I know I haven't even introduced myself to this section of the forum, but honestly? The one post
of Estrea's on her LJ that made it on to Intlwota led to me discovering JPHIP, through the fanfic section.
I've read and reread a lot of the stuff here and on RenaiRev, because the fics on H!O are just unsatisfying for me. Which isn't to say they're not well written. But I think it might touch on what you're feeling. The fics on H!O are largely "Let's fulfill X pairing".
Here in contrast, which in part I think is because of the examples of the "Titans", the writers tend to write deeper, either letting romance play second string to plot and character development, or underlining the romances with deeper nonromantic issues. RenaiRev's drabbles from the early stages personify the latter type best, I think, as well as Goosefish's "Sun" here.
Hell, Lovex2 is like the epitome of the second category bordered with a smattering of the first. The best chapters, by literary standards, were the sections where he delved into who the characters were
, those huge introspectives that didn't necessarily advance the plot. One of the parts that had the greatest impact on me was in the "10 chapters of fluff", where there was this HUGE digression on Rika. He didn't even go anywhere with that line of thinking, it was just kind of there.
Character development wasn't just the way the people changed over the course of the story, since they stayed largely static after Story 3, but more of an exploration of their identities, letting us in on the way their minds worked. So, development in terms of letting us see them more clearly.
It might be presumptuous of me, but I think you're looking for the same kind of revealing in your stories. Would I be correct in assuming then that you feel more satisfied with your one-shots? That's what short stories are for.
In AA, because the pacing wasn't so fast, the changes in the characters would occur gradually enough that they could be explored in the meantime. AA Sidestories did that, and I loved the section on Miki's (lack of a) heart in Ch. 26. That, I think, is the kind of impact you're looking for?
If on more than on the character level, AA also had some kind of a political commentary as well, during the Berryz sections. The Maiha chapter and the parts dealing with Captain vs Government, were like Battle Royale actually
, dealing with issues like the effect of violence on minors, how power structures reinforce their power by various means, from propaganda to blackmail, the different forms of complicity, etc. How's about that for impact?
However, Gegenschein and Nocturne are plot driven rather than character driven, so while you can and have written those introspectives in, ultimately things will be about how the characters change because of the story, not who they are. But you yourself said that Nocturne isn't supposed to be ultimately substantial anyway. BTW, you promised no Emofag Takahashi, and what's this? AHA EMOheterosexualRY IN FILE 22
Just to clarify things, though, I still like everything you write. Can't write this much about things that don't fascinate me.
And, um, my friends will be leaving for dinner about now, so I'll have to cut off my word vomit. Did I come somewhere near the point though?