June 29th, 2005

gold hisui from rasetsunyo

(no subject)

You have to write to be able to write. But. But. What if everything you write is the wrong thing? I mean the wrong voice and the wrong details and all that?

I find this with the dragon stuff a lot. None of it is instinctive (except for those blessed stories when it is.) Everything has to be considered and accepted or rejected. I have never been a dragon or a king, which isn't a problem. But I've never spent any time considering what the world looks like to a dragon or a king- or, in this case, a king's cousin. The automatic western assumptions don't work, which is a problem when I'm trying to show intimacy of feeling between people who speak with a superficial formality of language. Servants I can do, because I know how servants used to speak in the west. Kin of differing rank I can't do, because really the only models I have are Shakespeare's history plays and a handful of better historical novels. And the trouble with those is that even there nobody is speaking the English version of keigo except in the public scenes. Intimate English for intimate moments is our default. It's not the Japanese one, where well-bred wives can have husbands who ossharu when they say things. (Of course there's the paradigm where the politer a wife becomes about her husband the angrier she is at him, but that's a different situation.)
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