ALL SUBMISSIONS MUST BE ANONYMOUS. Non-anonymous posts will be disqualified.
Deadline is 15 September at 23:59 GMT (which, conveniently enough, is what site time is). Any submissions after that will be ignored.
The number of posts you can use maximum is two. MAKE VERY SURE THEY'RE OBVIOUSLY LINKED TO ONE ANOTHER. IN-THREAD LINKS ARE SUGGESTED.
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 January 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 and porn. I'm lumping the porn categories together due to low turnout for newbie porn. Voting will last another week, ending on 22 September at 23:59 GMT.
>>13771 >Threads will be auto-saged (not able to be bumped by new posts) after 250 posts. In addition, the character limit for a single post is 30,000 for most boards. - FAQ, Front page
Also remember that the contest allows for 2 posts per story (60k characters in total).
Also, because various tools to count the characters of your story is likely to give different results, I'd play it safe and aim for somewhere between 20 and 25K characters per post. But that's just me.
I believe the site will tell you if you get over the limit, though, so there's that.
>>13774 Yes and yes. Furthermore, fancy word quotes (“” instead of "") are two characters each, not 1.
The most accurate method of getting a character count is to copy your post into a plaintext file (in windows, right click, new, Text Document). Then check the properties on that file and look at size (not size on disk). Where it says "xx,xxx bytes", that's your exact character count. It has to be under 30,000 to fit in a post.
So I tried to upload my entry in the porn section, but I think I screwed something up. I can't get the thread to show my posts. The expand thread option has not appeared, and clicking on the "Message too long. Click here to view the whole text" link only shows the opening post made by Rabbit. I know I uploaded my entry because the contest thread got bumped, and I can see my 2 part entry in its unexpanded form, but it will not let my read the whole thing for some reason. Is anyone else able to read my entry? How do I fix this?
>>13804 If your entry was Afterschool Adventure then I can see it and read it perfectly. Perhaps you need to restart your browser or open the tab the thread in a different window to see it. If it's not, then you should wait a while. This page takes a while to load properly, especially with long posts. If it doesn't work, I don't know how else I can help you. Try posting it again, maybe?
Welp, time to let the voting begin. THIS ISN'T DIFFERENT AT ALL! IS IT, STEEEEEVE?!
Non-porn: Okuu's Very Good Day One of the things I like most in a story is a unique feel. A lot of the stuff on display felt familiar to me (including my honorable mention), but Okuu's felt like a children's book written by a moderately psychotic author with a casually sadistic sense of humor, and I enjoyed it immensely. Honorable mention to The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe, which felt like someone had decided they could be me better than I do, and then proven themselves hugely right by merging a bunch of stuff I do with a bunch of stuff I don't, but should. I mad jelly.
Porn: Forgot To Name It II, Electric Boogaloo This one, on the other hand, was an extremely simple matter of elimination. Ryona kills my boner, and so does ruining perfectly wonderful dialogue with description more plodding and purple than Patchouli trying to carry heavy objects with no magical assistance. The Akyuu short had neither of these problems, though I do wish it had been longer.
Goddamn there's a bunch of arthouse type crap this time.
Non Porn: A Cold woman as it's a pretty interesting tale that fits well as a sort or expanded/continued.
Other story remarks:
Incident at the beginning of the universe: Mind screwy. Though I wonder if the stuff about "being written down doesn't make it faith" is a commentary on organized religions or not.
The Last Offering: pretty decent intro story of Shou and Nazrin though it's clearly AU
Feast and Famine: Promising idea but it needs to be expanded on for sure; too much compressed and too mucn unsaid. While Rinnosuke having his head up his ass is canon accurate, not sure how well it'd make for good reading.
Splatouhou: It'd be something that'd work far better as a doujin than a written story, that or a better writer. Otherwise a basic crossover fight story.
Okuu's good day: comes off as children's book... even making Okuu sound more childish/questionable retarded than fanon Cirno. I get the feeling it was Junko that talked her into it.
The eyes story: Needlessly ax-crazy Parsee, though not even a lunatic would think changing eyes would really change anything.
Puppet with its string cut: Wow it's like I'm back in the days of Marisa stole the precious thing. What kind of time machine did you take to get here. Also see a therapist as for how well you put down all her mental issues... you have the more beign ones.
Over the moon: not a terrible story, clearly AU (junkies in Gensokyo, half vampires,etc?) I'm tempted to say whoever wrote this assumed that having death/suffering in it alone would make it artful. With some tweaking it could be a decent story.
Porn: Catnip. Even if it's approaching YAF levels of purple its quality is still quite clear. That's also despite questions like "Why didn't Chen take the guy to Eientei to see if anything could be done about his eye" and such.
He should really go and update Tainted Bonds sometime this year... and realize that more words isn't always better.
The other entries? The Akyuu one wasn't bad, though it felt sort of phoned in and cold at times.
The other one? far more harsh than even most rape doujins and it's clearly by the Nazrin rape guy in /at/ (he has the idea that touhou didn't have enough rough stuff/rape)
Votes: Me, Myself and Eyes Akyuu's Untitled Youmubutt Adventure
The most common thread this time around: not knowing what's going on. If I can't tell what's happening in your story, I'm not likely to walk away satisfied. I know we all love Fell and Vonnegut and David Foster Wallace, but there is something to be said for clarity, y'know?
The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe - Case in point, I couldn't tell what was going on in this story. Something something Gensokyo is myth, Joseph Campbell namedrop, faceless bunny ears girl, ???? If it's a reference, I don't get it - Black Tewi? Something to do with LoLK's plot? If it's not a reference... I have no idea. The prose feels like mimicry of something artsy too. I'm sure it all makes sense if you're on the exact same wavelength as the author, maybe, probably, but I'm not, so all I feel is confused. Maybe someone else will explain this one to me in the votes?
The Last Offering - Nice sense of imperative here, with the media res opening and all. That style does have a drawback, though, and here that drawback is manifest: Shou doesn't get much characterization, the situation gets no explanation, and I don't feel very invested as a result. This is an origin story, right? Where's Byakuren? What's with the chasing oni things? Why is danmaku even a thing if they aren't in Gensokyo yet? Why "Naz Mousedowser" instead of just Nazrin?
I like the basic execution here, it's a nice chase and character scene, but it feels like just a taste of something that could have been more fleshed out.
Splatoonhou - Great prose. Amazing prose, really! I love the dialogue, the interactions, the sentences and language played with to give dynamics to the events. Bold and italics are used freely, some might say overused, but I think they fit the comical nature of the piece. I want to get invested in every character that appears!
Unfortunately, that's not possible, because there are too many characters appearing for too little screen time each. Sometimes it wasn't obvious whether names belonged to kappa or inklings. In particular I was confused as to whether "Mari" was supposed to be Marie of the Squid Sisters - I think not, but I'm not 100% clear.
Plotwise, well. The scene does follow itself and has a beginning, middle, and end, but I'd still like to know why inklings are here and how the fighting started in the first place. There's just enough detail given to the setting that I think the story needs a little more anchoring, some reason for the reader to care about the fight or pick a side to cheer for, y'know?
Overall great stuff, though!
YOUMU'S SWEET ZOMBIE CHEEKS - Sedoka is fundamentally a dialogue form, and while I do like the reversal of lover's tones into rotting murderdeath, I don't like both stanzas coming from the same source. Should've made one of them from Seiga's perspective, or perhaps expanded to Tojiko. I also have to knock off some points for potentially being unclear without the image, and for having some unimportant syllables. If you're going to enter a prose contest with a short poem like this, I think you need to make the absolute most of your chosen form or risk being seen as a low effort joke entry. All that said, major props for chops. This is a breath of fresh air and you should go write some more in /shorts/ or somewhere!
Okuu's Very Good Day - Cute, and good use of new characters. Decent children's book writing. Plot, though... the plot joins the refrain of "I barely knew what was going on, even after looking it up." Junko should probably be explicitly named, and even knowing the references, I'm unclear on exactly why she wants to burn the Moriyas. Shouldn't she be happy that they found a good host for Yatagarasu? It's funny, sort of, but didn't leave me very satisfied.
