dmxrated: (Kagami)
Writing this entry so that I can stop rehashing in my head why not to ever get the curiosity to see what Cries Unheard is like, even long after it's complete. No, not even the comeuppance scenes. I've already written about it in a notebook, but chances are, I'm eventually gonna discard that once I fill it out, as opposed to this blog, which I'll probably maintain for the rest of my life.

To start with, the abuse itself isn't my issue with it. After reading chapters 5 and especially 8, I mainly wanted to see the antagonists' comeuppance actually play out, although I did also fear what would become of everyone else and whether or not Miyuki and Kagami would go to jail despite the necessity of having killed their tormentors. Another concern of mine, though, was that it seemed possible that the antagonists' in-universe schemes would revolve mainly around the main four, even though they're going to abuse everyone from the show. Kagami tells Yui in chapter 13 (a flash-forward chapter) that whenever anyone tried to get close to her, Konata, or Miyuki, they would pay the price, and then avoid them like the plague. (This was also true with Tsukasa, given what happened to Minoru, whom we have yet to see again, while Konata herself is also avoiding everyone due to the control the boys have over her.)

In case that turns out to be true, I would have waited until the fic is complete, and then read only the prologue chapters, comeuppance scenes, and reviews, before deciding whether or not to read the entire fic through. That, of course, went out the window when author bloodscorpion4ever snapped at me for the critiques I left, and then ignored me when I apologized to him and then asked him one more question later. That leaves me only interested in the comeuppance scenes afterwards, but since he took a whole three months off from the fic at that point, I assume the fic dead and decide to take it upon myself to continue the fic start the fic over and write it on my terms, mainly for closure.

It says something when both Simply Hiiragi (whose past critiques Blood did appreciate) and redlerred7 agree that the fic is rather poorly written. The former of those two declined to have anything to do with it, but I managed to get Red and some others who reviewed CU involved in it. Not too far in, though, Red told me that to give equal focus to everyone would complicate things for both me and the in-universe antagonists, and while it would be possible to create a masterpiece in that way, it would only be more practical for them to keep their actions to a minimum.

That is the reason why I wrote Stage One: Thwarted, as well as deriding the antagonists as Stupid Evil (especially given certain other ways they went on about things) and the fic itself as an excuse for Blood to live out his rape and abuse fantasies. (Not that I'm much better with the sumo fic... or with Katsuo, who would've felt right at home with those boys when I first introduced him.)

As far as I'm concerned, most of the events of Cries Unheard never happened. To read any of it now would be to acknowledge the events leading up to it, which would go against the purpose of writing SOT in the first place. Blood pissed me off, SOT has killed any chance that we ever will reconcile, and I find it insulting not only that he consciously chose to ignore the school schedule as depicted throughout canon (especially given his tendency to refer to events from canon every now and then), but that he could also have Kagami act so blatantly out of character from the very beginning (and especially when Misao speaks to her after having been tormented by Riku and Kenji) just for everything to happen. In fanfiction (or even fiction in general), most of us agree that rules and characters' personalities be kept consistent, only changing in ways that are believable, not warped to one's own preferences or to plot demands (barring Alternate Universes or continuities). To read something is to acknowledge that its events happened, even if only fictionally and apart from one's own stories, and Cries Unheard simply should not be, for reasons I have just explained.

(For the record, while I never intended to re-read Bonds to begin with, even upon receiving a copy from PricyKoopa, there are still certain scenes I like in The Loss of Innocence, Broken Dreams, and I Was Kagami Hiiragi.)

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While I'm writing this, let me say these few things as well, just to get them out of my system.

First of all, if Cries Unheard was the first fic of Blood's that I started reading, I would probably have avoided any of his works in the first place, just like with Acsuperman with Luckier Star. Summer wasn't even an issue in his first three fics. The Loss of Innocence takes place during the weeks following New Year's, everyone is already past college in Broken Dreams, and the main story in Bonds spans for only a single day. Not sure, though, why I didn't back out when I read the beginning of I Was Kagami Hiiragi when I decided to read the beginning of its main story. Even its prologue, which I read from the get-go, said stuff about starting college next "fall", and I'm not sure why I didn't notice that until about a year later, when Blood came back to FF and posted Cries Unheard.

