Maidens of the Kaleidoscope

~Hakurei Shrine~ => Patchouli's Scarlet Library => Topic started by: Dead Princess Sakana on October 20, 2011, 03:25:37 pm

Title: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Dead Princess Sakana on October 20, 2011, 03:25:37 pm
Hello and welcome to Hatate's Writer's Lounge,
Are you a writer wishing to show your works?
Are you a reader searching for new exciting tales to consume?
Do you wish to discuss fiction and writing in general?
Or are you visiting for the first time?
Whichever it is, you have come to the right place.
Take a seat, have a tea, and read on to learn all about Patchouli's Scarlet Library!



What is this thread?

Hatate's Writer's Lounge serves as the entryway into the world of fanfiction on MotK.
In this thread you will find the rules for this sub-forum, convenient links to help you find your way around, information about the people responsible for PSL, and more.
It also serves as a general discussion thread for all things fiction and writing related.



READ THIS FIRST: Patchouli's Scarlet Library (PSL) Rules and Guidelines!

Regarding NSFW fiction:
It has been decided we would rather not have excessively NSFW fiction posted on this forum. Please post it on your own blog, adultfanfiction, or somewhere like that. It's okay to link it, of course (see the general forum rules (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php?topic=17.0), we consider this to be covered by rule #1).

Don't sweat too much over the definition of NSFW; if your writing is the kind of stuff we no longer want here, you are probably well aware of it. Minor transgressions are okay, just no overt pornography.

If your topic disappeared and you didn't keep a local backup of your story, but want it back for archival purposes, PM an admin - we can grant you access to the hidden subforum where it was moved, if necessary. No voyeurs please.

Regarding Word Filters:
Word filters work as a simple input-output function. The filter searches a post for the input string (to use a recent example, "God"), and every time it sees that string it poops out the designated output string (in the case of "God", "Suwako"). It only does this for display purposes, however, meaning the original content of your post is left untouched. This means the process is easily reversible - remove the word filter and your post's display will go back to normal.

If you are a writer and you see a new word filter interfering with your works, do not panic. The change is only on the surface and your story is still intact. What you should do is PM a staff member and politely let them know that your work is being interfered with. They should then remove the word filter and things will go back to normal.

Regarding making suggestions in people's works:
Let's preface this by saying that constructive criticism is perfectly fine. This rule is not supposed to discourage people from posting anything that could be construed as negative in another person's story topic. For example, if you see spelling, grammatical, formatting, etc. errors, go ahead and point them out - in my experience, the writers here are generally receptive to having their works proofread from a technical standpoint. Presumably, if a writer doesn't like it, they'll say so.

That being said, suggesting a path a given story should take (or a new story altogether) is incredibly disrespectful for two reasons:

- It says that you think your story preferences are more important and/or better written than the topic creator's.
- It assumes the topic creator is so bad at what they're doing that they're merely stumbling along as whims come to them with absolutely nothing planned out for the future.

So out of respect for our hard-working writers, if nothing else, we don't want to see "You should do [put own ideas here]!!!" posts, unless the author explicitely asked for suggestions.

If you really desire to see your ideas played out, rather than suggest them to the writer, you should politely ask them if you can write your own spinoff using their setup (and their characters, if they created any). If they grant you permission, then hey, knock yourself out. Just please make sure you ask first, and definitely don't jack their stuff if they don't give you permission.

Regarding Non-Touhou fiction:
While PSL is of course a board for Touhou-fiction first of all, you are allowed to post Non-Touhou and original fiction here as well.
It's not a hard rule, but it's generally appreciated if you put some info about the nature of your story in the topic-title in such cases.
For example you could add [Non-Touhou], [Original] or you could add the name of the series that your fiction is about.


And that's it. If anything about those rules is unclear, do not hesitate to ask about it.



How to find your way around PSL

Since its reconstruction in February 2010, PSL has grown quite a lot and by now stores about 300 different threads containing fiction. So that all of you readers and writers are not overwhelmed by the amount of material, here are some convenient links to make your life easier and help you find the things you are looking for:

The Great MotK Fanworks Listing (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,4840.0.html)
The most handy  thread in PSL if you are searching for some fiction to read.
It contains a list of all fiction posted in PSL sorted by genre and giving a small summary for each work.
The list is updated twice a year by volunteers during the big Library Cleanup.

Kosuzu's Book Index (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,7953.0.html)
In addition to the main board, PSL has its own sub-board called Kosuzu's Grand Bookstore (KGB), where works are stored a while after they have been completed.
Look in this list if you are specifically looking to read stories that have already been finished.

Aya's Writing Workshop (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,6591.0.html)
This thread is for all of you writers to post story-ideas and -outlines you may have, but are still unsure about, and collect opinions on them.



Who is responsible for PSL?

For any questions, suggestions, feedback and everything else regarding PSL, there are two people you can contact:
Sakura-Rurouni (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=142)
Sakana (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=1079)

Of course you are free to contact any other staff-member as well, but if it's about PSL, chances are it will be redirected to either Ruro or me anyway.



PSL's IRC-channel

Not satisfied with reading and writing? You want to talk to your fellow PSL-comrades in real-time? Then here's something for you:

Since August 23rd 2010, we have an IRC channel as well, where you can relax, get to know your fellow writers, discuss fiction and writing and much more!

The channel is  #scarlet-library on irc.ppirc.net

For those that have no IRC-experience, you can easily connect via TSO's handy webchat feature (http://webchat.ppirc.net/?channels=scarlet-library). Just enter a nickname and hit 'connect'.
See you around~
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Dead Princess Sakana on October 20, 2011, 03:27:50 pm
And here it is, the successor to Koakuma's Writer's Parlour (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,5012.0.html), PSL's general discussion thread.
As you can see, it has evolved quite a bit and incorporates the rules thread now, thus reducing the large number of stickies we have.

To kick things off, here is the topic the last thread ended on:

Question for the authors of PSL.

I've been doing a bit of reading about writing, if that makes sense. I've been having moments where I get too nervous to write, where I get convinced that my writing isn't good enough, that people will pick holes in everything I produce.

But evidently, I'm not alone in that. In fact, from what I've seen in a lot of articles I've read on the subject, fear may actually be part of the writing process.

I'm willing to believe that the majority of writers - if not all writers - are abnormal. Writing is at some level a personal endeavour - you are passing on a small part of yourself in the story, and that means exposure to everyone who might read your work. That's understandably terrifying.

And it's not reduced to amateur writers either. Take this quote:
"It's just a run of the mill book. And the awful thing is that it is absolutely the best I can do. ...I've always had these travails...I never get used to them."

Sounds like any generic Mike R. Writealot. Except this quote is credited to John Steinbeck, while he was writing The Grapes of Wrath.

Maybe the fear of writing is never something you fully escape. No matter how much you study, no matter how much you write, no matter how popular you are or how well you sell, the same fears will always grip you.

And that's why writing takes a degree of courage. The courage to write in spite of your concerns, your fears, your desire to throw the manuscript away and act like it never happened. Maybe my problem is that I hope at some point the fear will go away, but it never does. So maybe I need to learn to write even though it scares me shitless.

Am I alone in this? Anyone else have experience with the fear that comes with exposing a part of yourself to the world? [No, not those parts. Stop thinking dirty, Sect.]
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on October 20, 2011, 05:17:04 pm
So glad to see this topic starting up again.

Addendum to my answer from last time: Yes, I get scared when I post a new update, especially when I'm talking about something that is near and dear to my heart. It's like I've just exposed something vulnerable for all to see, so whenever I get really unnerved, I have to take myself off the internet and stuff popcorn down my throat while watching Indiana Jones wrapped in a blanket. Need to do something reassuring to myself that I haven't ruined everything ever with that update.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on October 20, 2011, 07:12:14 pm
I'm apparently a little unique in that I don't actually hit the panic stage until the day after the update.  Admittedly there's a small worry, right after I post, but it's usually under control until I wake up the next morning and see no one's commented.  Or that people have just tossed out flyby comments that don't address a story point.  If there's a bunch of posts in the thread, or people poke me on IRC, my fears never come to fruition.

But once it's set in I find writer's insecurity hard to shake.  I'm still wondering if I screwed up portions of some of my longer fics that got almost no mention.  :X
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Dizzy H. "Muffin" Muffin on October 20, 2011, 09:44:33 pm
As a side note, regarding feelings during the process, here's Neil Gaiman's pep talk from NaNoWriMo 2007 (http://2007.nanowrimo.org/node/1065561). In particular, this passage:

Quote
The last novel I wrote (it was ANANSI BOYS, in case you were wondering) when I got three-quarters of the way through I called my agent. I told her how stupid I felt writing something no-one would ever want to read, how thin the characters were, how pointless the plot. I strongly suggested that I was ready to abandon this book and write something else instead, or perhaps I could abandon the book and take up a new life as a landscape gardener, bank-robber, short-order cook or marine biologist. And instead of sympathising or agreeing with me, or blasting me forward with a wave of enthusiasm -- or even arguing with me -- she simply said, suspiciously cheerfully, "Oh, you're at that part of the book, are you?"

I was shocked. "You mean I've done this before?"

"You don't remember?"

"Not really."

"Oh yes," she said. "You do this every time you write a novel. But so do all my other clients."

I didn't even get to feel unique in my despair.

