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[WEBNOVEL] "Two Beings, Or Not Two Beings?" (COMPLETED AS OF 8/27/2021)

#1
Jul 26, 12:41 PM

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Some of you may remember (but probably not, lol) that I was writing a novel called YOUKAI MOKUSHI
If you want to give me feedback on that novel, you can do so here: https://myanimelist.net/forum/?topicid=1928727

Well, I'm writing another novel for the MAL x Honeyfeed writing contest called "Two Beings, Or Not Two Beings?"
Sadly, YOUKAI MOKUSHI doesn't meet all of the criteria for the contest, so this novel is an alternative. All feedback is much appreciated! Two Beings does contain frequent mild-to-moderate ecchi and fantasy violence, so reader discretion is advised

Synopsis:
Londoner Jackie Wordsworth is a fairly ordinary young adult. Single. Unemployed. Sharing an apartment with her twin sister. A bit of a geek. As such, she couldn't be farther from most people's perception of a warrior.

But all that changes when she encounters a powerful witch from another dimension named Sumire Shakespeare, who spirits her away to the world of Phantasia, a place that feels as if it was lifted straight from the pages of Jackie's favorite fantasy novel.

Why does Sumire want Jackie specifically to become a warrior? And what is Phantasia's connection to the magical land featured in Jackie's favorite author's books? As Sumire and her maids teach Jackie how to channel an alternate-persona known as a "kinkind", the answers to these questions and more become ever clearer as Jackie and her kinkind find themselves fighting for their lives on this dangerous fantasy stage, where all the demons and witches are merely players...
Modified by Kii_Ibarra, Oct 17, 6:17 PM
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#2
Jul 27, 12:13 PM

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Kii_Ibarra said:
All feedback is much appreciated!

I should add that I would prefer feedback in the novel's comments, if you have a Honeyfeed account. If not, then this thread or my profile comments or anywhere else is fine too
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#3
Aug 4, 7:17 AM
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The Intermission chapter is very interesting, I never expected the end as it suddenly disappears. For me it is 9/10 that chapter since it begins with the mystery.
 
 
#4
Aug 4, 7:20 AM

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T09 said:
The Intermission chapter is very interesting, I never expected the end as it suddenly disappears. For me it is 9/10 that chapter since it begins with the mystery.

Thanks for your feedback! I hope you find the answer to the mystery satisfying!
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#5
Aug 4, 7:23 AM
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Continue in the next chapter? Or is it a secret haha
 
#6
Aug 4, 7:25 AM

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T09 said:
Continue in the next chapter? Or is it a secret haha

It's a secret for about... ~10 chapters-ish, lol
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#7
Aug 4, 7:27 AM
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Kii_Ibarra said:
T09 said:
Continue in the next chapter? Or is it a secret haha

It's a secret for about... ~10 chapters-ish, lol


Wow .. Then I will have to follow her closely so as not to miss anything, right?
 
#8
Aug 27, 11:49 AM

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As of today, this novel just released it's final chapter. Now's a good time to finally check it out!

Now I can finally go back to exclusively self-promoting YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU, lol
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
#9
Aug 28, 12:55 AM

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So it ends.

I figured that some feedback won't hurt so I'm writing this "mini-review" since I'm not too good with long ones.

All in all, I really enjoyed Two Beings or Not Two Beings, It had many unique and pretty original concepts that I wouldn't even expect, let alone see in other mediums, for example:

The story

The idea and question of "do you actually want to become your OC" is really good and (very surprisingly) thought provoking, it's nice that you focused on something that some people might find lame or cringy (Lol, even Jackie said Luna was a "crappy" OC in chapter 6) but you created a story and an entire world that's governed by OC and Mary Sue rules which was both just generally a nice world to explore but an unconventional one as well, And sometimes you took it into pretty dark areas of depersonalization, the fact that Jackie felt somewhat guilty or responsible for what Luna was doing (especially when it came to leading Noh on), That was really nice. and like many aspects in the story, it really takes use of the very prominent theme of "Two Beings or Not Two Beings", Kudos for naming the story that way btw, the question came back to my mind the most throughout the story.

And away from the original Jackie and Luna premise, the whole theater theme was a delight to see. How this whole story started from two sisters performing a play, Kuro's way of speaking, Kuro's demise being in the form of Sock and Buskin, etc. It's weirdly meta that this story has the theme of staging and making stories. It seems that you're either really engrossed into these types of stories, or there was a shit ton of googling and researching while writing TBONTB? Lol.



