It’s that time. What time? Time to Village Life: It’s Never Safe at Work, a 2023 Lewd Shorts Writing Competition!
The terms are none too complicated: - Starting March 24th till March 31st, writers will submit their entries in a thread provided at that date. - A twist! Writers can choose one of two themes or both at once. - The readers, in addition to voting, will decide whether or not their chosen entry satisfies both the themes. - Such entries as do will receive an extra point in the final tally. - Voting will be held for a week, starting on the 1st of April.
Without any more ado, the themes shall be these:
Theme 1: - Not Safe For Work – In other words: workplace shenanigans, professional unprofessionalism, getting it on before getting off work! This can of course stand for good, old-fashioned exchange of pleasure for tangibles – but also characters in a superior/subordinate relationship straining the boundaries of said relationship, regular business swerving into ribaldry, bodily bargaining, etc. An exorcism gone wrong very right with one of Gensokyo’s premier youkai exterminators. Sakuya evaluating a candidate for the mistress’s hand in marriage – down to every last inch of him. A callow Wolf Tengu finding himself inveigled in a scandal while investigating a social uproar among the Crows. An acolyte attending their goddess in all her unreasonable, attention-starved whimsies. All fair game.
And, since I hear you clamouring: >Is the Lotus Pavilion a professional establishment too?! Yes. So the house rules avow. Tell you what; I’ll even add an extra point to your final score if you touch upon that THP sextaple.
Theme 2: - Village Girls – Meaning the usual suspects who live, regularly visit or ply their trade (wink, wink) in the Human Village. Your story must, furthermore, take place within the Village. This is your chance to flaunt your knowledge of the town’s comings-and-goings. An illicit, midnight poker game at the Geidontei with its less savoury frequenters, perhaps? The history teacher’s clandestine rendezvous with a once-student, now all grown up? The village bicycle being taken out on a rough track? Once again, fair game every one. >Fie! But what if I should an out-of-town character to the village visit desire? Calm down, Futo. First of all, a number of more and less expected characters do haunt the Human Village. However, if you are even so hankering after that double-theme-dip and a character who has no business being there, by all means! Give them that business. Make it play into your short’s setup – et voila. Nobody’ll be able to tell you your favourite’s too antisocial to get lucky on a night out in town! >Huzzah! Indeed.
If there are any remaining questions, go ahead, ask them. Otherwise, you are the challengers. I await your first strokes.
I'll probably pass on the whole Pavillion inside joke, but I'm sure I can scrap something off my old, dusty ledger of ideas to accomodate both main themes. And it just so happens life's actually giving me a short break this month, so sure, I'm game.
We're one week into March, so I'd like to express a hope that you amazing, writerly bastards have at the very least decided whether you want to participate, if not already started working on your entries. Mine is coming along nicely!
>The readers, in addition to voting, will decide whether or not their chosen entry satisfies both the themes. >Such entries as do will receive an extra point in the final tally.
>Is the Lotus Pavilion a professional establishment too?! >Yes. So the house rules avow. Tell you what; I’ll even add an extra point to your final score if you touch upon that THP sextaple.
Writing about the Lotus Pavilion gives you 1 extra point. The Lotus Pavilion counts as a working environment, so you get another extra point. The Lotus Pavilion is located in the human village, so you get another extra point. So anyone who writes about the Lotus Pavilion automatically gets 3 points and is pretty much guaranteed to win, no matter how bad the story might be.
I think these rules might need a bit of rethinking.
>>16892 >So anyone who writes about the Lotus Pavilion automatically gets 3 points and is pretty much guaranteed to win, no matter how bad the story might be. Not quite. Treat the Lotus Pavilion clause simply as 1 freebie point from moi, the organiser. To receive additional points the story would need to be voted for in the first place and for the majority of those votes to rule that, whoever it stars (and the Lotus Pavilion's employees hailed mostly from outside the Human Village), that character also qualifies as a Village Girl as outlined in the OP. But this is the same for all other entries, so there's no real favouritism going on.
In other words, a Lotus Pavilion entry will only get 1 automatic point from yours truly. No more, nor less.
