Writing Raising a Rebel- Why?
It's a fan-fiction story and a passion project. I usually don't write fan-fiction or historical fantasy for that matter, but the idea came to my mind rather quickly after I was able to read through Heaven Official's Blessing by Mo Xiang Tong Xiu. The idea of a powerful gay martial (warrior) god from the Chinese Taoist immortal pantheon caught my attention. Later the same day, I was in a conversation with my father discussing classic Chinese literature, and he pointed out that Sun Wukong's (Son Goku in Japanese, or the Monkey King in English) Taoist teacher, Puti Zuoshi, was a false honorific name as the true name of his master was never known even in mythology.
I got to thinking, what if Xie Lian continued living despite being forgotten as a God and being sustained by his immortal ghost husband as the novels implied? He is still one of the strongest, if not the outright strongest god in the Taoist pantheon, far surpassing even an Emperor of Heaven or the great sages equivalent to Laozi. Only someone like that could have taught the monkey king. Hua Cheng in contrast would be a great foil, he has a prankster side to him and an edgy personality that comes off as rude to most other immortals, it would help form one of the core characteristics that Monkey King possessed later in life.
Yes, this is a fantasy version of gay parenting, but it's an interesting concept with massive payoffs.
As to the concept of being a rebel, the monkey king's greatest feat is not merely his journey to gain the Buddhist sutras, but his rebellion against heaven and earth. Classic scholars and even modern leaders, depict the Monkey King as being someone with a huge ego and pride, especially Confucian followers with their rigid hierarchy, who vehemently vilify him in a similar light that westerners would call out the antichrist, As readers, we know he's not evil, a little bit of a prankster and rude at times but he's kind, generous, and courageous to most people. Other people throughout history have found cause for his rebellious streak too, because the nature of the world was corrupt from the earth to the heavens, so rebellion was not wrong.
The backdrop for the story being the chaotic Sixteen Kingdoms and Six Dynasty period is perfect to highlight how his worldview is shaped, this period was akin to the Dark ages in Europe when barbarian people invaded China from several Proto-Russian groups who wanted to form expansive empires (somethings never change). It's a great setting to create stories and expand on an already rich body of modern literature and classic literature.
I doubt many readers will be interested in this area of fantasy, GA is not AO3, but I wanted to offer something different to the mundane fanfictions or fantasy fare that we have. I think I am the first GA writer to actually use a few of these tags in my story as well.
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