However, the biggest complaint I have on the novel is story-related, which is the VERY convenient way Jackie got out of the Unconscious Zone. Even though this story has many light hearted moments, I'd assume you intended for a good amount of seriousness and darker parts, and Jackie being stuck in the Unconscious Zone only being able to watch the tragic Luna was creating was one of the two lowest and saddest moments in the story (At least for me, the other one being Chekhov's death when Jackie realized the situation is way grimmer than she thought) but all this helplessness is somewhat thrown out of the window because "oh hey, look who's here, it's Sumire". It removed all the helplessness which was a big part of why Jackie was so down and undermined such a dark part in the story, especially that no one would've said it was a plot hole for Sumire not be able to save her considering the Unconscious Zone doesn't really "physically" exist since Jackie is basically a compressed personality in Luna's body, so it would've been fine and smooth if Sumire's abilities just ended here.

The characters were also pretty nice to see, Chekhov, Sumire and Jackie/Luna especially, their personalities were pretty memorable and they served the story well. a few characters like Noh didn't feel THAT fleshed out but he helped the plot and other characters' development nonetheless, I'm pretty excited to see the characters in YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU, and hoping that you'd flesh them just a tad bit more, you've already made some good dynamics with Kii, Rie and Duu or Kaiji and Kii.

Some other stuff I like

-I like Kitty, she's really cute yet somewhat mysterious.
-I like Chekhov and Sumire's relationship, it really felt like they were friends for a long time and this wasn't the first time Sumire asked a favor of Chekhov yet you never really needed to tell it to the audience, just showcasing it by the little things in the writing.
-I like the fact that you had someone who's in control of their kinkind (Jun and Katherine) in the story
-I like that you're cool with killing off characters (that may sound like it isn't much but surprisingly many authors hold to their characters with their hands and teeth, so it's nice that you see the importance of sometimes being able to kill off beloved characters)
-I like the moment when Rusalka tried to tell Jackie that it wasn't her fault before dying, it's a character giving us their perspective on the question of two beings or not two beings, and in this case it's yeah, they are two beings, which makes extra sense considering Rusalka also lost control of her kinkind.

A couple of stuff I don't like
-I don't know if this is just me (considering I barely see fourth wall breaks in novels) but some of them seemed a bit jarring or forced, especially that you had to explain to the reader that ''Sumire's looking away, almost looking at an imaginary 'fourth wall''', I found ones like Sumire saying ''I guess I'm the comic relief'' way smooth and not that self-explanatory, definitely take this with a grain of salt tho, since I don't encounter fourth wall breaks much in novels.
-considering that Kitty can straight up move an entire moon, it's somewhat weird that Sumire didn't use her to take down Kuro or at the very least, go with Luna when she went to the castle, since Kitty seems really powerful, so Sumire somewhat ignoring that was just kinda...weird.

Again, All in all, I heavily enjoyed this story, And thank you Laika for writing it. I hope you win the Honeyfeed contest, but if you sadly didn't, I hope you enjoyed writing it, since I definitely enjoyed reading it, Good luck with any future projects whether it's a sequel for Two Beings or continuing YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU, But I'll be sure to be there reading them. And considering how many people I hear about (Including me) who started stories that they didn't finish, Lol, I'm really proud of you that you wrote it all the way and didn't just leave it, So kudos for that!

Hopefully this ''mini-review'' wasn't too long, I just wanted to put my thoughts somewhere, Alright, Guess I'm done, And thanks again.
I don't speak English that much, so please cut me some slack
 
 
Aug 28, 4:58 AM

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Nalusa_Falaya said:
So it ends.

I figured that some feedback won't hurt so I'm writing this "mini-review" since I'm not too good with long ones.

Thanks for the feedback!

Nalusa_Falaya said:
All in all, I really enjoyed Two Beings or Not Two Beings, It had many unique and pretty original concepts that I wouldn't even expect

I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Nalusa_Falaya said:
The story

The idea and question of "do you actually want to become your OC" is really good and (very surprisingly) thought provoking, it's nice that you focused on something that some people might find lame or cringy (Lol, even Jackie said Luna was a "crappy" OC in chapter 6)

Thanks! I think Mary Sues and especially OCs in general get way too much hate. Like, any trope they can be interesting if used right. As Kuroni_Kuru once said, "every fictional character was someone's OC", lol

Nalusa_Falaya said:
you created a story and an entire world that's governed by OC and Mary Sue rules which was both just generally a nice world to explore but an unconventional one as well, And sometimes you took it into pretty dark areas of depersonalization, the fact that Jackie felt somewhat guilty or responsible for what Luna was doing (especially when it came to leading Noh on), That was really nice.

