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Wave Tossed
Tsushima no Kami
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 4:41 am    Post subject: Writing Samurai Fiction Thread Reply with quote
This thread will be dedicated to the writing of samurai fiction. Included here can be original short stories or chapters from novel-length works. Also criticisms/praise/suggestions of works that have been submitted. I'm hoping that some time in the future, we can get a separate section on writing samurai fiction, but for now, we'll include it here.

For now, I would suggest posting your story/novel chapter as a separate thread within this forum. That way, various responses, criticisms can be be posted in that same thread. When you start a thread that includes your own samurai fiction, please put somewhere in the thread, that this is a fiction submission.

We'll also have a thread (probably this one) about general writing issues such as misconceptions, how to do viewpoint, descriptions of duels or blood or battles. Also about characterization, and how to structure your story or novel.

And people: please be on the gentle side in your criticism of others' fiction. Don't just tell someone that their writing is "Pure Crap." Even if you think that. Instead, put in suggestions as for improvement.

Happy writing! Cool Shocked
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Kazuki
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: Writing Samurai Fiction Thread Reply with quote
This is a great idea. I'm all for it, and I'll be sure to toss in a chapter or short story or two sometime.

Wave Tossed wrote:


And people: please be on the gentle side in your criticism of others' fiction. Don't just tell someone that their writing is "Pure Crap." Even if you think that. Instead, put in suggestions as for improvement.


Bringing up a good point early on. I'd like to reccomend that when delivering a critique of others' work, try to address the flaws/negative aspects of the piece while also calling attention to what was executed well or was of particular note (and offer encouragement wherever possible).

-Kazuki
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 7:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
One thing though, I highly dissuade anyone from posting thier intended story for next year's contest. I don't think it would be fair for potential judges to be seeing both the story and the person who wrote it. I have to be pretty clear on this - work on your writing, but keep your entries off this forum, at least until after the contest.

Also, I recommend that rather than posting stories here (all it will do is increase the size of the data base), you start a free blog or get free webspace, and post there, and just post the link.

And in the spirit of kicking things off, I humbly submit my story for the first round of shredding:

Visions of Blood and Rain at the Gates of Dawn

As far as I could tell during the contest, the judges were more left scratching thier heads rather than finding it flawed. Personally, I just don't think they "got it" Just Kidding

Anyway, I am absolutely impervious to criticism, it doesn't bother me in the least, so I will take any criticisms or suggestions with interest - if it is pure crap, it's pure crap, but you might as well tell me why. But if I think you're wrong, I reserve the right to tell you why.
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just read that...it was pretty awesome. The descriptive writing was top knotch, and even though it's very brief (by design I assumed), we do sort of get a feel for the First Person's persona...something of a disturbingly calm, almost detached involvement with the scene.

All I have to say at the moment, since I'm decked. I'll sleep and then read it again to see if anything comes to mind.

-Kazuki
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here you go: two of my stories. The first story won the 2004 Samurai Fiction Contest. The second story took second place in the 2005 Samurai Fiction Contest.

Stray Dogs

and

The Faithful

These are both historical fiction, centering on Fuwa Kazuemon, one of the 47 Ako ronin.
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2006 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:


Visions of Blood and Rain at the Gates of Dawn

As far as I could tell during the contest, the judges were more left scratching thier heads rather than finding it flawed. Personally, I just don't think they "got it" Just Kidding


Well, the thing that I didnt really like about it is that it was too fast for a short story. What Im trying to say is that as a story, it seemed almost as if it ended in 5 minutes of reading, it went by so quick. As an anime or manga, I think it would have been badass, but as a short story, I felt as if it was too reliant on graphical details instead of what in my opinion stories should be, characterization and all that other drab stuff Laughing
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Metsuke wrote:
kitsuno wrote:


Visions of Blood and Rain at the Gates of Dawn

As far as I could tell during the contest, the judges were more left scratching thier heads rather than finding it flawed. Personally, I just don't think they "got it" Just Kidding


What Im trying to say is that as a story, it seemed almost as if it ended in 5 minutes of reading, it went by so quick. As an anime or manga, I think it would have been badass, but as a short story, I felt as if it was too reliant on graphical details


