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Web novel in progress - YOUKAI MOKUSHI (feedback wanted) [UPDATED]

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#1
Jun 6, 8:27 PM

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EDIT 6: My fever is gone and new chapters will be uploaded here whenever I feel like it: https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/2861
EDIT 7: After asking the Honeyfeed community for help with Japanese names, "YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU" has been renamed to "YOUKAI MOKUSHI" and "Atarashiijigoku" has been renamed "Niijigoku"

For the last month or so I've been working on a sci-fi/supernatural genre hybrid story called "YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU" (working title) "YOUKAI MOKUSHI". It's currently in a first draft phase, but I want to know what people think before I get too far, in case anyone suggests a huge change that I like the sound of, or something like that

I've currently written 4 chapters (referred to within the story as "NIGHTMARE"s) but the second, third and fourth are in very early stages. I hope they should be efficient enough to give a general idea of the tone and my writing style, though I've currently written 6 chapters (including the PROLOGUE chapter 0). I'm happy with all of them in their current state, but I could always use ideas/suggestions for how to improve them and YOUKAI MOKUSHI going forward as a whole

I'm a firm believer of "don't dish out what you can't receive" or however that saying goes and since I'm quite ruthless when criticizing media, I want honest critique of my own work in return

I've never published any of my writing in any form before, so this is a new experience for me. I have published a novel before, so I'm not new to this sort of thing, or anything, so don't be afraid to be harsh in your critique, if you think it's warranted

EDIT: Fixed some punctuation and formatting as per everybody's current feedback. Thanks, everyone!
EDIT 2: More significant fixes such as in-universe descriptions of characters added. Thanks again, everyone! :)
EDIT 3: A rough draft of chapter 2 is up now
EDIT 4: A rough draft of chapter 3 is up now. I've also added content disclaimers to my post. Kaiji Gojou isn't a nice person, guys. Chapter 2 has also been slightly updated
EDIT 5: A VERY rough draft of chapter 4 is up now. Chapter 3 has also been slightly updated
Modified by Laika_Moonlight, Oct 13, 1:47 PM
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https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#2
Jun 6, 9:45 PM

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can't judge much since it's a single chapter, but it has nice world building and rie seems like an interesting character. i like it, but for myself giving an opinion i'd need 4 or 6 chapters to give my proper thoughs

8/10, if this is your first time writing something it's good. keep it up, perhaps this will get a LN version lol
 
 
#3
Jun 7, 3:29 AM

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GanjiMEX said:
can't judge much since it's a single chapter, but it has nice world building and rie seems like an interesting character. i like it, but for myself giving an opinion i'd need 4 or 6 chapters to give my proper thoughs

8/10, if this is your first time writing something it's good. keep it up, perhaps this will get a LN version lol

Thanks for the feedback! Yeah, it's perfectly understandable to need more chapters to form an opinion

I might just add new chapters to this post as I write them maybe
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#4
Jun 7, 5:00 AM

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#5
Jun 7, 5:33 AM

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My main issue is with the formatting, although as you explained at the start of the post that's probably just because it was copypasted from Word. Other than that I only have minor nitpicks, most of which Partyu already mentioned.

The writing style itself is rather unique (I personally like the omission of detail, it leaves more to the readers' imagination). I also love how every character's name seems to be a pun. (I'd be very surprised is Rie Satou isn't a satori, LOL.)

If you're looking for suggestions, then I'd maybe suggest changing You's name to Gen/Gendou/etc. (as a play off "ningen"), although I assume there's probably a pun in "You Tachibana" that I'm just not seeing... I'm guessing he's called You because the story is written in the first person, in which case may I suggest changing it to "Yuu"? LOL.

I'm not really sure what else to add. Uh... Rie best girl?
* HEY-HE Y HEY!!! I HAVE JUST.
* THE THING.
* YOU NEED.
* THAT'S RIGHT!! NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A [[BIG SHOT]]!!

 
#6
Jun 7, 5:34 AM

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Thanks so much for the feedback!
Partyu said:
You should double-check when using words that may or may not need hyphens. (e.g. well-maintained, in fact)
I've always had trouble with hyphens, honestly. My English teacher always used to tell me I used too many, so I dialed it back. Perhaps now I've dialed it back a bit too much? Lol

Partyu said:
Try to describe and establish appearances more thoroughly, instead of just using words like "samurai-looking." Rie's "long, open black cardigan" and other details about her should also be described earlier in her introduction, so that the reader gets a good grasp of what she looks like. Same for the other characters and the locations.
I actually made character sheets which I was planning to include at the very beginning of the story with pictures of all the significant characters, but it totally slipped my mind that I posted this rough draft without them. My bad! That's why I described Gin in more detail than anyone else, since he isn't a significant character going forward, and doesn't have a character sheet

Partyu said:
Instead of always using dialogue tags (e.g. said, cried, groaned, called out, began) to cap off sentences with dialogue, it might be better to just simply describe what the character is doing, or their facial expressions/body language. This adds description and prevents your sentence structure from becoming repetitive - not every sentence featuring dialogue needs to describe how the character is talking. Plus it's easy to run out of unique dialogue tags really fast lol.

Thanks so much for the suggestion, since that was actually really bothering me too. It looked super "off", but I couldn't quite put my finger on why

Partyu said:
Quotations within quotations should be in single quotation marks. (e.g. 'Four Divine Kings')

Oh, I never knew that. That reads much better, thanks!

Partyu said:
Onomatopoeia shouldn't be in quotations unless a character is making that sound. If you use onomatopoeia, it should probably be italicized and/or placed in its own paragraph. But it might be better to just describe the object that is making the sound and/or how it is making it. Same for signs - you can describe the material they're printed on, the size of the font, the wear and tear, what they're placed/taped/nailed on, stuff that will help ground the text in the setting.

Thanks for these tips as well! I kinda like the idea of keeping the origin of the sounds a mystery (even if only for a few seconds) because... I dunno, I just do I guess? Lol

Partyu said:
Atarashii Jigoku kind of threw me off as a city name. Maybe Shin Jigoku instead? To me it feels like the difference between new York and New York, if that makes sense. But take this with a grain of salt lol

You might be right, but I kind of wanted to avoid using "Shin Jigoku" since that's already the name of a location in Touhou Project, which is a series that heavily inspired YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU. "New York" but it's like Hell was kind of what I was going for, so I'll keep "Shin Jigoku" in mind for the city name. I have a very limited knowledge of the Japanese language so any advice anyone can give me there is appreciated

Partyu said:
Hairdresser oni is a cute idea and I always appreciate scissors being used as weapons

Glad to hear it! Although I can't take credit for the hairdresser oni idea, since the actual Ibaraki-douji of myth (who formed the basis for the character Kii Ibarra) was said to have worked as a barber before joining Shuten-douji

Again, thanks for all the help/feedback!

@Partyu Thanks! I've been looking forward to sharing this story with everyone!
Modified by Laika_Moonlight, Jun 7, 5:50 AM
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#7
Jun 7, 5:48 AM

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Kii_Ibarra said:
I've always had trouble with hyphens, honestly. My English teacher always used to tell me I used too many, so I dialed it back. Perhaps now I've dialed it back a bit too much? Lol

To be honest, I had to double-check "double-check" too xP

Kii_Ibarra said:
You might be right, but I kind of wanted to avoid using "Shin Jigoku" since that's already the name of a location in Touhou Project, which is a series that heavily inspired YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU.

That's actually really funny lol, I didn't know about that.

Anyway, hope writing the rest of it goes well for you!
 
#8
Jun 7, 5:49 AM

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Kuroni_Kuru said:
My main issue is with the formatting, although as you explained at the start of the post that's probably just because it was copypasted from Word. Other than that I only have minor nitpicks, most of which Partyu already mentioned.

Yeah, true. Even on Word, the formatting probably needs minor touch-ups (such as individual paragraphs for each character's dialogue)

Kuroni_Kuru said:
The writing style itself is rather unique (I personally like the omission of detail, it leaves more to the readers' imagination).

Thanks, but you're giving me too much credit, lol. I wrote the "past" segment (and also the fight between Kii & Rie and Gin) to be less detailed since You (the story's narrator) isn't present in those scenes, but the rest is unintentionally vague.

Kuroni_Kuru said:
I also love how every character's name seems to be a pun. (I'd be very surprised is Rie Satou isn't a satori, LOL.)