Thanks! I guess Jackie taking the blame and feeling bad for Luna's actions while Luna gets off scot-free both reinforces the idea that Luna is a Mary Sue and that Jackie isn't, lol

Nalusa_Falaya said:
and like many aspects in the story, it really takes use of the very prominent theme of "Two Beings or Not Two Beings", Kudos for naming the story that way btw, the question came back to my mind the most throughout the story.

Thanks! I originally came up with the title just as the name of Webber's novel in-universe, but I thought it captured the themes of the entire story well, so I also used it as the story's title, adding an additional "?" on the end

Nalusa_Falaya said:
And away from the original Jackie and Luna premise, the whole theater theme was a delight to see. How this whole story started from two sisters performing a play, Kuro's way of speaking, Kuro's demise being in the form of Sock and Buskin, etc. It's weirdly meta that this story has the theme of staging and making stories. It seems that you're either really engrossed into these types of stories, or there was a shit ton of googling and researching while writing TBONTB? Lol.

Yeah, writing meta elements is one of my favorite things to write. Many of my other stories have characters coming to our world or acknowledging that they're fictional, for example

For the most part, it was just Googling, although I did do Hamlet in high school, my class put on a play adapted from some obscure British TV miniseries (which I have clue how the teacher found) and I also studied two plays from my own country (which aren't very culturally relevant outside of there, so I'd best not name them in case I give away my location, lol). That's basically my only first-hand experience with "traditional" theatre, although I did go to stand-up shows all the time before COVID and I love a good pantomime

Nalusa_Falaya said:
However, the biggest complaint I have on the novel is story-related, which is the VERY convenient way Jackie got out of the Unconscious Zone. Even though this story has many light hearted moments, I'd assume you intended for a good amount of seriousness and darker parts, and Jackie being stuck in the Unconscious Zone only being able to watch the tragic Luna was creating was one of the two lowest and saddest moments in the story (At least for me, the other one being Chekhov's death when Jackie realized the situation is way grimmer than she thought) but all this helplessness is somewhat thrown out of the window because "oh hey, look who's here, it's Sumire". It removed all the helplessness which was a big part of why Jackie was so down and undermined such a dark part in the story, especially that no one would've said it was a plot hole for Sumire not be able to save her considering the Unconscious Zone doesn't really "physically" exist since Jackie is basically a compressed personality in Luna's body, so it would've been fine and smooth if Sumire's abilities just ended here.

I suppose I wrote myself into a corner a bit there, TBH, lol. The original draft had Luna and Kuro have a big climactic battle and for Luna to become a full mary sue by awakening her full power and killing Kuro, which would cause her to forget all about Jackie. Since Luna wasn't a villain in that draft, she would've just willingly stepped over the borderline and brought Jackie back, which I thought was kinda underwhelming, lol

I suppose Sumire being able to enter the Unconscious Zone made more sense within the context of the story back when it was still a fanfiction, since it's pretty in-line with the canonically preestablished powers of the character who I eventually replaced with Sumire

Although I would say, since Sumire's a Mary Sue and she already entered someone's dream back in ACT 1 (Part 1), that I feel it could be just as much a plot-hole if she didn't do it. "Two plot-holes, or not two plot-holes?" ­čĄö

Nalusa_Falaya said:
The characters were also pretty nice to see, Chekhov, Sumire and Jackie/Luna especially, their personalities were pretty memorable and they served the story well. a few characters like Noh didn't feel THAT fleshed out but he helped the plot and other characters' development nonetheless, I'm pretty excited to see the characters in YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU, and hoping that you'd flesh them just a tad bit more, you've already made some good dynamics with Kii, Rie and Duu or Kaiji and Kii.

Thanks! And I definitely intend to flesh out YM's cast much more, since it's going to be quite a bit longer than 2BoN2B?, lol

Nalusa_Falaya said:
Some other stuff I like

-I like Kitty, she's really cute yet somewhat mysterious.

Thanks! Kitty is the resident "moeblob", I guess, lol

Nalusa_Falaya said:
-I like Chekhov and Sumire's relationship, it really felt like they were friends for a long time and this wasn't the first time Sumire asked a favor of Chekhov yet you never really needed to tell it to the audience, just showcasing it by the little things in the writing.