That was the point, and yes K, I got it--remember, I was the judge that really liked it. Pure pulp fiction violence. That said, as far as judging it went, while I liked it, it wasn't (as Metsuke says) a fully developed (or even somewhat developed) storyline to follow. Great description, not much actual "story".
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 2:51 am    Post subject: Tatsu Chiba-no-Suke Reply with quote
I've been working on a short story entitled 'Tatsu Chiba-no-Suke's Night Out', which would be an entry in the (alleged) comedy division (was there a category for this last year?). Members of the Katchi Made board likely know what to expect out of this (but no, it's not X Rated!)...Tatsu, Bakufu missions, Kennyo Kosa, mediating pillow fights, and Shrine Maidens...'hilarity ensues'!
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 3:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Tatsu Chiba-no-Suke Reply with quote
Tatsunoshi wrote:
I've been working on a short story entitled 'Tatsu Chiba-no-Suke's Night Out', which would be an entry in the (alleged) comedy division (was there a category for this last year?). Members of the Katchi Made board likely know what to expect out of this (but no, it's not X Rated!)...Tatsu, Bakufu missions, Kennyo Kosa, mediating pillow fights, and Shrine Maidens...'hilarity ensues'!


Dammit, not you too! Argh.
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PostPosted: Sat May 20, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Here are links to two of my stories, which technically are fanfiction from the Rurouni Kenshin anime. But I submit them here for your amusement since these particular ones are more inspired by what I know of the real-life Hajime Saito/Goro Fujita.

The website they are on offers you the chance to leave a review of the story (at the bottom of the page) and you can even do it anonymously if you wish! Advice on the historical accuracy is always appreciated.


http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2707450/1/
Their father was gone, their mother was home alone, and something was wrong. It's up to Saito's sons to take care of things now.


http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2804740/1/
In 1895 the man formerly known as Hajime Saitou is now head of the security staff at the Tokyo Education Museum. How does the Wolf of Mibu deal with wayward children who do not stay where they should?
-This one is not finished yet b/c of fierce writer's block about the ending. Any advice on where on earth I'm going with it? Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
People can get too much time on their hands here in Japan, too, you know. I try to write here and there...too hard Smile

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
I'm writing a story set in historical Japan, but it's not all about samurai per se. There's only a few samurai in it, and they are the villains. It's more about Japanese folklore than anything.

And I don't mean folklore in a "fantasy" sense. I view folklore (of any culture) from a more scholarly standpoint, as something to be studied and enjoyed more than to be mutilated like most fantasy does. (Just a clarification.)

I did very much enjoy the "Visions of..." story linked to in this thread. Though it was short, it did a great job of capturing the feel of certain moments.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Azuki Arai wrote:
I'm writing a story set in historical Japan, but it's not all about samurai per se. There's only a few samurai in it, and they are the villains. It's more about Japanese folklore than anything.

And I don't mean folklore in a "fantasy" sense. I view folklore (of any culture) from a more scholarly standpoint, as something to be studied and enjoyed more than to be mutilated like most fantasy does. (Just a clarification.)


Did you read "Gaki", the winner of the 2006 Samurai Fiction contest?

Quote:
I did very much enjoy the "Visions of..." story linked to in this thread. Though it was short, it did a great job of capturing the feel of certain moments.


I apparently didn't do well what I was trying to do - a short story that stays completely and totally "in the moment", where the past and reasons for the present really don't matter - the actions are what they are, the reader was supposed to be experiencing everything in "real time" - I also focused purely on sensation to put across the fact that the character is running on instinct, and isn't so much a dispassionate observer as an animal reacting to its surroundings - and (I assume) when you just murdered someone and are running for your life, you don't spend a lot of time reflecting on the past or the reasons why you did what you did. I put the "reason" in the first paragraph, but then just followed the action from there on out. I'm not sure how I could have done it more effectively. I guess in going against short story convention, I got bit Just Kidding

I would probably make a better screenwriter than short story writer.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
kitsuno wrote:
Did you read "Gaki", the winner of the 2006 Samurai Fiction contest?


No, I didn't even know there was a 2006 Samurai Fiction contest. Where can I go to read this story? Sounds interesting.

