Home For Writers Where I’m At: Mood-board for my Japanese inspired YA Fantasy

Where I’m At: Mood-board for my Japanese inspired YA Fantasy

by Iasmina Edina

As my first book, HUNTING VIENNA (YA Contemporary), is currently in the query trenches (AAAAAAH!), I began serious work on planning and researching my next book, which will be a first in a series.

I want to use this blog as an opportunity to keep track of my progress and as an outlet where I can vent about writing and the publishing journey. As such, I wanted to do a little update on the next book I’m working on.

So far, it’s been a lot of research and outlining, which led me to realise the series needs to be a trilogy at least, and not a duology, as I initially thought. There’s so much world building and cool things happening, plus I have a dual POV, that I really want to give the story enough space.

I finished reading Everyday Life in Traditional Japan which I’ve read as part of the research for the story. It was very entertaining and I learned a bunch of cool and interesting things to use in the series. The series is Fantasy, so of course it won’t be 100% true to Edo Japan, but I wanted to ground the story in history and the reality of the time. And boy, some aspects of that period could well have been fantastical.

I have a general outline of events and background, as well as maps and world buildings tidbits that I can’t wait to get into. Honestly, I really want to jump right in and write this, because I’m so excited. However, I’ve learned from previous experience that I need a solid outline before I start writing, otherwise I meander. I’ve already “started” writing this book twice, without any planning. And while I love the stuff I came up with, it had no direction and I wanted to start from a clean slate.

Initially, I titled this book Foreshock, as it revolves around an epic earthquake threatening to destroy the city the story is set in. However, I might end up changing that into a more Fantasy-appropriate title, since the story has evolved well beyond the earthquake being the centre event. Will keep you posted when I find a better title. Foreshock is still the working title.

The spark that set me on the path of writing this story is a bit of a cliche, I’m afraid. I had a dream. Now, I can hear you rolling your eyes there. But it’s true. About two years ago, I woke up after having had an epic dream which played as a movie in my head. From beginning to end, I was right there with the main character. I usually forget my dreams when I wake up, but this one stayed with me. And it was so vivid and linear that I knew I had to write it down. I knew this was a fantastic idea for a book.

Since that dream, however, the story has changed exponentially. Really, only the main event and some world-building aspects have stuck, but I will always remember that dream as being one of the most fun and vivid I’ve ever had.

Key-words for the series: Shodo, Magic, Samurai, Art, Secrets, Danger, Fear, Love.

I will leave you with a little mood-board I’ve made as inspiration for this series. I hope you like it as much as I do :).

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