(Guess he and I weren't so different after all, huh...)

Also, here's something interesting that occurred to me a week ago, involving CU's summary:

Something new and terrifying has entered the world of four ordinary high school girls. Though this new force affects them in different ways, they will soon be united by the same concept: the fear that haunts them every time they meet this force.

That, ironically, is exactly what goes on in Stars Above. The antagonists' plot in one fic revolves mainly around Miyuki; those in the other fic mainly want Tsukasa and Kagami. And for good measure, SA has Tsukasa actually finding happiness with one of its antagonists, the Second Demon Desideria disguising herself as Miyuki (while the real Miyuki remains trapped inside her own glasses for most of the fic), similar to Kagami finding false happiness with Riku Kitamaru in CU.

I will admit that I never even thought about who suffers equivalently to whom while reading SA, but in retrospect, it is clearly more favorable for me, because Homura, whom the main four become genuine friends with, gets equal focus to each of them and suffers in different but equivalent ways. There, it's the main four plus someone else who suffers equally onpage, as opposed to just the main four in CU w/ everyone else on the sidelines.

Not that I actually intend to show that to Blood or SA author BHS. Like I said, it's over between me and Blood, and I have no interest in recommending CU to anyone because of both that and how stupid the fic itself is.
dmxrated: (Mai)
From this point forward, Cries Unheard and author bloodscorpion4ever are no longer relevant. I posted the one-shot yesterday, under the title Stage One: Thwarted, and for once, actually got two reviews within the same day. Even Simply Hiiragi agrees that Blood has become a shadow of his former self ever since he returned.

In general, I can't read any Lucky Star fanfics these days without my mind shifting to Rokuna, Mondo, and all my OCs who have yet to appear in Starbound. Halfway through the next chapter is where the party will enter Magicant for the very first time, and I managed to get some help from Yincira with coming up with what this version would be like.

Things got complicated from there when I asked Jake to help me come up with some kind of plot for what would have happened with the Original Ones (i.e. this fic's version of the Beehive Brigade). While we discussed that, Jake asked me to link to the original image, and then asked if Yuka is still a flat character. I asked him if there were any ways I could flesh characters out in general, and his only real suggestion was to role-play. I gave that a try, but also sent an email asking Yincira what kinds of techniques she uses to flesh characters out a convo or so later, attaching a copy of the convo with it, since RP'ing obviously isn't something she'd be good at. (She did say on her blog that she did receive it, but has not been able to answer coherently enough.)

During said convo, I asked Jake how he was able to characterize Drake Bolak of Cult/MCC so elegantly. He told me that while there were a few sources of inspiration for him, most of his personality came from ideas that bombard him 24 hours a day, something which I don't have and Yincira probably doesn't either, but also that it's easier for him to pull off once he actually starts caring about the character in question, which currently isn't true with Yuka. I remember Yincira pointing out to me before, that I tend to focus on the gimmicky side of things, instead of the stuff that really matters. For me, most characters are placeholders for a certain element or position first, before I come up with (read: find) actual personalities for them. I would definitely say that the kinds of games I play have a big part to do with that, but other than that, I think that's just how my brain works.

While I should be able to pull off the first half of Starbound's sixth chapter, the second half is gonna be somewhat problematic. To sum up everything above, I have yet to figure out what exactly went on with the Original Ones (not just the big picture, but chapter by chapter), but before Jake and I can even look at that, I have yet to flesh Yuka in particular out, and I have yet to hear from Yincira what techniques she uses for actual characterization, in case there are any alternative methods that I'd like better.

Jake did ask me to create tags linking to anything I said about the Beehive Brigade, as well as Ellen's fic that we used to discuss. While I'm at it, I decided that I might as well create tags for all my planned or once-planned stories as long as I'm looking through everything since this blog's beginning (currently at September 2009). Will see where things go once I'm done with that.
dmxrated: (Mai)
Mom asked me to clean all the walnuts out of our frontyard yesterday, and there were enough to fill the wheelbarrow. Shortly before she came home, Dad and I decided to see how far we can throw them from the driveway to the ivy patch, and I also threw a few upwards to kick like soccerballs (something I've done several times since the other day just for fun).

