I recently finished a work of fiction – “I Did Not Know” – and I am going to serialize it on this blog over the next few weeks.
Why did I decide to write a fictional story?
Last year, I planned to write a series of (non-fiction) posts called Hiroshima. Kokura. Nagasaki. which, as you may guess, were inspired by my visits to Hiroshima, Kitakyushu (Kokura), and Nagasaki.
You could also say that it started with a conversation I had in Kumamoto, Japan. At the hostel, I talked to a tourist who planned to visit the most of the length of Japan, from Kagoshima in the south to Sapporo in the north. I suggested Nagasaki as a place I had enjoyed visiting, and his reaction was something like “I’m already planning to go to Hiroshima, and Nagasaki would just be more of the same.”
I did in fact write the first post of the Hiroshima. Kokura. Nagasaki. but never wrote the subsequent posts.
Then, about two months ago, I was inspired to take all of the things I planned to say in Hiroshima. Kokura. Nagasaki. and express it in a work of fiction.
Since I don’t expect most readers to be familiar with the geography of Kyushu, I present a map of all of the locations where this story takes place. I put Kitakyushu/Kokura/Mojiko in red because that is the most important location in the story.
Furthermore, though knowledge of this is not necessary to follow the story, there is a major reference to this scene from an anime.
I originally planned for it to only be about 3,000 words long and … it’s now about 10,000 words, mainly because the protagonist, Myrna Romson, decided not to follow the original plot.
The story makes references to sexual assault. It is never graphic, and the sections of the story which refer to sexual assault will come with content warnings.
Finally, I don’t know what readers will make of it, so I would appreciate feedback.
OK, feedback, sorry it’s not positive:
I can’t make heads or tails of the story! I read up to part 5 but i still can’t remember who the main characters are. Because I don’t know the place names it’s all a bit of a blur. I got there was a parallel world with Kokura and Hiroshima, but I had to google it because it was confusing to me. Maybe this makes sense to people who know Japan better, or who read manga (I don’t). I also can’t figure out what is the deal with the characters, who they are, and what motivates them. Possibly this is just because I read the episodes in a distracted way.
I’m sure there is an interesting story in there somewhere, because I am always very interested in your travel accounts. But I can’t find it…
Anyway congrats for doing a better job at Nanowrimo than I ever did. 🙂
This was not Nanowrimo – it was actually written mostly in September and October, and since it is only about 10,000 words, it wouldn’t be eligible for Nanowrimo anyhow.
Thanks for the feedback. I do not know if I will ever try to revise this, but if I do, I will try to make things clearer.
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