Darklord Rooke got a reaction from Mr Poltroon in Permit Me a Rant on the Term "Overrated"
From a creator's point of view, if they accept mindless criticism they'll be driven to improve their work even if they got no meaningful information from the criticism. If they accept mindless praise they'll be of the impression that they don't need to improve. Thus mindless praise leads to stagnation from a creator's point of view. Stagnation is bad, m'kay
From a consumer's point of view ... I don't see any ill effects from mindless praise or criticism really.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Zakamutt in Parallelize And Conquer
As a counterpoint to your part on parallel structures, the first example smells a lot like an unrefined rhetorical figure: the tricolon - the easiest example of those might be "I came, I saw, I conquered." In the words of Mark Forsyth in The Elements of Eloquence: "Tricolons sound great if the third thing is longer." I kinda feel like you're either riding a bit hard on the parallel structure part, or not explaining it in enough depth - here's a rewrite that plays with the rhythm of it in a different fashion:
She's got good grades, great looks, and she's very popular among the students.
I kinda cheated with the italics changing the meaning, not to mention removing "all" which might be significant as well, but hey I'm trying to prove a point not be useful ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. Point is, I make sure to stress very to (imperfectly, sadly) mimic the initial stress structure of each third of the sentence.
...With that said, rhetorical figures are often employed to make things memorable or stand out, which is not necessarily your aim at all times.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Fiddle in The Last Birdling: How to handle perspective shifts
I suggest investing in a superior Japanese method whereby the screen goes black, followed by three lines with the following text:
This strategy will also inflate the total line count of your visual novel, convincing potential buyers that they will get more bang for their buck.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Zakamutt in Permit Me a Rant on the Term "Overrated"
The problem with mindless praise is that it is ineffective at making creators' works better as it does not point out what made the work good in the first place. I imagine Narcosis, an aspiring salty vn writer, is also thinking about the "hugbox" effect that exists in certain places to shield creators from any criticism - considering there is or at least was at some point a specific badge to put in your profile if you want honest criticism of your work at Lemmasoft, it's not like his fears are entirely unwarranted.
It's a p. decent mirror with the problem of mindless bashing not helping you make your work better by pointing out what was bad.
It's not like either has no information content; one tells you to stop making things in your current fashion, another tells you to continue in similar fashion. However, they would appear suboptimal from a creator's perspective.
Outside of a creator's perspective, mindlessness on either side does not promote thoughtful discussion or trying to understand people that think different to you, and instead encourages forming groups around liking or not liking something. This is certainly one way of enjoying fiction, but not everyone appreciates it very much - not to mention polarization is where nuance, oh sweet nuance, goes right out the picture. We could use less of it, wherever we are.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Narcosis in The Last Birdling: How to handle perspective shifts
I have to admit those are simple, yet powerful design choices. It's funny how a plain change of color within the GUI can already tell so much about how the characters changed and what they actually went through. I'm really looking forward to this one.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Fred the Barber in A Short And Sweet Style Guide For VN Editing
I haven't forgotten you either, @Mr Poltroon, I've just been ignoring you since you asked about stuff that was harder to answer.
For starters, I totally agree with you that asterisked sound effects are less of an interruption than singularly complex sentence structure. Forcing the reader to go back and re-read a sentence just to try to understand what the blazes is going on when all they want is to move on to the next element in the plot is anathema to the goal of most VNs, which is, generally, to offer the straightforward entertainment of a quick jaunt through a story world, rather than the joy of ruminating on a particularly fibrous utterance.
However, *clears his throat*, I would like to point you at the hill you're about to go sliding down. It is, if I do say so myself, a slippery slope *wink*. My own personal experience with trying to use this technique was that use instantly turned to abuse *sigh*. Before too long, the dialogue was filled with all sorts of things that had no business being there; they weren't sounds being made by a speaker at all, but rather related actions which, if they needed to be communicated, belonged more properly in a narration line, and if none was available, why then the dialogue itself would have to carry the meaning *shakes his head*. It simply doesn't make sense for characters to be communicating quite so much in what is, ultimately, a poor excuse for narration *nod*.
In a nutshell, I found that the technique simply did my script more harm than it did my script good. The same is true of the use of italics in scripts I've read: I have seen them used only once that I can recall, in an official translation, and while once or twice they were helpful, much more often they were completely unneeded and simply served to call attention to themselves and look out of place. When a tool causes you more harm than it does you good, it's better to simply force yourself to throw it out and work under tighter constraints. Art has always and will always flourish under constraints, and I personally have not found it particularly onerous to go without this one tool; on the contrary, I've relished the change.
