10th. 9th. 10th? 9TH! "What happened to the contest last year?" Yeah, what?
Hello, THP. Even with no prize bestowed upon me two years ago I am here again, been here all this time, because I love you. Let's hold a motherfuckin contest.
I'll just take old rules. I think now's a good time to run a contest because we actually have several actives at the moment. Let's give it a shot!
Categories: General, Newbie, and Lewd. No themes. The entry period will last 2 weeks, running from 7/9/20 to 7/23/20. Voting eill also be two weeks: from 7/23/20 to 8/6/20.
Last yeartime I was the only newbie and moved to general but hey, whatever. If you haven't written before, and want to try, go and try bro. The last time we offered prizes none of them manifested. I like "honor and satisfaction" as prizes myself, but hey. We actually got a lot of shorts written as the prize for Nanowrimo a while back. Anyone willing to offer stuff up as well? I can't offer art, of course. I'm also thinking about mentioning runners up. Like, why not really?
An Unwelcome Guest: cliche setup with cliche turn of events and cliche dialogue, ending that seems to be a non sequitur, proofreading highly advised, not offensive but not memorable
Descriptive title: if you're going to make a high-effort shitpost, don't make it obvious from the very beginning
Like a Dragon: shonen-y revenge stories aren't my thing at all, okay prose
Suspended: clearly rushed, loose collection of ideas with some promise that don't go anywhere, unfortunate
Please use one (1) title in future, thank you: baffling formatting choices that I do not like at all
[x] An Unwelcome Guest A default vote because the only other entry was a shitpost.
[x] Like a Dragon I at least felt like the prose was okay.
No votes for porn. It's too fraught with "this wasn't written to appeal to me" to make any meaningful judgment. Honourable mention to the writer of the Keiki entry for being unafraid to go for newer characters.
I’ll reverse this wheel of fortune and vote on the porn entries first and foremost.
>Clowning Bareback Fairies. Nothing to say.
>Open Marigolds Other than being written like a tease/proof-of-concept, I must at the very least commend the saucier bits. The author likes what he likes and seems capable of conveying very well exactly the sentiment intended. However, the /ss/ angle really throws a wrench in my pants. And while I do enjoy femdom most days of the week, the fact of the protagonist being a young boy who is powerless to resist and does not have to be subdued in any fashion (which is the prime appeal of the fetish for me) mars the experience I could’ve otherwise had with it. Hooey.
>Fucking Vampires A misguiding title that almost had me skip it altogether, it turned out to be quite the enjoyable read. The scenario and attitudes presented both land dead in my strike-zones (casual sex, sex in public/in dangerous circumstances, sex as stress relief, love ‘em), and the only thing I can fault is that the pith of the scene was too, well, pithy. As amusing as the final “shot” was – and it had me chortling my naughtiest best – I could really have done with more verbiage on the act itself. Some folks may get off better on mere implication. I can’t. This is something which, provided I am correct about your identity, is endemic to your writing. A sad state of affairs, as you are otherwise quite the adept at setting things up. If only you could also break my tent down after pitching it. Hooey 2.
>Rite of Creation Ah-ha. The problematic entry. As the post above states, using Keiki is commendable by itself. To add to that, I adored the way you communicated her character, mannerisms and overarching philosophy. A bit tell-y in the narration, but superbly showy in her actions and speech. Great job there, no two questions.
The porn bits, however… Suffice to say, “flayed” is not a sexy word, my man. Appreciate the concepts at play here, I really do – but male:demon and detailed accounts of those daemonic characteristics aren’t my D’s cup of tea. Yes, yes, I get it: the contrast between a mighty yet benevolent goddess and a downtrodden wretch. The wretch proceeding to dominate and debase said goddess. The goddess enjoying it regardless of her elevated station. Etc. I understand the theory. Just can’t prod the surrounding fluff.
And speaking of fluff… That 40k paraphrase at the end threw me right off. Now, I’ll be the last to claim I’m innocent of stealing everything wot ain’t nailed down borrowing phrases and ideas from my betters, but that particular line is too profoundly engraved in my mind not to register immediately as misplaced. The downfalls of overfamiliarity, I suppose. Hoo3y.
