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kitsuno
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
So far I have 4 of the 8 stories up for reading (you can find them via the announcement post in this forum), and by sunday I'll have the rest of them up, but if anyone wants feedback, feel free to ask here, and if anyone who reads the stories wants to make comments, this thread is also the place for it. I'll give out a few comments of my own once I've got them up.
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JLBadgley
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I wouldn't mind feedback. It was pretty quickly thrown together, but it never hurts to find out what people did or didn't like about something.

-Josh
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onnamusha
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
JLBadgley wrote:
I wouldn't mind feedback. It was pretty quickly thrown together, but it never hurts to find out what people did or didn't like about something.

-Josh

I've read the stories that have been posted up so far (well, I read my own previously so many times my brain aches, but it was nice to read some others!). I really enjoyed your story, Josh, not only because it was short and to the point but it maintained a precise and deft flow of action. Few words but the right ones, without excess fluff that I find I can't seem to help writing. Great title with reference to the events in the story too. I have to say that I recognized the device you used near the end, but I really liked the point of view as things "settled," so to speak. I always wished I could write something short and concise like that; my stories always go on forever (apologies to those who start on my tale and find not enough time to finish it!)

As an endnote, anyone feel free to rip on my story as well, and extra points to anyone who figures out my glaring error (that I'm debating whether or not to fix) or any others. Cheers!

I look forward to reading the other stories when they're posted!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 7:43 am    Post subject: Feedback Reply with quote
I too would welcome feedback, once the story is linked. I had it in the What If? category, because I hoped that would hide a multitude of sins...
Like Onnamusha has said, I fear I didn't slash and burn enough, but used the max allowed. I know there were areas that could have been cut, but I had such a blast writing it that I couldn't face chopping bits when I was still within the limit.
I would really like some opinions on the use of the word sohei. I don't think it matters too much for a short story, because the word conjures up exactly the image needed. Yet, the word sohei is wrong for many reasons (mostly because the term wasn't even coined until 18th century, I think).

So, I would really like to know what others think: what english term should I use instead? Warrior monk? Wicked priest? Soldier monk?

Or, do you think sohei, even though it is not extant, is a good enough word to use?

Thanks!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:33 am    Post subject: Re: Feedback Reply with quote
gozen wrote:

I would really like some opinions on the use of the word sohei. I don't think it matters too much for a short story, because the word conjures up exactly the image needed. Yet, the word sohei is wrong for many reasons (mostly because the term wasn't even coined until 18th century, I think).

So, I would really like to know what others think: what english term should I use instead? Warrior monk? Wicked priest? Soldier monk?

Or, do you think sohei, even though it is not extant, is a good enough word to use?

Thanks!


I figure if the many online sources I've seen can refer to Benkei as "Sohei," then it's period enough a word to use in short fiction of a period older than the 18th century. I look forward to reading your story soon!
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
onnamusha wrote:

I've read the stories that have been posted up so far (well, I read my own previously so many times my brain aches, but it was nice to read some others!). I really enjoyed your story, Josh, not only because it was short and to the point but it maintained a precise and deft flow of action. Few words but the right ones, without excess fluff that I find I can't seem to help writing. Great title with reference to the events in the story too. I have to say that I recognized the device you used near the end, but I really liked the point of view as things "settled," so to speak. I always wished I could write something short and concise like that; my stories always go on forever (apologies to those who start on my tale and find not enough time to finish it!)

As an endnote, anyone feel free to rip on my story as well, and extra points to anyone who figures out my glaring error (that I'm debating whether or not to fix) or any others. Cheers!

I look forward to reading the other stories when they're posted!


Yes Josh,I agree with her. It was more eloquently put by Onnamusha than I.

Gozen,you have posted two times and you placed in the contest? That makes my day!(though its obvious that you are well read) I can't wait to read your story!

As for my own, if I had known then what I know about Tomoe now, I never would have wrote the story. I am sure some people will point out that her paramour was more attracted to his second than her and in fact it never mentions that they had that kind of relationship that I know of. Heike Monogatari says very little about her at all but I must admit I have not read the whole thing, and what I do know I asked others to tell me (Thanx Eien!) The point is I am interested to know if people who know a lot more than I will probably ever know about Japanese History can give me some clues to avoid making them retch. I feel like the fact and the fiction don't always mix

In Falling Leaves I was trying to explain why some ten year olds would attack a castle, (Okutchi Castle was taken by ten year old pages in 1561) I am sure it will have some people feeling uncomfortable. It was unedited because I wanted to write it before the facts took away the idea of the story as almost happened with the other entry and also to see if I should be my own editor. (I really doubt it now!)

I read in the AJ Bryant interview he can't even read fiction anymore because he sees all the errors in it. It makes me wonder how to find the balance of going beyond focused appeal (would anyone else except SA'ers know who Tomoe was?!) and authenticity.