Aside from their usage to introduce lists of things, you can also use a colon in place of a semi-colon when the half of a sentence after the colon is more like an illumination/rephrasing of some part of the first half, rather than a separate, related, independent clause. It's kind of an advanced technique, I guess? I don't mention it in the guide both because I don't have a solid handle on the rule myself and because I think it's not really a necessary thing to do (there are plenty of other options available), but I certainly do use colons this way myself from time to time without much thought. Your usage looks perfectly cromulent to me.
(I would probably always assume the former interpretation, not the latter, without some strong contextual evidence otherwise, and I would probably only find it not to be a somewhat odd utterance when coming on the heels of a request for help putting on a seatbelt.)
Darklord Rooke reacted to Fred the Barber in A Short And Sweet Style Guide For VN Editing
@Zakamutt thanks, this is great! Addressed your comments and uploaded a new version of the guide. Here's some line-by-line responses as well:
Good point, I completely missed this pattern. That said, I haven't actually formed a strong opinion about what's the right thing to do with these, assuming I'm following the rest of the guidelines in the style guide; my inclination is to go the same direction you say. It does feel like it goes against the grain of the "drop honorifics" theme, but this casual form with the glottal stop feels more like a nickname than like proper (and thus somewhat less meaningful) usage of an honorific.
Majo Koi actually has exactly one route where, as a running joke, everybody starts calling Takumi "Takkun" (my suspicion: possibly a different writer from the rest of the VN, and the head writer just shrugged it off and rolled with it). Now, honorifics are actually still in the current Majo Koi script, but I'm likely to drop them soon (like... probably today or tomorrow I'll go through the whole script and rewrite them away). When I do that sweep, I expect Takumi will retain that same ridiculous-sounding pseudo-nickname, Takkun.
I've updated the guide to mention this form and that suggestion, but I'm intentionally leaving out the term "glottal stop" from it, since I don't think most people have studied enough phonology to look at that phrase and react with anything but "Wot?"
It's now available in markdown format and the blog link has been updated (and I actually deleted the .txt file). Should be much more readable now; apologies for my laziness in not doing so sooner. I actually had had people complain to me about the formatting before, but it wasn't on github so it wasn't quite as bad back then, so I just ignored them... But yeah, the display on github was pretty bad.
I did indeed intend to say senpai, sensei, onee-san, etc., are not honorifics (though obviously the "-san" there is). I think I was going into this with the mindset that "English doesn't have honorifics," but of course I was just plain wrong there; it does. They're just less ubiquitous than the Japanese ones. I've brushed up this section a fair bit, and generally went along the same lines of what you have here.
I modified this section a bit to explain the backing reasoning for this opinion: in a nutshell, GivenName FamilyName is the natural order in English, so I honestly expect people to just find the alternative confusing. What it comes down to is, at this point, even if I was given a blanket guarantee that every single Japanese translation I saw from here on out was going to have names in FamilyName GivenName order, I'd still have to think hard about it due to the accumulated weight of experience reading stuff in English.
That said, like I mentioned in the section, this is one where I have a less strong opinion; I mostly called it out just to make sure it was mentioned and that I could drive home the importance of consistency in it, more so than to lay out a single answer.
Good point! I should call out that my list here is not intended to be prescriptive. "Uuu" is often more of a slightly disgusted "Ugh," for instance, and probably some other things as well. I've updated the section to drive home that these are examples and not a blanket gospel answer, and also to mention the "ugh" translation of "Uuu."
I always feel a bit like I'm making an argumentum ad baculum when I say "you should use American English because there are more of us," and I don't think there's really any better rationale than that one. So, while I do religiously hold to this style myself and get annoyed when anybody else doesn't (looking at you, Chrono Clock), I don't think I really have a leg to stand on, so I prefer to leave it as a somewhat petulant statement of personal preference. It's my way of saying, "You can do something else if you really want, but personally, it'll make me sad."
Darklord Rooke reacted to Zakamutt in A Short And Sweet Style Guide For VN Editing
In my experience, there's an exception for the hyphenization-of-honorifics rule when the original Japanese would add a glottal stop. When this happens, it's usually represented using consonant doubling. For a non-translated but salient example, the weeb visual novel Katawa Shoujo uses both "Shicchan"* and "Hicchan" for Shizune and Hisao respectively. For something the old guard will get, look at poor Sacchin in Tsukihime. The same applies to stuff like "Takkun".
*a Hepburn hardliner may argue that this should be "Shitchan", but fuck them, I only write "matcha" for green tea because normies use that spelling).
You might want to either linebreak the document manually or use something else than github or, idk, change some setting; lines are currently not automatically word wrapped and reading the text online is thus a pain. I had to copy it to notepad++ to read it personally.
