Monday, June 6, 2016

The Shrine War: A Progress Report

Currently only up to 2,570 words because of the amount of research needed to portray life realistically in a Japanese Shinto shrine. I find myself doing copious amounts of reading on shrine architecture, shrine maiden clothing, and other odds and ends to add a realistic dimension to the work.
On a Facebook group I run for writers of genre literature, I wrote:
To add historical credence to a present work in progress, I just spent over an hour trying to find the name of the brassier women wore in feudal Japan. Does that make me a writer or simply barking insane? It's called a sarashi by the way.
Fortunately, I have been a huge fan of eastern cinema and watched enough Japanese samurai films to add some interesting scenes, but this segment that takes place after the Inugami envoy leaves after making some brutal and impossible demands to the shrine kitsune still took me a good hour to craft:
Chiyo nodded, her jaw tight and her eyes grim. “They will not obtain the mirror, sister. Not tonight. Not ever.” She reached into the left sleeve of her haori and pulled out a folded fan. With a flick of her wrist, it sprang open with a metallic whisper to reveal itself as a Japanese war fan, it’s edge honed to razor sharpness. “I have not used my tessen in years past counting, but should the dogs attempt to enter the honden…” Chiyo spun the fan in her furred fingers, its deadly edge splitting the air with a fearsome hiss and blurring from the speed of its movement as she expertly guided it through a simple exercise. In her left hand, her prayer beads began to glow with a dull azure light, Then with a sudden movement she flicked the fan closed with a sharp click and the prayer beads immediately once again took on the appearance of simple tiny ceramic and wooden balls strung on a hempen cord. Chiyo slid her tessen back up her sleeve. 
With dignity, the sisters bowed to each other and Chiyo left Sen standing alone in the hoiden.
 I'm glad the deadline for the work is October. It may actually take me that long.

1 comment: