*Please comment only on this and previous chapters to avoid spoiling.

*Comments may contain spoilery-ish stuff.

This is my very first attempt at any fiction prose and thus my first attempt at combining dialogue and narration. I don’t even read much fiction (these days) if I can help it. Literature majors and lit pros should be able to see problems in narrator voice, omniscience, perspective, and the like, though I’m fairly certain I can be consistent with tense–if I try.

Consider 1.1 to be stylistically a preface. There’s a lot of material there that has been done already in many forms in other fics… I assume. I mean, how many times can we reiterate that Natsuki likes mayonnaise? In any case, I actually have three two main arcs (“parts”) planned for Syncope. Each arc will consist of an indeterminate number of chapters, and each chapter will be of widely varying length.

In Part 1, I am primarily concerned with presenting realistic characters and character growth. I find that stories with strong characters but weak plot are still more enjoyable than stories with a strong story premise but an unempathetic cast. Therefore–apologies–but plot in this first arc is going to be fairly incidental. I need to learn dialogue and stuff like that.

I will try to be as accurate as possible with factual content, if I have the time to research it and assuming my sources are largely correct. Natsuki is 17 because she clearly says “jyuu-nana” in the anime, which means 17. She’s a year behind where she should be and a year younger than Shizuru (3rd year–graduated), which means Shizuru is 18 and Mai is 16. I’m going by the anime, though I no longer have access to most episodes and am waiting for DVDs, so I may ask some questions and hope people can answer. Um, I hope I can get the characters in-character from HiME. Please discuss if you think an interpretation utterly infeasible; I might have had a good reason to present something one way but failed in execution.

I will try very hard not to end any part in a cliffhanger. That’s just cruel. I mean, what if I get writer’s block? Yech. I’ve decided to prevent comments for the actual content posts and allow comments on the author notes posts, which will be separate–therefore every part of Syncope that is posted will have two posts! To make it a little easier to navigate, I will use the same icon for the double post, alternating with a different one. General posts (like questions) will have a different icon. That makes three different icons.

Finally, I will pretty much allow all comments that follow netiquette. Just be civil and avoid using distracting things like ALL CAPS, “1337” (“leet-speak”), exclamation points ending every single sentence, and stuff like that. :)


Next chapter: 1.2


21 thoughts on “1.1 NOTES”

  1. *rolls up sleeves* I’m going through this real slow, so I can do like you want me to and properly review the fic. Kay? Kay. I’ll confess here first, though, that I’m no literature pro. *sheepish grin* I know my affidavits from my subpoenas, but I wouldn’t be able to define a gerund if my life depended on it. All I have to offer is years and years of worming my way through all books great and little. =D So no brilliant quips, words of wisdom or technical-sounding jargon on narrative voice – just the humble, simple observations of a faithful fangirl, at your service. *bows* I’m going to review each chapter individually, if you don’t mind, pointing out what I liked or thought was wrong in each, rather than trying to squish everything together in one humongous, general review.

    Your descriptions are clear and original without running into the Tolkienesque. I appreciate that – brevity is a fine art, and one rarely seen done well nowadays – especially in fandom of any sort. You also manage to weave the action ‘up front’ with what’s going on ‘backstage’ well – I use this sentence as an example:

    Forced into the human contact, she smiled and thanked them for their services, then quickly exited the building.

    At once we see what Shizuru is doing, and how she actually feels about it – without whole sentences needing to be devoted first to one and then to the other.

    The narration flows well, in my opinion. Slight changes in pace every now and again, though, probably wouldn’t be amiss. I’m not sure how to explain it other than this: you use the same style for about 90% of the story most times; well-structured sentences that don’t run into each other. Once in a while, though, more sentences like Shizuru only laughed. intersposed are refreshing. I’m no fan of minimalist writing (can we say ‘lazy’ and ‘melodramatic’?) but it works well in small doses, especially when applied evenly to lighten an already solid fic.

    I like the fact that you don’t attempt to use too many…uh…whatchamacallits. >.< *slaps forehead* Replacement descriptives? I've seen fics pockmarked with those. "The biker girl said to the president who answered...the orphaned child..." Ugh. You get what I mean. They have names, and you use them, and I like it.

    Just a few last minor details to point out.

    Shizuru could hear some metallic clanging about before Natsuki reappeared with a small pie and a big grin.

