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[sticky post] STICKY: Syncope [Jan. 1st, 2011 | 03:21 pm]

syn·co·pe n.
1. Grammar. The shortening of a word by omission of a sound, letter, or syllable from the middle of the word.
2. Pathology. A brief loss of consciousness caused by a temporary deficiency of oxygen in the brain; a swoon, blackout.


47,400 completed / 102,000 total estimated

Moved to Kyanobenthes.com.

I don't like that disabling on LJ hides all existing comments, but all the old entries here and comments have been ported over to my new site into Wordpress.

This blog will remain largely static as an archive for posterity's sake.

Table of Contents (new sticky)

Table of contents

Syncope: Part 1

Chapter Involved Brief
1.1 Shizuru and Natsuki. Living together, dinner on Friday night. (Intro)
1.2 Shizuru, Natsuki, Reito, Nari. Breakfast, meeting, problem?
1.3 Natsuki and Mai. Cooking, conversations of love.
1.4 Shizuru, Reito, Yukino, Haruka, Nari, (newchars2). Student council meeting on the cusp.
1.5 Natsuki, Shizuru, Yoko, Mai, (newchars2). Calling in sick.
1.6 Shizuru, Natsuki, Mai, Reito (sort of). Prognosis, compromise.
1.7 Natsuki, Mai, Nao, (newchars2). A dream, a plan, a picnic.
0.1 Omake: "Du-chan" Natsuki, Shizuru, shopping
1.8 Nari, Yukino (sort of), Shizuru, Natsuki, (newchars2). Good morning.
1.9 Shizuru, Reito, Natsuki, (newchars2). A mirror, a letter, a crane.
0.2 Omake: "Fifteen" Natsuki's fifteenth birthday.
1.10 Natsuki, Nao, Shizuru, (newchars2), Nari. A grassplot.
1.11 Yukino, Haruka, Shizuru, Natsuki. [tentative]
1.12 Shizuru, Nari, (newchars2), Natsuki. [tentative]

Syncope: Part 2

Current stats: 10+2 chapters completed, ~47400 words.

Description and explanation

Canonical references:

  • Mai-HiME TV series, not extended episode 26*

  • Natsuki's Prelude from art books 1 and 2, translated by apollyon_0

  • Research questions posted here and answered by readers :)

(*Since I didn't know about the extended ep 26 until after I had outlined and started writing. I'm also skipping most of the other secondary material like CDs.)

The first part (12 chapters outlined) will have cameo roles from a number of the HiME TV cast and some additional (attempted) closure among their relationships since the end of the TV series. A few new characters are also introduced in Part 1 but their roles are really for Part 2.

The timeline for Part 1 is in the spring break before the new school year (where Natsuki and Mai et al will start their second year, Shizuru et al have graduated, etc.). It's important to remember that the HiME festival ended sometime probably in November (definitely before winter) while the end of episode 26 is the end of the school year in March. Info via

ifuritka. Therefore, realize that roughly four months have passed since the whole HiME fiasco, and a lot can happen in four months. *Even that timeline has a problem: If we go from Shizuru with the falling autumn maple leaves to the last episode with the sakura bloom, why are Reito and Mikoto still injured from that last fight with OL? Shizuru couldn't have been all insane-y throughout a skipped winter season and into the spring. Actually, the more I think about it, the more the Mai-HiME ending PISSES ME OFF.

It's a pretty tight timeline that I'm not too happy about due to a comical and retarded fic planning error which you can read about here. Anyway, I'm trying to concentrate on pure character development in Part 1, so the plot may seem fairly incidental.

Part 2 is dealing entirely with Shizuru's backstory, specifically her family background and stuff that happened before she met Natsuki, so... new characters are required. Of course, Natsuki will be heavily involved, sort of weaving her into Shizuru's backstory more; I will also be adding in roles for the old cast. The timeline will be during the school year, so I have to do a lot more research before I begin sketching the outline more. Planning more psychological closure for Shizuru and Natsuki.

Chapters themselves are not commentable (is that even a word?), but each chapter will have a link to the corresponding notes at the bottom, where you can leave comments. Yes, I am far too uncreative to think of chapter titles, so all you get are these boring numbers reminiscent of software releases. Sorry. :)

As I say in the first set of Notes, this is my first time writing fiction of any sort, so I'm trying to make it readable at least... I'm fairly confident in my language skills but not in the properly-convey-creative-thought-process part. Dialogue is still a pain...


Like any other writer/artist/creator/etc., I appreciate the usual pats-on-the-back. But while I appreciate short comments and reviews and the like, what I'm really after are detailed critiques and analyses with the purpose of improvement.

Here are legitimate areas of discussion for a real critique: characterization (cast personalities, etc.), continuity (plot errors, awkward scenes), technical accuracy (word choice, grammar, etc.), pacing, setting, abstractions (underlying psychology, symbols, etc.), personal interpretations*, etc. *I'm very unlikely to further discussion about interpretations when I feel it may spoil later content; and I definitely won't answer direct plot questions that concern future content.

Of course, understand that critiques are taken under advisement, and I may or may not make suggested changes. Examples of some ideal "critiques."


I've gotten some private questions, some of which overlap, so I'll post some basic answers here.

> Do you use a beta reader?
No. I don't use MS Word's spelling or grammar checks either, but I do use an online dictionary and TheSage offline dictionary.

> Do you want/can I be a beta reader?
Only if your language skills and literary sense are at least as good as mine. I've wielded the red pen as a graduate teaching assistant when grading papers, so I'd expect a minimum level of expertise.

> Would you be my beta reader?
I don't really have the time or patience, sorry... unless you paid me. [laugh]

> How did you come up with that word count?
The total word count in the meter is arbitrary. ^_^ I have this weakness for symmetry, so I calculated an average for Part 1 chapters and just doubled it. The total word count could be far less or far more (unlikely); and word counts are kinda silly anyway.

> Can I see how you outline your stuff?
Maybe at the very end...

> Will you be posting your research materials?
I'll probably create an appendix listing all research materials with links to live sites (some sites will/have died over the time it takes to finish this). I won't be sharing my offline PDFs and the like, though.

A note about LJ 'friending', other LJ issues, and contacting me

Anyone is free to "friend" my LJ account (no need to ask for permission :)); I may or may not reciprocate, since I'm currently undecided on how I want to proceed with the friends-only post issue.

Don't worry about commenting on older LJ entries; my account is set up to e-mail me every time someone leaves a comment, so I won't miss it. I may not reply to all comments, but I do appreciate them. :) Anon posters are welcome, though feel free to sign off with a forum handle or something if you want.