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View Full Version : Shroud of the Master (Just a quick scribble of a Preface) (Feudal Japan)



Tbird0000
February 28th, 2014, 08:51 AM
Hey errybody. Been awhile since I visited the site. Been working hard and enjoyed a nice long vacation in Vegas where, obviously, no writing got done at all. But Ive been toying with an idea and scribbled this down last night. It could go places if I dedicate my time to it. I kind of put "The Scorching" on the back burner. Didnt really know how to get it to where I wanted. Back burner, not forgotten. So I will revist that draft at a later time. Probably when I go on deployment and have nice quiet time to myself at night.

Anywayz! Here is my idea for a story set in Feudal Japan. It is a Samurai Vengeance tale. It will/could be compromised of 2-4 separate storylines that converge into one finale where everything will make sense, making for a very tense conclusion. I used to live in Japan for 3 years so I am familiar with the culture. I have used Japanese words in this preface and have included a Legend at the bottom. Should this idea ever come to fruition and make the big screen, it will be entirely carried out in Japanese (I hate watching american made japanese movies voiced in english. Japanese people didnt speak english in the Edo era). So with out further delay, here is what i tentively call "Shroud of the Master"

Preface

The bamboo water fountain filled the air with blissful sonance coming from outdoors. Aside from this, only a breeze could be heard as the students watched the twin Sensei’s of the master walk graciously through the room to the back wall. Their feet were heavy on the tatami mats and the slight creaking of wood was made under the weight. They gripped their katana and wakizashi as one of them removed a piece of paper from the inside of his kimono. The students sat in anticipation as he neatly posted it to the wall. The Sensei’s faced the room before stating the decree.

“By order of our master, all persons, student or individual, shall not enter the main chamber. Doing so will be punishable by death. You will not be afforded a ceremonial passing. You will be cut down before your second step has touched the floor.”

The Sensei’s returned to the shoji door of the main chamber and slid it open before sealing themselves inside, leaving the students in a state of confusion. They talked and debated amongst themselves the reason for such an order. They had not been out of line nor had they ever disobeyed the master’s wishes. In the midst of the commotion, the shoji to the training room opened letting the cold winter breeze blow through.

“Keisuke has returned.” One of the students said as he arose to his feet.

Keisuke closed the door behind him and brushed the snowflakes from his shoulders before removing his sugegasa and kappa. He slid his feet from his geta and placed them neatly alongside the rest near the door. The room was silenced as he turned to face them. He could feel the room’s anticipation of what he would say.

“I must speak with the master”

He briskly walked to the main chamber and placed his hand on the shoji before one of the students grabbed him by the wrist and pointed to the back wall where the decree had been placed. Keisuke shifted his weight and looked to the paper. He read it from across the room before removing his hand slowly from the sliding door.

“What’s the reason for this?” he whispered.

“We aren’t sure, it was only posted a moment before you came in” the man replied.

One of the Sensei’s slid the door open just enough to see Keisuke standing there baffled. He pressed his way through the door bumping his chest into Keisuke, knocking him back a few steps.

“How long have you been a student of this dojo, Keisuke?” the Sensei asked directly before circling him slowly.

“Only one year Sensei” as he slightly bowed his head.

“In the year that you’ve been here, how many times have you seen the master?”

“I have never seen the master, not once Sensei. None of us have.” With his head still bowed.

The Sensei stopped and moved his face so that his lips were just on Keisuke’s ear.

“Then tell me what authority you have to charge the master’s chamber unannounced?”

“I apologize Sensei. But I have urgent news that must be passed on. If I can’t inform our master directly, then I must tell you”

“Tell me what?” the Sensei sneered.

“It’s in regards to Ryota San’s whereabouts. I found him three days to the east….. He’s been slain”


Legend of terms:
Shoji- Japanese style sliding doors; Sugegasa- Straw hat; Kappa- Jacket made from straw; Geta- Wooden Clogs; Sensei- Teacher

Apple Ice
February 28th, 2014, 11:58 AM
Okay, everything is pretty sound but I think you could do with calling the pupil Sensei straight away. I was confused at first because I thought one of the students was telling him off.
It's a nice start though, I personally prefer something happening straight away but the ending was suspenseful which was good. Look forward to more if you decide to post.

Tbird0000
February 28th, 2014, 12:07 PM
I will make the change to clear it up. So its agreed that we agree :)

I left it kind of short as a Preface because at the end of it where it was discovered Ryota has been found dead, the first chapter will be a flash back that actually starts the story 25 years in the past. I plan on telling the story in a flash back leading to the Preface events. So I have started at the end but explain it through the story leading to this point. Ill say this, the story will have a Lucky Number Slevin feel to it :)

Apple Ice
February 28th, 2014, 02:21 PM
Ah okay, I think that sounds cool actually. Some people get a bit snobbish over flashbacks but if they are good for your story, then that's the best thing to do.
Kill Bill was a bit like that, flashing all over the time period, although yours will be more rhythmic in its structure I think. Considering you are a fan of traditional Japanese culture I'm guessing the film might have been too Americanized for you taste.