Me, Myself and Eyes - Now, this, this is some dark comedy I can get behind. Very nice. Short, to the point, characterful, thought provoking, and evocative. The amount of punch per word is exquisitely high. Could use a little more context, perhaps, but here that feels like me asking too much rather than a genuine lack. I love it.
Feast and Famine - Yarrrr, me hearties, we be sailin' the seas of crack with our ships now! Thar blows a good start to a relationship piece, but a lackluster end. Twas a good setup, with Rinno unable to define why he was uncomfortable, yet in the end, twas no booty to be found in his conversation with Reimu, or really the conclusion generally. Except for oni booty, of which I'm sure there was a-plenty! All in the name of "sport," yarr. A treat for a bedraggled old sailor to read, though the second half be like the sea at quenching the thirsts.
A Puppet With Its Strings Cut - "This must all feel extremely whiny and incoherent." Yeah, pretty much. And it just goes on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, like one incredibly long unbroken sentence moving from topic to topic and eventually to the incredibly obvious end.
Hey, whoever wrote this, I'll be level, this is garbage. But that's okay. Most writing is, and most good writing starts that way. Go back to the start and think about what you wanted to accomplish, and how to accomplish that. There's some good seeds in here, emotions, scenes, ideas. Take the best of them and start over, carving everything else away. I imagine you're depressed, much like Alice. Much like myself, even - you're not alone. Keep going. Unlike Alice, the red-white isn't going to exterminate you for trying something new. And after a mountain of corpses, you can, you WILL, make a beautiful doll.
A Cold Woman - Feels like there's been a Letty story like this in every contest. Hm. Interesting. Anyway, it's okay. The prose feels very detatched. Lots of plain, declaratory sentences. Like this. It makes it hard to connect to the story. The protagonist has no name and no face. No one else has a name or face either. Just "a girl" and "my uncle" and so on. No specifics or proper nouns are in evidence. Nothing unusual happens either. After the first time, we know "the woman" is going to rescue people, and she does. And "I" go find her. It's very plain. Much like how I'm writing this review. Technically it's complete, but emotionally it's very dissociated and hard to get into. I'd recommend the author read the Splatoonhou short, study what's going on there and try to write more dynamically!
Clinically Over the Moon - Another romance story. The usual setup, a bit of melodrama. As always, I'm not a huge fan of the Touhou elements being minimized to this degree. You could clip off the names, make Komachi an undertaker and this could be any modern setting. In fact, it fits better outside of Gensokyo than inside - I'm really not sure how the human village has needles and junkies like the protagonist to begin with, if Reisen's clinic is the only modern medical establishment. Hits the ol' suspension of disbelief a bit. Character stuff is fine, though the whole thing feels... paint-by-numbers? Good effort, now work on surprising and delighting readers who are looking for more!
Afterschool Adventures - Hm, this is nicely written and off to a good start, I wonder if we're going to get some saucy schoolteacher adv- ... really? No. Just no. I don't even hate ryona, I've played and enjoyed and "enjoyed" ryona games, and this doesn't hit anything that makes ryona appealing to its general audience at all. To each their own, I guess, but this feels more like a troll entry than anything else to me.
YOUMU AND AKYUU, LYING ON A BED, P-O-M-F-I-N-G - Cute, hot, really nice setup. My favorite /at/ type stories have always been the ones that go a bit beyond in creating a fun, hot setting. Reminds me of the Lotus Pavilion concepts, in a good way. I'd prefer even more details there, further attention on the servants and the personalities of the village boys, but hey, /at/ is hard to judge fairly and runs a lot heavier on personal tastes.
Catnip - Hm, this... this might run too far to the other end, yeah. Too much detail, not enough porn. I like the detail! I think I'm really on the high end for loving purple prose porn! And this isn't purple prose, honestly, it really isn't. It's just... a LOT of prose. There's something of a reason why most erotic fiction tends towards a certain length, I'll let you figure it out. I like the relationship, I like the setting, I like the detail, but I don't like it all crammed in here. There's too much and it gets in the way of the naughty fun bits. Especially the end - after all this buildup about getting Chen pregnant, the climax is rather anticlimactic (heh), with the headbutt taking the reader right out of the mood and then a rather abbreviated conclusion. Everyone has different preferences and priorities in ero stuff, but for me the priorities in the writing here were not in line with what I was looking for while reading. If you're writing for general audiences you might want to check that out and keep in mind what the majority of readers care about - often it's not the same as what authors care about!
I like this one. I like it a lot. I don't know what'd you'd call it—a character study? But it seemed to...
Dang it, I can't really articulate why I liked this one the most.
I liked the feeling of...I don't know. How the setting was relaxed, and how the main character was relaxed, but you peel the layers a bit and he's not relaxed at all, actually. He's got issues, even if they aren't necessarily capital-I issues (or maybe they are) and they paint everything he does?
And at the end of the short, nothing is fully resolved, but he seems willing to take his steps farther forward than he was before. And that's fine. That's great, even, and I like it. Not all developments are dramatic—whether they're dramatic fight scenes or dramatic arguments or dramatic confessions. Most of the changes that happen to people must seem pretty low-key, from the outside.
I'm just rambling at this point, and I don't know if anything I've said is any coherent. That's fine. Maybe I can explain it and maybe I can't, but I liked this short best.
Most of the stories don't have the standard sort of beginning, middle, and end. It's a legitimate stylistic choice, but there's a reason that formula is the norm. Anyway, here are my impressions of the entries.
The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe This story was probably the best on a technical level, but I don't really enjoy that style of story.
The Last Offering What starts as a neat little origin story stops instead of ending.
Splatoonhou This is probably a decent story, but constant action bores me. Also, there are too many characters, especially since most of them aren't named 2hus.
The Yoshika Poem Clever use of the medium resulted in a work 1030 words long. I will probably never vote for something like this in this contest, but that doesn't make it bad.
Okuu's Very Good Day The childish POV wasn't used to its potential. It could have been chilling but instead became grating.
Me, Myself, and Eyes I like how the dude getting his eyes gouged out is just background to the rest of the story. I would have liked to see hints of insanity in the "human" half, but I mostly just enjoyed an interesting perspective on the nature of youkai.
Feast and Famine A lot of space was used and very little was said. A slow pace is fine as a part of a larger work but not as an entry in this contest.
A Puppet With Its Strings Cut Metaphors, with all the subtlety of a charging rhinoceros. Not even deserving of complete sentences in response.
A Cold Woman The story happened for a while, then stopped. It didn't really convey much tension or emotion.
Clinically Over The Moon Am I the only one so far who understood the ending? Shine on, you glorious bastard.
>>13839 Re: Eyes: I think the insanity in the human side is there, in just how thoroughly it denies everything. Really, she was never jealous at all, even a little? A perfect selfless princess who can completely accept that she never told him her feelings, so he was fair game? Holding no grudge whatsoever? And it's just bad luck that she somehow got possessed by a jealous spirit? Naaaah, the "human" voice is unreliable narrator as heck, just subtle about it.
Re: Reisen True End: What's there to get about it? The dude and Reisen had a kid before she died, that's what the oblique "it became a moot point" sentence was about. Is there something more?
This is my first contest to participate in, both writing and voting. I figured I'd offer a few words about each short, since I know everybody wants at least a little feedback, positive or negative. Apologies in advance, as I'm neither a particularly educated person nor an articulate one.
The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe: I have to say that this short was too meta for my tastes. The overall thesis (as I interpret it) is interesting, I suppose, but it doesn't read like a story. To me, it lacks much depth beyond saying that the recurring Touhou plots are repetitive and/or derivative. I guess I just didn't 'get' it.
The Last Offering: This one left me feeling like I'd read the lead-up to a bigger story. Nazrin's name gave me the impression that it's supposed to be a reference to something that I missed entirely. In terms of characterisation, we don't get much sense of who Shou is beyond what exposition we get, and Nazrin is the cliched 'no hard feelings, kid' hard-nosed fighter-drifter character. The saving graces of the story come in the pacing and the fact that it felt slightly more like a 'Touhou' story. It doesn't go on much longer than it needs to, which is a skillset many writers need.
