Poll: Should I have "Neutral End" chapters that branch off of the main storyline whenever relevant? Vote Now!
Author has written 3 stories for World Only God Knows/神のみぞ知るセカイ, and Little Witch Academia/リトル ウィッチ アカデミア.
Author Updates (May contain spoilers):
15 December, 2019
I'm back. I think. I've been busy, but circumstances are freer than before, so I think I can come back. Past-Ciel has been a very meticulous note taker, so hopefully, I won't miss any important story beats. To avoid that, I'll take some time to review both the notes I've left behind and the actual story itself. Unfortunately, this means the hiatus will last a little longer, but I think it's better to come back all warmed up than to rush my return and mess up the story.
Current Connection threads (Last Updated: 15 December, 2019)
Curr Chapter: 27
Curr Day: TUES
Asami: Part-time (EVERY SUN)
Ayumi: Sucker punch (SAT)
Chihiro: Music in the Making (*)
Hinoki: Love Assistant (*)
Kanon: New Helper (*)
Kaori: Disdain (*)
Keima: Astronomy club (SAT)
Kusunoki: Culinary Training (EVERY SUN)
Minami: Shiori Assistance (*)
Mio: Wingwoman in the making (*)
Shiori: Fortnight seven (*)
Sumire: Sumire special (EVERY SUN)
Tenri: Diana (*)
Tsukiyo: Are games any good? (*)
Urara: Not Another Aoyama (*)
Yui: Friendship Lost (*)
Connection Author's Notes (Spoilers for obvious reasons):
Chapter 26 (9 Sept, 2018)
After many a delay, Enter Tsukiyo Kujou is finally out! I had a very rough outline made like two weeks ago, but I found it incredibly hard to start each scene except the last, which kinda just flowed out like butter. I tried to find a way to show - not tell - Tsukiyo rebuffing his advances during the commute to the mall, but in the end, I just had to gloss over it. It frustrates me a little that I'm still not very good at this after three years of Connections, but oh well.
I'll be honest. I wasn't a huge fan of Tsukiyo. Don't get me twisted - I didn't hate her. It's just that she didn't really click with me. However, as I started to refresh my memory in order to write her debut chapter, it's a little startling how similar she and Keima are amongst the other Goddess hosts. I'd argue that she has more in common with him than Shiori, and she also had that "I wanna shut out reality and live in the library/on the moon/in games" shtick too. It's rather interesting.
Since I've posted the AN so late, I was able to catch a few reviews. Positive reception overall, although someone feels that Enter... makes it feel like we're still at the start of the story. I mean, y'know, we kinda are. We're still introducing key characters, which means we're only be in Act I if we were to go by the three act structure. I can see why this fact is a little worrying. If Act I is going to be 3 years to pen, the other acts are either going to be shorter in comparison, which would botch the pacing, or this story will take a decade to finish. I'd want to finish this before hitting my thirties, thank you very much.
However, I'm trying to tackle this less like one single story and more like multiple arcs occurring at the same time. However, there are so many that even I get confused, which is why I've written them down here on my profile. If I had to say, here are the main arcs that are happening right now:
Most of the other characters support these three arcs. For example, Chihiro and Miyako stem off of Ayumi, Diana pops up with Tenri, Sumire and Asami interact with Kusunoki in her quest for romance, and Minami and Co. sorta help Shiori out with hers. Of course, if I have time, I'd love to get into the finer details of the side characters. I forgot if I explained it, but in case this doesn't come to fruition, I'd like to say that I've given Sumire a different backstory where her father leaves the Uemoto family to pursue his culinary dreams. Many of the so-called side characters have similar developments, and I hope to shed more light on them. Still, those three main arcs take precedence.
Oh, and one more word. I'm very attached to the usage of Enter... - it's been my shtick since the use of my old account. In fact, I'm sure you can find my old account since it also uses the Enter... stuff. It holds more than sentimental value to me, however. Let's just say that for every Enter..., there's an Exit... - tons of fun.
Chapter 25 (24 July, 2018)
Once again, I'm introducing a really out-of-the-blue character. Enter Kaori Yuuzaki. She's always been a spiteful little elementary school girl, and I'd hazard a guess and say her personality never got better, even after ten years. Now, she's at the ripe age of twenty - the same age as Hinoki, if you guys are keeping track. I had to take a lot of creative liberties, but I hope you'll enjoy. Besides, her new backstory isn't as crazy as Tenri's heheheheeheh.
It's getting a little difficult to juggle this many characters, but I'm somewhat enjoying the challenge so far. It gets easier when events are scheduled - Kusunoki and Sumire on Sundays, Shiori everyday once again
Next chapter will probably be about ya girl Tsukiyo, featuring Shiori and Minami. Haven't decided about hte other appearances, but those three are shoe ins. Please look forward to it
Chapter 23 (3 June, 2018)
Sup. I said I wasn't going to do new characters for a while, but I decided to make my life harder for myself, it seems. Luckily, I have xellos with me to rein me in if I accidentally write her OOC (which I almost assuredly will, trust me). I still don't know if she'll have a super prevalent role like Chihiro or Shiori - she's definitely in the position to do so - but we'll see in the upcoming chapters.