You would be correct, Rie is a satori. The puns sort of end there though... except for with the main antagonists, the Tsukiyumi family. I'm really looking forward to writing for them, since I based one of them heavily on myself, lol

Kuroni_Kuru said:
If you're looking for suggestions, then I'd maybe suggest changing You's name to Gen/Gendou/etc. (as a play off "ningen"), although I assume there's probably a pun in "You Tachibana" that I'm just not seeing... I'm guessing he's called You because the story is written in the first person, in which case may I suggest changing it to "Yuu"? LOL.

You are correct. I named him You so that other characters would sound almost as if they're talking to the reader when addressing him. Since he's half-American, I could've given him a more western name like Hugh Mann, lol. I didn't really put much thought into his last name, aside from that I really like the sound of the surname Tachibana

Kuroni_Kuru said:
I'm not really sure what else to add. Uh... Rie best girl?

You read my mind! Ha. Satori pun. Rie is indeed best girl!

@Kuroni_Kuru What's up, people?!
Modified by Laika_Moonlight, Jun 9, 4:49 PM
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https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#9
Jun 7, 6:03 AM

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Honestly, seeing the word "ningen" in the middle of an English sentence automatically makes me think of the second Death Note opening. Now I really want someone in this story to say "Hey, hey! Ningen sucker!" LOL.
* HEY-HE Y HEY!!! I HAVE JUST.
* THE THING.
* YOU NEED.
* THAT'S RIGHT!! NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A [[BIG SHOT]]!!

 
 
Jun 7, 7:01 AM

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Thanks to everybody's feedback, I've (slightly) updated YOUKAI MOKUSHIROUKU's 1ST NIGHTMARE (GHOST TOWN). My original post has also been updated to reflect these changes. Hopefully it reads a bit better now

That said, I know it's still far from perfect, so any critique/review/feedback/etc is still greatly appreciated
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
Jun 7, 7:18 AM

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I can't say much considering it's only one chapter, Although I do have some points

Tachibana doesn't really feel that surprised of what's happening, This random girl knows information about him, Another girl tried to throw scissors at his forehead and they're both fighting this guy with a fish tail and a long mustache trying to cut his mustache.

The readers are in Tachibana's shoes, They don't know what's going on, I think making him more surprised or confused would be more appropriate, Right now he feels like he deals with these situations on the daily.

Also, I hope the fact that his name is You doesn't confuse people, I think it could make for some interesting double meanings tho, Like in foreshadowing or something.

I think the fact that he's looking for youkai is pretty unique, In many Isekai, fantasy
or supernatural shows, The MC's just thrown into the mix without him caring, Tachibana wants to be thrown into the mix tho, He seems enthusiastic and curious to know more about Rie and Kii

This is pretty intriguing ngl, I want to know more about the world, I want to know more about Tachibana, I want to see the correlation of the oni and samurai fight to the story

Edit: I second Partyu's point on describing appearances
Modified by Nalusa_Falaya, Jun 7, 7:22 AM
I don't speak English that much, so please cut me some slack
 
 
Jun 7, 8:00 AM

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Nalusa_Falaya said:
Tachibana doesn't really feel that surprised of what's happening, This random girl knows information about him, Another girl tried to throw scissors at his forehead and they're both fighting this guy with a fish tail and a long mustache trying to cut his mustache.
The readers are in Tachibana's shoes, They don't know what's going on, I think making him more surprised or confused would be more appropriate, Right now he feels like he deals with these situations on the daily.

Thanks! Somehow that had completely slipped my mind, I'm definitely going to have to revise that. The last thing I want is for You to feel unrealistically unfazed


Nalusa_Falaya said:
Also, I hope the fact that his name is You doesn't confuse people, I think it could make for some interesting double meanings tho, Like in foreshadowing or something.

I hope it's not too confusing either. I actually previously named a character in another story "You" before, but I changed that character's name to "Yoi" for that very reason. I definitely want to do some sort of wordplay or foreshadowing with it
although I will have to keep in mind that the name You isn't actually pronounced the same as "you"

Nalusa_Falaya said:
I think the fact that he's looking for youkai is pretty unique, In many Isekai, fantasy
or supernatural shows, The MC's just thrown into the mix without him caring, Tachibana wants to be thrown into the mix tho, He seems enthusiastic and curious to know more about Rie and Kii

This is pretty intriguing ngl, I want to know more about the world, I want to know more about Tachibana, I want to see the correlation of the oni and samurai fight to the story

Thanks so much! I really wanted to stand out from other Japanese (or Japanese inspired in this case) fantasy stories, while still using youkai since they fascinate me


Nalusa_Falaya said:
Edit: I second Partyu's point on describing appearances

Ok, noted! I'll be sure to add better descriptions for the characters within the story itself rather than just on the character sheets which I really should've included somewhere in my original post, lol
Luckily, I think I already gave a pretty decent description for the next main character to be introduced


Thanks again, for the feedback!
Modified by Laika_Moonlight, Jun 9, 4:52 PM
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Jun 7, 12:25 PM
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I'm not very adept with writing n such so think of me as an average reader. I will start by saying that the story and ideas are great. The subtilty of the way some details are introduced is very good. I think generally this is a good read. I did find a few things confusing though... for example in the prologue of this chapter, when the girls' arm gets chopped off I feel like her emotion isn't relayed well enough. The situation seemed chaotic for her with utter shock, yet she somewhat calmly says: "My arm!?" instead of
MY ARM!! A simple change like this would've kept me interested since it's so much more fitting for this scene. It stopped me from continuing and got me thinking if I misread something instead, so I had to go back to re-read that part.
Onto the next part - - I don't know where you wanna go with this--like is it a book? manga? I don't know since it seems like both and not one over the other. I think if you wanna go places with this story, you should establish it yourself whether or not its a book or manga. This story looks like a lot of work put into it so I don't think you would want it to just be a "story" with an identity crisis.
I also dislike how the story is mixed with random Japanese. Like why does kii say "ningen" instead of "human"? The honorifics are ok like chan, san, kun and so forth but these random Japanese words better have meaning behind them if you continue it in the story like that. Otherwise it's just distracting to me and ruins my flow. Lastly, your emphasis on what the characters are doing may be a little over the top sometimes. I don't remember any specific examples, but I do remember my flow going from excited to bored because I had to go through a wall of what everyone is doing.

In the end, these are only minor details to me. Your story is quite good and I would like to see the second chapter when it gets polished up. :D
 
Jun 7, 1:55 PM

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Iciyx said:
I'm not very adept with writing n such so think of me as an average reader. I will start by saying that the story and ideas are great. The subtilty of the way some details are introduced is very good. I think generally this is a good read.

Thanks so much for the feedback!

Iciyx said:
I did find a few things confusing though... for example in the prologue of this chapter, when the girls' arm gets chopped off I feel like her emotion isn't relayed well enough. The situation seemed chaotic for her with utter shock, yet she somewhat calmly says: "My arm!?" instead of
MY ARM!! A simple change like this would've kept me interested since it's so much more fitting for this scene. It stopped me from continuing and got me thinking if I misread something instead, so I had to go back to re-read that part.

You have a good point. Of all the text I capitalized, I'm not sure why I didn't write "MY ARM!"... That does seem more appropriate for the situation

Iciyx said:
Onto the next part - - I don't know where you wanna go with this--like is it a book? manga? I don't know since it seems like both and not one over the other. I think if you wanna go places with this story, you should establish it yourself whether or not its a book or manga. This story looks like a lot of work put into it so I don't think you would want it to just be a "story" with an identity crisis.

I'm honestly not too sure about that myself, lol. I'm kind of thinking maybe a digital book, but I'm not really sure. I'd really like to possibly have it animated one day, but I'm not sure that's too likely, lol. I really should start thinking about what kind of medium YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU will be... I definitely don't think I could pull off a manga, though. I've dabbled in writing comic books before and I've found I'm pretty bad at drawing, lol

Iciyx said:
I also dislike how the story is mixed with random Japanese. Like why does kii say "ningen" instead of "human"? The honorifics are ok like chan, san, kun and so forth but these random Japanese words better have meaning behind them if you continue it in the story like that. Otherwise it's just distracting to me and ruins my flow.