Onnamusha, your story made me feel as if you had actually been to this lonely mountain pass. It felt so real! My craft is lacking in that I was unable to spot the error, I only read it once, but it was enough to convince me I had to know so much more to go where I need to go.

Wave your story reminds me of someone who wants to quit their job and go on Musha Shugyo, oh wait, Wave is in Japan! Wink thats right! Hmm, I think its time for tea Daydreaming
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 5:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
A.L.Mundell wrote:

As for my own, if I had known then what I know about Tomoe now, I never would have wrote the story. I am sure some people will point out that her paramour was more attracted to his second than her and in fact it never mentions that they had that kind of relationship that I know of. Heike Monogatari says very little about her at all but I must admit I have not read the whole thing, and what I do know I asked others to tell me (Thanx Eien!) The point is I am interested to know if people who know a lot more than I will probably ever know about Japanese History can give me some clues to avoid making them retch. I feel like the fact and the fiction don't always mix

In Falling Leaves I was trying to explain why some ten year olds would attack a castle, (Okutchi Castle was taken by ten year old pages in 1561) I am sure it will have some people feeling uncomfortable. It was unedited because I wanted to write it before the facts took away the idea of the story as almost happened with the other entry and also to see if I should be my own editor. (I really doubt it now!)

I read in the AJ Bryant interview he can't even read fiction anymore because he sees all the errors in it. It makes me wonder how to find the balance of going beyond focused appeal (would anyone else except SA'ers know who Tomoe was?!) and authenticity.

Onnamusha, your story made me feel as if you had actually been to this lonely mountain pass. It felt so real! My craft is lacking in that I was unable to spot the error, I only read it once, but it was enough to convince me I had to know so much more to go where I need to go.

Wave your story reminds me of someone who wants to quit their job and go on Musha Shugyo, oh wait, Wave is in Japan! Wink thats right! Hmm, I think its time for tea Daydreaming


Don't worry AL, I'm not a Tomoe expert by a longshot, and I had to look up what "Musha Shugyo" meant, so I'm far from learned in all areas; I just drilled in many geographical details and used what I knew about the mountains of Georgia and Tennessee (which is part of what drew me to the Nakasendo and parts surrounding in the first place). I'm sure I'll enjoy your stories, especially the 10-year-old castle assailants, even if it lacked editing. Your concept of getting it down before the facts interfered with the story idea makes it sound like one of those "what if" type of stories. It is fiction, after all!

I also read the AJ Bryant lament about fiction; I guess I'm lucky in that I tend to let a lot of inaccuracies slide if the writing is good and evocative. That's why I'm not sure if I'll end up editing the error in my story. It isn't major, but it is an anachronism for 1864. I'll be looking forward to reading your stories when they're posted too.

The thing that interests me is how a character is drawn from initial concept to full fledged presentation. Sometimes it takes a key figure to make an idea work (one reason I failed 6-7 times with other ideas before settling on the one I finished), and other times, a character not only presents him or herself, he presents an image. Besides the dog, who is real, the character of Naomichi presented himself as the young Takahashi Hideki (in his guise as Sugi Toranosuke in Misumi's "Last Samurai"), no matter what I made him do or think. Interesting, that...does that happen to anyone else? Anyone find their characters casting themselves?
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gozen
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:49 pm    Post subject: Casting characters Reply with quote
Oh yes, characters do that, don't they. You start off writing one thing and the blighters take over and lead you into a whole new direction! That's what happened to me, I wasn't intending to write what I did, it just happened, and I loved those characters so much that I couldn't bear to lose them. I wanted to run with the concept, and see what the reaction would be from people who know Japanese history. If the reaction is: "I hate it! What a travesty, give me the traditional myths!" then I'll be disappointed, but now the idea is in my head, I can't let it go...It's hard to talk about them when nobody but the judges has read them though. As for only posting twice, yes, I am very shy. I never come across how I intend to on fora so I tend to shy away rather than annoy somebody. But I love writing so much, and you are so easy to "talk" to, that hopefully I'll be able to fully participate.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Your story is up. It takes a while to format them for the web so I'm doing one a day, so keep checking back. I'll have them all up by probably saturday.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:56 am    Post subject: Story Reply with quote
Thanks, Kitsuno, for putting the link up. Of course, no sooner did I take a quick glance at it than I found the glaring omission that a hundred read-throughs did not discover: five simple words are missing, "the boy who would become". Dammit, how stupid am I? Oh well, I imagine that it's not the only error in the story! If at all possible, can I edit it...? Let me know what I should do, and I'll do it.

Thanks for your patience!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 10:02 am    Post subject: Re: Story Reply with quote
gozen wrote:
Thanks, Kitsuno, for putting the link up. Of course, no sooner did I take a quick glance at it than I found the glaring omission that a hundred read-throughs did not discover: five simple words are missing, "the boy who would become". Dammit, how stupid am I? Oh well, I imagine that it's not the only error in the story! If at all possible, can I edit it...? Let me know what I should do, and I'll do it.