Tbird0000
February 28th, 2014, 02:54 PM
I did really love Kill Bill. It was done in just a way that it kept traditional aspects but did a very well job with the americanization. Quintin did know what he was doing when he made that.

Yeah for this story, flashbacks and backstory is whats going to drive things forward. Everything will be intertwined in an understandable way. It funny, I tried explaining my plans for this story to a coworker who is also writing a novel, and it was very hard to describe what I want without confusing him and not giving awway my twists and turns that define everything hahaha

Olly Buckle
February 28th, 2014, 03:15 PM
The bamboo water fountain blissfully filled the air with sonance coming from outdoors.A fountain can not do things 'blissfully', it can only do something that is blissful to an observer. The whole structure of the sentence is a bit poor, think putting things together that directly relate to each other. 'From outdoors the water fountain filled the air with its blissful sound.'
Their feet were heavy on the tatami mats and the slight creaking was made under the weight. What slight creaking? 'their' weight? 'Their feet were heavy on the tatami mats which made a slight creaking under their weight.' ?
They gripped their katana (one hand) and wakizashi (other hand) as one of them removed a piece of paper from the inside of his kimono (with his third hand?).
"They had not been out of line (comma) nor had they ever disobeyed the master’s wishes."
"bumping his chest (in) to Inafune" I had an absurd vision of him bouncing along on his chest :)
“Then tell me on what authority you have to charge into" either, '“Then tell me on what authority you charge into...', or '“Then tell me what authority you have to charge into...'
"If I can’t relay this to the master, then I must tell you” Surely he is telling the pupil so it can be rlayed to the master, 'If I can’t relate this directly to the master, then I must tell you, to relay it to him”

Olly Buckle
February 28th, 2014, 03:15 PM
The bamboo water fountain blissfully filled the air with sonance coming from outdoors.A fountain can not do things 'blissfully', it can only do something that is blissful to an observer. The whole structure of the sentence is a bit poor, think putting things together that directly relate to each other. 'From outdoors the water fountain filled the air with its blissful sound.'
Their feet were heavy on the tatami mats and the slight creaking was made under the weight. What slight creaking? 'their' weight? 'Their feet were heavy on the tatami mats which made a slight creaking under their weight.' ?
They gripped their katana (one hand) and wakizashi (other hand) as one of them removed a piece of paper from the inside of his kimono (with his third hand?).
"They had not been out of line (comma) nor had they ever disobeyed the master’s wishes."
"bumping his chest (in) to Inafune" I had an absurd vision of him bouncing along on his chest :)
“Then tell me on what authority you have to charge into" either, '“Then tell me on what authority you charge into...', or '“Then tell me what authority you have to charge into...'
"If I can’t relay this to the master, then I must tell you” Surely he is telling the pupil so it can be rlayed to the master, 'If I can’t relate this directly to the master, then I must tell you, to relay it to him”

Tbird0000
March 1st, 2014, 02:37 AM
You do make some valid points and I can change whats written to reflect that.

A Katana and Wakizahi are worn on the same side of the hip and both can be gripped with one hand.

Underneath tatami mats in older japan days were wooden floors, hence the creaking.

BUT, some valid points. A rewrite is coming soon :) Thanks. It was just a scribble of an idea.

Olly Buckle
March 1st, 2014, 07:36 PM
I didn't think it was his knees creaking :) Actually I thought the rice straw in the mats was what creaked, traditional Japanese floors were laid like slats so that there was a gap between the planks, that lets dirt fall through into the gap under the house. However, it would also mean that the floor didn't creak because that happens where the planks touch each other and move slightly differently, just a thought. Sorry about the double post, the forum was playing up a bit and I actually thought that I had lost it.

Just noticed this, "One of the Sensei’s slid the door open", you don't need the apostrophe there, that is either for a missing letter, like in "don't", or it indicates possession, as in "Tbird's preface".

Olly Buckle
March 1st, 2014, 07:36 PM
I didn't think it was his knees creaking :) Actually I thought the rice straw in the mats was what creaked, traditional Japanese floors were laid like slats so that there was a gap between the planks, that lets dirt fall through into the gap under the house. However, it would also mean that the floor didn't creak because that happens where the planks touch each other and move slightly differently, just a thought. Sorry about the double post, the forum was playing up a bit and I actually thought that I had lost it.

Just noticed this, "One of the Sensei’s slid the door open", you don't need the apostrophe there, that is either for a missing letter, like in "don't", or it indicates possession, as in "Tbird's preface".

Pluralized
March 2nd, 2014, 01:47 AM
I like the tone of this, and really hope you'll write and share more of it. Needs to be edited for comma usage and some syntax stuff, but overall I enjoy the voice and see great promise in this. I'm a sucker for Japanese stories, though. Big leather-bound editions of Shogun volume 1 and 2 sitting here beside me. I'm inspired to re-read them now, so thank you!

Carry on,
~P

dvspec
April 6th, 2014, 12:50 AM
That first paragraph bothered me as well. The verbal exchanges were good. I just occurred to me that they would have had a type of chain of command. Why would the character try to jump that command and take it straight to a person he had never met? Why wouldn't his superior be the first person he though of?