We have finally reached Sunday! I am very excited to finally tackle it. We've already seen a glimpse of Sumire's story, and Shiori got to give Keima her book, but we still have a few events left in the tank. I hope you look forward to it.
Next chapter... will be another character intro. It's pretty obvious as to who it'll be, so I won't leave any further hints. Oh well, I'll try to have it come out within this month, but my summer is going to be fairly busy (but not nearly as depressing) too. Plus, E3 is just around the cornerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-
Chapter 22 (26 April, 2018)
Interesting chapter. While no one new has entered the stage, this signals the start of the sick event, which I hope won't last too long. Just like you guys, I'm very excited for Sunday's events, and while the sick event will be fun, I assure you it'll pale in comparison to Sunday. I even have a secret flag that I'm pretty sure I've only hinted at, so please look forward to that.
Chapter 20 (3 March, 2018)
And I'm late again. Heh, we've gotten to the point that even my own reviewers have been calling me out on it. Like everyone else, I have other things to do, though unlike the good authors, I'm bad at writing and I get distracted way too easily. It's a fair complaint to raise, but I'm sorry; I don't think I'll be able to address it anytime soon. I doubt I'm going to go on hiatus like in the past, though, so I hope that assuages you a bit.
What won't assuage you is that I'm thinking of writing that epilogue for the Little Witch Academia fic I made a while back, so that - and exams, friends, video games... - might negatively affect Connection 21's release date. Apologies.
Enter Urara Shiratori. I liked her design a lot, and I thought it was a shame we never got to see her older self very much, and now that can be somewhat rectified. I tried to base her personality off of her past - I'll elaborate more on that in future chapters. Just know she'll play a decently sized role in the whole Yui-Mio arc - more than Sumire huhu.
Kanna Kagamine. I'm glad you guys don't hate OCs. I promise I won't let her consume too much screentime - don't want her to take away from the characters people actually care about, after all - but I really needed a figurehead for the student council, and I don't think we had one in the manga, so I had to make one up.
As for the "increase the interactions" argument, I can see where you're coming from. Watching the catfight that would ensue sounds entertaining. However, I don't think I'd be able to have them all collide sans-buildup without having it feel orchestrated. Sure, we have a few that accepted that they are attracted to him - Ayumi, Kusunoki, Shiori - but aside from those three, there's no reason for the girls to pull out the claws this early. Besides, not everyone would want to fight. Even in the manga, Ayumi stepped aside when she thought Chihiro liked Keima, so it's reasonable to assume that some of the Connections girls would fall back for some of the others.
Summary of my rambling: it'll take a while, and I'm not good enough to speed it up without pushing against your suspension of disbelief.
Anyway, I'm very grateful for your responses. Aside from a few remarks, the overall response was positive. I'll try to keep it up. Stay fresh.
Chapter 19 (27 January, 2017)
So the chapter came out on time, but the AN's pretty late. Oh well. Been busy, but you don't need me to elaborate on that. Anyway, into the chapter:
First part of the chapter dealt with Kanon's ring business. Definitely didn't plan for her to join him in holy matrimony this early, so I'm glad you guys didn't put me on blast for tossing a red herring at you.
Second part was more stuff with Mari, and I basically used this as a chance to remind you guys that Shiori is still alive, to remind you that Kusunoki and Sumire are still alive, and to set up Keima's fateful meeting with Okada. Basically it was all a huge exposition dump, and judging from the lack of criticism, I'm glad I didn't bore you to death. I guess it's because we all needed a reminder, since I don't really do a good job at signposting what day it is. I try to sneak it into the prose, but they just come off as throwaway lines, and at that point I might as well just put the day of the week at the start of each chapter... which I'm actually considering. I'll mention it to xellos once I start penning Connection 20.
Third was pretty much the start of Ayumi's legitimate arc, since it finally deals with her relationship with the track and field club she adores. Ayumi, incensed at the insults hurled Keima's way, was overcome by rage and let one loose; at least, that's the angle I was trying to play. The ramifications of such an action will be elaborated on in Connection 20.
Finally, we get to Mio. Nothing too special, except for showing more scenes between the two teens so we can all have a better grasp of their dynamic.
Anyway, after I'm done with the Little Witch Academia chapter I'm writing, I'll jump back onto this. Until then.
Chapter 18 (27 December, 2017)
Yeah, I'm pretty late. That semester I crawled out of was pretty disastrous, but I'm relatively unscathed aside from one subject, so I'll survive. Anyway, back to the story.
