we can help you out. Though I recommend going to the IRC room as well for real time advice.
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18448
Is there ever a good way to describe a character's appearance without ruining fluidity?

Whenever a new character appears, many amateur writers (not necessarily on this site) often spend a paragraph or two digressing on the new character's appearance. This is usually something like describing clothing, hair, facial expression, etc in detail for each article on the character. I find that this ruins how fluid the passage reads and I usually just end up skipping over the descriptive paragraph entirely.
When writing my own works, I want to avoid this pitfall but also want to describe a character's appearance as well, does anyone have any experience with something like this? Is there a good way to do it or is it better to leave such imagery up to the reader's imagination?

Similarly, is it even right to dictate how a well-known character looks when a reader is probably just going to keep their own mental image instead?

Let's say for example that I'm writing a scene in which Youmu makes her first appearance in my story. Most Touhou fans can easily conjure up a mental image of what she looks like. However, as the writer, I want Youmu to use her Koumajou Densetsu getup instead. Assuming that I don't have the luxury of attaching an image to this particular chapter, should I even bother pointing out in-story her clothing? After all, I figure that most readers, when picturing any scene with her, will default to her typical appearance. Aside from how I think her KD outfit is cooler, it doesn't really impact anything else either.
As such, is it a bad thing for a writer to "enforce" what a character looks like? Should I, again, leave it up to reader interpretation?
>>18448
Well, you can assume the reader has an image of what the character already, being it is a fanwork of an existing series, so you don't have to spend time describing their usual outfits.

Otherwise, keep it simple and let the reader fill in the blank. Unless it's a specific element you plan to reuse later.

example, "Youmu swung her father's heavycloak around, letting it's embroidered sigls fall to rest on her vest."

I don't have to mention things like the cloak was wool, with a fine texture, and fancy butterfly motif embroidery woven in. The reader probably knows what a heavy cloak looks like and how it'd feel or look, as well as the minute variations. Unless its key to the work, why would it matter if it was leather or wool? Hell, I don't even need the bit about sigils but I left those in they could become a chekhov's gun.

tl;dr

Outfits really don't matter. We have a clue as to how your character looks and usually that's enough.
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18450
>>18448
>Is there ever a good way to describe a character's appearance without ruining fluidity?
Sure. You just don’t do it.

No, let me explain. The fact of the matter is, it doesn’t matter what your character is wearing. Usually. Whenever you describe clothing, it should be with a clear purpose in mind. Your readers’ imagination can – and will – fill in the blanks on its own more than well. So don’t go on tirades about the cut of Youmu’s dress unless it is for a specific purpose.

An example. Clothing may be used to create a specific impression or sensation in your readers’ minds. “Youmu spun. The gold embroidery of her cloak flashed in the night. Long tails whipped, wing-like, in the wake of her advance.” This, while not per se a description of her clothing, conjures a very specific image, which can be used in lieu of generic movement descriptions. Also, I hope you noticed the alliteration in that short quotation, and that you know why such things should, generally, be avoided. Trust me, I’m a doctor.

Another purpose for which clothing descriptions may be employed is conveying unspoken qualities of your characters. The golden rule is this: show, don’t tell, which clothing descriptions do wonderfully well. So rather than telling us that your character is a perky, mischievous, energetic one, show us that his/her clothes bear grass stains, and that the knee area on their pants has been nearly buffed through. Instead of telling us that the Sun was particularly unrelenting that day, show your characters reacting to it by undoing their buttons and wearing their clothes that way. And so on.

However, in most cases clothing simply doesn’t matter, as only people with incredibly detailed imagination will keep track of such minutiae. Moreover, by not outright detailing your character’s uniform (and thus their identity), you will keep your readers in suspense until that character is either named or names themselves. This is a good thing, making your story more engaging to read. The less you say, the more it will stimulate your readers’ brains.


So, to summarise. Unless: a) it is important for the plot, b) it serves to communicate something else, c) the narrator is someone who pays attention to such details (like this one overconfident blond fellow) – outside of these cases, descriptions of clothing tend to be unneeded and superfluous.