> A twist! Writers can choose one of two themes or both at once. > The readers, in addition to voting, will decide whether or not their chosen entry satisfies both the themes. > Such entries as do will receive an extra point in the final tally.
Even with the extra explanation in >>16893, it seems to me that this could be interpreted in three possible ways: - a story that features both themes gets two extra points and a story that features only one of them gets one - a story that features both themes gets one extra point and a story that features only one of them gets none - a story that features either or both of the themes gets one extra point So which of these interpretations is correct?
Gotta make it to the weekend... Just a few days more...
Oh. You're here. As a reminder, the submission thread will go up at around this time in 3 days. And, since we all know no sane man puts his thingy up for consideration till another poor sap has been scrotunised, I guess that makes it effectively 10 days left to do yours up before the voting phase.
In addition! I have made some determinations and decided that there will, after all, be a prize for the winner. I won't say what kind yet, but you'll find out on that unfortunately dated day, once the entries have been compiled and put up for voting. Not a joke. No, really...
The entries thread is now up over yonder: >>/at/41258. Hopefully, it shan’t be the only thing that goes up. Aha!
From here on, you have about week for finishing touches (giggity!) and to present your offering to the patron bikes of the lewd. To entertain formalities, the entry window ends on March 31st, at whenever-I-get-to-it o’clock. I’ll try and pass a forewarning around before I do. Since you have had over a month to get it done, requests for an extension shall be viewed very poutily!
I wouldn't be opposed to a week extension to have a bit of extra time to polish my own story, but I'd understand if other people don't want it... even if that means I'd have to submit my entry half-baked.
All right, you bastards. A week more and not a fairy-fluttering day longer. So the new window is until April the 7th, 22:00 UTC. And I swear, if there are fewer than 4 entries in the final line-up, I'm rescinding the prize. All in favour?
You lot had better apologise afterwards to the guy who went first all on his own and left you in the dust.
All right. Since you’ve all proven me wrong and shown me up, let’s get the matter of that prize out of the way first of everything.
What is the prize? The prize is a smutty short written in accordance with the winner’s prompt. The only requirement is this short has itself to abide by the contest’s rules. All I ask in return is enough creative wiggle room to make it something I’m at least passingly familiar with and capable of conceptualising. A simple naming of a Village-viable character and/or a work-place/-relation/-situation and leaving the greater finagling to me will, of course, also do.
- OR -
If your creative muscles are still all floppy from writing your own entry, I can always do you a lewd PC-98 short. Which PC-98? Could be any one of them! Could be the blonde one! The one in a maid outfit! The one wielding a melee implement! It’d be a surprise, I bet it would.
That done and done, here are our this extended month’s entrants:
⩮ Whatever-Man ⩮
⧆ Very Forbidden Scrollery ⧆
❉ The Duties of Man and Youkai ❉
⊛ Gold and Red Threads ⊛
✢ Private Encore ✢
❃ Smoke Screen ❃
In addition, as per the rules, if you believe your chosen entry satisfies both the contest’s themes – to wit, occurring in the Human Village or starring Village-frequenting characters & involving a work-adjacent scenario – please add:
to your vote. Should the majority of the votes cast for a story contain this addition, that story will receive +1 to its final vote count. Yes, even if there is 1 vote cast for it altogether. A vote without a “Double!” attached will be treated as a “Nay, thou’rt single-themed!”, so don’t skip out!
As a courtesy thing, let’s say voting for your own entry is highly discouraged. What isn’t discouraged is substantiating your choice or commenting on as many entries as beg a comment.
The voting period opens effective immediately and lasts until April the 14th, 22:00 UTC.
I’ll reserve any and all closing words till then. Away!
I wrote this, so I'll save any navel-gazing for the contest closing.
** Very Forbidden Scrollery **
With overflowing kindness in my heart, I think I can call this typical fare from you. It is, in a word, what I would expect and not much less or more. Honestly, cheers for doing it, even with all of life's intrusions.
