denenkyuu: monkey king as portrayed by dicky cheung (monkey king)
[personal profile] denenkyuu
Moved to GuangZhou last week.

Went bicycling with Mom on the 大佛山 Park trails today and got caught in a typhoon DDD:

Got shelter in a small rest stop for a while (and got three humongous mosquito bites regardless) and went riding again when the rain lessened to a drizzle, but it started raining harder again and while we biked home in the downpour we got completely drenched. (We were gonna try and convince Jeff that it was "all the sweat from our lots and lots of bountiful exercise \8D/" but he saw thorough it right away >3>)

I usually loathe rain, but it actually felt great once it seemed inevitable. XD

# # #

Got the outline for the first 5-6 chapters of my Chinese fantasy novel thing written down and the general plot for the whole story hashed out. Seeing as I grew up only knowing the bare minimums of Chinese mythology (ex. stuff in HongKong dramas, Monkey King stories, etc.) I've just decided to borrow names of the mythical figures (ex. Jade Emperor, Elder of the Moon, Hei and Bai Wu'chang) and make them my own characters.

Still, the naming and terminology I'm trying to use is giving me headaches because English is just too incompatible with the feel of Chinese culture (I'm only writing this in English because my Chinese literary skills suck).

Main problems are Western equivalents for words that have very different meanings in Chinese, examples:
- the Chinese dragon has a long body, a horned head with spiky manes, four short legs with claws, a fish's tail, and can fly without wings (I'm still kinda mad at the Harry Potter people for making the "Chinese Fireball" some sort of iguana with wings), dragons are also considered divine beasts, definitely not hunted (killing a dragon will probably end in your entire family executed by the immortals); the tiger is the king of beasts, not the lion (because it says "王/king" on its forehead D8)
- "Heaven" and "Hell" are not the same; "Heaven" in Chinese mythology is the palace of the immortals (I hesitate to use Gods because that word carries with it too much implications), there are no "angels" ('cause Chinese immortals don't need wings to fly, they ride clouds), and people don't go up when they die, they go down, to "Hell" (which has another set of inconvenient associations) which is basically the realm of the dead, spirits go there when they die and get judged for their good/bad deeds in life, the unworthy ones either get sent to the 18 Planes of Hell (to suffer mortal pains for their bad deeds) and the others are allowed to be reincarnated (after they drink a soup to forget their past lives)
- phrases like 妖精/yao'jing that can't be explained away with "demon" or "monster" or be called "special animals with powers in human form" for the whole novel...I find brackets are helpful in this case...

Thus, my writing is halting at best (as I try to figure out the word to describe something)...it took me three days to write 2 pages in Word.

summary and notes

Half a millennia ago the Elemental Beasts were born from the gradual concentration of four elements in the east, south, west, and north corners of the mortal realm. While magnificent, they were as impassive to mortal life as the natural disasters they embody, and were eventually ordered to be imprisoned in the underworld by the Jade Emperor of the immortals. As punishment, they were stripped of their immortality and condemned to numerous lifetimes of the very suffering they had caused.

Over the centuries, as the mortal realm slowly returned to peace and prosperity, the beasts and the terrors they wrought faded from the mortals’ memories, until they remained no more than a faraway legend.

Now, five hundred years later, their spirits have been reborn as five mortal beings, each struggling through their own trials of redemption, and each connected to the other by a red thread of fate. Caught on either side of the conflict between the rénlèi (humans) and yāojīng (nonhuman entities that can take on human form) will fate bring them together as friends, or enemies?


(revised: 11/28)

