>>19060 It may be that. It may be that the current situation is not controversial. It may be that you whole reader base agrees on what to vote on, and therefore discussion is not needed. Or it may be that your readers are simply lazy.
>>19060 Look at it this way: no discussion also means no inane ship wars, crazy epileptic tree theories, dissatisfaction of half your readers when their vote gets called stupid, or possible spoiling of your future plans via aforementioned theories.
>>19063 I for one believe that apathy is still worse than hate, even if it's the stupid kind of hate. After all, we authors thrive on our reader's reactions. Lack of them implies we have failed in our most basic goal.
>>19066 Votes not a reaction enough for you? You can’t honestly expect people originated from 4chan and TVTropes to always have something clever and constructive to say. Sometimes a story is good enough to stand on its own, without additional input from the outside. There are stories which require more or less reader input (interactive detective/mystery genre for but one instance), but not all do.
The moment you STOP receiving votes, however, that’s when you know things have gotten out of hand. Of course, this might just mean that the readers trust you, the writer, with directing your story and may in fact prefer it to interfering. The sure-fire way to know would be to ask your readers.
tl;dr stop self-deprecating and try to see other angles
>>19104 That depends. If you mean the thread header, then no, I don't believe that's possible to do without deleting the thread. If you mean what the story is called, you should be able to get away with that easily enough, assuming you let your readers know what the new title is and link the new thread in the existing one. That second part is really important.
Posting what you write. I can't get rid of this feeling that I have no fucking clue what I'm doing, and that this time when I post the update, people will start laughing at me. Probably because I have no fucking clue what I'm doing.
>>19141 If it hasn't happened so far, it isn't worth worrying about. The only way you'll be laughed out, barring incredible plot stupidity, is writing something that's a train-wreck on a technical level. If you've got more than a handful of updates out without people telling you to learn how to English, you're fine.
As for not having a clue what you're doing, a lot of writers feel the same about their things. We might seem like they do, but we get good at hiding our uncertainty. Developing a good poker face is pretty important if you have any kind of twist and it extends into that as well.
Worst comes to worst, you get laughed at by some strangers on the internet. It's no big deal unless your ego is incredibly fragile and you can't handle temporarily losing face.
>>19142 You could always look for pictures of surgeries or watch scenes from horror movies. Describe what you see there. Just try not to go into too much detail. Ideally, you want to give just enough that the readers' minds fill in the rest. It's that thing where a person's worst fears come from their own heads and magnify the horror factor.
"To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong."
I'll be honest. I feel the way you feel for half (or more than half) of my own updates. I've come to learn, however, that it's just my own brain being insecure, and so to try to negate that I distract myself with other activities immediately after posting. Post update, play video games. Post update, fap to a doujin. Etc, etc, etc.
Most of the time, it turns out well! Maybe sometimes Anon might actually laugh, or rage, or mock. But you know what? We all make mistakes, especially writers. A mistake can actually be a good thing, though, because you can use mistakes as an opportunity to learn something.
I proofread for some of the writers and this keeps coming up a lot: don't get anal over your writing. It doesn't need to be perfect, and no matter what you personally think of it, it's probably better than you think it is. Frankly, your writing can be utter shit, and long as it's interesting, people here will still read it.
That being said, detail is a funny thing. You, as a writer, have a certain image in your head that you want your reader to see. Hate to break it, but that'll never happen. People have different expectations and will visualize the scene in their own way. Most novice writers try to rectify this, and railroad the reader to their detailed view by detailing everything, from the clothes a character's is wearing to how they move and fight.
You don't need to do that. All that extra little detail? It's unnecessary. Rather, your job, as the writer, is to paint enough strokes, enough support, that the reader has an understanding, and then fills in the rest with their imagination (This also helps with immersion. A lot). In fact, the only details you should really focus on are the ones that'll show up later in the plot.
Example, if you're trying to describe Keine, it's enough to say she is, "a silver haired woman, wearing a blue and white dress. Her hat was peculiar, a complex structure that had to have been designed by an architect."
The reader will fill in the rest on their own, and if they get something wrong, say her eye color, or the material of her dress, does it really matter? Unless it's a specific plot element, not really.
Other thing that I keep reiterating, Gensokyo runs on bullshit. You can add just about anything and readers will accept it. After all, they're reading fanfiction about magical girls who fly around in a fantasy kitchen sink, wearing silly hats. Our suspension of disbelief as readers is really far removed. You can have chocolate, even though Gensokyo isn't tropical in climate. You can glass, even though there's no real source of silicone. You can have anachronistic items, and no one will give a fuck, because lolgensokyo.
Thinking about it, all of that last paragraph can be summed up with browntewi.jpg
>>19142 Use vocabulary and similes that are simple to understand, but conjures up visceral images. For instance, “a spray of blood,” “shards of bone,” “viscera” (instead of blood), “rope of intestine,” and so on. Also strong, brutal verbs: rip, shear, spill, crack, crunch, tear, plunge, ram, punch, hurl, grind, etc. Medical terminology isn’t required. Appealing to the senses and imagination is. For example:
He stepped into the room, gagging at the reek soaking the air. On the floor lay a body, excrement and viscera pooled around it, white shards of bone glaring against the dark crimson. The walls were sprayed with blood. From the corpse to the window, ropes of intestine were strung, torn at the end, whatever which had been eating them deciding it did not need them along in its escape. The corpse’s head was missing. Fragments of skull and the meat of brain only showed where the creature had hurled it against a wall, having pulled it from the victim’s body. The stump of a broken spine peered out from the ruin of the corpse’s neck, pointing accusingly toward the damnable window.
The problem was, it was the third floor, and they had found no footprints on the ground below.
>>19169 Yes, and it has more impact than both “blood” and “intestines.” Especially since we are talking about gore, which a bit of blood does not constitute, I think. The problem is most writers resort to the word “blood” as the first one when writing about gore, while in fact just “blood” isn’t all that gory. So better to take it a step further than just blood.
Same goes for stuff like bone, which, on its own, is nothing scary. Shards or chips of (broken) bone, however, carry a more violent message.
File 138977010799.jpg - (269.97KB, 625x630, ZUN-style flan! (no I did not draw this).jpg)
>>19171 I generally try to put either a picture of a character that appears in that update, or some sort of symbolic concept that relates to the themes/ideas in the update. It's only once in a blue moon will I use something that is unrelated to the post.
For non-update posts, Flandre. Because Flandre makes everything better!
>>19171 The character with most screentime, doing the related scene in the story if possible (E.G: I'll post an update which has sleeping Yuyuko in one of the scene, therefore, I search the appropriate image (Usually on Danbooru) which has Yuyuko sleeping and post it. Maybe the context of the picture is different, but hey, no one will notice!)
>>19185 That, my friend, is perhaps the single reason why many stories have died in this site. Reacquiring the mood to write and get the ball rolling again is the most difficult part of resuming a story, be it for shame or for laziness.
>>19185 I haven't been on hiatus during my time here yet, but knowing myself, I would definitely feel too guilty to stick around here if I wasn't updating in a timely manner. I hold myself to high expectations. In fact, this is probably why I haven't had a hiatus yet.
There's an exception, though. If I were on hiatus for reasons beyond my control; e.g. in the hospital after an accident with a truck or on a vacation to somewhere where I won't get time to write, then I wouldn't feel guilty about it.
>>19199 I suspect you mean you need help to start a story back up from hiatus. Furthermore, I’ll be assuming you’re having trouble because of regret and/or shame.
I can say with almost certainty that anon will respond positive to the story’s comeback, if they enjoyed it. If they didn’t, and still don’t, they’ll just ignore it (assuming that have de brains to use the hide/show button).
Take a look at Shikigami of the Heart in /Border/. It was hiatus for some time before it got back, Sukima asked beforehand in case people were going to yell at him.
And that brings me to my final point. That’s the worst that can happen. You’ll be yelled at, maybe hated frown upon by strangers on the internet who you’ll likely never meet. Pulling of a band aid is going to be worse, since that’ll actually physically hurt if even just a little.
