Anyway, the important thing's the rules, so I'll get those out of the way first.
ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE ANONYMOUS. Non-anonymous posts will be disqualified.
Deadline is 30 September at 23:59 GMT (which, conveniently enough, is what site time is). Any submissions in October will be ignored.
While I'm tempted to also put in the one-post "fuck balista" rule, I'm willing to try out something new. So, this time around you'll have two posts to write your story with. MAKE IT VERY CLEAR THAT YOUR POSTS ARE RELATED. I DON'T WANT TO HAVE TO THINK ANY MORE THAN I HAVE TO.
Next, the categories. Veteran/newbie, normal/porn, the usual. We'll be dividing vet/newbie by a simple cutoff: if you've been writing here since before May 1st, you count as a veteran. All others are newbies.
I think you can distinguish between porn/non-porn yourselves.
Judging will be done the same way it was last contest: I will aggregate a list of the entered stories, and everyone will be allowed to vote for a story in each category: that is, non-porn/newbies, non-porn/vets, porn/newbies, porn/vets. Voting will last another week, ending on 7 October at 23:59 GMT.
I am considering simply axing the newbies porn section and combining them into one thread, because people have expressed concerns to me about the number of entries. Thoughts, objections before I do it in the next couple days or so?
>>11768 In the last contest there weren't enough entries in the porn category to warrant a separation, IMO. Unless we're really sure the number of writers participating has increased, I'd combine them.
Might be pretty tough for newbies to win and get recognition if they're competing directly with veterans. But at the same time, winning by default is kind of lame. I guess I'd try keeping the newbie porn division.
I didn't expect any entries until the very last week, honestly. The couple that have entered surprise me.
Also, I'm holding off on deleting the newbies /at/ section. If there are enough, then I won't merge them. If there aren't, like 3 or so, I will merge them together for judging. We'll eyeball it together when all the submissions are in. Sound fair?
Dear people who didn't title their entries: I hate you. I will do my best to think of the worst possible titles for when I compile the list of entries. You can save yourselves from this fate by re-uploading your stories with titles before the deadline. Otherwise, I hope you like the title Sakuyabutt 2: Electric Buttgaloo.
>>11836 From Tuesday 8th 00:00 GMT (Site time) lasting until Monday 14th 23:59 GMT (Site time) At least that would be logical since that's right after the stories can be posted. And one week should be more than enough for all the votes to roll in.
But don't take my words for it. RabBit have the final word in this matter atm.
This year's contest has seen a great increase in quality in all three divisions, compared to last year. I've thoroughly enjoyed most of them, and I did have a very hard time choosing the entries I liked most (especially from the newbies! I think we have lots of stars in the making between the new blood) I'll throw in a more thorough analysis of each entry once the votes are counted, but for now I'll throw in my own vote:
Newbies - [x]A Truth to be Told Though In Case Of Trouble came close second for the superb narration, I'd say this story touched my heart a bit more than the others. I'm a sucker for tragedies, I admit it. A very well rounded story, with good narration, good dialogue and relationships between the characters, and a mysterious and interesting protagonist. But a word of advice, writefag: THAT IS NO WAY TO PUT A CLOSURE TO A STORY, FUCKER! In fact, does that even count as an ending? Cliffhangers should not be allowed in short stories, for gawd's sake.
Veterans - [x]Farewell, Our Better Halves I say it again, I'm a sucker for tragidies, especially the well-written ones. I too have a clue of who might have done this, so I can only tip my hat to you, my fellow writer: you've outdone yourself again. I could feel Yuyuko and Youki's pain through all the story - of less than 60K characters! - and that's something I wasn't expecting from an amateur fanfiction site. Special mention to The Catfish and The Unluckster Musicians for making me laugh my ass off; I would have voted for one of them if this didn't come out.
Porn - [x]The End of Sunflower Racing Okay, Mimi and Marisa's antics made me actually laugh outloud, but this is about erotica, not comedy, so as much as it pains me, I must vote for the story that touched my dick as well as my heart. And that's the incredibly arousing tale of Racer Queen Yuuka and Ace Driver Wriggle, finding and admitting their mutual love through hot steamy sex.
A Truth Be Told, truth be told, had the best prose and structure in this division, hands down. But that ending is just not acceptable. We're talking like Justin Wong Wolverine levels of unacceptable. Several of the others had great prose, but they suffered from poxes of overwriting, meandering, and lacking reader hooks. So the winner is...
... which, despite being one of the worst entries for prose quality, more than made up for it by drawing my interest, telling a complete story and being memorable in its humor and simple yet fun ideas.
While the newbies seemed to struggle with overwriting everything, the veterans division was plagued by emotional cheap shots at every turn. Pity the escaped test subject, the murdered gravedigger, the gruesome death in childbirth that nearly made me vomit IRL, the loneliness of poor Kagerou and Paru-Paru and Waha... waga... maga... shakalakahime! Fear the yandere dolls and the dreaded, um, cave monster youkai that isn't ever really described! I know everyone wants to be memorable and leave an impression, but geez, folks. So besides all that, we have some lighter fare, mostly about youkai sparring or meeting each other with less drama. Looking at those, I have to give it to...
... in a shocking twist ending, one of the shocking twist stories wins out. It slices and dices, it does pathos and character insertion, it entertains and excites, it gives away the ending at the beginning and comes out the better for it (which is always a pretty good sign!). This is how to hook a reader's attention, deliver a snappy concept, and tell what could have been a "downer" story without layering on the crocodile tears.
Honorable mention to Dogfight, which I greatly enjoyed, wish I could spend another vote on, and lost only by the thinnest of margins - I felt it came juuust a bit short on delivering the juice re:why Momizi wanted to fight in the first place, and what she got out of it in the end.
Ah, the fewest entries, and yet the strongest competition. I feel like every story here has a supportable claim to win, and several could compete well in the non-porn categories. Hats off to all. The vote goes to...