Me, I just feel exhausted, and then I feel a momentary sense of despair when nobody comments or seems interested within the first five minutes or whatever, but that's just me being over-sensitive.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Bias Bus on October 20, 2011, 09:55:51 pm
Why would I be scared. No one will read what I write anyway :V
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Aya Squawkermaru on October 20, 2011, 09:58:01 pm
This fear is part of the reason why my fic only has one update. That, and insane procrastination. :V

But yeah, I think it's perfectly normal. As previously mentioned, you're putting part of yourself out there whenever you write, you know? It's like acting. If you do method acting, you pretty much fuel everything you do with your own experiences and emotions. At the end of it, a good actor is emotionally exhausted from all that. Writing is very much the same thing. Singing, as well. I believe dancing is, as well, but I haven't danced in awhile so I'm not so sure on that one. Part of the arts is just putting yourself into every creation; I think that's part of the beauty in art. [/rant]
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Esifex on October 20, 2011, 10:25:57 pm
Why would I be scared. No one will read what I write anyway :V

That's what you think BV
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: LogosOfJ on October 25, 2011, 02:04:05 pm
Quote
So I go back and edit it. The previous version isn't a flawed product. It's a special edition.

heh.

Quote
I'm pretty sure nobody actually reads Xenophilia and Thanatophobia

I have, and I have been consistently ripping off the two of these thematically. I don't know whether to be ashamed or embarrassed. Thank goodness for a) the non-profit nature of this and b) being even less read than you.

Quote
Am I alone in this? Anyone else have experience with the fear that comes with exposing a part of yourself to the world?
This is why I only gave my e-mail address and timezone when signing up. Though I must admit, I do experience fits of intellectual exhibitionism. Chalk it up to insanity. If I ever publish, I'm going to do so under a pseudonym, if that is a proper answer.
Of course. However, we're on a message board, with very few methods of having anything we say or do traced back to us.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Mr. Sacchi on October 26, 2011, 03:30:31 am
I normally just write for myself, I don't care what other people think, and when I write, I write thinking "Nobody will ever read this but me", even though I know it's not true, it helps me not think about other people's ideas, I don't care if my latest fanfiction was utter crap, if I liked it, that's all that matters.

I don't feel "exposed" when writing fanfictions, which is most surprising considering the Main Chraracter is my OC and such OC is literally my avatar in the story, what he says tends to reflect a lot about me, when he is on scene, I don't think what he would do, I think "What would I do if I was in this situation?", his lines come naturally, which is one of the reasons my very few readers in another forum like me so much, they think my OC, while overpowered, is a very creative and likeable character, considering he's calm, collected, sarcastic and almost always has a smile on his face, I find this hard not to like... Until he starting acting like a douche, but that's another point.

@Other News

If anyone's interested in the story I mentioned last thread: I wanted to finish it by saturday, but I'm afraid chances say that won't happen, it's not something major anyway, just something to help me with fighting scenes... And to address a chracter I kinda forgot about after so long in the story BV.

But yeah, if you're interested, don't lose your sleep over it, I'm serious.

Also, anybody got any tips on how to make a swordswoman who fights with her sword sheathed fight? I'm serious.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Moerin on October 26, 2011, 03:35:26 am
Also, anybody got any tips on how to make a swordswoman who fights with her sword sheathed fight? I'm serious.
She beats people with her scabbard, using it like a regular sword or even a club.  She'd probably have to compensate for the additional weight somehow, but other than that, depending on how realistic you want it to be played, it should work out fine just like that.

Does she keep it sheathed because she's under some kind of geas or code of honour that means that whenever she unsheathes her sword, she has to kill someone, but she, uh, doesn't want to kill people, or something like that?  Or did she just have a little accident with superglue~? >.>
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Mr. Sacchi on October 26, 2011, 04:08:33 am
She beats people with her scabbard, using it like a regular sword or even a club.  She'd probably have to compensate for the additional weight somehow, but other than that, depending on how realistic you want it to be played, it should work out fine just like that.

Does she keep it sheathed because she's under some kind of geas or code of honour that means that whenever she unsheathes her sword, she has to kill someone, but she, uh, doesn't want to kill people, or something like that?  Or did she just have a little accident with superglue~? >.>

The sword is basically a power enhancer for the user, however, if the power of the sword is naturally greater than the raw power of the user, the sword takes over the mind of the user, the sheath is a seal against that, the swordswoman only unsheathes the sword as a last-resort.

Thanks for the tips though, I should be able to make do like that.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on October 26, 2011, 04:30:48 am
That's pretty much Hyo Amano's style from the Last Blade. : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6spHOv9tO4  Though admittedly Hyo's style is kinda....

Basically you're fighting with a club.  Use it as such.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Dead Princess Sakana on October 26, 2011, 05:14:48 am
Depending on the sword, the use could be closer to a kali-stick than a club as well, which is actually kinda what that video Iced linked looks like (specifically that quick three-hit-combo a few seconds in). That would pretty much only work with a straight short-sword though, where the weight is distributed equally. Else you end up with a club as was mentioned already.
Title: Other fan fic
Post by: nolrai2 on November 28, 2011, 05:23:01 pm
So, is there any good touhou fanfiction that is not on this site?
Title: Re: Other fan fic
Post by: Jett on November 28, 2011, 08:27:08 pm
That's a good question. You can always try fanfiction.net, but then again you may have already done so.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on November 29, 2011, 12:32:24 am
So, is there any good touhou fanfiction that is not on this site?
The obvious place to go would be FF.net. Unfortunately, An Archive of Our Own (http://archiveofourown.org/tags/Touhou%20Project/works) doesn't seem to have much in the way of Touhou. (and of those, one third of the fics are written by Ryuu.)
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on November 29, 2011, 05:48:49 am
I have heard and seen nothing but good things about AO3. If I were to move all my fics from this site to any other, it'd definitely be to there. (MAYBE FF.net, if it didn't wreak havoc with formatting. But I wouldn't like it very much.)
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on November 29, 2011, 06:13:20 am
I have heard and seen nothing but good things about AO3. If I were to move all my fics from this site to any other, it'd definitely be to there. (MAYBE FF.net, if it didn't wreak havoc with formatting. But I wouldn't like it very much.)
FF.net has the worst uploading design in existence.  I pray for your soul if you try to upload anything longer then a single chapter to that horrible site.

Unfortunately that's where the readers are, so if you want the largest possible base, you go there.

I'll be carting all my stuff over to AO3 though as soon as I get on, just to try to increase traffic.  Anything that can break FF.nets grip on the community would be a blow for fan writers everywhere.
Title: Re: Other fan fic
Post by: capt. h on November 29, 2011, 07:44:23 am
So, is there any good touhou fanfiction that is not on this site?

Usually Dead is probably the best, but he posts all his stories on his blog rather than here. (http://www.usuallydead.com/)


TakerFoxx is a pretty good second. (http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5829008/1/Imperfect_Metamorphosis) But when I started UD, I had to finish. Lost at least a week. I can't say that for Taker.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on November 29, 2011, 05:50:24 pm
Ah right.  As a suggestion : this is the only person I consistently remember on FF.net that doesn't at least have presence here.  Sadly it's also the only Touhou work he's done.

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4711652/1/Scarlet_Septette_Bloodstained_Quill
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: TAKE IT CACODEMON!! on December 02, 2011, 02:11:59 am
Considering a John Dies at the End-style story about Marisa, Pache, and Alice from the viewpoint of Reimu.

Yes, it'll be a crossover, but not like the one I have.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on December 03, 2011, 08:41:08 am
For later use, particularly for anyone who's thinking about writing a new story:

http://thedarksalon.blogspot.com/2011/10/nanowrimo-narrative-structure-cheat.html
http://www.how-to-write-a-book-now.com/plot-outline.html

I found these useful for NaNoWriMo, but they're useful year-round.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on December 03, 2011, 03:54:38 pm
...holy crap those are useful. Thanks!
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on December 06, 2011, 03:47:16 pm
I have five invites for an Archive of Our Own account: post here if you want one!
I'm already on the waiting list, so I'm not sure I could get an invite from you :x
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on December 06, 2011, 06:06:01 pm
I'm already on the waiting list, so I'm not sure I could get an invite from you :x
You can.  Both me and Anathe were on the wait list before we got invited by someone else.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on December 06, 2011, 06:07:48 pm
You can.  Both me and Anathe were on the wait list before we got invited by someone else.
Oh, excellent. I'll give you my information when I'm home later today, then.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Eatay on January 05, 2012, 02:22:04 am
Erm, new around here, although I have read alot of other works in this forum and in FF.net.

Any tips for a rookie, cause i got a story in mind, but am so afraid of screwing it up and therefore I start procrastinating on writing.

How to start a new story and how to find motivation to keep writing are my basic questions

Btw first post, so very nervous.

Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on January 05, 2012, 03:30:29 am
First tip is start small.  It's much easier to get yourself to complete a 4 chapter short story then an "I don't even know how many chapters" mega series as KGB will attest.

Second tip is steal styles from real writers.  Fanfiction is fun, and I'm always glad to know people are reading, but when looking for writing techniques, look at published works you want to emulate.  Unless you'd be willing to pay $10 for the fanfiction you're reading.

How to start a new story : Get some meat together.  Your readers should know the premise behind the story, or at least think they know the premise by the end of the first section you post.  That's far more likely to get you comments, which will help you force yourself to keep writing.

How to find motivation to keep writing?  That's... harder.  Getting an audience helps.  Knowing that the end of the story is near helps.  Being really passionate about a story helps.  But I don't think any of us have figured out a fail safe way to keep a story going.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Bardiche on January 05, 2012, 04:04:50 am
I consider a good way to keep motivated is to set the page format to 5 x 7 inches or thereabouts. It's much more motivating to see all those pages neatly lined up and feeling like I've written quite a bit already than it is to see all my words and posturing amount to one or two pages.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on February 14, 2012, 03:29:18 am
I just realized Sakana spelled fiction as "ficiton" in the OP and edited it accordingly.

Anyway, I have had something on my mind lately that I think some other writers would find interesting: The use of deus ex machina in literature. The idea of a god or a king or some other higher power swooping in at the last  minute to save the day is widely regarded as a cheap way to get a happy ending, but I think there is a place in literature for it. However, this then raises the question as to how to make it not seem like it's forced. Foreshadowing? How about making it a major structural trope of the story's framework (for example, having multiple gods running around in the story as characters)? Or something else entirely?

