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File 144616783763.jpg - (257.41KB, 1280x800, average editors face when.jpg) [iqdb]
It's the dawning of a new thread!

Writing Stuff:

Past threads

The last thread's been dead for too long. Let us revive this hallowed institution and renew our vigour for the craft. November is coming, so there's NaNoWriMo as well; check out the new NaNoWriMo challenge on /gensokyo/ if you weren't aware, by the way. To kick things off, let's offer up our own tidbits of advice about writing quickly.

My own advice: Ideas are dime-a-dozen until you get them down on paper. If there's something that tickles your fancy that someone else is done, shamelessly take it for your own. That's half the work done for you. The rest is taking it and moulding it into something that's definitely yours. If you have a framework already set up going in, you won't have as much trouble pumping out updates. Motivation, however...
I've been warned against describing things in too much detail, with the terms "purple prose" and "YAF" being thrown around a lot. How much is too much, though? Sometimes I really just want to dedicate an entire paragraph to describing a table's varnish and what's resting on top of it.
It's back!

Dr. Wicked has made some really cool writing tools that have helped me a lot.

http://writeordie.com/ -- Write or Die is a program where you set a time limit and word goal, then get to writing. It can play relaxing sounds and show pictures of puppies when you hit your word goals, and turn the screen red and play alarms when you stop writing. It's been really good for me when I have a thought but can't quite arse myself to start writing.

http://editminion.com/ -- it's no replacement for an actual editor, but it's good for cleaning up some debris. It'll point out waffley language, overused cliches, abuse of 'said' synonyms, and some other nice stuff.

Rule of thumb for me is to ask myself why the character would notice the detail, if they would at all. It depends a lot on the tone of the scene, the character narrating, and the type of story. It comes down to the character narrating, the tone of the scene, and the tone of the story overall. A prideful craftsman or some nouveau riche guy might very well spend his time marveling at good varnish, and anyone stuck waiting for an appointment might get bored or distracted enough to study a table. But if they were in the middle of a heated argument or steamy romance, then detailing the table would be more of filler or a distraction than anything else. Unless of course you're doing it to comment on the character's detachment from the events going on, but then we're getting into weird modernist stuff.
I want to learn to write like the guy/gal who writes Forest Mix. Anyone have some alternate stuff written in a similar style?
In what respect do you want to write like them? I might be able to give some advice, but then again, you know.
Meditate, until you achieve autistic zen.
Then you will understand how to write like him.
Whoops, just noticed that I screwed up the link to the previous thread. It should be >>19051
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As the previous reply said, it's all about character.

Here's a little trick: all description is secretly characterisation.

Unless you're writing explicitly omniscient third-person (which you probably shouldn't be doing maybe unless you're writing top notch comedy), then everything you describe is part of what the character pays attention to. People generally pay more attention to things they're curious about, things that surprise them or confuse them, things they have a vested personal or professional interest in, or things they care about a lot. They pay most attention to things that affect them emotionally - fear, fond memories, sexual attraction, delicious (or disgusting) smells, etc etc etc.

I bet you don't really notice what colour the countertops are in a kitchen - unless perhaps they're the exact same shade and design as the ones in your childhood home, or they're covered in strange dark red stains and score marks. Or maybe you work installing kitchens for people and you can tell where the countertops were bought and how long they've been there, which perhaps tells you how rich the owners are or that they never use the kitchen. Maybe they are covered in rusty red stains but you don't care and just brush past them, or maybe you stop, sniff, run your finger over the strange marks. Maybe they make you pay more attention - or maybe you don't look more than you have to. Maybe it makes you look away.

There are good reasons for lots of description, but if you keep in mind that "description is charactersation" you should make sure to describe things that matter to your character.
There's a bit of a cliche maxim about "writing how people speak". That's your guide. You want to take that idea and run with it to a ludicrous extreme. You want to get conversational with the narrative to the point that it just about sounds like somebody you know.

The real key is consistency. Any little idiosyncrasy in the way certain words or phrases are written should follow a certain set of "rules" that you make up. No willy-nilly replacement of ending letters with apostrophes.

The other part is personality. You want the narrator to be as present in the story as any other character. Think about who the perspective character is and how they tick. That's going to affect every little bit of how the narrative works. If you can't conceive every little quirk of their voice, you haven't thought on it hard enough.

Granted, none of that is guaranteed to make you able to capture the same spirit, but at least you might be able to make a good attempt. Maybe. I don't know.
>Unless you're writing explicitly omniscient third-person (which you probably shouldn't be doing maybe unless you're writing top notch comedy)

Some classic authors do this, with their own personality narrating the story, to the point that they interact with the readers somewhat ("Now, that wasn't me saying it. That was just Character A").
General unsolicited platitude-level advice: Learn the rules of English in-and-out before you try to get 'creative' and break them. You are not e e cummings, nor are you James Joyce; you are somebody who writes about magical girls on an imageboard. Devote yourself to producing sound, solid prose before going off the deep end. If you make your story horrifyingly obtuse or simply hard to look at through your writing style, nine times out of ten no one will attempt to read it unless they're already assured of your storytelling prowess. Even then, that's no guarantee. I can only assume you want to be read, so stick to a safe, clear, and grammatically-correct writing style until you've established your fundamentals.

And check, double-check, and triple-check anything you post.
There's already been tonnes of advice given about coming up with stories, so I'm obviously not going to get into that. The thing I don't see a whole lot of is advice on planning stories. Well, consider this a gap filled, because I'll let you in on a simple approach that'll hopefully get you thinking harder about how your story is constructed.

Disclaimer: This is not one-size-fits-all advice. It works for what I do, but I'm a mediocre writer; my plots are pretty linear and follow the standard formula. That might not work for you. Adapt all of this to your situation.

Alright, with that out of the way, here's the TL;DR: Break your story up into mini-arcs.

I know that sounds obvious, but you'd be surprised how hard it is to think of that when you're right in the middle of a spaghetti plot falling apart on you. That is, story arcs as a concept are obvious enough. You're always going to have some stretch of the story where things build to some specific turn of events or another. However, the part that messes with a lot of people is how to guide that story arc along. That's the beauty of this approach.

For example, the way I personally employ this for my writing is to consider what I'm accomplishing in the greater sense of the story. Sometimes you might not know specifically, but you at least have some idea. That's my foundation for a story arc. Then, I go a little deeper in and start to think about where I start and where I end up within the story arc itself. From there, it's a matter of condensing everything I want to accomplish into little chunks that fit within the framework. Here's the key point to all of it: I make my mini-arcs no longer than five updates. It's a matter of deliberate pacing; if I can't at least make headway into my story arc in five updates, then I'm moving way too slow. While the actual number of mini-arcs might vary, they'll remain a constant size. Not to say there aren't exceptions where the plot calls for it, but those are few and far between.

That said, it's all about figuring out what's right for you. Five updates too long for your kind of story? Trim it down to however few you need. Just try to keep it as consistent as possible. When you keep a sense of regularity in your planning, you'll find ways to adapt when/if you suddenly change your mind about things. The important part is having some kind of structure in place to hold everything up.
Yo, so I just stumbled back into /blue/ again and remembered this thread was a thing.

I didn't say anything the first time around, but whoever made this post, I've got to thank you. You explained a lot into the writing of Forest Mix more than I could explain into the writing of Forest Mix, and I write Forest Mix.

You go, dude.
As someone who currently has two stories running on here along with an older story from a few years ago that's better off left dead and buried, I can go ahead and tell you this:

Never underestimate the readers, and always think 2 steps ahead.

No matter how "clear" a choice may be, always consider the fact that your readers might just pick the option(s) that you didn't originally intend. However, this should not be seen as a roadblock to you writing a good story, it should be seen as a good thing: not only does it let you write a bit outside of your comfort zone, but if you handle it right, it can make the readers actually feel like their choices matter in the overall story (which is, of course, the entire point).

That being said, make sure you have at least a loose plan of what will happen with certain options. Don't just kill off the protagonist if they make a "wrong" choice: that's basically railroading, and in the long run serves as nothing but filler. Now, if the readers make a clearly stupid decision, despite many hints within the story that it's stupid, then by all means, go ahead. But if you do so, see if it's possible to at least allow them one last chance to escape death. Or not, if you really don't want to. I won't judge.

Oh, and if you're going to kill off touhous, be sure you really know what you're doing. Or at least kill off so many that people can't get mad at you. That's how it works, right?
Being put out of your comfort zone might spark new ideas/subplots. Anon not voting as I expected ultimately gave me the notion of a subplot that I'm pretty proud of.
I only speak English, and have no idea how the Japanese language works. This means that whenever I try to say a character's name, I probably butcher it. That said, could someone correct my pronunciation of these touhous?

Eiki Shiki Yamaxanadu: I call her "Eye-key She-key Yaw-maw-zaw-naw-doo", which sounds like something Fred Flintstone would say.

Cirno: I say "Sir-no". I've seen people call her "Seer-no", "chur-no", "cheer-uh-no", "cheer-no", and probably a few other things.

Keine Kamishirasawa: I say "kigh-nay Caw-mah-sheer-ah-saw-wah". Her last name is a mouth full.

Hakugyokurou: The place Yuyuko lives. I have no idea where to begin with this one. "Hawk-you-guh-you-cue-roh" maybe?

Utsuho Reiuji: I cheat and just call her Okuu (Oh-coo). Best guess I have is "Ooot-sue-ho Ree-you-jee".

Shinmyoumaru Sukuna: "Shin-me-yoh-maw-roo Saw-koo-nah"

Kaguya Houraisan: "Kuh-goo-yuh Whore-rice-sin", which brings to mind prostitute grain products doing evil deeds.

Miko Toyosatsomimi: "Mee-koh Toy-yo-sat-soh-mee-mee"

Aya Shameimaru: "Eye-uh Shay-me-maw-roo". I'm pretty sure I got her first name right at least.

Flandre: I've been saying "Flan-dray". I've heard people say it should be like "Flanders" from the Simpsons minus the S.

Sekibanki: "Say-key-bonk-key"

Reisen Udongein Inaba: "Righ-sin Ooo-dawn-gain Eee-naw-bah", a long name that I'm sure I'm screwing up somewhere.

Mokou Fujiwara: "Moh-koo Foo-jee-wah-ruh."

