Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

Questions, skill improvement, and respectful critique involving game writing.
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Tsuyuri
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Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

#1 Post by Tsuyuri » Wed Jan 16, 2013 5:59 pm

First thank you very much for taking the time to read this topic~

Since this is obviously the first time I'm writing a visual novel (that alongside the fact I learned English by self-study) I tend to depend on native speaking friends for proofreading and such~ but since this forum has plenty of people with experience on writing and such I'll hope you'll be kind enough to critique me on things about my writing--- and hopefully help provide advice on how to improve myself~

note: the below sample is a story fragment of the visual novel I'm working on~ I 'tried' (I hope~) to write it in the past tense~

the first version had a lot more presence from the Narrator but I thought this type of writing might end up being more appreciated~
Prologue:
Scene 1
Narrator:
Our story begun on a afternoon in the cold harsh winter season. Nestled on top of a small hill overlooking the town there was a shrine said to belong to the Kimura clan. While the town itself was not large or religious by any means the shrine still was often visited due to the long history the Kimura clan had. Said to have protected the people from demons, malevolent creatures and other disasters since age’s old they were respected by the townsfolk but today oddly enough the shrine grounds seemed rather quiet…

Yet it appeared the shrine was not entirely empty for a small figure was visible nearby one of the golden shrine statues. With a blanket spread over her body and a pillow resting against the statue a girl was sleeping. It seemed rather unusual for one to be able to sleep so comfortable both in a shrine and while being outside in the cold winter weather. But whenever she was able to sleep well or not no longer mattered because an deep elderly voice stirred her from her slumber.

Old Priest:
“Ojou-sama! Ojou-sama where are you?!”

Tsukiko:
Hearing a familiar voice shouting within the shrine grounds I lazily tossed around, digging my head further into the pillow supporting my head in hope to ignore the sound. Honestly while I would normally have at least bothered to respond right now I simply felt too tired to react. Still knowing the man that was searching for me I was confident it would only be a matter of time before he would find me…

“A few more hours…”

As I heard footsteps approaching my napping spot I groaned lightly and finally put in the effort to open my eyes so I could gaze upward to the criminal who just disturbed my sleep. Standing in front of me was a tall elderly man with a gentle expression on his face. His name was Yuji… Yes simply Yuji because none of us knew his family name nor did we really bother asking why he never told any of us after his years long service.

Yuji:
“There you are Ojou-sama~ You sure know how to pick your hiding spots”

Tsukiko:
Letting out a small yawn I decided that now I was discovered my sleep would have to wait for another time so I crawled back onto my feet and looked up at the old priest.

“*yawn* Good morning Oji-san…”

Yuji:
“*soft laugh* good morning to you Tsukiko-sama, or afternoon rather~ You missed your lunch again. But you really should learn not to go and sleep around like that, you never know when you are required to perform your duties as a Kimura priestess…”

Tsukiko:
While I clenched my fists I felt myself being annoyed at the reminder of my family’s duties. I knew my work was important yet it was one thing to take care of a shrine but an entire different matter when I had to perform my actual duties as a priestess. Finally I crossed my arms beneath my chest and pouted my cheeks in an attempt to express my anger while I spoke in a soft tone.

“I know~ I know~ As a Kimura priestess it is our sacred duty to ensure the stability and safety of both realms. You can spare me the lecture Oji-san.”

The ability to wander between both the real world and the plane of dreams was a gift unique to my lineage. It was because of that power we possessed that it also became our duty to watch over the balance between both reality and the plane of dreams.

Yuji:
“Indeed for generations your family has been the guardians of both worlds and while their efforts as peacekeepers are admired not everyone shares that opinion.”

Tsukiko:
I nodded my head lightly in understanding of the man’s explanation. I knew from personal experience that not everyone was fond of my family’s presence in the other world. Some were distrusting of us while others shown something bordering closer to hostility. Letting out a sigh of exhaustion I obviously couldn't disagree with their opinions. In the end it was my ancestors their decision to reveal the existence of our world that had led to the birth of this conflict in the first place.

Yuji:
“I know you feel restless Ojou-sama but please remember than under no circumstances may a spirit from the plane of dreams interact with our society. Should their existence be revealed to our world the chaos that would follow would be too much for us to control.”

Tsukiko:
“Is that--- why we have that law?”

I felt a light shiver of discomfort run across my spine while I lowered my gaze in an attempt to hide my troubled feelings. The one law that had to be followed no matter the situation or the people involved. When a spirit broke the taboo of their world by entering reality they were to be hunted down and eliminated at all costs.

Yuji:
“I’m afraid it is Ojou-sama… We both know the price they have to pay for entering our world.”

Tsukiko:
My discomfort turned into anger while felt my nails digging into my fists, the shaking almost so strongly my small body trembled along with it. Of course I knew the price they had to pay for entering our world. My voice grown colder in tone I spoke with a hint of disgust toward the subject.

“The act of devouring. The ability of a spirit to take over the existence of a wanderer and enter our world as ‘them'. It’s an crime worse than murder for they eat away the victim’s soul and use their memories and thoughts as a means to disguise themselves.”

The result of my family’s actions had led to this tragic taboo. By revealing the existence of our world the spirits from the plane of dreams started to fear that their existence might had just been fiction, the product of someone’s fantasy. This finally led to a whole plague of paranoia to spread among its population. Some of them even went this far to escape from that feeling…

“Is being ‘real’ that important to them?”
My voice shook with sadness and hesitation when I suddenly felt a light hand rest on top of my head and looking upwards I saw already what I had expected. Yuji was looking down at me with that gentle caring smile of him. That expression that wordlessly conveyed to me that everything would be alright…

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Re: Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

#2 Post by AshenhartKrie » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:31 pm

I quite like your style. The only thing is a few tiny (literally tiny) grammar mistakes. Began, instead of begun for example (unless I've been using the wrong word forever), and some commas here and there (then again I tend to overuse commas). I like where it's going too, and I'd definitely play this.
P.S, I can't believe you learned English by self-study! Your English is amazing! I've been trying to teach myself Japanese for years and I can barely have a conversation!

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Re: Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

#3 Post by Tsuyuri » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:39 pm

http://www.thefreedictionary.com/began

*ponders* it confused me also =3 so I tried to look it up while writing~ and aye I'm not really sure where to place comma's since written language was never my good point~ that's luckily where I can depend on my proofreaders~

But thank you for the compliment ^///^

and yep~ I learned English first by watching movies with subtitles~ then I started reading small books while keeping a dictionary nearby~ and then when I started watching anime worked my way up with forum roleplays and then started asking questions like 'what word can I best use in this situation~'

And I hear Japanese is really difficult because you have like three forms of alphabet so for us it's like translate kanji to our alphabet letters and all that confusing stuff~

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Re: Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

#4 Post by Klokinator » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:09 pm

AshenhartKrie wrote:Began, instead of begun for example
Actually based on the context of the next sentences, the correct word is "begins", but you were pretty close.

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Re: Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

#5 Post by AshenhartKrie » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:11 pm

Both could be used, it sounds fine either way.
EDIT: Begins makes it sound present tense though. To me anyway.

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Re: Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

#6 Post by Tsuyuri » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:25 pm

hmmm~ and it's not right to mix past and present tense in such situations?

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Re: Tsuyuri needs writing advice~ free cookies inside~

#7 Post by AshenhartKrie » Wed Jan 23, 2013 9:41 am

Tsuyuri wrote:hmmm~ and it's not right to mix past and present tense in such situations?
Generally mixing past tense with present tense gets confusing, unless it's an obvious flashback.
Sometimes I find myself switching from past to present, and I have to go back and switch it all to past, since I dislike writing in the present tense for stories. I find it fine in VNs however.
For example:
It was a hot summers day, and sweat's trickling down my back. I reached up and brush it away, sitting in the shade of the patio. It's almost two o'clock and I was growing hungry
etc etc.
I really exaggerated the switching from present to past, but you can see that it doesn't quite sound right. Sometimes it's very hard to pick up, although, with pretty much every single thing in the English language, there's probably an excception to the rule somewhere.

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