1. Don't be surprised to see a re-upload when I send xellos540 the doc, 'cause I'm sure he'll fine some noteworthy edits I'll have to add in the not-too-distant future.
2. Kanon went 0-100. As I was writing the chapter, the dinner was supposed to be a short affair, then the muse started waking up and decided to toss my old Mari-centered chapter out in favor of a more insane ending. Tiny spoiler, but no, Kanon isn't asking for Keima's hand in marriage. She might as well be, though. Unless I come up with some more crazy shenanigans, your questions about that part should be answered in Connection 19.
3. For those keeping score, we are still on Wednesday. Two days until the Tea Ceremony and the mystery neighbor. Three until Chihiro's jam session. Four until the Kusunoki cooking and the Shiori reading. More than a week until Ayumi's track meet. That should cover all my bases.
4. While it isn't Christmas yet for Keima and friends, I did want to do something sort of Christmas-y, so I hope you got a pinch of the Christmas spirit out of the gift-giving in the chapter.
5. I want to continue my tradition of two intermission chapters before an introduction, but I'm not sure I can fit a new character into 19 with all the delays I've made. I'll definitely try though, and since there's going to be someone new in Keima's neighborhood on Friday, you'll definitely get a new Enter ] chapter "soon". Hopefully I can clear up my schedule next semester, maybe block out a few hours a week or so to dedicate to writing this, 'cause I'm definitely having fun doing so.
Yo, if you're seeing this, xellos, mail me. I'll send you the doc so you can make your edits easier, and sorry for releasing this behind your back.
Chapter 17 (18 November, 2017)
I am way later than three days this time, and I'm sorry for that. The semester is nearing its end, after all, and I'm trying to muster all my energy to finish without failing. Fingers crossed on that front.
Anyway, about the chapter. I've been dropping hints for a few threads - Ayumi's eventual confrontation with her upperclassmen, a certain someone interested in his escapades, and one enigmatic neighbor. Please look forward to it.
One thing I'm a little concerned about is Chihiro. I hope she doesn't come off as too attached to Keima, especially since just a few chapters ago, they were at each other's throats. I don't wanna rush it.
Also, I was expecting the Kanon train to stop at this chapter, but I didn't want to delay the chapter any longer, so you'll have to settle for the dinner in Connection 18.
Speaking of Chapter 18, I have it somewhat outlined. Still thinking of a title. Current working title is Escalation, but that sounds a bit too dramatic.
Chapter 16 (4 October, 2017)
I'm three days late. A little sad, especially since I had the general plot of the chapter outlined like two weeks ago or something. Oh well. I just hope I can actually upload within the month this time.
Saeko Okada. I hope you guys don't mind me giving Okada a name. Sure, it wasn't absolutely necessary, but it just felt kind of awkward to just keep saying Okada again and again.
Mio Aoyama. Yeah, when I said that, in a way, she's more damaged than before, I wasn't joking. Those other aristocrats may appear in a future chapter. Hm, I wonder how the Shiratoris are doing...
Yui Goidou. I'll be honest; I'm not that familiar with her character, especially since her personality pre-Conquest is almost completely different from her post-Conquest one. I'll try to integrate both aspects of Yui into this iteration. Take that as you will.
I've written nothing for Connection 17. ETA is November 1. Hopefully I make it.
Chapter 15 (1 September, 2017)
Hi. It's been a busy few weeks, though I'm glad I updated before September 7. It was supposed to be longer, but ending on the Shiori scene seemed right, and I didn't want to delay this any longer.
Mari. Nothing much going on aside from dropping a little hint at things to come.
Kusunoki. It just didn't seem right to her, ending the last date on an anticlimax, so she just had to make up for it this time. No idea where that ferocity came from. Maybe it had something to do with that sister she had to pick up from the airport, or was a passionate club member the real root of the problem? Oh well, one thing was for sure; she was going to make the most of the culinary lessons she eked out of Sumire.
Shiori. Present in pretty much every chapter ever since she laid eyes on How to Make Him Fall for You in a Fortnight, it seems that she'll finally take a back seat in order to perfect her approach. Will the others be able to catch up before Shiori outpaces them?
Here's a hint for next chapter. It'll be Connection 16: Enter [redacted]. Yep, a new girl will be introduced in chapter 16 for sure this time. Some of you may have easily guessed that Minami Ikoma would be featured in Connection 14, but I think you'll be slightly more surprised with who will enter next. Heck, as far as I know, not even xellos540 knows, and he's this story's beta reader.
I hope to see you in the next chapter. I'm aiming for a release in two weeks, but you know how punctual I can get. I'm sure it'll be out before October 1, that's for sure.
EDIT: I read like two reviews, and I couldn't help but address them. I'm not so sure about Chapters 1-7, since they were written long before I was smart enough to add dates and timestamps to my outlines, but Chapters 8-15 have occurred in the span of a week.