Akyuu Hieda: "Awk-you High-duh"

Kagerou Imaizumi: "Caw-gear-oh Eee-mah-zoo-me"

Rinnosuke Morichika: "Reen-no-skay Mor-ree-cheek-uh" and his shop Kourindou (Core-rin-dow).
this is how i pronounce it,i'm a jungle asian so our pronounciation is somewhat closer to japanese, but then again zun mixes up western word here and there



>Keine Kamishirasawa

Cain-ne ca-me-she-ra-saw-ah



>Shinmyoumaru Sukuna

shin-me-yoh-maw-roo sue-koo-nah

>Aya Shameimaru




Those were quite helpful. Thanks.
So. I've noticed that when I write I tend to go for suspenseful situations. The, "Oh shit!" Moment. Whereas whenever I write said suspenseful situation, I feel like I'm timing the focal point wrongly.

Here's an example.

Quick note: This is a rough draft I made when I was low on energy, I've yet to revise it but any grammar criticism is welcome.


Everyone was hurriedly moving between areas as quick as they could; eager to escape from the borders of territories. They pass the intersection with nary a glance and a wave of their rifles in the pointed direction before quickly moving on. The soldier behind them doing the same.

When it becomes your time to pass, you execute the maneuver the best you can. You take your first quick step onto the intersection, pivoting on the foot to position yourself to check the left; rifle pointed in the direction at low ready.

All you see is a wall of concrete and closed wooden windows of the building at the end. No sign of any activity.

You pivot on your right foot just as quickly. A complete one-eighty to the opposite direction you were previously facing. Whereas you used to face the left side of the intersection you are now facing the right side.

The only noticeable feature in the short time you take is a building positioned with a column of windows overlooking the alleyway. Your rifle follows your gaze slightly behind as you quickly check the windows. Ending at an open one at the top floor.

You hold your hand up to shield your eyes when the sun glares at them. Surprised at the brightness, you look down to re-orient yourself and see your shadow mimicking your movements.


You look back up, forcing your eyes to look past the glare.

You’re just barely able to see the tinge of purple inside the window.


“...Hohshit!” You hiss, and quickly pivot on your left foot.

Your ears are rattled by the sound of a gunshot nearby. Flinching away from the noise, a quick glance shows the trail of a projectile that impacted the dirt of where you once were.

You get into the safety of the other side of the alleyway. Back against the corner, rifle pushed up against the chest, you take a quick glance to the right and see the guys who made it through before you stop and stare at you.

“Contact. Top floor, window.” You jab a finger at the offending building. “Almost got me.”


It might just be me, but I feel like when I write certain situations where there's a pause to show the realization setting in on the character, I might be doing it slightly wrong or timing it off. Any help would be appreciated.
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If I were to pick out anything about the buildup, I think it that there's a bit too much focus on describing how the character is moving, and not enough on what they are seeing, which is a bit of a problem when what they were and were not seeing is the source of the "oh shit" moment.

Having the character say something like "no sign of activity" is fine when it's directed to other characters in the form of dialogue, but when it's narration meant to convey information to the reader, it doesn't really do much to build the scene. You're basically asking the reader to follow along with your character in a game of "What's Wrong With This Picture?" without giving them enough information about what the picture is to know what's wrong or right about it.

What does this lack of activity look like? Sound like? Can you hear birds chirping? The sounds of traffic in the distance? Or is it silent, save for your breathing and whatever sounds your footsteps are making as you move? Is there a breeze, or is the air completely still? And those windows, what do they look like? Can you see anything in them, or is it so bright out you can barely make out the pattern of curtains behind the glare of the glass? How bad is the glare, anyway? How bright is it outside? Is it a clear sky? Partly cloudy? If the brightness of the sun was surprising, why was it surprising? Was a passing cloud blocking it out, and now it's not? Or was it blocked by the top of a tall building that you were standing in the shadow of? And, of course, there's that last, open window. What about that tinge of purple was cause for alarm? Was it not there a moment ago, and now it suddenly is? Or was it there, and you saw it, but didn't realize what you were seeing until it did something, like moving when it wasn't moving before? Could there have been anything else about that window that you saw that, given the setup of the rest of the scene, you suddenly realized you shouldn't be seeing? Like a curtain moving despite there being no breeze to blow it, or light reflecting off of something when the window is open, and thus should have nothing in it for light to reflect off of?

You ever see the movie Aliens? Remember the scene where the survivors are bracing for the monsters to burst in and swarm their position? The motion trackers keep beeping, the number of dots on their screens keep increasing, and as the one guy keeps calling out how close they are, the other characters are questioning how they got in, and whether or not there was something they missed when sealing off area. And as monsters get closer and closer, to the point that they should be right outside the door, the survivors back away and get ready to shoot whatever comes bursting through. But nothing does. Yet, the trackers keep beeping, and the dots keep getting closer, and now they should be inside the room, yet they're clearly not inside the room, how could they possibly be inside the room when-

And then, it hits them. In that moment, they all look up, and both they and the audience realize 'they're coming in through the fucking ceiling'.

There's no way I'm doing it justice in summarizing it like this, but I feel that scene in particular is a very good example of building up to a very clear "oh shit" moment. Hopefully my rambling on this helps in some way, but if it doesn't I'm sorry.

My advice is a bit more technical, more if you want to keep your dialogue and plot intact.