Splatoonhou: Kappa Warfare: I couldn't finish this. A lot of it's personal bias against crossovers, and the rest of it is simply a lack of interest in the characters and the plot. At least it seems like a reasonably dynamic and well-paced story. My sincerest apologies.
Untitled Yoshika short: Maybe it's my lack of education in poetic forms -- or literature in general -- but I liked this. It paints a picture of what I can only guess is Yoshika's origin story while leaving the 'lines' of it open. You should write more shorts. Or full-length stories.
Okuu's Very Good Day: The inclusion of Junko and her backstory was a nice touch. I love to see people willing to touch new material. The style was cloying to me but not enough to deter me. This is what I would consider one of the few complete stories in this contest.
Me, Myself and Eyes: An evocative character sketch, and one that gets to the point. The way things happen without a whole lot of explicit narration is definitely a high point. I wish this could have been more of a story, but it deserves praise.
Feast and Famine: I wrote this. That's all I'm saying for now.
A Puppet With Its Strings Cut: To be very honest, this is another meta story and painfully so. It's a visceral depiction of profound depression and neurosis. Most of it, I think, is probably the writer's. All of this is conveyed at length in a format that's tiring to read. Beyond that, I have to applaud the writer for out-vague-ing me and sincerely hope he's seeking counseling.
A Cold Woman: The plot was a bit saccharine, particularly the ending, but I couldn't fault it too much for that, considering how schmaltzy mine ended up being. Unfortunately, the lack of dialogue makes the protagonist forgettable and the overall impact of the events less than intended. More than that, it just doesn't feel like a 'Touhou' story. Something about the setting and the way Letty herself only plays a passing role in the events. Keep writing anyway.
Clinically Over The Moon: Yes, yes, Smash Mouth jokes are funny and clever. That aside, I suppose the setup is alright, if a touch cliched. The perspective character isn't much more than an archetype, though, which makes the impact of anything a bit dull. The conclusion's more satisfying than mine, but I still can't help coming out of the other end feeling like this story could have been put in another setting with the serial numbers filed off. I wanted to like it.
Afterschool Adventure: This isn't a story. This is 'My Fetish: The Showcase'. And your fetish is disturbing. Please, seek help and/or medication.
Untitled II: Electric Boogaloo: The backdrop of the story is nice. As soon as the other characters arrive, there's promise in it. The problems begin when it gets to the sex scene. The boys cease to be boys and become floating hands and penises. The actual acts become so abbreviated that it's like eating mall Chinese food -- you feel a bit full for a bit, but you end up feeling like you didn't eat much at all. This was rushed and it shows.
Catnip: I wish I could convey the depths of my sigh here without resorting to roleplay. This short annoyed me. On one hand, it possesses a certain strength of character and 'colour' that I wish I could capture in my own writing. On the other, it just doesn't do what it should. You've got the relationship, the sense of eroticism, the chemistry... and yet all of the details don't feel right. It all focused on the wrong things. Details that would be otherwise interesting are found in the wrong places. I finished this feeling seethingly jealous; I want this writer's sense of character, setting, and that ich-weiß-nicht that I can only approximate in a word like 'wit' or somesuch. His 'mediocre' outpaces my 'reasonably good, I guess', and it frustrates me to tears.
>>13842 Different person, but while I caught the joke, it wasn't very well executed. There was the use of the exact same lines in the beginning of the short, so by the time you got to the punchline...
Well, there's "seeing it coming a mile away", but this isn't even that. This is "passed it miles back already". Were the lyrics supposed to be funnier the second time?
There was also the melodramatic death scene, before which the narrator states that maybe he fell in love with Reisen, but it become moot (because she died). But then after the melodramatic death scene, it turns out he's telling his daughter all of this, and his daughter is also a rabbit of some sort and has the same shade of hair as Reisen, which means...what? What happened between the narrator and Reisen exactly? I mean, I guess it's not inconceivable that the guy eventually paired up with a totally different rabbit youkai/moonie who just happened to have the same hair color as Reisen, but...what?
You know what this story reads like? It reads like the author started writing it from the beginning, and then later started writing it again from the end, and then tried to stitch the two halves together without bothering to check that they properly matched up.
Or did the author not care because they thought the Smash Mouth joke would carry the whole thing? A punchline is nothing without its setup, mang.
>>13836 Right I apologize for getting snippy. I probably got sloppy when making that big post. I must say though, all the perfect mechanics in the world can't save a story drier than the moon. That is not to say I don't praise the powers that are for proofers.
>>13837 For that writer to end the Chen short properly he would have needed 1-2 whole posts.
>>13841 About that Chen story, that feeling was caused by the writer emphasize thick prose than the core matter of the story. I'd say even talented writers need proofers, just to keep the excesses in check.
I would say the writer with the best balance would be BSD and the writer of the Male Reimu story.
>>13850 1) She didn't have to use those exact words. She could have said something to that effect and the punchline would have still worked with it. 2) Maybe if you're actually required to ruin the punchline before you even get to it, it isn't a good joke.
Gonna be honest, wasn't really grabbed by many of the stories this time around. The Incident had me going at first, expecting something about a thief stealing memories or something along those lines, but then it gradually became more incomprehensible and I lost interest in it. I don't care for Shou and I'm not much brushed up on the UFO characters to begin with, so The Last Offering didn't do much at all for me from the very start. Splatoonhou was much the same; I don't care about Splatoon, and a bunch of named characters with no identity I know of only made them harder to keep track of. I've never been fond of these short poem entries and have nothing more to say about it. Okuu's Very Good Day would be my runner up, less for the story and more for the way it's been written. I can't say I know who the mother character was supposed to be, but the style of it flowed well and was easy to follow, using simple words and phrasing to properly imitate a children's story. Me, Myself, and Eyes is, well, another story about Parsee being crazy. It was vulgar to the point of tedium and didn't have much of an ending. Feast and Famine for some reason took me half a dozen attempts just to get through the first section. While bothering me a few times with redundant writing (ending two lines in a row with "in the first place", for example) I ultimately enjoyed the story, and the expression of that feeling of apathy Rinnosuke has about just about everything, and the ill-fitting relationship he has with Yuugi. The ending, while subtle, shows that Rinnosuke has changed from the start of the story, and so I'd call it the most satisfying ending of all the entries. A Puppet With Its Strings cut is almost the opposite: Alice loses it throughout the story. And Alice being a self-loathing yandere is hardly anything new at this point, either. I get the feeling the author was projecting a little with the points of being unsatisfied with her creations; I can certainly empathise with that. But as a descent into madness sort of story it was almost a forgone conclusion. A Cold Woman is, well, a very simple story. It's told with simple characters, simple names, simple events, and a simple ending. It's unremarkable in its entirety. Clinically Over The Moon I found almost painful to read, though I can't quite figure out why. Something about the entire story frustrated me from start to finish, and the Smash Mouth gag at the end sure didn't help. I wish I could explain why because I'm sure the writer isn't happy to hear this, but I can't articulate it.
As one general piece of advice to most of the writers, since this plagued almost all of the entries:
the god damn
Seriously, we have paragraphs for a reason. Use them. Entire entries being nothing but double spacing, and others being almost nothing but double spacing isn't just a waste of space, it makes them harder to read since they're lacking the inherent pacing and structure that paragraphs provide.
>>13854 Gotta disagree with you on the double spacing issue. The way this site shows text, long posts without double spacing look like cluttered walls of text, which are as visually appealing as my room after three days of no clean-up.
Case in point, I had some troubles in your post to tell where did each paragraph ends and where the next one begins. I do agree that double spacing in physical media (i.e. books) is not smart for a number of reasons, but not in this particular site. In fact, not double spacing a story post counts as a negative point for most readers, me included.
>>13856 That, and the fact that, depending on your screen resolution, a line here is paragraph-sized in any book-sized format. That's worth remembering- don't fuck your flow here just because 'it doesn't look like a paragraph'.