#

- yes, this is about destiny/fate, the closest word I can find for 緣分, meaning the connection between people who share a relationship (friends, family, etc.) in their particular lifetimes, which may have also happened in a past lifetime, making their "fate/yuan'fen" stronger
- this isn't really a "save the world" story per say, I'm leaning more towards a journey in which these five characters gather and separate and the influence they have on each other's lives, as well as their personal journeys in redeeming their past lives (which is why there's an overall theme of fate)
- Chinese (or southeast asian since borders in history are constantly changing and the chinese are made up of a billion tribes of different aboriginal cultures) is the only "race" in this story, but I'm playing around with the yao'jing as representative of the minority "other"
- crossdressing probably isn't that common in actual ancient China, but I want to explore characters that do deal with it
- there will be political stuff, but it won't be in too much detail since I don't want to connect it too closely to any particular dynasty
- "rules" of becoming a yao'jing are varied and not particularly clear in the myths I've read (especially in regards to children), but I'm going with "an animal with a special spirit (ex. was a special being in a previous life, absorbed special properties from an immortal's belongings, etc.) gains a "human-like" consciousness and disciplines itself for decades until it gains a human form"
- the immortal realm will have only token appearances as myth usually has the immortals watching on as disasters happen in the mortal realm and only step in when world destruction or damage to their own realm is about to happen...in conclusion deux ex machina will be avoided as much as possible
- this won't be particularly dark or emo/brooding, nor will it be a fist-fest where they beat up faceless lackeys and become heroes of the new world or something
- it is not about destroying the world, firstly because they can't (they can play with the elements, but their mortal bodies aren't exactly world-destroying material), and secondly because they doesn't want to (for various personal reasons)
- I'm not going to have identical twins, there are fraternal twins who do not look like each other's mirror image or anything; this will lead to complications in their recognizing of each other
- the character who has probably the most destructive power (controlling growth also means controlling degrowth, he can starve the world or deoxygenize the world or something...) is also the one with least agency/understanding of himself (he's a mortal peasant teenager while the others are all mostly mature and have higher statuses/more freedom/are stronger)
- there will be a female character who likes feminine things, but she's not a damsel
- it's sad but true that most meanings of the names of secondary characters will be lost unless their name has specific impact on the story...unless somehow inserting explanations for a person's name every time someone new shows up stops being annoying after the first few group meetings

I was bordering on insomnia ever since inspiration hit five days ago. Been writing and plotting non-stop. For some reason I am especially inspired right before I sleep. This has resulted in me keeping a notepad by my dresser so the second I think of something new, I can write it down right away instead of having it bother me all night and afraid I won't remember it in the morning.

Date: 2009-08-04 01:20 pm (UTC)
wingstodust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wingstodust
homg this sounds frickin' exciting. i love interconnected lives stories!!! <333 and and CHINESE PPL IN ENGLISH FICTION, HOMG. you do realize that i'm gonna start bugging you on progress updates, y/y?!

Also, er, would I sound a little disturbed if I said I think YeLin is my favourite character already? SHE HAZ FIRE. SHE CROSSDRESSES. and um, most importantly, she HEARS VOICES OF DESTRUCTION IN HER HEAD. Also, fire. Also, F-I-R-E. *______*

Date: 2009-08-07 04:21 am (UTC)
wingstodust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wingstodust
(but fictional!pyromaniacs are so much fun! *wibbles in a corner*)

FIRST CHAPTER MWUAHAHAHA

also, ICON LOVE LIKE WOAH. <333

Date: 2009-08-05 01:44 pm (UTC)
wingstodust: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wingstodust
OH! I just thought of something. How about using the word "underworld" as oppose to hell? that could work out...?

Date: 2009-08-10 03:23 am (UTC)
starstruck272: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starstruck272
Oh wow it sounds awesome 8Dbbb *wants to read ittttt 8Dbbb*

(Btw you didn't get caught up in that typhoon that hit Fujian eh? *chews on you D8*)

ALSO HAVE YOU READ ONE PIECE OMGAD;LKSDKFJHAS'A;SD EPIC. SO BLOODY EPIC.

Date: 2009-08-11 01:22 am (UTC)
starstruck272: (Default)
From: [personal profile] starstruck272
The typhoon that hit Taiwan as well (Morkat I think? Mokrat whatever it's called?)

Wtf what an asshole if he didn't even attempt to help his passengers D8

I KNOWWWWW FFFF WHITEBEARD WHAT THE HELL. AND HAHAHA IT'S LIKE ZORO HAVING TO OVERCOME THAT BLADE GUY EXCEPT MIHAWK PROBABLY ALREADY KNOWS HOW TO FRIKKIN CUT DIAMOND a;sflhsa;lkdas'dahs;lfdkh GOD ONE PIECE IS SO RIDICULOUSLY EPIC FFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

aslkjda:LDs;afljsaj;kflsa HAVE YOU SEEN THE TRAILER FOR THE OP MOVIE. ASLDK;JA;HDA'PFIALIWUHSKI KLAS;'Oj!klh!kuh!"p(@8796-8376548*(&^^%$*() IT LOOKS EPIC AND THERE'S RANDOM LARGEASS ANIMALS BUT IT STILL LOOKS EPIC AND ODA'S WORKING ON IT SO IT'S GONNA BE FRIGGIN EPIC ASLDKSAH;DLKAJD'A. AND I'MMA GONNA HAVE TO WAIT ANOTHER YEAR FOR ENG SUBS TO COME OUT *DIES*

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