>Stuffed Bell Ah-ha! The… other problematic entry? Now, don’t take this personally, but Kosuzu, Mamizou, female:futa and dialogue-frontloaded narration form the precise warding sign I’m not willing to step inside. So, for fear of my personal dislikes causing me to misjudge or misunderstand your piece, I’ll refrain from appraising it. Sorry.
Ultimately, my vote goes to: (X) Fucking Vampires for making me snigger and despite leaving me, as they say, hard and dry. That’s how that went, innit?
Newbies:  An Unwelcome Guest TeruMoko is one of my jams, though I think mostly I tend to see Kaguya being the aggressor so Mokou taking the lead was a bit refreshing. To give advice I'd say keep tense consistent, it broke a lot. There was other stuff but that's something to get down first.
[x] Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff I appreciate the cheekiness of this one. I think once or twice you messed up on narrative voice but overall it seemed together. Nice experimenting. Byakuren isn't a hermit (she's a magician), in case you got that confused (they're similar), and almost no one knows Kasen is a sage (though that's of less importance in a silly story). I actually appreciate the title since it's a setup to the (or A) punchline, seeing as the description wasn't immediate.
General:  Like a Dragon Yachie mixed with Hecatia is neat. Didn't know about the "dragons birth two eggs" thing, and supposedly the turtle-dragon is called Kicchou in Japanese (Jidao in Chinese). Overall felt appropriately brutal, though I should say even though I like the character combination, Hecatia could have gelled better.
[x] Suspended Kind of charming, but admittedly kind of hard to read. I feel like more setup would've helped it. I do love Swackers.
 Scarlet Days, Scarlet Nights / Flowering Days, Flowering Nights Not sure I followed it, but I didn't like what I read. A LOT of extraneous stuffs, often writ run-on, and flights of thought/shifts in perspective or format that felt random. For positive notes it got some chuckles out of me here and there, but I can't deny that overall I wasn't a fan.
Lewd: [x] Clowning Bareback Quite loved it. Would like to see a proper, choiced story with this premise.
 Open Marigolds Decent. Might need more elaboration? Reimu > Sakuya > Flan, in this case IMO
 Fucking Vampires What's with that premise? Seemed perfectly fine for what it was, with a pretty amusing end. That said, didn't really do anything for me porn-wise.
 Rite of Creation I did like this quite a lot, though there were a few too many icky words (like ichor and stringy drool). I also think you could've handled expositing better, feels really front-heavy. It was still overall an enjoyable read. Sex was great, but I can't vote for two things.
 Stuffed Bell Was decent, though felt a little quick to me? The action, specifically.
I'll bring balance to the Force by voting and lightly evaluating *all* categories. Though most of my opinions coincide with the votes above, so I'll just stick to giving some additional pointers.
An Unwelcome Guest: I know I should be more lenient with fledgling writers doing entries on a deadline, but there's a bare minimum of grammar proficiency and tense consistency that they ought to have. Sadly, this one doesn't. Please do consider getting a proofreader to help you next time, and don't be discouraged; in all things, practice makes perfect. Also, while TeruMoko has a lot of potential, your take on this ship is a bit too topical and overdone for my own tastes.
Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff: For a Ratatouille-inspired shitpost entry, the description of that cheese pastry was positively mouth-watering, so good job on that. I did spot a stray accidental second-person usage at some part - another thing a proofreader would help you spot and correct but I shouldn't be throwing this kind of rock from my own house of glass.
Like a Dragon: Rolling dice fall etc. etc. I think I've already said this at the Discord some time ago, but at times the narration read more like a visual novel than actual prose - especially at the fight scene, where it sounded a bit too much like shonen anime. I believe this comes from your background at your former job, if I recall correctly. It isn't bad by any means, but in literary prose you probably want to leave some of the more concise details of the fight scene up to the reader's imagination instead of doing a blow-by-blow recounting.