... for, I guess, being the best at avoiding what I would consider traps, tired lines and turnoffs in addition to general awesome? Consensual Maid Love is the runner up, with deliciously crisp description and interaction, but damn it, that wasn't actually consensual. Anon, what you did is rape. You raped Fleur.
A silly premise for a silly story. It probably could have done with being a touch longer, actually narrating out some of what had been told with "had"s, but it had me rolling on the floor. I don't normally rate humor highly, but unlike in the veteran's section, the drama didn't grip me nearly as much as this one snippet of comedic shenanananigans did.
Lots of good stuff here. The comedy had me chuckling, the character dramas sucked me in, the horror was bizarre. Ultimately though, I'm going to have to go with:
It was this or The End of Sunflower Racing, and while Yuuka was incredibly kinky, the Aki sisters felt believable. There's lots of kinky, fetish-serving stuff out there and not nearly enough of the consensual romancing kind, and so that was how I broke my internal tie.
Not Rabbit, but I'll say some words. Rabbit's said himself that you can vote on your own story, it's not like anything's stopping you. Just for the record, though, I'd personally find it in poor taste. Not that I'd ever know who you are, but you would know that someone anonymously disapproved of you voting anonymously on an anonymous story.
I plan on doing short reviews/critiques once voting is over and authors can come out from underneath their veils, but not before.
>>11851 >>11852 Vote for whatever you want. Some people think it might be tacky to vote on your own story. I tend to agree, but hey, you vote anonymously, and only the admins will know. I won't care, there's nothing at stake here. So go right ahead and vote for your own story.
How is "overwriting" exactly being defined? If it follows the Google definition of "write too elaborately or ornately," I hope it doesn't include the use of big words that follows one's characterization, or the narrator following such a character.
>>11851 I don't see anything wrong with asking for critique now, as long as you're staying anonymous of course. Improvement is the point of this contest (right?) so why wait a week?
>>11857 Too many words, too many adjectives, for too little content. Words are good, description is good, but it all needs to serve a narrative purpose. Some entries took paragraphs to say what could have been said in a single well constructed sentence, or two posts ramming the character limit for a story that could have been effectively told in one.
"Content" is relative. Some schools of thought find "fluff" prose to be enjoyable, even desirable. Obviously there's a difference between "failure to communicate in the English language properly" and "lavish description that some people find enjoyable", but I didn't see that much of the former and a lot more of the latter.
Wow, pretty good turnout this year. It'll take a while to write up feedback, so I'll just vote for now.
Newbies: [x] Impetus
I could really feel Momiji's frustration while reading this, and I liked how she thought of the other factions in terms of their military strength. Showed that she had a very different worldview from other characters.
Veterans: [x] DOLL
There were a lot of entries I'd be happy to vote for, but this one was genuinely frightening. I have to respect that.
Porn: [x] The End of Sunflower Racing
Lots of good entries in this division, but this one seemed to have the best mixture of good writing and sexy action. I've really got a thing for those race queen outfits.
Porn: [x] Black Lotus This was absolutely fantastic. How the hell does it not have any votes yet?
Sunflower Racing was also great, and did a good job of using race queens, making Yuuka's cruelty not simply sadism, and the sex scenes were great too. But, I can't say no to tentacle corruption.
Rape the maids was also good. Dr. Kirisame was just plain silly.
Veterans: [x] Bond Fire Kagerou is a cutie.
Cat confused me. It's probably just me being dumb, but I don't get the ending. Plus, how considering Alice is a rather human youkai, I can't really see her shutting herself out like that. It sounded like she never left her house for at least 8 years; she never went to Voile? Where'd she even get the cat food?
Newbies: [x] A Truth to be Told I liked it. It was well written. Basically, everything >>11846 said. I think that the ending isn't quite as bad as he felt though, since it is a first person story. I'm assuming he died right there, and it's kinda hard to continue narrating while dead. I think more details would've been nice, e.g. about the curse, or the table at the beginning. Not perfect, but certainly a good read.
Division was nice too. My big complaint was that it seems like a lot of build up for nothing. The sisters come in and interrupt Elly from visiting Kurumi... and then Kurumi is asleep when she finally gets there, so she leaves right away. Rather abrupt, if you ask me.
Outside Context was silly. Very very silly. I also object to timing out a card being a victory. Except for survival cards, timing out is a loss, even if it's a more impressive feat.
Youmubutt II was pretty good slice of life. Reimu is great. I think it had a bunch of references, and I'm sure I didn't catch most of them (e.g. Meiling's adopted daughter). I'm assuming Reverie is Marisa's broom; that's not canon or anything is it? A THP story? >A few months back, [Keine's boyfriend] had begun to write about his stories in the Bunbunmaru but it'd had been months since he last published anything. I hoped this admonishment was over that. The village had been clamoring for more of his writing for weeks now. Was that a nod to Demetrious never updating?
This year's contest was excellent all around. Everyone who wrote, you are awesome and should feel awesome, newbies especially. There were quite a few entries that could be expanded into full length stories. I'd very much like to see some of them.
While it's difficult to pick which entries to vote for, I'll have to go with:
Newbies - >>/shorts/1244 Answers Despite the title, this one left me with only more questions. It felt like the beginning of a story and it left me wanting to see more. It was short and to the point, but very good at catching my interest. I'd love to see this continued.
Veterans - >>/shorts/1235 Unfortunate Scent This one was clearly an experimental piece. The experiment, I feel, was a success. It did an excellent job of showing a nonhuman perspective. The lack of any color words stood out upon rereading and was a nice touch.
Porn - >>/at/32605>>/at/32606 [x] Consensually Love The Maid I don't typically visit /at/, but this one was pretty cute. There's a disappointingly low amount of fairy love in any form around THP. More fairies is always a good thing.