Just clench your tongue and get it over with. The first post again WILL be the hardest. After that it’s just getting back into the habit of writing. The best way to do that would be to set a schedule for your updates, like, write an update and post it once a week. If you need to, keep them small, but no less than 500 words each, and remember that you don’t need to give a choice after each update. Once it starts to come back, increase the minimum word count of the updates until it begins to fit you again.
And for the life of Aki, don’t go hiatus again unless you don’t have a choice.
>>19202 Re-read your story and/or any notes you had written for that story. Then just try your best. If you still feel like the tone/etc of story has changed significantly after that, ask Anon for advice. Your readers will be glad to help you get back on track!
How would one go about writing a situation where the MC doesn't speak the same language as another character. I don't really want to just say, "She says something in a language you don't understand."
I'm thinking about putting what the character says in spoilers so the reader knows what they say, but he MC doesn't. But then we get into the issue of meta knowledge. Perhaps I could just use Google Translate and copy/paste the translation?
>>19206 Google Translate doesn't really fix the issue of meta knowledge in the slightest. For one thing, they can always just reverse translate it. There's also the fact that you're reasonably likely to have someone who can read it and who will complain about Google Translate being terrible. Really, there are probably two options that are ideal.
First, just go with the spoilers. Most conversational bits are fairly normal and unimportant to the overall plot. Greetings, introductions, "do you even understand me?", that sort of thing. For things where other characters are talking and specifically exploiting the protagonists lack of understanding, just have the protagonist be thinking about something else or comment on the issue. Major plot things can be handled similarly.
The second, more interesting option is to use a cipher. Convert the spoken sentences letter for letter by some pattern. If your readers are interested enough, they'll try to figure it out and it'll be interesting. The particular advantage to this way of doing things is that you can leave words un-ciphered as the protagonist learns the language. Consequently, the cipher becomes easier to figure out, if it isn't already. Then, the readers can go back and learn things that they didn't understand at the time. Personally, I'd love to see this done.
Language in Gensokyo is actually a fairly interesting thing to think about. Everyone knows Japanese, sure, but it isn't the only language by far. Some characters (at least Meiling, Yoshika, and Seiga) speak Chinese. Most of the SDM, possibly excluding Meiling, speaks French. Anyone who has some degree of familiarity with the outside (SDM, Sanae, Raiko, and Mamizou) probably knows English. For the gods, you could go with a sort of universal translation thing between them and anyone they communicate with. Lastly, sufficiently old and well read characters (Patchouli, Yukari, and Ran, among others) surely know quite a few old languages.
For the love of god, dont use google translate, if you really wanna usw some language you can still ask in irc, chances are someone speaks it as his first language and is willing to help. Did some german for a story once, offering again if someone needs it.
>>19206 How about using brackets like () or  instead of quotation marks? Changing the format of the text to italic or underline should do good too, although it will be hard if you planned to use them on something else like using italic for irony, etc. Other than that, >>19207 pretty much sums it up.
>>19206 I’ve actually been playing around with this some time now. The method I came to like is somewhat similar to something >>19207 mentioned. Don’t just say they speak another language, it’s too plain. Try to ‘show’ your readers it’s another language without ever directly ‘telling’ them. They aren’t stupid, they will figure it out. Eventually.
The way I’d do it is describe the sounds of what’s being said. Obviously you shouldn’t go into the fine details, but stick with something like: ’She utters some weird sounds as she looks me in the eyes. The blue haired girl behind her seems to follow up with noises similar to the woman in black. Said woman nods in response.’ In context, this will pretty much make it clear that another language is being spoken, which is made obvious by the fact the MC can’t even recognize the sounds. (Don’t believe me. Look up some videos in some random language, like Thai or British English. You won’t be able to distinguish one sound from another.) From here you can develop some way of communication. Like >>19207 suggested, you can make all conversation which the MC pays attention to be ciphered. Then all the conversation aimed at the MC could be some form of makeshift sign language, where the main point is to make the reader, not the MC, understand. This’ll make conversations practically impossible unless/until the MC learns to speak their language on some level.
>>19215 Wot ya tryin' to start a beef 'ere m8? Makin fun of da queen and her english r you? I outta punt ya across da face m8 and get mii friends to join in coz nobody be dissin da queen on mii watch m8, swear on me mum i'll rek u, cheeky cunt.
I'm kind of worried that my story on Shrine, M4, is going to become too gimmicky. So far, it feels like I've been relying too much on surprise twists and the gimmick of having Marisa interact with the audience; is there anything I should keep in mind to prevent me from being THP's Shamalayn?
>>19234 I don't see any 'twists'. The story is pretty heavy on the emotional and sensual side, maybe too much for some people, that's true. I don't think it's a bad thing, though, just a characteristic.
If you asked for my personal opinion, I'd tell you that there's too little time between the frequent dramatic confrontations. You've got to intersperse that stuff with more of the normal, chill touhou kind of interaction. If you don't space it little more it loses it's impact.
>>19247 Well, think along these lines; coincidences that drop characters into deep shit are considered good -- they help propel the momentum of the story forward. Conversely, coincidences that dig them out of said pile, e.g. deus ex machinas, are shunned as cop outs. I'm just trying to reason why that is so and whether it's conceivable to have a coincidence solve pre-existing problems without it being renounced as laziness on the author's part, as well as what other uses they may serve in a story.
>>19248 A deus ex machina is criticized because it's a plot device that introduces a new character, ability, or et cetera that intervenes with a story's impossible situation. For example, I would say that Eren Jäger's "ability" in Attack on Titan is a deus ex machina when it is first introduced. The reason people dislike this kind of thing is because there's no way to tell it was coming -- most of the time it is so unlikely that it challenges the observer's suspension of disbelief.
So how do we step around that?
You'll have to use foreshadowing. If you plan for a character to have a unique ability that gets them out of tough situations, you have to allude to that ability a few times before its first use. Say in the episodes leading up to Eren's ability, Eren felt repeated temptations to bite his own hand whenever he was in a tough situation. Finally, in episode five, he gives in to his urges, and so his ability is discovered. (This is probably not the best way to fix the problem in the show, but take it as an example.)
If you place foreshadowing towards your "coincidences" (in the end, it's never a real coincidence anyways) it will seem less like a cop-out. Your readers will even get that "ahh so THAT's what that foreshadowing was for" feeling, and the ones who have already alluded to what you were planning will feel really smart.
One anime/manga that masters this type of stuff is Death Note. It employs seemingly cop-out resolutions, but in truth those resolutions had been there all along, hidden among the show's lore. I recommend examining that series if you would like to learn more.
Hopefully I didn't misunderstand you again and wrote this for nothing.
How would one go about preventing an OC MC from becoming over powered?
I could leave more details in the question, but then it'd become too specific to be general advise. However, the circumstances of the MC are as follows: He's spent years specializing in his craft, and the story is build to focus on his craft (among other things).
So asking the same question again; how would one go about preventing an MC from becoming over powered?
My first idea was to place ‘bad’ traits on him to counteract his ‘good’ traits such as, “He’s fast but fragile” or “He’s strong but slow”, things like that. Another idea I had was to force him into situations where he’s experience won’t help him. Neither seems like satisfying solutions, which is why I decided to ask here.
>>19256 If you don't want a character to seem overpowered, then you will have to challenge that character. Something, somehow, must challenge your character's mettle, whether on a physical, emotional, or spiritual level. They mustn't be able to pass through every situation with relative ease.
>>19262 >If you've been on a long hiatus because of reasons would write a new update is it a faux pass to tell everyone why?
As a fellow faggot who can't always keep his updates coming in a timely manner, I suggest that you only explain if you have a reason that will be seen as acceptable. Not something like "I'm a lazy faggot/I accidentally wrote myself into a corner and had to rethink shit/videogames and IRC". Good reasons are things like "I was in a coma/very ill/family members dropping like flies/harddrive bricked/80 hour work week/everything I own was stolen".
That's all the reasons I can think of off the top of my head and all of them are things that have happened to people.
As for where you put the explanation, either where you usually put your comments or, if it's a lengthy enough reason, a separate post.