I totally understand why you'd think that, since I'm usually not too fond of integrating foreign language words into a story in a gratuitous manner either. I anticipated that my use of "ningen" would possibly get a "Just according to keikaku. TL note: 'Keikaku' means 'Plan'."-type of reaction from a few readers. I just sort of thought it felt kind of odd to refer to the youkai characters by their Japanese species names while referring to humans by the English word. Outside of "ningen", various youkai species names, and some borrowed words used in English (eg "samurai") I have no intention to mix gratuitous Japanese into the story. The only other use of non-English words I intend to include is with one of the minor villains referring to an ookami shoujo (werewolf) as their "little laika" ("Laika" being the Russian word for something that barks typically a dog)

Iciyx said:
In the end, these are only minor details to me. Your story is quite good and I would like to see the second chapter when it gets polished up. :D

Again, thanks for the feedback! I think feedback from potential "average readers" is just as important as that of professionals or other aspiring authors!
I hope everyone enjoys reading chapter 2 and any/all future chapters as much as I enjoy writing them! :)
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
Jun 7, 6:20 PM

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I think everyone has pointed out what I wanted to say.

On the other hand, have you heard of Scrivener? Many authors use this.
 
 
Jun 7, 6:29 PM

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TheZilla said:
On the other hand, have you heard of Scrivener? Many authors use this.

Ah, I hadn't heard of it before but I looked it up! Seems pretty handy but I don't really have money to spend currently, since my Joy-Cons are drifting and buying new ones is my top priority right now, lol

Thanks so much for the suggestion though, and I'll maybe look into it next time I have money to spend!
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
Jun 8, 4:41 AM

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I couldn't really give full feedback without knowing the intended form of the work and how you intended it to develop, but just off the top of my head:


  • If it's aligned centre in the Word document as well, it shouldn't be. Left, with indents to start each paragraph and speaker is proper form.
  • You have Ellipses used quite often. Not incorrectly, but it's a generally a good idea to use them as little as possible. The same is true for stammering or using all-capital text, it's usually better to use narration to express such speaking.
  • Exposition is incredibly important. As it stands, you're only using footnotes, many of which are in completely bizarre locations - you only address that Oni are sometimes called Ogres in English towards the end of the excerpt, when that's something you should mention within the actual body of the text, and nigh immediately as it begins.
  • In that same vein, you need to consider the existing knowledge you expect from the reader. You can't ensure they know what a Mary Jane or Dali mustache is, so it's better to actually describe their appearances.
  • Honourifics. Just as with Ellipses, you can have them, but you should endeavor to not. If you're writing in English, using a holdover from Japanese just breaks the flow. (For that matter, are they actually speaking Japanese in-canon? You could address it, and mention the protagonist noticing the Honourifics in narration, this way both getting them in whilst keeping the sanctity of dialogue.)
  • Mentioning the Moon and aliens currently reads like a completely unnecessary detour, assuming they don't actually appear later on (as I said, I can't accurately say without knowing). As for the Moon, calling it Luna is odd. Is this supposed to be a slightly alternate world, or a normal one (minus the Youkai of course)? If it's the latter, it would be strange to call it Luna rather than the Moon. If it's the former, then i should be more apparent in other respects. Show a US flag with 48 stars, mention a country like East Brazil, just some other details to clue the reader in that things are different.
  • We don't get to see enough of Atarashiijigoku. As it stands we know nothing about it other than it's in Japan and it's got Youkai. What you could do is spend some time just to describe it; is it by the sea or in the mountains, is it modern or old-fashioned, is it rich or poor, and so on.
  • Towards the end you have a day pass incredibly suddenly, right in the middle of the paragraph. You must always accompany a scene change and especially a major shift in time with a new paragraph, and usually a line break too.
  • There needs to be a lot more done with the protagonist, and every character for that matter. For instance, ask yourself; Why did he pick Youkai for his thesis? What do his parents or friends think? What does he already know about Youkai? What do his parents know (Having met there, I assume they're Youkai themselves or something along those lines)? How has he been handling Japan so far? How is he handling this situation? What does he now want to do? What does he expect to happen? And so on, and so forth. There's a lot the reader needs to know to accurately characterise him.
  • And though not as important as everything else, you need to be very careful when describing the protagonist getting dressed in the morning. As it stands, you're veering slightly into Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way territory.


There's a bit more I'd want to say, but most of it is what everyone else has already said, such as appearances. (Even something as simple as "a robot arm" could have many possible looks. Is it silver? bronze? black? Does it light up, does it have holes? etc).
 
Jun 8, 6:11 AM

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Thanks so much for the feedback!
Thigh_Tide said:
If it's aligned centre in the Word document as well, it shouldn't be. Left, with indents to start each paragraph and speaker is proper form.

I do have it centered in the document as well. I had no idea there was a "proper form". I find it easier to proofread my work when it's centered but I'll definitely revert that back to the left for the final version then

Thigh_Tide said:
You have Ellipses used quite often. Not incorrectly, but it's a generally a good idea to use them as little as possible. The same is true for stammering or using all-capital text, it's usually better to use narration to express such speaking.

I suppose I've maybe been too influenced by video game dialogue when writing, since that's where I'm most used-to reading written text. I'll definitely consider revising that though

Thigh_Tide said:
Exposition is incredibly important. As it stands, you're only using footnotes, many of which are in completely bizarre locations - you only address that Oni are sometimes called Ogres in English towards the end of the excerpt, when that's something you should mention within the actual body of the text, and nigh immediately as it begins.

That's a very interesting point! I (perhaps incorrectly) assumed outside of the context of my original post (looking for feedback) that most people willingly reading a story with "YOUKAI" in the title would already know what an oni is, since they're one of the most recognizable youkai. I also didn't really think that the story's narrator You Tachibana, being a youkai expert, would make the mistake of confusing oni for ogres. I merely provided the footnote to give any unfamiliar readers a (maybe too) basic idea of what oni are without having to do much research.
I'm also worried with certain footnotes that putting them near the beginning would spoil the contents of the chapter. For example, I don't want to explain what "moon rabbits" are right before the chapter that ends with the reveal that a mysterious object that appears in the sky is an alien spaceship, since that sort of ruins the surprise

Thigh_Tide said:
In that same vein, you need to consider the existing knowledge you expect from the reader. You can't ensure they know what a Mary Jane or Dali mustache is, so it's better to actually describe their appearances.

That's a very fair point, but aside from using their names, I don't really know how I'd describe a Mary Jane or a Dalí mustache. If anyone has better descriptions for them I'd be very happy to hear them

Thigh_Tide said:
Honourifics. Just as with Ellipses, you can have them, but you should endeavor to not. If you're writing in English, using a holdover from Japanese just breaks the flow. (For that matter, are they actually speaking Japanese in-canon? You could address it, and mention the protagonist noticing the Honourifics in narration, this way both getting them in whilst keeping the sanctity of dialogue.)

In order to justify my inclusion of honorifics I should first point out that, yes, everyone is YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU is canonically speaking in Japanese (except when they're not, which will always be addressed when it happens). I thought it would sound odd in a story written in English to have characters refer to others by just their last names, but if they referred to everyone by first name (as is usually standard in English) I'm worried it wouldn't feel like they're speaking Japanese anymore (or at-least not formal Japanese anyway). I also wanted to include honorifics to make a potential Japanese translation easier, without translators having to ask for my input on what honorific each character should use to refer to any other given character

Thigh_Tide said:
Mentioning the Moon and aliens currently reads like a completely unnecessary detour, assuming they don't actually appear later on (as I said, I can't accurately say without knowing).

I'm honestly kind of surprised you're the first person to point that out. But yes, there will be aliens in this story. The main antagonists are from Luna

Thigh_Tide said:
As for the Moon, calling it Luna is odd. Is this supposed to be a slightly alternate world, or a normal one (minus the Youkai of course)? If it's the latter, it would be strange to call it Luna rather than the Moon. If it's the former, then i should be more apparent in other respects. Show a US flag with 48 stars, mention a country like East Brazil, just some other details to clue the reader in that things are different.