Picking this for the excellent ending. It started out decidedly mediocre, but the ending was sheer genius, the kind of ending that adds more to the story than an extra ten posts of writing could have. 8/10 p. good.
100,000/10, would elect writer to public office, absolutely excellent. I honestly can't think of a flaw that wouldn't be nitpicking.
I'm going to abstain from porn until I get more time to read them, if I do.
Newbie:  Outside Context  A Truth to be Told  Untitled (Youmubutt I: The Phantom Butt) (also Impetus)  Untitled (Youmubutt II: The Butt Wars)  Answers  Rooibos  In Case Of Trouble  Division  Machinations
Veterans  Digger  Dogfight  Hisou Tensoku; or, The Catfish  Farewell, Our Better Halves  Heart to Heart  DOLL  Initiation  Bond Fire  Unfortunate Scent  The Unluckster Musicians and the Curious Vampire  Where the Fox was Tamed  Building Bridges  Nicotine Rhapsody  Missed Connection  Cat  Difference
Porn  The End of Sunflower Racing  [x] Consensually Love The Maid  Densha de R  Heated Passions  Dr. Kirisame or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb  Black Lotus  A Compromise  Ready, Willing, and Able
I have too much free time. These should be accurate at least.
Something just takes me in about this one, and I'm not entirely certain what.
Veterans Division: Where The Fox Was Tamed There's just something entirely too adorable about Ran's combination of massive knowledge, and a complete and total lack of any sort of understanding. I'm not interested in letting any of the stories here experience the disservice of no votes.
Smut Division: A Compromise The Aki sisters were written in a charming and slightly goofy way that added warm emotions to the sexings. This was fairly welcome after a general lack of such. Also there's no way for me to use this as an anti-vote to End of Sunflower Racing, which I would love to do because EoSR bored my boner to death.
>>11887 >Also there's no way for me to use this as an anti-vote to End of Sunflower Racing, which I would love to do because EoSR bored my boner to death. Oh, can we do anti-votes? Or would that be in poor taste?
[x] Outside Context I'm sorry, it was the clear standout. Division's not that bad, but it meanders a bit too much. Youmubutt 1 needed more, Youmubutt2 was... aching for raunchy sex scenes.
Roibos was entirely forgettable. Truth be Told and In Case of Trouble are pretty sweet though.
Veterans: [x] Initiation It's a damn hard choice. DOLL was good and creepy, Dogfight had some really good action scenes, and anything involving the new Touhous are always good. Everyone loves Kagerou and Wakasagihime. And I am strangely liking Nicotine Rhapsody. The Catfish was HILARIOUS, make no mistake. Unluckster Musicians had a great hook but lost gas midway. And Heart to Heart? I approve of its ending.
Pornowat: [x] A Compromise
Easily the best damn lines. BEST LINES. EoSR WAS ONLY MADE OF LEWDNESS.
I have to be honest, here. I'm mostly voting this because of how much I really liked the first half. Something about the narration struck me as having a sort of humorous storybook quality to it that instantly hooked me, right up until the words "stat point system", when it started to lose me, and never quite hit the same spot it did in the beginning. Still, I really liked that beginning.
Veterans - DOLL
You know, I'm not normally one for sickeningly-sweet romance, but this one really warmed the cockles of my heart, while also serving as a wonderful cautionary tale on the hazards of neglecting your yandere doll waifu and failing to properly reciprocate her affections. We should all be so lucky to experience such pure, deep love as was on display, here, and can only hope the protagonist learned from his error in judgement.
As stated by others, the ending could do without the cliffhanger, but the rest was great regardless.
Veterans: Farewell, Our Better Halves
I really liked the way emotion was depicted in this one; it was very life-like. My one nitpick is we never found out why Youki stayed out of the Netherworld for so long, but it doesn't really take from the story.
A close runner-up would be Where the Fox was Tamed; it was quite witty, and fun to read. I would love to see more of it somewhere.
The Unluckster Musicians and the Curious Vampire was great, too, but the ending seemed kind of rushed/anti-climactic.
Newbies: Outside Context While simple, of the stories that held my interest all the way to the end I felt that this was the only one where the ending was satisfying in any way to read. I may as well note that I was very keen on A Truth To Be Told, but that ending (or non-ending, as it is) was atrocious.
Veterans: Hisou Tensoku; or, The Catfish Not much to say, this was just the one I liked the most. I feel I have to give a dishonourable mention to Initiation, as there wasn't a single thing in the story to link it to Touhou.
Adult: I have nothing to vote for because I didn't like any of them.
>>11841 Newbies Division: I liked both Outside Context and Truth To Be Told, but I give my vote to Outside Context by a very narrow margin.
Veterans Division: Farewell, Our Better Halves gets my vote, with Cat and Unfortunate Scent following. I am very weak against sad Cat stories.
UFO PORNO Division: Black Lotus was well done, but not my cup of tea. A Compromise was rather sweet, along with Surprise Sex The Pixie Houseservant. Giving my vote to Densha de R, as I liked the setup. Curious as to how Reimu would handle interacting with the outside world, obtaining education and so forth. On the porn side, I wonder what other weird things Yukari has setup for Reimu and the others. Could make a series out of this.
Okay! I spent the last few hours reading all the entries and figured I'd at least try to provide something for each entry. Hope it's actually helpful.