What do you guys think? Is there a place for deus ex machina in literature or should we scrap it for good? If there is a place for it, how can we make it not seem lame? Or is the lameness part of the appeal?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: capt. h on February 14, 2012, 05:51:07 am
A deus ex machina ( /ˈdeɪ.əs ɛks ˈmɑːkiːnə/ or /ˈdiːəs ɛks ˈmækɨnə/ day-əs eks mah-kee-nə;[1] Latin: "god out of the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly unsolvable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new event, character, ability, or object. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deus_ex_machina)

Deus Ex Machina is very common in video games. Legend of Zelda introduces new powerups to solve otherwise unsolvable puzzles once or twice a dungeon.

Generally, I think the gods should only descend to solve problems in stories about gods. I also think that solving seemlingly unsovable problems with a contrived plot element out of nowhere is a sign of bad writing.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Dead Princess Sakana on February 14, 2012, 06:51:11 am
If there is a place for it, how can we make it not seem lame? Or is the lameness part of the appeal?
Well, one thought that comes to mind for me with this is "Make it so awesome it outweighs the lameness of using it at all".
In regards to Deus Ex Machina in books I have to think of stuff like Eowyn's slaying of the Wraith-King in Lord of the Rings. Pretty much out of nowhere (as far as I recall, feel free to correct me since it's been a  while) comes the "No man can slay me!" "Well, I'm a woman! *stab*" "Fffuuuuuu".
The whole scene is just so epic that you forgive it the lameness of using something noone could expect at all.

I don't think it has to be necessarily "contrived", but it certainly is important that it somehow fits into the world, and ideally involves stuff and characters that were seen earlier in the story. Introducing something completely out of the blue for the sole purpose of deus ex machina is what makes it a lame copout for me usually.

But in general? I can't remember a single action- or adventure-oriented story that did not at some point pull a minor or major deus ex machina to get characters out of a predicament or win a battle. It's part of the appeal. A completely predictable story is not fun, you need moments of unexpectedness tho keep things interesting.
When your readers go "Whoooooah! That was cool! I'd never have thought of that!" at a deus ex machina, you did it right. If they go "Errrr.... what? How does that even...", you did it wrong.
That's how I see it anyway :3
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Hello Purvis on February 14, 2012, 07:32:03 am
Deus Ex Machina is kinda weird, because it various from story type to story type. For instance. it's one thing for Zeus to descend from the heavens and do things in a story based in mythological Greece. Especially since this is Zeus's equivalent of foreplay and you're about to be placed into face down position. However, it's another thing when this happens in your Neuromancer fanfiction; although this really could only improve Neuromancer when you look at it objectively.  Conversely, it's one thing to stick a card into a weird edifice, punch in some runes, and get cash to come out of it in a story set in 2007 New York. It's a bit different when you have Charles "The Hammer" Martel doing the same thing before riding out to meet the Moors.  Though I suppose that's not Deus Ex Machina, but it demanded to be written.

Overall, it comes down to a couple of factors. One is how unexpected it is. When Zeus comes out of nowhere and banishes the antagonist to the cupboard for sloppy seconds, it's one thing when it literally does come out of nowhere.  But it's another thing if you're story has dropped hints here and there that maybe the big guy might just swoop down and sweep up all and sundry into whatever bordello he has in mind. I suppose it's the Chekhov's Gun deal, really; it's fair game if you leave the possibility open that X event can happen. This will lead to a fun game of hide the tip off, though, as you try to make it not obvious but also not too subtle. Here's a kinda example Imma gonna steal from an old writing textbook of mine.

Quote
Sally stood atop the parking garage, staring at the clouded night sky. The wind blew chill over the the pavement and sounds of L.A. traffic echoed between the skyscrapers.  "Oh god, I hope Zeus doesn't show up," she mutters to herself. "I don't think I could take that kind of abuse..."  Footsteps echo against the pavement; Sally gasps in surprise and whirls around! And there he was, dressed in a muted orange suit (http://images.wikia.com/aceattorney/images/6/6a/Sprite-gant.gif) this time, beard immaculately trimmed as always. He gives a small, sad kind of smile as he approaches.

"You know," he says, "you shouldn't have said that. It's like saying Beetlejuice. So tell me, have you been swimming late-" the rest of his words were lost to a loud scream, as Sally grabs the man by the collar, lifts him over hear head, and tosses him over the edge.

Now some of you might be thinking, "What the fuck? How'd she do that?"  And on it's face, you'd be right to think it. But, let's say Sally was a professional body builder and also a fifth dan in judo? Now it suddenly seems plausible. It all comes down to how you set up your stuff. Though technically, this isn't Deus Ex Machina, but it's largely the same thing.

The other question is: How much does it screw up the story? Does it resolve everything? Does it create more problems then it starts? Why is it even there to begin with?  And for that, it's hard to come up with quick pithy examples.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on February 14, 2012, 07:41:50 am
I think most writers would agree Deus Ex Machina's best used at the beginning or middle of a tale, where it can be used to bring an unexpected element into the story in a very dramatic fashion.  However while putting it in at the end is more tricky, it's still a useful tool to keep around.

I'm not sure if a foreshadowed event counts, but if so a good amount of foreshadow can turn Deus Ex into a huge payoff.  For example Issola when the main character gets, via very convoluted means, the item he needs to survive the fight he's in (Godslayer) it doesn't seem terrible, because the author has been foreshadowing this event for at least eight books.  The moment he puts it all together you go "Oh...."  It turns into a huge payoff for the reader.

If your story is emphasizing how powerless the main character is, or how randomly kind and cruel the universe can be, then having an ending completely unrelated to the main characters actions is perfectly fitting.  It's the perfect capstone.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail similarly has a great Deus Ex.  When your comedy is about semi random slapstick jokes you can get away with it.  Everything can be forgiven if it's funny.

And lastly Deus Ex can work if it turns out to be not that contrived after all.  No one expects the police to kick in the door during your hero's final confrontation with the time traveling Sorcerer, but you know, maybe the neighbors called 911 when you started shooting his zombie minions.  Or to use a real example, in one of the Birds of Prey books, Black Canary got herself in a very tough situation that she couldn't get out of.  So Oracle called in Superman who took all of three panels to KO the guy.  Because they can do that, even though the genre conventions lead the reader to forget that.

So yeah, an important tool, but one that needs to be used deliberately.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on March 29, 2012, 11:05:32 pm
Nope, I've never even tried to play around with the skin function yet, sorry.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on April 13, 2012, 09:49:38 am
I feel like a double post tonight!

All right, so, I found this a few nights ago. http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/

It's an encyclopaedia of Shinto. It is super useful. (Almost too useful, as Iced put it to me.) I will post it here that it may be a good online resource for fic research.

Apart from obvious answers like TouhouWiki and Wikipedia, what other online resources do you folks use to do your research?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on April 17, 2012, 05:29:06 pm
Apart from obvious answers like TouhouWiki and Wikipedia, what other online resources do you folks use to do your research?
Hm...  I can't really think of online sites.  I mean beyond standard google abuse that is.

I will state that I draw a lot from nature and non ZUN demonology for my characterizations.  For magicians I use a lot of MAGE, for the demons I abuse western demonology.  Crow and wolf tengu get societal quirks from their brethren, though I always try to make sure the human side also stays prominent.  Giving yourself an area to search really helps in those matters.

As an aside I find myself using Lone Wolf and Cub again for pseudo-historical reference.  The little bits about face and fealty can be useful when working with the older more traditional characters.  Though as youkai most of them break those taboos.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Aya Squawkermaru on May 30, 2012, 04:39:03 am
I feel like a double post tonight!

All right, so, I found this a few nights ago. http://eos.kokugakuin.ac.jp/modules/xwords/

It's an encyclopaedia of Shinto. It is super useful. (Almost too useful, as Iced put it to me.) I will post it here that it may be a good online resource for fic research.

Apart from obvious answers like TouhouWiki and Wikipedia, what other online resources do you folks use to do your research?

:3 This pleases me. Mythology is one of my favorite things ever, and difficulty in finding information about Shinto Mythology has always annoyed me. Thank you~

Anyway, if I recall correctly, when I was writing the story about Elly (oh man, because that would totally ever have gotten finished :P) I mostly just drew on the wiki, though Terry Pratchett's concept of a Death character probably influenced it in some way, too.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on June 10, 2012, 07:11:51 pm
I found a thing: http://www.nanowrimo.org/en/forums/helpful-resources-sites/threads/27468

It's an interesting challenge indeed, but a tough one. I don't quite agree with everything he says, but I like the idea of it and I'll see if I can't give it a shot.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Tengukami on June 10, 2012, 07:16:32 pm
He's right, though, as maddening as that challenge could be. It's the difference between telling and showing, one of the keys to good writing.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on June 10, 2012, 07:31:32 pm
Hm...  I hate his examples, but it's an interesting tweak.  Something for when I'm not on a deadline or trying to write in a foreign style.

But this....
Quote
For example: Waiting for the bus, Mark started to worry about how long the trip would take…”
A better break-down might be: “The schedule said the bus would come by at noon, but Mark’s watch said it was already 11:57. You could see all the way down the road, as far as the Mall, and not see a bus. No doubt, the driver was parked at the turn-around, the far end of the line, taking a nap. The driver was kicked back, asleep, and Mark was going to be late. Or worse, the driver was drinking, and he’d pull up drunk and charge Mark seventy-five cents for death in a fiery traffic accident…”
This rubs me the wrong way.  It's like the Powerthirst announcer screaming about how wordy and dramatic and AWESOME your writing will become.  He should have stuck to simple examples, not over dramatized to make his point.  It feeds into so many other bad habits of fanfiction writers.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Tengukami on June 10, 2012, 07:37:27 pm
Really? Because that read like exactly the sort of thing that goes through my head when I'm super late, waiting for the bus, and the bus itself is late.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: nintendonut888 on June 10, 2012, 07:53:23 pm
Ooh, that's good advice. Already I'm skimming through parts of my writing I felt lacking and rewriting with this in mind. The examples given were rather stuffy and overdone, but the idea itself is sound.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on June 10, 2012, 08:01:03 pm
Well first the description has it that the bus isn't late yet.