I’m wearing thermal underwear today.
I have a concept for an MC along with some incredibly vague ideas about what said character might do, but nothing I think of really sticks as far as forming a story. How the hell do people come up with storylines before starting a CYOA?
>>18451
If I were to create a character first and really want to use them in a story, I would think of connections. Which already established characters resonate with the one I have? Between this pool of characters, what kind of event or action highlights the themes of the pool to make a meaningful story (or funny or whatever else you're shooting for - make sure you determine a goal).

Not sure if this works or not, because it's always the plot lines or 'what if's that manage to latch onto my mind first. I might be reading the wiki and then a single line or word jumps out at me. Then I start grabbing characters or making them as they relate to the situation.
>>18445

Ring, Ring.

Aw…

Man, I hate sleep. Every time I went to sleep, it feels like only a moment before I need to wake up again. So, by that logic, I should never sleep ever again.

Nah. That’s silly. If I don’t sleep, I won’t be able to wake up, and I like being awake.

Ring, Ring.

It is amazing how annoying a simple ring could be when you’re sleep deprived. I mean, it’s just a ring, but at this hour, I might as well listening to a vuvuzela blown by the explosion of mount Vesuvius mixed by a broken synthesizer with the orgasmic scream of satan.

So yeah, I’m not a morning person.

Ring, Ring.

If only I have the ability to stop time, I would be able to sleep a bit more…yeah…just bend the law of nature a bit and let the whole world wait for your beauty nap. That would be perfect.

Ring, Ring. BANG!

Yeah…screw the snooze button…I can always buy a new alarm clock…and more bullets.

Uggh…my head…maybe putting a gun under your pillow is not as good of an idea as those spy movies put it to be.

Anyways, off to work!

After throwing my 9mm away somewhere (after turning the safety on, of course. Don’t want anybody to get hurt.) I jumped off from my bed. I life in a condo, separated to my neighbors by a series of thin cement walls, tough I put sound proofing on the wall, so maybe they didn’t hear the gunshot.

The wall adjacent to my bed is painted red with no decoration whatsoever, except for a sheet of white paper containing my life’s motto:

“Stay alive. If anyone tries to stop you, immediately make them not alive.”

It’s a bit long, there’s probably a better way to put it, but hey, I’m no poet. Tough I haven’t had the chance to put this motto into practice lately. Hiding a dead body in this country is hard. This is why I love Canada so much. For such a big country their population is so scarce that you can just left your dead where they are and it’ll be gone in a day eaten by either maggots or bear.

The only reason I left such a lovely country is because the mounted police. Seriously man, don’t get tricked by those silly pants of theirs. Their legs have enough momentum to send your testicles to outer space.

Speaking of badasses with silly lower apparel, a bit of advice: Don’t. Mess. With a Scottish.

Ah, I’ve been rambling for long enough. I’m almost late!

Since my workplace doesn’t allow firearms of any kind, I kick my gun under the bed, fix the Batman motif bed sheet I have just bought recently, and since I’m not the kind of guy that sleeps naked, I remove my red-white polka dot PJ’s , rush into the bathroom naked, wash my face, brush my teeth, and quickly get into my working clothes. I’m one of those ‘office drone’, the lower class of white collar workers, though I’m lucky enough to have huge connection of friends to live comfortably. Also, my part time job ironically pays better than my lega…main job.

Ring, Ring.

I was about to retrieve my gun again when I remembered that my alarm clock is dead. It was just my phone.

I retrieved my phone from the freezer. My pals at work always says that my phone is outdated and wasn’t cool enough. Though I wonder why I would need a cold phone. Well, they also said that a cool head is good, so maybe it’s that.

I press the answer button.

From the other side of the line, my boss at my part time job starts talking. He said to come quickly. Emergency situation.

I’m about to check my clock, but then I remember that I shot it. So I went back to the freezer, took out a wristwatch, remove the wrist, and wear the now second hand watch around my own wrist. I still have time before my main job. The place I need to go to was close, anyway.

So I pick up a briefcase, and filled it with pineapples. And I’m also taking my Swiss Army Knive with a built in USB flash drive. And then I jump through the window. My residence is on the second floor, so landing wasn’t much of a hassle. Then I run to my part time job.