    Shouldn’t it be either “something metallic clanging about” or “some metallic clanging noises”? It sounded somewhat awk-weird, so…*shrug*

    Also, this sentence sounded just a little clunky to me:

    Closing her slightly parted lips to swallow the lump in her throat, Natsuki then allowed them to slightly part again, trembling.

    I think you know why, so I’m just going to go on to the next, rather buggy part. After Nao trashed her apartment, Natsuki moved in with Mai. Under all the circumstances, it really does seem to have been for the best – the three seemed happy enough together under one roof. And even if Natsuki did decide to move out, after a time, I don’t see WHY, for any reason, she would’ve wanted an ‘expensive, Western-style’ apartment. Again, I don’t see Natsuki, or even Shizuru for that matter, going out and buying one. I know it can’t be because cooking was on her future agenda. And the furniture? It’s very rare that furnished apartments would come with ovens and such. Japan being what it is, space is pretty sparse and carefully parceled out. Therefore, half the kitchen being taken up by an oven doesn’t seem like a very smart idea to me. Don’t get me wrong; I loved the dinner-together scene, but the whole thing seemed contrived. You could’ve had Natsuki cooking something that didn’t require quite as much ‘firepower’, so to speak.

    1. Next: I have an issue with the couch scene. A very big one.

      …it took me ages to properly figure out where everything/one was. Scenes like these, where you’re using their positions as part of the story, are difficult to write, I know. Either one ends up making them overly technical or the reader gets left bewildered at the seeming game of “Twister” going on. Alas, this is where you finally slipped. To me, anyways. The problem about stories of any kind is that they are highly subjective: what to me seems problematic may to another seem inspired. Nonetheless it wasn’t easy to place characters and furniture in my mind’s eye properly.

      I’ll wind up with what I thought of your characterizations.

      You succeeded, splendidly. You’re right – there are far too many fics that have promising story potential; and end up being exactly what it promised to be – a(nother) great action/adventure/mystery where our girls become nothing more than generic placeholders. When I first read this, I thought “This is a great beginning.” I still think so. Shizuru’s headache is the only portent of trouble to come, and you didn’t make it shadow the entire fic, the way many others do – trying to complicate the plot before the reader even knows what’s going on. Instead you settle us with Shizuru, Natsuki, and their environs.

      In Part 1, I am primarily concerned with presenting realistic characters and character growth.

      You get an A++ for sticking to themes! XD I’ll get on to the rest when I have more time. (‘sides, writing this stuff is tiring, y’know? Phew!) So I’ll check out 1.2 later, and thank you -again- for writing Syncope.

      *bows out*

      P.S. On a final note, this is the first time EVER I have exceeded the character limit on a comment. Congratulations to you for the ‘inspiration’, and to me for finally doing it! XD

      1. (Wow, I wasn’t even aware of a comment limit. :D)

        Your descriptions are clear and original without running into the Tolkienesque.

        I generally like descriptive narration, but I also realized that a lot of fics that begin with a overly detailed description of the setting kill my interest right there. (e.g. “The burning red sun flowed hotly over the geraniums on the dusty counter, blah blah simile metaphor overkill for six screen lines”). I often skip the first paragraph when reading that style, really, which is why I’ve been trying to start my chapters with an action, dialogue, or an unusual description. Need to try to catch interest in the first line, I think.

        I’m no fan of minimalist writing (can we say ‘lazy’ and ‘melodramatic’?) but it works well in small doses, especially when applied evenly to lighten an already solid fic.

        Good point; now that I think about it, I’m not sure I have many of those. Maybe it’s time to weave some into my style.

        “something metallic clanging about”

        You’re right; that’s actually a typo. It’s supposed to be ‘something’. caught another old typo just recently as well. (Although I suppose one could read the “clanging about” as the compound noun being modified by metallic… but that’s assuming I know what I’m talking about. XD)
        I’ve sort of edited out the clunkiness in the other sentence. A more major edit may be due when I finish Part 1, though.


        True; there was no good reason for me to make it Western, certainly, except for size, commentary on kitchen, and having beds instead of futons. Beds require a lot less upkeep. And while it’s true that Japanese apartments aren’t like that, it’s also true that new apartments with more Western flair have been springing around Japan. Doesn’t have to be a full-sized oven, either, but I didn’t bother with details like that… I’m half-invoking the Fuuka Rule here, though. ^_^;

        I took implied and inferred information into account this way: Natsuki has to be rich; she had an apartment, is underaged, has a lingerie collection, and still manages to pay for underground information; we never see her dad, and she’s assumed to be an “orphan” by many accounts; for some inexplicable reason, I was always under the impression that her old apartment was huge and abnormally (expensive?). Also, I never knew the extended episode 26 existed until after I already started writing, so there’s a continuity bug right there. I’m not sure it’s fair to assume that everyone has seen that, either. (?) And unless people have been paying attention to ‘s translation of Natsuki’s Prelude, we wouldn’t have known that her father pays for everything. So I left it open to future explanation. XD Cheap and contrived–so some things had/have to be explained “backwards” later on. Well, there is no plot to speak of at this point.