Does the use of "Luna" really sound weird? That's an actual name for Earth's moon in real life as well as what I've always personally called it, lol Looking at Wikipedia's article for the Moon, apparently "Moon" in the sense of "the Moon" (Earth's moon) is a proper noun, so I'm going to have to change that as well, lol.
I feel the world of YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU is the same as ours (except for the youkai supposing they really are just a myth) just farther into the future (100 years at time of writing). I do intend later down the line (about chapter 3) to scatter more hints about how the world has changed over the last hundred years (everything from climate to technology and everything in between)

Thigh_Tide said:
We don't get to see enough of Atarashiijigoku. As it stands we know nothing about it other than it's in Japan and it's got Youkai. What you could do is spend some time just to describe it; is it by the sea or in the mountains, is it modern or old-fashioned, is it rich or poor, and so on.

While I do intend to reveal much more about the city as the story progresses, I'm glad you brought to my attention how little I've currently revealed about it. I definitely should've mentioned stuff like where it's situated (even which island of Japan it's in would be a good start) and maybe when it was founded

Thigh_Tide said:
Towards the end you have a day pass incredibly suddenly, right in the middle of the paragraph. You must always accompany a scene change and especially a major shift in time with a new paragraph, and usually a line break too.

Thanks for this tip as well! I'll be sure to do that!

Thigh_Tide said:
There needs to be a lot more done with the protagonist, and every character for that matter. For instance, ask yourself; Why did he pick Youkai for his thesis? What do his parents or friends think? What does he already know about Youkai? What do his parents know (Having met there, I assume they're Youkai themselves or something along those lines)?

Being that this is only chapter one, there's still plenty of characterization in store. Based on everyone's feedback, perhaps I haven't created a good enough baseline for everyone's characters. Kii and Rie are (at this point in the story) still meant to be mysterious to both the reader and to You, so I purposefully tried to keep them vague. I'll definitely work on characterizing You more though right from the offset. You's thesis will come into play later, right now I'm sort of hoping it just serves as a sort of "hook" as well as subtle worldbuilding and foreshadowing.


Thigh_Tide said:
And though not as important as everything else, you need to be very careful when describing the protagonist getting dressed in the morning. As it stands, you're veering slightly into Ebony Dark'ness Dementia Raven Way territory.

I haven't read My Immortal but I don't intend to reference characters getting dressed in the morning other than in that one scene (and potentially one other time going forward, but I'm still working that scene out)

Again, thanks for the feedback! I'll be sure to incorporate it into my writing!
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Kii_Ibarra said:
Thanks to everybody's feedback, I've (slightly) updated YOUKAI MOKUSHIROUKU's 1ST NIGHTMARE (GHOST TOWN). My original post has also been updated to reflect these changes. Hopefully it reads a bit better now

That said, I know it's still far from perfect, so any critique/review/feedback/etc is still greatly appreciated


1ST NIGHTMARE has again been updated. Thanks again for all the feedback, everybody! The second part of that quote still applies as well though, so let me know if there's anything else I can/should change
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Jun 8, 9:02 AM

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Umm, Are you gonna post the 2nd chapter/nightmare when you complete it, And if so, Can you tag me when you do so ?

I'm interested in reading it tbh
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Nalusa_Falaya said:
Umm, Are you gonna post the 2nd chapter/nightmare when you complete it, And if so, Can you tag me when you do so ?

I'm interested in reading it tbh

Yes, I think I probably will post it! And thank you for your interest!

EDIT: @Nalusa_Falaya Very rough draft of the 2ND NIGHTMARE "HEADLESS HONCHO" is up now
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Jun 8, 1:46 PM

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Finished the 2nd chapter/nightmare

I like it more than the previous one tbh, I'm glad we got some slow time with the characters and the convo between Kii, Rie, You and Duu is my favorite part so far.

I'm interested to see the relationship between Kii, Rie and Duu, And what makes You special that Rie told him about being Youkai.

I don't have much to say, This chapter was more magnified than chapter one, Which was pretty packed with info, I'm glad you slowed down things for us to get to know the characters but at the same time planting some "build up seeds" for next events

Although, There's something I don't get, Was Gojou outside the barbershop waiting for her arm to malfunction ? Or did he know when it'll malfunction, Like some type of expiration date or intentional bug or smth ?

Also, This is probably too soon but I'm interested in chapter 3 lol
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I'm sure someone's probably going to tell you that You should be more shocked that someone removed their entire head, but given what he went through the day before, I don't really see why this would surprise him, LOL. Perhaps a "huh?" or "eh?" might fit, but this is only really a minor nitpick.

EDIT:
Kii_Ibarra said:

Rie pointed to me, “Your next line is ‘Are those horns real?’ right?” she smiled.
I turned back to Kii, “Are those horns real?” I did a double take and looked back over at Rie with my jaw hanging open, “How did you…?”

I see what you did there. Nice JoJo reference, LOL. Man, finding the exact quote in that large text wall was a real... "nightmare". ;)
Modified by Kuroni_Kuru, Jun 8, 2:40 PM
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Jun 8, 2:28 PM

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Nalusa_Falaya said:
Finished the 2nd chapter/nightmare

I like it more than the previous one tbh, I'm glad we got some slow time with the characters and the convo between Kii, Rie, You and Duu is my favorite part so far.

Thanks for the feedback and I'm glad to hear you liked it. As a writer I always hope that each chapter will be even better than the last

Nalusa_Falaya said:
I'm interested to see the relationship between Kii, Rie and Duu, And what makes You special that Rie told him about being Youkai.

I don't really think You's "special" so much as someone in Atarashiijigoku would have to end up telling him eventually, so it might as well have been Rie. Perhaps I should've had Rie or Kii explain that basically everyone in Atarashiijigoku knows about the existence of youkai? Thinking about it now, I definitely should have. Not explaining that early on might cause inconsistencies/plot holes/etc later down the line...

Nalusa_Falaya said:
I don't have much to say, This chapter was more magnified than chapter one, Which was pretty packed with info, I'm glad you slowed down things for us to get to know the characters but at the same time planting some "build up seeds" for next events

I think events in YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU are probably going to stay relatively slowed down for a few more chapters, until the next bad guy appears (which won't be too soon, but not too far off either)

Nalusa_Falaya said:
Although, There's something I don't get, Was Gojou outside the barbershop waiting for her arm to malfunction ? Or did he know when it'll malfunction, Like some type of expiration date or intentional bug or smth ?

While planned obsolescence is absolutely the sort of thing Gojou would do, I think you're assuming the stranger in the tengu mask is Gojou? Apologies if I'm wrong. To clarify, the tengu-masked individual and Gojou are different people (or should I say "different youkai"? Lol)

Nalusa_Falaya said:
Also, This is probably too soon but I'm interested in chapter 3 lol

I'm glad to hear it! Chapter 3 is when I start to get crazy with the sci-fi elements and future setting. And possibly where I introduce Dullahan's father, although I may push that to chapter 4 instead. Gojou was one of the first characters I conceptualized for YOUKAI MOKOUSHIROKU (even before You, Rie and Duu) so I'm excited to start writing for him, even though he is an absolutely horrible person, lol

Thanks again for the feedback! :)
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Kuroni_Kuru said:
I'm sure someone's probably going to tell you that You should be more shocked that someone removed their entire head, but given what he went through the day before, I don't really see why this would surprise him, LOL. Perhaps a "huh?" or "eh?" might fit, but this is only really a minor nitpick.

Thanks for the feedback! I understand where you're coming from, but since he just found out that Kii is thousands of years old and Rie can read his mind, I feel he's probably not gonna be too surprised by more youkai doing youkai things from here on out. At least not if he's heard of that particular youkai species (a nukekubi, in Duu's case) before anyway

Kuroni_Kuru said:
I see what you did there. Nice JoJo reference, LOL. Man, finding the exact quote in that large text wall was a real... "nightmare". ;)

I see what you did there too, lol. Plenty more JoJo references to come (no prize for guessing which kind hearted delinquent Dullahan's an homage to. DORADORADORA!)
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@Kii_Ibarra

Thanks for the clarification on the Gojou and Tengu masked guy, I probably should've understood it sooner

Also, I'm glad things are slowing down in the coming chapters btw, Seeing more of the characters is nice.
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Nalusa_Falaya said:
Thanks for the clarification on the Gojou and Tengu masked guy, I probably should've understood it sooner

No problem! I wanted to give "tengu mask" a name in this chapter so that I wouldn't have to keep referring to them as "stranger" and the like, but logically You Tachibana wouldn't know their name. Plus their actual name is kind of a spoiler to anyone who's familiar with the legend that they're based on
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Chapter 2 has been (slightly) updated
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Rough draft of chapter 3 has been added, along with content disclaimers for chapter 3's contents
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Jun 12, 1:16 PM

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Wow, Gojou is such an awful person. Is it wrong that I want to see more of him, LOL? He kinda reminds me of Daichi Kitaumekawa from Happy Sugar Life. I also enjoyed that reference to Golden Wind, even if it was a bit forced, LOL.