The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe: I've always felt like Touhou's canon is meant to be malleable and purposefully at odds with itself, and I'm the kind of person who reads about anthropology in their spare time, so I really like this story. It's short enough that it doesn't overstay its welcome, and it gives a sense of just how weird Gensokyo can be, and how weird it must be in turn to be a major figure there.
The Last Offering: C'mon, nobody else got that it's a reference to The Final Sacrifice and Zap Rowsdower? It was unexpected to say the least, and I laughed and wanted to punch the author at the same time which means they did their job right. Like all good twists, it gives the story a whole new feel when I glanced back at it and saw all the little hints at it.
SPLATOONHOU: KAPPA WARFARE: I've never played Splatooon, so this whole thing was kinda lost on me.
Yer a zombie now Yoshika: I like the play on words, it has a devil's bargain feeling to it, and shows a side of both Seiga and Yoshika that isn't really brought up much in just a few words. Is nice.
Okuu's Very Good Day: I like the idea and the events, but Okuu's baby-talk starts to grate on my reading-ears about halfway through the story and it feels a little too "ha ha Okuu is not a clever bird."
Me, Myself and Eyes: Not quite sold on it. It's a good character sketch and an interesting take but it feels a little... something, probably just my weird tastes.
Feast and Famine: an... unusual pairing, but the way they're total opposites gives the story an early push that helps sustain it through Rinnosuke's introspection. The story feels dense in a good way, like there's layers to be peeled back and more depth than you'd expect in a short. Rinnosuke's hints at childhood bullying and self-inflicted inclusion works surprisingly well with how Yuugi, the face of acceptance to him, is a big, scary, overbearing wall of muscle, like a symbol of his own fear at getting close to other people. Good stuff.
A Puppet With Its Strings Cut: hmm... mental illness is a hard subject to write and this one overreached. I have depression and I sympathize with anyone going through it, but it doesn't always make for good reading.
A Cold Woman: A nice romance, and Letty always deserves more attention, but the writing style is plain and doesn't really evoke much, it comes off as a list of events when it could be a story.
Clinically Over The Moon: There's only room in this town for one joke twist and The Last Offering did it better.
Didn't really like any of the porn this time, so no vote.
The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe Interesting concept, but I'm a sucker for meta stuff. I feel like the non-sequitur mention of Campbell and the scene with the mysterious expositor could've been handled better.
The Last Offering Could be the intro to a good story, but it doesn't really stand well on its own. Also, I'm positive the entire thing was inspired by that weak pun. Not even good as a shaggy dog story.
Splatoonhou I had zero interest in this, sorry.
YOUMUBUTT: A POEM Good, but a tiny poem would have to be earth-shatteringly amazing to win a story contest. Didn't we used to have a thread for random short poetry? Somebody should restart that.
Okuu's Very Good Day Hard to read, hard to connect with any of the characters or events from such a naive and dispassionate retelling, especially in a Touhou setting. Oh no, Okuu blew up Moriya Shrine, I can't believe it. https://danbooru.donmai.us/posts/1235069?pool_id=5932
Me, Myself, and Eyes Psycho killer rationalizing away the voice of sanity in their head? A good idea, but as a story it didn't really go anywhere.
Feast and Famine This probably had the most substance of all the contest stories. Great characterization, meaningful and intelligent thoughts from the first-person narrator, lots of non-verbal communication. Really well done.
A Puppet With Its Strings Cut Brutal depiction of deep depression. All I can say is, I hope this is based on your past and not your present.
A Cold Woman This was kinda nice, but such a simple story shouldn't be that long. The details of the protagonist's family didn't really add anything. Not much here to separate it from the other helpful Yuki-onna stories I've seen.
Clinically Over The Moon Pretty good until the last line.
[x] Okuu's Very Good Day [x] Akyuu the Artful Slut (or whatever you want to call >>37392)
TALENTLESS ROOKIES Nobody? ...Really? Shit, man. That's kind of disappointing.
UNIMAGINATIVE OLD-TIMERS The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe This was a nice, strange trip. Very meta, lots of good writing. I'm not exactly sure what the point of this was, though. It felt like one of those weird art films that makes no sense because of how jumbled and Deep it gets, but all the critics love it anyway because that's exactly the point, or something. You certainly know your Touhou and know your stories, though. I always appreciate seeing someone who knows the craft.
The Last Offering An interesting origin story. Shou's always been cute, but isn't much of a big deal, to me. Nevertheless, you made a good story out of it, and a real, actual person out of Shou. You should feel good about that, because I liked reading this. Neat sort of role reversal here, too.
Splatoonhou Long, detailed, and fun to read. Maybe a bit too long? But I understand why it needed to be that long. Good character writing and great scene-painting oh the wit. Very good narrative and action writing, as well. Very easy to follow and overall, well-written. Nobody will accuse it of being deep and meaningful, but fuck it, it doesn't need to be. It's Splatoon. Also, are you the one who wrote the Uncharted story last contest? If so, then holy shit, you have improved a lot, and should pat yourself on the back. Like, a good, boisterous smack between the shoulder blades; a real healthy pat.
(Yoshika poem) Short, sweet, and sharp. What looks like it ought to be angsty and sorrowful and cutting on yourself and uploading it to myspace instead became a very, very compact I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream. Good work. Are you the one who wrote the Ruukoto story last time? If not, I'm certain you were inspired by it. You've managed to improve the words-to-gut-punch ratio quite a bit.
Okuu's Very Good Day This had an entertaining storybook style that I liked, and a good Dipshit Okuu story always goes over well with me, too. Woven in amongst all the happy picture-book writing is a very cool premise; one that I've also wondered about. You took it interesting and logical places, even if the ending was a bit anticlimactic. Kudos for putting some thought into this. I feel like maybe you're DRT's writer. This seems almost his speed.
Me, Myself, and Eyes I really enjoyed this one, fucked-up though it was. A unique, intriguing take on Parsee and her dual/split nature that I've never seen anyone else do in quite this way before. "Fucked-up but cool" summarizes it nicely. Even though this review is very short, I have to say that it came down to this and Okuu's Very Good Day for my vote; you get a very close second place in my rankings. I wouldn't mind seeing more of your writing.
Feast and Famine Crack pairing, ho. I'd really like to know what possessed you to go for these two. The story--and Rinnosuke's attitude--is a bit maudlin and morose. In that prism, however, it felt pretty natural. The end result is a good little story that ends on a nice note. It feels like I just read a oneshot doujin. Not bad.
A Puppet With Its Strings Cut Also quite fucked-up, but very ...real. If it were anything else, I'd be annoyed by all the line breaks, but this makes it feel a lot like a handwritten entry. A dark look into a dark mind and an empty soul, as artsy as that sounds. I liked this, though. Alice's cold-blooded candor reveals a mind in pain and turmoil. It feels like you have been through similar problems, or have had to spend a lot of time in the presence of someone who does. Something about this has the ring of experience to it. This story was my third-favorite in this contest. If there was one bad thing to say about this, it's that you shouldn't have used the name at the end. You'd already given sufficient clueage to guess the identity of the guest.
A Cold Woman A warm hurr story that feels like a story. It almost feels folk-tale-y, just a little. Pretty believable, and good progression. Nice slice of life showing the life of a regular human in Gensokyo. I actually almost like that even more than all the Letty parts.
Clinically Over The Moon Good bittersweet little thing you have, here. Reminds me a lot of the FIFTY YEARS Bad End, but better. Addiction does not work that way, but I won't hold it against you. It's an interesting, different Gensokyo you paint a picture of here, but I still like it. The overall story was good, and the interactions interesting--The best part, really. Good Reisen. Walking on the Sun was better. I saw that shit coming way early on.
DISGRACEFUL SMUT PEDDLERS Afterschool Adventure I kept waiting for this to get good, and it only got uglier.