It wasn’t far. About two minutes of travel if you have a car. By taking a French-style shortcut I manage to arrive in about…two minutes.

My part time job, for this week, is guarding a warehouse. I was located somewhere at the edge of the city, so not plenty of people coming every day.

This day it’s a bit noisy though.

BANG! RATTATA! BANG!

…Or whatever onomatopoeia you would use for automatic weapons.

In front of my workplace there is a group of men, wearing suits and motorcycle helmets. Each carrying either a pistol or a museum piece (AK-47). They are firing wildly, and the workers, mostly couriers and operators, are helpless as they move a lot and lots of unlabeled box into a pick-up truck.

Though, they all stopped after they seen me.

And now I have five pieces of deadly weapon pointed at me. Most excellent!!

It appears that I am the only part timer available at this hour. So…what should I do?

[] Talk to them! (Gentlemen…)
[] Try to steal the truck!
[] Fragmentation grenades! (Also known as ‘Pineapples’ in some military services.)
>>18451
Well this is how I do it.

The first thing I’d be doing would be to find character who fit together with the MC, based on what s/he is. (What race, occupation, outsider, abilities, skills, etc.)
The next thing would be to alter the MC. Not to make him into a new character entirely, but to play around and see how well different personalities fit together with the different characters. In my case I more often than naught decide upon a new character entirely, since who s/he became simply would fit better with that character.

Then once I have the MC and his company made out, I start to imagine different scenarios about how they met, what they do together, etc. Try to imagine negative things as well, like if they start fighting each other (both verbally and physically), how would it affect their relationship? Would it have potential to influence the story?

For coming up with the actual story I always think of the end first. What is the problem that needs to be fixed, or what is the goal that needs to be reached. Like, is the MC going to convince Akyuu’s father that he’s worthy of her. Is the MC going to sneak into the tengu village to steal something? How would he go about doing it? What problems would he encounter on the way? How did it start? What happened before it started?

Tl;dr
Keep asking yourself questions like: who, what, where, when, why, how.
Think backwards.

Try out different things and methods until you find something that works for you.
Why is blue called blue? What is a blue?
>>18455
Blue is the color that comes after red
>>18455
Wouldn't this fit better in >>18124
I have been thinking of doing a story in the third-person perspective, but I'm unsure about how to do it. Are there any examples of third-person perspective CYOA story in this site?
>>18463
Almost anything I’ve written in the last 2 years; /shorts/ especially if you’re looking for something self-contained.

Or you could just read a motherfucking book, hombre.

What do you need to know, anyway?
So I am trying to write a character that is a composite of Gordon Freeman, Batman, and Doctor Who.

Any advice?
>>18470
So a mute vigilante time lord with a gravity gun? Huh.

Now seriously, sorry I can't help you with that. I'm not knowledgeable enough of Batman and The Doctor's lore.
>>18465
As far as I know, most stories here deal in the first-person and second-person perspective because it's the easiest to do in this kind of setting. I want to know if it's possible to tackle a CYOA in a third-person perspective and do it well.
>>18472
I don’t see why not. Nor do I see yet what issues you are seeing with it.
>>18473
I think he's talking about the issue of putting the readers in the person's shoes. If you use second person you are identifying the reader as the protagonist and if you use first person the readers will identify themselves as the protagonist due to words like "I" and "me".

But the problem is that when you read a story in the third person, you, or at least this is how it is with me, aren't as immersed in the setting. Of course I may be reading too much into this and be way off the mark here.
>>18474
That’s the silliest thing I’ve read this day, and let me tell you, I’ve been catching up on my Japanese animes today.

Identification and empathy are the key words here, I think. Of course if you want your CYOA to star the “reader” as the protagonist, you’d do well to go with the SPP narrative. That would enable the readers to identify with the protagonist. There is nothing wrong with having a protagonist be a person of their own. In this case you’d want your readers to empathise with him/her.