Suspended: I gotta agree with the first guy over there; there were a few too many plot threads that don't go anywhere, and for that they detract from the whole story. It would've been better if you instead made the story be more concise by focusing solely on Suwako and Tenma. Then again you were one of the few people who submitted his entry before the extension, so that accounts for the rushed-ness of your work.
Scarlet Days, Scarlet Nights: I'll be honest, to me this entry felt more like the author trying to flex his vocabulary and Shakespearean muscles than an attempt to tell a tale. There were some amusing moments here and there, but after two rereads I still haven't understood what was the cause for the story's incident. Maybe my brain is too small to discern it among the plays of words in the narration. In my opinion you should have relegated the clever wordplay and literary references to the library fairy and Patchouli, and let the rest of the characters speak more plainly, specially the other fae.
Clowning Bareback: Really, really good Heca porn, I was really looking forward to 2nd best 2hu getting proper lewds. The bit at the end with Clappy was okay too, I guess.[/s] Jokes aside, there's not much I can say about this that the others haven't already. It's a well-crafted piece of smut, all around. Any faults I could find lie more with your writing style and conventions in general, and you've told me before you would never grow out of those, perhaps for the better. That said, if your particular style didn't give your identity away, your over-reliance on setting the flashback on Eientei for no particularly good reason definitely would. Also please don't make my balls grow blue with Hecatia like this ever again, thank you.
Open Marigolds: Shotacon ain't my cup of tea either, but the real fault is what everyone else has already pointed out: it dithers too much into several different scenarios and characters but never develops them to a satisfying conclusion. It's as if the author wanted to write three different shorts but couldn't decide which to do, so he tried to make a compromise. And the results show. Still, you have potential to be a good lewd writer if you manage to focus on one concise theme at a time.
Fucking Vampires: I was expecting Scarlets but instead got a mouse. Thankfully that slight disappointment quickly faded away with the rather amusing scenario, but like the above guy said the ending's execution could have been developed a bit further. Good story nonetheless, got me a few chuckles out of me as well.
Rite of Creation: it me
Stuffed Bell: Futanari and MamiSuzu place very low on my dick's list of preferences, and unfortunately these dislikes will taint whatever review I may make of this entry. So I'll just say that descriptions usually work better than onomatopoeia in written porn.
With reviews out of the way, here are my votes:
[x]Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff [x]Like a Dragon [x]Clowning Bareback
Before the extension I thought this contest would be woefully devoid of entries, like the recent ones. Glad to see I have been proven wrong. Great job, guys.
Like a Dragon The premise is basically the opposite of what goes into "my cup of tea", but the story itself oddly grew on me after a re-read. Well-executed, in other words. The prose reads like it was translated, which chafes on me, but that's just your usual 'hing I take it. Suspended You probably already know everything I'd say as critique. I don't have anything new to say. I still liked it, just... for as much as what's there, is all. Scarlet Days, Scarlet Nights / Flowering Days, Flowering Nights You probably do too, and also, what the actual fuck was the point, exactly? Still, made me laugh, so.
[x] Like a Dragon. Won a losing battle, you could say.
An Unwelcome Guest Basics, please. I'm repeating that even though other people have said it in their reviews because I still feel the urge to do so anyways. My actual critique though is that it's puerile, even for fanon, and reading that sort of behavior transposed onto immortal millenarians chaps my ass hard and fast like nothing else. It's symptomatic of seeing characters as a set of shallow external behaviors instead of there being a real, thinking person inside. Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff I didn't know I could hate cranberry any more than I already did until I imagined it being combined with walnut. I also didn't know I could hate cranberry or walnut any more than I already did until I imagined them being combined with caramel. Hate, cranberry, walnut, caramel, cheddar, holy shit, fuck, God damn, et cetera. I'm sorry but the lizard brain has taken executive control and it's telling me to close the tab before I puke.
[ ] No vote. I wasn't joking about any of that. Also, puff pastry is already literally half butter, it doesn't need extra sweetening. Maybe if it were just lemon jam and a lighter cheese and with nothing to get stuck in your fucking teeth it would've been okay.