First, sentence length as affected by word choice and structure. In the case of your draft, extending, combining, or cutting sentenes can bring or remove focus from the other, important parts of your scene. Imagine a camera panning the action of your scene. How does this camera "move' in your scene? For example just dissecting the first paragraph:

>Everyone was hurriedly moving between areas as quick as they could; eager to escape from the borders of territories.
[In my mind, the long sentence and semicolon make the action large in scale, not quite focused on a single person. It makes sense, as you're representing a large mass of people.]
>They pass the intersection with nary a glance and a wave of their rifles in the pointed direction before quickly moving on.
[Large movement continues to move within the scene]
>The soldier behind them doing the same.
[Here it's a bit of a shock. We suddenly get a shot of this soldier, who's apparently doing the same thing everyone in the previous sentence was doing. The introduction of a short sentence like this after two long sentences of large scale also attracts most of a reader's focus on this soldier. But how important is the soldier to the scene? If the depiction of the soldier, say, envokes a sense of urgency in the scene, perhaps it makes sense. Just remember that this soldier, along with other parts of situation you're writing about, will take up words on the screen.]

As a revision to compare, look at this example I mocked up and see how it changes your perception of the scene:

>Everyone scrambled to escape from the borders of territories. A soldier behind the crowd cocks his rifle in a direction as they reach the intersection. With nary a glance behind them, they wave theirs along with the soldier.

I have no context of the scene or the setting beyond what follows, but you may see things you did or didn't like with the above. You can mix, edit, and reword as you need. Just remember: Sentence size and order do matter.

More to the matter of suspense, think about what causes the suspense in your scene. Normally, suspense asks what makes the reader excited about what happens. Put another way, ask what makes the reader care about your character. In your draft, it's simple: The character's life is in danger. In this case, the next step should be asking: What's the danger to the character? Then, the step after is: What does the character do? Your job here is to connect the two, and then continue planting more danger resulting from the character's actions (which is likely during a fight), or if the character's action put an end to the suspense—ending the action.

I'll present a small example and a modification:

> You hold up your hand to shield your eyes when the sun glares at them. Surprised at the brightness, you look down to re-orient yourself and see your shadow mimicking your movements.
> The sun glares/blazes into your eyes. Your hand shields your eyes from the light. Looking down, you spot your shadow. It mimicks your actions.

In the original, the reader acknowledges in less than five words that the character reacts to something. By the end of the sentence, the reader knows it's the sun. Modifying this, we can place the sun first to present a danger to the character, in which they must react. Their reaction is to, of course, raise a hand to their eyes to protect themselves. The same can be done for the shadow, if it really is a threat. It could even be a fake one. But try to present dangers that are an immediate or an important threat to the character. The proceeding "wait" is a good transition to the next danger after, given as a short thought in a second of time.

Which leads me to a last point: Isolating dialogue or key points. This cuts into the meat of what you want: Realization. This works with suspense as well. Along with everything from the above once the action reaches a point where you want to include a realization, you can isolate the point of realization. Which you do well here. If you were concentrating on a realization of the action taking place around a character, you achieved it. Uou could go even further if you want.

>You pivot on your left foot.
>Your ears are rattled by the sound of a gunshot nearby.

How much you want to is ultimately up to you. Again, I don't know the exact context of the scene. This means, I don't know what's actually important in your scene in relation to who and what's happening. It's up to you as the writer to decide.
Really appreciate it. Unfortunately as it turns out the excerpt was a bad choice to use as an example. As you've all pointed out. Lack of context, and previous details led to some misconceptions that probably could've been avoided.

For instance in the part with the sun. I accidentally left out the key detail about the location of said sun. Which would've been radiating heat on the back of the character. Hence why the shadow is to the front of the character.

Complete screw up on my part.

With that said. I can understand what the both of you are getting at.

I took the liberty of chucking the original draft into a pastebin. If you want to, then perhaps the increase in context might better help you understand the scenario and better help you criticize me.


Really appreciate the help.
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> I only speak English, and have no idea how the Japanese language works.

Okay. I'm going to lie a little, and I'm going to oversimplify a lot, but you're not going to learn how to pronounce /ɤ̃/ or /ɯᵝ/ here.

a as in father. ABSOLUTELY NEVER AS IN cat.
e as in egg.
i as in liter.
o as in topos.
u as in vuvuzela. Not as in use, unless there's actually a y there.

Every goddamn time. No fucking exceptions. No, not even when there's two of them in a row; you just stretch it out longer. Don't reduce the vowels to a schwa either (/ə/, which I think is your "uh" sound) if you can possibly help it.

This means:
* ai is always the sound in skies, ABSOLUTELY NEVER AS IN air.
* ei is always the sound in space, ABSOLUTELY NEVER AS IN either.
* ou is always the sound in bowl, ABSOLUTELY NEVER AS IN you.
These are the only diphthongs; pronounce all other vowel "combinations" as separate syllables. Combinations like au and ae and ie and oe and ue and ui aren't special like they are in English. (Hell, even ai, ei, and ou barely are.)

y is not a vowel. Ever. It can be a real consonant, or it can fit between a real consonant and its vowel, but it's always pronounced like in yak and yolk and yule.

The closest thing to an exception is this: when u or i are between two of p, t, k, ch, s, ts, or sh, drop 'em. (Technically, you're supposed to devoice them—whisper them, basically—but what the hell. Especially after an s, sh, or ch; even in Japanese they just sort of subsume the vowel in question.)

