Saturday, January 5, 2013

Writing, anime, and bad dice

Well, let me go ahead and start with my writing.

As a little bit of background, I have been writing since I was in middle school. Back then it was big ideas and little life experience to realistically flesh them out, but even then, the concept was in my mind to tell a story. I don't like “story” so much as narrative, because I have written and performed works in several mediums, so I for me the overarching concept is the narrative itself, regardless of the paper it is written on, the screen is is read from or the stage it is performed atop.

Lately, my current obsession (and yes, I freely admit to calling my writing an obsession) is the sequel to my last NaNoWriMo novel. When I sat down to write it, I created a pair of characters with such a perfect chemistry that I couldn't bring myself to leave their stories untold. And that motivation is why I am working on this book.

Just to get everyone interested, here is what the “dust jacket” summary of the first story will look like.

Chiyoko Hosakawa’s is a modern seventeen year old princess. The internationally schooled teen is also the only daughter of a powerful Japanese CEO, and a potential heir to his corporate empire. Her world is turned upside down when she is rescued from a mugger by Takeru Akutagawa; a modern-day mercenary whom she is instantly captivated by. As the two are drawn together by a growing romance, she realizes that Takeru could complicate her future beyond recourse.Then the unthinkable happens; Chiyoko’s best friend is put in mortal danger. With lives on the line, and her future hanging in the balance, Chiyoko must work with Takeru to launch a desperate, life-or-death rescue with no room for error.

In any event, my protagonists obviously come out the other side of this adventure with all their fingers and toes, and there is a lot of the “big picture” that wasn't covered (or relevant) in the first story, and that is what I wanted to keep gong. In the grand scheme of things, the point to the tale is Chiyoko's growth from a girl into a woman and leader, but there is nothing saying that they can't have outrageous amounts of fun and adventure in the process.

I'm enjoying writing the whole thing, and the best part for me in the interplay between Chiyoko and Takeru as their relationships grows with them. As much as I enjoy writing science fiction and military fiction, for me, the real strength to my writing (at least for the time being) is the story of the people in the middle of it all.

And speaking of characters, that's a good segue into my next point. My wife and I just finished watching Bamboo Blade. This Anime is a fun, entertaining, character driver, show about a Japanese kendo club. I think the thing I like most about anime in general is that once you get past the over-the-top antics that usually open the series, the characterizations are not only wonderful but they are the type of thing that in the end, you want to relate to.

The child prodigy who's skill with a blade is later shown as her coping mechanism following the death of her mother.

The reluctant teacher who is suddenly trying to manage a team of extremely different personalities.

The dedicated couple whom no one can figure out why they are together.

There is a story behind all of them, and those stories are what make the show work.

This one is a strong 8/10 or me, with only a few small weak spots. If you just want to watch a good, fun teen drama, give Bamboo Blade a look.  

And lastly, bad dice.

No, that's not a metaphor for anything, I got a set of cut-stone Dungeons and Dragons / D20 dice for my birthday last month, and based on the first gaming session, they don't roll “hot” that often.

I've already been offered new dice, but I declined. When I game, I play the hand chance sends my way. The whole point of roll playing is dealing with “nat 1s” when they come your way, not avoiding them at all costs.

So, I guess the philosophical point to this is that I'm not one to try and change the rules when I can just beat the game with the rules I already have.

And besides, I like these dice, they look cool.  

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