Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

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JUNCTION Writing Report and NaNoWriMo 2017

Wii, look at me! I’m writing here again (probably because I’m not writing on any other blog, I guess (≧∇≦)) because I have finished the first story of the year, a yakuza novel called Junction. This is a rewrite of an old fanfic I wrote a lifetime ago playing with the idea of Stockholm syndrome and the fine line between right and wrong. This story is a bit more mature and darker, and I like that. However, I feel there is something off with the whole thing. I am toying with the idea of giving it to someone for them to have a look and tell me, but I’m pretty sure that the weaknesses are rooted on the couple of parts when I went off script.

PRE-NANO 2017

I built the timeline and the character transformation card. I created a new female character because there was a definite lack of female representation. I also got myself an actual villain too, and made the line between good and bad blurry, with some cops doing some bad things and the yakuza doing some good things.

IN-NANO 2017

With my wrist problems getting steadily worse, NaNoWriMo 2017 was a painful affair. Thus I made sure to limit writing sessions to 30 minutes and space them around. That worked, mostly, except on the first day that I always push it a little (because it is a holiday here). I did 25.5k on the first, 5.5k on the second, 7.7k on the third and the fourth was a Saturday so I pushed to the 50 k. after that I stayed on the 2ks for around ten days and then went down according to the averages I needed to get to 100k by the end of the month (average + 100 words of buffer was the goal). In the end I distributed around 80 half-hours to writing throughout the month, 10.5 hours on the first. I recorded the wrist pain (WP in red in one of the graphs) on a scale from 0 to 10, but I guess I only hit between 1 and 9.

Throughout NaNo I did not deviate from the timeline much, except to add a mini extra subplot for the female character in order to get her out of the environment – aka I had her go out on a date and drooled at the menus in the Shinjuku Hyatt restaurants (≧∇≦)

Wordcount wise this NaNo does not make it into the top three. It definitely was in the top three in effort though – probably the hardest. I was close to quitting and (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻ more than a few times. I did not in the end but maybe I should have.

Averaging, I wrote around 1300 words per session of around 30 minutes, give or take both words and minutes. The number of words by day varies wildly according to the number of sessions so this is the most representative number in the whole process.

Here you have got some graphics.

POST-NANO 2017

I did some more writing in December. I was actually aiming to have the story wrapped up by the end of the year, but it just did not work out as other stuff came up. However it was here when I got off script and I spent a couple of weeks “stuck” on the same plot point writing things that the story was demanding. Change in point of view and events were what in the end caused some of the feared discrepancies and plot problems (remember the Koreans in the bedroom? That (≧∇≦) ).

POST-NANO 2018

I managed to finish the story on the 9th of January, changing the whole ending because I kinda skipped looking at plot points 68-70 for a while. There were many small changes from the original script that I’m happy with because they feel that they make much more sense. However there is still a bit of final knot -tying in the real ending – the last few paragraphs that make me feel that there is some more in-depth character exploration needed. So on one hand I’m happy it is done, on the other hand I feel that it needs ‘something’.

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Erika

In the experimental line I started with T, I’ve been working on Erika. As a child of the 80s I seem to believe everything in the future must fly – blame Michel J. Fox’s skateboard – so when I tackled trying a sci-fi, that was one of the few things I had clear: stuff had to fly, or at the very least hover.

I discovered that in my mind the future is also neon green. Not all of it, of course, but there is a serious atmosphere of neon green around. Other colours are welcome too, as long as there is neon tints. I don’t know why XD”

In my future there is a glaciation again. There are four seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter and riots. The usual climate in Tokyo is at least a foot of snow – as a matter of fact this is an actual future climate prediction, but not as popular as the heat going up and oceans rising and all that.

I thought up a not-really post apocalyptic future but not something at peace either. Two generations have been born since World War III when Europe bombed Tokyo. The bomb, built with super-secret technology, had unexpected effects on the children of those who survived it, but were still exposed to it.

What was named Erika Syndrome (ES) courses in male babies with muscular degeneration triggered in puberty, constant back pain, recurring headaches and migraines and breathing problems. The sufferers however, develop certain ‘psychic’ powers. Shinya, the character affected in the story, can project holograms of himself and read minds. Others can read feelings, use telekinesis or have special memory. Most of them can do the hologram projection though.

The police like people like Shinya, since their abilities to read minds quicken the resolution of crimes. Even though Shinya is confined in a bed, he works in hologram form with Homicide Detective Kawagishi, who is an old-style cop, partner bonding and all that.

Then they find a case where they bite more than they can chew…

All in all, I am not sure whether it worked as a sci-fi, but was entertaining to write and helped me give a bit more thought about the ES, which I had had in mind for a while ^^

T

T has been a little experiment of mine, one that has been very interesting to work on. Before talking about it though, I’ll introduce a couple of terms that show up in the story quite often:

  • Kabuki: form of traditional Japanese theatre
  • Kagema: male prostitute who works for a kabuki (theatre) company
  • Ronin: masterless/vagabond samurai

It is divided in two parts, each around 10500 words long. The first part happens in a never-named town in the late Heian period. Taichi, a kagema is approached by an idealistic ronin, who looks for help to overthrow the evil city governor. Taichi knows about poisons and the ronin, Kijuro, and his party, hope to get him to make the garrison sleep as they assassinate the governor.

In the second part, a theatre company in today’s Tokyo take on a newbie actor to play the ronin in a play based on the first part. Kiyoshi has a huge crush on the main actor, Tatsuya. Present and past come together as the actors bring the years-old characters back to life onstage.

I don’t think I can actually write anything else without completely spoil every little plot twist. I’ve been working on it with a rhythm of about 1000 words a day, and while the basic idea did not change, I bent the plot so the actual ending is the opposite of what I had imagined. Tatsuya also came up a bit different from what I had expected, stronger.

All in all, T was a fun experiment, albeit it failed in providing me with what I was looking for… a character to torture to relieve stress. Neither Taichi or Tatsuya had it in them to suffer well, I’ll have to keep looking.

Also. Short entry, no picture. Sorry, I’m on a trip and my bandwidth is veeery limited. Have a pic now: