Introduction

Hi, thanks for dropping by. It's good to see you. Have we met before? Anyway, please make yourself at home. Grab yourself a drink and have a seat.

This story is possibly the last thing I will write about Shizuku and Seiji, once it's done we will be in 2007 in their universe and their story will all be told. I may explore some side stories off this one when I'm done, but not sure. See how I feel. Or I may do a fanfic based on another Ghibli, Laputa seems interesting.

This story begins in the spring of 1996 after The End of Summer which ended in autumn 1995. Shizuku and Seiji are now sixteen and growing up – not just in their relationship but in their heads as well – early on in this story Shizuku will stop thinking like a child and start thinking like an adult and begin to behave like one. Soon her school-focused life will end and adult issues will become paramount. The story describes their lives, some days and events are ordinary, some are very very odd, but we'll end in 2007.

I have a plan in place which will take us all the way to the end. It's hazy at many points but then that's the good thing with plans, you can bend them and twist them so that unusual things happen that you hadn't expected. It's filling in the blank bits of the plan that is the fun part.

Oh, and one last thing before I go. I have set up a forum. You can discuss The Attic Room and The End of Summer there too if you like. If you feel a burning need to tell me my work is complete pants then please do it there. I'd like to use the forum for feedback etc so that any discussion is public rather than in the form of replies to reviews which I hate because I lose them. I'll probably use the forum as a species of blog where I'll discuss what is happening / may happen in the story; why I wrote things the way I did; and the price of fish. In case you are having trouble finding it, click on my pen name.

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Usual disclaimer:

What follows is a work of fiction; it has no connection whatever with Studio Ghibli, Hayao Miyazaka, Yoshifumi Kondo or any films or other works produced by that company or those persons. I have borrowed very heavily from the film Whisper of the Heart characters, locations and concepts. This is purely fan fiction and I do not claim ownership of the above-named work.

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UPDATE 11 JANUARY 2007
I want to just drop in a note here about the characters and how they are growing. Yes, that's the right word. In End of Summer I lived with these two kids for only a year, in Attic Room I was with them for just a day. In this story I've been priviliged to be with them for year after year and I am amazed at the changes they are going through, how they grow and mature and how they behave differently in different situations. The language they use is the main thing but also their atttitudes to events and pressures around them obviously changes as they become adults. Their thinking is also changing and its been huge fun to be able to observe this and create it. They are also, of course, maturing with respect to each other - how they behave in 'slack moments' when they are just relaxing with each other, or in moments of friction or passion or - best of all - humour is really rewarding to see. I have written a couple of jokey chapters and found these immensely rewarding to write, I should do more.

One or two people have mentioned that they are OOC. I haven't quite got the impulsiveness of Seiji right, that unexpected spark he demonstrates in the movie, but as far as being OOC goes I disagree with the people who say that. You see the people we see in the movie are 14 years old. Children. Pretty innocent, shy, gawky, clumsy, unsure, just finding their way. In End of Summer they were 15 and yes, I limited their interactions (particularly with strangers) in that story to how I thought 15 year olds would behave. But now, in this story, they are growing up. By Chapter 18 they are 19 years old. Forget about the shy, demure, uncertain Shizuku you saw in the movie. That girl is gone now and a different woman is in her place. Seiji goes through the emotional wringer pretty severely in this story - he discovered a lot about himself that was unpleasant in the closing chapters of End of Summer, but that's nothing to his journey in Other Side, particularly Chapter 9 - Summer of 96 Part 4. Despite having written some interesting chapters since then, the final part of that chapter is still my favourite in the story. I love the boy who comes out at the end of that chapter, he's such a powerful new person. So the Seiji we have here after that chapter isn't the kid we saw in the movie either. Please trust me on this.

UPDATE 10 JANUARY 2007
I have now written up to chapter 25 on my laptop and we are at about 63,000 words now. I think I am over half way, so we could be looking at a maximum of 50 chapters and 120,000 words. But of course, you know me by now, I think, and the story tends to unwind in front of me as I go. So no telling really. Hmm.

UPDATE 31 DECEMBER 2006
It is the wee hours of New Years Eve here in the English Midlands. The family have gone to bed (we had a party today which ended with another stupid argument with my wife), the house is quiet in the night and I am again alone. The urge to write is once again upon me so I'm fiddling away at chapter 18 now (yes, I've got that far in a dozen days) so while I battle with the keyboard and a wonky mind that won't write what I want to write I've decided to start uploading chapters again. Number five has gone up tonight, and it contains my attempts at humour. Have a read, please, and let me know what you think.

UPDATE 22 DECEMBER 2006
I have completed up to Chapter 8 now and Chapter 10 and am wrestling with Chapter 9. This finishes the 1996 Cremona trip and covers 1997 / part of 1998. I'm looking forward a couple of chapters and I think it will be a beautiful wedding :) Not sure how much will get written over Christmas but I should get back into things in the New Year by when The End of Summer (Novel) will be finished uploading and I'll restart uploading this. I have trimmed down this introduction and taken out all the chapter end notes and moved them to my forum so that those who aren't interested can now avoid them.

UPDATE 18 DECEMBER 2006
I have decided for the time being not to upload further chapters of this story. I'm still writing them, and chapters five and six are finished with chapter seven going through the sausage machine of my head right now. The thing is that many chapters of The Other Side of the World refer to events in The End of Summer (Novel version). The problem being that I haven't finished uploading the EoS Novel yet so here I am referring to events in the past as though the reader knows of them when he/she doesn't. These events are NOT in EoS (Script/Screenplay version), the two books diverge a significant amount towards the end. The Other Side of the World has received very few hits so far and this might be one reason. What I will do then is continue to upload The End of Summer (Novel) at the rate of a chapter a day and when it's done I will resume uploading chapters to this story. By then (should be about the end of December) I will have had a chance to write more of Other Side and been able to perhaps smooth out some of the early chapters so that the whole thing fits together better. So, have a great Christmas and see you in the new year!