Asleep in Nara (Collected Chapters and Afterword)

in #fiction3 years ago

Before I begin, let me provide some explanatory notes for this entry.

Right under this note will be a collection of the links for the short story "Asleep in Nara." I wanted to also include the full text to eliminate the need for clicking to each chapter, but Steemit has a maximum length for entries. So I guess we'll make do with what functionality we have. (Side note: this is a great example of why blockchain, or at least Steem, isn't yet ready for prime time--leave your hate mail in the comments, please.)

After the collected links, I'll include an Afterword in which I'll reflect on the story. It will definitely contain spoilers. If you don't want those, skip the Afterword.

As always, thank you for reading. It’s a great joy to me that people are interested in my fiction, and I look forward to sharing more tales in the future.

***[The photo is my own, taken along the entryway to Wakamiya Shrine in Nara Park]

Collected chapters of “Asleep in Nara”:

Part 1 (Meet Sebastian Pilgrim)
Part 2 (A Flirting Fail)
Part 3 (The Nameless Dead)
Part 4 (The Hunt)
Part 5 (A Fine Night for Murder)
Part 6 (Death and Rebirth)
Part 7 (Devil’s in the Details)
Part 8 (Habits, Old and New)
Part 9 (Adrift)
Part 10 (Went Down to the Crossroads)
Part 11 (Crossing and Dwelling)
Part 12 (Return to the Crossroads)
Part 13 (Mikoshi-nyūdō)
Part 14 (Finale)


Sebastian’s tale is done, dear readers, but Persephone’s continues.

I enjoyed every minute of writing this story. Never in my life has a story come to me so readily. It definitely took twists and turns as I worked on it, but I managed to quickly adjust and roll with each of them. Chapter 11 (Crossing and Dwelling), for instance, wasn’t in the plan at all until I reached the end of drafting Chapter 9 (Adrift). Incidentally, that late-addition chapter ended up featuring my personal favorite scene in the story--in the graveyard behind Inoue’s house.

When I initially set out, I thought this would be a short work about some American asshole living abroad in Japan. By the end of the first chapter, and definitely by the middle of writing the second, I realized I was onto something much bigger. There were some more turns to sort out, but I had the basic plot structure worked out. I still thought I could wrap up the story in 5 to 8 parts at that point in the process, but such brevity would not have done the characters justice. I’m much more satisfied with the work as it finally appeared.

In case you’re wondering, I’m nowhere near done with Persephone. Her story has been floating around in my head for a while. In future entries, I’ll give you all more details about her and my plans with her character. I hope that the finality of Chapter 14 communicated that I am done writing about Sebastian, and that Persephone’s time in Japan is over. I’m not saying I’ll never revisit her escapades in Japan (because who knows what crazy idea I’ll have five years from now), but that’s not where I’m taking her story next.

I’ll keep you all posted, and if you still have any questions about the characters, the plot, any themes, my writing process, or anything remotely related to those topics, let me know in the comments. I’m always happy to engage with readers and hope to have many more opportunities to do so in the future.