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1264 No. 1264
Basically, I want to write a story here, but only wish to do one so I don't get in over my head. I have three concrete ideas but I want some critique before I go off into the sunset.

Idea One:
An AU story where anon is the powerless (magic wise) captain of a hazard ship (the spacefaring kind) that transports and oversees the disposal of extremely dangerous items and materials that few other ships can safely handle.
Losses are common, but your quick thinking gets almost everyone home every time. Almost.

After a particularly disasterous run the captain threatens his superior with a resignation since there are very few with the qualifications for the job, but since his crew would have to stay he relents and continues to do his job.

On the next run, the crew encounters someone who is none to happy about what they've been tossing into the designated sun...
I've given this idea alot of thought and I think it's one of my stronger ideas. I also like this one quite a bit.

Idea Two:
A western anon starts dreaming about gensokyo.
Curious, he practices lucid dreaming in order to explore what s/he belives is a mental fantasy.
Unfortunately, this is in fact not a dream, and the lucid immaterial wanderings do not go unoticed.
Why western? I got tired of all the eastern names. Plus there's the whole culture shock deal.
Also, this is one case where there is a reason for anon's existence in Gensokyo, and it's not Yukari.
There's also the fact that your grip on reality loosens as well.
This is also another story I have a fairly good idea on what I want to do with it.

Idea Three:
An anon gets involved with the UFO crew after the events of touhou 12. A village oriented story that I hope will grant some insight on the most recent characters.
My weakest idea in the fact that I haven't put a whole lot of thought into it. But given time I think I could make it work.

Once I get some criticism and think of a good opening, I'll post a trail topic, and if that works I'll just use it for a full story.

No. 1283

Each of these ideas has a good deal of potential, and though I do have my thoughts on each of them I won't detail them too closely (largely because of personal bias associated with Idea Two).

Specifically, the first idea seems like an interesting setting with good room for development in both characters and storyline, largely out of the open-ended directionality you suggest. The second is a good departure from the usual fare, and has similar capabilities in development; the thematic construction in particular seems like an interesting pursuit. The last deals with a new cast of characters and setting which in their novelty haven't really been given the chance to appear and merit exploration.

However, I think several factors built into these ideas are what's crucial for their construction. These are some of the ones I consider more important, though of course I can't claim to know them all either.

Firstly, I find that a sense of directionality is pretty important. A story is difficult to keep interesting if it has nowhere to go, so room for development helps in keeping things dynamic and preventing stagnation.
Something else, though I think you've already recognized it, is that with the variety of stories that have been launched and those that continue being written, there needs to be something particular about yours. I won't go into it since that's not a concern from what you've said.
Something that I have to emphasize, however, is flexibility. As you might guess it's important to have different possibilities in mind at each point and different possible general directions for the story itself, but voters can very easily surprise you; this can range from taking a choice you didn't expect to coming up with solutions to problems or creating perspectives which you hadn't thought of. You needn't think too much about it, but if you're not ready to be surprised it might cause you trouble.
And as you might guess, it's also important for you to have an earnest interest in writing it. Otherwise it may later become a drag to do, and as you probably know that becomes a problem for both you and readers.

I'll keep an eye out to see what you come up with, though I'll only advise if you ask again. Best of luck, for whichever you choose.