Before HEIKE and After: HOGEN, HEIJI, JOKYUKI translated by Royall Tyler. This is a translation of three tales, the Hogen monogotari, Heike monogatari, and Jokyuki. These tales are traditional histories of events that happened between 1156 and 1221 covering the fall of the Japanese court and the rise of the Samurai. Our book, Dig Two Graves, occurs during the Hogen Rebellion and so we have relied on the Hogen monogotari as source material. Continue reading
One of the most difficult parts of writing a book is making sure that everything is expressed well. There are all sorts of rules – avoid passive verbs, limit the number of adverbs, vary sentence length – but what they all boil down to is “make your writing clear, and help the reader understand what is happening.”
This is particularly difficult when dealing with fight scenes. There are a lot of people who will tell authors that they skip past the fight scenes and just jump to the end to see who survives. For some authors, the takeaway from that is that they can do a crappy job on their fight scenes.
So, I wrote a novel. (Actually, my wife Carol is coauthor. In truth, the book would look nothing like it does now without her constant input, edits, criticism, and brainstorming. It is a much better book than I could have done on my own. However, for simplicity’s sake, I am going to use “I” here. If she wants to talk about her experience working on the book, she can write her own post.)
I had been working on it off and on for about a year, and last November, NaNoWriMo 2014 rolled around and inspired me to work during all of November, so by the end of the month, I had completed the novel, a book set in 12th century Japan that covers the misadventures of a down-on-his-luck bushi who is unfortunate enough to agree to help an old flame with a “small” favor. That small favor gets both of them involved in court politics and a plot to seize the imperial throne. That will teach him to do someone a favor.