>>19268 >How do you make a character likable or hatable to Anon? Make it their favourite/least favourite Tohu. >How do your faceless OC anon-insert develop a personality without making Anon feel like they have no control over the character? By you being a decent writer and making them actual characters with personalities.
>How do you make a character likable or hatable to Anon?
90% of a character being likable or hateable (without being a moustache-twirling parody) depends on the quality of the writing in general. In other words, make sure you have a proofreader. Find somebody who seems decently smart, show them what you've written, and for the love of fuck, listen to them. I've seen so many writers ask for advice and then bristle up like hedgehogs the instant somebody criticizes something. If you really want to write good, enjoyable characters you need to listen to other people and be willing to change.
>How do your faceless OC anon-insert develop a personality without making Anon feel like they have no control over the character?
Even with a faceless OC you can give them a little backstory. How old is she? What's his job? How much does it pay? Does she still have parents? Even if it's just a faceless male who randomly stumbles into Gensokyo (please don't do that though) these questions are still relevant.
From there, character development should relate to the story. From Gilgamesh to Genji to Gatsby, the events of the story shape the character as much as the character's actions shape the story. This is where you can take advantage of the CYOA format. Don't just have choices be big actions. When something goes wrong for your character, let anon decide how angry they get. When something goes right, let anon decide how to celebrate. This way you can keep things on track and keep anon's curve-balls from hitting you too hard without putting up a big sign that says "THIS WAY TO PLOT-TOWN"
>>19268 >How do you make a character likable or hatable to Anon?
Behavior, mostly. If you make a character act against the MC a lot, the character will probably grow to be hated. Just keep in mind that it's difficult to make most Anon hate 2hus. We idolize the characters, so when they're seen in a negative light within a story it's upsetting.
Making characters likable, well, they have to be helpful and/or kind to MC. If they're 2hus, most Anon will automatically have a degree of familiarity and/or positive opinion of them. So, basically the opposite of the above.
>>19289 Close, but the cigar just missed your mouth. A reader's opinion of a character isn't strictly limited to how they behave around the MC(s), it's how they act without coercion. They should carry conflicting motivations and internal conflicts that are gradually brought to bear upon our understanding of them throughout the story; their actions should be at odds with their words and entice us to understand why.
>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.
To wit: they have to intrigue, alter the reader's understanding of their skills, flaws, objectives, and experiences through both interactions with other characters and actions taken in private. That said, the line between what sort of reaction you'll get is a fickle bitch since readers WILL note when you're purposefully trying to endear characters unto them, like a baker misguidedly spreading honey on brie.
Their actions(!) should relay whether they're to be liked or scorned. They need active goals that they're working towards that effectually shape the plot of the story. Watching them progress, fail, and crumple down, only to witness them try again endears us to them. We admire characters more for their tenacity than their actual success, though this is not to say that they SHOULDN'T indulge in a little triumph here and there, a bit of potato rostis for their efforts. Conversely if, like you said, they purposefully nip at the MC's nuts, well grow disdain for them but ONLY if the MC him/herself is to be liked in the first place.
>If they're 2hus, most Anon will automatically have a degree of familiarity and/or positive opinion of them. See above. You're coming in with the work partway done for you, certain characters will inherently draw certain responses/biases from reader. Mold them to suit your story.
I'm sensing a trend that I can't quite smell here, should go eat now.
>>19284 >In other words, make sure you have a proofreader. Find somebody who seems decently smart, show them what you've written, and for the love of fuck, listen to them. I've seen so many writers ask for advice and then bristle up like hedgehogs the instant somebody criticizes something. If you really want to write good, enjoyable characters you need to listen to other people and be willing to change.
Far off-topic, but holy goddamn fuck, so much this. As an editor, nothing is worse than a writer who refuses to listen to input. Protip for aspiring writers: Humility is underrated. Your ideas are not so valuable that changing them will just throw the world into chaos. No matter if it's the way you write a certain character or punctuation style or whatever, please, for Minoriko's sake, be willing to compromise. There are few rights and wrongs when it comes to writing, but there does come a point when your prose just becomes difficult to stomach. More importantly, don't treat editors as your enemies; we're not here to "usurp your creativity" or "steal your baby". All we care about is seeing a more finished product.
>>19314 Addendum: If you aren't willing to compromise on anything, but you really want someone to look your stuff over for typos, please be very up-front about that.
You don't know how frustrating it is to be told that suggesting changes is okay only to have it all thrown back in your face because that one sentence just has to read that specific way and you won't hear any other opinions about it. That's disingenuous and it's a waste of everybody's time.
Not really expressly advice, but I'd like to share this little descriptive paragraph from David Copperfield that I absolutely loved. This is for an extremely minor character that shows up two or three times in the book total.
>He was the meekest of his sex, the mildest of little men. He sidled in and out of a room, to take up the less space. He walked as softly as the Ghost in Hamlet, and more slowly. He carried his head on one side, partly in modest depreciation of himself, partly in modest propitiation of everybody else. It is nothing to say that he hadn't a word to throw at a dog. He couldn't have thrown a word at a mad dog. He might have offered him one gently, or half a one, or a fragment of one; for he spoke as slowly as he walked; but he wouldn't have been rude to him, and he couldn't have been quick with him, for any earthly consideration.
I suppose this can count as personal preference, but it pains me sometimes how plain the descriptions and prose can get in this site. This is something I always try to have going in my own writing: every character and location has to have its own distinctive feel or mental image that you immediately recall when you read the name. Even minor ones. I'd say even pulling into exaggeration is worth it if this is accomplished. It's especially easy in the Touhou setting because the characteristics are almost always already laid out for you, you only have to push them far enough to make them interesting.
As long as you make sure it's justified in that Anon completely fucked up big time in their choices, or that it was heavily foreshadowed with enough anticipation, you should be able to get away with offing Touhous. That means no "whoops you chose that seemingly inoffensive option, so this character dies. it was ur fault coz you chose it lololol". That kind of shit does not fly. Any other than that should be alright, depending on how well you write that scene and how logical the reasons for the character's death are.
Also, if the story was up until that moment a light-hearted plot, killing characters all of a sudden will raise eyebrows, no matter how justified it is. And regardless of that, you will always hear complaints from readers who happen to be diehard fans of the dead character.
>>19431 It depends on the story and your read on your audience. The useful answer to you, though, would be none, because if you're viewing writing your story in such a light that "anon fucked up" is even a thing that is possible, you're already dangerously close to losing the support of your audience.
If anon is unhappy with your "consequences," YOU fucked up and wrote a poor story. If you're going to kill major characters, it should feel right and necessary - not happy exactly, but the sort of thing where you read it and nod and go "Ah, this character dies here, that's right." Trying to treat stories here like games and mete out punishments does not do this.
>>19433 > If you're going to kill major characters, it should feel right and necessary - not happy exactly, but the sort of thing where you read it and nod and go "Ah, this character dies here, that's right."
Now that's an incredibly debatable point of view if I've ever seen one.
>>19433 >If you're going to kill major characters, it should feel right and necessary - not happy exactly, but the sort of thing where you read it and nod and go "Ah, this character dies here, that's right."
It's rare that canon character deaths are met with this reaction.
In my opinion, the Golden Rule for killing characters is "if it's necessary for what the story is trying to accomplish and isn't bullshit, then it must be done."
>>19432 >heavily foreshadowed with enough anticipation What do you mean by this exactly?
For example, in a story where a seemingly harmless character turns out to be the one behind it all. There are hints to the character being suspicious but the story never really points them out in an obvious way. And (hopefully), the reader would say "I should've known!" when she revealed herself and they read the previous parts of the story.
>>19441 No, I didn't mean that kind of twist. I was talking in regards of the death of nominal characters. What I was trying to say is that, if you really want to kill off a character, you need to mind the setting of your story, and use story facts established with enough anticipation to do the killing.
For example, if you are having the protagonists go in a zany, silly quest to collect Yuyuko's missing lunch, for example, you just can't have a random assassin and kill Youmu out of the blue. That would be completely unsettling for the readers who were until that moment enjoying the light-hearted half-ghost's hijinks. Unless you are trying to pull something in the style of PMMM, but that kind of twist is hard to do right.