Second the original sentence has him worrying about how long the trip would take.  The new version has the guy wildly speculating about why the bus isn't there early.  This is a massive change in intent and tone to my mind.

Third, Iceland must not have traffic, because that is in no way shape or form what I'd be thinking if the bus around here wasn't early. :P

But my biggest problem comes from the fact that his advice has no direction.  This is the biggest problem with people, professional and otherwise that try to teach English and writing.  They give you a style and then never clue you in on when to apply it.  The guy took a simple sentence and made it UNCOMFORTABLY DRAMATIC.  Which is great if you wanted to make the thing big and dramatic, but a huge waste if it's supposed to be something small and subtle.  Why not show how it's supposed to be used in simple sentences?  Why not explain where the technique is best used?

The reason I despise most writing advice is they hand you a single tool, treat it like a silver bullet, then walk away.  It's a real pain because then you have to guess where and when to use it.  Which means more often then not it gets tossed into the "I'll handle it later" pool.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: capt. h on June 10, 2012, 08:55:04 pm
Hm... I actually never thought about when a style is appropriate and when it isn't. That would be useful to know.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on June 10, 2012, 09:15:03 pm
Aaah, thank you, Iced. I was wondering how exactly to put it when I said "I don't quite agree with everything it says", and you hit the nail on the head.

This rubs me the wrong way.  It's like the Powerthirst announcer screaming about how wordy and dramatic and AWESOME your writing will become.  He should have stuck to simple examples, not over dramatized to make his point.  It feeds into so many other bad habits of fanfiction writers.
Yes, exactly; I can see this being useful when I want to drag out a scene, but not much else. That said, I still think that writers who rely too much on thought verbs will be the ones who benefit from this challenge most.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Tengukami on June 10, 2012, 09:49:52 pm
Why not show how it's supposed to be used in simple sentences?  Why not explain where the technique is best used?

Because it's Chuck Palahniuk. Have you read him? It's sorta his thing to have this fast-paced, clangy style. This is the guy who wrote Fight Club, after all.

I'm also not seeing where he said this was some magic bullet; like the one and only answer to making writing better. It's a tool, plain and simple. And in this case - showing instead of telling - he's absolutely right. His examples are a bit overwrought, but generally speaking yes, a writer should be painting a picture of what's going on rather than simply telling the reader what's going on inside a character. Compare "Jack furrowed his brow, cleared his throat and began to tap his left finger on the counter, casting a glance out the window from time to time while his coffee remained untouched." to "Jack sat nervously in the diner booth." Showing instead of telling is a pretty basic tool, and Palahniuk's challenge to avoid "thinking" verbs is another take on that.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Achariyth on June 11, 2012, 12:28:34 am
I get what he's saying; thought bubbles are something to be avoided.  But did he have to make his prose so purple? And, worse as a writer, skimmable.  Those are writing sins in themselves.

Basically, what I saw the advice boil down to is the same advice that I find myself repeating ad nauseum to other writers, and kicking myself when I break it:

1)  Show, don't tell.

2) Avoid the passive voice

Only I expect more people to listen to him.  Bestselling author and all...
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on June 11, 2012, 02:42:24 am
Now that I'm not in as much of a gnaw at problems point, I will say I intend to try the challenge using my own style.  At least as soon as I'm not copying someone else's style.  It's good general advice.  I just hate the way he presented it.   :V
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Forte Blackadder on July 20, 2012, 12:34:09 pm
Hi, I just want to ask... How do you motivate yourself? How do you overcome the stress of real work or stuffs that hit you so badly you lose everything?
I had an idea on my current fanfic, Sakuya's adventure, where I mix Diablo 3 with Touhou. I've got the outline, I got the head, the body, and the end of the fic very clearly. But when I put my pen down, words didn't flow. I was like, ok, I got this, it's good and clear. I know exactly what I'll write. Then I can't. I just can't touch that feeling that allowed me to write endlessly like before.

It's really frustrating to me. I even tried to write the next chapter in other character's perspective, you know, to bring up something fresh. But still, I had to stop after 6 sentences. I saw that path, I saw the end of the tunnel, but I couldn't walk. I couldn't finish, I couldn't even start! I'd wish someone to delete that topic, but why? I have it here, from act I to act IV and even 5 extra chapters for each class. But I can't place them together... damn it.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on August 12, 2012, 04:14:00 am
Since the WWC is on style and I was one of the participants in the summer contest it was based on, I figured I'd toss a few words down about copying others styles.

First, even if you aren't doing the WWC try it once or twice.  Pick an established (not fanfiction) writer and try to write like them.  It's a very useful exercise for improving your skills.  Write a short story.  Or just a paragraph or three.

Now of course the question is: how to do this?  My suggestion: don't get caught up in things like word choice and sentence length.  Those will just get you out of writing mode.  You want to focus on the flow and structure of the work.  What emotions does the author try to convey?  How does the work feel?  Take the following two paragraphs.

Quote
August 5th, 1983, London.  14:00 local time.  The ship arrived at port without incident despite the rain.

Quote
The slowly dripping summer rain had rendered the whole city of London a soggy wretched mess when the ship slowly came to rest at the docks.  The afternoon shift paid it little heed.  The damn great boat wasn't their problem, and anything that wasn't their problem wasn't worth leaving the nice warehouse they'd appropriated as a shield from the elements.

When you read those sentences they sounded different in your head right?  The voice you assigned the work was unique because of how they were written.  When you write your first draft try to think in that voice.  That is the best way to handle style when writing in my mind.  You can go over word choice and paragraph length when you edit your work.
Title: Morals in stories not aimed at little kids
Post by: Teewee on September 06, 2012, 07:38:17 pm
Since this is the Writing Forum, I figured thats where this topic should go, what with this mainly concerning an aspect of plots. I hope I did something right, here ^^; Anyway,

I’ve been reading/playing a lot of stories made for those over 10 years of age, and noticed that they have messages or morals of some kind. I find them pretty interesting, though I don’t really take them to heart. For example, theres that whole “people are often unpleasable” message in (part of) Persona 3. It’s a message I took to heart not because of what any fiction told me, but from my own experiences with people in real life beforehand. It was a funny moment, thinking on it… a video game preaching something I already learned in real life. But, thats a biiit besides the point.

The point is…what’s the point? Of there being messages and such in fiction like this, I mean. I used to be told time and time again that you shouldn’t take messages or morals from fiction to heart or even seriously, which I assumed was common knowledge. Maybe I just reached the wrong conclusion, but…

What do you guys think of all this?

<Ruro> This is the kind of topic that'd fit right in the writing discussion thread, so merg'd
Edit: oh, ok Ruro. Thanks!
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on September 06, 2012, 07:47:55 pm
The point is…what’s the point? Of there being messages and such in fiction like this, I mean. I used to be told time and time again that you shouldn’t take messages or morals from fiction to heart or even seriously, which I assumed was common knowledge. Maybe I just reached the wrong conclusion, but…
Whaaaaa? How did you come to that conclusion? You shouldn't take morals from fiction at face value, sure-- better advice would be to digest the story, evaluate the morals it teaches alongside your own, and take what's useful. But in a LOT of classic tales, like myth or folklore (especially folk tales), passing along a message or a moral is the whole point. Whether it's done well or in too heavy-handed a manner is up for debate, but entire genres of fiction have made a point of making sure there's a moral message to be picked up on. And even in stories where a moral agenda of any kind is less explicit, you can still pick up on messages they've embedded into the story (even unintentional ones).
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Teewee on September 06, 2012, 09:31:03 pm
I figured it was common knowledge since what I consider to be "normal" people told me that, but judging by your reaction it seems thats not the case, perhaps.   ??? Also, what do you mean by "digesting" the story? And about everything else you said...I have a hard time believing it. Maybe it's my xenophobic upbringing. :/
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Conqueror on September 07, 2012, 10:58:33 pm
Fiction presented without a theme/message is usually there just for the plain entertainment value. That said, many storytellers have something they want to say that they try to pass on in their works (take anything you've read in literature class for instance), however insignificant the point. For some people the message is the main point of the yarn; for others it's part of their world view and it naturally implants itself into the story. In any case it's usually the difference between a good page-turner that you'll forget in a year or so and a story that will provide you with something to think about long after you've finished the book, and perhaps one that you'll remember for much longer because of the impact it had on your thinking.

Not that you have to listen to whatever stories have to say (always good to take anything in with a grain of salt, plus fiction is fiction etc), but there's some interesting/thought-provoking stuff out there, and it would be a shame to blanketly dismiss it all.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Tengukami on September 08, 2012, 01:11:56 am
Fiction, or any art, which tries to convey a message does so because the artist wants to illustrate a message. Instead of simply saying "going from teenager to adult is a bittersweet and often depressing experience", JD Salinger wrote Catcher In The Rye, for example. The validity of the message is a matter of personal choice; how well the artist illustrates that message is a separate matter altogether.
Title: Re: Morals in stories not aimed at little kids
Post by: Iced Fairy on September 08, 2012, 04:18:10 am
I’ve been reading/playing a lot of stories made for those over 10 years of age, and noticed that they have messages or morals of some kind. I find them pretty interesting, though I don’t really take them to heart. For example, theres that whole “people are often unpleasable” message in (part of) Persona 3. It’s a message I took to heart not because of what any fiction told me, but from my own experiences with people in real life beforehand.
You think you aren't taking them to heart, but chances are that you actually are.  Possibly not the obvious messages, but the little social clues that make up the heart of a message.  After all you are already altered subconsciously every day by minor social interactions around you.  Why would fiction be any different?