May be I am wrong, but it seems to me some people are stuck in the “CYOA protagonists must be reflections/inserts of the readers” mindset. Which isn’t entirely right, as evidenced by the many CYOAs on this site with protagonists who possess their own personalities. Are they less immersive than “classic” You-Are-the-Protagonist CYOAs? Beats me. But I don’t believe TPP narration takes away from the experience.
>>18475
I wasn't saying I want the readers to be the protagonist. I want them to think like him/her. It's, in my own opinion, an easy way to immerse the readers in the story. If they are thinking like the character, they will hopefully grow to care about him/her and keep coming back to see what happens next. Of course that's pointless if you can't write a compelling story or if it's just mechanically awful.

This is just my opinion though. I have been told, quite a few times, that it's wrong but I don't get a good reason as to why it's wrong.

It could just be him insulting your writing, this just occurred to me.
>>18476
I’ll have a blast. Because sympathising with a character just because you think like them (or vice versa) is shallow and, in extreme cases, might be considered pandering.

Nevertheless it is still possible to empathise with characters who do not resemble your own self, and if a writer succeeds in making you do just that, well... Although I would argue empathy is not a 100% necessary element of good writing; I, for one, did not sympathise with Cersei one bit whilst reading the GoT books, but her chapters were regardless a very good read. I did not agree with her, did not approve of her actions, certainly did not think like her – but still she was an intriguing character to observe. Similarly, I doubt anyone identified with any of my protagonists (especially that one starchy blond fellow), but from the response my stories got, some of them – perhaps not all – were all the same interesting to follow. Not because the readers identified with them or shared in their mental processes, not because they were the readers – but because they were interesting characters.

So yes, eliciting commitment from your readers via similarities between them and your character is one way of keeping them engaged – but, for all its working, it is a cheap sort of bond, and, I dare say, a very fragile one at that. You’d do much better to simply write a good story, rather than appealing to the “S/he’s just like you! Sympathise!” response.

“Simply write a good story,” heh.
Alright, so I initially came here a lurker, but didn't manage to catch on to either the manner in which one uses sage, or the thing about not using a username without having contributed something worthwhile.

I seek to remedy one of these at least by actually starting a relatively simple quest, nothing hugely deep or philosophical yet, but something that either will help me understand better how to write for the setting, or at least justify the couple of times I posted using a name.

So I figured irony was a good bet considering I was looking at what was getting old in the idea's thread, namely human outsider male OC being Mary Sue's endearing themselves to all the characters, and someones unique snowflake OC youkai doing stupid things but being loved for it.

So I want to write an irritatingly self aggrandizing item spirit of a T-90 MBT. Specifically, I want 'her' to be blatantly irritating and vaguely irrational. I should not be alienating my readers as much as 'she' should the caste though, so I'm looking for any pointers. So far, nationalism is a point of focus I think I could use, as well as impulsive behavior and shoddy justification.
>>18477
I seem to be unable to put my thoughts into words properly. I'll try again, but I make no promises that this will sound coherent.

I want the readers to be able to understand the MC and be able to think like them, but not be them. In other words, I want readers to think of what the character wants when they come to a vote, especially when write-ins are given. If they don't know I want them to be able to infer from previous updates. I want them to emphasize with the characters and grow to like them, but I also want to write a good story. I'm the kind of person who won't be able to read a book if I don't like most of the characters, no matter how interesting or well written the book in question may be.

>Not because the readers identified with them or shared in their mental processes, not because they were the readers – but because they were interesting characters.

I find being in a characters head and being able to understand their thoughts, whether or not you agree with them, is what makes an "interesting" character. I want people to understand where the character is coming from and care about them, or want them dead in some cases. Third person just feels limited in what the reader is allowed to know. I know it's not really all that different than second person but it's just an awkward feel for me. Perhaps my own bias gets in the way there.

>You’d do much better to simply write a good story, rather than appealing to the “S/he’s just like you! Sympathise!” response.

I've never purposefully used that type of appeal to draw people to my stories. Personally, I want my MC's to be "understandable yet still their own person". Does that make sense?

Does any of this make sense?

A lot of literature comes down to personal opinions. What the writer believes, what the writer actually writes, what the reader believes, what the reader interprets, and what the writer intended to portray. It's kinda like this discussion. I believe one thing, I write something in response to what you said in >>18473, you believe another thing, you interpret what I say one way, I meant something similar but failed to properly convey it.

