~Hakurei Shrine~ > Patchouli's Scarlet Library

Marisa's Book Club

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Iced Fairy:
A book without readers is kinda like a god without faith.  It just slowly vanishes away.  Fortunately you don't have to feed your books to a hellcrow to get them back.  You just need someone to sit down and read them.  Unfortunately if there's one thing everyone here is bad at, it's reading.  And especially reading and commenting.  People like Ruro, Rou or myself can occasionally browbeat or guilt someone into reading one of our stories, but even that's uncommon.  Especially for stories that are two or more years old.  Most people leave the catalog sadly untouched.

Which is why I'm using my new powers to summon up some of the older works from the vaults for people to look over.  The thread is so people can comment, critique or just chatter about the writings that are fished up.  To create a discussion area where you don't need to be worried about making it look like the story has been updated, or posting in a topic that's older then your account.  Hopefully it'll bring some more general activity to the Library as well.

For now we're going to have the featured books be offered via Librarian only.  That's to avoid everyone just talking about their own favorite stories all at once and talking past each other.  Perhaps as time continues we'll start absorbing more ideas in, though I'm stating one hard and fast rule for everyone; one must never post one's own work here.

Anyways I'd like to start this off with a short and simple story from someone who isn't as well known as a lot of the big name writers:

The Journal of Patchouli's Loyal Assistant

This work is not only one of my favorites within the library, it's one of the more unique ones.  It's a journal, entirely in the first person, and in a very unique style of prose.  I've gushed about it before, but that was over a year ago and this is where we summon up old things, so here we are.

[SPOILERS ? Go back and read the story first.  No seriously, it's short.]

The story is really short and simple.  Patchouli gets possessed and her assistant _______ has to free her.  It's the little details along the way that make the story, like Patchouli's antics early on, and the internal musings of _______'s true demon self.  The story is filled with little asides and comments that just make sense for the familiar of a magician in a magical land.

It also shows how bad writing practices can be turned into a good style.  The language and style Coin Spire uses is somewhat confusing, but since this is _______'s mind, the complexities and confusion becomes a study of _______ herself.

I could go on, but since this is just the start I'd like to hear some other thoughts.  Post away!

Hm, so I've read that journal story thingy.  It's very nice so far.  Also:

--- Quote from: Iced Fairy ---For now we're going to have the featured books be offered via Librarian only.
--- End quote ---
How do I know if the book is featured or not?  I've looked through a few and haven't seen anything distinctive that said that they were featured.

Thanks   :3

Iced Fairy:
Right now it's just the one.  We'll roll out more as time passes.

My hope is that people would talk about specific parts of the stories that they liked.  To try to get beyond the simple "It's good" comments that, while nice, tend to drive writers insane.

Alright, comments:

- First of all I like how the heroines are written. All well-intentioned, but with a habit of getting in each others' way. They're decent at heart, but stubborn and single-minded to a dangerous extent. It fits in well with how I always imagined Gensokyo handling a crisis - everyone tries to solve it at once, and then they ruin each others plans unintentionally until someone finally gets things done.

- The journal mechanic gets played with well. _______ jumps through several methods of writing her notes, from lists to scripts. The use of the long list in the third entry - with no care for flow or readability - gets across the image of a very formal, by-the-book librarian.

- Notable is how _______ deals with speech. Note that her discussions with Patchouli are written normally, but other speakers are relegated to script. When _______ takes part in these discussions, her words aren't put into the script directly - rather, she tells us roughly what she said. She puts herself and her mistress on a different level from everyone else - even Sakuya.
For added emphasis, note that the supposed heads of the house, the Scarlets, are never given any dialogue. _______ cares for Patchouli and Patchouli alone.

- The whole finale, with _______ Spoiler: invoking Hell to rip the goddess from her master's body, gets across another theme I see quite often in Gensokyo - gods aren't necessarily good, demons aren't necessarily evil. For example, Remilia's Scarlet Mist was just part of a selfish desire to walk around in the sun, not to wipe out all life in the country. Better examples would be the oni, who play around most of the time and don't do much harm, and the celestials who are pretty much canonically corrupt and selfish.
Hell, given that most of Gensokyo's residents are horrible monsters turned into adorable little girls, you could say this is a running theme of the entire series.

I hope that's enough critical examination to get some people talking. Anything else people particularly liked/disliked? Like I said in the story thread the tenses are a little shaky, but it was still a fun read regardless.


--- Quote from: Iced Fairy on March 07, 2012, 09:14:42 PM ---Right now it's just the one.  We'll roll out more as time passes.

My hope is that people would talk about specific parts of the stories that they liked.  To try to get beyond the simple "It's good" comments that, while nice, tend to drive writers insane.

--- End quote ---

Oh okay.  Thank you.

Also yeah I can relate to that.  If I write something and someone just says "Wow great job!" I thank them then I annoy them until I get some specifics out of them.  'Cause that's just how I roll.   :V  I also always try to be specific and detailed when reviewing writings, music, art, etc.

Aokay well now I'll search for some stuff to buzz about here.  Writing and reading is my type of thing and honestly Patchouli's Scarlet Library is probably my favorite place on the forum   :D


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