I've decided to vote on the /at/ entries. They're all various shades of "not my thing", but I'll try to avoid going there and be as fair as possible.
Clowning Bareback Scenario made me smile. Very cute fairy, but there's also a lot of talking about cart man's hitch. Not that I don't appreciate both, but it pulls my mind in two different directions. That's probably just my own problem, though. Open Marigolds "Not my thing". I said I wouldn't go there but the double "s" in "/ss/" is double not my thing. I'm too fucked off to see shotas as anything but girls(♂). Fucking Vampires I also have seen that greentext. Still made me chuckle. Rite of Creation This is really well done. Integrates the lewd and non-lewd elements perfectly, even though I wouldn't normally be much into either. I think they balance each other out, in terms of giving both participants equal investment in the act despite the scenario. Makes me feel like I really get it. Stuffed Bell "With no balls" took me right out of it. There's no balls, but you still mention balls just to say there aren't any, which made me imagine balls there even though they were in an undecided state of superposition before. I'd rather not be reminded of the eternal hairsplitting over exactly which set of man parts on a girl gets tagged as what; it's just such a petty fucking thing to me. Otherwise it was alright, I guess.
[x] Rite of Creation. I don't get being picky over words like "flayed" or "ichor". I think they add flavor, like spices, to make a further analogy by way of food.
6 days leftKizin!3bPfzwokco2020/08/21 (Fri) 03:04No. 16172▼
Newbie: [x] Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff Pleasant. General: [x] Suspended. Like a Dragon is the better story overall but I do like how charming Suspended is despite how lost it is. I have no feelings regarding the Scarlet Mansion story. No lewds vote, apologies for disregarding your efforts but I am unable to care for /at/ stories.
Newbie: [X] Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff In addition to being amusing, this was short enough it didn't overstay its welcome.
General: [X] Scarlet Days, Scarlet Nights / Flowering Days, Flowering Nights This story is best described as absurdly written, to put it mildly; yet it goes so far in pursuit of that it wraps around to being a boon. I enjoyed it even as I tabbed to Google to look up sword-fighting terminology, and in part because of that.
Lewd: [X] Rite of Creation I liked Keiki's character, but more importantly, I loved her partner. The mental image I got was delightful, and despite any claims to the contrary, 'flayed' is a perfectly sexy word. Easily the most interesting, and so easily stealing a vote.
>>/shorts/2274 An Unwelcome Guest This isn’t really the type of thing I like to read, so I don’t have a real opinion on the actual content of the work. As for the grammar and miscellaneous mistakes, the other readers have provided ample critique for that. I can, however, say that the dialogue is incredibly on-the-nose. It’s very direct, to the point where it makes the story feel inconsequential.
>>/shorts/2277 Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff I can respect the confidence on centering your short around a punchline even if the joke itself fell flat for me. The main issue I had is that the characters are so wildly out of character that it feels like a completely different cast but with Touhou names attached to them.
>>/shorts/2255 Like a Dragon The piece feels like a mix between folklore and excerpts of a shounen revenge tale. Honestly, I wish there was no compromise, and the author focused on either one or the other because it isn’t tonally consistent, which is a shame because they obviously demonstrate the ability to write prose. Also, dear lord, that’s a lot of ellipses.
>>/shorts/2258 Suspended At its present state, Suspended feels incomplete. If it were the opening post to a story that continues the premise, I wouldn’t mind as much… but it isn’t. So it could have been good (or could have been bad), but I won’t hazard a guess since it feels unfinished.
>>/shorts/2259 Scarlet Days, Scarlet Nights This is a story that feels like the author had clever lines written beforehand and wanted to throw all of them into one short. I find the lines themselves charming, but they do not fit at all here. Of all things, Touhou probably shouldn’t be the place to demonstrate literary knowledge—or at least, shoehorn them in. The sheer volume of lines that the author wants to shove into the reader frankly over-saturates the piece and detracts from the prose itself. It’s even worse because I know the author understands prose. Maybe it would have been different if I didn’t get the references—but it’s not subtle, and it suffers for it… is what I would say if I hadn’t read the final piece. What the fuck. Frankly, if the third part of this short (Flowering Days, Flowering Nights, afterwards) were standalone, it would have been perfect. Consistent tone, great pacing, and, my god, that ending are all included in this third bit. My point still stands: This chucklefuck knows how to write. And if he did away with most of the Shakespearean jerking off in the first two parts of the short, it would have been a great piece all around.