This is the total opposite of what English does—we often voice s (and in American English, t) when it falls between two vowels. Never do that for a Japanese word. s is always pronounced as in suit, not as in using.

???????????????????????????????????????? ???????????? ???????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????
Consonants are always attached to the following vowel, and there's always a following vowel. The only exception is -n, which acts more like a vowel anyway.

(Sometimes that's written -m before a p or b, as in sempai vs. senpai. It's the same underlying sound and the same Japanese character; it's just some English-speakers prefer to represent the sound change. I don't see the point, myself: the "n" in English "can be" is usually pronounced as an /m/, after all. I mention this only so that you'll know what to do if you see an -m, i.e., nothing special.)

ts, sh, and ch count as one consonant. ts only occurs before u; that's just what happens to a t before a u in Japanese. Sometimes you'll see dzu; same deal with d. Pronounce it like ju.

Pronounce g as in girl, never as in giraffe. c doesn't occur outside of ch.
Always treat final -hime as a suffix, even if it's not written as one. Ignore it when finding the accent.

Sometimes initial ko- is a prefix: Koakuma, Koishi, Kogasa, and Kosuzu, but not Konohana-Sakuyahime. Sorry, just remember those.

Long syllables (doubled vowels, the three diphthongs) and closed syllables (-n) are always accented. (There are no long closed syllables. Break that up into a short and a closed: see Udongein below.)

If the word's just a string of four or more short syllables, the next-to-last syllable is accented.

Otherwise, if the first two syllables are both short (one vowel each, no -n in sight), the first syllable is accented.

Finally, put the suffixes back on. If you're left with three or more unstressed syllables in a row, add secondary stress. You'll know where.

(This isn't Japanese. Japanese doesn't do stress accent. This is almost all English wackiness.)

* Ei.ki Shi.ki
* Kei.ne Ka.mi.shi.ra.sa.wa
* Ha.ku.gyo.ku.rou
> yes, gyo is one syllable; remember that y is never a vowel
* U.tsu.ho Rei.u.ji (or O.kuu)
* Shin.myou.ma.ru Su.ku.na
* Ka.gu.ya Hou.rai.san
* To.yo.sa.to.mi.mi no Mi.ko
> yes, in that order; practically nobody reverses this one
* A.ya Sha.mei.ma.ru
* Se.ki.ban.ki
* Rei.sen U.don.ge.in I.na.ba
> Remember when I said there are no long closed syllables? gein isn't a syllable; it has to be ge + in.
* Mo.kou Fu.ji.wa.ra
* A-kyuu Hi-e-da
* Ka.ge.rou I.ma.i.zu.mi
> I know, it looks like it should be I.mai.zu.mi; but it's a compound, ima + izumi. Easy mistake to make, though. I had to check.
* Rin.no.suke Mo.ri.chi.ka
> "suke" more or less becomes, as you noted, "ske". Might as well be one syllable to an Anglophone. I was surprised, but it looks like you've got this one.
* Kou.rin.dou
* Bonus: Wa.ka.sa.gi.hi.me
> stressed as "Wakasagi-hime"
* Bonus: Ko.a.ku.ma
> ko- is a prefix; ko- + akuma "little devil" is just a nickname.
* Bonus: Ko.i.shi Ko.mei.ji
> similarly ko- + ishi "little rock"
* Malus: Sa.na.e Ko.chi.ya
> ... and I have no goddamn clue why I say it that way.

Oh, and I lied. Unstressed final a (and I believe final a always will be unstressed) actually can be pronounced as a schwa, and it usually is. (Only when embedded in English, of course. Japanese still doesn't have any truck with that.)

????????????-???????????????????????????????? ????????????????????
* "Yamaxanadu" is a compound. "Yama" is Japanese, but "Xanadu" is not; its customary English pronunciation is like Canada, except it's Zanada, except it's Xanadu.
* Nobody really knows what the hell "Cirno" is. It's not Japanese. It is correctly pronounced "cheer-no", and never you mind why.
* "Flandre" is French and should be /flɑ̃.dʁ/, but fuck that, I just say "Flandrə". "Flandray" and "Flander" are both okay in my book, though. (The Japanese rendering is Furandooru, but nobody says that outside of Japanese.)
* "Hong Meiling" is Chinese. I rhyme it precisely with "Long Hay King" (but not "long-aching", which has a different stress pattern)... but I don't speak Chinese, so what the fuck do I know.
* "Mystia Lorelei" is basically "Misty-ə Lore-ə-lie". If you want it to end in "-lay", ZUN might have a problem with it, but I don't.
* "Rumia" is not Japanese but isn't going to sound much different if you try to pretend it is.
* "Maribel Hearn" is named after Lafcadio Hearn; it rhymes with "earn".
>Pronounce it like ju.
That syllable would be more properly rendered 'zu' if we reckon things by the way Tokyoites speak. I'd personally pronounce it as romanised, but that's apparently a dialectal thing.

Also, while ei and ou can represent diphthongs, more often they're going to be the lengthened e and o sounds; e.g., Tewi would be /tɛː/ and not /tɛɪ/. Not sure if that IPA is really correct. I can sort of read it, but I've never had to write it in my life!