ROOKIE CATEGORY Division: You had some inklings of very good prose here, but you got too caught up overexplainig every detail. It's a bit of a balancing act, but if you ever find yourself in doubt, tend towards less, not more. Outside Context: I, uh. I dunno. It feels more like someone describing an improbable tabletop RPG occurrence than any actual story. Why did the stray human run constantly for weeks? Why is Gensokyo collapsing inside of a few weeks? The plot itself is... well, I get that this was kind of a shaggy dog runaround story, but you came at it from the wrong angle. Most of the story was told in... well, the story, not actually having characters doing things, and what was there was mostly just memetic reference. You have all the pieces of what could be a pretty amusing parody here, but they're not really put together into a coherent whole. Impetus: First off, your sentence structure needs some work. It comes across as snippets of fragmented info, and occasionally misses commas to help the sentences flow. That can work in a given style, but for regular descriptive writing, you want to spend a little more time on your grammar. Same goes for spelling, punctuation, and overall polish. It's not just about writing what happens, but communicating your ideas, and that needs clarity. Give your stuff time to cook, so to speak. Machinations: My biggest problem here was the dialogue and stream of consciousness. It was a bit overwrought and stilted. Untitled/Youmubutt: Like I said above, work a little on proofing, but your opening prose is pretty good. Things like itself versus it's self, and so on. Try not to get caught up on little details when trying to paint a big picture. Also, scene transitions should be made a little clearer--a few extra lines or a break. Also: References! I love a good nod now and then, but try not to make them too obvious. A Truth to be Told: This one was probably the best-written in category as of writing this. The ending, or lack thereof, is a bit contested, and I find myself agreeing that it needed just a little bit more. As for constructive suggestions, try to add a little bit more description to the environment. I fall into the same sort of writing, letting dialogue drive it, and it's something that needs to be consciously worked on. Answers: Your sentences are all sort of clipped and awkward--they don't really flow well as Ally's thoughts. Interesting opening premise, though. Rooibos: This one was probably the most technically proficient thus far, but a bit brief. The interplay was good--it caught the right tone of banter. More time and practice will do you good. In Case of Trouble: This is interesting, but I think you suffer a bit from overly florid prose. It does capture the feel you were going for, but remember above all else, it's here to be read. If it's cumbersome to read all the way through, even if by design, then that's detrimental to the telling of the story. The ending was adorable. Good show. (And on a final note, if the title was a Bastion reference, +10 anon points.)
VETERAN CATEGORY DOLL: Enh. Yandere never did it for me. It was written well enough, but the substance was all "oh no creepy doll." Where the Fox was Tamed: This had an interesting kind of mythological/fable feel to it, and I enjoyed it. But as a vet category writer, it had a few stilted aspects that needed work--the expressions of Yukari's annoyance in particular rubbed me the wrong way. But Ran's naive innocence and cleverness came through nicely, and her whimsical nonlogic was very endearing. Overall very good. Initiation: This had all the terror and dread of the first hunt, and the violence was good and visceral. The last line felt very off, however--and while succinct, it didn't really feel right. Good combat, just work on your window dressing. Dogfight: This one needed a bit of a better ending as well. The fighting was good, Momiji's struggle to puzzle out Sakuya's trick was interesting, as was the "reveal," and then Sakuya dropping the hammer on her. A little melancholy for Momiji, but on the whole pretty good. Also, the idea that Sakuya has a shack full of knives is hilarious. Building Bridges: This one felt overly-descriptive as well--and honestly, one vibe I got from it was "this was written on little to no sleep." I dunno if that's accurate or not, but it could definitely have benefited from a thorough proofing, if it lacked one. That said, you have good ideas--fun background for Parsee. Just work on your delivery. Bond Fire: This one was nice, but I felt it was a bit too long and roundabout. I know, half my advice is "too long" and the other half is "too short," I'm helpful. I mostly felt like the prose was just a little bit too much each go-round; a little bit trimmed from just about every instance would make this a much shorter piece without costing it anything. Nicotine Rhapsody: This one was mine. Digger: I liked this one, probably my favorite thus far. It caught the cynicism inherent to a life hard lived without drowning in it; it captured the violence and gore and muck without wallowing or obsessing over it. It was conversational and to the point, and it worked. And the ending was stellar. Missed Connection: SPAGHETTI MERMAID. Amusing. I could practically see her talking to herself in the "mirror" as she psychs herself up. A nice departure from the "classic" storytelling formats we've been getting, and pretty solid. Hisou Tensoku; or, The Catfish: Okay, this was pretty funny. Poor, put-upon Iku and a spoiled celestial is usually a recipe for good fun. I guess if you want critique the plot is, you know, but SOMEHOW I DON'T THINK THIS FACT ESCAPED YOU, so thatsthejoke.jpg. Good solid entry, had a good time reading it. Unfortunate Scent: Melancholy, but not overly so. Once the dog reveal was made, the brief, simplistic thoughts fit into place nicely. The Unluckster Musicians and the Curious Vampire: >Kill the time pun 11/10 contest over everyone go home. But seriously, this one is pretty funny too, though honestly I could have lived without the memes and the slight bits of meta. A few small errors here and there, but otherwise pretty all right. Not the worst story about braining a vampire I've ever read. Cat: Interesting premise, and the contrast between the precision of the numbers and the abstraction of Alice's wooden thoughts. A strange candidate for being that far out of touch, but it worked well enough. [spoilers]If I see that fucking cat one more time...[/spoilers] Difference: Yeah, this just needed a little more... anything, really. Farewell, Our Better Halves: Sad and bitter and full of regrets well-spun. It manages to capture the way things turn out wrong even despite our best efforts. Yuyuko getting what she wished for in the worst way helped encapsulate that. I almost want a continuation, seeing how the unlikely new Konpaku and Yuyuko get on in the following years. (Almost.) Heart to Heart: Nice. Short, sweet, and doesn't overstay its welcome. Also a nice chaser to the grief in the last entry, though each was good for opposite reasons.