As for complaints, uh... I spotted some grammatical errors.
The wolf looked to the moon an let out a loud howl, as if begging every nearby person to look at it and…

"An" should be "and". I assume this was just a typo?
There was another one that I found earlier in the chapter, but I didn't make a note of it so I'd have to do a reread to find it. Whoops.

“Was this mean human bullying you?” she cooed, pinching Daisuke on the cheek as he giggled.
I assume the use of "human" should be replaced with "ningen", as this line is being spoken by a character in-universe? At first I assumed that maybe people from the moon assuming that's where Moonbow is from used the English word instead, but I noticed that she used the term "ningen" later. “Let that be a warning, ningen!” she called back before vanishing into the horizon.
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Jun 12, 1:25 PM

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Thanks for the feedback!
Kuroni_Kuru said:
Wow, Gojou is such an awful person. Is it wrong that I want to see more of him, LOL? He kinda reminds me of Daichi Kitaumekawa from Happy Sugar Life.

Haven't seen HSL, but I'd buy it, since everyone in that show is pretty messed-up, right? I just realized I forgot to include a line from him that serves as ironic foreshadowing... I'll have to fix that. Also, yeah, he's awful. He actually sort of makes the villains in this series look like superheroes by comparison, lol

Kuroni_Kuru said:
As for complaints, uh... I spotted some grammatical errors.
The wolf looked to the moon an let out a loud howl, as if begging every nearby person to look at it and…

"An" should be "and". I assume this was just a typo?
There was another one that I found earlier in the chapter, but I didn't make a note of it so I'd have to do a reread to find it. Whoops.

Both of those errors should be fixed now. I fixed them before you made this comment, so I guess you were currently reading the post and the changes didn't come into effect on your end? Was the second error the use of "pushed" instead of "pushing"?

Kuroni_Kuru said:
“Was this mean human bullying you?” she cooed, pinching Daisuke on the cheek as he giggled.
I assume the use of "human" should be replaced with "ningen", as this line is being spoken by a character in-universe? At first I assumed that maybe people from the moon assuming that's where Moonbow is from used the English word instead, but I noticed that she used the term "ningen" later. “Let that be a warning, ningen!” she called back before vanishing into the horizon.

Nope, that's intentional! Characters only use "ningen" when directly speaking towards the "ningen" in question. They still refer to the species as "humans" otherwise.
For example...
Kii: "Oi, ningen. I hate you."
Also Kii: "I hate humans."
Also, Moonbow's Chinese not Lunarian, lol
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Jun 12, 1:32 PM

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Kii_Ibarra said:
Was the second error the use of "pushed" instead of "pushing"?

Quite possibly, LOL.

Nope, that's intentional! Characters only use "ningen" when directly speaking towards the "ningen" in question. They still refer to the species as "humans" otherwise.
For example...
Kii: "Oi, ningen. I hate you."
Also Kii: "I hate humans."

Ah, I see. That makes sense.

The way that Moonbow is introduced kinda reminds me of how I introduced one of the characters in a story that I'm currently writing. Great minds think alike, as they say.

What is it with mysterious characters and appearing on the other side of the road wearing over the top clothing? LOL.


v It actually isn't, LOL.. I'm currently writing two "novels" at once. Yeah, I know, that's unprofessional. :P
Modified by Kuroni_Kuru, Jun 12, 1:40 PM
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Kuroni_Kuru said:
The way that Moonbow is introduced kinda reminds me of how I introduced one of the characters in a story that I'm currently writing. Great minds think alike, as they say.

What is it with mysterious characters and appearing on the other side of the road wearing over the top clothing? LOL.

I assume that's the "novel" you refer to on your profile? Either way, good luck with writing it
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Jun 13, 12:49 PM

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Read the third chapter/nightmare, Things are still pretty good.

I'm starting to like the relationship between Kii and Rie even more, They feel like such a balanced duo that bounce off each other really well.

Moonbow seems really interesting. Excluding the battle between the human and the oni at the beginning of the story, She seems like the first character to convey such an unfair look on humans, I wonder if you'll actually develop this theme, Like if there's prejudice or jealousy between the two "beings", Humans and Youkai. Like how much harmony do they both live in, Especially (At least from what we know now) Humans are technically weaker than youkai

My only concern for the third chapter is the overabundance of mysteries, It's not too much as of the latest chapter, But right now, We have the Oni and human who were fighting in the first chapter, The sword that could cut an Oni's flesh, The guy with the tengu mask, Moonbow and now we're thinking of questions on the two kids and the wolf attacking them. Asking questions is cool, But if the story continues to offer the tips of threads that'd later get explored, The reader could easily not care about new stuff (Since not many of these are developing) or forget about older questions, I hope in the next chapter we'll either slow down the "mystery seeds" or develop the already introduced ones.

You don't want the reader to be reminded every few minutes that he knows nothing about this world and these characters, Even if he indeed doesn't, It'll be kind of like explaining quantum physics to a preschooler, He'll feel curiosity at first but apathy or even annoyance later on if he doesn't make any progress.

I hope my last reply wasn't too negative lol, I'm still really excited for chapter 4.
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Jun 13, 1:29 PM

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Nalusa_Falaya said:
Read the third chapter/nightmare, Things are still pretty good.

Thanks again for the feedback!

Nalusa_Falaya said:
I'm starting to like the relationship between Kii and Rie even more, They feel like such a balanced duo that bounce off each other really well.

I'm glad to hear that! Rie's been Kii's best friend for quite a while by this point, I feel

Nalusa_Falaya said:
Moonbow seems really interesting.

I based her on myself (although that isn't currently reflected much by her role in the 3RD NIGHTMARE alone) so I'm glad you think she's interesting, lol

Nalusa_Falaya said:
Excluding the battle between the human and the oni at the beginning of the story, She seems like the first character to convey such an unfair look on humans, I wonder if you'll actually develop this theme, Like if there's prejudice or jealousy between the two "beings", Humans and Youkai. Like how much harmony do they both live in, Especially (At least from what we know now) Humans are technically weaker than youkai

I don't think it's just humans that Moonbow holds unfair views towards. If Daisuke and Kentarou's roles were reversed Moonbow would've certainly drawn the gun on Daisuke too Oh hey, MAL's spellchecker recognizes "Moonbow". Microsoft Word didn't, lol

I definitely think there's some tension between the two beings, Funnily enough, Moonbow is repurposed from the main character of a story I wrote titled "Two Beings", lol Kii in particular having a strong dislike of humans. I do intend to address the relation between the two types of sentient lifeform (and also briefly their relationships to androids) gradually as the story progresses.

Nalusa_Falaya said:
My only concern for the third chapter is the overabundance of mysteries, It's not too much as of the latest chapter, But right now, We have the Oni and human who were fighting in the first chapter, The sword that could cut an Oni's flesh, The guy with the tengu mask, Moonbow and now we're thinking of questions on the two kids and the wolf attacking them. Asking questions is cool, But if the story continues to offer the tips of threads that'd later get explored, The reader could easily not care about new stuff (Since not many of these are developing) or forget about older questions, I hope in the next chapter we'll either slow down the "mystery seeds" or develop the already introduced ones.

I'm sort of hoping readers wouldn't forget about the oni and samurai, since I used their battle as the opening scene. Theoretically that also means readers could reread just the first page if they wanted to refresh their memory. I don't think aside from Moonbow, "tengu mask" and the wolf that there's much more mysteries I'm planning to include. A bit more on the wolf should be coming in the next chapter and Moonbow is a significant supporting character going forward, so her mystery should slowly unravel as she interacts with Kii, You, Rie and Duu. That said...

Nalusa_Falaya said:
You don't want the reader to be reminded every few minutes that he knows nothing about this world and these characters, Even if he indeed doesn't, It'll be kind of like explaining quantum physics to a preschooler, He'll feel curiosity at first but apathy or even annoyance later on if he doesn't make any progress.

