First I'd just like to thank everyone for reading this story. I loved writing it. It was so satisfying to see you all say you enjoyed it so much. So thank you.
After my story got a lot more cerebral near the end, I started to think that I'd like to write a more extensive Author's Notes just to talk about what I was thinking when I was writing it. A lot of what I wrote near the end was actually internal monologue, and a lot was just me writing about myself, rather than writing as Kyon. So I'd like to shed some light, I guess.
So, let's begin. I remember when I wanted to start this story. I had finished reading the novels, and as most of you probably were with the novels and anime, was still unsatisfied. I was extremely intrigued by the 4th novel, as well as the Snow Mountain incident, because they portrayed separate realities of the characters that were interesting to read. I began to think up different storylines. I began to culminate a narrative in my head, and decided that I wanted to write a fanfiction story, because I came up with this one idea I thought would be really interesting. I wanted to write about Nagato because she is my favorite character in the series, and the fact that you almost never get to read about her own feelings or emotions meant that I had leeway in producing a scene in which the characters were not exactly in character but were plausible enough for it to be real.
Following that train of thought, I decided it should be canon-style. That is, in the style of the original author. I know I at least tried, but I realize I sort of shied away from it at the end, as the story turned into my own, and my own writing style became more prevalent.
I remember that I didn't know what my fanfic was going to be called. It took me a little while. I wrote the first two chapters without a name yet. From the beginning, I only had a rough outline of what the story would look like. Basically, it was the first/second chapter, I wanted Yuki to show her feelings of love. Then I wanted the alternate reality and Kyon figuring everything out much like in the novels. The only other scene I had clearly thought out at the beginning besides the diary/clubroom scene, was that I wanted the fic to end in the library. The whole time I was writing, I only had a vague idea of what would happen next, and I rewrote a lot of it. But I knew from the beginning what I wanted the end to be. As I said before, I rewrote the last chapter 3 times. I'll explain more about why I did that and why it ended like that later.
As for my writing process, I think up the concept of the story in my head, and outline what I want to happen next. First thing I do is put on some music from iTunes, usually classical or jazz or something, something for a little background. I then pull up Notepad, and begin to write the chapter. I use notepad because it is the simplest to use, it's just you and the words. You don't have to worry about corrections of spelling mistakes until later, so I'm completely focused on the content. So I write out the chapter basically, that usually takes about 2 nights of writing, couple hours. Then It's the firs stage of editing, which is clean up. I take the text from notepad and put it in Microsoft Word, and then go through all it's corrections and whatnot, mostly ignoring any grammatical corrections it wants to make because I write in a weird grammatical fashion. And I realize I still have mistakes in the stories, I try to cut them down, but some slip through. I apologize for that. So after the first edit, is the second edit, where I read it through completely and edit it to make sure it makes sense, also changing wording around and making sure I don't sound repetitive. Usually that takes one night. Then the 3rd edit is reading through again, and adding in anything else I want to, trying to make the characters sound more canon or adding in story elements I thought of but forgot to add. Then the last edit is the 4th, where I read through it completely in its last form before I upload it to make sure it's all good. This might be another night too. The whole process during the writing of this took about a week for a chapter, more toward the end maybe a little longer, because of school and whatnot.
I am writing this Author's Notes as I am reading the chapters. I don't really have as much time now, so I'm not going to extensively read them, just read them once and write what I remember about them. There will be more later when I get to the chapters I took things out of or rewrote. But for now, The purpose is to let you all know what I intended or what I was thinking. So I might suggest you open up the chapters and try to read along or see what I mean, as I just skip ahead without saying anything, and I apologize for that. The breaks in lines are used to show where I'm talking about something else most of the time.
But now for the first chapter.
This intro paragraph was what sparked me into writing the whole chapter in the first place. I had the idea for the story and everything, but just couldn't really get the motivation to start writing it down. I really didn't want to write a run of the mill fanfic. I wanted it to be a real story, but a believable one in the spectrum of Haruhi's world. So as I continued to reread the novels, I found that a lot of the time, action starts after Kyon has been thinking about some random thing.