ADULT CATEGORY Densha de R: Reimu sure didn't seem to give many damns about any step of this train ride. The entire penetration was what, one line? And while I could tell you were angling for the ending by that, muted sex doesn't really make for arousing sex. It was more "this is a thing that happened" than actual erotica. Heated Passions: This one kind of suffered from the same problems as the first, just not in a train. There was very little heat and not all that much passion. It was more cute than anything, which I guess isn't a bad thing. The End of Sunflower Racing: This actually did a pretty good job balancing the sex with the shift in tone from dominance to equal footing. A few minor details here and there, but nothing really worth marking out. Other people might complain about the male Wriggle thing, but it suited me just fine, I'm not really a futa fan. Ready, Willing, and Able: Ow. Also, there really wasn't all that much sex in this, but eh. It is what it is. Dr. Kirisame or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Marisa Marisa pls Hilarious and terrible. GJ, and I do so love a good, bad title. [x] Consensually Love The Maid: It was all right, and fairy ass is always a welcome sight, but... "your tongue transforming into a tool of female pleasure?" Really? It was all right, but a few lines were a bit silly. Still, cute ending, fun sex. Black Lotus: >milk the magic out of Byakuren ... Well! The break-y rape-y things aren't my favorite, but it was well written. A Compromise: This one was a bit like the fairy maid one--some of the wording and slang just got silly. The antics themselves were cute and funny, though. Bretty gud. ...though the later dirty talk didn't do anything for me. It's kind of hit and miss by nature, and I didn't have the luxury of getting super into it, so take that with a grain of girlcum.
Now then, my actual votes: ROOKIE: [x] In Case of Trouble. Honestly, this one had its flaws, but the story and the telling were entertaining, and it came to an excellent finish. All of them had some problem or other from a technical standpoint, but in terms of story content alone, this was my favorite in the category. VETERAN: [x] Digger. There were strong cases to be made for most of the entrants, but Digger's tone hit me just right. It also wasn't overly long--something that's valuable in writing--and had a strong punch for its ending. ADULT: [x] The End of Sunflower Racing. This one struck a good balance in the gory details and not going overboard, and it managed to capture the "working relationship" of Wriggle and Yuuka well. I liked it both as porn (most of them did the job there) and as a story, so it was my overall favorite.
NEWBIES - Outside Context felt more like a premise than an actual story, although the idea was pretty good. Truth to be Told...there are hundreds of hack writers who have pulled the same trick before, it isn't clever, stop it. The Meandering Adventures of Elly and the Meaningful Gate was unreadable, as was In Case of Trouble (what the hell are those dashes?). There were a few interesting ones, but in the end, I'm a sucker for heartwarming slice-of-life with characters who feel like real people.
[x] Untitled (Youmubutt II: The Butt Wars)
PORN - Dr. Kirisame was CLANG-CLANG-tier entertainment, but I can't vote for comedy as the best porn. Most of the others were outside my fetish zone. I'd vote for the Maid one, but the lack of penetration at the end of was a letdown. Practicality be damned, this is a sex fantasy about the land of fantasy and you're telling me the sexy fairies can't have sex? Unforgivable, unless and until you write a sequel (you should write a sequel). So instead I'm voting for the one with all-natural fruit punch, despite the baffling, boner-killing melodrama.
[x] A Compromise
VETERANS - Dogfight was a series of well-written technical fight scenes with a satisfying conclusion, and I hope you realize how incredibly rare this talent is. Digger probably contained the most plot in the fewest words. Really, most of these were great, but one of them really stood out, the depth of the characters, the relationship development and the hinting at plotlines and backstories all contained within a brief scene like an expertly trimmed steak. If someone had told me this was a scene from a book, I would read the shit out of that book.
OH MAN, time to get my votes in at the last minute, just like my submissions!
Beginner's Class Winner here is Machinations, based on the simple question of "What the hell's going on?!" Who exactly is that wizard dude? Why is he invading Gensokyo in the first place, and torturing Yukari to boot? What is the meaning of that ending? Curious questions such as this nip at my heels, leaving me wanting to know just a bit more. Whoever did this, don't be discouraged by the lack of other's attention. You have something good working here. Honourable Mentions: 'Outside Context' was funny, but the writing struck me as a little sloppy, and could use some tightening up. 'A Truth to Be Told' was interesting, with nice characterisation (epilogue to FoM, perhaps? Nah, jest kiddin'...), but didn't totally strike at my vitals. The untitled Reimu 'day-in-the-life' was good, and 'Rooibos' came close to getting my vote...but was detracted from by more silly grammatical errors, and feeling more like the setup to a larger story. Everything else was mediocre.
Veteran's Class God, this is tough. A lot of people brought their A-game, and I had difficulty narrowing my choices down, but managed to finally come up with a winner. Better make it... Digger, for despite being the shortest of the lot, it really resonated with me, and it's not too often you're offered a Komachi origin-story, much less a good one. Honourable Mentions: 'DOLL' builds up a really great, creepy, horror sensation in yer bones, and would have taken my vote if not otherwise. 'The Catfish' is great, alternate-universe comedy: the idea of Tenshi and Iku as pirates tickles my fancy; if you're still feeling it, dude, I heartily recommend more of that. 'Farewell, Our Better Halves' had wonderful writing, but kinda lost me with, IMO, the slight mischaracterisation of Yuyuko as a jealous piner; still, good explanation for Youki's whereabouts. I thought 'Bond Fire' had good visuals and some nice dialogue, but it took forever to get to its point and felt like falling out at the end. And 'Initiation', while a great short read, admittedly has nothing obvious connecting it to Touhou; maybe work on the background a little more to give us the proper angles.
Wanker's Class My selection is Consensually Love the Maid, the only strong piece that spoke to me besides my own entry, of course. Maybe I'm just a sucker for the genre, but...damnit, I can't help but love me some sweet, fairy sexings, which I fully blame TB'sR for conditioning into me. Ah well, better for a cute pixie to kiss you rather than yank your hair out. Honourable Mentions: None of the other "stories" really impressed me much, so I'll leave this brief: 'Dr. Kirisame, etc.' got me to laugh a few times, which I always consider the mark of a good writer (so this was your entry this year, eh Rabbits? nice sequel), and 'The End of Sunflower Racing'...my only complaint is the overuse of the words 'cock' and 'sperm'; surely you could have been more creative in you handling of the male organ, and given it some more though to additional slang terms to use. You quickly lost my enthusiasm that way...and secondly, THAT IS NOT SPERM, GODDAMNIT!! Use either 'semen' or 'jizz' and you'll have my confidence back, but do not confuse the microscopic cells swimming around in that mixture for an actual, correct terminology. Otherwise, good job.
