• Tag Archives story
  • Legend of the Five Rings: The Great Clans pt1

    A good place to start explaining my love for L5R is the factions that exist within the setting. Originally, there were 7 Great Clans (although when the game first launched one of these had been “destroyed” and was reintroduced later in the story). Every clan tends to revolve around particular themes, although individuals within that clan may deviate from the norm.

    Obviously, this was done mostly for gameplay reasons. By having every clan wear a unique hat (so to speak), it makes it easier for prospective players to understand what mechanics each clan is most interested in interacting with. It is actually something I do like. For one, this means that every clan ends up representing different aspects of Asian cultures. Also, while the game does take this specialization to an unrealistic extreme, it isn’t entirely unheard of (the English and Longbows, French and Knights, Swiss and Pikes, etc).

    For the time being, I am going to focus on a few of the 7 Great Clans, and cover the others in Part 2. I may also go over some of the other factions (three or four in particular), but do not want to get bogged down. These background posts are supposed to be an overview, not a setting sourcebook. Also, these clan summaries obviously give my perspective of the different clans. As such, they highlight the things I find most interesting about them.

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  • Legend of the Five Rings: Introduction

    This was originally going to be something for my newsletter (for this month even) before other events overtook it and I realized this probably makes more sense as a series of blog posts anyway. Before I begin, allow a brief explanation about what Legend of the Five Rings is:

    The Legend of the Five Rings (L5R) is a fictional fantasy setting that focuses on the empire of Rokugan, which borrows heavily from various feudal Asian cultures and (Japan in particular). It was originally associated with a Collectible Card game, however, this expanded over time to include a large amount of official fiction, a tabletop RPG system, and now a Living Card Game.

    So all of that is nice, but why bring this up on a blog about my writing? Because it was probably the thing that introduced me to Asian culture and has undoubtedly had a strong influence on my writing as a result. Although there are a number of criticisms that can be leveled at L5R, notably that it westernizes the subject matter to fit the audience and portrays things in a (generally) idealized manner, it is a property that I have enjoyed throughout a significant portion of my life. That being the case, it seems worthwhile to discuss the setting and what I liked about it. Consider this an overview.

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  • Reviewing Has Begun

    As of the first of this month I am now reviewing my book. Plan to handle one chapter a day (a pace I know I can easily maintain) so this should be done sometime before the end of the month. Once I reach that point I plan to immediately dive into my first revision. The good news is that so far I don’t have that many things to fix (I think, after the first revision my early beta readers may throw up a host of complaints). You can track my progress on the little widget to the right.

    Speaking of, soon I plan to be adding a second project to that widget, one for the novella I’m writing. Currently I am still projecting it to be around 50,000 words, but as I realized my entire first act was wrong I’m no longer completely sure that is the case. We will have to see. If necessary I’ll adjust the estimate once I have a better feel for the project’s scope.

  • 100 Words: Ocean

    Canvas billowed out once it caught the air, pulling the sleek vessel along. White spray kicked up as the bow cut through the ocean, and once the ship cleared the harbor it swung sharply to the east to avoid the coming storm while the crew gradually released more sail.

    The captain watched his crew work from the forecastle while he sipped his morning coffee, one wary eye on the dark clouds looming in the distance. Even with the head start there was a chance the squall would overtake them. Hopefully, if that happened, they would already be in open waters.

  • Updates: One step forward, one step back

    So, last update I was talking about how my move was finally happening. That…is no longer the case. Not going to go into details, because there really isn’t much for me to say other than things didn’t work out. As far as my writing goes, it doesn’t really mean much. I can (and do) write pretty much anywhere I can find some privacy which gives me a lot of options.

    Been outlining some on my novel, getting my story back on track in my mind. It’s been interesting, not because I’m making huge changes so much as I’m just sort of reassuring myself that I was on the right path to begin with. Maybe that seems like a small detail, but sometimes it is just nice to make sure that the result isn’t going to be some gigantic mess.

    I’ve also been noticing some funny quirks of storytelling. Usually it is a good idea to cut scenes that don’t further the story in some way, they end up just being dead wood. Because of this a lot of stories end up feeling like they’re full of coincidences. A bunch of different things happen, they turn out to all be related, and because the heroes are the heroes they are involved in everything. Obviously there are ways around this, but it was amusing to notice just the same.

  • Unexpected Week Off

    So my last blog post talked about how I was having bad dreams, but how there was a slight silver lining with it giving me an idea for a story. At the time I wrote that I had no idea just how much that would consume my time. As I expected it took me away from my book for basically the entire week, but the experience was ultimately very good for me.

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  • Bad Dreams: Pros and Cons

    So for the past couple days I’ve had some of the worst dreams ever. No surprise, my life is pretty much in flux now and I like stability. Still, it has kept me from getting sleep, and from writing (as much as I want).

    There is a silver lining though. I feel like it has given me a wonderful story idea. Well, wonderful isn’t what I would call the story since it gave me nightmares, but it should be a gripping story. Not something I can sell—probably the definition of a trunk story. But it is one I feel like I have to write.

    Might even be good for me, although I expect it will take time away from the second Honor’s Path book until I get it out. Luckily it should be merely long-short story length. And I know the entire story, more or less, since it was my dream. May not take too long to bang it out.

  • Childhood Stories

    When I was younger I spent a lot of time camping with the Boy Scouts. We went roughly once a month, and during the trips I would listen to the adults share stories they’d gathered over their lives. Of course, being a young teenage boy the ones about stuff that happened in the military always caught my attention.

    I cannot say for sure if any of this actually happened, and if it did I have almost certainly gotten details wrong. Because of that I’m calling this a work of fiction, but I hope you enjoy the story. I have tried to write exactly as I remember it being told.

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