Otherwise, everything else lines up with what I've learned from a decade or so of Japanese. (Some of it I didn't learn until I'd embarrassed myself in front of native speakers years down the road.) Good post!
P.S. Fuck Japanese pitch-accent. I still get people saying I confuse nose/flower and chopsticks/bridge even when I swear to gods I know where the damn rise/drop is.
>Pronounce it like ju.
>That syllable would be more properly rendered 'zu'

Wait so then if I run into the "dzu" syllable, should I pronounce it like "ju" as in "Moses lead all the JEWs out of Egypt", or like "zu" as in "lets all go see the lions at the ZOO?"
The 'ju' thing is incorrect. It's either 'zu' like zebra or 'dzu' like adze. Generally, it's the former in Standard Japanese.
File 146181353156.png - (52.03KB, 249x238, tewi-fasntnig.png) [iqdb]

Like "zu" as in "let's go see all the lions". I have no idea what the fuck I was thinking when I typed that; >>22301 is right.

> more often they're going to be the lengthened e and o sounds
That, on the other hand, was a deliberate and calculated omission. Most monolingual Anglophones just can't pull that off, not without practice and coaching.

I also didn't say anything about g as /ŋ/, which is feasible for an Anglophone, but is also way more trouble than it's worth for someone who's not actually learning the language.

> e.g., Tewi would be /tɛː/ and not /tɛɪ/. Not sure if that IPA is really correct.
Well... it's definitely what you meant. I'd even agree with you if you'd used another example (e.g., Eientei or Keine-sensei).

As far as I'm concerned, though, spelling it as Tewi てゐ rather than as Tei てい does break up the diphthong (digraph, long vowel, whatever), leaving it as two distinct syllables. If you impose the post-Heian loss of w, that would be Te'i (so to speak); it's no more pronounced as ええ than the combinations in ameiro 飴色 or soreijou それ以上 would be.

I'm not nearly going to go so far as to say the pronunciation /tɛː/ is somehow wrong, though. Compare the modern word sei せい、所為 (as in ~‌のせいで), now generally pronounced /sɛː/; this was formerly sewi せゐ. If you apply the usual sound changes to a hypothetical Kojiki-era *tewi (帝威, perhaps?), it'll come out as /tɛː/.

But if ZUN's gonna write it the old way, I'm gonna say it the old way.

TL;DR: "Shhh! Be vewy vewy quiet; I'm hunting Tewi."

Japanese pitch-accent, at least in Tokyo, actually does have an intensity component as well as a pitch component, to the point that some speakers of other dialects (mistakenly) say that it is a stress-accent dialect. That... might be what's throwing you off?

See http://socrates.berkeley.edu/~hasegawa/Accent/accent.html, or try a formal paper, http://hasegawa.berkeley.edu/Papers/F0PeakDelayBLS.pdf or https://www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk/handle/1842/1469. (Disclaimer: I haven't read the PDFs yet.) Alternatively, try googling ososagari おそ下がり or "peak delay".

/ˈɐ̃ˑ.ə̃ˌnoʊ/. I just occasionally say things. Possibly badly.

> chopsticks/bridge
haˢʰⁱ⁻ⁿᵒ haˢʰⁱ-wo ⁽ʰᵃshi-wo oᵐᵒᵗᵗᵉ⁾ aʳᵘⁱᵗᵉ⁻ⁱᵐᵃshita. Fuck if I can ever remember 'nose', though.
Wow, goes to show you there are actually knowledgeable types about.

I almost thought I was king shit of fuck mountain for (theoretically) being able to pass the N2.
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>Japanese pitch-accent, at least in Tokyo, actually does have an intensity component as well as a pitch component
>an intensity component
>as well as a pitch component

the horror
This is more of a general question than asking for advice.

None-CYOA stories are also permitted on the site, despite their low numbers. What I'm wondering is how the quality of those is regulated?

For a CYOA you need at least a few anons willing to take 5 seconds out of their busy day to vote, meaning that they usually have to care about the story on some level. And the mods would stop writers sinking low enough to pose as a voter for their own story just to have it continue.

But what about a none-CYOA? No reader input is required, though you might be lucky and get a comment once in a blue moon. How can a writer know that people actually read the story, or if he's just needlessly spamming a thread no one cares about?
>How can a writer know that people actually read the story, or if he's just needlessly spamming a thread no one cares about?
It's impossible to know. Have to take it on faith.
There are many times as a CYOA writer where it feels like the same situation either way. Granted, not all writers care about reader comments and feedback, but that's often hard to get even when you request it a lot of times. Not to mention the times when you post and only get one or two votes in several days.
Other factors in that last one. Your own timing/speed of updates. Assuming it's not due to some popular story taking up the top of the board.

You're probably referring to some of the /at/ threads. For myself, I usually don't read them until I'm "in the mood" for the particular Touhous involved, which is why I never actually post in those threads; I don't really feel my comments would be relevant days/weeks/months after an update.
That's assuming you're posting on a board active enough to have such a popular story. If you write on a board that has maybe two or three actually active stories, getting people to read and/or vote can still be like fucking a porcupine: difficult, painful, and only for masochists.
Don't assume the audience understands your vision. Don't assume you know what the audience is thinking at all times. Don't assume the audience is familiar with the ins-and-outs of the subject matter. Don't assume anybody but you cares a wink about the subject matter. Don't assume the audience will pay attention to the same details as you. Don't assume a vote is too trivial for a petty argument to break out. Don't assume the audience knows what it's like to be a writer. Don't assume there aren't writers in your audience. Don't assume you aren't mistaken about some facet of your writing.