This is actually something I had been thinking about myself before, that there is a time in things that you do every day for so long when you stop thinking about the long term end, and just begin thinking about the short term end. School is the best example. Everyone's goal for school is for it to end. But waiting for it to end makes it go so much slower. When you just think about the weekend, soon the weeks start going faster until it's the end.
I really didn't know how to have Nagato sing to Kyon, and play the song for him. And I really didn't want them to have a sleep over. Originally it was that they had a sleep over, and Kyon would be woken up by Yuki playing the song by herself. But there was the problem of the others, and I couldn't have Kyon be there by himself after him having read her diary. So as I thought about this, I got the bright idea somehow of Mikuru dressing up as Tsuruya. And I was like, "I need to have that in there." So I made Haruhi do her crazy thing and think of having a pointless talent show. That would be a good excuse to have everyone to Yuki's house, as most of their activities are plot devices disguised as Haruhi ideas anyway in the novels.
I guess I'll take the time right now to mention the novel that I have Nagato reading. It is actually one of my favorite books I have ever read, The Stranger, by Albert Camus. And I'm glad to see that people were able to pick on the connection between Yuki's situation and the philosophy that the book entails. It's an existential book, in which the main character has meaning only in physical stimulus, and finds the world pointless. It doesn't matter. And much like Yuki, things are inconsequential in the world unless it has to do with Haruhi. I wanted this connection to be a clue to signify Yuki's change, in that she begins to find more that she cares about. Heck, she even starts to care at all. And of course, being the sappy guy I am, I have her love Kyon. Cause it's a good story, and I like writing about love.
For some reason, I found it was kinda hard to write as Haruhi. Because she was so unpredictable, I didn't want to get her character wrong. So I had her set up the plot for now, and then just leave. Also, having Kyon interact with Haruhi was hard to emulate. So I made a poor attempt and then left it at that.
I also realized that I should have Kyon praise Mikuru more since he does a lot of that in the novels. But I take care of more of that later.
So this Nagato scene was the original idea. I find that a lot of these scenes materialize from one picture that I have in my mind. The picture that I had for this was Nagato facing sideways to Kyon, crying, as her tears dropped on to her open book at the backdrop of the auburn color washing over the room from the sun setting. I felt it was a very powerful picture that I had. Symbolic, in that the thing that was catching Nagato's tears, the symbols of her newfound meaning and emotions, was the symbol of her old life, the one in which the only thing she cared about was reading. Her two lives were clashing together at the peak of her emotion, as she did the thing most people do when they are scared or confused. And that is cry. I felt having Yuki cry would be a very powerful thing to happen.
Because having her cry shows how weak she had become. She can't control herself anymore. When you lose control, you cry, because you are in despair. And performing such a heartrending action really softens Yuki's character. Her run out was also inspired by this idea. It was too much so she just had to run away. It was also there so she could drop the diary though.
Now. The diary. That's interesting. Once again, it is there to propel the idea of Yuki changing to the complete opposite of what she was. She wouldn't need to confide in a diary before. You have a diary to write when you have no one to talk to. I myself write about my thoughts. It shows that Yuki is more like a little girl, with no direction. She needs someone to direct her. The fact that she chooses to confide in something as trivial as a diary also goes to show that she is not familiar with the world, and it just makes it that much sadder.
Having Kyon say when she wrote her diary entries was a last minute addition that turned out to be pretty important. So I'm glad I did that. It gave more significance to numbers, which play a slightly significant role in the fanfiction, if you pay attention.
So her confession comes indirectly. Kyon being so clueless about it is something I wanted to have happen because... that means she may have loved him all along, but was just now being affected by it (and by the way, I hope everyone sees the subtle affection she has for him in the novels, because that's what I was playing off of).