That is an excellent point! Perhaps I'm just immune to it, since I already know what every mystery will amount to. I've dropped anime for this very same reason before (and probably will again) so that's definitely something to keep in mind! I hope the current amount of mysteries serve more as a "hook" than an annoyance. There won't be much more mysteries introduced until after I resolve the tengu mask guy and the wolf threads, so I'm (perhaps unwisely) not too worried for now

Nalusa_Falaya said:
I hope my last reply wasn't too negative lol, I'm still really excited for chapter 4.

It wasn't too negative at all! And I'm glad you're excited for the next chapter. The 4TH NIGHTMARE might be the last one I post for a while though, unless this topic suddenly blows up. I think (maybe foolishly) that the current feedback I've gotten is nearly to the point where I can start finalizing chapters by myself (every author's gotta do it eventually, right?) but I will PROBABLY (maybe) post a whole bunch in one go when I'm somewhat happy with how they've turned out

Thanks again, for your feedback!
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Alright, here goes. Apologies that this is going to be so long.

I'd like to preface this by saying I'm quite a picky reader (and a picky writer) so some of this will surely come down to what is more or less personal preference.

I'll start with an overview, and with the positives. I like the set-up, early on as it is. It seems like there's a lot of room for interesting events and people, and what we have already in the first three chapters I think demonstrates a definite ability to fulfill on that promise. Kii in particular I think is a fun character with a strong voice, and there are moments of quite strong character writing with her, Rie and Duu. I don't feel overwhelmed by the elements being introduced yet, but the story is moving quite quickly so I could see that burnout potentially coming should the pace not slow a little bit - might be off here, just a hunch.

I would say that many of my criticisms come down to two things: structure, and subtlety. A lot of moments feel a bit awkward - I'll go through them in a moment here - either because of the pacing of the writing or the structure of the sentences themselves. Again, much of that will come down to personal preference: the story is clearly written with a number of anime tropes and mainstays in mind, especially in dialogue, that I find sort of awkward but many people evidently don't (same goes for the word "yeet" in non-dialogue prose). Anyway, with that mostly out of the way, I'll crack through some small notes - mostly about dialogue and character - for each chapter, in order of appearance. You are welcome to throw them into the trash if you want.








Hope I don't come off too harsh here, just trying to jot down everything I noticed. Keep it up, I'm intrigued to see where it goes!
 
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Jaycer said:
same goes for the word "yeet" in non-dialogue prose


Honestly, I'm surprised no one else called that out sooner. TBH, Kii and I have been privately betting on how long it would take someone to notice, LOL.
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Kuroni_Kuru said:
Jaycer said:
same goes for the word "yeet" in non-dialogue prose


Honestly, I'm surprised no one else called that out sooner. TBH, Kii and I have been privately betting on how long it would take someone to notice, LOL.


LOL, well there are very few pedants out on the market that are as high-quality as I am.
 
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Jaycer said:
LOL, well there are very few pedants out on the market that are as high-quality as I am.


I'm pretty pedantic myself, but honestly I think the use of yeet is perfectly fine. English constantly evolves, to the point where I would personally consider "yeet" to be a perfectly cromulent word. (The same goes for "cromulent", LOL.) I'm pretty sure certain dictionaries have picked up on "yeet" too...





Modified by Kuroni_Kuru, Jun 13, 5:16 PM
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I will give that a read a little later.
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Kuroni_Kuru said:


I'm pretty pedantic myself, but honestly I think the use of yeet is perfectly fine. English constantly evolves, to the point where I would personally consider "yeet" to be a perfectly cromulent word. (The same goes for "cromulent", LOL.) I'm pretty sure certain dictionaries have picked up on "yeet" too...





Oh, sure. I definitely don't claim to be a prescriptivist, nor do I particularly want to be. The only reason I ended up including that is because I felt a tonal disconnect with the use of that word in situations that weren't obviously comedic, and I figure if I felt that, other people might, and so it may be worth noting.

That goes for a hell of a lot of what I said, honestly. Stuff I noticed, that I feel like other people might too. I wouldn't die on those hills.
 
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Jaycer said:
The only reason I ended up including that is because I felt a tonal disconnect with the use of that word in situations that weren't obviously comedic, and I figure if I felt that, other people might, and so it may be worth noting.


Yeah, that's fair. I personally enjoy when the occasional jarring use of language is yeeted into an otherwise serious scene. I find it adds character to a story, but to each their own. :)
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* THE THING.
* YOU NEED.
* THAT'S RIGHT!! NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A [[BIG SHOT]]!!

 
Jun 13, 6:05 PM

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Jaycer said:
Alright, here goes. Apologies that this is going to be so long.

Thanks so much for your feedback!

Jaycer said:
I'd like to preface this by saying I'm quite a picky reader (and a picky writer) so some of this will surely come down to what is more or less personal preference.

That's quite alright! I welcome all opinions!

Jaycer said:
I'll start with an overview, and with the positives. I like the set-up, early on as it is. It seems like there's a lot of room for interesting events and people, and what we have already in the first three chapters I think demonstrates a definite ability to fulfill on that promise. Kii in particular I think is a fun character with a strong voice, and there are moments of quite strong character writing with her, Rie and Duu. I don't feel overwhelmed by the elements being introduced yet, but the story is moving quite quickly so I could see that burnout potentially coming should the pace not slow a little bit - might be off here, just a hunch.

I'm glad to hear you think Kii is a fun character and Rie and Duu certainly do have their moments!

Jaycer said:
I would say that many of my criticisms come down to two things: structure, and subtlety. A lot of moments feel a bit awkward - I'll go through them in a moment here - either because of the pacing of the writing or the structure of the sentences themselves. Again, much of that will come down to personal preference: the story is clearly written with a number of anime tropes and mainstays in mind, especially in dialogue, that I find sort of awkward but many people evidently don't (same goes for the word "yeet" in non-dialogue prose). Anyway, with that mostly out of the way, I'll crack through some small notes - mostly about dialogue and character - for each chapter, in order of appearance. You are welcome to throw them into the trash if you want.

Indeed it all comes down to opinion and I appreciate you acknowledging that fact. As for the use of the word "yeet", I figured by the year 2121 when the story takes place that "yeet" will probably have entered the standard English lexicon as a synonym for "throw", although the likelihood of me living long enough to verify that hypothesis is slim, lol


Jaycer said:
"Good luck finding people to ask about youkai" is a bit of an awkward line on its own. I really think you could play this encounter quite subtly, considering she's revealed to the reader to be psychic not long afterward. I'd see if I couldn't fit that same sentiment into the line about the shelter - something like "you won't find anyone up here (to talk to about youkai), they're all in the shelter". It'd take some workshopping, but there's definitely something there that I think would sound more natural.

That is an excellent observation and a brilliant idea! It would take a bit of workshopping as you said, but I'll probably incorporate something along those lines now that you've pointed it out, since I do like creating tiny mysteries in the middle of chapters. Although I'm not sure Rie is a very subtle person, so I'm debating with myself whether she would say something vague, rather than just mentioning You's youkai search?

Jaycer said:
I think the first meeting with Rie could use an extra line that sort of drives home her strange nature. You mention she looks striking, although not off-putting. The tail is definitely weird, although the only thing You seems to focus in on is the youkai line. It's kinda like he met a normal girl who said something weird, not a weird girl who said something weird.

You does later remark that he doesn't really take Rie seriously because because he thinks she's a cosplayer, but maybe I could put more emphasis on You perceiving her as weird...

Jaycer said:
I'd also move the fact that You checked the earthquake forecast to the top of that paragraph, as well. You want the reader to quickly understand that what Rie said seems to go against conventional knowledge. At the very least, I think I'd put the lines about the potential earthquake warning/earthquake forecast together, as well as the lines about what Rie said and her appearance being odd, instead of having them broken up like that.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're the only person who has read the version of 1ST NIGHTMARE with the earthquake forecast lines included, since those were additions I previously added based on feedback... As they weren't part of the original version, it's highly possible that their placement is kinda off. I'll have to look over that, thanks!

Jaycer said:
A quick thing about You's goal here - when he first arrives, he sees no one in the streets, and eventually seems to resign himself to the fact that no one's around and that he should look for his hotel. After the encounter, however, he goes back to looking for people to talk to about youkai, even despite learning that at least SOME of them are in the earthquake shelter, wherever that is. Especially considering it's becoming night-time rapidly, I feel like his goal should be to figure out where the shelter is at best, or just head for his hotel at worst.