And so on. There's obviously a lot more, but those are some things that I didn't learn for a good while.
Huh. I read back through, and somehow I totally missed this post myself. But, uh, thanks, writer-dude-mensch.

I'm pretty sure that post was based entirely off of something you said in a previous Forest Mix thread. Or something like that. I dunno. Old age is hell.
>wants to write cute grills
>can't make them sound cute enough

I just want this part to work at least.
>can't make them sound cute enough
They don't just have to sound cute. They have to be cute. Go find some cute images of your favorite grill on the boorus or whatever and process them. Figure out why you even think they're cute. Once you've done this, you make their actions, their reactions, and then their whole character cute (and therefore likable) through your writing.

I'm also bad with cute so take my advice with a grain of salt.
You're gonna have to be able to put your own subjective definition of 'cute' into some kind of concrete thought in order to make that work. What's 'cute' for you may be obnoxious to someone else.

Like >>22579 said, look at characters you like and figure out what makes them 'cute', and then work on figuring out how that works in terms of characterisation. Is it some mannerism of theirs? Is it how they speak? Is it the way they look when someone they like is around? These are the sort of things you've gotta think about.

Why would you post this? Now I'm going to overanalyze the next cute character I see, just because I know you're attempting to activate my cute receptors against my will.
My main problem is how I can't translate their cuteness to all sorts of situations. I see them being cute in certain situations and I can copy that but in other situations I just have no idea on how to write them.
You want to make them cute in all situations man. Why do they only feel cute in one situation? You want them to have personality. Their traits should make them endearing (to you, at the very least) and the situation should show how cute they really are, not define their cuteness. The character should be cute as a whole, instead of having to rely on a situation to seem that way.
Don't think of it per situation but rather how they live their life, even when they're offscreen.
Please don't focus on minor details like what new outfit the MC will get or year long snowball fights because life happens and the time between decisions can be frustratingly large.
>year long snowball fights
Some say that if you listen close enough, you can still hear the cries of anons everywhere bitching about that stupid arc.

How the hell do you even accomplish that?
A question about Retcons: how quick should a writer be to use them?
They should be the last resort in most cases. Unless some creative decision has left your entire process arrested, try to work with what you've already set down.
I'm interested in starting a second story, mostly because I'm thinking about it so much that it's becoming a distraction for the story I already have.

Any advice on maintaining two stories at once? Would it be wise to start a second story in the first place?
It really depends, anon. Do you think you can handle it? Do you have the time for it? If your answer to both of these questions are yes, think about it some more, nerd. If you have the mental capacity to keep a regular schedule for both your stories, then maybe it is worth trying. I have a shitton of stories open but I can barely manage to update even one of them on a regular basis.

Also, the best way to keep two stories active is to treat them entirely differently. Having wildly different genres and themes help, but the most important thing is that they are both not "writing a story" but rather "writing THAT story." If you don't feel like updating one story, go ahead and update the other. And if you don't want to update either, then what the fuck why did you even consider trying to write two stories, I'm going to find you and kill you, waahh, etc.
My strong recommendation would be to hold off, personally. Ask yourself if your story is really lagging because of your other ideas or if something else is frustrating the creative process. Adding on another story to "kindle the spark" always sounds good until you realize you've multiplied your workload. In my experience, it's easy to end up with even less motivation to write that way.

If you absolutely have to start a second story, make thorough plans for both stories. Be ready to have an answer to the "what's next" question so that you don't end up having one story lagging behind the other.

Or you could hiatus your first story, though I doubt your readers would be too happy.
I thought you were going to bed.
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Wrong person, friend.

The two stories would be pretty different both in scope and in genre. My current story has thick, infrequent updates, so if I started another one I'd want to try shorter, more frequent updates.

But I do agree with >>22748. Even if starting the other story did clear things up, I think I'd run the risk of burning out. Then I'd have to struggle with updating two stories. And there's no way I'm putting my current story on hiatus unless I get hit by a truck or lose my hands.

Instead, whenever I get ideas for the new story I'll jot them down and gradually work on an OP to get it out of my system while I continue updating my current story. If I still have an urge to tell the story in a few months and am 110% confident I can handle updating two stories at once, then I'll give it a try.

But until then, I think I'll hold off. Thank you for the advice, wise anons.
Scrap it and use the scraps to assemble something slightly different? I mean, if a story is holding you down, you're better off putting it out of its misery and moving onto something more manageable.

Alternatively, if you don't want to outright kill it, maybe start off with shorts? Something tangentially related? Straight-up wish fulfillment stories? It doesn't really matter as long as you're actually producing work. The real deal is that you're not going to be able to go from zero to full speed ahead after spending so long out of it. Gotta warm up a bit before you take off running and all that.

(Responding here because it felt more like a writing advice post than a story discussion post.)
I see your point anon. There's another story idea in my head, but I'd feel kind of guilty leaving Reina's story unfinished like that, you know?