I can’t say that I can vote for either short in Newbies in good faith, so I’ll refrain from doing so. As for General… all I can say is fuck you, author. I’m reluctant to vote for Scarlet Days, Scarlet Nights (see: entire rant above), but the other entries also leaves a lot to be desired.
I hate to contribute to the lack of attention to the lewd stories, but... I'm afraid I just can't vote in that category. That said, I'll start with the newbie entries.
An Unwelcome Guest was kinda cute, but I'm afraid it needed a bit longer in the oven. If you can, spend a bit more time on your next work, so you can clean up more typos or technical errors, but moreso to better flesh out the characters at play.
I'm not sure how to feel about the cheesepuff entry, but the premise was kind of fun and, generally, the pacing seemed to be pretty solid. Overall, I got a bit of a chuckle out of it.
Now for the veteran stories.
There was a lot for me to like about Like a Dragon. The opening segment was compelling, some of the background characters and details felt like they really helped flesh the whole thing out, and Hecatia's involvement was just generally fun. But, while I can't quite put my finger on it, something about it didn't quite land, at least to me.
Suspended was just a rather casual, chill read. Car breaks down, minor shenanigans ensue. Overall, very cozy, relaxing read.
As for the SDM entry... I can say that sometimes I appreciated its playful wordiness, other times I found its verbosity excessive and somewhat tiring. Perhaps there were deeper meanings missed, but on the other hand, its raw length lent little incentive to spend yet more time digging deeper. Overall, I liked it, but with some heavy caveats.
So, my final votes are:
Newbies: [x] Kasen takes 287 words to eat a cheese puff Veterans: [x] Suspended
Like a DragonKizin!3bPfzwokco2020/08/28 (Fri) 13:54No. 16184▼
This year people figured out my entry probably. I'll be double honest: 1) feels a little hollow because there were only two other entrants 2) I don't really get the "shounen" talk or the TL and VN comments, since most of my writing inspiration is just from blunter authors (though in fairness, two of my favorite authors, Kafka and Voltaire, ARE favorites of mine through translation, that's true--quite a few are just contemporary/modern types who go stark, though). I don't know what "actual prose" is but my writing came from books rather than visual novels; I've barely read any VNs and generally decry the format. There are a lot of different ways to write: dark-feeling ways, charming and witty ways, dreamy-feeling ways, whack you on the head with a hammer ways (my preference, though I'll dip into fancy wording because I do get tickled by it here and there).
That being said I do agree with critique generally and personally thought the story indeed was a little divided, and that a lack of description rather than a play by play when it comes to depicting action is no bad thought. I'm a little split on it. I don't think it's the case here actually but if you can blend the two schools of thought -- keeping it loose in description, but interestingly wording certain actions taken -- I think that's a possible ideal. I think that imagining how things go sometimes, specifically, is entertaining because the choreography of battle can be very cool, incorporating strategy stuff. Vague action can sound quite awesome as well, though. As I said: I'm split. I think that the story is decent for a short. Hm.
If I end up pushing for a contest again I think I'll stick to August, and start with 3 weeks (possible extensions at request). I think the lewd entries are worth reading, by the way. I think each of them do something neat. Now then, I expect to see Clownpiece Makes a Trade.
I wrote Rite of Creation. I'll be honest, I initially didn't intend to participate in this contest at all, but after the generous deadline extension and some light guilt-tripping from the guys at Discord, I got sort-of motivated to participate in this site for once, after so many years of hiatus.