        Next: I have an issue with the couch scene. A very big one.

        I can see people having problems with that scene, but I’m not sure what to do with it at this point. Cutting it out completely seems drastic but still doable, and there’s only one other reference to it in a later chapter. Nothing is as bad as that timeline error!

        I’ve actually been arguing with Muse-chan about doing a final, complete edit of Part 1 after I finish it; on one hand, improving everything is awfully nice. But on the other hand, it’s kind of satisfying to leave the rough work up and seeing improvement over time. Hm.

        Thank you for the detailed critique. ^_^

        1. Re: “Twister” chunk

          (Ha ha, I guess I like that name.) I’ve decided that I’ll chop it after all, but I have to figure out what to replace it with…

  2. Mm, yes, I did read “Syncope” in its unfinished entirety. =)

    I also read other posts like some most of the research posts, and definitely all of the “notes”. I find it rather fascinating to “see” what sorts of things the writer is thinking of and mulling over prior to, during, or after the writing process.

    Probably because I do too much of that and it’s just nice to know that there are people who are concerned about details and accuracy. And despite your claims for not being very good with “talky” bits, I think that your interpretation of the various characters is pretty much dead-on. Things like the “translating” I mentioned may sound a bit awkward at times, like what I mentioned with Shizuru’s “ara ara”, but it’s simply personal preference for deciding to stick with English when connotations aren’t affected so much. And I did read your post on Japanese terms and whatnot, so I know where you stand on that, mostly. But I won’t get into too many details about that (yet) since you specified not commenting on the following chapters to prevent spoilers.

    But I think, possibly, a bit is lost by taking away “ara ara”. I, admittedly, fangirl Shizuru somewhat, and whenever I hear or see “ara ara”, I think of Shizuru– and her voice, in that light, playful tone– the tone that only she ever has. That mysterious, alluring tone that speaks of things that one could only ever dream of knowing.

    Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself now. I’ll return to actually commenting on this instalment. ^^;

    (The problem is though, I found myself rushing through all of the instalments because I enjoyed it greatly. And due to the general stupidity quality of fanfiction floating about, I’m much more used to being critical of more technical things, and I find now, oddly enough, I can actually get nitpicky over little things that make a good piece of writing even better.)

    Note that I have a tendency of losing focus when I reread something I’ve read, so these little comments of mine may not be as in-depth as it should (or could) be.

    Ah… a very minor point, this, but it makes me smirk smile slightly.

    She opened her cell phone and punched a few buttons.

    Such connotes Shizuru actually dialing, in my mind, for some reason. I thought it’d be kind of cute to sort of say how Shizuru’s got Natsuki on speed dial (speed-dial?). I mean, it’s kind of like a given, but “a few buttons” leaves it slightly ambiguous.

    Oh, and before I forget, yeah, I absolutely agree with you on your thought processes regarding diction as far as “fluid” is concerned. (I’ll keep it vague to prevent any possibility of this cropping up as a spoiler of sorts.) To use something too “direct” would be akin to Natsuki’s admission and acceptance of it, which of course, would be rather uncharacteristic of her.

    And I also appreciate how you’re trying to get Shizuru’s actions “seep out” with the “between the lines” method, because that really is the best way to convey her subtlety.

    And yet on another note, I much prefer your usage of numbers (i.e. 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.) in naming your chapters. It just seems so much more methodical. A brief thought crossed my mind earlier, though– having the two “parts” of Omake 0.2 chopped up (with Shizuru’s naginata!) to preserve both moods. But I chalked it up to another bit of my silliness and ignored it.

    Geez, I’m never going to get to the actual critique, am I?

    And whoo, I love the imagery The cell phone snapped smartly shut, evokes. I can see Shizuru doing just that (as fangirls swoon in the background).

    Hmm… after reading your Kewpie post, I suppose Shizuru’s thoughts about Natsuki’s mayonnaise doesn’t stand quite as well? I went to the site that you posted up and read it briefly; I vaguely remember them using distilled rice vinegar so it complements Japanese food quite well. Actually, I tried some Kewpie before I was more or less addicted to it (though surely not even an infinitesimal speck compared to Natsuki’s addiction).

    In case you’re not sure what I’m referring to, it’s this:
    At least mayonnaise seems to match a Western casserole better than some other things.

    1. It’s very satisfying to know that others follow those side activities around this writing and even do it themselves. And I don’t mind rambly comments at all; makes it more conversational, perhaps. ^_~

      Hm, yes, I dithered over Shizuru’s personal phrase, but like you said, I decided to keep to a narrower use of random Japanese. The connotation in the English suffices for me, anyway.

      > She opened her cell phone and punched a few buttons. That’s a good point about speed-dial. I had never thought of that. :P However, if I wanted to get more accurate, I remembered only later on that in Japan, cell phones are used less for making voice calls and more for messaging, e-mail, and internet. I could just cut after “phone” and leave all physical action in this scene as understood.

      > mayonnaise Yes, I did that sort of research after this chapter, sadly, but this is very easily fixed. :)

    2. I’m playing around and seeing if this will work. (I’m trying to make it so that the comment thing will move a lot more to the left.)

      Oh, heh, I wasn’t really focusing on whether or not the negi thing is canon. They were kind of out of character as far as things go, despite the fact that they are things that one could easily imagine them doing.

      Shizuru (at least, in my opinion) really knows where to draw the line as far as things go.

      Er, well, the Shizuru rampage withstanding.

      And by the way, has anyone told you yet how adorable the name “Du-chan” is?
      We all know Natsuki is squealing at the name’s cuteness.
      *begins nefarious plotting*
      </non sequitur>

      And curses, I forgot to close the parentheses on one of my comments, and worse yet, I stuck in another pair between those. =(

      I mean Arika and Nina with WANG.

      Ohhhhh! Rightrightright.
      *nods enthusiastically in complete agreement*


  3. Hmm, I don’t know, but I think that “feel impressed” would work slightly better in this case. (Refer to Through the dinner and their light conversation, the light brunette couldn’t help but be impressed.)

    Mm, Natsuki’s “Ah! Not yet; there’s something else.” doesn’t have any problem, technically, but I kind of associate the semicolon with someone who’s more… careful or “aware” of his or her words, or someone who is slightly more “refined” or someone who puts just a bit more thought to what he or she is saying with that slight (but pregnant!) pause.

    In short, I feel that the semicolon has a personality of its own and it’s incompatible with Natsuki’s brazen and impulsive little self. =)

    Even despite always being busy, has a bit of… shall we say, “tautological vibes” from it?

    And I think this is more along the lines of “preference” (again) but I think “senpai” is more… “official”? Despite the lack of standarisation in romaji. *wry*
    But my Japanese is rather lacking, so don’t mind me on that.

    Ahhh, that makes a lot more sense. I am sort of referring to tsents’ comment about the couch scene. You see, I was visualising Shizuru looking at Natsuki from the kitchen as she was doing dishes, or something. It’s still slightly confusing, but I can imagine it a lot better now.

    Her eyelids were frozen seems a bit… weird. I didn’t take it literally, of course, but it just feels kind of weird.

    Oh, I think “light wisps of hair” may be slightly better than She resisted the urge to wave away those light hairs tickling her face,? “Hairs” just make me think of little arm or leg hairs or something. =P

    And I find that, if a writer puts in time and care to write a good piece of fanfiction, readers should give constructive feedback as “something in return” though without the “obligation” vibes it carries. But I shouldn’t be one to say such things, since I almost never review. *wry*

    P.S. As you can see, I am enjoying the strikeout feature all too much.

    P.P.S. Any thoughts on the “you hate me that much?” (paraphrased?) comment on Shizuru’s part in Mai-HiME? I tried to make sense of it, since I found the Shiznat component sadly lacking toward the end. I got the feeling that they just put it in so they could get rid of two HiMEs at once in addition to the whole “lesbian” aspect. I’ve been mulling over it in my mind and trying to make it “work out”.

    (This is largely unnecessary, I know, since you track IP addresses for anonymous posts.)

    –> I’m too tired to proofread my own comments, so pardon any weird typos. I’ll do the other instalments later, perhaps.

    Argh, the dreaded comment limit. (I’m a spam robot!)

    1. > Not yet; there’s something else. You’re right. Dashes work much better for Natsuki-chan.

      I’m not sure about sempai vs. senpai. As far as I know, it’s a mixed phoneme anyway. I think as long as I’m consistent, it should be fine (also, the ‘m’ is closer to ‘p’ in phonemic production, so it just seems easier to pronounce ^_^;)

      Other comments duly noted.
      Also, re:Twister Couch, yes, I’m going to rewrite that entire section anyway. :) But that’s a good observation about the “light hairs.”

      > P.P.S. Actually, I’ve always liked that scene because I had read elsewhere about the significance of the statement in relation to the Japanese terms used. Refer here: http://www.jref.com/forum/showthread.php?t=10164

      “Omoi” doesn’t really mean “affection” as some translations may say. It might mean closer to “affect” in the emotive sense (noun). I’ve seen some definitions that include “heavy,” but many also use “thinking.” It’s kind of like how the English word “feeling” actually has two basic meanings. So if “omoi” is the Japanese term for a more nebulous but “heavy”(?) feeling about something, then Shizuru’s comment works just fine in that she thinks Natsuki’s omoi is along the negative side, hence her child’s new size.

      ^_^ Thanks! I won’t be editing my earlier chapters just yet, but this all adds up.

      1. Ohhhh, that makes a lot more sense now.

        I’ve always sort of been looking suspiciously at the word “affection” that they decided to use in the subs (by Static-Subs, I believe) and I wondered if there was another meaning to it, and I sorely wished, at that moment, to have a comprehensive knowledge of Japanese just so I could understand that little exchange between them properly, since a lot of the joy in such things is being able to read into the subtleties that are easily lost through translation.

        Of course, if one does not know the language, such is inevitable, but subs are just that little bit closer than dubs. (Anyway, Shizuru’s voice is too mesmerising to pass up for this… cowgirl Southern accent or something.)

        And it was only after commenting did I realise that there was this other post where you were talking about the bad reputation fanfiction had among your circle of friends. Frankly, I was quite surprised. Now, I know that a lot of fanfiction is really bad, but I feel that it is, in a way, a necessary evil. I’m not quite sure how to explain it– but it does make good fanfiction all that more enjoyable, in a way.

        I was thinking about “Syncope”, though, and I was thinking about what really set it apart from say, other Mai-HiME fanfiction, or just fanfiction in general. Right now, I think it’s at the point where it’s just mostly superior technical stuff. By that I mean it is memorable in the technical aspect, and not as much in the emotional aspect relatively. Of course, it’s not complete yet, so that can hardly be said definitely at this point. For example, I once read this piece of fanfiction, and there wasn’t much plot at all but it was very, very, very memorable on an emotional level, and had a pairing that I never really thought about before. (I am also of the mind that good characterisation is superior to a wonderful/engaging plot when pressed to choose just one.)

        –> A Mai-HiME equivalent to that pairing may be… hm, Yukino/Natsuki, just on the “I never really thought of them together” level and maybe also on the “but they already are ‘paired up’ with someone else and the pairing is really popular!” level.

        And yay for Castigation #1. =) I’d love to read more of those. But I don’t think there’s much to add to that without having it turn into a rant-like thing. Since it’s not overly “ranty” at this point.

        Oh right, what I’m saying is, right now, “Syncope” lacks that elusive X factor, but I’d love to see it develop or “ferment” as you put it? I’m not quite sure.

        P.S. And sometimes I read bad fanfiction just because I’m desperate. =)

        Also, I would kind of like to mention something else, but it’s a mini-spoiler so I’ll just address it elsewhere. As for the “reply to this” link, do you mean when I post two parts of a comment only? Because it makes sense if you mean it that way. Else, I’m not all too sure.


        1. Wa-ait a second here.

          If Shizuru said that comment, wouldn’t it be an admission of her being Natsuki’s Most Important Person?

          Of course, it’s quite easy to put it all down to “Shizuru’s not in her regular state of mind” but I prefer to have a more reasonable answer than that.

          I’m delving into “personal preference” again (though I felt like pointing it out), but I really don’t accept anything beyond the 26 episodes as “canon” since a lot of it is full of fan service.

          –> Mikoto’s panties, Natsuki in her lingerie, Mai and her bra, Midori buck naked clipping her toenails… And anyway, on a slightly different tangent now– Natsuki and her infamous “first encounter” with the lingerie-eating Orphan was rather OOC.