Again, I'm a new user here so I don't completely know my way around. Thanks!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 20, 2006 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Azuki Arai wrote:
kitsuno wrote:
Did you read "Gaki", the winner of the 2006 Samurai Fiction contest?


No, I didn't even know there was a 2006 Samurai Fiction contest. Where can I go to read this story? Sounds interesting.

Again, I'm a new user here so I don't completely know my way around. Thanks!


We've been having a "samurai fiction" contest 2 years running. And registration for the 2007 contest is open.

The 2005 and 2006 Samurai Fiction contest entries and winners can be found near the bottom of this page HERE. Just look for the heading. The 2006 winner was a "Japanese ghost story genre", so you might be interested. I still haven't created the webpage for the 2007 Samurai Fiction contest, but the link above to the post in this forum explains the details. HERE is a link to the 2006 contest info, to give you an idea. If you are writing a story, you should consider entering. For every 5 entries to the contest, I'll throw in an extra $50 for the winning pot. Depending on how many entries, there could be quite a large pot to win. Between now and September 15th, the entrance fee is $7 - after that it bumps up to $10.

EDIT: The homepage for the 2007 Samurai Fiction Contest is now online:

http://www.samurai-archives.com/writcon2.html
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Oh, I don't think I should enter. My story's probably too long and is nowhere near done yet.

But maybe I could think of writing a side story to enter the contest. There's a story I've been thinking of for a while about an amikiri (a type of Japanese monster).

Thanks for the information!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Azuki Arai wrote:
Oh, I don't think I should enter. My story's probably too long and is nowhere near done yet.

But maybe I could think of writing a side story to enter the contest. There's a story I've been thinking of for a while about an amikiri (a type of Japanese monster).

Thanks for the information!
As one of the moderators of this forum and as someone who loves samurai fiction: I'd LOVE to see what you've written. You can either post an excerpt here and/or provide a link where we can see your entire story.

I just entered the 2007 contest myself. My 2005 and 2006 stories are available online for reading. Let me know what you think, even if you can't stand my stories -- just don't let the tomatoes be TOO rotten. Just Kidding

Here are the URLs:

Stray Dogs

and

The Faithful
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 8:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Hehe, no way I would ever post my work out here for anyone to read!
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 2:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
I have a couple of stories in my mind, and every time I try to outline them so I understand the story arc, I get flummoxed.

I will almost certainly join, but I'm just at the beginning of a big move out of state with my family and the start of a new job...so priorities being what they are I won't be able to even think about it much for a couple of weeks.

I've got one story involving a tengu, maybe two stories in the "chanbara' vein. And another that pays homage my all time favorite (non-asian) film, but it requires mor eresearch as the timeline and atmosphere of the characters playign it out are critical to the telling of the story.

I've written in the past but I have trouble keeping it short and clear. That will be my goal in writing for the samurai fiction contest.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2006 6:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
Just everyone keep in mind that we don't want you posting your submissions here. We'll need you to keep the actualy contect of your stories more or less secret, so that the judges will stay unbiased when judging - they are only human, after all.
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2006 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote
Thanks for the links, I'll go and read those stories in just a minute. As for entering the contest, I'll have to think about it. It does sound fun. I'm concentrating on my larger story, so I'd have to step aside from that and come up with a plot for this other story that I've been thinking about for a while. It's just an idea at the moment, I haven't really developed it very much. Again, I'll think about it.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
this seemed like the best place to ask this qestion. I'm new to the site and i wanted to ask, how do i write a short story? I have many fresh ideas only i don't know how to write one. Could someone assisst?
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
hopefully, someone can help
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
dirtybird wrote:
hopefully, someone can help


Calm down there, Sparky. Just because no one's replied to you in the hour your post is up doesn't mean no one's going to help you. It's late on that side of the world--give it a day or two for the literati to show up and weigh in with their opinions.

Now, I'm no Edgar Allen Poe, but I'd be willing to bet the best way to write a short story is to just start writing. Get it on paper (or on digits, whatever) and then edit and shape it as you want. When I write, I try to get my idea out first, and then I can go back and edit it to make sense later.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 29, 2007 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote
so you just think of the plot then begin writing. I SEE!! That's helpful! I have a grand plot only i have trouble when it comes to the climax. I don't know how to do the big pay off! Sad
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