Writing Echoes

Delijah's Writing Blog

Tag Archives: T

Speculative fiction

I’ve decided. My no-so-little-anymore (at over 15,500 words) samurai story is not historical but a fantasy. It also has a title: Kuraokami. Kuraokami (闇龗) is a legendary Japanese dragon and Shinto deity of rain and snow (oh, I need to tell you one of these days about the Shinto book I got myself).

I’ve noticed that in the last eight months or so I’ve been turning a bit towards speculative fiction. I’ve written a short fantasy (Wren), a full-blown Japanese Urban Fantasy (Hyakki Yagyō) and a sci-fi (Erika). I’m even sure that if I try hard enough T could count as fantasy. Now Kuraokami adds to the list.

Until I tackled Wren back in July, I had not written fantasy for years, but I’ve enjoyed it for long. The DragonLance Originals (Chronicles and Legends) were one hell of a drug, devoured more than read during my teenage summers. A bunch of them I used to have in both Spanish and English, though I eventually donated the Spanish ones to a local library. As you can see in the picture, I can almost claim to have a vintage edition, back from when TSR still existed.

Most of my early years’ writing material is – some thankfully, some regretfully – lost due to a misplaced box during a moving across the country, but I used to write much more fantasy than I write now. I guess it is a bit of a cycle for me, coming back to it. I’m cool with it, if my story needs the extra fantasy touch, then it shall have it.

The character who is in fact responsible for everything that happens in Kuraokami is Hisoka, a daimyo’s (Japanese lord) second son. Hisoka is married to the daughter of his father’s general, and is basically… a whuss. He is in love with Hachirou, one of the castle samurai, but he won’t make a move on him at all. As a matter of fact, he completely refuses to let Hachirou even touch him.

Hachirou’s only real friend is Souji, a healer, without any magic power who just trusts his books and his herbs. After becoming the castle “doctor”, Souji ends up exposed to some of the fortress’ darkest secrets, including that the daimyo is sleeping with one of his daughters, Jun, who has a secret herself. Soon, Hachirou starts having dreams about a mysterious woman who talks to him in a cloud of cold and snow.

Hachirou needs to choose now between the path he has sworn to follow, and staying with the man he loves, or leaving behind everything he has born to in order to protect an innocent life and his own soul.

… or something. I mean, I’m still working on it, and boy it needs work. But hey, I am writing it and I’m feeling good about it, and only for that, Kuraokami is worth it ^^



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: