Musing on my Muse

Yes, I know this is a rip-off of my KS forum posts, but at least here they will be unadulterated by other conversations…


Hi all. It’s been a while.

Normally, I would start a post/story like this by explaining my motivation. However, in this instance, the explaination is a little autotelic and circular, so I will leave it to the story.

i would, however, like to mention that this is kind of a fan non-fiction, in that I won’t be writing a tale from Yamaku, but it is about KS, and hence I feel that it belongs here.

It is a little funny how circular some parts of life are, and how unrelated things tie together to make you understand yourself. For those of you that don’t know, I used to be Hanako’s writer. For a time as well I was loosely termed the “Producer” of Katawa Shoujo, but that was from a long and distant past. Katawa Shoujo was my life for the best part of three years. Apart from the nessecary functions of the day (work, eating, sleep), practically every second of my being was somehow consumed by KS. The TV shows (well, the animes) that I watched were all based on conversations from the IRC channel (so that I could fit in), and the music I listened to either came from those, or from Touhou. And let’s not forget Higurashi.

The reason I got into Katawa Shoujo is directly related to Higurashi. I was in a little fansub group called We are IN Denial (WinD). It was there that a proof reader (Meowshi) told me about this weird project, and it was on his recommendation that I joined the group. I dedicated myself to WinD as much as I did to KS, hence the influence that Higurashi had upon me (and on never-to-be-revealed first drafts).

Unlike a lot of people, I find it hard to function in silence. Whenever I write, or draw a plan, or think deeply, I like to have some kind of “noise” in the background. It usually doesn’t matter what it is, so long as it isn’t overly repeditive (e.g. a spinning fan), and so long as it is there. So, whenever I was writing scripts for Katawa Shoujo, sending Hisao and Hanako into worlds undiscovered, Foobar or Winamp was busily turning 1’s and 0’s into audio sensations for me. So, when we started naming each scene, I usually did so by reading the song title that was playing when I started writing the scenes. This led to all kinds of frustrations from the rest of the devs, but for me it was fun. I could read a scene and play the music in the background, and it would “make sense”. Of course, this may have been one of the reasons that I wasn’t an overly good writer, but it was my “thing.”

I won’t go into the details of me leaving 4LS, suffice to say that life got in the way. I don’t regret my decisions, although I think I would have stuck around had I the time. However, there are benefits in my new lifestyle. One of those is being able to act upon my desires to buy ever more exotic technologies. This week, it is a bran new ATC C3C center speaker, and I love it. And, because I love my speaker, I am listening to more music than usual. In an effort to hear all of the possibilities of this new speaker, I loaded every song into the playlist and went about my business.

Suddenly I was plunged right back into Yamaku. I was Hisao, on the bus, heading into town with Lilly and Hanako. Kagerou (from one of the Higurashi image albums) was playing for the first time in about 12 months. Half-baked memories of profuse typing came back to me. The day I wrote 10,000 words because I just *had* to finish my path. The two destroyed keyboards in my cupboard that are keepsakes of the “KS Era”. The mad rush you get from typing and typing, never looking back.

And so I stopped writing emails to business associates, stopped planning meetings 6 weeks in the future, and logged on here. I knew that I couldn’t just jump back into Yamaku after so long, but i *had* to write something. I don’t imagine that my experience is much different from anyone else’s. In some ways it is so generic that I doubt that anyone has battled my spelling errors to make it to this point. But pleasing you is not my aim, and I don’t think it ever has been. I do this for myself, as any of the other Devs will probably tell you through clenched teeth. I do hope that this is the start of me getting back into writing something other than bland technical reports and blogs on communications equipment. If not then I will probably disappear back into the sea of obscurity, only to surface again when I buy some other bizzarely expensive peice of kit that reminds me of my “daughter” and her heart-broken suitor.

I hope that you have enjoyed this definition of the word “autotelic”.


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