          Actually, I can’t quite remember the exact list of the things you accepted as canon. I remember you mentioning the prelude, but… that’s about it.

          Heh. Just ignore the weirder bits of my comments.


          1. > but it does make good fanfiction all that more enjoyable, in a way. Is this like the “if there’s no darkness, there’s no light” theory? Ha ha. :P

            > Of course, it’s not complete yet, so that can hardly be said definitely at this point. For example, I once read this piece of fanfiction, and there wasn’t much plot at all but it was very, very, very memorable on an emotional level… Yep, that’s kind of my point in the notes for this chapter as well. ^_~ I’m basically only getting the ball rolling with Part 1–practicing the actual writing techniques, as it were, and hopefully getting a feel for the characters before getting into the bigger things for Part 2. I think? We’ll see where this ends up. I hope it’ll be a decent journey either way.

            > I’d love to read more of those. Ha ha, there might be another one coming somewhere. At least a Squib (I just love that word).

            > Oh right, what I’m saying is, right now, “Syncope” lacks that elusive X factor, but I’d love to see it develop or “ferment” as you put it? I’m not quite sure. Yes, Part 1 will wrap up with more tension, I think, leading into Part 2, but making sure my current chapters work with the later outline is going to be the difficult part. Because the timeline I have for Part 2 is far more open-ended than Part 1, I’ll have a lot of time and space to play with. I’d like to say “I can’t wait!” but we all have to, because if I screw up the last three chapters of Part 1, well… It’s less than half completed now, at least.

            > P.S. And sometimes I read bad fanfiction just because I’m desperate. =) Is that healthy? :P Do you write?

            > As for the “reply to this” link, do you mean when I post two parts of a comment only? Yes, exactly. That way, the split comment looks threaded. ^_^

            > If Shizuru said that comment, wouldn’t it be an admission of her being Natsuki’s Most Important Person? Yep, there’s that other Logical Issue; the omoi interpretation only takes it so far. There is another way to look at it: When Natsuki regained her Pistol Powers (ha ha) earlier versus Shizuru, Shizuru didn’t make the connection that Natsuki was really saying that she was her most precious. Therefore, at the time of their last battle, Shizuru might have thought that Natsuki’s most precious was someone else. Since Natsuki was the one who busted in on Shizuru before the last battle, maybe Shizuru thinks that she can defeat Natsuki, even if she needs to destroy Duran; this theory only works if Shizuru believes she’s not Natsuki’s most precious (and as long as Kiyohime is okay, Natsuki is fine). That’s a lot of theory, though, since there isn’t really behavior to suggest it. It’s just my opinion that the writers really wanted to shoehorn their story into a double-suicide because Mai is the main character. ^_^;; But really, the last few episodes were pretty messy… and I have to clean it up a bit. T_T

            I’ve decided to ignore the DVD extras and CDs, for the most part. In the sticky post, the only real canonical references I list are the TV series with only the normal-length aired episode 26 and Natsuki’s Prelude. The research questions I ask are mainly just TV details I’ve forgotten or cultural questions. :)

              1. *cough* I didn’t even notice. ^^;

                I’m kind of still wondering if that’s what you mean– that with not being so “nitpicky” about writing in this sort of setting since it’s mostly conversational. Because if that is what you mean, I understand what you mean and agree completely– because being “nitpicky” over such things simply impedes communication instead of furthering it, since no one is quite so infallible as to never make a single grammatical or spelling mistake.

                I think, personally, I’m just the most sensitive when it comes to glaring errors, or common mistakes, since I feel each person has a “duty”, so to speak, to consciously make an effort to prevent making such mistakes. (I mean this for people who are, for various reasons– perhaps legitimate, perhaps not– “unable” to write properly.)

                You know… if there were a way to stop people who write really, really bad fanfiction from posting their things (say, until they’ve improved) then shouldn’t the idea of not allowing people who can’t write ever posting anything follow?

                I, uh, apologise for the… triple negative. Or double. I’m too confused at this point.

                Argh, I want to mention something “spoiler-ish”. Let’s just hope I remember it when I get back around to 0.2. ^^’ I hope I can remember which section I’m on.

                Right now, I’m just wondering if I’m
                1. Not organised enough,
                2. Got everything planned out in my head.

                When I write (I guess this answers that other question you posed) I don’t do (physical) timelines per se, but I do do research to make sure I’m not altogether ignorant of how it’s actually supposed to be.

                “Do do” looks… weird.