>Meanwhile, in a nearby copse of bushes, unseen by the three on the porch, a certain horned youkai cackled evilly to herself as she watched the fruits of her terrible labors unfold. DO YOU GET IT DO YOU GET IT IT IS A VERY CLEVER METAPHOR FOR THE WRITEFAG AS HE LAUGHS AT ALL THE PEOPLE GETTING UPSET ABOUT HIS STORY OH MY GOODNESS WHAT A SNARKY LITTLE RASCAL HE IS HO HO HO you're an asshole.
If this is actually arousing to you and not just your love letter to Momizi Pop, you have some serious psychiatric issues that need attending to, stat.
(Akyuu story) Slutty Akyuu is a great thing. Elegant slutty Akyuu is even better. This was very well written, and would get my vote even if the other two stories hadn't bombed. The one glaring negative about this is that it was so damned short, and had such a damnably tantalizing setup. I realize that was sort of necessary in order to make the whole point of the story maintain its relevance, but I would love to see more of this.
Catnip This story started out good. I liked the setting and the setup, grown-up Chen looking to get knocked up is just fine; a nice little love shack in Mayohiga is a cool idea; shota catboy is fine too---but then there was this line:
>This boy is more potent than any drug, and she’s made her addiction to him the centerpiece of her life.
...Dude. That's almost a line verbatim from fucking Twilight..
The sex writing is good and hot, I'll give you that. But holy shit, your dialogue is so... tryhard? Is tht a term that applies? You tried to make it fancy and clever and silly and sexy and just no no no no no. I can't do more than skim this story because the dialogue is so unrealistic and NO.
Please don't try to write snappy dialogue and clever, sassy attitudes. It's awkward and forced. You clearly know how to have good ideas and how to write good sexings, but there is a ton of room for improvement in the character and dialogue arenas.
> She didn't have to use those exact words. She could have said something to that effect and the punchline would have still worked with it.
Why the fuck does imaginary alternative lines matter?
>Maybe if you're actually required to ruin the punchline before you even get to it, it isn't a good joke.
So you got it from the words used on the first two lines? Unlikely. But even if it isn't bullshit you made up to sound smart, the chances of that happening are so low that they don't matter. Anyway, matching beginnings and ends are a thing since forever, so get over it.
>What happened between the narrator and Reisen exactly? I mean, I guess it's not inconceivable that the guy eventually paired up with a totally different rabbit youkai/moonie who just happened to have the same hair color as Reisen, but...what?
Now THIS is a good point. Your guess is as good as mine.
Honorable mention: Hieda: the non-h stories this guy makes must be great. Wish I could identify the prose (I'm not a smart person)
And speaking of which:
[x] Clinically Over The Moon
I'm a sucker for these kind of stories and this one is pretty good. Didn't get the reference, so I guess that just made it better.
A cold woman: I'm a sucker for... y'know. This just feels kind of lacking though. But it's good.
Okuu's Very Good Day: Really tempted to vote this one. I really really liked it. Okuu is kind of too childish, but there's no canon so that's fine. I loved the addition of one of the new 2hu and I hope that you make a story involving them.
Lie (Untitled Yoshika Poem): 'Lie' is how I'd have named that Yoshika poem if I made it (gotta name them man, that's half the fun on poems!) It was the most enjoyable thing I've read in some time, but it wouldn't be fair to vote for it in a contest about stories. Still, I wish someone would revive or remake that poem thread.
Me, Myself and Eyes: An interesting premise cut short.
Feast and Famine: Another excellent story. Not many people here touched the despair that comes when everything seems right in a relationship, but there's an emptiness that you can't identify.
Splatoonhou: Kappa Warfare: The archetypical interesting THP story. Nice length, nice pacing. I wish you could give more ground to secondary characters and more context on teams so we could get invested a little bit (and less confused in teamfights) That said: fuck OP squid bullshit.
Commentary on the rest:
The Last Offering: went right over my head. To me, it looked like a lackluster short story.
The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe: another interesting premise, but it lacks direction. Also it isn't my cup of tea so I'm biased.
A Puppet With Its Strings Cut: seemed lackluster. Not a bad topic to treat, one that rings home more than I'd like, but it also seemed to lack direction. Also, cliche ending.
>>13866 >So you got it from the words used on the first two lines? Unlikely. But even if it isn't bullshit you made up to sound smart, the chances of that happening are so low that they don't matter.
>>You're not the sharpest tool in the shed, are you? >>You know, kid, the world's gonna roll you one of these days.
Nobody could have possibly caught that before the punchline.
Nobody could have possibly figured out that the story was going to have a Smash Mouth punchline from the fact that the story pulled out the lyrics from one of their songs miles before the punchline that was the exact same lyrics.
You're an idiot, and that's why "imaginary alternative lines" matter.
I wrote some short thoughts on every story. I only voted on non-porn. I didn't filter myself at all, be forewarned. I wrote as the thoughts came to me, pausing mid-read to write, then a final summary and a score.
The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe -Cute PC98 reference, I get it. -Wait, nevermind. It's something else entirely, I see. -Short, nice and to the point. Not particularly creative or interesting in execution(boo, suddenly spooky empty space! Vague memories! Instant flashing between scenes!), but it goes for one of the very important, but oft-misunderstood or flat out ignored aspects of the series, and I appreciate that. And it works. Score: Trying to cook something for yourself and having your food come out looking and smelling slightly off, but then you eat it anyway and it's surprisingly good.
The Last Offering -Sudden swell of action right off the bat! And there's a nice functional hook that'd lock me into a few more updates in a normal story, given nothing else going terribly wrong. -Very adventury, although abridged. I like it so far. -Ah, of course. I've been bamboozled. It made me watch the highlights video again, so I'll allow it. Score: Mousedower mobile, away!
Splatoonhou -The length and nonsense action right off the bat (as well as a few other things) identify this as balistafreak's entry as sure as if his name were every second word. By the sixth paragraph my eyes are glazing over, and I give up when I get to the attempts at humor(?). I also have zero interest in Splatoon. Pass. Score: Having a mild intestinal malfunction when you're over at an acquaintance's house.
YOUMUBUTT: A POEM -I neither know or care about poems, and this doesn't even rhyme. But it's okay. Score: Finding a forgotten dollar in your pocket.
Okuu's Very Good Day -Nice balance with the childlike prose, as these things go. -Okay, scratch that, this is too far into idiot territory for my tastes. Still, it achieves the desired tone. -Well, this narration gets grating remarkably quickly when it's this on-the-nose. -Disaster. The extent of Okuu's trivialization coupled with this narration drained any enjoyment I might have gotten out of this one. Score: Without looking, eating a snack that you don't even like that much to begin with out of a pack, then finding tiny maggots writhing in the second one.
Me, Myself, and Eyes -Nicely dark, youkai-ish, short, straightforward, has a nice Parsee. All good points. A straight jab of enjoyment to the gut without pretensions, something I needed after last entry. I might like this the best so far, but I'll have to dock a point for failing to describe Parsee's ears in greater detail. You didn't even mention them! Barbarous. Score: Downloading an obscure indie or doujin game you'd never heard of on a complete whim, blazing through the too-short 4 hour campaign in one sitting, enjoying every moment, then gushing to all your friends about it.
Feast and Famine -Rinnosuke, eh? Promising. I have a weakspot for him. -Oh, and a romantic pairing with some drama thrown in. Going straight for my buttons. If this ends in a cheesy affirmation of love, I'll be a happy camper. -Cute. CUTE! -Aw yeah. Not as cheesy as I'd hoped, but it'll do just fine. I'm a sucker for this stuff, but I'll admit that it wasn't as good as it might have been, in my opinion. Aside from general vagueness of plot, I'd have liked some more... definition. More narration, more marked characters. This is personal preference, of course, but things like: Where did Rinnosuke and Reimu talk? What was it like around them at the time? Did they retreat somewhere, reflecting the somewhat private nature of the conversation? Did Marisa stalk off into the shadows or into the crowd? How did she walk? Did she grumble? Did other people notice? Could the dango have been replaced by another food, perhaps something symbolic? Reimu was tracing his chest, what was that about? How could her state of mind have been made clearer through narration of her actions, or her appearance, or something? All the information we get on Yuugi after Rinnosuke strokes her hair is that she smiled, blushed, Rinnosuke could tell she was beaming and she said 'Aw, shucks.' How about something a little more substantial? And so on. Score: Finishing a decent sappy shoujo manga and daydreaming about the characters for a solid week.