Her second diary entry was great. I had her say "Diary" at the beginning of the first two to show that she didn't really know how to do it. But then to show that she was becoming more and more humanlike, she says "Dear Diary" in the last one, as if she is writing a letter instead of a briefing. I really like the shark analogy. I wanted to show how wayward and helpless she was feeling. The fact that she writes and thinks in symbols is so I can continue to do that throughout the fanfic, first with the dream states, and then with the alternate reality that Yuki creates, that has symbols throughout it. It's also to show that Yuki is fighting her cryptic and stale mechanical side with creative thought.
But this last one was my favorite one. This dream was the ultimate example of her realization that she is lost. The fact that she can't move herself, she can't control herself anymore. It's meant to symbolize how you can't control your feelings. She can't control the fact that she loves Kyon. And the only one that can save her is Kyon himself. The last lines she writes, about her apartment being bare, are not only there as symbols of her emotional state, but also as an explanation as to why she has furniture when Kyon goes there later in the chapter. Because she hates being bare now. I knew I would want to come back to this diary entry. And I did later.
Also, the "Yuki-rin" part is her final separation from her old self. She didn't get to choose her own name, but by calling herself "Yuki-rin", she can finally control something about herself, her identity.
I had two images in mind for the next scene. One was Yuki peeking her head out the door as Kyon looked inside to see everything that had changed. The other image was of Yuki crying, and closing the door on Kyon.
More reinforcement that Yuki is struggling to be normal and like the other humans in this part, with the fact that she changed into normal clothes and has gotten furniture. But it also serves to show that she did not expect Kyon to follow her home, even though she dropped that bombshell on him and ran away.
More powerful actions by Yuki here, with her closing the door on Kyon. It is symbolizing how she has to close him out of her life, no matter how much she wants to let him in. This exemplifies that her struggle continues within herself, and that what she knows can't happen is trumping her emotions and wants, even though they are taking hold of her.
And it ends with Kyon, looking at that oh so special number that keeps coming up. I guess I'll talk about that later too.
From here on out, if I remember correctly, I start a lot of the chapters with Kyon waking up in his bed. A lot of the time with his sister coming in too, because, well, that's what usually happens. And, once again, the chapter starts with Kyon thinking about something.
I guess I should mention here, a synthetic style to my writing. It goes from huge block paragraphs of thought, to short lines of description and dialogue. I believe it was lord orion123 who commented on the long paragraphs that may have been hard to read. Yeah, sorry about that. But I chose to have them that way so the thoughts remained intact and fluid, and didn't have to be broken up by paragraphs or white lines.
So anyway. The original movie idea was kind of tossed in, because I felt like it. It really has no significance, aside from leading up the sleep over and giving Kyon a chance to talk to Koizumi, and think about Nagato more. It was also a fun excuse to show that Yuki has to hide her emotions. Specifically the part where she is looking at Kyon on the train. She has to act like she used to, but still gives in to her desires a little and thinks about Kyon.
Hehe, I'm just now reading the "If it's fun she wants..." line that I had Kyon say about Mikuru. Kyon is quite the pervert in his own mind.
I think that the banter between Kyon and Haruhi about her being the judge and seriousness is a good addition, because it further reinforces Haruhi's personality trait of thinking that she's in control, but really is actually making no sense.
Kyon's lines about Koizumi's two mysteries are how I feel about them. The Snow mountain one was not as good as the Lone Island one. In fact, I thought it was pretty lame, but what are you going to do, they knew it wasn't real.
I think that Koizumi doing magic was just the first thing I thought of. And it's inconsequential anyway. I purposefully skipped Kyon's act because, and I'll be honest, I really didn't know what to have him do. Mikuru's act was something I had been hoping to see for a while, and something I thought would be pretty funny to fry Kyon's mind with. As I mentioned before too, it was what sparked my imagination into creating the talent show.
Oh, Haha, and by the way, I had been waiting for Kyon to call Koizumi a douche since the first novel, so I'm glad I added it here.
Now, to get serious, this next part with Nagato is probably one of the most important parts of the story and also where I chose the name from. Ich Liebe Dich is actually a composition by Edvarg Greig, one of my favorite composers. I implore all of you to give it a listen. It doesn't have singing, but I had to add that in for romantic affect.