But, well, as you probably know by now, it's not to my tastes, which is always the sad part of encountering your porn. You always have at least entertaining setups and occasional mid-text zingers that give me occasion to exhale amusedly, so I can't help trying to enjoy what's there to be enjoyed. The thing about it is — and forgive an old man's memory, possibly faulty — you used to be a bit more muted on the sex bits. Sure, you and 'muted' don't go together quite like old dancing partners, but there was, shall I say, a bit more restraint. Then you had to go and make a weird conscious decision to be more... I can't find the correct word. 'Sleazy' is the best I can come up with, even if it isn't the greatest encapsulation.
I know it's largely an affectation, and I suppose that's what bothers me, but I guess I also don't care for 'sleaze' as a thing. Was it overwhelming here? Certainly not in comparison to some other works, but there was still that same layer of everything needing to be salacious and lurid that does not a damned thing for me. Perhaps the thing that bothers me most is a lack of eroticism, which is something quite distinct from, well, smut. There's a fundamental attitude here that just doesn't allow for it except perhaps accidentally. It's more ultimately focused on the act itself than what drives it, and I just don't find even whimsical descriptions of the act very fulfilling.
Yes, yes, all a matter of tastes, I know. Still, I wouldn't necessarily mind some of your less mammary-minded outings with just a slight downward adjustment on that scale, honestly. There's always your non-porn works, I guess.
** The Duties of Man and Youkai **
I believe I know what you were going for here, or I'd like to think I do. Unfortunately, I have to be a bit of a blunt ass and say that you didn't get there. Not for lack of trying, mind. There's much about this piece that gives off the impression of a novice writer — and perhaps a novice reader, as well. That can be valuable in some ways. Those new to the craft are bright-eyed and not necessarily tied to convention. That said, the most telling thing here is simply that there's nothing all that novel expressed, conceptually or content-wise, thus there's little unexpected.
As to what you were aiming at, my best perception of it is that you were going for the sort of overwhelming mix, if not confusion, of terror and arousal. This you did manage to convey in some fashion, though it was a tad heavy-handed. Your human sacrifice managed to explain as much as he expressed, often unnecessarily, in my opinion. Megumu was fitted into the role of designated oppressor, never wavering from the function for very long, if at all. Tsukasa was... rather unnecessary, I feel, and only added noise in the form of dialogue that could very well have been trimmed.
Perhaps what was most lacking was the sense of arousal, to say nothing of any sense of the erotic at all. Yes, there is sexual content, but it is honestly detached from any of the expressed emotions in a way that's slightly alienating. The focus generally skews mechanical, which is, I'm afraid to say, a typical failing of writers fumbling with porn. Sex is much more than inserting tab A into slot B, and bits of dialogue to space out the inserting and un-inserting doesn't substitute for any of it. One might think such things, fundamental as they are to humans, would be easy to convey, but they are sadly not. In that sense, this piece doesn't live up to its purpose.
Another nagging aspect of this whole thing was the conceit of self-insertion. Unfortunately, this is a case of trying to have one's cake and eat it too. Your human is, despite all conscious efforts to un-root him, too much of a character of his own for that to work. Simply refusing to give him a fixed name does little more than make for a formatting oddity, breaking any pretence of immersion, however thin it may have been to start. Really, it just feels like an unnecessary exercise in trying to cozy up to the audience, which creates an artificiality that leaves a strange taste in one's mouth.
There are additional quibbles I could make about formatting and about the piece's premise, which would be a bit ridiculous canonically, but I'll leave off. What I'll suggest instead is to read more literature and get a broader exposure to writing in general; I get the feeling you mostly read fanfiction. Get more familiar with sexuality on a psychological level if you want to keep writing porn. Then, keep trying.
** Gold and Red Threads **
Look, I can tell this piece comes from a place of enthusiasm, if not personal investment, so it would be pretty mean of me to nitpick it to death. There are, of course, quite a few nits I could pick.
Speaking on it generally, I feel like sex cheapened this story. Sure, porn contest, I get it. Still, it doesn't change the fact that this is more of an idealised puppy-love kind of story in the end, and introducing sex into that equation requires a certain delicate approach that you didn't have. More than that, there's a certain confusion about the whole business. This whole relationship between these two 'Ma's needed a whole lot more breathing room than you'd get in a contest piece. When we get to the two having a rain-soaked rendezvous on the shop floor, it doesn't feel very earned; we've simply been treated to the kid gabbling about how he likes her and thinks she's cute for the most part. Adolescent sexuality, the sort of angle I believe you were approaching from, is hard to not handle with a cack-hand, unfortunately.