>>11901 >Hakurei-blessed steel. The main character is a girl, but the way the quote is worded as well as her being a Hunter, suggests that she is not directly associated with the shrine maidens. They also like to recklessly trial by fire their initiates.
I’d like to point out, >>/shorts/1249>>/shorts/1252 Farewell, Our Better Halves only had 5 votes until the very last voter. In my book, he came second in the Vet section. But it's you’re choice, Rabbit.
Since everybody's going to be coming out with what story they wrote anyway, I guess I'll reveal myself as the one behind Initiation.
I started it off as, essentially, Hotline: Gensokyo. It was an exercise in how much gratuitous violence I could write, inflicted on both the main character and her enemies through constant time-loop shenanigans, but I couldn't really find any ways to end it satisfyingly.
And then, in one of my many rewrites, I ended up having the protagonist descend into a cave. Everything morphed from there, until it became the story of a rookie's first hunt instead of a psychopath going CRUSH KILL DESTROY on all the humans, kappa, and tengu that she could get her hands on.
I'm not really surprised I only got two votes, given my exceedingly stiff competition. Maybe I'll have better luck next time. Still, congratulations to the winners! You earned it!
GJ all, and props for a healthy turnout. I wrote Nicotine Rhapsody, and while I didn't care about winning, that last minute voterush made me happy. I had my concerns introducing a named male who went on to boink a Touhou. I hope my critique was of use to people, and see you next contest.
>>11919 Yes, I know there is no point. However, I did a speech on the detriments of general broadcasting, so I have to own up to that. Also, I want a solid anchor for criticisms, a specific post to flip off.
Truth to be Told author here. So, now you got a name to direct your cliffhanging annoyance at. If you got anything to say which you haven’t already, then I’m all ears.
The story felt unfinished to me. Not because of the end, but because there was more I wanted to do with it. I wanted to deepen the bond between the MC and Sanae. I wanted to place more hints throughout the text. I wanted to refine it and make it and make it smoother. Time wasn’t on my side however.
This was actually my 3’rd attempt at a story. The first was about a youkai like being from a 3’rd world entirely made it into Gensokyo. I abandoned that quickly though. The second attempt was something which I could turn into a story, so I decided against it. With half my time gone I began writing this. The end however, was planned. If things had gone my way, it would just have happened later.
I wrote 'Cat' ( >>/shorts/1239 ). Thanks to the author of "Alice's Life" in /forest/ for conversing with me and putting neurotic, shut-in Alice into my brain in time to write something for the contest.
Thanks for everyone who posted comments and reviews! Those confused by the ending, I've already posted minor clarification in this thread.
And lastly, thanks for everyone who wrote, read, and voted~
More detailed post later, maybe, when I'm not just getting back home from work. Should be more reviews coming, so let's see if we can do the Q&A all in one run...
Writer of Outside Context here. I gotta say, when I wrote this I did not expect it to win. I actually have never written a bit of fanfiction before in my life. I just decided to write it on a whim since I had some free time and this contest looked like fun. Its nice to know that I'm apparently a pretty good writer, and I'm glad you lot enjoyed reading my silly little story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks for all the votes everybody.
I gave suggestions where I could and my impressions where I couldn't. Otherwise I just spoke of random trifles.
Newbie section >>/shorts/1219 Division Having to work from scratch characterizing the pc-98 characters.The dialogue and interact seemed good. The problem was I couldn't follow the prose easily. I didn't understand what the division process was, for example. Maybe cut down on the concentration of long sentences full of commas. >>/shorts/1220 Outside Context The outsider, and Chen's cry of triumph were hilarious. The stats system pushed how far one was willing to believe, though conversely, I found the youkai's adoption of his fighting style to be believable enough to be true. >>/shorts/1224 Untitled (Youmubutt I: The Phantom Butt) (also Impetus) The listing of the houses had a bit of lines that sounded off. The effect works though, the vivid details counteracting the clunkiness of the list delivery. These points hold the same for the rest of the piece: it has effect, just there are awkward lines. For the ending, I think removing "It was a good day to be a wolf" and going with a single punchline instead of two would have been more elegant. You could even replace the final sentence with it, which I thought was somewhat cliche and inferable from the previous text. This could be part of a continuation. On the off chance, I will preach this: please don't go ahead to describe the revolution as a congo line of battles. Less is more. Significance and dynamicity in events are good. Having the story being from the perspective of Momoji's journals combined with letters exchanged between other factions, for example, could be neat. >>/shorts/1231 Machinations You know what, rereading this, I'm liking this more. The nice difference is that the speculation is on based on present information, as opposed to painfully missing information. It's odd how struck Yukari is upon the man voicing his secret of her not having a soul, seeing as, well, she doesn't have soul. This could be part of an expansion. On the off chance, I will preach this: please don't go ahead to describe every single battle between every single touhou. Less is more. >>/shorts/1232 Untitled (Youmubutt II: The Butt Wars) I don't think Miko would talk like that, but what do I know? Fuck it. It was an interesting slice of life, a genre which I'm usually bad at. The couple of ridiculous things are suitably placed so that their unfathomable unbelievability is palatable, even worthy of an acrid grin. By the way, where does the half-ghost show up in this? >>/shorts/1242 A Truth to be Told The Remilia visit was weaker, the Netherworld visit was better. But I think they both were fine. I think this is because of the extra text that describes how the MC sees the residents, and how they react to him, makes the Youmu trip better. The SDM one works, just is very sparse. I thought the table thing was a elegant implicit detail, and way to lead into the story. > I wanted to deepen the bond between the MC and Sanae. I wanted to place more hints throughout the text. I wanted to refine it and make it and make it smoother. Ya, that would do it. I guess Sanae will eventually learn the truth since Suwako will just tell her, but like who hell just waits until they flop dead in front of their partner. Cruel cruel man. So are you, author. You and him, throwing people off of tall rocky embankments. >>/shorts/1244 Answers Ah, the father was kind of repulsive. No, not because it's a guy in touhou. Just a character throwing away their life in the process of fleeing from their fears. People probably do it all the time, yet it hideous to watch. Maybe he's right. Maybe this story is closer to DOLL than anything. Maybe curiosity kills the cat. I mean, imagine how different an impression this story would have if instead of Koishi it was Yukari. >>/shorts/1245 Rooibos I like it. A simple, single scene. I guess I do like shorts that reveal their precise context at the end. >>/shorts/1246>>/shorts/1247 In Case Of Trouble I had a hard time going through this, and am a lazy jerk, so I did not read this through throughly yet. My sincerest apologies. Why the use of alternate quotation marks, though?