-----

After having discussed it with several people on Fanfiction.net, darkspecter141 suggested that I create a forum thread somewhere where they and I can all discuss Screams of Silence together, instead of me crisscrossing everyone's ideas to one another. Here's the thread, now that I've gotten all the current information up:

http://forums.luckystarshrine.com/showthread.php?t=4924

(Kial is Martin, whom I had contacted to help me with getting both parts up. The whole thing was too long for a single post, and the site doesn't allow more than one consecutive post on a thread by a single user.)

While redlerred7 and I did come up with some interesting ways for the antagonists to toy with everyone, Red did say (and Yincira agrees) that if their main goal is to profit from something illegal, then they should keep their victims to a minimum. Let me mention that the harm they inflict upon everyone is exactly the whole reason I want closure on that fic, and if they were to be smart about things, then they wouldn't even start with Miyuki, let alone everyone else, since there is no real reason for them to assume that she actually knows anything about the inner workings of her father's company. They would more likely just not bring it up with her in the first place, especially since Miyuki tells Yui during chapter 8 that they took to their own methods after failing with her. I did tell Yincira about the possibility of revenge for an affair having to do with it, which she suggested could call for a wider range, but even then what they plan to do in the company should be more than enough to wreak havoc on her father's company and life, without any unnecessary complications.

For that reason alone, there is a good chance that I'll just scrap the whole thing, and instead write a one-shot about what would have really happened at the beginning of the fic if everyone acted as smart as they canonically are.
dmxrated: (Mai)
Turned out Grandma still was (and is) here, along with Allison and Blas yesterday. The latter two did leave, though, as did Brian and Marie beforehand.

Contacted a few more people who had previously reviewed Cries Unheard. Simply Hiiragi was the last of those who got back to me (after I had already gone to bed last night), and had confirmed just how far beyond fixing the events of that fic really are. I just told him/her that not only might I just call off any plans for a rewrite, but that they seem knowledgeable enough to critique stuff for me if they're interested to. (Whether SH chooses to or not, Yincira is still welcome to continue looking over stuff for me if she'd like to.)
dmxrated: (Mai)
Mom and Dad bought a new washing machine the other day, have just bought a new stove yesterday, and are also looking into replacing our dishwasher and microwave.

-----

As of right now, I'm probably just gonna call it quits on Candy Crush again. Level 677 has been by far the fourth level I needed to use boosters on. Second and third were DreamWorld levels 276 (when I was trying to wrap things up after working on the Starbound game script) and 381 (in which all starting candies are each the same color between playthroughs, rather than alternating, probably due to a bug). Helps that I started using the Daily Booster Wheel just the other night, when I needed to bypass DW-381; never used it before, because I thought until then that whatever you win applies automatically to the next level you play, rather than simply adding to your booster inventory.

There have been more than a few levels that took me days at a time to succeed at, but for the most part, I did at least manage to come as close as just one jelly or one combo short of winning. Here, the most I ever got was eight (not nine, eight) out of ten required double-stripe combos, and not even very often. I even started giving myself free lives through Mom's iPad a few nights ago, after finishing disk 1 of Haganai Next, not being in the mood for more anime, and not perceiving anything left to do for the evening. Needless to say, this became a habit.

In any case, my secondary purpose behind playing that game, being to hold off on checking Fanfiction.net's Lucky Star archive until I reach a certain point, has already been defeated when I did just that several times Its primary purpose was to give me something to do between anime episodes, but it's more like this: between each time I use up a life, I tend to alternate between watching something and finding other things to do, because a few minutes worth of gameplay isn't much of a buffer between episodes. It's more like, I'm watching anime in order to pass time until I get a new life, when originally, the purpose was to spend time with stuff that isn't Lucky Star.

Even though I got a whole handful of different titles from the library, all I currently have left for now are the last disks each of Haganai Next and Utawarerumono. Vandread, InuXBoku Secret Service, Shakugan no Shana, and Heaven's Memo Pad all involve girls whose treatment of their respective (male) protagonists would never fly if the gender roles were reversed, and Fairy Tail is just too comical for my tastes. On the other hand, I do have Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They? waiting for me at the library, Sakura Wars is also on its way there, and I also plan on returning to the mall to buy Elemental Gelade in its entirety.

