Holy Epiphany Batman!

When I set out the write The Terrapin's Trail, I always kind of wondered what had to happen in Act II, during the Japanese occupation in Singapore. I knew my hero's part of the story at the internment camp, but I had only a faint idea of the heroine's side of the story set in Singapore.

Then today, as I was writing a scene, something just didn't click. It sounded fake, unauthentic, and dramatically stale and dull. What is going on? Then I thought more on it, and suddenly I had an epiphany.

I had the history wrong.

I started Googling "wartime brothels" and the result was humbling. As I read the horror stories of these real-life "comfort women" during the Pacific War, I realized that was the story I must write, from the eyes of my heroine. And suddenly everything fit. All the story threads start to come together. Best of all, it feels more authentic and real, and potentially full of drama, conflicts and character development that I desperately tried to find in this part of the story.

I'm all psyched now.

But I'm also scared.

There's so much to tell here, and to tell it well, worthy of all the women who suffered through that horrible time. I feel like I need to tell the story as realistic as I can, to honor these women and expose the true ugliness and humanity (incidentally, the Japanese Prime Minister refused to acknowledge the existence of these wartime brothels).

Shit. This story continues to grow as I write it. It's turning into one huge thing. And I truly hope I can pull it off.

Back to the drawing board.


ChrisEldin said…
THis almost sounds like a separate story, it's so important.

If you've ever seen/heard "The Vagina Monologue" you'll come away with such a different understanding of prostitutes.

Good luck with your research.
Carpe Diem said…
Two words: Book, series. Epiphany!!!
Ray Wong said…
That's three words, cd.

Carpe Diem said…
I meant "book" and "series" to be the two words. "Epiphany" was a somehow separate comment.

They weren't supposed to make too much sense, anyway. I'd just drunk a cuppa coffee and felt a little hyper, LOL.

But the idea's there. If the story's too long to be told in one single book, you might want to write it within many books. A detailed story from every character's point of view might be very cool.

If you don't do it, I will. Eventually.... ;)
Ray Wong said…

There's only going to be one book, I think. I'm not trying to write history. Just enough material to make the plot pop and the characters suffer. I'm sadistic like that. ;)
Carpe Diem said…
One cannot truly consider oneself an author without being a little sadomasochistic at times, Ray. ;)
Ray Wong said…
Ain't that the true. We're so into S&M with our characters. One wonders what we do for fun in real life.

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