As for not taking messages or morals from fiction to heart?  That's in fact the opposite of common knowledge I'd say.  Even those groups who reject fiction in favor of their own "true story" consider the messages and morals in fiction to be a danger to their personal views.  Because even a very close minded person can occasionally be touched by a spark of inspiration. 
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Teewee on September 15, 2012, 02:28:28 pm
Thanks, for the replies, guys! I think I see what each of you mean, and I think they're valid opinions. I'd add more, but I don't know how to express it in words ^^;
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: AnonymousPondScum on October 25, 2012, 11:14:34 am
I'm trying to remember the name of a story on here that catalogued Parsee's descent from normal human to incredibly bitter youkai and I cannot remember the name of it for my life.

Help a brother out here?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on October 25, 2012, 08:57:18 pm
I'm trying to remember the name of a story on here that catalogued Parsee's descent from normal human to incredibly bitter youkai and I cannot remember the name of it for my life.

Help a brother out here?
This? (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,8720.0.html) It's short, so I don't know if that's what you're looking for.

Also, in honour of Forbidden Scrollery's new character, KGB has been taken over and renamed accordingly. All hail your new book-lending overlady.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: BT on October 25, 2012, 09:02:56 pm
Or this (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,1681.msg218011.html#msg218011). Although it's probably what I just got cut by.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on October 25, 2012, 09:24:52 pm
Also, in honour of Forbidden Scrollery's new character, KGB has been taken over and renamed accordingly. All hail your new book-lending overlady.

(http://i1288.photobucket.com/albums/b482/JoveusMolai/sadkoa.jpg)


We'll miss you, Koa.  :qq:
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: AnonymousPondScum on October 26, 2012, 04:39:37 pm
It was neither of those two stories. It was a three-parter I think and involved a house catching on fire, as well as Paru being shocked at someone exhibiting infidelity.

Wondering if I'm hallucinating now. :V
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on October 29, 2012, 12:53:02 am
It was neither of those two stories. It was a three-parter I think and involved a house catching on fire, as well as Paru being shocked at someone exhibiting infidelity.

Wondering if I'm hallucinating now. :V
This (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,6834.0.html) is what you're looking for.

Ruro, Rou, how could you two forget The Girl in the Cave?  :P
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on October 29, 2012, 04:44:31 am
I thought it was so easily identifiable as "long Parsee fic" that it had to be something shorter if he couldn't remember it. :ohdear:
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: AnonymousPondScum on November 01, 2012, 02:04:08 am
Ahhhhhh, yessss, that's it.

Thanks, Iced!
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: ( ╯°д°)╯ on March 26, 2013, 08:09:12 am
I happened to be  reading Reborn in Gensokyo, but i've finished the content on the forums and the link for usuallydead website doesn't work :ohdear:.  I have also searched around the usuallydead website itself but couldn't find anything ???. Can anyone tell me why or give and links to it?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Tengukami on March 26, 2013, 10:17:44 am
I happened to be  reading Reborn in Gensokyo, but i've finished the content on the forums and the link for usuallydead website doesn't work :ohdear:.  I have also searched around the usuallydead website itself but couldn't find anything ???. Can anyone tell me why or give and links to it?

That's a website run and maintained by one guy, who really isn't around. If the site is down, it's likely his issue. I'd suggest using the contact information on his site, if there is any, to reach him.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on May 05, 2013, 06:50:35 pm
Thanks to some nice person I contacted via Fuck Yeah Character Development (http://fuckyeahcharacterdevelopment.tumblr.com/) (which is itself a great resource, you should all check it out), I got my hands on a lovely little emotions thesaurus which lists the kinds of actions/internal feelings/thinking people have in relation to certain emotions. It's certainly not an exhaustive list of all emotions, but it certainly covers a lot of the major ones. Instead of just telling the reader "she felt uncomfortable", you can now call attention to how she is turning slowly, has stilted dialogue, is consciously forcing her limbs to relax, and so on! Really useful, especially if you're having troubles with showing and not telling, or if you just want to learn how to use more descriptive actions to reflect a character's feelings at the time. (Of course, age, maturity, and personality type all influence these expressions, as several of these entries state.) And if you want to purchase the whole book, either in printed or PDF form, it's fairly inexpensive for such a useful resource. But the sample entries are themselves hella useful, so check it out!

http://thebookshelfmuse.blogspot.com/p/the-emotion-thesaurus.html
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: hungrybookworm on July 30, 2013, 02:36:03 pm
Hi, I have a question! When posting fanfic on here, could I just paste a link to the fic (eg AO3 or ff.net) rather than the whole chapter? Or is that frowned upon?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: TwilightsCall on July 30, 2013, 10:04:51 pm
I would say whatever floats your boat.

It is certainly more convenient for readers if you post the actual story in-thread, but if that's problematic for some reason (formatting issues, laziness issues, etc) it's better to post a link then post nothing at all.

That being said, if its something thats not allowed on the site (NSFW, etc) then you have to link to it as per forum rules.  Otherwise, its up to you.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on July 30, 2013, 10:20:59 pm
Hi, I have a question! When posting fanfic on here, could I just paste a link to the fic (eg AO3 or ff.net) rather than the whole chapter? Or is that frowned upon?
While allowed, you'll get more readers and better response if it's right here.  In addition if you just toss up a general fanfiction link it won't be summarized as deeply as fics actually on site.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: hungrybookworm on July 31, 2013, 06:16:09 am
Great, thanks for the responses! Guess I'd better go write some fic then.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: WBL Studios on August 26, 2013, 08:13:58 pm
I have some non-Touhou fan fiction to share with the world.  The problem is... well, it's based on old-school wrestling.  Essentially it's the best women from the anime universe in a hardcore wrestling environment.  Tables, ladders, chairs, what have you, but it's a whole weekly show.  A full 26 episodes, plus a 6 episode Gaiden, for the main show, Extreme Bishoujo Wrestling.  The problem with posting it here, of course, would be the violence, as well as some of the profanity... although the b-word is as strong as it gets.

So my question is... instead of posting the work here, can I post a preview of each story arc here, and then at the end of the preview, post a link to my Deviantart page where the work is, so long as there's a Parential Advisory-type warning?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on October 05, 2013, 02:38:35 am
Something I've found to be helpful:

Consulting visual media, in particular comics/manga, can be a useful tool for figuring out how to convey a scene via showing rather than telling--at least in my experience. Since comics can only use a minimal amount of dialogue (i.e. text) outside of exposition to convey information, and since comics are a visual medium, they have to use a great deal of showing rather than telling, and imagining a given scene in a textual medium in comic form is an handy way to figure out what to show (elements of the scene to describe), what to say (the dialogue), and what to tell (abstract information that is less descriptive and more explanatory or expository).

For example, let's say you have a scene where Alice is yelling at Marisa about something. You're trying to convey the idea that Alice is primarily angry, but also flustered and embarrassed, while Marisa is in a trolling mood rather than feeling guilty or remorseful. If you're having trouble figuring out what to show, what to say, and what to tell, imagine the scene as in a comic, which might look like this:

Overall scene: Alice and Marisa at a table in Alice's house.

Panel 1:
Alice is...
-Bolting up out of her chair
-Facial expression = scowl, but also holds a deep red blush
-Gritting her teeth
-Right hand is jabbing towards Marisa
-Left is balled up and trembling
-Maybe Shanghai is floating around Alice's shoulder, also looking rather cross
-Tense body language
Dialogue: "Damn it Marisa! You promised you wouldn't tell anyone!"

Panel 2:
Marisa is...
-Lounging on a chair
-Doesn't meet Alice's gaze, is looking at something else
-Casually munching on a snack, or sipping tea
-Shit-eating grin and/or giant troll face
-Relaxed body language
Dialogue: "Oh, did I? I can't seem to remember..."

Once you've visualized the scene in comic form as above, pick some, or perhaps all, of the above elements and write some prose around it. For example...

She bolted out of her chair, scowling yet also blushing. "Damn it Marisa!" said Alice, jabbing an accusing finger at the black-white witch, "You promised you wouldn't tell anyone!" Her other hand trembled as she gripped it tight.

Marisa casually inspected some dolls sitting on a shelf. "Oh did I? I can't seem to remember..." She shot Alice a grin as she sat back in her chair, chewing noisily on a pastry all the while.


Granted, comics/manga have certain visual tricks that would be pointless to replicate in pure text, but nonetheless, if you're trying to show a scene, trying to imagine how a comic would do it then going from there might help. If nothing else, it can serve as a useful visualizing tool.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on October 05, 2013, 04:34:57 am
That can be a useful trick Joveus.  The big thing to remember is that writing isn't a script.  One of the big early mistakes a lot of people make is writing a very long four koma script instead of a story.  Use visualization to get sentences, but never forget flow.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on October 05, 2013, 06:34:02 pm
That can be a useful trick Joveus.  The big thing to remember is that writing isn't a script.  One of the big early mistakes a lot of people make is writing a very long four koma script instead of a story.  Use visualization to get sentences, but never forget flow.

Ah yes, Iced is correct: while the above trick is handy for trying to visualize a given moment in a scene, you shouldn't use that trick for every sentence. Apply the trick (if you must) only when actually describing the visual aspects of a scene is necessary.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Nicktendonick on October 08, 2013, 08:48:44 pm
Hey there everyone.

I wasn't sure where to ask this, and I'd figure this is the best place to start that conversation.