Also of quick note, the stream-of-consciousness style that drives the narration is tiresome. I get that you want a certain 'immediacy' of sensation to be impressed on the audience, but it doesn't work; we simply cannot 'see' what you 'see', 'feel' what you 'feel', etc. The whole thing has a jumpiness in terms of trying to chase down sensory detail that I felt honestly exasperated mid-way and found myself skimming more than reading. In the same way as the above piece, this reads to me as an overall lack of experience, and I would make similar recommendations for remedying it.
And perhaps you could redo this little exercise as a mini-series of shorts or something. For all faults I can find, it's cute at the very least. It's just, well, 'cute' doesn't do well for porn, sad to say.
** Private Encore **
Like with the piece just prior, I can tell there is a personal investment here that would be cruel to defecate upon. Plus, it's obviously a bit of a hurried production, so I can't fault you too much for slightly rough edges. Honestly, good on you for making the hustle even under what I imagine was a slight time deficit.
If there's one thing I found unexpectedly charming about this entry, it's the dedication to the whole 'job/gig/performance/maintenance/etc.' bit from start to finish. It's the sort of thing that would provoke eye-rolls from me most times, porn or no, and yet you've pulled it off in just such a way that it's harmless in a sort of goofy, gap-toothed-smile kind of way. I'm not sure that was your aim, though. Purposeful or not, I can't be cranky at the breeziness of things.
Of course, I do see some cues taken similar to certain other regular porn contributors as far as how sexuality manifests in writing, though you don't lay it on quite as thick. But, well, I kind of auto-piloted through the sex bits, if I'm totally honest. Mechanical focus, even with slightly pretty descriptions, just doesn't do anything for me. Moreover, whilst your appreciation of Raiko comes through loud and clear, it's the sort of thing that largely works best visually; I just don't think you're going to ever quite get the same 'picture' across in words, no matter the technique.
I don't share your proclivity for carmine hair, but I will salute you for what is at the very least a valiant effort, pure in its intentions. Keep on keeping on, I say.
** Smoke Screen **
Wow. That's all I can say. I mean, honestly, this is almost too good for a 'mere' — I'm speaking with my tongue in my cheek! — porn contest. It's the kind of thing that I wish I could find the appropriate words for but can't, strange as it is, considering how wordily I can damn others.
There's a sensitivity of sentiment I don't see often on THP. Even in the sex bits, it all goes back to some emotion floating hazily over everything, like wisps of the titular smoke. Perhaps I have some slight reservations about the particular interpretation of Mokou at play here, but it really doesn't matter in the face of how damned good of a story it is. This is as close to mature writing as I tend to see here, and I'm touched in a way that is nowhere near sexual to have read it.
I want more. Simple as that.
So, with all that said, I think my vote should be pretty clear.
[x] Smoke Screen [x] Double!
I hesitated for a bit on Double!-ing my vote, since the entry itself doesn't involve exceeding amounts of work and dilemmas of safety thereof or therein. However, in the end, I am tremendously biased and will not even feign for a moment that it isn't the truth. Plus, the first criterion is so broad and subjective that I don't think I'm too far out of bounds justifying it on the grounds that Mokou's chief occupation is involved heavily in the back-story of the piece. So, there.
I cast: Judgement!Anonymous2023/04/10 (Mon) 21:27No. 16962▼
>Whatever-Man Toughie, this one. Comfort porn and the mixing of sex with self-loathing is so far outside my strike zone it isn’t even the same dick anymore, so I don’t feel qualified to comment on the, ahem, cuntral theme of the story. I did, all the same, find myself wishing for an explication on or even – haha – a coupling of Keine’s sentiments to her nature as a part-beast. There are a few feasible flashes of such like throughout, for example in her deriving pleasure from being treated/mating like an animal, but not a lot beyond. I feel it may have given the story altogether more zest and… let’s say, grounding, as a not-so-innocent exploration of her existing character. The Keine’s who’s as significantly a (somewhat speciesist) half-youkai as she is just a long-lived teacher. Grass for thought-cows?