Thanks! I like to think character relationships are probably the element I excel most at in writing

Nalusa_Falaya said:
-I like that you're cool with killing off characters (that may sound like it isn't much but surprisingly many authors hold to their characters with their hands and teeth, so it's nice that you see the importance of sometimes being able to kill off beloved characters)

Yeah, major character death is one of my favorite tropes! I just really like stories that try to be dark or brutal and actually deliver on that promise in some way, and killing major characters is probably the darkest and most brutal way to do it! Basically every story I've ever written with any form of action in it has major characters dying left, right and center, lol

Nalusa_Falaya said:
-I like the moment when Rusalka tried to tell Jackie that it wasn't her fault before dying, it's a character giving us their perspective on the question of two beings or not two beings, and in this case it's yeah, they are two beings, which makes extra sense considering Rusalka also lost control of her kinkind.

Yeah, I feel everyone, especially the kinkind and summoners, has their own view on the situation. My own view is that, yes, they are two different beings. That said, I definitely want readers to come to their own conclusions

Nalusa_Falaya said:
A couple of stuff I don't like
-I don't know if this is just me (considering I barely see fourth wall breaks in novels) but some of them seemed a bit jarring or forced, especially that you had to explain to the reader that ''Sumire's looking away, almost looking at an imaginary 'fourth wall''', I found ones like Sumire saying ''I guess I'm the comic relief'' way smooth and not that self-explanatory, definitely take this with a grain of salt tho, since I don't encounter fourth wall breaks much in novels.

Yeah, I can definitely see that sort of thing being quite divisive. I'm personally quite fond of fourth-wall breaking humor and since the "fourth wall" as a concept comes from stage performers addressing the audience, I thought it sort of fitted with the overall theme. Although, again, I can definitely see the inclusion being divisive

-considering that Kitty can straight up move an entire moon, it's somewhat weird that Sumire didn't use her to take down Kuro or at the very least, go with Luna when she went to the castle, since Kitty seems really powerful, so Sumire somewhat ignoring that was just kinda...weird.

I feel Kitty either has no fighting experience or is just a straight-up pacifist (like myself), so I don't think she'd really offer much help. I think Sumire's also just super protective of her since she's only a child too. But I definitely see where you're coming from

Nalusa_Falaya said:
Again, All in all, I heavily enjoyed this story, And thank you Laika for writing it.

No problem! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

Nalusa_Falaya said:
I hope you win the Honeyfeed contest, but if you sadly didn't, I hope you enjoyed writing it, since I definitely enjoyed reading it,

I did indeed enjoy writing it! Thanks!

Nalusa_Falaya said:
Good luck with any future projects whether it's a sequel for Two Beings or continuing YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU, But I'll be sure to be there reading them.

Thanks!

Nalusa_Falaya said:
And considering how many people I hear about (Including me) who started stories that they didn't finish, Lol, I'm really proud of you that you wrote it all the way and didn't just leave it, So kudos for that!

Yeah, I've got a lot of novels I never finished. Hopefully YOUKAI MOKUSHIROKU won't be one of them (although I have it entirely planned out, so I don't think that's too likely) :)


Nalusa_Falaya said:
Hopefully this ''mini-review'' wasn't too long, I just wanted to put my thoughts somewhere, Alright, Guess I'm done, And thanks again.

No problem! And thank you for the honest feedback!
Modified by Kii_Ibarra, Aug 28, 6:59 PM
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
Oct 17, 6:20 PM

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"Welp, guess I didn't get in? Ah, well, better luck next time! GG to the semifinalists in the 'My New Life as a...' category!

It's been my honor participating in this contest with you all! Still feel free to check Two Beings, Or Not Two Beings? out if you want. Semifinalist or not, I still put a lot of work into it and I hope you enjoy it! :)

Best of luck to all the semifinalists and thanks to anyone who checked out my novel! The pleasure's all mine!"

- Laika
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009
 
Oct 18, 12:06 PM

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Laika_Moonlight said:
"Welp, guess I didn't get in? Ah, well, better luck next time! GG to the semifinalists in the 'My New Life as a...' category!

It's been my honor participating in this contest with you all! Still feel free to check Two Beings, Or Not Two Beings? out if you want. Semifinalist or not, I still put a lot of work into it and I hope you enjoy it! :)

Best of luck to all the semifinalists and thanks to anyone who checked out my novel! The pleasure's all mine!"

- Laika


You did good even finishing! I'm sorry you didn't make it in. I look forward to seeing what you write next!
 
Oct 18, 12:53 PM

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_Clowniac_ said:
You did good even finishing! I'm sorry you didn't make it in. I look forward to seeing what you write next!

Thanks so much for the kind words! And good luck in the semifinals! :)
Uh... please read my novel?
https://www.honeyfeed.fm/novels/4009