How many people here have editors or beta/prereaders? How does one find such people (Because I'm looking for one) and how's your interactions/how effective is this?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: TwilightsCall on November 11, 2013, 06:21:28 am
^ Over a month late, but I don't have any beta readers, so I don't really have much to add :x  It's definitely something I'm considering for my next work, but I haven't decided for sure.


On another topic, while looking up stuff for NaNoWriMo the other day, I came across this website:

http://www.writingexcuses.com/

It consists of 15 minute podcasts done by some rather successful (at least, the ones who participate that I know are rather successful) authors who talk about a variety of story-building tips, as well as general writing advice.  I've listened to a good number of their clips over the past couple days (probably too many, to be honest, as I should really be writing instead :x), and I find their talks incredibly insightful and definitely useful.  If you were looking for something to get you in the mood for writing, or are lucky enough to have a problem they've discussed already (they've had 8 seasons, so its not that unlikely), I would definitely recommend checking it out!

(PS More brackets because rereading this post I've decided I haven't used enough of them)
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on January 06, 2014, 02:48:14 am
(Apologies in advance if the following is something everyone already knows.)

There is a well-known saying in fiction writing: "Write what you know". Taken literally, this statement is misleading--as Stephen King once pointed out in an autobiography/how-to-write-stuff book, this would seem to indicate that one cannot write things like science fiction or fantasy, since, obviously, none of us have directly experienced such a thing. Rather, I prefer to interpret the saying in a different way: when writing a given story, make sure you know at least as much about the setting details as your target audience. This is important because most people find it distracting when their knowledge of how a given thing works conflicts with how that thing works in the story.

For example, let's say you're trying to write a teen drama set in a contemporary, American economically middle-class high school. If your target audience is ~18-40 year old middle-class Americans, the vast majority of that audience will have gone through high school. Not every high school experience will be the exact same, but nonetheless most of that audience will remember little details from high school, like that hot girl/guy in X class, the school bully, the nerdy/jerkass/nice teachers, the straight-laced school principal, the rowdy lunch room, the school gossip about who's dating who, etc. Because of the nature of these details, f you yourself are not intimately familiar with American high schools (i.e. went through it yourself, or at least studied it very extensively), then replicating the general high school experience from scratch will be extremely difficult. And if you fail to properly replicate the general high school experience in your teen drama, your target audience of 18-40 year olds will be too distracted going, "Wait, this is supposed to be a high school? My high school wasn't like this at all!" to pay attention to the rest of your story.

But keep in mind that you only have to know at least as much about the setting elements in your story as your target audience does. This is why Hollywood movies are able to get away with blatant historical inaccuracies--aside from the very broad strokes, most people don't know enough about history to be distracted when the inaccuracies come up. You might not be able to get away with the Nazis winning WWII in a historical movie, for example (unless it's very clearly stated to be a "what-if" story or something similar), but you could easily get away with generic German soldiers running around with MP44s (even if these were comparatively rare), the Wehrmacht using the wrong types of tanks at the wrong time, bizarre military strategies and tactics, etc. since most people don't know enough about WWII military hardware and such to really notice. Likewise, no one really gets into action movie-style gunfights against hordes of faceless gun-wielding mooks, so most people don't notice that the hero has very bad trigger discipline, or is making literally impossible shots all the time, or somehow survives that giant explosion behind him just be leaping dramatically at the right moment.

The implication of this is that speculative fiction--namely Science Fiction and Fantasy--are doubly able to get away with what would otherwise be oddities in the setting. In your generic Fantasy setting, for example, mages are often in service to non-mage kings. Depending on how magic works in the setting, however, it may make much more sense for mages to be kings instead. Nonetheless, few audience members will be distracted by something like this because, obviously, none of them have lived in such a world. No one has a real frame of reference to compare that Fantasy setting to, since no one has lived in a world with mages in it.

So...yeah. It's not so much "write what you know" as much as "make sure you know at least as much as your audience knows about the things you're writing", I think.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on January 16, 2014, 01:36:59 am
Speaking of the above...

I have plans to write a romance story at some point, but romantic relationships don't fall under my purview of "stuff that I know at least as much as my audience". Does anyone have any tips on how to write a good romance that feels like a real romantic relationship between 2 people? Not just the build up to where the guy/girl gets the guy/girl, but also the stuff that comes afterwards--the fights, the adjustments you have to make to let a person into your life at such an intimate level, etc.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: hungrybookworm on January 16, 2014, 11:10:49 am
Speaking of the above...

I have plans to write a romance story at some point, but romantic relationships don't fall under my purview of "stuff that I know at least as much as my audience". Does anyone have any tips on how to write a good romance that feels like a real romantic relationship between 2 people? Not just the build up to where the guy/girl gets the guy/girl, but also the stuff that comes afterwards--the fights, the adjustments you have to make to let a person into your life at such an intimate level, etc.
Romance stories are heavily character driven, so to get a really involving, memorable romance story you'll want to think about your leads' personalities, desires, and backstories and use those as the main sources of plot and conflict. If you can nail those down, then use them to create some great chemistry between your two main characters, then that's half the battle right there. Often bad romance stories have iffy characterisation (ie Jane is a tsundere who hates men, but no explanation is given as to why she hates men, and beyond her tsundere character there's nothing particularly unique or unusual about her, so the reader isn't sure why Bob would like her, let alone put up with her borderline abusive behaviour) or forces the characters to do things because plot says so, rather than let the character's own feelings and desires drive it (ie Harry runs out the room due to a misunderstanding and decides to go start a new life in New Zealand rather than talk about the misunderstanding with his girlfriend, all because the author couldn't think of a good way to create some new conflict.) Don't worry, if you keep thinking things like 'How would my main character react to this?' and 'Why would she react like that?', then you should avoid most pitfalls. I also recommend finding one of those character questionnaires, and filling it in 'in character'. It can help fill gaps and bring up ideas you wouldn't otherwise have, plus give you a more solid understanding of your characters' thought processes. (I have a really good one handy, just say if you want it.)

Personally I think up the main scenes I want in the story, then work backwards from that. Let's use a Touhou example. Let's say I want to write a romance fic starring Sakuya and Meiling, and I think up a shocking scene where Sakuya slaps Meiling around the face, tears in her eyes. Sakuya, as we all know, would not normally do something like this, so what spurred her to suddenly strike out? Maybe she's been under more stress recently? Why? Perhaps Reimilia's been asking her to do something particularly crazy, and Sakuya's feelings for Meiling are interfering with it, so when Meiling says or does something that upsets her, Sakuya feels far more angry than she normally would. Maybe she feels that Meiling doesn't appreciate or understand her enough? And what about Meiling? Did she mean to say something so nasty? While it would be perfectly in character for her to say it by accident, wouldn't it be more interesting if she knew what she was saying would upset Sakuya? Maybe she's been trying to find the right time to tell her for days, but Sakuya's work schedule means they rarely get alone time together. Maybe if she didn't tell her soon, something really bad would happen, so Meiling has to tell her right this instant. And perhaps on top of that, Meiling worries that Sakuya doesn't always take what she says seriously, so she isn't sure how her girlfriend will react.

All that before we even start dealing with the aftermath. See how much believable conflict we can get just through that? (And we don't even know what Meiling said!) Also while it's good to give the characters (and readers) a break every now and then, it's important to keep up the tension to keep your readers interested (especially if you're going for something long). Also if you have time, head down the library and grab a few romance books, or even suspense books, or any kind of novel that has characterisation as its driving force, and see how those authors handle it.

Woah this ended up really long. Hope it helped! Also what works for one writer might not work for others, so hopefully some others will chip in with their own way of doing things. Good luck :P
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Sixten on January 27, 2014, 05:23:24 am
So I just finished making a 42-page comic (a Toho doujinshi, of course). In the past, I stuck links to my works on the art forum, where I received helpful feedback regarding the art. If I wanted feedback on the story, would it be proper to create a new thread in this section of the forums?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on January 27, 2014, 06:45:38 pm
Quote
So I just finished making a 42-page comic (a Toho doujinshi, of course). In the past, I stuck links to my works on the art forum, where I received helpful feedback regarding the art. If I wanted feedback on the story, would it be proper to create a new thread in this section of the forums?

Hm...  I think Aya's writing workshop would be a better choice for a one off like this.  You might throw up a request on the IRC as well, though I can't guarantee any response there.  It's kinda hit or miss depending on who has free time I'm afraid.

I did a quick runthrough myself, though I'm at work and kinda just skimming, and a couple things stuck out in my mind.  First, your sentence flow is weak.  I'd write all your scenes down as text and have an editor go through them to make the words flow better.  In addition setting up your dialogue like that will help you develop unique accents for your characters.  Your characters have a uniform accent, which keeps the reader from full immersion.

The other thing that came to my mind is your expressions don't always match the severity of the text.  You seem to be aiming for a comedy (in the archaic sense) so you should cut loose with the exaggerated expressions a little more I think.  That will put your humor and overstated situations in better context I think.

Your setup was pretty well designed, especially since you aren't using standard Gensoukyo.  You managed to setup the needed explanations without dumping too much text.  The idea was cute as well, though it could probably be tweaked here and there to keep the proper feel from multiple critical viewpoints.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Sixten on January 27, 2014, 09:08:45 pm
@Iced Fairy: Thanks a lot for your feedback. Just like with the art feedback, it's too late to fix the book because it's been sent to the publisher, but your advice is definitely something to keep in mind for my future works. When I finish the script for my next book, I'll be sure to link to it on the workshop thread before I start any drawing. Hopefully I can achieve the proper level of expression and the differentiation of character voice that my new book is missing.

I'm aiming for a much shorter book (~20 pages instead of 40) so hopefully that will give me time to make both the art and writing much better.