However, even if you do have a setting were it's been established that anyone can die, you still need to handle any possible deaths carefully. Like before, suddenly making an assassin appear out of nowhere and killing off the hardened veteran gardener is still a cheap way to off a character. A way to mitigate that effect is, for example, to have the readers know beforehand that they are about to infiltrate the cave of a gang of brain-washed ninja warriors that attack any intruders on sight. If the readers still choose to go in there, then they have already been warned, and they should not complain if an ally dies because of that decision. That's what I meant by foreshadowing the death.
To add to this anon's words, if said ninja cave is a story arc with votes on how to handle everything within as it comes up, having a sudden ninja assassin do their thing and wipe someone out is still foul play. However, if the party is ground down through previous combat, the surprise killshot makes more sense. This way, the readers get to see the doomed character in question hurting and/or not at the top of their game through fatigue.
Youmu, for example, could feasibly take out several squads of the brainwashed ninja warriors, sustaining a variety of injuries along the way, before the surprise attack comes and shanks her right in the gut, which she could have avoided had she not been bleeding everywhere for the past ten minutes.
Even in a case like the above, however, it should still be possible for the main character to intercept the ambushing strike, provided they take options that allow them to keep a protective stance on the wounded character in question, or something along those lines. This would, of course, come at a cost to their own health as they take the hit, but surviving since they're not nearly so messed up.
>>19446 PMMM? Anyway, stories that can pull that kind of thing off well tend to be pretty good, in my experience. It's kind of nice and people, or at least I, tend to become really paranoid as suddenly you KNOW anyone can die.
I've got a question for you all. I've been writing on THP for a while now, but my story started as an experiment to improve my writing and branching out from my normal style. I have found that my experimental style is not as fun as my usual and actually makes writing more difficult for me, as well as lowers my quality. Would it be uncouth of me to let my readers know and switch to what is more comfortable for me, as long as the change wouldn't impact the story in any significant way? I get the feeling it would be an issue, but I want to ask just to be certain.
>>19510 It should be perfectly fine. I switched from 2nd person perspective to 1st in the middle of my current story after asking my readers if they'd be cool with it. Most readers are perfectly happy as long as you're happy and your story isn't shit.
>>19518 Open in the thick of a scenario, like a chase or battle. Alternatively, open with a semi-rant by the main character about the leading themes that drive the story. Or something. I'm not so good with intros either; mine was kind of lackluster.
>>19518 Openings are too dependent on the story itself to offer a whole lot in the way of advice, I'm afraid. You're mostly trying to set the tone of the story while giving some general indication of the Whos, Whats, Wheres, Whys, and Hows. Your best bet is to figure out all the things you're trying to convey in your story and bring them out without spelling everything single thing out. Basically, open with something relevant to whatever your story's about.
One further unhelpful suggestion: Just try something on. Wherever you feel might be a good place to start chugging along with the story, there's your beginning. Then take it to someone with a critical eye and have them look it over. If they're of any mind to help, you'll find out real quick whether it works or not.
>>19522 Adding on, here're some prospective opening examples to help you decide what you may decide is central to your story.
A set piece description of a land/townscape that is to be the primary setting for the story. A conversation of some pertinent import. Self introduction by the narrator. Pitching a character into jeopardy (a scene wherein the character needs to flee from muderboss-style danger). A frame story (story within a story, think "Heart o' Darkness" here).
Really you can take an almost uncountable number of approaches to an opening as writing is an experiment of building the new with the old. Just settle on how you want to portray the central ideas of your story and influence it in those first few paragraphs.
I’m gonna try not to make this more specific than it already is. I’m writing from the perspective of a youkai, which means they have lived a long life. How would I go about skimming through life times while still building up relationships with characters to the point where the reader would care about them beyond the fact they’re a Touhou?
So, I start off the story with a monlogue from the protagonist about themselves. The problem I'm having, however, is making a nice transition from "monologue" to "Real-time events." I mean, I have an idea of "Which is why I'm here now, doing X" however, I'd like to see other options that others can come up with.
>>19547 I’d like you to provide a little more information, like what’s the overall theme of your story? Action, horror, comedy, love, slice of life? Different themes have different openings which work for them. I could give you a way to transit a story right now, but it would be going from monologue to the heat of battle to a calming state, then back to the battle. That wouldn’t exactly work if you’re writing a romance SoL, now would it? It could actually, though, it’s more to get my point across.
>>19582 It comes down to preference. I liked the idea after seeing it in a story I was following so I adopted it for my own threads. Sometimes helpful comments, sometimes not, but I enjoy interacting with my readers.
Also, it helps kill the thread if the votes were starting to run dry. That's nice.
What's a decent size for opening posts? I mean, when I know my updating schedule is gonna be wonky, should I try to make them good sized, like, I dunno, 2-4 thousand words? Or is even just a shorter post okay?
>>19612 It's entirely up to you. Personally, they can have as big of an impact as you want, or as little as you want.
MC needs a companion through their travels but for some reasons Touhous don't want to stick around? Give them a companion OC who will stick with them through thick or thin.
Want to advance the plot, but can't think of a way for the MC to do it him/herself? Throw in an OC Messenger who you might be able to reuse later.
Again, this is just personal preference, but don't make an OC that you won't want to keep using or not use again later even if it is in a different story. Sometimes Anon can come to like an OC that was originally meant to only be there for a couple scenes. I would recommend this, even for Established characters and the MC, write out all the important details about them. Their long-term and short-term goals, as well as their likes and dislikes. You don't need a family tree, unless it's important, you just need to note the things that define them as people. Doing this for an OC is a good way for you to make them more likable to anon.
But that doesn't exactly answer your question, I know. I need to ask before I could give a better answer, is the OC relevant to the plot? If yes, well, there's your answer. If no, then obviously you don't need to try to make anon love him/her.
>>19613 How how about this: The OC will be an enemy from the past, making a reappearance to once again rage havoc in the MC's life. The OC is intended to be viewed as evil and hated by Anon. Their precious role (pre-story) have left a big impact on the MC, making him who he is today. It'd have no direct impact on the overall plot, but serve as a way to deepen the MC as a person. In that case, it'd be alright, no?
>>19612 >>19615 I have a villain OC. It's easier to have a villain OC than an ally OC, in my opinion. Though keep in mind that the villain needs to be able to fit in with the Gensokyo setting and they shouldn't be "cheaply overpowered."
>>19626 1.Whatever the writer wants and 2.Yen, probably.
Canon youkai extermination, though, is just beating their ass in Danmaku and telling them to pipe down. Unless it's a random unimportant non-touhou youkai in which case they may get sealed in some way.
I don't think Reimu has actually 'killed' anything in canon, as in made it cease to exist completely and permanently. Correct me if I'm wrong.
>>19627 Even if Reimu did kill someone in canon, I don't think it's possible to kill someone permanently in Touhou without explicitly stating there's nobody hanging around with a bullshit I HEAL EVERYTHING EVER power.
Shut up, Mokou and Kaguya, I'm talking about a power that works on other people.
>>19626 The answer to the first question lies in your heart. No, but on a serious note, it seems mostly like playing freelance riot police: people start acting up and disturbing the Wa, so you smack them a bit until they pipe down. Something makes me doubt that it's possible to make a youkai permanently die without basically attacking the concept of its existence directly. But that leads down a long road of conceptual weirdness that further wanders into chuuni territory. Case in point, stick to the concrete; smack youkai until they're quiet again.
As for the second question, paper currency was officially introduced in Japan in 1872, i.e., 13 years prior to the Hakurei Barrier being erected. That's feasibly enough time for it to have been introduced, either directly or indirectly, and adopted at least in part by Gensokyans. I imagine they also have plenty of old hard currency still being passed around, since printing more cash is likely difficult to impossible, depending on how ubiquitous human currency is, if the kappa or tengu might have a hand in printing, etc. It could go many ways, really.