I've been really wanting to wrap it up. But at the same time, its really got a lot of dangling plot threads... but I'm sure at this point, mostly anon just wants to see which Touhou(s) they'll hook Reina up with.
>but I'm sure at this point, mostly anon just wants to see which Touhou(s) they'll hook Reina up with.
So, wish-fulfillment shorts? You could easily slap down a full array of 'endings' in short story form that both tie up loose ends and give anon the ships they want to see. I mean, you'd know better than me, but it sounds like trying to CYOA it to the end has become a drag, so something along those lines would probably be the most expedient way to deal with it.

I dunno. Just tossing things out here.
The question is not really about writing per se, but this is probably the best place for it. I have a small conundrum.

-I want some romance in my story
-I'm not a fan of yuri
-I want a girl main character

I don't see any viable solution other than genderswapping at least one touhou. I haven't seen that done except in porn, I don't think.
Would anyone have a big problem with that?

Meira and Wriggle are good options. Meira Kinda crossdresses in canon, and Reimu even hit on her when she was around 12 or something. As for Wriggle, well... a trap is always an option.

Ohh, and Yuuka has a tone of extremely handsome genderbending pictures of him.
If that's what suits your needs, do it up. Nobody's going to care unless (a) whoever's criticizing is so autistic that they can't simply live and let live or (b) you pull it off so badly that your story reminds people of something a middle schooler would write.

In other words, stop worrying and love the words.

AU where females don't exist. Only dom/sub dickgirls.
There are men in Gensokyo, you know. Write from a girl's PoV, have her meet one of those.

Drug-kun deserves happiness.
Rinnosuke, Unzan, Youki Konpaku, Genji the Turtle, Byakuren's dead brother Myoren, that one dude Reimu murdered in the manga, and that one evil tree that lives in Yuyuko's backyard. Those are pretty much your only options for canon male touhous.
Yes, the people clamour for the great untold love stories of Anxious Moustached Villager or a giant flying turtle with a beard.

Your comment is a disservice to all that is good fanfiction. For shame, Sir.
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I would totally read a story where Genji is the love interest.
Yeah, for the 7 minutes the idea is funny.

Don't think of this in terms of Genji, specifically. Look at it from the broader perspective of recognizing the latent potential inherent to all characters. We, as readers, should afford authors the benefit of the doubt in situations like this. To do otherwise would foster a atmosphere of intolerance for deviations from the form.
If for some reason you absolutely must genderbend someone, Toyosatomimi no Miko is based off of Prince Shotoku, who in real life was male. I suppose you could make some subplot of Miko regaining her original male form if you want to avoid breaking Touhou canon too much.
Terrible Writing Advice.

Literally. This channel teaches you how to write quality crappy novel.
Figured it'd be worth sharing.
My writing is shit. My prose is greener than Photon, my characters are as deep Reimu's pockets and I couldn't plot my way out of a paper bag with a map, compass and flamethrower.

But anon will read and vote on any old shit, so I have nobody to rag on my sucky story and dish up the dirt on what needs unsucking. At risk of sounding ungrateful, what do I need to do for some constructive criticism around here? Or should I just keep bumbling on at the bottom of the hole I've dug for myself?

Have you tried...like...asking your readers for their thoughts on the matter? It might work a bit better than complaining here while you wait for a Deus ex Machina to Decend and fix your play bad habits.
The IRC is always an option. You may have to wait around for a response, but there should always be somebody around willing to offer EXPERT OPINIONS.
> Have you tried...like...asking your readers for their thoughts on the matter?

Yes. Repeatedly. They were all like "hey man we wouldn't be reading it if we didn't like it" and "updates where faggot". Which is entirely valid (and deserved) but not really useful.

> It might work a bit better than complaining here while you wait for a Deus ex Machina to Decend and fix your play bad habits.

More like "complaining here while I wait until I bang my head on the correct answer in the dark, knock myself out, wake up with no idea where I am and start over again". Imagine if Shirou wrote a story instead of being in one. That's me.


Usually by the time I get on everyone's half asleep, but I'll give it a shot.

Have you considered the possibility that you're a good writer?

Only when I'm drunk.
visit the irc channel(s) and try asking for critique there
> IRC is even deader than the site

Nevermind, I'll just go update.
...Are you sure? I'm sitting in both IRC channels and they're fairly active. It's #eientei and #THP, both in Rizon.

You do have to actively ask for help, though.
It is worth mentioning that a number of us in the channel are on US time, so you may or may not have come in when people are asleep, depending on your time zone.

Didn't know about #eientei, it's not on the homepage. Thanks.


When's a good time then?
To be honest, I've been thinking of making a real, specific story critique thread for a while. IRC is kind of out of the way for some people and giving out unprompted critique in people's story threads isn't always welcome.

I guess just a simple thread on /gensokyo/ where you request critique with your name on and link your story would be best. Then whoever wants to can go as in-depth as they like.
Not the guy requesting help, but I took your idea and ran with it. Hope you don't mind.

No one has had any need for this thread in a while, since we're lacking in newblood around here.
Nevertheless, I found two videos I think everyone here could benefit from watching.

The short of the long, it's how well defined the rules for your magic is. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but in a setting like Touhou, I feel it's definitely worth it to give these a watch.

Thanks. That actually was pretty helpful, as I'm writing a story involving learning magic.
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