                P.S. And sometimes I read bad fanfiction just because I’m desperate. =) Is that healthy? :P Do you write?

                Weeeell… no, I don’t think it really is. ^^’ But a lot of the pairings I like are just too obscure or unpopular.

                For example, I really like Tomoe.
                Mind you, if I were to go about with your criteria in mind, I would agree completely. She is ridiculously stereotypical and flat.
                (I feel like making some corny comment about how Sunrise would never allow that to happen.

                Her being flat, I mean.)
                Now, you may ask why I like her. I don’t suppose I have any “logical” reason for it– if I had, I would probably write her off as another psycho lesbian at that.

                I am one of those people who believe “if it isn’t there, write it!” since that has to be true to some degree, no? (I mean if there’s something I want to read and it’s not there, I should be the one who actively goes out to do it.)

                But I think one of the reasons is how I like to try and come up with something for Tomoe. Just like how the writers didn’t really care about continuity or plot when they killed off both Shizuru and Natsuki at the same time in HiME, I like coming up with various ideas.

                I mean, come on, when Tomoe realised Shizuru tricked her by stealing the key and left, why did she go for the ugly ant when Shizuru was obviously trying to protect Kruger?

                Because they were trying to squish everything into the last two episodes, of course.
                Since they loved the daddy complex so much and put so much time into it.

                Hehe, I’m ranting now. But there isn’t much that needs to be said that other Mai-HiME fans haven’t pointed out yet. Shizuru and Kruger are just the carrotbait us silly asses donkeys fall for.

                And you know, there’s another hole in the whole Most Important Person ploy. Or at least, the HiME thing. Nagi said the HiME would die if the Child died. But Akane was just a living, breathing, whimpering mess.

                Oh well. I admit I really enjoyed the idea behind the whole HiME thing though. (But I really wish they’d come up with better acronyms. Let’s not even get started on “GEM”.) I think the ending was crummy– not on a technical standpoint like you, though. I’d just chalk it up to another bit of Sunrise’s carelessness.

                1. Oh, and a question– aren’t you… irked, when people are “inspired” by you? I mean when someone was “inspired” to use a Du-chan look-alike after reading “Syncope”.

                  I’m sorry, I’m just reading your comment about how “dead > scratched eyeball”. And I can’t stop laughing.

                  By the way, I think it’s awesome how you’ve got everything organised so methodically here on this LiveJournal account– all separated into various categories and the like. Very, very easy to navigate. Kudos. =)


                  1. > I’m kind of still wondering if that’s what you mean– that with not being so “nitpicky” about writing in this sort of setting since it’s mostly conversational.
                    Yes, that’s it. Also, you can’t go back and edit comments in Livejournal. Certain settings are more prone to errors as well (e.g. IRC). People never speak in purely proper English because our thought processes are never so linear, and on some online environments, this shows. Good or bad thing? I think it’s just the nature of certain communications, but everyone should be required to learn to write correctly, of course. We’re also missing a lot of paralinguistics. I still do make the distinction of published vs. nonpublished material, ultimately. :)

                    > do do research
                    Technically, since research is both noun and verb, “I do research” should work fine. Of course, with the lost stress, people may get confused. :P

                    A lot of people like Tomoe. I just chalk it up to the Crazy Factor™. A lot of people, especially younger ones, just enjoy a good Crazy. ^_^; Adds some color, perhaps. And yes, characters lacking backstory and stuff are great for practicing fanfiction, I guess.

                    [sigh] I wish writers would figure out that SQUISHING ANYTHING IS NEVER A GOOD THING. EVER. Also, I’ve never seen a scrolling comment before. O_O Don’t even get me started on the statutory-rape/perversion thing.

                    > Nagi said the HiME would die if the Child died.
                    I don’t recall ever seeing that in the particular fansub I watched. In the sub I have, he just said something like “You’ll lose the most important thing to you.”

                    > I mean when someone was “inspired” to use a Du-chan look-alike after reading “Syncope”.
                    I’m unaware of this, but that’s not too surprising either. Most of the fanfics I’ve skimmed over repeat things from elsewhere, although this may be attributed to being just mundane. (Example of copying: even the word “ministrations”–I swear I’ve skimmed several fanfics that use this same word, but it’s NOT a common word to use. Someone must have started it.) As long as there’s no plagiarism, it can’t be helped if wannabe authors are plain uncreative. Besides, I’m sure other wannabe authors are predictable and make sure it’s always Natsuki who ends up with a toy dog. :P I have a real purpose for Du-chan; it’s not “fluffy.” [cough] I suppose I’m glad that readers can catch these things, though. ^_^

                    1. Mm, yes, I know “I do research” would suffice, but in my mind, I was thinking of putting some emphasis on the fact that I do do research.

