Thursday, November 2, 2017

Today's writing notes:

(Still working on "Shadow of Takeryuu". I just can't stop talking about it because that is what authors do. At any rate I'm nearly to the end and that makes me sad. I'm not sure what to work on after this! Bah, I'll figure something out.)

- This is how terribly pedantic I am in my research: At one point in the story, there is a brief dialogue about how to contain a faerie. My initial thought was that glass hadn't been invented yet at this point in Neopian history, so they couldn't trap faeries in glass bottles. But I wanted to make good and sure that I accurately reflected the state of glassmaking in ancient China, so I did some research. Turns out Zhou Dynasty China did know how to make glass--although I couldn't find anything that says they knew glassblowing, just other methods of making things like beads, plates, and cups (they weren't super big on glass anyhow, they did more with ceramics and metal). (Incidentally, glass bottles have been found in an ancient Elamite site dating from the same period as the Shang Dynasty, so someone knew how to blow glass back then. I'm just not sure the Chinese did at that point, or if they imported any during that period.)

So I just had Wai Ren refer to "magical containment vessels"--because who knows, maybe ancient Shenkuuvians trapped faeries in bronze ding? But the fact remains that none of these characters would be carrying around bronze vessels as part of their travelling gear.

(And yes, I know, this is a lot of nitpicking for something that doesn't even take place in actual ancient east Asia. But the point is that most Neopian lands are enormous pastiches of Earth cultures, and I like to take that theme and run with it by throwing in as many homages to a world's Earth equivalent as I can think of. It's fun!)

- One of the things I've really enjoyed about this story has been the rapport between the four characters. They all have such strongly defined relationships with the other three heroes, they really feel like a cohesive team.

Ganzorig and Eun-ji have a close bond. He feels like she truly understands him and cares about him, and in return he will protect her at any cost.

Wai Ren never really met anyone who would call out his being self-serving until he met Min, but as he teaches her how to be a warrior the two develop a strong respect and concern for each other.

Ganzorig can see right through Wai Ren's deceptions and has no problem being frank and sarcastic with him, and while Wai Ren hates this at first, he ultimately comes to realize that it's making him a better man.

Eun-ji is so nice and diplomatic that she's one of the few people Min doesn't try to argue with, and Min feels it is her duty to assist the diminutive Vandagyre in her quest, for the sake of altruism. Even though they are probably around the same age, Eun-ji sees Min as an inexperienced younger sister who Eun-ji tries to look out for and advise.

Min and Ganzorig argued at first, but it didn't last long because Ganzorig is such a softy, and now he sees himself as her protector just like with Eun-ji.

Eun-ji is perfectly aware of Wai Ren's scheming, but she seeks, through friendship and kindness, to help him heal of his selfish nature and solve everyone's problems at once by becoming the kind of emperor Shenkuu needs. At first, Wai Ren thought she was just an oddball geomancer spouting hokey philosophy, but over the course of the story he comes to see things from her point of view.

I write about the same Neopets cast so often, it's fun sometimes to totally break off from that and write something completely different. (Although, maybe not so completely different, since these characters are actually being played by that cast of regulars!)

- Also: That one time when I seriously bothered to work out how air-mote-powered dirigibles work. Stories aren't fun without arbitrary technical details! :)

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