Chapter 14 (7 August, 2017)
Hallo. I'm very glad I got this out before school started; otherwise, this would have been on the back burner for ages.
Oh, and I got a new beta reader: Xellos540. I hope that, with his help, I'll be able to churn out more chapters in a timely manner.
Okay, some discussion about the chapter. Shiori is slowly forcing herself to come out of her shell, in no small part thanks to the book she bought. In fact, she finished entry number 3 out of 14, though it isn't explained explicitly in the chapter. If there's too much confusion surrounding it, then I might have to go back and rewrite it. Chihiro's been making some progress as well. She's finally been upgraded from background character to a potential heroine. I wonder how her arc's going to pan out. There will definitely be more time for Mio to be in the spotlight in future chapters. It's just that practically, the only time Keima and Mio will interact is during his part time shifts, which don't happen everyday.
Here's a bit of a peek into the future. It's extremely likely that we'll be introduced to yet another girl. Also, don't worry; I haven't forgotten about Sumire.
Chapter 13 (24 July, 2017):
Yo. It's been almost a month. Would have released this last week had it not been for Splatoon 2, god bless Kimishima's soul.
Okay, first off: Mio Aoyama. She'll be an interesting addition for sure. While she's a bit detached from the gang - odds are Shiori and Kanon will run into Ayumi and Co. more often - she'll definitely have a lengthy arc. I wonder what other rich girls this former ojou-sama can rope in.
Some people may be confused as to what Mio's current status is. I don't want to give too much away; however, I'll say that this Mio is not the same Mio as the one in canon. Sure, she's a bit more functional, willing to help out her mom Rin at the store without too many qualms, but she's also a bit more broken. More on that in later chapters, obviously. Also, speaking of Rin Aoyama, I checked the wiki, and the name for Mio's mom wasn't stated, so I just slapped one onto her. Hope you don't mind. As for time since her father's passing, let's just say that it's been so long that Morita's gone and left the Aoyamas.
Also, this chapter was supposed to be longer. It should have contained a scene with [redacted] talking to [redacted] about [redacted, but I thought that this little revelation would be nice. Plus, I think you guys would lynch me if I ended this chapter on a cliffie then skedaddled for another month. And yes, the scene still would have taken place Friday night. Days are surprisingly long. So many scenes you can cram into them.
I'm sure at least half of you have seen the "hidden" character added, though since I haven't used her name, I didn't add her to the title of the chapter. I was incredibly tempted, however. It would have worked swimmingly - Connection 13: Enter [redacted] and Mio Aoyama. Still, I held back. She'll have another time to dive into the limelight.
I also noticed a trend. There's at most 2 filler chapters separating two Enter chapters. I honestly haven't noticed it until recently. I wonder if I should stick to it.
By the way, I just wanted to point out how touched I am at the reviews I've received. I read every single one. I'll wait a few days for the reviews to come in then give some general comments. I'll appear above in an Author Update.
Until then, don't get cooked~
Chapter 12 (28 June, 2017):
There was a reason why I cut the Ayumi-centered chapter into its own thing, and this is why; this chapter shows how much of a tangled mess Connections is. The frantic slice-of-life tone would have totally clashed with the genuine moment Ayumi shared with Keima that night.
Also, last chapter had a rather abysmal word count. We're back in the 4.7k range, baby!
Oh, and judging by a few of the loose ends presented in the chapter, you can probably guess who will be featured next chapter. Hint: it's not Rieko.
And for those who thought I just threw Uemoto-ya into the chapter haphazardly, you're kinda right. I was about to go for another scene with Sumire in it, but I decided that there were too many connections in this chapter, so all she gets in #12 is a shout-out. Sorry, Sumire fans (like me rippppp).
Shiori: Yes, I have 14 entries. Yes, I'll hopefully go through all 14 of them.
Kanon: The fact that she constantly asked Keima for help was kind of brushed off in the manga. To be fair, Keima had nothing else to do, so there weren't that many schedule conflicts to write in. However, I thought it'd be interesting to see a busy Keima have to work an even busier idol into his work schedule.
I have a few ideas for the next chapter. Zero words in my outline, though, so no idea when I can upload again.
Chapter 11 (21 June, 2017):
I decided to only upload the first scene as its own chapter. I'm hoping that it'll help with pacing, since I think it's a really pungent scene which would be kind of ruined if it wasn't the absolute focus of the chapter. Of course, this meant that the chapter was minuscule compared to the previous one. I think it was a worthy sacrifice, especially since this chapter would have come out way later if I still added the bet part to it.
I hope that no one seemed out of character. I'm not the best when it comes to drama or descriptive prose, so I hope the emotions I tried to convey still hit home.
Oh, almost forgot. Was the plot twist concerning the bet actually effective, or was it telegraphed from a mile away?