At this point, You still doesn't believe Rie, so I don't think he's too bothered about the shelter. I do think that being more concerned about finding a hotel is a good call though

Jaycer said:
I have to assume that "Cynthia in the sky" is a reference to something, either later in the story or another work entirely, but it sort of makes You seem a little deranged when he's naming celestial beings and ranting about aliens so suddenly.

You's kind of an space/alien geek, which will be more obvious as the story progresses. "Cynthia" is a real-life poetic, sometimes considered to be quite sappy, name for Luna, the Moon or whatever else someone wants to call it...

Jaycer said:
How come You gets the scissors thrown at him? He's just sort of around. In the 2nd Nightmare, Duu intimates that You was actively inconveniencing Kii and Rie here, but all he did was cower and spectate as far as I can tell.

Ah, I meant to give an explanation for that somewhere but I guess I forgot. Kii and Rie, as Atarashiijigoku's protectors, would've caught wind of an evil earthquake-summoning youkai and had everyone else take shelter. Rie picks up You's coordinates by reading his mind, and, since Kii nor Rie assume anyone else to be in the middle of the city during the incident, Kii thinks You is Gin and throws scissors at him.

Jaycer said:
Another little tweak to make the writing about Rie more subtle is to Gin just say "So it's true, then," and not say "you are a psychic". It's evident from her first scene that she can read minds, and that's solidified when Gin demands that she stop reading his mind.

Excellent point! Plus since Rie would still know what he's thinking anyway I wouldn't have to tweak their other interactions much

Jaycer said:
The spacing and physicality of the fight with Gin is a little murky. I wasn't sure where they were standing or how far apart they were - it took me off guard that Gin could lunge and reach Rie quickly, and again when Kii was suddenly behind Gin.

Action sequences are my kryptonite, lol. I sort of intended to invoke the anime/manga trope where a character jumps from one point to another (usually accompanied with a sword-slashing sound effect and a flash of light) in the blink of an eye. Aside from that though, I'm just absolutely terrible with fighting scenes in general...

Jaycer said:
Short formatting thing - put a couple line breaks between the end of the fight and You waking up in his hotel to establish that it's a separate part and not a weird time skip mid-scene (especially since that scene ends on an unresolved action).

Noted.

Jaycer said:
You's reaction to abnormal things is a bit inconsistent. At first, he thinks Rie's comment about his mission is a little strange; he then watches a woman with horns (even if they're just "cosplay") bodyslam a massive man who had just previously said that Rie can read minds, and he seems to have no reaction to this. By the time that Kii claims that Rie and herself are youkai, I feel like something in the back of his head should probably start to buy it - so when he plays it off as a joke and then acts like it's an earthshattering revelation, it kinda feels like he wasn't paying attention. Could be as small as changing him saying "Good one!" in ignorance to something like a nervous "Okay then,".

At this point he still sort of thinks, despite what Rie told him, that they are robots, which are fairly commonplace in the world of YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU, since he's never seriously considered the possibility that youkai exist. I can understand if you think that feels odd though, since even as the author I'll admit it's kind of forced...

Jaycer said:
I'd cut down the "last-time-on" segment to start at "Did I forget to tell you? We're youkai!" That'd be enough to jog people's memories of last chapter, and has enough info from there on to continue the dialogue. That's up to you, though (everything is up to you).

I'll definitely take that into consideration. Perhaps the paragraph was too long to include the entire thing as a recap? Lol

Jaycer said:
The baseball-team-losing metaphor seems way too low-stakes for Rie reacting to the fact that she's going to see the man who sexually harasses her again, and this is coming from someone who has had very visceral reactions to sports teams losing - it just feels like two different emotions.

Yeah, perhaps that's true, but I kind of wanted to shake up my descriptions a bit and Rie's character fact-file (I've mentioned these before in other responses, TLDR: I really should've included them somewhere in the original post) mentions the fact that she's a fan of baseball, so... Originally the description was "as if someone had just told her Kii had died" but I thought that'd be too morbid for You to include in his narration, lol

Jaycer said:
The tengu-man paragraph is a little heavy-handed. I don't think many people read the phrase "Nah, that can't be true" and think "maybe they're right" - they're always wrong.

Not to be that person, but... You is right. They're not a tengu, lol. The tengu mask is symbolic, although I can't quite go into what it symbolizes without spoiling stuff, lol...

Jaycer said:
“If this were a story, this is where things would get interesting…” makes me cringe, sorry. I hate when people in a story are like "whoooaaa dude this is almost like a story!!" You can keep it equally as sinister and foreboding by simplifying it - something like “A new human? Interesting…” with that same plotting grin.

I sort of intended for it to be cringey. As more of this character shows up I hope it will become apparent that they're embodying the "acts threatening but is actually a huge dork" villain archetype. They're kind of chuunibyou-ish, I guess

Jaycer said:
Those footnotes are pretty crucial in this chapter, so I'd assume they're intended to be part of the final product. It's justified, the story being in Japan with mostly Japanese characters and all, but considering it's written in English a lot of these references or jokes would alienate people.

True. Although probably a tad unrealistic, I'm sort of hoping for a Japanese translation somewhere down the line, so I felt I should probably address some things like Kii's surname's resemblance to "ibara". Even fellow MAL users (who I assume most often don't speak Japanese) have mistakenly referred to me as "Kii_Ibara" on a somewhat regular basis, lol

Jaycer said:
The description of Moonbow's clothing took me a second to fully comprehend. It's a bit awkward to read, so I'd toy with it and see if you can't make it flow a little better. Something about using "topped off" for a belt is weird, as well - not sure why.

Perhaps because a belt goes around the bottom of the body and not the top? Ba-dum tss! Seriously though, perhaps "accessorized" would sound better?

Jaycer said:
Is there a car coming when Moonbow leaps to catch the toy, or does she do that just for fun? She's clearly an odd character (she immediately decides a child is a blight on the planet worthy of cleansing for some fairly petty bullying, all things considered), so I'm not necessarily saying that's a fault. I just kinda wanna know.

There could be a car, lol. Although Moonbow has a (kind of justified for reasons I can't quite reveal) strong fear of death and dying so I wouldn't image she'd just jump in front of a moving vehicle. The reason she jumps is so that the toy doesn't have time to hit the road, sort of like a dog catching a stick mid-air when playing fetch.

Jaycer said:
Gojou saying "Fine, oni, you win," is a bit odd considering there's no real confrontation between them in this scene so far - Gojou was messing with Rie the whole time, so unless that was specifically to get at Kii (or they have some sort of ongoing battle over the arm repair/upgrade, which you should imply), there's nothing really for Kii to "win".

Ah, was that not clear? My bad. Kii and Kaiji have probably done this same spiel many times at this point (this being the third time in 2121, as Kaiji states) and he's definitely trying to overcharge her.

Jaycer said:
If that is the case, though, it might be better to have Gojou say something like "Alright, you've made your point," (she does quip about the arm malfunctioning) although that might be a little too casual for a man whose hand has just been crushed.

I could totally imagine him saying that through gritted teeth as he clearly clutches his hand in pain, pretending like it's no big deal even though it clearly is, lol

Jaycer said:
Unsure what it means when it says that Kii "jumps" behind Gojou, especially either cutting his tie in the process or having cut his tie shortly before. A strange maneuver.

This is intended to be the same "blink of an eye" anime jump-slash technique I mentioned earlier in relation to Kii vs Gin. I don't really know how else to describe it, lol In fact, as I type this, I'm still not sure you'll know what I'm referring to, lol.

Jaycer said:
The wolf end the end has time to howl and then bite the kid, all during the time the kid was trying to turn and run. Might make sense to either A) have the wolf howl AFTER it has bitten the kid, or B) have the wolf howl and then chase down the kid (this is probably my vote, that's a pretty harrowing image).

Option A is probably too "safe" for the wolf. It wants to make sure as many peole as possible witness it delivering the killing-blow. I feel option B is already pretty much what happened, which should hopefully be clearer from a police report in the next chapter

Jaycer said:
Kii quips that she's "not even 1150 yet," which seems like an extremely specific milestone for someone who lives for at least a thousand years (this is definitely me nitpicking)

If it helps, Kii's exact age is 1130.

