Daruma (Personal Writing) Update: This weekend I am participating in a five day long retreat for writing my current work in progress. I can’t say I will get much done because of work and family, but tomorrow looks to be a lot more productive.
Japanese mythology and Yokai have been an interest of mine for many years. I’ve done a lot of research finding out about the myriad creatures that inhabit Japanese folklore. I’ve also written several magazine articles, short stories, and an unpublished novel utilizing Yokai and Japanese mythology.
So now is the time for the next step: another novel with one of my favourite creatures from Japanese mythology: Yurei (Japanese ghosts). Yokai and other creatures have come across at times as cute and cuddly creatures. Not so Yurei. Yurei have never been portrayed as cute. Look at the Ring or the Grudge (Ringu and Ju-On). ‘Kawaii’ is not the term I would use for these vengeful spirits.
But I didn’t want to rehash Ringu or Ju-On. I want to create my own thing. So I decided on a couple things to make the novel stand out amongst the crowd of English language novels set in Japan.
First, it’s not set in Japan. It’s set in Oyashima, an entirely fictional setting. Oyashima is an ancient name for Japan that has no ties to it’s current name. I am trying to figure out the name of the city I plan on using.
Second, one of the main characters will be a Real Estate Agent who sells stigmatized properties (properties in which people have died in them by murder, suicide, or natural causes) and exorcises ghosts as a side gig. He is haunted by everything he has seen.
Finally, it’s set in the future: a future where climate change has ravaged the country forcing the government to build giant sea walls to keep the water out.
If that sounds interesting to you, keep following my website for more. I am already 20,000 words into the novel, but had to go back and re-jig the outline just a bit as the Real Estate Agent character wasn’t jelling and I think I figured out what to do with him. So that 20,000 words probably won’t increase much over the next month as I straighten out the outline and scene list. As soon as that is done, though, it’ll be full steam ahead.