On a side note, the modern setting of "Use Your Illusion" (and the use of the Youmu/Reisen/Sanae trio) have led to the doujin creator Gensoukoumuten (of the "Days Woven With Illusion" series) to follow me on pixiv. (My friend from Osaka has translated my books for Japanese audiences.) While this is obviously an honor, I'm embarrassed to think what an expert writer like Gensoukoumuten would think of my unrefined works.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Dead Princess Sakana on February 01, 2014, 06:20:16 pm
So I just wanna point out that today is officially the 4th anniversary of Patchouli's Scarlet Library.

 :toot: :flowerpower: :dragonforce: :* 8) :toot:

It was on February 1st 2010 that the Great Library Catalogue got started, the project that marked the beginning of a fanfiction board as a result of the old Community Fanworks being split.

Lookin at how big PSL has grown since that time makes me proud. It assures me that all the work was worth it. We started out as a small group, but we've grown considerably. People have come and gone, there's just as many seasoned writing veterans as there's newcomers wanting to bring in their works and ideas.

Sure, there's still work to be done, there's always something. We don't have as much reader-feedback as we'd like, the comment sections of many a fic are quite barren despite many people reading and enjoying it. Maybe this will change someday, maybe it won't. For now, I look forward to seeing how this community, and the rest of MotK, will develop during yet another year.

Oh and while we won't know for certain what the future will hold, we do know *one* thing: The Library Catalogue is kind of outdated right now, many new fics are lying around unsummarized and a good few have been finished but not yet been moved into Kosuzu's care.
So Iced has offered to take care of starting a new LIBRARY CLEANUP (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,16247.0.html)! Make sure to post if you wanna help out!
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on February 19, 2014, 06:32:39 pm
So, in writing my latest story on gods I ran into a few things which might be useful for those working on the more mythological side of the Touhou fandom.

When I was looking up Aztec myths I ran into a lot of stories that were straight up contradictory.  There are at least two versions of the sun myth for example.  Similarly, when looking up rituals I blundered into one or two versions of many of the major ones.  This as you can imagine made setting up a "correct" story or ritual somewhat difficult.

It clicked when I started looking into Aztec poetry to try to get an idea of the language's flow.  One of the biggest collections of poetry still existing is from a noble from a vassal city who was trying to reform the religion, which he believed had been corrupted by the expanding influence of the warriors.  There wasn't a 'true' version of the myths even when it was active.  Everyone picked the one they liked best and worked around the rest of the stories to make sense of things.  (Kinda like Touhou fanfiction...)

So yeah, it's important to remember that myths and legends were (and in many cases are) often changing.  Even religious truths shift constantly, though today's changes are harder to see under the many flavors of the dominant religions.  So while it might make research more painful, it's important to remember that older sources are necessarily "the true legend," though it might reflect an archaic culture better.  And variant sources might be equally valid as a resource, though again, a modern American retelling will carry modern American values to some degree.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Teewee on March 07, 2014, 08:04:52 pm
I've been wondering, what would writing that is "dark for the sake of dark" be like? The mere description "for the sake of" isn't really descriptive enough for me.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on March 08, 2014, 12:22:37 am
I've been wondering, what would writing that is "dark for the sake of dark" be like? The mere description "for the sake of" isn't really descriptive enough for me.

"Dark for the sake of dark" is when character personalities, plot events, tone, etc. are dark not because the creator seems to write things that way for no other reason save he/she likes it, or wants to seem cool and edgy, etc. Rather than dark for a purpose.

Examples:

Bob murders Alice in cold blood. The creator did this because...

Dark for a purpose: the creator wishes to convey the idea that human beings, when pressed, can become truly monstrous

Dark for for being dark: because it's not a cool story if someone doesn't get murdered for no reason.

Dark for.being dark often happens when the creator mistakes being dark as inherently being "cool".
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: hungrybookworm on March 17, 2014, 01:28:05 am
So I just wrote something where the characters talk frankly about sex, but there's no actual explicit sex. It's nothing worse than what you'd get in a sex ed class or a woman's magazine advice column, and I plan to mark it as 'mature' on AO3. Should I treat it as NSFW here just to be safe?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on April 19, 2014, 05:11:31 am
While I was reading through the New World trilogy by Iced Fairy for the Library Catalog project, I came across something that I thought was particularly interesting: in particular, the way Iced chose to write a particular bit of exposition. Figuring out how to write exposition can be a tricky thing, since anyone can slap a stream of facts down on some paper, but presenting what cold hard facts the audience needs to know in a palatable way takes finesse.  The scene in question is found on this post (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,6097.msg451942.html#msg451942), a part of which I will include spoilered below, alongside a bit of commentary provided for context:


To recap what had gone on in the story thus far: Maribel and Renko end up teleporting to the moon under unknown circumstances, and from there get sent by the Watatsuki sisters to Gensokyo. This Gensokyo is set about 500 years from the time of the main Touhou games, and among other things Yukari Yakumo had died some 300 years ago.

It turns out that Maribel is the reincarnation of Yukari, and has inherited Yukari's power over boundaries and borders--indeed, this is how Maribel and Renko ended up on the Moon in the first place, when Maribel's slumbering power awoke. After stumbling about Gensokyo for a bit, Maribel and Renko are taken to Myouren temple, where Byakuren, among other things, attempts to give Maribel some direction by explaining what exactly her newly found powers entail.

Quote from: New World 1
Byakuren shook her head.  “But that's for later.  First let's handle your own power.”

“You can do that?  That would be great!” Maribel shifted a bit in her seat.  “I've been troubling Keine and Mokou for the past week, not to mention the pain it causes me.  Anything that can help would be good.”

“Very well, let me explain your power first,” Byakuren set her tea cup to the side and closed her eyes.  “The power that both Yukari Yakumo and you wield is the power of boundaries.  Within the world of illusions boundaries are the most important power.  The Boundary of Death defines Life, and even outside of Gensoukyo, the Boundary of Dreams defines Reality.”

“Without limits and boundaries there is nothing, as you see whenever you look at Fujiwara no Moukou.    She is neither alive nor dead, but a unique existence.  Not fully allowed to live in either realm.”  Byakuren opened her eyes again.  “So all we need to do is change the limit of your powers so that you choose when to see boundaries and when not to.”

The two women looked at each other for a minute.

“Um, that's nice and all... but how do I do that?”  Maribel asked.

“By having you read this aloud.”  Byakuren raised her arms over her head, then pulled them apart in an arc.  As she did so a rainbow colored scroll formed in the air, shining brightly throughout the dim room.

Maribel tried to look at the scroll, but the glare caused her eyes to water.  “Is there any way to turn that down?”

“You have to endure the light.  Don't worry, it's not long.”

Maribel gritted her teeth and tried to look at the scroll once again.  She tried shielding the light with her hands, but that only made it worse.  She tried closing her eyes and reading the red splotches on her retina, but that didn't work either.  So in the end she just kept staring and blinking the tears away, until finally she thought she could see the kanji printed on it.

“Namusan!”

Maribel sighed with relief as Byakuren closed the scroll, returning it to where ever it had come from.  “Very good.”

Maribel rubbed her eyes vigorously.  Then took a look around the room.  “Um...  Did it work?”

Byakuren nodded and waved her hands.  This time a window appeared in the air, showing Renko, Ran and Shou chatting about something.  “You should now have to concentrate to see the border.”

Maribel frowned, then did try to focus her eyes.  As she did so the abnormality in the border of space quickly became evident.  In fact Maribel thought she saw better then before.  Instead of simply seeing the presence of power she saw threads of power forming the alteration in the boundary.  Of course that might just be Byakuren's magic.

“This is great!  Thank you so much!”  Maribel smiled at the magician.  “So what kind of spell was that?  Can you use it to teach me how to use my abilities in other ways?”

Byakuren coughed lightly.  “I'm sorry.  I'm afraid that there wasn't a spell at all.  If I were to compare it to something I suppose it would be a placebo effect.”

“What?”  Maribel stared at Byakuren incredulously.  “But, you're saying that wasn't a spell?  Then how...?”

Byakuren took a sip of her tea.  “Explaining it will be both simple and difficult I'm afraid.  To start with, I performed no spell.  However you altered your own abilities in response to my suggestion.”

Maribel thought on that for a moment.  “You're saying I could do that all along, I just didn't try hard enough?”

“It's not that simple.”  Byakuren sighed.  “It has to do with your power.  All powers are defined by their limits.  For example, one's strength is defined by the limit of their lifting capacity.  Do you understand?”

Maribel nodded slowly.  “I think so.”

Byakuren returned the nod and continued.  “Your power is the alteration of limits.  In short, it was impossible for you to control your powers, but you changed that.  Now controlling your power is within your limits.”

Maribel, thought about the matter.  Then thought about it some more.  “Wait.  Did I really just give myself the power to control my powers?”

“Yes.”

“Isn't that a paradox?”

“Somewhat.”

Maribel's head was spinning.  “Wait.  So my power can do whatever I want it to do?”

Byakuren nodded again.  “Indeed.  You can alter the boundaries of your abilities to do almost anything.”

Maribel considered that for a while.  “Doesn't that make me omnipotent?”

Byakuren sighed.  “No.  You see this is where it gets complicated.”

Maribel sipped her tea and listened.

“As I said before, power is defined by boundaries.  Without limitations on your power you actually can't do anything.”  Byakuren held out her hands.  “This is true for most magic.  I can summon a ball with pure willpower.”  A ball appeared in the magicians hands.  “But if I don't limit the spell to summoning a ball nothing would happen.  I can't summon 'something.'  I must limit the spell so I'm not just wasting energy.”

That made sense, Maribel thought.  “So I have to know what I'm doing, and limit myself to a certain level of power?”

Byakuren smiled happily.  “Yes.  Exactly.”

Maribel considered the matter a little more.  “So what keeps me from making myself effectively omnipotent?”

