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February 1
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Sometimes – not often – I wish I knew how or even cared to tell happy cheerful stories. Doing so is difficult for me but I feel that happiness is a tool I need to master just as I should master every tool in the writer's emotional toolbox. That's what I was attempting to jump-start with my Sketch – Happy Land piece (found at fav.me/d3sijw7 ), my hope was that writing an over-the-top happy story would help me break through my happiness block. I wanted to write a story so happy that everything I wrote afterward would be tinged with that happiness, if even only a little bit. But I forced the issue, or perhaps it's more accurate to say I cheated. The inhabitants of Happy Land, at first glance consisting of magic pixies and bubbling slimes, express the idea that no not-happy feeling can be had in Happy Land. Maybe for them this isn't so bad, they're not human after all … but I think that for a human Happy Land would be a boring place to live. Happiness is only one emotion after all, and variety is the spice of life. And because writing and art is about making the reader feel, doing so with only one emotion really would be boring. Happiness is a brush to paint with and a writer should no more only paint with that brush as they should avoid the brush entirely. That's what I need to remember. Shortly after writing Happy Land I would have said it was something of a failure, because I didn't succeed at my impossible goal of writing a purely happy world. The truth is that I succeeded, because I was able to write a world with plenty of happiness and a few more emotions besides. Do I like the piece? The jump scare amuses me, as does the two characters playing Fly before, but after that there's not much more to the piece, it was writing practice and nothing more. What did I learn? Happiness is a tool like any other, to be used as the story needs.

This week it's another chapter of Pokemon: the Game! Clay's secret is revealed and Cid is worried, she doesn't want to be arrested! Meanwhile the others are being true to their responsibility, nothing will happen to that package until Clay gets it! Next week will be the concluding part of High War's chapter nine, please look forward to it, I know I am!



Kagerou
by Luka Delaney

Home: www.kagerou.org/
First: www.kagerou.org/01/kageroumenu…

Questions can make and break a story. When positive such secrets can intrigue the reader, convince them to continue reading so as to discover the truth, hold them until the end while the secret is dangled before them like a carrot on a stick. These positive questions are often centered around characters, such as: does the protagonist have a power hidden within them? What is the ally's true motive for helping the protagonist? Who is that masked man? When the answer is not revealed by the end though, the reader is left feeling unfulfilled. And when questions are negative they confuse the reader, convince them to go elsewhere for their entertainment. These kinds of secrets are often centered around the story itself, such as: is this story ever going to start feeling hopeful? Does the author have any real point or vision to this story? Is any of this even real? Questions like this take the reader out of the story, but they can be avoided by not implying them in the first place. A webcomic like this has questions of both kinds, and so will succeed or fail depending on if the answers are received well. Even worse, the answers may only really come at the end of everything, meaning that the author must rely on readers not giving up part way through. Not every story takes that risk, and that can be charming in a way. Our protagonist is from “our” world and has been summoned to a rich fantasy world of gods and demons, but he may be dreaming everything that happens or even exploring his own madness-tinged subconscious. His love interest and appointed guardian isn't too happy about those latter two theories, but she's even less happy about his multiple personalities and apparent breadth of random magical powers when in them. Meanwhile a thief is getting it on with the princess our hero was summoned to save, the soul of whom is now trapped along with a whole heap of dead people in our protagonist's mind, while the gods wander the land and make mischief for everyone as they work to prevent some kind of godhood apocalypse from happening again. The art starts a bit rough but gets professional with time and is full color most of the way through

Why you should read this: The author takes the issues of multiple personalities (for the protagonist) and gender-queer (for the protagonist's real world friend) very seriously, making this story somewhat of an exploration of both. The story is also a trope deconstruction of such things as the Hero's Journey, Freud's theories of the mind, magical girl manga and even fantasy in general.

Why you shouldn't read this: Don't bother if you frequently get lost trying to follow challenging plot-points and the actions of background characters, this story is made of them and may take a few reads to understand. Also there's been a few hiatuses and the artist may have offers of other work coming in.

