The Novels

Economics 101, a Novel (Rough Draft) -- My first sustained attempt at a novel, two-thirds finished in rough draft, and heading a little too far south.
What would you do if you and your study partner, with whom you had been seriously discussing marriage, suddenly found yourselves all alone together on a desert island? Study economics?
Sociology 500, a Romance (Second Draft) -- The first book in the Economics 101 Trilogy.(On hold.)
Karel and Dan, former American football teammates and now graduate students, meet fellow graduate students Kristie and Bobbie, and the four form a steady study group.

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Sociology 500, a Romance, ch 1 pt 1 -- Introducing Bobbie

TOC Well, let's meet Roberta Whitmer. Bobbie entered the anthropology department office and looked around. Near the receptionis...

Friday, September 16, 2016

Re-plotting the Story in Economics 101

I'm feeling less and less confident about my first attempt at a novel, Economics 101. I've jumped too many sharks with it.

No, I haven't. To say what I wanted to say, all of that has to be there, and more.

Not so much jumping sharks as simply saying too much to fit in the short, readable novel I had thought I could translate myself. I had originally been thinking of a novel that could be used by Japanese high school students to study English. Economics 101 is so very much anything but that.

So I'm thinking of splitting it out into smaller, less unpalatable bites.

Since I have the idea some people will be offended that I made Mormon culture and philosophy as prominent as I have, I'm also thinking of using the alternative history ruse to hide the connections somewhat.

Borrowing from a cultural myth about the meaning of "mormon", maybe I could name the religion 「増善」 (Zouzen) or 「溜善」 (Ryuuzen).

A quick search on the 'net brings up a 「増善寺」 (Zouzenji), a historic temple in Shizuoka that dates back to the seventh century.

Ryuuzen could pun to something like "loosen", or Zouzenji could pun to "sausage".


The school could be 若橋大学 (Wakahashi Daigaku). Or it could be a juku.

Roberta Whitmer could be 白池 光美 (Shiraike Mitsumi). She would still dance, of course.

Karel Pratt could be 鋭井 達人 (Surudoi Tatsuto), a frisbee player.


Daniel Claymount could be -- ouch. Claymount is not too bad, 土山 (Tsuchiyama) is a good name.

But Daniel -- "God is my judge". Japanese gods tend to be arbitrary, if colorful, creatures, not the kind you would want to judge you. At least, not unless you are really up for thrills that could be fatal. And the easiest transliteration, the made up word 「裁神」 (Saijin) puns to 「祭神」, or "god of the shrine", or "festival god".

Inverting the characters, 「神裁」(Shinsai), does produce a real word, meaning "god as judge".

But as a first name?

And Kristine, that's pretty tough, too. "Believer in Christ", or "Christ-bearer". Mapping that to Kanji just doesn't work. Invokes too many conflicting semantics.

But Tasuku as a reading for 「救う」(sukuu, save/help) is a valid male name.

Person (Pierson) maps well to 「石」(ishi, rock).

Tsuchiyama Shinsai (土山 神裁)?

Ishii Kyuuko (石井 救子)? [JMR201609172255: Or maybe it could be Hirako. ]

I mean, it's not like I have to get some city hall bureaucrat to clear these names.



And so forth.

I could push the time back somewhat farther, maybe the mid-eighteenth century, when uncharted islands really were uncharted and the supernatural less of a comic-book device. 

And Okigake (Wyecliffe) and Ginoshu (Zedidiah) could be privateers. Without radios, what do I do there? (意岐崖、義主)

And is Tessa now Yotsuko or Karuka? Hmm. Scary. (四ツ子、刈香)

Yeah. And make the religion a restorationist sect of Shinto.

Wait. Would Japanese people be offended about that restorationist bit? I'd be making claims that the Nihonshoki has been misinterpreted significantly, and that would be rather a revolutionary idea to many people.

And dealing with the historical issues of misogyny?

Wait. I guess Tatsuto could not be a frisbee player. And Mitsumi would not be a midwife. Her mother could be the midwife, and she could be her mother's helper? Maybe.

This is going to take a bit of research.

Simplify the storyline, maybe, but make my job harder, getting the background information right.

Sigh. I don't have the money to support the family while I do that.

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