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Sunday, August 18, 2013

Mythos

Today, a few technical bugs got worked out in my story. The hero gets a katana and an apprentice... sort of.
Naturally a Japanese mercantile figures into the story owned by a man hailing from the city of Edo.
The bad guy, for lack of a better term, shows up. He's this reptilian assassin who holds a grudge against our hero. For more information about the first encounter with Daniel you'd have to read my first book, Travelers Road.

Our Japanese merchant spots the lizardman, believing it is a creature out of Japanese myth. He calls it out by a given name.
Here is where my problems begin.
When doing research for my story, I have a one hour rule: If I can't find it in an hour through Google or what have you, then neither can anyone else. That's actually a useful guideline when storytelling.
The problem: I didn't find any reptilian creature in Japanese mythos that fit the description. There was also problem with surnames and miso soup, a Japanese dish.
Confusing, no?
So there was a little backtracking. The merchant now hails from Hong Kong and has a Chinese surname. He also recognises the lizardman and calls it Au Guong, the Dragon King of the East Sea.
But how does Daniel come into possession of a katana and where does the miso soup come in? Those two items have to be in the story, they're practically punchlines. So after a little digging I come to find out Kuang Kiato, the merchant, has a Japanese wife. In classic Romeo and Juliet style, the two love birds fled the Orient and an arranged marriage. Disowned from their families, they have a thriving business in Dallas.
Daniel and Charlotte are going to cut the honeymoon short and run for their lives. Where are they going to hide from this lethal killer? Why, the Chicken Ranch, of course!
Telling this tale is as much work as it is fun. I'm blending actual elements of history and plausibly explaining why things happened the way they did with a supernatural bent.
Another reason I'm telling you all part of the storyline is because I want to assure you guys that I am working on the next book. 
'But don't tell us the spoilers!'
Have no fear... what I'm revealing is the tip of the iceberg. A whole lot of stuff is going on at the same time. Before I decided to type all this up, I ran it by my biggest critics, my kids, while we sat at the dinner table.
Ever the wit, Minion #2 remarked: 'But Dad, Godzilla is a reptile in Japanese myth.' before taking a sip of water. This brought to mind an old classic and I chanted it out. "Oh, no... they say he's got to go..."
She recognized the song and nearly spit her drink across the table. Proud I can make my daughter laugh and chagrined at her discomfort isn't the worst way to go. She's all right. They get the twisted sense of humor from me.
 

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