Anyway, time to sort myself out as far as any writing plans go. As far as the Cries Unheard rewrite goes, I have managed so far to begin discussing the issues that the current version has with Sqweebs, and he managed to come up with a more likely way for Kagami's detachment from Tsukasa to begin. Only how it begins; we still need to discuss the other points regarding her relationship with Riku and why she ignores her family and Misao's warnings about him. Might also get mariofan48 involved if he's interested.
dmxrated: (Tycho)
Brian came over two nights ago, but only long enough to gather some stuff up after having moved to a different apartment. Dad drove him back to his new apartment midday yesterday, and Mom and I decided to take a pizza home from Cafe Gia for dinner.

Coming home from there, Mom asked me if I've chatted with Jake and Yincira. I told her about that comment exchange I've had with Y, which was about my plans for rewriting Cries Unheard.

While we ate, she asked me if I planned on re-titling it, to which I answered Screams of Silence if I decide to, after a certain episode of Family Guy. I mentioned that said episode deals seriously with domestic abuse, and she asked me to describe what happens in it. While she was surprised that that show actually dealt decently with such an issue for once, she did comment that the way the situation was resolved still doesn't set a good example. I told her that to have killed the antagonist was the only option left that the mains had at that point, coincidentally just like Miyuki and Kagami's in the beginning of that fic.

Yeah, I know. I'd still be stealing Blood's ideas if I change the title. That was Mom's idea, not mine, and besides which, that's more or less one of my points here.)

-----

Still thinking about it, it's possible that I might not go through with it after all, given how blatantly out-of-character I described Kagami's actions a month ago. I Was Kagami Hiiragi holds plenty of water as to why she lets a couple of thugs brainwash her into abusing both drugs and her family and friends, but mere butterflies-in-the-stomach is not a sufficient reason as to why she'd abandon Tsukasa during a shopping spree she specifically dedicated to her, let someone sexually abuse her, and fail to take any of her real friends seriously when they complain to her about having been raped by the very person she's dating. Even mariofan48 agrees with me, which goes to show that I probably don't even have to read further into parts of a fic that I'd like not to touch for a long time.

Unfortunately, I am not likely to involve Yincira in this whole thing. She did say that while there's nothing wrong with writing personal rewrites of a given story, hosting it in a public location constitutes copyright infringement, something she herself had to deal with in the past and would rather not help anyone else commit. I already got her help before in creating an illicit group on DeviantArt (which I took down the next morning), she was pissed about it, and I'd rather not do it again.
dmxrated: (Mai)
Reformatted both my entries from the 11th so that they're easier to read. Jake complained the other day that they were hard to read, although he proceeded to read them anyway and offered to write a better plot structure.

-----

Returned disk 1 of Melody of Oblivion, and got eight other anime that have been held for me.

-----

Unfortunately, it turns out that Sqweebs plans on hosting I Was Kagami Hiiragi the way it was originally written. I already had my mind made up not to read Cries Unheard ever again, interesting as it may be all issues aside, but having heard that left me wondering how someone who drops references to the events of the anime (evidence of their familiarity of it) could just up and decide that the school year in Japan matches that in America despite all evidence to the contrary.

During a convo I had with Jake the other day, the issue of closure (as the reason why I desperately want to read the antagonists' actual fates) came up. He suggested that I write it out myself, and Mom agreed when I showed her the convo. I told them that while I do try to imagine it myself, even actually writing things out just feels cheap as a substitute for the real thing.

As of yesterday, I actually considered starting the whole story over myself, should Blood take too long to come back to it, and even brought such an idea up with Sqweebs (who seemed to like the idea). Granted, it's not my goal to fix up every story on Earth that's so poorly written, but since this is one that's been giving me issues for months now, I think writing the ending out might not be enough, especially since we're not gonna know what kinds of twists Blood would come up with until then if he were still active.

Gonna need time to sort out what other issues there are with the story, and to talk about how to re-plan everything and plan out where the story goes from where it currently is.

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