A puppet with its strings cut -I feel like this is rapestove. The ''''tortured'''' protagonist, the stream of consciousness, the rambling on and on in internal monologue about nothing, the dreamlike vagueness and confusion that might seem deep at first sight, but is in fact nothing more than pointless wankery. -A-ha, I see a typo. Feel shame. -Sorry, I don't feel like reading this anymore, or talking about it. Pass. Score: Think of something miserable. That's the score.
A Cold Woman -Final impression: I have no impression at all. In fact, I'm amazed at just how overwhelmingly apathetic I feel right now. It wasn't bad, I suppose. Score: Being asked which you like best for the bathroom tiles between five different shades of beige.
Over the moon -Strangely happy start for a story about a drug addict. Reisen is ok, though she feels very generic if I'm being honest. -Plain story. I like that. Kinda cliché. I think this might be Teruyo? -The ending doesn't bother me at all, but I feel it should. I don't know why. -I nondescriptively like it. Score: Staring out a window late in a sunday afternoon.
Afterschool Adventure: The only remotely erotic thing about this entire entry was using Ninniku's picture in the second post. Gore doesn't turn me away in general but I have no desire to beat my meat to torture porn, and I find this so distasteful that I can't even begin to analyse the technical abilities of the writing behind it.
YOUMUBUTT 2: UNTITLED BOOGALOO: I can hardly say I'm a fan of any porn written from a female perspective, especially with such focus on the male characters. That said, the simple carnal descriptions and Akyuu's lewdness managed to get a rise out of me, so this ends up with my vote.
Catnip: If I were to have a complaint about this, it would be that it's far too wordy. I came here for the Dickens, not to read a novel, if you will, and Catnip is so bogged down by WORDS that it strains the erotic content hidden within. Essentially, I think this writer is much better suited to writing non-porn stories.
I guess we're doing reviews for everything? I'm no good at that sort of thing, so excuse the incoherent thoughts.
>The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe I kinda liked and disliked this one at the same time. The initial parallel-dimensions thing or whatever was a neat approach, but then it got un-funnily meta by the third instance and the weird bonsai trimming scene didn't really make much sense. Like one of those clumsily translated VNs where a character's deep and meaningful monologue is translated too literally.
>The Last Offering This was okay at best at first, but by the end of it it became painfully obvious that the short was one big reference to something that I wasn't getting. A bit of asking around revealed that it's a reference to some obscure Canadian movie I've never heard of? I wouldn't mind a story with a reference I don't get if it weren't so blatant about it, but this just left a sour taste in my mouth.
>SPLATOONHOU: KAPPA WARFARE I'll be honest, I couldn't finish this one. I ended up skimming by the end of the first post and practically skipped the second. It's barely a touhou story at all and is filled with OCs(?) which is already a major interest-killer, and then it drags on way too fucking long. I'm sorry, but if you're going to do a literal crossover (as opposed to a homage i.e. only touhou characters in a splatoon-like setting) with something a lot of readers might have zero interest in, you need a hook. This story didn't have one, so it lost me.
>poem thing I like the idea, but I think the sheer differences in what goes into writing a poem and writing a short story warrant a separate contest or something. Good attempt though, I applaud trying something different.
>Okuu's Very Good Day Takes the "Utsuho is retarded lol" meme and stretches it way too thin. At the very start I was getting some minor Forrest Gump vibes from the narration, which would have made for a much more interesting story.
>Me, Myself and Eyes This fucking story had a lot of fucking gratuitous swearing in it for some fucking reason. It kind of cheapens the fucking impact when every other fucking line has a fucking curse in it and makes me take your fucking story less seriously. It's not all bad or anything, but it just ends up feeling kind of edgy for no real reason. Fuck.
>Feast and Famine This one gets my vote. I have a thing for introspection in stories, I guess. And slightly depressive protagonists. It's also fairly relatable in various ways, dealing with subjects like how complicated feelings and relationships can truly be, as opposed to the overly convenient manner in which they tend to be presented in most stories. It was neither too short to make its point or too long to have impact, and it had coherent direction. Well done.
>A Cold Woman This one was probably my second favorite. This sort of timeskip fantastic love story feels kind of similar to actual folk tales in a way, save for the first person perspective. My main gripe with it is the abrupt ending which makes it feel like the author ran out of time or patience for the short and had to cut it off quickly with what amounts to a stale "and they lived happily ever after".
>Clinically Over The Moon Apparently another reference, this time to a song. At least the story seems able to stand on its own legs regardless of the fact this time. Well, who am I to criticize, I love gratuitous references myself. It's an alright story, but the ending, again, feels a little rushed and cliche. Also I kept expecting Reisen to say "nothing personal, kid."
>Afterschool Adventure I was tempted to give this one my vote just for the comedy value alone. I laughed my ass off on the bus at the goddamn pinecone scene. Still, I already complained about one story being too edgy, so I have to disapprove of this one too, as it was clearly not actually intended to be a comedy entry. Props for having the stones to actually write something other than sappy romance, but it's just not my thing. I like my rape doujin style where no one gets mutilated and the girl learns to like it halfway through.
>Akyuu thing This gets my vote. Tickled quite a few of my fetishes i.e. women being lewd, exhibitionism/voyeurism, group sex, buttstuff. I was a little disappointed that the actual sex itself was kind of just glossed over in a single paragraph, but I can respect that decision and I don't think it detracts from the story as a whole. Fappable.
>Catnip tl;dr In all seriousness, holy fuck balista you're wordy. As lame as pizza-boy porn plots are, I think there's such a thing as too much build-up when you're writing smut. The subject matter itself was okay at best, which is subjective but hey, it's porn, you gotta vote with your dick.
>>13873 Do we really need certain authors going around and all but stating exactly which story it was that they wrote? Obviously referring to certain people also in IRC right now. Just because you're not allowed to reveal what you wrote doesn't mean you have a free pass to obnoxiously draw attention to yourself playing coy either. Shut the fuck up and wait for the deadline like everyone else.
I'll be honest, I liked this story less and less as it went on and on, but by the end I somehow didn't find myself disliking it. So, yeah.
The only issue I have is that, for as long as it ran, it didn't really do much with the whole "Alice has issues" point other than reiterate the fact that Alice has issues over and over, and ending with her doing something that she basically had already done earlier in the story. If this were part of a bigger story, with this serving as the equivalent of a found document in a survival horror game, this would probably be fine as it was (though still a bit too long), but if it's supposed to stand on its own then it might have been better if there was some sort of escalation beyond killing a named character instead of some nameless dude, or at least some sort of twist.
Not going to review every other story, because there's absolutely nothing I can say about most of them that hasn't already been said, but a few things that stuck out to me:
Clinically Over The Moon:
First, Smash Mouth isn't very funny anymore. Second, if you are going to try for that kind of joke, you really shouldn't telegraph it as blatantly. Those kind of punchlines work best when you can't see them coming on the first telling, but can look back afterwards and see the signs of the setup once you knew what to look for. Some humor relies heavily upon your ability to catch people off-guard and defy their expectations, and this really didn't do that.
It's like you're trying to cockslap someone and your dick is already out when you walk into the room. When they see it coming, you give your target too much time to prepare themselves, and that drastically lessens the impact.
YOUMUBUTT: A POEM:
I hate poetry, and the fact it's not about Youmubutt makes me feel angry and betrayed. Yes, I know that's not what the actual title of it is, because it doesn't even have a title, but there is never an excuse for a lack of Youmubutt.
In fact, I consider the general lack of Youmubutt in any of these entries to be an utter travesty, and I am sorely disappointed in all of you for allowing such a massive oversight.