Thanks for your patience!

Actually, I think I liked it better without the five missing words; the sudden change of name takes the boy out of himself to become the man, like he is returning from the future to fulfill a promise made long ago (although it creates a moderate level of confusion with the wording in that form--but I still liked it that way). I'd leave it like it is. (I'm assuming I know where the five missing words are, and I think I do!) I really enjoyed your story, and to me it read almost like a legend out of a children's book that I read several years ago called The Three Treasures: Myths of Old Japan . Interestingly, there was a story about a long friendship in that one that concerns your two main subjects (but I believe the adult names were used throughout in that case); it was my first exposure to that particular legend. Very Happy But your story gave them more of a human feel, I think. "Sohei" is well-used in my opinion, and it is interesting that that word automatically brought a particular person to my mind when you mentioned it first, before I knew what your story would be about. That, in itself, ought to convince you it is the right word (well, at least one person's opinion)!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 11:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks Onnamusha, I feel a little less stupid now! I'm pretty sure that you have found my deliberate error...Hard to miss really, and yet I managed it! Interesting that you liked the error, shall I edit my posts and pretend it was meant to be that way all along? Anyway, you've cheered me up no end.
I haven't read the book you mentioned, I'll have to look out for it. I thought I had come up with a whole new idea, but it turns out there is nothing new under the sun after all!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I forgot about Jake! I really liked the fight sequences and wondered if Jake had choreographed them before writing them?

Gozen, I understand you might be shy but also its fantastic that you got double recognition! I think the only thing that annoys most people is WILLFUL ignorance.I doubt you will ever be guilty of that. (neh Arthur-Sama?) Wink Embarassed Now I need to read The Stone Steps

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 5:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Story Reply with quote
gozen wrote:
Thanks, Kitsuno, for putting the link up. Of course, no sooner did I take a quick glance at it than I found the glaring omission that a hundred read-throughs did not discover: five simple words are missing, "the boy who would become". Dammit, how stupid am I? Oh well, I imagine that it's not the only error in the story! If at all possible, can I edit it...? Let me know what I should do, and I'll do it.

Thanks for your patience!


I can edit it however you want. For me, when I read it, (no offense meant at all) but not knowing there were missing words, I thought it was very ineffective. I really thought it could have been done far better. The fact that some of the words were missing now makes perfect sense. But personally, if I was the writer, I would have tried to somehow make it come up at the very last sentence, or try to infer who he was with the last sentence or two, but being that Benkei is probably not well known enough, that might have been next to impossible. But heck, you got 2nd place, so it still worked Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 6:35 pm    Post subject: Re: Story Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
But heck, you got 2nd place, so it still worked Laughing


Yes, and torture yourself at nights wondering if those five words might have made it first.

MWA HA HA HA HA!!!

Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil


>ahem<

Sorry. Just being naughty. Wink

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
No matter how many words I edit, first place still went to the right person!

And yes, if you have never heard of Benkei, or if you didn't know his childhood name, it would be meaningless. This is what happens when you write about a specific era, some of us are into it, and some of us are not.

Kitsuno, please can you edit it to include those missing words? Many thanks

Hmm, short story categories on era rather than genre? Just kidding!
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 16, 2008 9:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I would have voted for the epic 'Buke Watanabe' for first place hands down. But it just missed the cut off date by a cat's whisker! It made me sad. Nyan nyan!
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
gozen wrote:
No matter how many words I edit, first place still went to the right person!

And yes, if you have never heard of Benkei, or if you didn't know his childhood name, it would be meaningless. This is what happens when you write about a specific era, some of us are into it, and some of us are not.
Maybe I liked it because I *do* know who Benkei is and had also read similar legendary stories that gave me clues that this was to be a familiar legend. I had forgotten the childhood names though. The previous reference to Benkei in reference to the term "sohei" was a complete shot in the dark, though.

I appreciate your vote of confidence in my story, gozen; I think I just wrote more words than anyone else. It is an unfortunate habit I have developed; you should see some of my 30-page short stories from years ago. They're so long that I can't even bring myself to go back through them and re-edit them. I'm lucky there are people with patience on this forum! Very Happy Now, if only Josh could teach me the secret of brevity...

I do need to go back and read Jake's story again; when they were first posted, I brought it up and had to read it in segments throughout the course of two days--not the best way to read a short story. And I'll save thoughts on Wave's story until Wave returns, I suppose! Maybe next year I try the story about how Satsuma farmers win a major battle using nothing but imo...(hey, those things are hard and make great blunt weapons!)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:18 am    Post subject: Getting Ahead Reply with quote
I loved this story. It was clever, and the ending was superb. It was exactly what a short story should be, but didn't get bogged down in technique, wasn't overblown or precious. From a reader's point of view, it delivered a good, concise and amusing story, and was written with skill. It was available, penetrable and open to the reader, it didn't show off.

I'm sick with jealousy....
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hikonyan wrote:
I would have voted for the epic 'Buke Watanabe' for first place hands down. But it just missed the cut off date by a cat's whisker! It made me sad. Nyan nyan!


How did you know about that? it never got submitted except to Kitsuno and it was (mimes pulling the jingasa down) Buke Wanabe!- as is Wannabe, hehe! lose the "t". Very Happy I feel flattered that he shared! Just Kidding but maybe your teasing... Crying or Very sad

I read The Stone Steps I liked it and I liked the dialogue,the judges are wise... Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hikonyan wrote:
I would have voted for the epic 'Buke Watanabe' for first place hands down. But it just missed the cut off date by a cat's whisker! It made me sad. Nyan nyan!
Now you got us all interested in it, and you're just teasing! Maybe it could go in the "not-ready-for-Samurai-Fiction contest" fiction area. And is it "Watanabe" or "wannabe?" Did I mention there's a rank level in Satsuma that give the "buke wannabes" the right to carry two (very large) imo? Laughing (Clearly, my idea needs work...)

The Hiko-Nyan video is cute, amusing and bizarre (and danceable!). There seems to be a cute anime creature for everything! Say, is there a cute anime dog for Tokugawa Tsunayoshi? And what castle could one use Keroro Gunso as a mascot for? Just Kidding Perhaps there is an anime version of the "47 Ronin" with all different critters getting revenge on an animated suit of fine clothes...when the ronin attack suit, they tear it to pieces and find nothing inside...(a riff on looking up the word "Kira" in a Romaji dictionary). OK, this post is going way off track, but what sort of creative process does it take to come up with something like Hikonyan? Surprised
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Posting from Tokyo, having a great visit here. I see that my story got posted. Any comments, even including rotten tomatoes, will be accepted. I think that perhaps the character's change was a bit too sudden. However, it was a short story. I think it would work better as a novel with far more character development.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 5:37 am    Post subject: The Street Sweeper Reply with quote
Wave Tossed wrote:
Posting from Tokyo, having a great visit here. I see that my story got posted. Any comments, even including rotten tomatoes, will be accepted. I think that perhaps the character's change was a bit too sudden. However, it was a short story. I think it would work better as a novel with far more character development.
Ah, good, so Wave IS here! Very Happy In that case, I'll make some comments about your story. I'll start by saying I really loved the premise and the details; I'm sure there were samurai who froze up like this and did not do their duty; usually, they're viewed from the outside, and we are encouraged to revile them. I felt that Kingo existed in a very narrow realm, like he had a sort of mental fugue going that did not allow him to see where he stood in the greater scheme of things, even though he assumed a role whose requirements were well understood by him. The dimension that I missed was the actual concrete consequences of Kingo's failure to protect. He would have been sought not only by the assassins, but by his old clan. His enemies would be manyfold, and the conflict inherent in facing old comrades as enemies would have been a very interesting part of this tale. In fact, I could see Kingo perhaps recognizing his future role in the face of the ronin he encountered. I do think it could be expanded quite nicely into a full novel, because of all the ramifications of Kingo's failure. His sudden change after the temple vision would gain new dimension thereby. Is Yamamoto Yoshinobu a reference to the artist, or am I reaching? ( http://www.lrma.org/Yoshinobu.pdf )

I enjoyed the mental claustrophobia you evoke by keeping the story's POV limited to Kingo's new, diminished status, and when he emerges into an enlarged realization of his samurai persona, we are given hints that suggest Kingo has only just become samurai in his soul after this experience. It speaks of a warrior's journey and a harsh lesson in humility and responsibility. It would definitely lend itself to expansion and further exploration of the responsibility angle. The only flaws I could find in execution besides its limited scope are a few awkward word choices here and there.

Cheers, and I know, you're enjoying yourself in Japan! (yes, I'm jealous!)
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
[quote="onnamusha"]
Hikonyan wrote:
I would have voted for the epic 'Buke Watanabe' for first place hands down. But it just missed the cut off date by a cat's whisker! It made me sad. Nyan nyan!
Now you got us all interested in it, and you're just teasing! Maybe it could go in the "not-ready-for-Samurai-Fiction contest" fiction area.[quote/]

Since Kitsuno did not choose to post it, I figure he had his reasons, the foremost probably being it was a crap sandwich ROTFLMAO
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
A.L.Mundell wrote:


Since Kitsuno did not choose to post it, I figure he had his reasons, the foremost probably being it was a crap sandwich ROTFLMAO


I can post it here if you want. It was some goofy entertainment.
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