Other cool stuff: The new website is nice, but like the old one still has a strange archive. There's a LiveJournal for random art and news – seems the artist is now involved with Homestuck? - and there's a whole bunch of fanart from a whole bunch of people. Very cool is how you can ask the author any question using the Anti-FAQ and maybe even have it answered with the truth.
  • Watching: Fairy Tail, Durarara
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:iconneverleavemee:
NeverLeaveMee Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist
Hehe... I know exactly how you feel about having a hard time writing happy things that sound cheesy
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:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Heh, I probably should have said though that this was written back when I was sitting around the house without a job and only really hanging with others maybe once a week, I was probably a little depressed or something. I still don't like ultra-happy stories, but I no longer worry much about whether my stories are exclusively dark and disturbed.
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:iconneverleavemee:
NeverLeaveMee Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2014  Hobbyist
I find I have a lovely life, and I still can't write happy stories. Little happy scenes from a story, yes. But a whole story, not so much...
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:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

A happy story is probably just a story with a happy ending, so as long as the last few scenes of the story are those "little happy scenes" that you can write, I'm sure you can do it. Or don't worry about writing happy stories, write the stories you want to tell.

Maybe you just have a block against writing a whole story of any kind? In high school I got a C in my AP English class because I didn't write a 30-page paper that was like 20% of the grade ... we had months to do it and plenty of help and peer critique time, but I never wrote more than a page or two because 30 pages was just too big for me to comprehend. It was a block, but my shame at getting that C for no good reason helped me overcome the block. In college I was able to write larger and larger papers, always out of fear of experiencing that shame again, until finally I could write papers like that with no problem.

Now I'm not saying you have to utterly fail at something before you can hope to succeed at it ... but yeah, if you have a block then you should try to break it. Everyone does it differently, so try different things and see what works. You said you had been writing poetry, why not write an epic poem?

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:iconneverleavemee:
NeverLeaveMee Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist
I know that I can... It's not so much as a block, I'm just not sure how to do it without making it sound fluffy. I can, but I don't like to? I don't know. I figure darker stories are easier to write because dark descriptions are easier for me I guess.

Long papers are actually pretty easy for me.
Last year we had to write a creative piece of literature for a writing class and the max amount of pages, double space, was 20. I think I had about 22 by the end. Then I added a few after the fact. So long papers aren't really a problem.

But yeah... I do try to write happy stuff. An when I try, they're pretty good... So yeah...
And I would loooove to write a poem like that.... I just haven't taken the time to think about one.
I also would love to be able to write poems that can be made into songs... Still haven't figured that out yet...
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:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

Nothing wrong with fluffy unless you think there's something wrong. I wrote Happy Land because I wanted to break my happiness block and write something less dark, but what I got was sort of middle of the road ... which might be a good thing, now that I think about it. Even if you try to tell a story in a mood that you don't feel, who you are will come through. And that's okay after all, that's what makes every writer unique. And you never know how different you'll be a few years down the road, maybe then fluffy stories will be easy and dark will be hard. Better to get the practice in now with dark.

Huh, you can write a 22 page paper that easily? Lucky~

Whenever I make up lyrics in my head, it's always because I have the music stuck in there first. You could practice song-writing by taking music and making up your own words to it. Maybe you'll end up with a ballad or an ode or something, write it down and you will have written a story. It also couldn't hurt to get inspired by listening to songs other people have written, especially if they are in the style of what you want to write. Like ... an English translation of Beowulf maybe? There's several being performed on YouTube.

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:iconneverleavemee:
NeverLeaveMee Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist
Yeah.... I know... It's just not my think... Then again... Fluffy fanfics are sometimes wonderful. :)
And I usually write whatever is in my head... And that usually depends on the scene that it is. :)
Quite recently I wrote a few happish, less dark, things, and both made me happy, so...

I love to write, so the longer the assignment is, hehe... The happier I am... I disagree when they give you a small limit... Like 1500 words... TOO EASY AND SHORT!!!

Yeah... I listen to music a lot, especially when I'm doing home work and... Writing.
I keep trying, and I have gotten some ok words, I'm just not that great with making up a tune... Though sometime I steal a tune and put it to that.
I'll look it up. I've actually always wanted to read it. :)
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:iconcobrateen:
Cobrateen Featured By Owner Feb 2, 2014  Hobbyist Writer

But what's in your head will change as you grow and change, and if you're really lucky you will never stop changing.

Ooh, with small limits the thing to do is cram as much goodness into that space as possible. It's only easy if you let it be easy, there are people who restrict themselves to a certain word count as part of the challenge.

Good luck, with prose or poetry or whatever.

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