I'm not trying to come across as defensive because I agree with what you are saying. I just want to clarify my thoughts and hope you understand where I'm coming from. I'm naive aren't I?
>>18479
The entire fulcrum of our miscommunication here was, I think, the word “identify.” My bad for understanding it literally, your bad for using it purposefully to deceive me and make me make a fool of myself in public. Shun!

Well at least we got that cleared up. Anyhow.
> Third person just feels limited in what the reader is allowed to know.
I don’t see how. Third person omniscient narrator is the most versatile and universal of narrator types. A TPO narrator can freely access the protagonist’s mind, their thoughts and thought processes, physical motions – but also all the other characters’. A TPO narrator can describe not only the inner world of the protagonist; he can access the other characters’ minds as well, and – perhaps most importantly – describe actions occurring without the protagonist’s presence or attention. To top it off, third person narration gives you the widest berth when it comes to the use of pronouns, names and titles to spice up and vary your narrative. A protagonist in FPP (first person perspective) can only refer to themselves as “I;” SPP narrative designates the protagonist as “you,” whereas in third person you can go mad. You can use their name, profession, gender, identifying features – the possibilities are endless (and will probably end up being more interesting than repeated “you”s or “I”s). Additionally, using different forms of address in respect to the protagonist (and other characters) may serve to build a particular impression of them in the readers’ minds or communicate a particular idea (or solidify the image of the protagonist as something, etc.). So yes.

As for the omniscience of the narrator, this also provides manoeuvring room for interesting writing. Take this classic Russian joke for instance:
>Stierlitz was sitting in his office. Suddenly he heard someone knocking on the door. “Probably Bormann,” thought Stierlitz. “Yes, it indeed is me!” thought Bormann.
Cue clapping of thighs and cries for more vodka. Now, if the narrator of the joke wasn’t omniscient, its entire point would not be possible. This may also work for your story if you, say, switch your perspectives briefly to another place/character, or even have several protagonists. Of course, when telling from the perspective of one protagonist, you will probably want to abstain from simultaneously accessing other characters’ minds, but you probably figured this out by now.

At any rate. Third person narration. The most versatile, in both technical and subject matters, fun to play around with, and, for a damn good reason, the most widely used type of perspective in books around the world.

And when a third person omniscient narrator turns out to be unreliable, gods fucking help you. That’s a party in the making.


I should be called Wall-E.
>>18473

Same anon in >>18472. Waymaker pretty much explained my problem with third-person perspective in >>18474.
>I know it's not really all that different than second person but it's just an awkward feel for me. Perhaps my own bias gets in the way there.

At least I admitted that it was a personal bias.

But, yeah, I used to only write in TPP. But I noticed a problem...

I let the readers know EVERYONE'S thoughts! I slowly shifted to a limited perspective and only gave the MC's thoughts, but after a while I thought, "Why not just do first person? I'm effectively doing that now!" Even though I wasn't...

And when I started writing here, I shifted to second person. I'm not even sure why I made that leap but it happened. So, really everyone writes in the fashion they like the most/feel the most comfortable with.
>>18482
I feel you. You could even say I sympathise with you. I do agree it is the writer’s own prerogative to choose one type of narration over another. But, still, for pure technicalities’ sake, TPP offers the most mechanical freedoms. The freedom to switch at will, the freedom to provide insight into characters other than the protagonist, the freedom to make remarks or observations which would otherwise have never been made by the protagonist, the freedom to refer to Geralt as “the Witcher,” further cementing the subconscious idea of his professionalism and devotion to his job (and maybe even the quality of him being unique thanks to that “the”), the freedom to appear a smug-ass faux-expert on writing on the internet...

... Ahem. Yes. At any rate, there isn’t one universal agreement on which type of narrator is the best in all situations, so your best bet would be to try out everything and decide which works the best for your particular circumstances. Experiment. Skill comes from experience – and the best sort comes from your own.
Does anyone have that back-up of "Retrospective and Astronomical Narraration"

I need it because reasons
>>18484
Get on the IRC and ask. There are a few people who have a copy of everything and will likely give it to you.
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