                      “That that” looks weird too, but it sounds weirder without it at times.

                      Unlike you, though, I sprinkle Japanese terms here and there on occasion in fanfiction. I’m of the mind that anyone reading fanfiction for anime should at least have a basic grasp of “need-to-know” terms. “Negi” is pretty much secured as THE Shiznat inside joke. (Poor Natsuki-chan…)

                      And actually, no, it’s just that Tomoe strikes a chord with me. And it doesn’t hurt that I like Tanaka Rie too. =)
                      (I keep thinking of math and chord properties when I think of “chord”, for some reason. =\)

                      Eh… I’ll finish replying later.

                      *waves and vamooses*


                    2. Haha, I feel “important” for being the influence behind new sections. =P

                      And ooo, Du-chan has a “purpose”? *feels curious* This is the bad part about corresponding with the author of a work– you start feeling curious but you know you don’t want to find out or know what things mean until you can read it. Well, at least that’s so, for me.

                      Mm, I don’t see giving Tomoe backstory so much as “practicing fanfiction”, but more of a “project”. Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not focusing so much on “backstory” as on justifying Tomoe’s actions, while I ignore the more illogical bits. It’s ridiculous how Tomoe survived the fall, but hey, I’m not complaining that she’s alive, canonically. But admittedly, the whole episode 20 Tomoe/Shizuru interaction was rather surprising.

                      Tomoe’s “craziness”, I just felt it was another lame, clichéd attempt by Sunrise to put more obstacles up.
                      Why is it that the people with money and the resources are the idiots? The ones that are satisfied with a mediocre job? </rhetorical>
                      And so I’m rather sympathetic towards Tomoe, but perhaps that’s just me being maudlin and biased, to an extent.
                      The whole “battle” was weird. I felt that really was no true premise or basis for the whole thing.

                      On another note, I felt that Shizuru was acting rather un-Shizuru-like by almost doing an “in your face!” thing to Tomoe when they “confronted” each other near the end. Shizuru was very in character when she had that little talk with Tomoe, though– how Shizuru said Tomoe reminded her of herself when she was younger. And there was this faint wistfulness the way she said it.

                      Don’t even get me started on the statutory-rape/perversion thing.

                      Er, I suppose I’m “getting you started” on it, but are you referring to Arika and Nina, respectively?

                      > Nagi said the HiME would die if the Child died.
                      I don’t recall ever seeing that in the particular fansub I watched. In the sub I have, he just said something like “You’ll lose the most important thing to you.”

                      Ehh… let me check. I took notes on that part.

                      Hmmmm. I think I’m confused. =) I had so many ideas just sitting in my brain (not necessarily fermenting, alas) and to say more may “give away” this little idea of mine– I hope to get around to actually writing it one day, though. It’d have to be AU, since I really don’t like how all the focus was on Mai and the weird little “confrontation” thing they had in the end. Why can’t it be more like Maria-sama ga Miteru and not have some “ohmygosh” final battle? Geez.

                      Or at least, stick some variety in it, yeah?


                    3. Yay, I figured out how to “align” the posts. =)

                      (Don’t mind me– I’m just playing around and trying out various things.)


                    4. Ha! Editing comments for grammar? You are crazy. :P Perhaps “I do the research”?

                      > Unlike you, though, I sprinkle Japanese terms here and there on occasion in fanfiction.
                      I can see your point. My narrower view is just “If I can’t give a clear yet implied definition within the immediate context, I can’t use it” (e.g. food names and other easily contextual cultural nouns–which I obviously use). I’ve seen entire dialogue sentences as Japanese, but I think that’s stupid. Also, I’m not sure it’s fair to assume the negi joke is required canon. Firstly, in the United States, only the DVDs have been released, not the CDs. Not everyone will be able to find the translations online. Heck, I had no clue about the extended episode 26 until it was too late. But, well, everyone should know that my canon list is shorter than most people’s. ^_^; Lowest common denominator, perhaps.

                      Guess I shouldn’t speak another word about poor Du-chan. :X
                      And I think I’ll just leave Tomoe to her fan club. ^_^;

                      > statutory-rape/perversion thing
                      I mean Arika and Nina with WANG. [gagging] T_T …[barf]

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