"Heart to Heart" was my entry. This was my first time entering a contest and I'm surprised I did so well. Those of you who voted for my entry, it really meant a lot to me.
Heart to Heart was about as far removed from my usual fare as I could get. I didn't get struck by the idea until the day before the deadline and didn't even have that long to actually write it. It felt sort of incomplete and I was really down to the wire as far as submitting it. Honestly, I had a lot of fun writing it and it came naturally to me. I think I might write some shorts from time to time, when I have ideas that I can work with.
>>11932 Stylistic choice really. Needed some way to distinguish the narrator's quips from him actually telling the story. It's more because when, at least for me, quotations are used, it denotes a back and forth in speech whereas I wanted the reader to infer Parsee's dialogue in the beginning and include a transition at the end of the reading where Parsee actually talks with the narrator.
Hey, guys. I wrote Black Lotus. Didn't expect it to win, but I'm glad a few people liked it.
I got inspired by some neat stuff I found on Pixiv. Full-on corruption is pretty rare here, so I thought I'd give it a try. Byakuren's a really fun character to do that to, and I hope we get to see more of her. Miko got the short end of the characterization stick, though. I could've put someone else in her place, but I liked the thought of having her slowly grow more aroused and vulnerable while gloating over her rival's downfall.
I had plans for the scene to keep going, but I didn't have the space, and the part with Byakuren seemed good on its own. Maybe I'll finish it with a sequel someday.
Author of Impetus here, thank you for your votes and for the suggestions,especially >>11932 for his ideas.
I had something different planned for the story and it just kinda changed during the middle part, though im not sure if my original direction would have gone better at all. It was written as kind of a beginning though, so the possibility to continue is definitley there. Would people like to see more?
As for the arkward lines, English is not my first language and the first draft was a lot worse, which is why I reposted after asking Kapow to delete the first one. I will try to better myself in the future, that is if I am going to write again.
On that note, the 2 votes are 2 more than I expected, thanks once again and if you want to comment on the story or give advice go ahead please, let me know what you think!
>I'd vote for the Maid one, but the lack of penetration at the end of was a letdown. Practicality be damned, this is a sex fantasy about the land of fantasy and you're telling me the sexy fairies can't have sex? Unforgivable, unless and until you write a sequel (you should write a sequel). Maybe.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting many votes for mine. I figured it was a little abstract in regards to its relation to Touhou. In the end I decided to ignore my concerns on that and posted it.
>>11875 I'm glad you liked my story, and overjoyed that you found it good enough to vote on! Answers was technically a practice of a CYOA idea that's been rebounding around in my head for a while. I won't promise anything, but maybe it'll actually become something in the future. That would be, of course, after my current CYOA's completion.
>>11904 I agree that some sentences in the story were slightly "clipped," as you called it. I'm not really sure if that was because of me rushing for the deadline or because I need some general practice in this writing style (since it's been a while since I've written from a "normal" third-person point-of-view), but thank you for the criticism. I'll be sure to work on that in the future.
This goes without saying (regardless, I'll say it anyways), but if anybody would like to comment or give feedback on my story, I'm all ears. And a mouth, apparently. Look at how long this post is already.
Anyways, it was fun. Congratulations to the winners, it was well-earned.
Hey there. Wrote Where the Fox was Tamed. Generally, I do not like how the majority of my shorts turn out, but this one is an exception, whether or not it was a good read or not. It was definitely enjoyable to write.
>>11887 I'm glad Ran caught your attention. I do like how Ran turned out, so it was a nice surprise for me. >>11898 Not much to say here. As I said before, Ran is nice~ >>11899 Thank you. I felt like I was in the fine threshold between witty and trying too hard, so this reassured me a bit. >>11904 You are most definitely right when you say stilted. Any criticism and help would be appreciated to remedy that.
I'm glad I participated. Thanks for the comments and advice
Machinationfag here. Funfact: This story is also known as "Em-dash: Reckoning." How were the em-dashes, on that note?
>>11904 Please elaborate. I think I get what you are getting at, but I don't want to jump at anything without being sure.
>>11910 Thank ye kindly. "What the hell's going on" is what I was aiming for, but I didn't think I could provoke that with my level of experience. That is to say, no experience.
>Why is he invading Gensokyo in the first place When you put it that way, it makes it sound like he's the only one invading. Don't forget about the "leader," "Boltzmann," and "massive aerial battle."
>and torturing Yukari to boot? It's not torture if it's for science!