Neither too obvious nor too subtle. If it's too obvious, it deflates the shock element. If it's too subtle, the reveal might come off as an ass pull. A good foreshadowing must not spoil the surprise, yet seem an obvious clue in retrospect.
Common foreshadowing devices are premonitory dreams, characters dismissing 'what-ifs' as 'stupid' or 'impossible', or seemingly unrelated lectures/stories/conversations. The thing about foreshadowing is that it can be spotted by experienced readers thanks to the so-called Law of Conservation of Detail: "Every detail given in a story is important and will be relevant at some point in the future." The trick of good foreshadowing is to toy with those readers' expectations, while still being fair with them.
>>19631 Rewatch the endings to LLS. Specifically Reimu's endings. Actual spoilers follow for those endings. Reimu shoves the cause of the incident into a bottle, which Marisa later steals and either opens or drops. It's not explicitly stated or shown to be Yuuka in the bottle as such, but she is clearly shown to be the cause of the incident in Marisa's endings and other places, and beating her up was the last thing Reimu did before showing up with the bottle.
I want to write a story and have an idea for the first post. Please comment.
Well, what am I gonna do today?
I have honestly no idea.
The man pulled the sheets off himself and stood up from his bed. An unpleasant sound could be heard while he did so. The man did not seem to care however and nonchalantly cracked his neck, leading to a repetition of the sound.
I could try talking to the other old guys in my neighborhood.
As he wanted to continue to the bathroom, he realized that he had managed to twist his neck in the other direction. His attempt to correct his error led to another unpleasant sound and the recreation of the state he was his neck was in before.
No. They are all talking about their children and the wives of their children and the parents of the wives of their children and the grandchildren of the parents of the wives of their children and the fiancés of the children of the wives of their grandchildren
Wait a minute...
In the end, a cacophony could be heard in the room that would make whoever heard it turn their stomachs in disgust. He man didn’t seem to that at all and continued twisting his neck until he suddenly unwillingly succeeded in correcting it.
Nevermind. The last one left last year with his grandparents.
Taking it as a sign that he should stop, the man went to the bathroom.
I could also try talking to the other old womehahaha nope.
He took his toothbrush.
Maybe talk to the young folk?
I mean, I could even show off my knowledge about the progress of the kappa research in the field of...
Then the tube.
Yeah, they would probably try to get the hell away from me when I talk about that.
Then he put his toothbrush away to open the tube.
What about Byakuren? She sure wouldn’t mind me visiting the temple.
He grabbed his toothbrush (again).
…Nah, if I just go there to hanging out with other people, it won’t do me any good. I don’t want anyone there thinking I’m lonely or something. He applied the paste. I mean, it’s not just that.
Continued applying it.
Maybe I should go shopping? Or take a walk? Or feed the animals? Or just stay home? And take care of my garden? Like the last two months?
Maybe I should get myself a dog?
Whatever. For the last two months I never had an idea what the hell I was going to do after I woke up and it never killed me.
Not many ways to die tending the garden.
Surely much less than hanging out with youkai with the minds of nine-year olds and intentions of eating me. Well, two of them.
Maybe I should go…
No, that was a mistake from the start. I’m too old for this shit.
Speaking of shit, I sure wasted a hell lot of toothpaste for this morning, damn, I need to get this stuff off my hands. There we go. Now, where was I? That’s right, I was going to brush my goddamn teeth!
Where the hell is my mirror?
This is my first attempt at a story, I have no experience with writing and only a vague idea about what I want to do. And I’m German. Yeah, I need advice.
>>19780 Well let’s see, first off there’s: >I have no experience with writing That. There’s nothing wrong with this fact, as many of the good writers on the site have started like that. All I can say here is continue to write. And read. Then read some more and write a bit more.
>only a vague idea about what I want to do This. That is, imo, the worst way to start a story. Personally I like to plan out a truckload more details than what’s needed, just to help the world building on its way. You on the other hand, should at least prepare the basics of a plot before you start, otherwise it may turn into aimless writing, which can end up boring for both the reader and the writer.
Your use of italics. I can see the pattern you’re using with it, and it doesn’t bother me personally, but I’ve seen people complain about it before so I’d just like to point it out to you. You shouldn’t use italics for every though the MC has, unless it’s a writing style you want to use. In some cases I can see it working.
Besides those, I don’t really see much worth of note, for now. If your claim of having next to no writing experience holds water, then I’d say it’s a pretty good first attempt. And at least you’re asking for help before starting a story, that’s more than what I did. I believe there is other on the site, better suited for giving you advice, but these is the things I felt should be mentioned.
>And I’m German Guten tag, meine freund. Ich bin Dänisch. Freut sich, Sie zu treffen.
>>19780 Okay, hm. You have some potential, I think. There were a few things that came to mind, though, when reading it.
Firstly, I'm seeing two different point-of-views here. What I mean is, you have the non-italic third-person format, but the first-person italics. Doing both like that is ill-advised because it can be jarring for your reader. Either stick to first-person the entire time, or third-person the entire time with just a few italic thoughts here and there. Also, in third-person, you can completely ignore italics and still get into a character's head. This is accomplished by changing some of the words you use. Let me take this portion, for example:
>Taking it as a sign that he should stop, the man went to the bathroom.
>I could also try talking to the other old womehahaha nope.
>He took his toothbrush.
>Maybe talk to the young folk?
>I mean, I could even show off my knowledge about the progress of the kappa research in the field of...
>Then the tube.
>Yeah, they would probably try to get the hell away from me when I talk about that.
>Then he put his toothbrush away to open the tube.
>What about Byakuren? She sure wouldn’t mind me visiting the temple.
>He grabbed his toothbrush (again).
>…Nah, if I just go there to hanging out with other people, it won’t do me any good. I don’t want anyone there thinking I’m lonely or something. >He applied the paste. >I mean, it’s not just that.
>Continued applying it.
>Maybe I should go shopping? >Or take a walk? >Or feed the animals? >Or just stay home? And take care of my garden? Like the last two months?
Here's what it would look like if the point-of-view was all written in third-person:
>Taking it as a sign that he should stop, the man stepped into the bathroom.
>He could try talking to the old wome-- hahaha, nope, that would be suicide. Maybe he could talk to the young folk. He could even show off his knowledge about the progress of the kappa research in the field of... Yeah, no, they would probably try to get the hell away form him if he tried to talk about that.
>What about Byakuren? She sure wouldn't mind if he visited the temple. Though, if he just went there to hang out with other people, it wouldn't do him any good. He didn't want anyone there to think he was lonely or something. Maybe he could go shopping? Or take a walk? Or feed the animals? Or just stay home and take of his garden? Just like the last two months...
You'll notice I cut out a few descriptions. Jumping back and forth between his thoughts and describing tiny actions like that can get confusing. One of the important rules of writing is to only describe things that have a purpose. New writers tent to fall into the trap of describing each detail in a room, or everything in a character's appearance, or every last action (I certainly did). Honestly, unless you have a reason to point out why a character is applying toothpaste, it doesn't need to be added in. Most readers will filter out that sort of thing, anyway.
Alternatively, you could do exactly the same thing I did, except make all of it in first-person. First-person is a little easier than third-person, so that might be a better start for you. Just make sure you stay relatively consistent, whatever point-of-view you decide to use.
Oh, and the spaces. Try not to use the enter key so often. If you want me to, I can also go over how paragraphs work. Just, uh, let me know?
Alright, so I was browsing YouTube like any other day and I stumbled upon this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j1PXhkXJ2A Although it's centered around game designs, I believe it still applies to writing. Just thought I might drop it here for the convenience of it.
I wrote my first story on this board for NaNoWriMo last November just to see if I really had it in me to write. Somehow, I actually completed the challenge to post once a day, life schedule be damned.
Even though it's great that I managed this, the story I wrote was one that was meant to be a coinciding story to another larger story I plan to eventually write. I used it as a way to test myself and to build and describe the setting the main story would take place in.
My problem now is that it was obviously rushed due to the nature of the challenge and I would like to go back and rewrite it. Not from scratch, but just describe things differently or change a few things so they later make sense for the main story, but nothing that would require changing votes that were already cast at the time.