Oh, and please… You failed to answer this most pressing of questions: does or does not the hat come off for bed-top sports? Such forgetfulness is a sin. Thwap.
>Very Forbidden Scrollery Incest is a sin. Unsealing youkai is an additional sin. That’s a double thwapping.
>The Duties of Man and Youkai Oof. Another theme that just doesn’t jive with the neighbour downstairs. Only now starring a character the upstairs doesn’t care for, either. Oh, waily, waily. Nevertheless, I do appreciate what you were going for, no matter its unusualness in terms of convention. Actually, I can’t help but believe you were more than a little short-changed by the format; imagine presenting this story on a site or other medium where you may directly pull the reader’s profile name into the text. That’d be something to pull off all right, not to mention playing up the mindbreak gut-punch from a second-person-perspective even further. It’s a pity.
Your sin, however, was not giving the sex fox a fair turn. This is inexcusable. Thwap.
Also, I must ask: was your entry perhaps inspired by certain threads on the ol’ /jp/? It did give me a bit of a prod in the grey…
>Gold and Red threads A witch’s hat? Not protecting her from at-moss-pyrrhic conditions? What would they have said in Lancre…?
Well, whatever they would, and unlike my forespeaker too, I do dig the “puppy love run over by hormonal lust” angle – as well as the attention paid to the pregnancy… scaredesire, shall we neologise? Two-thirds set-up and one-third sex worked out a nice balance for you, too, I felt. It reinforced that first theme-thingy brought up pretty well. Moreover, you’ve convinced there need to be more detailed descriptions of 2hus in a state be-drench-ment in general. Taking a note here…
Still… Gold and Red… but no Reimu… Yep. That’s a sin. Thwap.
>Private Encore To start off, I wouldn’t be my canon-autistic self if I hadn’t pointed out that the specific job of balancing out the Prismrivers’ music was already being done by Lyrica. Merlin specifies this outright in BAiJR: her music’s manic, Lunasa’s is melancholic, while Lyrica’s tune brings them together in harmony. No need for a fourth… drum. Further, Alt Facts’ Raiko makes it a point that her drums are front and centre when they perform together. Not whatsoever in the background. REEEad the print works, et caetera.
Good lord, look at that fog I pettid. What else can I say? Well, it’s 3PM, time to lug the gear, gotta get it on the stage. Jin’s muscles stretch, his fuckin’ hands will please the drum. When I check the vibe (and I check the vibe), I share the afore-stated enthusiasm about the piece’s levity; it’s something that appeals on a personal level. Although, to deviate, I extend that onto the inny-outy parts as well. But, well, it is known our tastes in this respect align, so perhaps that goes without saying.
What I will say is that the phrase, >electrifying lips made me snort louder than any right it had. Well plaid. Shame the song lasted so short.
Your sin, now… is not reading up on your favourite! Thwap.
>Smoke Screen I beg you not to take this personally, but I just can’t. I can’t put myself behind this characterisation. This is entirely on me; your take on Mokou and Keine doesn’t differ altogether terribly from what can be found in a myriad other fan works, but I can’t abide those either. The story makes sense, the structure is clear (if a tad meandering at points), the relationships are psychologically sound. You’ve clearly thought this all out; you have my commendation here. But, I’m sorry, I just don’t – can’t – like Mokou like this. Sorry.
Your sin… is beyond the grace of God! Thwap. Ride the lightning!
On the whole, I feel I owe my vote to an entry which was competent, if a shade of blue undercooked, and treated of a character I am fond of in a manner I can support. And, lest we forget, delivered in the timeliest of manners.
The Double! I hesitate on a little, since the veneer of “workplace” relations is but the thinnest within this piece, let alone on the PoV character’s profession, but rules are rules. Thus, my vote, with miniature Keine hats, goes to:
It was between this and Smoke Screen for me; this one won out because I thought it incorporated both of the contest themes well. For both of these stories, I like how they went into the characters' emotions as opposed to just physicality. Gold and Red Threads did that as well, but I did not like the writing style of that story as much.