Veterans: Me, Myself and Eyes: 6 votes, winner Feast and Famine: 5 votes, runner up A Cold Woman: 2 votes A Puppet With Its Strings Cut: 2 votes Okuu's Very Good Day: 1 vote Clinically Over the Moon: 1 vote
What started out as a story that was supposed to be about someone who could only spend one season with her a year ended up being a story where they barely met her at all. While I made a conscious decision not to characterise the narrator or anyone else much, I can see now that that was a mistake. I'd originally decided on that because I didn't want to take the focus away from Letty, but since Letty ended up barely appearing, it left the narrator and his family not carrying the story on their own. Those saying the ending felt rushed or unfinished are unfortunately right. With the deadline already being extended before I reached that point, I then couldn't think of any way to end it, and had to settle for that, which I wasn't happy with either. I debated an alternative joke ending in which Letty reveals that she ate the cow, but given the reactions to other joke endings this time I'm sure the more serious one was a better choice. I must have somehow missed the years in which other Letty entries were added though; I can't recall any from past competitions at all.
In any case, I'm glad that I was at least able to enter something this time.
Two fall contests ago, I spent a whole damn month working on a thing that pulled a tie(?) out in an amazingly strong field. Last fall contest, I got a three way tie with about two weeks' work and a tragic lack of proofreading.
This contest, I hammered out Me, Myself and Eyes (and a lack of oxford commas, shaddap rab) in literally one day.
It would have been better if I hadn't invested most of my writing time in smut that didn't get finished. My apologies to you all.
Hi! I'm the Splatoonhou writer, and I- jesus christ
So this is what happens when I shoot for a crossover that's accessible to everyone instead of just 2HU ONLY 2HU FOREVER. Which, considering that this is a Touhou site first and foremost, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by. Still, the huge amount of NOT INTERESTED comments I got, especially after writing Entry Team last year which was also OCs FIGHTAN TOUHOUS (admittedly there were more named 2hus in that), is just-
Somewhere along the way I turned into a man comprised of pure salt.
>[T]here are too many characters appearing for too little screen time each. Sometimes it wasn't obvious whether names belonged to kappa or inklings. In particular I was confused as to whether "Mari" was supposed to be Marie of the Squid Sisters - I think not, but I'm not 100% clear.
These are all valid points, and things I will keep in mind for next time, but I did have a naming scheme in mind for both teams: the inklings all got four-letter names for squids in various languages (with one exception) and the kappa all were named something Japanese. As for the Mari/Marie thing, well, I never mention a white-tentacled squidgirl and Mari is only ever referred to as orange.
Also, funny note, but I've have this short as an idea before Splatoon was ever released, and the two squid sisters in mine were going to be named... yep, Mari and Cali. And then the game came out and son of a bitch Nintendo beat me to it, so I just switched a letter out and BOOM, we had Rali instead. I also based the inkling team off of pic related, because I saw it once and went "hell yeah i wanna write a story starring these gals fighting 2hus" and so I did.
>Plotwise, well. The scene does follow itself and has a beginning, middle, and end, but I'd still like to know why inklings are here and how the fighting started in the first place. There's just enough detail given to the setting that I think the story needs a little more anchoring, some reason for the reader to care about the fight or pick a side to cheer for, y'know?
>implying inklings need a reason to start up a squirtgun war
Seriously though, I honestly got nothing for how the inklings got there in the first place. I figured that was extra detail that'd bog things down if I went out of my way to expand on it, and I was trying to maintain a fast pace for the story.
Also, I was trying to make it so that both sides were fun to read and also root for, instead of just having one set of clear-cut protagonists and the others as the baddies to be surpassed. In retrospect, if that was the case, I should have maybe packed more named Touhous onto the kappa team as folks Nitori had managed to rope in somehow, so people would have 2hus to root for if 2hu's sole kappa representative wasn't one they liked.
>Overall great stuff, though!
Hey, I'm just happy you read it, which is more than I can say for about, uh, half the voters here?
Hell, man, I never played Splatoon either, but that didn't stop me from liking it! Anyway, I tried hard to keep this accessible without ruining the pacing, because pausing to drop exposition on how the Splatoon side works would have ground everything to a dead stop. Still, can't blame you for bouncing off; maybe I just understand everything more clearly because I'm kind of familiar with the source material. Thanks for trying it, at least!
>Nobody will accuse it of being deep and meaningful, but fuck it, it doesn't need to be. It's Splatoon.
THIS GUY GETS IT
>Also, are you the one who wrote the Uncharted story last contest? If so, then holy shit, you have improved a lot, and should pat yourself on the back.
I took the advice I received re: Uncharted, specifically pacing, and cut to the quick of things as fast as possible, as evidenced by a guy getting Splatlinged to bits within three sentences. So if you were one of the guys who said Uncharted took too long to get started, BAM, your criticism worked!
>Like, a good, boisterous smack between the shoulder blades; a real healthy pat.
>I wish you could give more ground to secondary characters and more context on teams so we could get invested a little bit (and less confused in teamfights)
The perils of having enough people for big fights without making pretty much all of them mooks, and also a lesson to me to do better next time I throw a bunch of OCs around. Or at least balance it out with more touhous.
>That said: fuck OP squid bullshit.
Well said! There's no such thing as an Ink Nuke in Splatoon proper; the closest we get are Ink Strikes, so I just took that idea and scaled it up, because I needed a way to close the fight in explosive fashion and that seemed a fun way of doing it.
>The length and nonsense action right off the bat (as well as a few other things) identify this as balistafreak's entry as sure as if his name were every second word.
Yeah, yeah, I know Balista already said this wasn't his, but come on, man. If you're gonna throw accusations around, the least you can do is try to get it right. If I really were Balista, my prose would have been a hell of a lot more purple, I would have been writing about a Yakumo and both posts would have hit the character limit.
I debated whether or not I should reveal who I am, but here we are. For those who don't know, I'm the guy who's supposed to write "Fame and Misfortune" on /youkai/. To anybody left who reads it: I'm incredibly sorry. I had the best intentions to update months ago, but intentions obviously didn't do much for me. It's still coming. Also, for those who read /at/, I'm also regularly involved with "The Beast Returns to Gensokyo".
As to "Fame and Fortune", it was a touch rushed, considering I wrote the majority of it at work before the intended deadline and posted it without editing. That said, there was much of it that intentionally vague or "under-written" or whatever you want to call it. The main inspiration for it was Natsume Soseki's "Kokoro", which is a very short and somewhat unfinished story, being the very last thing he ever wrote, but a poignant one. Soseki is a master at catching the feeling of isolation and discomfort of people of the Meiji generation as their society shifted around them. Rinnosuke is a character that's been comfortable for me since long before I started writing on this site; some of my first attempts at writing Touhou fanfiction were from his perspective. I figured those two things together would match, hence this story. By the way, Yuugi and Rinnosuke is canon for "The Beast Returns to Gensokyo". I think it's a cute pairing. Anyway, I will say that the biggest deficiency is that the story itself didn't have much... action, I suppose. The problem is that, in setting out to write this story, all I had in mind was a certain 'feeling'. The events of the story were just what came to mind as I frantically raced for the deadline. I essentially had a beginning and an end but no middle. Plots are arguably where I fall short as a writer. To those of you who disliked this story, I'm sorry. I'm not a particularly articulate person. To those who liked it, I'm glad it said something to you.
I guess the main deal with my writing is that I focus heavily on 'atmosphere', with everything else slipping into the background. That was probably the case with this short. The whole night market setting was born out of that near-obsession. Honestly, if the pressure wasn't on to get to the story, I would have focused a lot more on it and tried to bring out the feeling of those environs.
I'm sure this all comes across as self-indulgent and floaty. Again, putting things in words is difficult for me.
>>13893 I love how you always respond and take into consideration every commentary about your story. That's almost your trademark. No, wait, that's action scenes. Sorry you didn't win again, but when everything you make is 8/10 it is hard to stand out, I guess?
What I mean is, WRITE MORE STORIES.
>>13894 As I commented earlier, the story spoke to me and I commend you for it. Too bad about your dropped story, I hope you find time for it at some point.
I'm the guy who wrote The Last Offering, the full appreciation of which required that the reader have been previously exposed to a particular terrible obscure Canadian indie flick from the nineties. I can't imagine why my entry wasn't more popular. I can't imagine.