My question is, I want to post my rewrite to the board, but should I post it in the same thread as the "rough draft" so as to not push other threads off the board, or should I make a new thread so I don't have to refer to the middle of the old thread in order to refer to the new version of the side story, and so it's its own entity separate from the old? I'd mark it as a new revision in either case.
>>19833 A new thread would probably be best. You shouldn't worry about bumping anything off the board. The stories at the back are ancient and people can always check the archive if they really want to find them. They don't just disappear or anything.
>>19833 Go with a new thread. If you're worried about pushing something off the front page, don't be. if it's an "active" board, then it'll probably be back on the front soon enough. If it's on a "slow" board, then chances are it's dead/over/on hiatus. Besides, a little perceived competition might just get people to write again. I realize that might just be wishful thinking, but oh well.
If I need a certain character to be in a specific kind of relationship with the MC for the sake of helping the plot, even if it’s not absolutely necessary, should I still go through with it if Anon is against it? The same goes for development in relationships. Even if anon may dislike it, should I still go through with it for the plot?
>>19850 ayup. You are the game master and you need to set up the story how you see it. If, in the end, it'll create a better story for everyone, then absolutely do it. Being afraid of Anon is a surefire way to fuck yourself over. Writing here takes this weird mix of not giving a fuck about anon, and still listening to them.
>Can it be done well, still? Dunno. Can you write is well, is more the question. As long as things are written with a decent amount of quality, you'll find it passable here. Of course there are exceptions, but I doubt this'll be one of them.
If you want to give romance a go, then go for it. It's not like they're uncommon. The Wriggle story in /Forest/ is focused on romancing Wriggle. Myouren Academy and Theater of Youth are both about High School romances (they have a completely different take on it, though) I'd also call Restore in Gensokyo a romance considering the harem (ok, three people is not exactly a harem, but you get my point) Reina is building.
Point is, there are still stories about romance, so the concept is not dead yet, and by the looks of it, not going to die soon. Give some of those stories a read if you need inspiration. There are probably more, but I'd say you go to the Recommendation Thread in /Gensokyo/ to ask for that.
Alright. So I had a discussion with a friend about the competence of a main character. It basically went with him claiming incompetent MCs are boring and uninteresting, while I argued against that. So here's the question: What are your thoughts about in/competent MCs?
>>19947 Some where in the middle or a mix of strong/weak points. As either extreme is bad for different reasons. One could perhaps pull off a super competent MC, but it'd require a very high talent and style level to do it right. In short something beyond most writers here.
Or you could pull off a hyper-competent character wrong like almost everyone else, and reap the reward of people liking your story regardless. If it's halfway well-written, anyway. Doing everything "right" doesn't matter.
>>19962 Not sure if that'd happen, as I've seen a few stories get sunk over some offense and if said hyper competent MC is considered a Marty Stu by a majority, shit will happen.
Though the first run of Archetype of Self worked as while the MC was stupidly OP, it was less about challenge than thinking up crazy ass OP shit to pull, which among other things, morphing into some OP MUGEN character and dropping a miniature moon on Yorihime, not that it was enough to beat her.
>>19963 At least it was not as stupid as that story where the supposedly normal human at one point grabs three master sparks and somehow throw them at his opponent. That was just stupid. Awesome, but stupid.
>>20116 Depends on how deep you want your story to be, If it's just a fuck-fest, then it's not really needed. If it's a full blown story where the characters grow, but with a focus on sex, then it'd be the same as every other story.
Short version: Plot is as important as you want it to be.
Though I don't frequent /AT/ much, besides a few specific threads, so I'd wait for another set of opinion before calling the decision
>>20116 As far as I've ever witnessed, not really. The most popular stories have plots that are pretty thin. There's nothing all that wrong with that, I guess, but trying to replicate doujins in word form leads itself to feeling a bit formulaic, much like the medium they're trying to copy.
Like the other guy said, it's about as important as you want it to be. However, I'd personally add that /at/ could use more stories with decent characterisation.
In my experience, you can go either way, as long as the sex itself is well-written. The original Lotus Pavilion had no plot, and it was a great success. At the same time, I think some plot can make a good story even better. Dynamic characters and compelling questions give people reasons to read beyond just seeing who will get shagged next. Mind the Gap had some of that, with the mystery of Rick's hitbox and a number of short character arcs, and I think it made the story better. Sex will probably always be the main attraction, though, so plot is just icing on the cake.
Honestly, half of what would make /at/ better would be better sex scenes. Descriptions of things going in-and-out of orifices only go so far without any sense of connection to/between the characters. I felt like the FoSL writer got it right with his canon scene (in spite of some questionable dialogue).
The thing to take away is that plot isn't totally necessary, but at least make sure that there's some hint of emotion in the sex beyond "unf fel grate".
>>20123 Plot can make sex better. I would say my current favorites of /at/ would be the Whilheim touhoumon story and winemaker because of the traces of plot and plenty of vanilla loving. Some might beg to differ mentioning some of the plotless smutfests /at/'s infamous for (it actually has a stigma to some because of them)
>>20128 well truth be told, some think more of kinks than the greater connections, though given how starved /at/ readers are for any sort of smut, it works. There's some that try for a connection, like Winemaker.
>>20614 We're pretty accepting of OCs if they're interesting and make sense to the plot's development. Just remember this is a site for fanfiction about cute girls with silly hats, and that most readers come here to mainly read about them.
I'd say the ideal ratio is 1 OC to 10 CCs, but that's just my personal opinion, and it also varies depending on what kind of story you're making. For example, if you're writing, say, a story of how Kanako became a god, then you'd necessarily create a lot of OCs to carry the plot forward, because most of the canon characters weren't even born at that time.
>>20614 >>20618 Yeah, if it's a typical "Outsider in Gensokyo" story the need for other OCs won't be that big, but if the main character is a native the need will be bigger due to friends and/or a closer look at village life.
>>20618 >>20619 I'm planning a story for /Border/ where the MC travels between Gensokyo and the outside world a lot because of reasons. There's a limited number of CCs in the outside world which I can work with, and to not make it entirely boring I am going to end up needing OCs. I'm also planning on using OCs to build the world more, both outside and inside the border. If anon didn't like the idea of lots of OCs with lesser roles, and few with bigger ones, then I would need to reconsider the story.
>>20622 I don't think there's one single answer for that, everyone has their particular preference. Personally, as long as it's set in Gensokyo, I'd read and vote normally even if touhous only got minor roles. Provided the story was interesting, of course.
But in general, the impression I get is that not many readers here are particular about that kind of detail. So, go nuts.
>Okay well that should be good enough for a start >Let's just put it into a word counter >250 words Fuck. I'd at least like to get 1000 words or something. I can't even get a quarter of that. Why must I be so shit at writing.
>>20764 How much are you trying to say? 250 words doesn't sound like much, but if you're not trying to say a whole lot then you might not need too many words. Or you might need to reassess your plans. Either way, an update is as long as it needs to be, imo.
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>>20903 Reposting this from the recommendations thread in case someone finds it useful in the future.
First, ask yourself why you want to write a school story. The popularity and votes that the genre always gathers is attractive enough. Characters who measure their lives in human terms are usually easier to relate to and thus easier to write. Not needing to concern yourself with cast herds is another factor that lets you freely deviate from the standard character dynamics (this one can be done in other genres too, just not generally in a standard Gensokyo). I'm sure there are other reasons, but I can't think of them off the top of my head.
The next thing to consider is what anon wants. Generally, readers prioritize interactions with a handful of characters rather than everyone. Popular touhous or under-appreciated ones or that one character you really didn't expect them to go for, that sort of thing. Of course, these are different things to different people, so be prepared for the inevitable waifu wars. That's not to say it's bad when readers are passionate about things. You just need to be able to weather the shitstorms and know when to put your foot down.