“Two things.”  Byakuren held up two fingers to emphasize the points.  “One, you must believe the action is possible.  That's why I tricked you into thinking you were casting a spell.  Now that you've accessed your abilities voluntarily you believe you can, but before you would have doubted.  And that would have prevented you from making the alterations.”

“Two, you can only perform actions you comprehend, obviously.”  Byakuren shrugged.  “If you don't know something exists you can't alter its boundaries.”

“Hm...”  Maribel nodded.  “But it's got to be hard to believe you can change something that you understand very well just by thinking about it.”

“Very good.”  Byakuren rewarded Maribel's insight with another smile.  “That's one of the reasons magic is difficult.  The other reason is that with magic other people's disbelief actively hampers a spell.  That at least is something you don't have to worry about.”

Maribel happily took another sip of the tea.  She liked Byakuren.  In fact the temple just seemed like a friendly place in general.  This seemed like a good place to study her power.  Especially, she remembered with sudden distaste, since going to the Hakurei Shrine would mean dealing with that fox woman.

In this case to think was to act.  “Thank you for the instruction Miss Hijiri.  You seem very knowledgeable about my abilities, would it be possible to study with you?”

[/spoiler]

And now I will explain why I thought this was particularly well done, spoilered in case there are those who haven't read New World yet:

The reason why I thought this bit of exposition was cleverly handled was because the exposition, by this point in the story, is something the audience desperately wants. A lot of exposition in stories--mostly setting details--may enhance the reader's experience of the story when known, but getting the audience to absorb and digest that info is the hard part, since not everyone feels like getting a history/geography/culture lesson in the middle of an exciting tale. In this case, however, the audience is just as curious as Maribel is about what exactly the power over boundaries entails--we've heard from various characters that Maribel has such a power, and some vague descriptions on what it can do, but Byakuren is the first to offer concrete, easy-to-understand information about the nature and limits of Maribel's power.

Given that the story is basically all about Maribel's new power and the effect it has on Gensokyo, it was vital for Iced to convey to the reader its precise limits (har har) such that the audience goes into the rest of the story with an understanding of what Maribel can and cannot do. But Iced couldn't just force it down everyone's throats at first opportunity--that would be painful and boring. So what he opted to do was entice the audience into greatly desiring to know about Maribel's power by teasing the audience, dropping bits of info here and there to keep the audience interested while he goes about setting the rest of the story and the setting up. Then, once the audience is hooked and desperate to know, he drops the exposition in a way that is clear, precise, and sensible. By doing this, the audience is never forced to sit there and listen to how Maribel's powers work; instead, the audience learns along with the baffled Maribel. So rather than a boring, dry lesson on metaphysics, we got an answer to a mystery we've been desperate to solve. (The fact that the scene also neatly conveys Byakuren's warm, patient, and guiding nature is merely icing on the cake.)


So that is how Iced skillfully conveyed what could have been boring exposition in an interesting way--by enticing the audience into desiring that exposition. This was beyond mere feeding the audience bits and pieces of exposition interjected amongst characterization and dialogue, this was a giant block of exposition text that nonetheless ended up being interesting to read, thanks to the efforts of the author.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Rice Mistakes on April 29, 2014, 02:56:17 am
Question; if a story is written in a choose-your-own adventure format, but is still a definite story with plot and canon characters, does it belong in PSL or in another forum?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on April 29, 2014, 05:32:33 am
If the audience chooses the path and determines the story flow then it should go into RPG.  If you're just writing a CYOA that readers can follow along then PSL should be fine
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Sect on April 29, 2014, 10:41:16 pm
If the audience chooses the path and determines the story flow then it should go into RPG.  If you're just writing a CYOA that readers can follow along then PSL should be fine
For an example of the latter, look at Tengukami's Guest of the Moon Princess (http://www.shrinemaiden.org/forum/index.php/topic,5573.msg300169.html#msg300169). For an example of the former, look at any of the Quests in RPG or on the Touhou Project imageboard.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Rice Mistakes on April 30, 2014, 01:11:41 am
Right, got it! So basically, fiction in which the audience gives commands goes into RPG, but a fully-written CYOA, in which definite choices and outcomes have already been determined and options are listed by the author, can be filed in PSL?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on April 30, 2014, 05:20:36 pm
Right, got it! So basically, fiction in which the audience gives commands goes into RPG, but a fully-written CYOA, in which definite choices and outcomes have already been determined and options are listed by the author, can be filed in PSL?

Yes, that sounds about right.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Achariyth on August 11, 2014, 06:27:09 am
Two quick questions:

What's the word limit per post?  I thought I remembered 10k, but I'm not sure if that is correct.

At what point does a complete story move from Patchy to Kosuzu's neck of the woods?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Joveus Molai on August 11, 2014, 11:34:55 am
At what point does a complete story move from Patchy to Kosuzu's neck of the woods?

As soon as I remember that it's my job to do such things :V

One moment, please... Edit: done. Sorry about that, folks.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Mеа on May 26, 2015, 02:23:26 pm
Is there something more psychologically satisfying about shorter lines? Like 8~12 words per line, as in novels? Or rather--the question I want to ask--is there some way to do that here? I suppose hitting the return key every so often could satisfy, though I'd imagine it would be terribly frustrating to people with smaller screens/browsers.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on May 26, 2015, 05:06:29 pm
Is there something more psychologically satisfying about shorter lines? Like 8~12 words per line, as in novels? Or rather--the question I want to ask--is there some way to do that here? I suppose hitting the return key every so often could satisfy, though I'd imagine it would be terribly frustrating to people with smaller screens/browsers.
Preferred line length on monitors and preferred line length on print media is different.  People reading online do better with longer lines.  I would advise highly against it.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Mеа on May 27, 2015, 04:18:12 am
Preferred line length on monitors and preferred line length on print media is different.  People reading online do better with longer lines.  I would advise highly against it.
Hmm ok interesting. Probably wouldn't have, but now I know better. Thanks!
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: KennyMan666 on May 02, 2016, 02:40:49 pm
Okay so guess I shall turn to here for a bit. This seemed like the most appropriate topic for itfor it.

So, I'm working on a thing. A One Piece fanfic project, to be precise, and am about to finish up the first set of chapters I want to have ready for when I "launch" it and actually start posting it in places. But I am finding myself in need of one or two additional people who can read these chapters and give me some feedback before I do so, given that the one that I do have is a bit too involved with it, and the other person I did have and who was the reason I started rewriting about half of what I already had finally actually told me that despite his promise he doesn't have the time to give me any more feedback right now. I have one chapter left to finish up and then I'm going to go through everything I have for some touchups, and my current plan is to start "publishing" on May 14th (only because that's my birthday).

So, yeah. Looking for one or two people who want to read and give me feedback on nine chapters (ranging from ~2000 to ~3500 words each, plus a 500 word prologue) of One Piece story, and can do so preferably within a week. While extensive knowledge of One Piece is not required, it's written with the expectation that the reader is familiar with it. So, uh, drop me a PM if you want to help a guy out?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Zelinko on April 12, 2017, 11:39:47 am
Is it wrong to just be kinda just kinda afraid to edit your work if only for finding how awful it is?  I've been kinda stuck working on an editing for a short story I wrote but every time I look at the prospect of editing it I just get rather depressed. I guess it might be because I just don't have any confidence in my writing.

If I can just get through the first pass I think it'd be cleaned up enough to send to a person who gave major editing help earlier but I just need to get there
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Iced Fairy on April 12, 2017, 01:47:42 pm
Is it wrong to just be kinda just kinda afraid to edit your work if only for finding how awful it is?  I've been kinda stuck working on an editing for a short story I wrote but every time I look at the prospect of editing it I just get rather depressed. I guess it might be because I just don't have any confidence in my writing.

If I can just get through the first pass I think it'd be cleaned up enough to send to a person who gave major editing help earlier but I just need to get there
A lot of writers hate their work during the editing phase.  It's in fact so common that agents consider despair over the rough draft a normal writing phase.

As for getting past it... it's just something you need to do.  Not really sure what mental tricks might work.  Some people just rewrite the thing with the editing advice in mind to feel like they're getting past the old draft.  Most just plow through and grimace through the pain.  Find any old trick that works for you.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Zelinko on April 18, 2017, 02:34:21 pm
I've got a work where I'm needing an editor/proofreader for a story? 

I'm really unsure if I'm going the right way with the edits and the problem of mental blindspots are really hurting me as it's now into the problems of things Word's grammar checker won't pick up.  Thankfully the story's completed but I'm not sure if to put the entire story here or if there is a dedicated thread or are for finding them?

I searched back about four years in archives and with nothing there so what should I do.

Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on February 09, 2019, 10:26:47 am
ka-bump

Been a while since we talked in here. I just wanted to say, if anyone wants an invitation to Archive of Our Own so they can also post their Touhou fanworks there (https://archiveofourown.org/tags/Touhou%20Project/works) as well as here, please let me know! This offer will stand until it is no longer valid, so even if you're seeing this late, PM me anyway.

I also recommend reading through their stuff! Lots of good fanfics over there if you want some more recent stuff, since PSL hasn't had much activity.
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Bardiche on March 23, 2019, 11:49:02 pm
I keep reading stories here, but am always afraid to post because I don't know whether feedback'd be well-received/is even wanted. Is that bad?
Title: Re: Welcome to PSL: Hatate's Writer's Lounge ~ Rules, info and general discussion!
Post by: Alfred F. Jones on April 24, 2019, 07:58:48 pm
I keep reading stories here, but am always afraid to post because I don't know whether feedback'd be well-received/is even wanted. Is that bad?
It's not bad! But you should know that on AO3 it's perfectly acceptable to leave a comment on a story months or even years later. I constantly hear from writers that they get super happy and excited when people leave comments on their older works as well as their new ones.

ETA: example (https://ao3commentoftheday.tumblr.com/post/185082840761/)