I also wrote The Incident at the Beginning of the Universe, which was literally a Touhou fanfic about Touhou fanfic, so if you felt the strange urge to make the longest sarcastic jerk-off motion in the world while you were reading it, that's probably why. That said, I'd really like to believe that the actual inclusion of Black Tewi in a Touhou fic gave someone out there who unironically uses the term "secondary" a blinding headache. Just someone totally unaware of my entry, except all of a sudden, the moment I uploaded the whole deal, just the devil's head-pounding out of nowhere.
I mean, it isn't true, but I'd like to believe it anyway. It's kind of a funny thought.
I wrote Untitled Akyuu Dickenings. If it seemed rushed or only half-edited, that's because it was. I wasn't going to write a contest entry originally, but then I saw that Afterschool Adventures was the only other entry and like hell was I going to let it win by default.
Well, everyone knows already, probably, but I wrote Catnip.
Catnip, I'm sorry to say, was a failure due to me not anticipating the effect of the FUCK BALISTA rule.
I know about how many characters I ended up cutting out, whether partway through the project because I knew that I was already slated to run over my limit, or afterwards when despite those mid-story cuts I was STILL over. I lost somewhere between 15K-20K of pure porn in there, or anywhere from half to two-thirds of a post-to-capacity.
And that shows. The unporny story bits and reflection of past narrative were paced out and long enough to essentially frame another entire half a post of nothing but Chiyu and Chen fucking going at it like animals across several little vignettes. There actually wasn't a timeskip in the middle to begin with! And all of it is now so much dust, not even preserved in word because it never saw full completion, the half-done pieces never stitched together because I realized that I needed the space.
But what's left is a lot of Chiyu and Chen being mad as a box of frogs and reflecting on their past history and, frankly, not a whole lot of sex. And believe me when I say that a lot of that sex was less purple than I usually am, a lot less purple than what got left behind, because I was reluctant to cut that for being "completed" already. Should've massaged the purple sex down, but at that point I was looking for any excuse to be done (because I actually needed the one-day extension to make finishing touches), so, yeah. Whoever tells you culling is the short part of a work doesn't know me.
But hey, hindsight is 20/20, right?
Pic related, it's what I need to focus more on when writing a porn story.
>catboy >cat >CAT
This is what happens when I try to let the reader puzzle out the facts themselves.
Chiyu is the embodiment of Chen's childhood catnip MOUSE. Read/skim the story again with that in mind if you didn't get it.
Raise your hands, how many of you figured that out for yourselves? I'm curious.
Now I've received a lot of guff for my entry, with people saying things like "it wasn't erotic," and "it killed my boner," and "anyone who faps to this is in desperate need of psychiatric help," and to those people I have just one thing to say: I am glad you think that because that was largely the point. After all,molestation and rape are horrible horrible things. Honestly if anyone actually had fapped to it I would be greatly disturbed. I realize entering a story in the porn contest that is specifically designed to kill people's boners is pretty much vote suicide, so I'm not surprised I didn't get many votes.
This whole thing was just an experiment to see whether I could write tragedy well or not. Since there are few things in this world that are more tragic than child molestation and rape, that's what I decided to base my story on. My goal was to make the audience hate Seija for what she had done, and want to comfort Daiyousei for everything she was forced to go through. That was the reason for the scenes at the school, to give the audience a chance to get to know and like Daiyousei, so that the audience would actually care when Seija raped her in the forest. The last scene at the school was meant to show just how broken the experience had left her both physically and emotionally, so that when Keine gave Daiyosei a comforting hug at the end the audience would hopefully want to join in.
They say a good tragedy can make the audience feel emotionally invested in the work, causing them to feel sadness, frustration, anger, and all kinds of other emotions. Judging from the responses I've gotten, my entry has made several people very angry indeed, so in that respect my story was a success. Unfortunately most of this anger seems to be directed more at me as a person, rather than at the events of the story. I realize my entry isn't very good. The problem as I see it is that I went overboard on the tragedy, making the rape scene too brutal and in your face, to the point that rather than feeling sympathetic towards Daiyousei's plight, the audience only felt disgust. It seems I have much to learn about the fine art of subtlety.
>>13872 You are correct in assuming that I did not write this as a comedy, but I'm certainly not going to complain that you laughed at it. After all, a story that's so-bad-its-good is still technically a good story. Even if it does fail as a tragedy, I'm glad to hear it brought some form of amusement.
>>13881 Thanks for the vote friend. Glad to know my writing isn't completely terrible.
>>13904 "Also Message too long. Click here to view the full text." Nice. And no, I didn't catch that, because after the first couple paragraphs I just went "don't care" and skimmed the rest of the story looking for naughty bits.
>>13905 Okay, that makes a lot more sense. Except... well, it's the same problem as with Balista here, entering a story in the /at/ section automatically carries certain connotations with it. Namely that it is for purposes of erotic enjoyment, and is intended to be judged on that front equally or even more importantly than general prose and literary merit. You gotta understand the categories you are submitting in, folks. Or at least put a disclaimer in your post - simply writing "this is in /at/ for its content, it's an attempt to write tragedy, not arousal" would've saved us all a lot of trouble here.
>>13906 Do you seriously expect me to enter Afterschool Adventure in the not porn section? My story contains blood, gore, violence, rape, and all sorts of other nasty things in it. Judging from the responses my story got, some people are already out for my head as it is. If I had posted this in any section other than /at/, there would probably be an angry mob outside my door ready to burn me at the stake.
>>13905 >The problem as I see it is that I went overboard on the tragedy, making the rape scene too brutal and in your face, to the point that rather than feeling sympathetic towards Daiyousei's plight, the audience only felt disgust. It seems I have much to learn about the fine art of subtlety.
Well, it seems like you understand where you failed. You sailed right past the vagina of tragedy and tore right into the anus of exploitation. There's a point where people stop feeling sad and simply feel disgusted and eventually tired of it and the dirty deeds in your story had long since lost any chance of emotional impact by the time the ending was reached.
As someone who enjoys a good tragedy, I'd like to give some feedback.
Your entry was definitely a tale of pain and suffering, and I enjoyed the lead-in and aftermath of the torture scene. If your goal was to write a tragedy, however, then I believe you failed. From a literary perspective, a tragedy must have a tragic hero, a character who loses everything through their own actions.
Of course, that definition of tragedy smacks of pedantic fuckery that annoys me to no end. Language is dynamic, and usage defines words.
As far as I can tell, you used the word tragedy the same way that the media uses it: "people got suffered, we should feel bad about it". That all well and good when you're trying to sensationalize a piece of news, but it makes for a bad story.
Both you and >>13913 correctly identified the main flaw in your story: the brutality. There was no need write out the full thing, as that level of detail takes the story from tragedy into torture porn. You could have communicated the same level of physical violence by adding a few transition sentences and removing everything from "Having uttered these foreboding words" to "was cruelly scraped away." That would also allow you to change to focus of your story to the aftermath and psychological effects. For example, a fairy can commit suicide any number of times.
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It always feels weird to admit to something that was done anonymously, but when all the cool kids are doing it, it's probably okay.
I did the half-assed Yoshika poem and Utsuho children's story entries, so kudos to >>13863. You're right on both counts.
>>13837 >If you're going to enter a prose contest with a short poem like this, I think you need to make the absolute most of your chosen form or risk being seen as a low effort joke entry.
Well, to be perfectly frank, a "low effort joke entry" is basically what the poem was originally going to be, but somewhere along the way I found myself changing the format and subject, and before I knew it I was starting to take it somewhat seriously.
Not seriously enough to spend more than the fifteen or so minutes it took to write it out and post it before I went to sleep that night, of course, but at that point I was already committing myself to writing a form of poetry I had spent barely ten minutes researching on Google and had never even heard of prior to that, and it's hard to want to make something intentionally awful when the odds are so high of it being legitimately awful because I have no clue what I'm doing.
As for the Okuu and Junko story, there's probably something I could say about it, but it's late, I'm tired, and it would all boil down to "it should have had more time spent on it than none at all" anyway.