I'd advise you find a niche to do something the other stories don't. Good characters are nine tenths of what makes a school story worth reading, but if the setting and plot are played out, you might get compared unfavorably to the stories that changed things up. You also might not want to go full mundane with things. GH kept magic in while Eastern High was a sometimes unsettling paranoiafest. (MegaSen you faggot why did you cancel it in such a shitty way? Are you even still around?)
Of course, most of this can be applied to any AU type stories, not just school. Space, apocalyptic, crossovers in other settings, and so on.
>>20968 And this is the exact problem. The immersion is fundamentally different, since the author is immersed more deeply. Things which may be obvious to the writer might easily go over a reader's head. Likewise, it's easy for a writer to completely miss things a viewer may pick up on because they're so absorbed in immersion with their own creation.
Essentially, the immersion as a writer is fundamentally different from the immersion as a reader. I can say this with certainty as a long-time writer who has both experienced both of the scenarios I gave above, as well as directly experienced the difference in immersion by going back and reading a story I had written on THP years ago and seeing it in a different light.
As a writer, it's hard to tell whether what you're creating is good or not simply because you're experiencing it in a completely different way from your readers. Unfortunately, the only thing you really have to go on is reader response to your story.
Forgive me if i'm being overly presumptuous, but the odds of two americans in any sort of close proximity both being into touhou is extremely low. I mean...the only time I saw another fan was some dude playing EoSD in my dorm common area, and that was 6 years ago. I didn't even know what Touhou was at the time either.
Also, I wouldn't want my friends to know I write stories about little girls with silly hats.
>>20971 Isn't that what the internet's for? I mean, I don't know anybody in real life who's into Touhou and I'm sure as hell not gonna start asking around, but it can't be that difficult to find someone online. This is an entire site dedicated to writing stories about little girls in silly hats, it can't be that hard to find someone you could email it to.
>>20971 Well, I have my proofer who's willing to give me critique and not afraid to say things as they are even if I won't like it. Another friend I speak to regularly in IRC has previously helped me out with my stories, and has been more than happy to read my updates before I post them, the last couple of times I've asked him. I'm sure you know someone on IRC who'd you'd be able to ask for help. By the off-chance that you don't, asking for help in a chat you'd find a few people willing to help you.
>>20975 > Echoing. > Repeating sentence patterns and word choices breaks immersion.
I think he's talking more along the lines of "Every sentence flows the exact same boring way." but I'm going to go ahead and disagree that it's necessarily a bad thing. It's a narration choice. Personally, I intentionally do things like that, i.e. a self-centered person, while going on a rant, narrates in a bunch of short sentences all starting with "I". Othertimes I use a recurring piece of dialogue, or a recurring description, to really draw emphasis towards it. Can't really give an example though without breaking anonymity.
Anyway, reading that was really just the catalyst for this rant that's been brewing inside of me for a while now.
>>21012 There's a pretty famous Bill Cosby quote about trying to please everybody. That's your maxim to live by for writing.
Having said that, there are two things that tend to draw interest: 1) A unique perspective and 2) a good sense of presentation. Specifically, what I mean by a 'unique perspective' is a well-thought out sense of setting, character, etc. Maybe you have your own take on how a certain pair of characters interact. Or you might have a certain picture in your mind of Gensokyo as a place and a society. If you put enough thought into these things, some part of your story will stand out from the others out there, because I can guarantee that no two people share the exact same interpretation of every little thing within Touhou. As for presentation, a lot of it boils down to storytelling, and luckily there are reams of advice on this aspect out there. All you have to do is sort through it and find what applies to you.
I will say, though, the one thing that can be pretty indispensable to a writer -- especially newer ones -- is having somebody who can reliably read what you've wrote and give you their most straightforward impressions. Doubly so if they're a writer as well. Obviously, you're talking a very small sample size, but a writing buddy can at least give you an idea of whether or not something's off.
>>21019 I think I have a neat idea for a story I've been working on for a while, it even has a beginning, vague middle and end!
The main issue I'm having right now (aside from block/laziness) is narrative perspective. I'm going for a story within a story approach.
On the one hand, I want one character to be relaying the story to another. On the other, I also want to use the perspective and thoughts of a third character who is very much the subject of the story, and obviously the first character wouldn't know what that person would be thinking at that moment.
Right now I have: The present. Character one telling character two the story and later between sections of the story the consequences of doing this (Character two can't keep secrets).
The past. Sections of the story told from character one in normal narrative format. i.e. "She did that thing."
The past again. Sections of the story from the perspective of character three, including personal experiences character one knows nothing about. i.e. Maybe I was a bit rude to her. Character aimlessly flicked around the left-over bone on the plate. (I'm actually also questioning whether or not I should go full personal and use "I" instead of "Character" for this part.)
Now I feel fine with it, but I can see how it might be needlessly awkward and confusing for others reading it. The only way I can really see around this is just scrapping the story within a story angle, but I really do want to use both the past and the present with Character three being the main character of the past and Character two being main character of the present.
If it helps put it into context a bit: Character one: Kasen Character two: Marisa Character three: Suika
It's basically what you said. The entire story part of the book besides the first and last chapters is framed within the narrative by the titular Frankenstein. aka Character 2. Only in the last chapter does Character 3 show up to Character 1.
Personally, I find that their use depends on the style of writing. In dialogue I don't mind so much so long as the ellipsis comes at the end of what they are saying, as if they are trailing off or dropping what they say. Out side of dialogue, it seems weird to have them outside of a first-person perspective. If you're going to use ellipses in the middle of the sentence, please, just use a comma instead. Unless your sentence is already a comma retreat, in which case I suggest proofreading and changing things so it flows better. Of course, if you are intentionally going for it being awkward to read for whatever reason then just go with it.
On a side note, what should I use in place of a comma? I feel like I use them too much and turn my writing into a textbased game of redlight/greenlight. I've been told to use semicolons, but those feel weird to use in a story, especially dialogue.
>>21073 I'm not sure why semicolons would be strange to use in dialog. Sure, most people don't really speak in a way that would make use of them, but there are a lot that do; myself included. You just need to make sure that they fit with the context and the personality if the person speaking. Same thing for narration and internal monolog.
...Or maybe that's just bias from someone who loves semicolons.
>>21073 There's also the dash — a nifty tool in my opinion — but don't overuse it or your text will be jarring to read. Another option is rearranging your sentence(s) so that a comma is not required.
On semicolons: they are similar to a comma, but the separation they create tends to be more disjointed then that of a comma.
Example: >It’s dark; I haven’t gotten a new lamp yet.
As opposed to: >It’s dark, I haven’t gotten a new lamp yet.
This wouldn't be proper, because the comma is supposed to have more flow between both sides. "It’s dark" and "I haven’t gotten a new lamp yet" are too disjointed to fit a comma separation. A period would work in some cases, too, but if you'd rather keep the two thoughts together a semicolon fits the bill. Conversely, a semicolon can't replace every comma that appears in your text. They both have a unique usage for them. Check Wikipedia for more information.
Apologies if you already know how semicolons work. Just in case you weren't aware, I thought to distinguish the usage of the two punctuation marks. (And if you already knew, maybe somebody else will find this post helpful.)
All of that said, sometimes you'll just have to use a lot of commas. Do your best at weeding out the unnecessary ones, but don't go overboard just for the sake of cutting down.
I have various short story ideas kicking around in my head. They all originated as a simple idea that I built a plot around. Do you all have any suggestions on how I go from "vehicle for a gimmick" to "short story"? Or am I going about this whole process wrong?
If you're looking to write a short story, the best way to go about it is to work out a few specifics, figure out a starting point, and just start writing. Trying to over complicate the process will only take energy and focus away from the actual writing, which is extremely important for short stories.
Other than that, the best advice I have for you is to keep a close eye on pacing. Pacing alone is capable of making or breaking a short story.
Also, don't be afraid to scrap whole sections or even an entire draft if it doesn't seem to be coming out right. Writing is a creative process, after all, so frequently revising your writing is a good thing.
There's no standard by which to judge something as generic, as the term generic is solely a subjective construct created by the individual.
I.E: What is generic and overdone t one person might be new and exciting to another.
