Second Draft

Disadvantages to using Wikipedia as a research tool

Posted in Research by Michael Skeet on Sunday, July 26, 2009

Demon Gate is set in a version of the early sixteenth century in a Japan where mythological creatures are real. For someone like me, whose knowledge of “medieval” Japan is based on a reality-based worldview (no thanks to Rove), this means doing a fair amount of reading in an attempt to make the spirits and demons we’re writing about more believable.

Found, I thought, a really cool demon on Wikipedia, and immediately put it into a battle scene, with modifications. What could be more cool than demon-weasels who knock you down, slash you to ribbons, and then heal you up, all before you know what’s happened to you?

If I’d read the entire article before I wrote that chapter, though, I’d have discovered that, as a rule, if a Japanese spirit, demon or monster has its own Wikipedia page, it’s because every Tom, Dick and Mizuki has already used it in a manga or anime.

Oh, well. At least my weasels aren’t practicing socialized medicine.


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