So, symbolically, this is Nagato expressing her love to Kyon. Later, she is able to do that via her dream states, but this is the only actual time in reality (besides the end) where she expresses her love to Kyon herself, in typical Nagato fashion, by being enigmatic. I wanted to talk more about the music, but it was getting kind of redundant. I thought about maybe uploading the actual song and linking to it so you readers could listen to it at the same time as reading, but then decided against it. Yuki swaying back and forth, being lost in her music is just as she is lost in her love for Kyon. She doesn't know how to express these new feelings, and the way she does comes through in a completely creative and non rigid way, very artistic, once again the opposite of her old self. It is symbolic in that she chose this way to do it. Also, if you notice in the last chapter, Kyon hears her playing the violin before he knocks on her door.
I like the image of everyone kneeling down with dumbfounded looks on their faces, mouths agape, as Yuki just goes and puts her instrument away and then sits down again, as if nothing happened.
I also had them sleep like that for a reason, with the 3 other members in between Kyon and Yuki, but I think that's pretty obvious.
I wrote the line that Yuki says, "Was it good?" And immediately thought right after what Kyon thinks. That sounds like they just had sex or something.
And I love to end chapters like this, with a spoken word revealing so much, yet still concealing so much. It's satisfying.
And here we have one of those long paragraphs, which encompasses Kyon's "dream". I am weary of telling you what I intended with these symbols here, because I want you all to come to your own conclusions on the really big ones that are apparent throughout the story, and what they mean to it as a whole. This particular "dream" is extremely important to the story in that it introduces these certain symbols for Yuki. So pay attention to this.
The snowflakes, which come from Yuki's eyes as her tears, are the first important symbol. It always shows up in the dream states, including the last time we see Yuki in this particular form. Think about what snow is, what it means to Yuki, how it fits with her. It's symbolic that she cries snow, when crying is such a sorrowful thing, why would she be crying the snow? And why would it fill the room like it did? The music notes are there to symbolize her playing, to visualize it so it can be with the snow. Colors, specifically black and white, have big meaning throughout the story, especially in later chapters, like Chapter 10. To have the contour between the two, the two extremes of light and dark, pure and evil, sight and blindness, is symbolic in itself, so I wanted to have them together for a special reason for Yuki, and more so for Kyon later. The significance of Nagato playing the music and crying at the same time is important as well. And once again, we have the importance of names, as Kyon only sees Yuki say his name, which she never says in the novels or anime.
Now, when he "wakes up", he is actually in another dream state. I hope that wasn't confusing. The part about him calling Yuki's name meant that he was trying to call to her in the "dream", but couldn't while she playing, as he was saying it out loud.
I like Nagato's actions here, because they subtly hint to her shyness. How she is so eager for Kyon to love her.
And another reference to what time it is here.
I felt really awkward trying to have Yuki say that she practiced that song extensively for him. But I put it in, because I wanted it to be there, to show that Yuki wasn't using any unconventional methods to try and impress Kyon, she is more human, and has to practice to impress the one she is in love with.
And Kyon confesses to reading the diary, even though it seems Yuki already knows. She reacts in the typical normal way though, leaving when she does not know what to say. I tried to have it be symbolic for her trying to escape her emotions. She has to leave the place Kyon is at, after he becomes the one who knows she is different. She is fighting to either accept or deny the fact.
Koizumi's explanation of dreams is sort of ironic, in that they are actually in a dream state right now, which he will explain later. I like to leave some ambiguity to it. Does Koizumi really know what's going on right now, or not? Is it really him?
Then Koizumi saying that he didn't hear Kyon again suggests that only Yuki heard him, and perhaps it was in her own dream from before that she heard him. Perhaps she was asleep with Kyon at the same time. Perhaps she just wanted to hear Kyon say her name. This is all supposed to be ambiguous.