Now, one could argue a "majority rule" factor in determining if something should be publicly agreed on to be generic, but seeing as this is an anonymous imageboard, it's difficult to obtain empirical data that accurately reflects the user base.
In conclusion: any consensus formed in a thread like this would be pure conjecture, and subject to change at a moment's notice.
How would one go about writing a Touhou character as a villain without relying on the stereotypes such as "Yukari fooling around/have a plan no one but her would be able to understand", "The Moriya Conspiracy", or just using a canonically 'bad' character as a villain without any real reason other than 'meh, evil'?
>>21304 That doesn't sound too hard. Touhous could want any number of things, and I'd say a good number of them have strong enough personalities that they wouldn't mind ruining some meaningless humans' lives or random people who are in the way of their goals.
Hell, Reimu. Barely thinking about it, here's a setup that's probably been done many times before.
One of Reimu's priorities is the protection of Gensokyo. Let's say your protagonist's continued existence could threaten Gensokyo (or at least Reimu thinks as much). There, free antagonist, and nobody is going to think Reimu is evil because of it.
I've always seen the "enemy of Gensokyo " schtick as somewhat irrational. I mean, someone would have to have Sasuke levels of plot armor to not get instafucked by pretty much any of the major powers there.
>>21304 From my viewpoint, it's hard to write most Touhou characters as traditional 'villains' simply because of the setting. They've had years to show their colors and instead they sit around drinking tea. Not to say its impossible to take a character in that direction, but I find it difficult.
No, it's much easier to create an 'antagonist' that will more likely than not be vilified by the readers. It shouldn't be difficult to find friction in the cast. After all, when two strong-willed individuals have motivations that are at odds with each other, we got a story.
I'm basically echoing this guy's sentiments >>21305
>>21304 The basis of conflict in many stories is along the lines of 'someone wants something, this something runs against what someone/everyone else wants'. Figure out what they want and why it matters to them. With 2hus, those wants could have pretty far-reaching effects, and typically do in the case of the games.
>>21353 But that's just it. I've seen people write Tewi's name as "Tei" before, which is why I started to wonder how it was pronounced. Come to think of it, I've also seen some people write Momiji's name as "Momizi." Would that make the correct pronunciation "Moe-me-gee" or "Moe-me-zee," or somewhere in between like "Moe-me-she?"
>Tewi: The first one, otherwise you would write it as Tei. (Eientei is written differently, but the connection is interesting to consider and I'd accept it for that.)
The problem with that I've never heard her name pronounced that way in anything where her name is actually spoken, and while those are all fanworks, they are fanworks made and performed by native speakers of the language. Every time I've heard it, it's always been like the second example, without the "w".
>>21353 I think Cirno is properly pronounced 'cheer-no' (chi-ru-no). >>21354 'Momiji' and 'Momizi' are both attempts to represent a sound that doesn't quite exist in English pronunciation. The closest I can approximate it is 'Mo-mi-dzi', with the 'd' de-emphasised.
>Kokoro: Co-core-oh (co as in co-pilot.) I think Co-ca-row (Yes, with the first two like Coca-cola.) is probably the correct one, but I like my pronunciation better.
Remember that Japanese is a syllabic language. Each syllable is well-defined, and will always sound the same. "Ko" will always sound like "ko", so two "ko"s in a row will sound like "cocoa" (with a silent a).
Additionally, syllables in Japanese never end in a consonant sound. Even the "n" that you see at the end of some "syllables" (eg senpai) is treated as a syllable of its own. And, on that note, "n" is the only consonant which is treated this way. You will never see a syllable pronounced like "core" in Japanese.
Using this information, we can break "Kokoro" up into the following syllables: ko-ko-ro.
So, once again assuming a silent a, "Kokoro" should be pronounced similarly to "cocoa row".
While we're at it,
>Tewi: The first one, otherwise you would write it as Tei. (Eientei is written differently, but the connection is interesting to consider and I'd accept it for that.)
Once upon a time, Japan used to actually have a "wi" sound. Now they don't. "Wi" is a chararacter that isn't actually ever used, and in fact isn't even taught to most foreigners learning Japanese. Since it appears in old texts, they still need to be able to use it, and they approximate it by just saying "i".
The closest thing Japanese has to an actual "i" sound is the dipthong "ui". Japanese dipthongs are strange in that the "u" and "i" are actually separate syllables, but are often spoken quickly in a way that merges them into one voiced syllable. Spoken at a slower speed, it would normally come out as "ooh-eee", but when spoken quickly it comes out closer to the English word "we".
>Dai: Die-yo-say. I usually just use the first syllable when I can be bothered to remember her at all. Very close. "Dai", "you", and "sei" are actually two syllables each. Da-ee-yo-uu-seh-ee (ee pronounced as in the English word see). Again, the dipthongs are often spoken fast enough to sound like single syllables (die-yoo-say, remember that the u doubles the length of the o!), but they're actually two.
>>21369 This. Similarly to how Japanese r sounds are actually l sounds at the same time, "ji" and "zi" are also the exact same sound. When you pronounce that character, you pronounce it as sort of a blend between those two sounds.
"ji" is what you get when you voice the consonant on the syllable "shi". As English speakers, we have a tendency to want to pronounce this the same as the English word "she". This is correct, but it's also correct (if uncommon) to pronounce it the same as the English word "see". In fact, the proper pronunciation is kinda both of those at the same time.
The other s sounds in Japanese voice in a pretty straightforward way. "sa" becomes "za", "su" becomes "zu", "se" becomes "ze", and "so" becomes "zo". However, since "shi" is already a sound that doesn't quite fit in with sounds we're used to in English, when we voice the s in "shi", we end up with a sound that's really strange to English speakers.
That said, it's actually pronounced a lot closer to "zi" than "ji". Why is it often written as "ji", then? Because the syllables "jya", "jyu", and "jyo" (or simply "ja", "ju", and "jo") are made by combining "ji" with a y sound (for example, ji fuses with ya to become ja), and these are pronounced pretty much exactly as an English speaker would read them, with a J.
As for Cirno, because of how ambiguous it is, I just flat out ignore the fact that it's supposed to be a foreign name and pronounce it in Japanese: "chi" "ru" "no".
Lets talk name localization. Since most touhou characters are Japanese, their names are written family name first and given name last. When translated into English, their names are often reversed. Hakurei Reimu becomes Reimu Hakurei for example.
Characters whose names were in English order to begin with remain in the same order. Remilia Scarlet remains Remelia Scarlet.
However, characters whose names contain "no" in them, like Fujiwara no Mokou, often stay in the same order when translated even when everyone else's names get reversed. So some translated doujins have Reimu Hakurei and Remelia Scarlet hanging out with Fujiwara no Mokou.
Why is this? As someone who only speaks English, my first instinct would be to write her name as Mokou Fujiwara, and if really pressed make No her middle name. Is there some quirk of Japanese grammar that makes it unacceptable to reverse names with "no" in them?
According to the wiki: >Another noteworthy fact is that Mokou's last name is not actually a "family name" (苗字 myouji), but a "clan's name" (氏/本姓 uji/honsei) given by the Emperor. In ancient Japan times, it was common for aristocrats with uji to have the hiragana character の (no) between their uji and first name. The no used here indicates the "belonging", thus the English equivalent of her name would be "Mokou of the Fujiwara (Clan)".
Akyuu's page has a similar explanation for her name.
Basically, you can't treat the "no" like a middle name because it isn't a middle name at all, but a modifier. Considering the characters that have it as part of their name, it's clearly meant to indicate the age and social standing that those characters have or had. Namely, that they are/were aristocrats, and very, very old ones, at that.
I would assume that keeping such names as-is is largely because there isn't much benefit to using the English equivalent since it likely doesn't convey quite the same meaning, and with names like Miko's, it just makes a name that's already quite a mouthful even more awkward-sounding.
Nah. Youkai totally kill people all the time. Let's not go full Batman in here. The most efficient way of dealing with murderers is to kill them before they kill innocent people. As a new and weak youkai, it's only a matter of time before that dude started preying on humans to survive, best to nip the problem in the bud before it gets going.