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3614 No. 3614
Gah, I can't take it anymore. I. Must. Vent.

For the longest time, about maybe a month or so, I've been dealing with how painfully mediocre at writing I am. Don't deny it; anyone here that could be any worse then I am has already been run off the site, or has stopped. I am effectively the borderline that determines how good you must be on THP to survive as a writefag.

I feel very unpopular for the most part, first of all. Not to say I'm infamous for bad writing, just...rather ignored. I like my fanbase, they're a decent bunch at times and a few of them are rather creative with a write-in sometimes and they tend to spark up a discussion every update or two. I'm not complaining about them, I love them. The only thing I wished they did was give me criticism. Actual pointers on how to improve, what I may be doing wrong, etc. I feel as if I'm easily the most forgettable writer on this site because from my point of view, it seems like while I have no horrible traits, I have no real redeeming or memorable value.

Normally, this wouldn't hit me so hard. I started this as a hobby. As time went on, I slowly discovered that writing is one of two sole things I am anywhere near decent at. The other is programming, and while I've been improving on that end, I'm being constantly left behind in that race and as much as I like to program, I feel as if my potential choice in it as a career is constantly being threatened by the super high fast movement of technology and programming's job market. I'm afraid I won't be able to learn as fast as it requires me to.

So I started considering maybe having writing as a back up career choice. It always helps. I always felt I was better at writing then most things, apart from programming. This is where it all started going downhill though. I began taking it more seriously that I wasn't being mentioned, that I wasn't really told I had any good traits in my writing, and worse yet, no one would tell me how I could improve so that I could change that. I'm stuck in this little void of stasis where everything stays the same while my dream gleefully flutters away out of my reach, and I can't do a damn thing about it.

It gets worse though, I've been sitting here listening in about HY's decision to stop writing on THP. At first I thought nothing of it, but then I noticed he was actually doing something about getting a career in writing, actually taking action upon it and really becoming a true bona fide writer. I really respected him, but at the same time, I envied him because he was doing something I felt I could never do. I felt like I'd just been wasting away my life doing nothing while this incredible man stepped up and did something I could only fantasize about. For once in my life I left like the people around me had done so much more in their life then I ever had.

It isn't just my skill I'm worried about either, I'm afraid my creativity isn't up to par as much as I think it is either, although of course this is probably obvious, blaringly obvious, as a writer isn't just judged on his skill but upon what he writes too, but bear with me, I have low standards, I get interested even in the lamest of stories, it's why I could watch something as baseless as Inukami and say it has a decent story. My first story started off to a bad start, I'll admit. Pushing aside the awful writing style I picked up, I made a lot of bad decisions and pointed the story in a direction I really didn't want it to go. Not to say Sousha wasn't a great protoganist, I loved him, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. R.I.P. Sousha.

You know I was going to start a story in /shrine/? Yeah, I'm sure some of you have heard about it. This is where the whole lack of creativity hits me most, because while my new /border/ story is sort of wondering if it should cross that line between bad and good in terms of uniqueness and my underground/youkai stories just reek of cliches, this one just suffered from horrible timing, horrible positioning and just plain terrible planning. The story was going to involve Satoko, a would be demon empress of sorts who got shafted of her true inherital power by daddy dearest, having most of it sealed away in a pendant. Starts okay, anon gets to be a demon, a female one at that, looking to rise to power.

This was so horribly thought out, words couldn't describe it. First of all, I was totally beaten to the punch. (>The Antoganist) Satoko's "dominate Gensokyo" attitude wore off quicker then I could say "Lex Luthor". To top it off, I made the horrible mistake of introducing her little servant, whom I failed to realize I made out to be a little too much like a little imp from a rather bad karma series, which just produced a serious bomb when combined with the fact that the reason for his presence was to help establish Satoko's power, mimicking yet another similar trait of said bad karma. I've already put in a rather subtle (read: totally blew it on the last line) reference to it in my underground story, thereby exceeding the limit of references I get to this series and thereby labeling myself as a noobish diehard fanboy of it that was once a part of a rather intolerable community, much like what most would call "narutards".

The saddest part of this is that it would not be too far from the truth.

I thought the beginning was interesting, starting out with a little fight with a certain shrine maiden we all know. It wasn't until someone pointed it out that I made the biggest disappointment by making a god damn Mima recoloring. I had a brilliant set up for what could've been an excellent story written in the point of view of Mima's and I totally blew it on a failed experiment! To say the least that I not only disrespected Mima, I never once felt confident enough to actually write about her in the first place. She's completely out of my league and any writing I could do of her would be a slap in the face and I couldn't do that to a fictional character that I happen to respect so much.

I had so much hope for this story, even though I knew I wouldn't be writing much about it until the distant future, I already had a few basic things planned out. It was basically going to center around Satoko attempting to extort out of Reimu the position of her beloved artifact that contained her power, and she ends up being a regular at the shrine as a result. This would allow me to write much, much more about Reimu, quite possibly my most favourite character, just below Ran, Rin and Yukari, that it was something I was really looking forward to. I felt my Reimu was among my better impressions and that getting in character with her would be so much fun. I'd also get to write about other favourite characters too, such as Suika, Tenshi and Yukari. I already had several relationships between Satoko and Suika based on how anon would have Satoko react to her. And Tenshi. Oh.

One of the things I liked doing was thinking about what would happen if anon went down Tenshi's route. Satoko, a demon from hell, mingling with Tenshi, a celestial from the heavens. This kind of things is awkwardly cliche but holy shit, I loved it! It was almost something I would've shipped if I didn't make it. It just seemed to go together so well in my mind, various points deepening the character of Satoko, giving anon a view that she isn't just a cold hearted killer and is actually capable of emotions, and having her sheer opposite show it to her. The interesting way they would blend together sealed the deal for me, I would've been estatic if anon chose her route. There probably would've even been romance involved. (ah, who the hell am I kidding, of course there would've, this is THP i'm writing on)

But alas, I blew it in a spectacular fashion, kind of what I did to my first story, but in the same sense, kind of not. It's hard to explain, but I really doubt I'll be writing it in the future, as much as I may want to. I might include it in some short stories in the future. If I'm still writing here by then, anyways.

But yeah, tl;dr: I feel like an incompetent writefag, so I wanted to get that tidbit off my chest so I can sleep better at nights.

For the record, I don't intend on letting this keep me from writing. I wanna finish my /border/ story, and I wanna flesh out Satoshi's life a bit more, even if it's horribly cliche and brings absolutely nothing new to the table.

Maybe I should write a story where the protoganist writes about little loli girls in a land that only exists in his mind. That would be new.

No. 3617
Sure Satoshi's misadventures are cliche-ridden, but still enjoyable. And I want to see where your /border/ story goes. And there are people worse than you at writing that are still at it, such as Teruyo.

As far as criticism, try asking in IRC. I'm sure someone will take a break from talking about dicks to help. You're better off PMing someone as opposed to trying to break through whatever is going on at the moment.

Expecting it from Anon is a bit of a waste of time; they come to read and have fun, which may include bitching about a bad story. If it's not bad enough to provoke that, then they'd be quiet about it. Updating faster would help with discussion for sure. Either that or having Glasnost-meaty updates.
No. 3618
First of all, don't get too down on yourself. Even if you are a low-tier THP writefag, that puts you above the unwashed masses of FF.net and on the high end of Pooshlmer writefags, and willingness to improve counts double. Damning with faint praise, maybe, but it's important to keep perspective.

As for your actual writing: before you start worrying about style and creativity, you do have a few simple usage issues that need fixed; mostly misplaced punctuation, but a few word and phrase choices so odd that they almost sound ESL-derived. There are probably some style problems you have too that could be fixed with a simple "don't do this", but I'm going mostly off of memory since I don't have time to reread your /underground/ story now. Incidentally, if you're really concerned about improving your writing, you might want to try something like writing.com, which is basically FF.net, but with real criticism in place of the giant hugbox that is FF.net reviews.

Also, the whole last part of your post is really pretty hilarious, if you look at it in the right context. Really, are you surprised you made mistakes in your writing? You're writing an entire story on a schedule more strict than the one some professional authors use for their first draft. <citation needed> Improvement comes when mistakes are first made, then noticed, and finally avoided, and you're already two-thirds of the way there.
No. 3619
Sukima, you are stealing my thoughts. Get out of my head.

Also, although I don't particularly like some of your characterizations or plot decisions, I think your writing is fine. I'd even say good.
No. 3622
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Sukima, stop reading my mind. That's scary stuff!

Having no idea if you're good or bad really does do a number on your mind. Information is better than the unknown if it affects you, naturally.

If you ever do see me online on IRC, you can ask me whenever you like about whatever. Even if I'm not a *supreme godly writer* or something fancy like that, I'd still like to help!

Anyways, don't feel bad. I like your writing! Persevere and you'll write out stories that people will love.

by the way is it me or are we all /underground/ writers or something
No. 3623
Wow, inb4 half the writers post here saying the same thing?

Anyways, maybe I'm being too much of an oldfag, because I remember when this site started out, anon would give really good criticism and some great pointers on how to improve on writing pretty often. As the site grew older though this habit disappeared; I kinda miss it. But I can see where people are going with asking some resident writefags for advice. More often then not, there's actually quite a few writers on IRC that do that, I should probably join their ranks.

One of the things I should do more often is proofread. Maybe get someone to help me with that on occasion too. As it stands right now, I don't proof read at all. (my recent /at/ story shows it quite blaringly) The reason for this is because when I finish writing, it gets a load off my chest that I got to the end and I get too eager to post it. I need to remind myself I'm in no arms race. Trying to do two-three updates daily is kinda difficult when you're expected to manage two websites, a programming project and now, a server.

I'll be sure to give writing.com out a try too sometime, hopefully when I have more time then I do now. >>;
No. 3626
Well Prager's a good editor; he edits Saguya's stuff at times.

But I think part of the reason why anon was better at criticism was that back then some of them were actually writefags posting triplessly. These days, we'd be lucky if they updated more than once a month.
No. 3640
You're not alone in this feeling (as you probably already know). I let it get to me a while back and pretty much fell back (more than usual) in updating. But I eventually came to the conclusion that, if anon doesn't complain about my writing then nothing is wrong, and everything can get on track without any incident.

But I suppose this isn't always the case, huh?

Your writing in general is rather good, this I won't lie about. There were some points in your Orin story that had me a bit confused on who was 'speaking', but otherwise it's good reading.
No. 3649

Yeah, I've more or less gotten that idea too. I wanted to see if I could really become at least a decent writer that I could make a living off but I'm probably better off sticking to what I know. (programming) The whole rant was probably the sick child of a massive worry inside me born from poverty and a lack of direction in my life/future. (both of which I'm being threatened with)

If I can get it together and make a living off one of my strengths, then that eliminates both problems but over the past couple months I've been really wondering where that strength is.

I'll stick to programming as a main career path for now considering that I handled the source to Shoddy Battle a lot better then I initially thought I would. Hopefully if I can keep convincing myself I have a future in programming, I can keep the worry about my financial status and my future at bay and enjoy the simpler things in life.

Like writing.