>What is the meaning of that ending? Ok, other parts of the story could be construed differently, but this one actually has an answer. I'll cite the mage's rant and, "With a tremendous shattering Yukari’s gear blows apart, and countless miniscule gears fall into the surrounding void." We established that gears=souls, and Yukari's just went kaboom. I guess I didn't make things concrete enough, sorry. Unless you meant something else—ohgodIjumpedonsomethingwithoutbeingsure.
>>11932 I often find myself liking my essays better on the second read as well.
>The nice difference is that the speculation is on based on present information Yup, yup. That was the goal.
>It's odd how struck Yukari is upon the man voicing his secret of her not having a soul Odd in a good way, right? Please be in a good way. Also, are you sure that "his," isn't supposed to be a "her." On that note, how was my grammar?
>expansion.... Less is more. If I did write this as a CYOA, I would guess that the majority of the battles would be "off-screen." In fact, there is one battle that I don't expect to be seen at all, so I haven't thought of any specifics.
Well, I'm gonna go ahead and claim DOLL as my own work, which was based off a conversation I had on IRC. Dunno how it came out, but at least I got a couple votes in a very dense contest, so that's something.
>>11945 Well, one of the early ones that stuck out to me in Machinations was Yukari commenting on what the floor was made of while there was a battle going on and her body on the line. Personally, I think I would have tried to make some sort of jumbled combination of stray thoughts and words, all of which being picked up (as you did) by the soul mage. Something like--and this isn't right or wrong, just an idea--Yukari trying to ask a question while stray ideas and images pulse by in disorderly, disjointed fashion.
>>11946 Oh you're right. My bad. I just didn't see >>11905 since I didn't bother reading much when looking for votes. It's a low blow to say it, but it doesn't really change much in the overall standing.
Well, at this point I guess I should reveal that I was the writer of Farewell, Our Better Halves. Apparently I should write soul-crushing tragedies more. If you have any questions or comments to make, fire away.
For the record, just as my last contest entry, I consider this story to be Tainted Bonds canon.
... which highlights some very interesting points in Tainted Bonds's events, in hindsight.
One of the first things Yuyuko did after becoming Tainted was selfishly call Youki back, a call which he heeded despite specifically releasing himself from service, despite being in the middle of a search for his dead wife's soul. How is he rewarded for this? Tainted Yuyuko has him try to kill his daughter Youmu, the child his wife died while birthing. What does he do? In her memory, he kills himself rather than let his mindcontrolled body hurt his wife's final determination, then destroys his own soul to prevent any chance of reanimation shenananaigans on Yuyuko's part, just to be sure.
That's right. Noa and Youki currently will never reunite in the gardens of Hakugyokurou. Ever.
Guess I'm a bit late to the party. I'm the author of The Unluckster Musicians. This time around I wrote a genre I'm not used to, comedy, to see how I fared, and I'd say I did a bit better than expected. I knew from the start I wouldn't win, especially since I had the vets of THP as rivals this time around, so I consider the one vote and the several mentions my story recieved to be a success from my part.
The other reason is that I wanted to write about the new toohoos. I feel the new tsukumogami band has a very interesting dynamic between themselves that could be exploited to make a good CYOA, and I tried to make something good out of it. I even left the door open for possible continuations if I (or someone else) ever feel like it. Improbable, since I have my hands full with college and my other two stories.
As some have said, my main flaw was the very same I had last year: I rushed the ending. However, although my previous entry's abrupt ending was due to having to cut parts to meet the character limit, this time it was because I didn't know exactly how I wanted it to end. And it shows. I tried to make it kind of anticlimatic in an attempt of anti-humor, but obviously my execution fell flat, and thus it turned kind of lame. Guess it's my lack of experience at comedy, or maybe I needed to have a clearer idea.
I had a lot of fun participating in this event, and I enjoyed reading all your entries a lot. Keep up your good work, vets, and I hope to see your next full-fledged CYOAs soon, newbies.
Awesome, I won again! Thanks for all the votes, everyone. There were a lot of great entries this year, and it was an honor to participate.
Race queens are great, aren't they? And so's Yuuka. I understand how a male Wriggle would put some people off, but I think it just worked better for this setup. I ended up hitting the word limit even with two posts, so I had to cut out some details and reduce poor Medicine to a single mention. But I don't like her that much anyway, so that's fine.
I saw some promise in some of those newbie entries, too. Hope we get some good new stories out of this!
To be honest, I hadn't considered the possibility it would be construed that way. I just wanted to reference Kokoro's dragon mask spellcard while making a joke about Marisa's bizarre perception of love.
I can unfortunately say that neither of these works are as finished as I would like. I’m barely scrapping by semi-regular updates for my own stories, let alone these hastily slapped together competition pieces; I’m glad to see my fears were unfounded and that there were many more stories out there to choose from.
As >>11875 so astutely pointed out, my stories were highly experimental (for me, at least). I wished I had more time to touch them up and really think through them, but it’s nice to know that people ultimately understood what was going on. Thanks for the votes and the mentions folks!
I’ll be checking in here and my own threads like always. If you have any questions or comments, I’d love to address them.
Author of Division here. Thank you to everyone who actually gave some sort of feedback on that, including the comment that it was unreadable. The main thing I'm getting out of then is that it needs to be less long-winded and a bit more cohesive overall; tightening it up thematically would probably help with the borderline non-ending. But at least it wasn't mechanically terrible, I guess?
If there are any other thoughts on it, I'd be happy to hear them. I write this kind of prose only very rarely, so this was a good opportunity to try it again.
I would like to express my strong desire to see an widely-accepted/recognized home and acknowledgement for non-CYAO's which are not shorts.
Not every story idea can or should have the CYOA set of constraints and opportunities applied to it, and I think this writing contest is ample evidence that there be writers and readers who would an outlet outside the mantle of CYAO. While the general remark has been that "not-interactive so less replies" might be true on account of their logistics of CYAO, I would hope that the about of readers would stay reasonably consistent (the same "don't let the stories you like die off").