Sorry to the first entrant, but I am just a simple man with simple desires and expectations from this long-awaited addition to this site's smut bank. What of the last, I'll just subscribe under the Judge of Paradise's verdict above fully (maybe also adding Kaguya to the list of personalities I can't get behind of).
I'm voting to show my support out of principle, but that does mean you are at the mercy of my sexual preferences. And that, in turn, means that any story with a male whom I don't fancy contemplating sexually (commensurate with the manner and degree of his participation) is out of my running. Now, believe it or no, that doesn't constitute an impermeable dragnet—but this time around, unfortunately, it happens to embroil all of them. Including Mr. [yourname]. Sorry!
For what it's worth, Smoke Screen was my preference story-wise. This being a smut contest, however, I must needs cleave fast to conscience, and its descriptions of congress were no better palatable than the others'. Nevertheless, thanks everyone for participating, and I do hope that the winning author gets better mileage out of their prize than I could from the entry that wins it.
How ironic is it this’d happen to me even when hosting a contest?
All right, attention! We have currently a technical 4-point tie between two entries:
Very Forbidden Scrollery with its 3 votes and 1 extra point from the Double! bonus, & Gold and Red Threads with 4 votes and no Double! bonus due to a 2/4 split, i.e. not a majority. Them was the rules as laid out.
As such, I am announcing SUDDEN DEATH MODE. The next vote cast for either story decides the winner. The voting period is thereby prolonged indefinitely till a tie-breaker vote is cast. Or you can keep voting for other entries till one of those overtakes the current leaders. What do I care?
In the best of THP’s traditions, gentlemen. Seriously.
Congratulations to the winner, a reminder to think about your prize, thank you for reading and thank you for voting after all! There are a few closing words I’d like to have, as I suspect do a few others, so this’ll be your window to do that.
I debated over whether or not to remain anonymous, but I figure those who are apt to know would either know or suspect.
So, yeah, I wrote Whatever-Man. As indicated in the closing note, it's something of a throwaway effort that, more than properly finishing and submitting, I cast off with somewhat muted enthusiasm.
What possessed me to write it? Extreme boredom and lack of ability to do much else. You could liken it to someone making a rubber-band ball because there are office supplies handy: it doesn't take that much skill or will and is more a matter of assembly than art. Which isn't to say that there isn't some minor attempt there at a pretension of literature. There's a mish-mash of Japanese writers that could be said to loosely inform the approach, though I couldn't name who might have inspired what if questioned. The most direct influence would actually be — in my best guess — a doujinshi from ages ago by Takotsuboya, though which one specifically is again a bit lost in my old man brain. Incidentally, the whole thing was thrown together in two days towards the very end of the initial submission window.
Why Keine? She seemed simplest to work with and easy to alienate from others. Also, someone brought up Keine shortly before I started writing, so that probably helped.
There's a lot I could probably say on my own tastes and preferences regarding 'smut' vs 'erotic literature', but I can't say I care to get into it here. The point here isn't so much about porn as much as literature with sexuality as an element. I don't know how 'mature' this piece is as a piece of writing, but I hope it conveys something beyond a simple story about sex. I have no confidence in the level of actual eroticism displayed.
>>16962 Oh, and I suppose I ought to respond to this.
>comfort porn I plead ignorance on what you mean here. There wasn't much 'porn' factoring into any of this; I never intended it as a story to titillate or otherwise gratify anyone. I knew few were likely to assess this story on anything but those grounds, but so it goes. So, whilst I may not have touched your dick, I hope I might have touched your brain in some faint way.
As to Keine's lycanthropic state, I felt it mattered little here. Sure, it's a big part of why she might be socially marginal in the village, but dragging that into things more explicitly would probably have added length to something that needed to stay fairly to-the-point in order to not completely fall apart. Perhaps that's being a bit devil-may-care with Keine as a character. Unfortunately, this is sort of a case of 'you get what you get'. The fault is, as with so much else, with my creative bankruptcy as much as anything. Mea culpa.