To that end I cannibalized parts of several earlier drafts of another thing I'm working on which involved an entirely different character, and stitched them all up together into some sort of Frankestenian creation (haha) that, as I've been told, wasn't of everyone's taste. Which is completely understandable. To be fair, it isn't really mine either. You'd have to be a real fucking weirdo to find this thing genuinely arousing - and I played up the contrast between the lustful and the grotesque for all its worth. I'm frankly surprised I got even a single vote, let alone share the win with the entry that I believe actually deserves the first spot.
If there is one regret I have about my own work is that, like always, I ended up rushing the ending after I let the deadline approach dangerously close. There are even a few glaring grammatical mistakes at the very end that I'm surprised nobody else noticed. I'd like to go back and rewrite the last few thousand words, but I doubt I'll ever get enough motivation to revisit past works of mine, and I rather spend what meager will I can muster into something new.
I already said all I had to say about the other entries in my vote post, so the only thing left is to congratulate everyone for a good show and tell off all you puritan sissies who refused to vote in lewds. A bit of porn is good for you, fellas! Don't leave us pervert writers wanking each other off in this circlejerk of hiatus and ">ywn" jokes, please.
>all you puritan sissies who refused to vote in lewds Hard to have anything to say about any of it when none of it grabbed me. It's too different of a deal from regular entries to vote on when there's no basic appeal. And there's no point in arguing about tastes in sexual matters because there's too many irrational elements to subject them to any meaningful scrutiny.
Clowning fag is me, but of course it is. Truth to tell, participating wasn’t at all my intent, but a certain Amanojaku maniac bullied me to contribute lest the category sees no competition. Which ended up overcrowding it in the end. Ironic. I feel kind of bad for cluttering it up with so few votes to go around to boot. Oh, well. Always another ten years.
The idea involved a chikan scenario at first, but after a few hours’ worth of jerking off furious speculation, I couldn’t unearth a plausible setup for chikan to occur in Gensokyo. No trains, see? So, it became what it became. Initial rough had Akyuu rather than Clownpiece catching a ride back to town, Akyuu being my known wife. Somewhere along the way, though, I got it into my head that a stealthy fairy instead would boost the lewd factor of the thing. And Clownpiece is, in my humorous take, the cutest and funniest of the lot. A bit of background Heca perving out was an added perk. Could’ve stretched it even longer if I hadn’t been so stubborn about a threat I made to a meandering someone a while ago. Hmm.
Curious how so many of my lewd ideas loop around the EET, and yet I haven’t in easily accessible memory lewded any of the actual EETs at length. Food for thought.
I wrote Scarlet Days / Flowering Nights, or, as I've recently taken to calling it, Scarlet Days + Flowering Nights. Or rather, just Scarlet Days and Scarlet Nights, because the second title was supposed to just be a subtitle for an optional extra.
Anyway every review about it is correct. This is what happens when I'm off my fucking chump and try to write slice of life. I don't regret it though because I'd never get a chance to do this kind of stuff otherwise.
The main incident was caused by tree roots growing through a drainage pipe, which often happens with older buildings like the Scarlet Devil Mansion as they tend to have unprotected clay drainage pipes, installed before the modern practice came about of concreting around them. The pipe gets broken open and half-blocked, and this causes the surrounding soil to become heavily waterlogged, which can then in turn lead to a leaking basement, just because no structural waterproofing is ever really perfect. (This happened to me once.)
I wasn't actually trying to flex, though. What I'd really wanted to do was get into Flandre's head, being a vampire who lives in a basement and has some funny ideas in her head about the world and isn't cute at all. Then fairies hijacked my story, so I guess I fucked up in that regard.
The Sakuya portion came about entirely as an afterthought because I saw the opportunity to make a joke about Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus that wasn't just 'lol it's incomprehensible', and I knew at least one person on THP was at least passingly familiar with it.
Look forward to the sequel, wherein Yamame Kurodani asks three questions, which is to say, asks the same question three times (about backyard tree health) before receiving an answer, makes a (correct) diagnosis of root intrusion, and bills the Scarlet Devil Mansion two dozen curtains for her time.
I also wrote Fucking Vampires, as a (more straightforward) joke. I've never written porn before, but since someone managed to like it, maybe I'll try it again some day.