I’ve spent the past couple of weeks doing research for the In This Dream of Ours remake, in order to make it more historically accurate. Rather than it being set in an alternate version of the dawn of the Edo period, it will be set during the actual era. I’ll take liberties where I have to, but gone will be the vague mentions of East versus West, and Emperors that never existed.
Upping the realism will improve the story. In the 2012 version, Kouji, a farmer-turned-warrior fought in the Battle of Sekigahara. If you cut through the fake reality, you’d know that he fought for the Western army under the Toyotoomi government’s flag. The story doesn’t tell who his commander was. Could’ve been Ishida Mitsunari. Could’ve been someone else. What helps determine that is the province that Kouji’s fictional farm village is in.
Then, there’s the question of where to place Saitoumura, the setting of the story. It couldn’t be too far from Sekigahara for story reasons. Dependent on the province and which daimyo (feudal lords) ruled over it, the village would have gone through an entire story on its own. This story would’ve affected how Hitomi, Yasahiro, and Tadashi are.
We learn in the 2012 version that Hitomi and Yasahiro’s father frequently went away to battles. Under whose name? What were these battles? How exactly did that affect their upbringing? Raakel, the artist for ITDO, helped me determine that they would have most likely made their money from peddling wares and trinkets brought back from the skirmishes their father fought in. Money would be tight. How does that factor in?
And then, there’s Tadashi, someone whose family would have been able to afford to send him to a temple to learn how to read and write. Hitomi would’ve become literate through different means. In the 2012 version, Tadashi mentioned that his father taught him how, but in 2014, the story changes in order to more fully reflect his upbringing. He’s the son of textile merchants who have a decent amount of steady wealth. Did this have any effect on the deterioration of his best friendship with Yasahiro? How does his comfortable lifestyle contrast with Hitomi and Yasahiro’s? Is pacificity a trait meant only for the well-off?
I’m doing this remake project to explore those questions. I’ve become entrenched in research to dig deeper into the setting and give a better picture on who these characters are. Unfortunately, the more research I do, the less time I’m spending on what I need to do to get this story finished.
Last night, I came across some great advice from an article on writing science fiction. While ITDO is far from sci-fi, the article still had advice that rang true. It actually said to Avoid Research (funny), except for when you’re in the brainstorming or rewrite stage. ITDO 2014 isn’t just a rewrite of the 2012 edition. It’s going to have choices this time. A first draft doesn’t exist yet beyond a bunch of notes and pages and pages of historical research.
At this rate, I could spend months perfecting my research, when I should be writing the story. Is it going to kill my story that I don’t know where to set Saitoumura at the moment? Is not knowing Kouji’s commander some sort of stop sign that shuts down my writing process entirely? Nope. It shouldn’t be. My primary concern should be on the plot and the characters.
Yes, research is good. I’m not saying it’s a terrible thing. I’m just saying that I shouldn’t let historical accuracy concerns slow down my writing for this project. I should shift my attention on forming a concrete outline detailing the routes. From my work on 7 Months in Between, I know that when I have an outline, my writing flies. From writing this blog entry, I’ve already gotten some more ideas for what I want to do with ITDO. The gears are turning.
This is Yasahiro! I’ve got a million things I could say about this guy. I definitely love writing him. He’s loud, opinionated, driven, and yet…immature and more vulnerable than he’d ever admit. I could go on and on about Yasahiro, ah. I find the way he relates to the three other characters the most interesting out of all of them. I love this guy, haha! Raakel brought him to life perfectly.
I am also going to move on ahead with finishing the writing for 7 Months in Between. I still haven’t been able to figure out what I am going to do for the John Mark-centric route, so I’m just going to send the script off to people for some pre-alpha text feedback. I want to know if I am taking the story in the right direction. Am I actually meeting my goal, or am I fooling myself into thinking that I’ve actually written a more mature otome story?
For people that are new to the blog, 7MiB is my story about a May/December relationship and the May (23 year old woman) getting to know the December (38 year old man)’s 15 year old daughter. She learns how to become the mother she never had. She does this while trying to become a hip hop producer working alongside a local rapper.
If you are interested in giving me feedback on that story, then contact me via the “Contact” page on this site. I’ll edit this post with a link to a formal thread soon.
Also, don’t forget you can connect with ouroboros[connect] via social media!