I've won. I'll write out my thoughts first in a bit of a sandwich with the spicier ingredients (takes) in the middle.
Gold and Red Threads I wrote this. Thanks for voting. A pair of remarks: 1) is that the "inciting incident" is based on canon, with Marisa singing this song in the Village during Forbidden Scrollery chapter 7 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqsrON931t4 though she wasn't in a market area in canon, she was outside the Hieda estate 2) is that I'm SUPER FUCKING BUMMED OUT that I forgot this was the SECOND TIME Marisa wore flowers on her hat https://twitter.com/kaiuzMP/status/1152863905015689216 . So cute. I absolutely would've written Masato noticing and remarking on/heavily admiring this unlike that dork Rinnosuke who, upon seeing a flowery Marisa hat, tells her not to make a mess in the store. Also all that said, while the relevant FS chapter happened in 2013, this is written as if the time is present day, making Marisa probably near or at 30 years old. I wrote the story start to finish on the final day for submissions and was not planning on making an entry, but felt bad so I started workshopping concepts in the morning. I went with a scenario I thought would be something you could see happening. The rough ideas were "Who comes to the village a lot?" "What would the average human villager think like?" "Something something kids born into trades" and also "I love Marisa."
I'm glad that people enjoyed the work.
The Duties of Man and Youkai I can't deny that I have a strong bias against second person narration, and I also wasn't fond of it being 2nd person past tense as I find it weirdly nags at me. I admired the twist on the narration but also am not sure what actually happened as no parties involved have powers over memory. Was it supposed to be a shikigami possession? Though in that case, "you" would have been completely subdued and the shikigami would have answered Megumu in using your body. As for the lewds, I thought they were fine. I also give a plus for any stories where the monsters are monsters.
Whatever-Man It felt very "deliberate" in ways I wasn't keen on like "this story has a theme" was being written in every passage and thus it felt less like reading a story and more like reading someone's ideas behind a story: one where the key thought was "attempting to be ugly". Some ideas in it were pretty interesting, but overall it felt like an experiment in sadness and the process behind the work felt too obvious.
>>16961 Mask, you probably shouldn't approach criticism from an angle that assumes so much. I would say "Stream of Consciousness is a style that a lot of people justifiably will not like", but you seem to have misunderstood the purpose of that style and also assumed that using it (and it is, to put it bluntly, an inellegant and choppy style) revealed less knowledge on the author's part on narrative tools/writing. It isn't for "immediacy" or "sensation" (only, at least), it's for "consciousness". To be clear I wouldn't say that's my "saying how you read it wrong", rather I don't like to not leave purpose in the text somewhere and at least in the opening of the story the protagonist openly reflects on his own perspective and, specifically, his inability to connect with women. Furthermore it concludes with Marisa asking him whether he ever figured out her feelings--to which he is unable to answer yes or no. The story is thus about being stuck in one head, unable to understand how others think. Other things, like "why would this happen at all", were things that were brought up in the text rather than leaving it to interpretation. Basically the story was just a what-if based on a pair of ignorant and inexperienced adults who knew one another as kids and who, in their adulthood, met again and started frequently meeting after that for a year. The passion was the culmination of that year, or that was the logic at least. I do think that an actual ideal would be giving a more "love" focused relationship more breathing space, but since it was a short I left most of the details in summary with hints like gift giving, flirtation, gradual decrease of distance, and increase of intimacy.
Smoke Screen I thoroughly didn't understand this one. I appreciated a lot of the narrative techniques used, but also found myself frequently getting lost or not understanding what had just happened. Establishment of place or persons felt lacking. Also, I very much don't understand the "core" of the story. I can gather the idea behind it is to pick up on pieces of motivation throughout a retold set of memories, but I really wasn't able to find that motivation. Perhaps that was the intention (there wasn't any real motivation), but Mokou seemed so emotionally invested I kept thinking "What is going on and why and also who are these characters really (as there was a lot of... "new" detail to each character)". "Meat", as it were, was missing. I'll also admit that it especially bothered me that I couldn't grasp anything about the man featured other than physical descriptions (and I can't lie: I really disliked that the scar was "teardrop shaped", I thought it was on the nose). That said speaking of meat for lewds I would actually judge them quite good--I quite liked the descriptions, and though there weren't many of them on that angle I would give the story high marks. On another note I'd never seen or heard the word "obdurate" before but upon looking it up and finding "it's a rare way of saying obstinate" I got a bit ticked off. Maybe I just think "obdurate" looks ugly as a word.