Jaycer said:
I'd drop "to view earth from above" and just say "commercial space travel" in Gojou's list - there'd be no reason he would specify that unless it's something very few people know about

I was sort of worried without the caveat that readers might assume he meant visiting other planets/moons/celestial bodies, which would definitely create a few plot-holes/logic fails later in the story..

Jaycer said:
Hope I don't come off too harsh here, just trying to jot down everything I noticed. Keep it up, I'm intrigued to see where it goes!

Nah, you didn't come across as too harsh at-all! Thanks again, for the feedback and I'm glad to hear you're intrigued!
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Jun 13, 6:29 PM

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Kuroni_Kuru said:
Honestly, I'm surprised no one else called that out sooner. TBH, Kii and I have been privately betting on how long it would take someone to notice, LOL.

Remind me to yeet you over some cash soon, lol
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Jun 13, 6:40 PM

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I apologize that some of my remarks kinda became less focused by the end, I burn myself out sometimes on stuff like this, considering it took a good few hours to compile and reword. Half the time when I finish a decently-long writing session, I've got a pounding headache and an empty brain, lol.


Kii_Ibarra said:
I sort of intended to invoke the anime/manga trope where a character jumps from one point to another (usually accompanied with a sword-slashing sound effect and a flash of light) in the blink of an eye.

Gotcha. I get it now. I'm the kinda reader who likes to be hit over the head sometimes, so I know exactly what's going on. It's a bit odd if a character "appears" somewhere inexplicably, unless the text itself says as much. Might not hurt to put in a descriptor of her moving incredibly fast or whatever have you, maybe since it would appear to You that way. That's almost certainly author preference, though.


Kii_Ibarra said:
At this point he still sort of thinks, despite what Rie told him, that they are robots, which are fairly commonplace in the world of YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU

That almost certainly just flew over my head, lol.


Kii_Ibarra said:
Yeah, perhaps that's true, but I kind of wanted to shake up my descriptions a bit and Rie's character fact-file (I've mentioned these before in other responses, TLDR: I really should've included them somewhere in the original post) mentions the fact that she's a fan of baseball, so...

Fair enough. My one note there would be that the story in You's section is told in 1st person, so it seems like a personal comment from him, rather than about her - like he's the baseball fan. Honestly, the shifting from 1st to 3rd person might be an issue for some people but I didn't even notice it until thinking about that.


Kii_Ibarra said:
Not to be that person, but... You is right. They're not a tengu, lol. The tengu mask is symbolic, although I can't quite go into what it symbolizes without spoiling stuff, lol...

Oh yeah, I understood it was a mask at the time. What I mean more is that the figure is maybe a little too obviously watching them. Which is fine, of course, but maybe a little less mysterious than a shrouded figure who only might be watching you.


Kii_Ibarra said:
I sort of intended for it to be cringey. As more of this character shows up I hope it will become apparent that they're embodying the "acts threatening but is actually a huge dork" villain archetype. They're kind of chuunibyou-ish, I guess

Then I suppose the quote worked perfectly, lol.


Kii_Ibarra said:
Perhaps because a belt goes around the bottom of the body and not the top? Ba-dum tss! Seriously though, perhaps "accessorized" would sound better?

Probably!


Kii_Ibarra said:
The reason she jumps is so that the toy doesn't have time to hit the road, sort of like a dog catching a stick mid-air when playing fetch.

I had thought that might've been the case. At that point of my notes I think I was a little to hung up on stuff that was weird, which does not necessarily mean "needs fixing" lol.


Kii_Ibarra said:
Ah, was that not clear? My bad. Kii and Kaiji have probably done this same spiel many times at this point (this being the third time in 2121, as Kaiji states) and he's definitely trying to overcharge her.

I see. I took the "third time this year" quote mostly to be about her either wrecking her arm a lot or coming to demand the upgrade a lot, and not necessarily indicative of any ongoing struggle (plus, if she's "won" this third time, does that mean she did not the past few times? Or is it just that they usually have to have an altercation to get things done, and this one just happened to be over quickly?)


Kii_Ibarra said:
I feel option B is already pretty much what happened, which should hopefully be clearer from a police report in the next chapter

Cool!


Kii_Ibarra said:
If it helps, Kii's exact age is 1130.

I don't even know why I included that, honestly.


Kii_Ibarra said:
I was sort of worried without the caveat that readers might assume he meant visiting other planets/moons/celestial bodies, which would definitely create a few plot-holes/logic fails later in the story..

Oh yeah, I totally understand why it's there - and that stuff's always the most annoying stuff to fix. It is a bit shoehorned, though. My best advice here is to find another avenue to include that info - off the top of my head, maybe one of the girls finds a brochure for KAPPACORP while they're messing around in the office waiting and they see some advertising for Earth-viewing trips. From there maybe you could do a little expository drop - "you'd think we'd be able to visit other planets by now," or something - and go from there. I don't know the characters well enough to know how best to put that into dialogue, but that's the sorta path I would go.
 
Jun 13, 7:28 PM

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Jaycer said:
I apologize that some of my remarks kinda became less focused by the end, I burn myself out sometimes on stuff like this, considering it took a good few hours to compile and reword. Half the time when I finish a decently-long writing session, I've got a pounding headache and an empty brain, lol.

Understandable. For that reason, I never write YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU chapters in one session. I think each chapter took at least 3 sessions, and that's just counting the rough drafts, lol!

Jaycer said:
Fair enough. My one note there would be that the story in You's section is told in 1st person, so it seems like a personal comment from him, rather than about her - like he's the baseball fan. Honestly, the shifting from 1st to 3rd person might be an issue for some people but I didn't even notice it until thinking about that.

I kind of imagined the entire story being from You's perspective (thus making details in scenes where You isn't present, such as the samurai and oni battle) purposefully more vague, although I think I just sort of resigned to having the narrative shift between first or third person depending on if he's present or not. I briefly considered having the entire narrative in first person, shifting between You, Kii and Rie's perspective (kind of like the webcomic Homestuck, in the off chance you're familiar with it) but I thought that'd get confusing, lol...


Jaycer said:
Oh yeah, I understood it was a mask at the time. What I mean more is that the figure is maybe a little too obviously watching them. Which is fine, of course, but maybe a little less mysterious than a shrouded figure who only might be watching you.

Oh, yeah, I getcha now. I feel as though a part of them probably wants You to notice their observing, but I'm not really sure if there's a way I could allude to that, without them directly giving themself away.

Jaycer said:
Probably!

Noted!


Jaycer said:
I had thought that might've been the case. At that point of my notes I think I was a little to hung up on stuff that was weird, which does not necessarily mean "needs fixing" lol.

That's totally understandable! YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU is quite weird, lol


Jaycer said:
plus, if she's "won" this third time, does that mean she did not the past few times?

Kii definitely "won" the last two times too, lol. Perhaps, "You win again, Ibarra" or "I'll get you next time, Kii-san!" would be more appropriate?

Jaycer said:
From there maybe you could do a little expository drop - "you'd think we'd be able to visit other planets by now," or something - and go from there. I don't know the characters well enough to know how best to put that into dialogue, but that's the sorta path I would go.

While that is an excellent idea, it's not really a matter of technology not being able to visit other celestial bodies as it is that visiting them (or at least the Moon) would be very ill-advised for reasons Kii knows too well. I guess a disadvantage to having a mind-reading character is that she can't ask questions like that to people who know the answers, without revealing plot-twists too early, lol.
I'm definitely trying to find a less-awkward way to mention the Earth-viewing space travel though

Thanks again, for the feedback!
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Jun 14, 4:39 AM

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Forgive me for asking, it's just that I've been "burned" before, so as to speak... Where exactly does that link lead/what does it do?

@Kuroni_Kuru I actually tried the same thing, but it wouldn't load, lol
...And now I kinda wanna listen to the Turkish Pokémon theme song now, lol
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Jun 14, 4:42 AM

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Kii_Ibarra said:

Forgive me for asking, it's just that I've been "burned" before, so as to speak... Where exactly does that link lead/what does it do?


One quick "open link in incognito window" leads me to what I believe is a Turkish news site?
* HEY-HE Y HEY!!! I HAVE JUST.
* THE THING.
* YOU NEED.
* THAT'S RIGHT!! NOW'S YOUR CHANCE TO BE A [[BIG SHOT]]!!

 
 
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All 3 chapters have been slightly updated again
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