The "other sometimes untranslated terms" heading is confusing when it comes to terminology. On first reading, it seemed to me that you were placing "senpai, sensei, onee-san" in the "not honorifics" bucket, especially since you end with "bento" which actually isn't one. On second reading I realized that you may not have meant this, but it's a mental stretch. I think this section needs to be rewritten.
I think the correct heuristic, if you keep any Japanese words, is probability of comprehension. The most common honorifics that people may know about is -san, -kun, -chan, and -sama. -tan, maybe. Knowing about "nii-san" and "nee-san" comes next and is somewhat more dubious, and those terms arguably carry more important information that you may be denying uncomprehending viewers if they are not clued in by other details. "senpai" and "sensei" are slightly further out, but not much. All in all I agree with the position of removing honorifics, however.
This ideological statement needs statistical backing. From what I understand the people you consulted with have been editors, not readers, and honestly preferring to reverse name order is status signalling by people who consider themselves more "learned". For what it's worth, back when I was a nascent VN reader I was bothered by the reversed name order used for the localization of Ever17.
Since what you're really trying to do is establish standards, removing the ideological statement and letting the rest remain is also fine.
I disagree with your interpretation of "Uuu" -> "Aww"; the mapping is simply too imprecise and will cause conflicts when lazy people decide to apply the letter of your guideline. For example, part of one line in the wondrously transliterated Koirizo fan translation is rendered as "Uuu, gusu" in its English translation. Gusu is a sob, Uuu is a sound of consternation and unhappiness in this case. Writing this as "Aww, sniff" would not accurately portray the tone the VA used here. I might be mistaken about how Americans interpret "Aww", however - I see it as 1. dejection 2. disappointment and 3. you just saw a kitten do something cute.
Despite what I said about ideology above, I would like some kind of justification for this, hedged unless you have good reasons not to. Reading the comment thread you have done so in the thread, and considering that you made personal remarks further on in the document, you may want to add it for this.
You could make some fairly strong demographic arguments as to why this is a good idea if you wanted to. I guess you might have left it out for a reason, though.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Fiddle in A Short And Sweet Style Guide For VN Editing
I approve! All these preferences are in accordance with my―
I LIKE THEM IN THE OTHER ORDER.
I suggest you use another example instead of the second one, considering that "I'm" is capitalized regardless of whether it begins a sentence.
In American English, commas and periods always go inside quotation marks (even when there's a quotation within a quotation). Meanwhile, everything else (exclamation points, question marks, semicolons, colons) can go outside of the quotation marks as needed. In contrast to what you say ("I diverge from typical style guides and recommend you move the punctuation outside the inner quotation"), your examples are in conformity with American style guides.
You may know this and not have said it, but the above applies only when the quotation is an independent clause. For example, each of the following is correct:
He said to me, "Give back the cat." He told me to "give back the cat." Each of the following is incorrect:
He said to me "Give back the cat." He told me to, "give back the cat." I can offer segments of The Chicago Manual of Style for the things above, because it appears that they don't want to make it freely available online.
Lastly, TELL EVERYONE TO USE THE OXFORD COMMA, YOU HEATHEN.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Fred the Barber in A Short And Sweet Style Guide For VN Editing
Regarding asterisked sound effects, I kind of used to think the same thing: what am I supposed to do with this weird sound anyway? So I used them. Then I looked back and the script was just littered with them. They were everywhere, and they really interrupted the flow of reading. So, I went through in one day and gutted them out of the script, and it was like a breath of fresh air. Since then, I came around to the conclusion in the guide, that it's best to just universally avoid the asterisk thing, and judging from the recent official localizations I've read, I'm not alone on that opinion. I only see them in fan TLs nowadays, and they're always jarring, especially in speech lines. Once you force yourself to avoid them, you find both that it's not really all that hard and that it massively pays off in terms of readability.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Fred the Barber in One Weird Trick for Writing in Past Tense
For sure, it's by no means hard to do, so I always write around the need for a present-tense aside like that because it brings a lot of fourth wall-breaking baggage along for the ride (unless it's intentional to break the fourth wall, in which case, an aside is exactly what I'm going to use). That said, it's a pretty natural thing to do when you're relating a story in person, so I wanted to drop it in there to use as a negative example of how the "trick" doesn't always work, and you may have to think a little further.
Darklord Rooke got a reaction from ExtraMana in Offensive ableist expressions you are probably using on your daily life
We kinda figured that out from the start
Darklord Rooke reacted to Clephas in Offensive ableist expressions you are probably using on your daily life
I agree with this... it is fine to avoid hurting someone's feelings within sane limits, but forced over-sensitivity causes resentment - and at times - conscious prejudice (as opposed to subconscious prejudice) in people who are otherwise easygoing and open-hearted. While I'm fine with avoiding subjects that are likely to offend a single group while speaking, I honestly don't think I should have to avoid that kind of thing while writing fiction or making a point in an essay.