Private Encore A fairly straightforward piece about an underappreciated 'hu. A bit too "plumber, fix my pipes" premise for me, but it was overall solid. It did bother me that Raiko "gets wet for/during shows". With so many performances I've played and performers met, the idea of getting aroused during a show is legit unthinkable not even because of the place or publicity, but just because performing is exhausting and demands too much of your concentration for lewdness to grasp at your nethers.
Very Forbidden Scrollery Quite funny and was almost arousing despite my completely anti "old men in porn" stance. Impressive! Kosuzu shouldn't have breasts.
Reav, I would ask you to do a Ringo short, but as you completed a Ringo-major story already under the disguise of "being a Seiran story" (sure, sure) I feel like that would be blessing you with exactly what you want: in essence, giving you the excuse to write more Ringo which you've yet to take up.
One of the things I, Kiz, like the most is to find someone who thinks they're hot shit, and say "No" right to their face.
I will curse you with this character in a Village scenario: Hata no Kokoro
Furthermore! I will allow you to choose the exact work-adjacent or related premise but I have two small requests technically outside the constraints of my prize: 1) use her power and 2) lean toward "horror" as well in this smut
>>16978 >deliberate >this story has a theme Nope, anything but. It was basically thrown together out of bits and bobs over a couple of days of very uneven work. Practically in a fugue state, I would even venture to say. Any sadness was a product of my own state of mind.
>criticism of criticism I just call it as it strikes me, nothing more, nothing less.
>>16980 lighter touches wouldn't hurt is all I'm saying; it's odd to go so hard with an angle of certainty and to say it came across as smarmy would definitely be an understatement. Also your hopes here convey at least a subconscious intent which I felt I grasped >>16976
To perhaps the point of blatancy, I authored Very Forbidden Scrollery. Unlike last time, however, I wasn’t really attempting anything “different,” style-wise, so that’s fine. There’s not much more to rant about. To start, I’d planned to finally write a lewd Reimu (who “transacts” with a village artisan, who turns out possibly to be her dad – Reimu’s mum was never forthcoming), but then I got into an accident, spent a few weeks in near-constant pain, and so that daydream slowly lost its lustre. Afterwards, the D bent in an unexpected direction, and here we are. >Why an old man…? The C-‘tism. Kosuzu’s grandpa is an existing “character” who “appeared” in the manga, so I went for him rather than an OC. More fun that way. To me, if not your moral compass.
Also, don’t be surprised if you ever read up on the person Kosuzu’s inspired by and spot a familiar name. Just a little in-joke by yours truly.
>>16961 >Then you had to go and make a weird conscious decision to be more... I can't find the correct word. 'Sleazy' is the best I can come up with, even if it isn't the greatest encapsulation. I’ll break character here and admit that, yes, it is indeed an affectation. In brief, I took a study of available, written 2hu erotica and discovered a dearth of “pornish,” doujinshi-like scenarios – that weren’t futa, anyway – despite the vast popularity of general “sleazy” smut. It is a hole I’ve since dedicated myself to filling like the lowest-hung innuendo. It may not be everybody’s cup of hot coffee, certainly not the favourite flavour as has been evidenced, but it’s a (self-imposed) obligation.
>>16979 The compact is sealed. The fat rabbit weeps.
In overall closing, I’m a little disappointed it took this long and we still had to do an extension, a little less little disappointed by the voter turnout, but on the whole I judge this contest a success. Honestly hadn’t expected a greater than average number of entries, and yet the wood had its work cut out. Thank you once more, you wonderful, writerly bastards.
>>16985 >Also, don’t be surprised if you ever read up on the person Kosuzu’s inspired by and spot a familiar name. Just a little in-joke by yours truly. But I didn't see any Benjamin Smith Lymans mentioned in the story?