Then I have Koizumi explain the basic plot of The Stranger, how I remember it at least. It really does connect somewhat to Yuki's situation, and, once again, I was glad to see some reader's caught on to that. I also like how Kyon still doesn't get it and Koizumi ignores his stupidity and continues on explaining things. Then Koizumi reveals he knows what was going on the whole time with Nagato, and that she loves Kyon.
And then, of course, Kyon has to go after her. I took this opportunity to do some description of the setting, and of Kyon in desperation. I tried to make it seem like he was getting more and more worried, and more distressed. And I believe it was also predetermined that this whole chapter would lead up to the scene of them at the park. I think that's what I was thinking of that sparked the whole dream sequences. Yuki sitting on the bench, with the sun peeking over and casting a small glow, trying not to cry.
This is the first time Kyon cries. I really wanted this to be emotional. And I wanted him to be confused at the same time. That's why he has no idea where he's running or why he is crying. I particularly want the reader to pay attention to the dialogue, it's where a lot of the emotion comes from. Yuki is trying not to cry because in the first chapter, Kyon told her not to. At the end point, I felt it was powerful that they were just crying there, together. Yuki realizes how this can never happen. And yes, this is where Kyon first calls her Yuki-Rin to her face, and I think the only time he remembers to do it himself. I think the other times, Yuki asks him to. And after she kisses his cheek, the whiteness and snowflakes come back. I feel that the paragraph talking about the notes and the music and what it means to comfort them is very telling. It's as if Kyon knows all that but doesn't at the same time. Of course, he wakes up out of his dream state, confused, looking at the time.
And once again, I end the chapter with spoken word.
This first line that Kyon reads is the first line from the book The Stranger, and is a famous line from it (Maman mom). It is symbolic in itself that it is raining, not only because rain is gloomy and sets a nice mood, but because Kyon has just gone through two dream like states that involved snow. When he comes back to reality, he is met with rain from the real world, instead of the cold snow from Yuki's dream states.
This whole part with the school supplies coming out of the bag was not planned at all, and I think I wrote it on the spot during my last edit, just because I thought of the idea of having Nagato make a cartoon, just to add to the childish love she feels. It turned out that I used it for something later, so thank goodness I did it. I thought it would be funny to have Mikuru catch Kyon, and making him forget all of his troubles in an instant just by yawning cutely.
Then most of this beginning stuff afterward is just fluff, is just what I wanted to write. It's not there particularly for any reason, just to let you know what happened.
The line about a Western Civilization quiz is there because I was actually putting off studying for my Western Civ test I had the next day as I was writing this. I think I got D on the test, I don't remember. I never got better then a C in the class.
I think there is a couple times that I have Kyon think about things when he rides his bike throughout this story. Because when you ride your bike, you don't have much else to think about.
A lot of this is here just to show you Kyon's normal life right now, how everything is, because it is about to change to the alternate time plane.
I don't know why, but for some reason, I wrote Kunikida as a really good friend, and Taniguchi as a really bad one. I guess I just felt like it. I just like Kunikida, seems like he's just there and doesn't do anything stupid. Plus, gender-bent TsuruyaxKunikida is the best. But more on that later.
The real purpose for this chapter was for this explanation as to what is going on. I hope you all understand it, but if I remember correctly, some were still confused. Nagato creates separate realities called dream states, so she can express her emotions in some way. She wants Kyon to be in them because she loves him. This enables them to be together outside of the real reality with Haruhi, because otherwise they would be forbidden to do that. But they are still connected to reality, because they will remember what happens in the dream state. Basically, it's a world created by Nagato for her and Kyon, everyone else is just synthetic. Don't know if that helps. Hopefully.
Not much else about this chapter. It was pretty short, I think the 2nd shortest. It ends with the white swallowing Kyon again. Keep that in mind later.
Thanks for reading this if you did. I will have more soon, I hope. I apologize for taking so long to get these up, but I had stuff to do, so I took a break. I really appreciate all of you readers who read and reviewed though, you really are great and gave me more confidence in what I was writing. It also made me have a lot more fun. Please comment on anything in here too, I'd love to hear what you have to say, as always.
Ki o tsukete