I've seen more than one relationship sour when one side insisted on the other being over-conscious of certain verbal limits. In addition, there is a big difference between actual prejudice and using language one side considers prejudicial. I'm fat and balding, and that in itself has lost me clients in the past, despite my proven skill level. That is prejudice that is built into society. However, I'm not about to take offense when someone says 'man that is one big fat airplane' or some kind of casual statement like that.
I have psychological problems, but it doesn't bother me when someone describes the plot of a movie as 'crazy' or 'insane'.
In other words, being bothered by words not directed at you intentionally that are built into language and into literary styles is a waste of time and energy better spent elsewhere. It's like complaining about the needle pricking your finger when someone is stabbing you repeatedly in the gut. You are missing the point entirely.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Funyarinpa in Offensive ableist expressions you are probably using on your daily life
I see the merit in avoiding certain terms (such as "retarded"), but you're taking it way too far.
Words you falsely deem offensive enough to avoid are used very commonly in daily life to describe ordinary situations. Slept on your arm and it was" paralyzed" in the morning. Got out of a tunnel while driving and got momentarily "blinded" by sunlight. You can't hear the phone while in a stadium due to the crowd's "deafening" roar. You think "It was a 'stupid' move to spend my bus fare on Steam" as you walk home, because it was shortsighted/ nonsensical/ reckless/ a combination of these.
As humans, we need both words that describe both situations humans can find themselves in and words describing human actions and behavior. This is where words you deem offensive come in. "Blind", "deaf", "idiot", "stupid"- It is possible to use these words without insinuating or implying ANYTHING about disabled people. I generally make a point of apologizing if I have inadvertently offended someone, but there's a logical extreme to which you can take that philosophy; there's nothing to be offended about in the daily usage of such terms unless you happen to take issue with the fact that people can momentarily lose their sense of sight or hearing.
If we restrain ourselves in order to coddle people jumping at shadows, we stagnate the rational development of rational thought. There can be no compromise on the freedom of language (bar hate speech which these words are not), because any other way would lead to the dumbing down of thought. Not using words that indicate a circumstance of disability has no benefit unless you can't stand the fact that people can, and will, be reminded of their disabilities in daily life.
I don't mean to condone ALL examples of such language, words like "retard" usually serve no purpose than to make light of clinical conditions for example and are as such words I'd rather not use, but do keep in mind that just because you can insult/offend someone using a word doesn't mean it has to be deemed offensive and avoided (like how we use knives in our kitchen even though other people use it to bring harm to people). Also, it easy to turn any word into an insult (e. g. literally all of sarcasm), so the criteria can't be "It cannot be used as an insult", either.
Darklord Rooke reacted to Fred the Barber in Readability And Eliminating Unintentional Ambiguity: That's Where It Starts
While I certainly agree that character dialogue needs to communicate characterization, through diction, syntactical choices, or even using bad grammar, the top priority is always that their dialogue be readable (unless very intentionally unreadable, of course, which should be exceptional).
Here's a completely different example of optimizing for readability, and one which should be near and dear to the hearts of many eroge players: even when the heroine has her mouth full of little protag, the way she slurs her consonants is usually not faithfully recorded in the subtitles, because to do so renders it completely unreadable (I know; I've tried). If you try to actually write down what the dialogue you have would sound like with a large, cylindrical object in your mouth, even though the speech may be completely understandable, the written form of it will usually not be. This, I believe, is because writing is such a low-resolution record of spoken speech. When you're missing all the extra intonation and the assorted sounds made in this circumstance which simply aren't writable in the Roman alphabet, it's hard to try to mimic the actual spoken sounds without going so far off the written version that the brain can no longer recognize the word. That's why, in this instance, most of the time you should massively tone down the consonant slurring, relative to the voice over, in the written text.
That sounds pretty unrelated, but it's still on this same theme of optimizing for readability. The most important thing isn't even if you agree with either of those examples at all, but rather that you understand and agree with the broader principle of which these are just two instances. Throughout most of most VNs, you should generally be optimizing for ease and speed of readability, where you can do so without sacrificing tone, characterization, etc.,
Darklord Rooke got a reaction from bigfatround0 in Offensive ableist expressions you are probably using on your daily life
I didn't say it was. I just said it was abuse, which isn't always criminal. And that you can be held to account, that is you could be fired (even though what you said isn't illegal, and you can get fired for some ridiculously low-grade stuff these days.)