Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Legends: The Basis of Wisdom

Hello Everyone!
     Two things for today. If you have been on wattpad, you may have noticed that I started sharing Shining on it as JD_Nyle. I hear it's a popular app where people can download titles and read them on tablets, meaning it should be easier to read my novel. The transfer process is a bit tedious due to some formatting issues but I plan to eventually put the full novel up there. It will probably stay there too unless I get a publishing deal that requests for it to be taken down. We'll see how that turns out as I am excited at the prospect of getting more readers.
     The second thing is about the Legend below. It's not too well developed and mostly a first draft. I really wanted to put this in the next novel, however, there's no room for it and it would be hard to insert it anywhere. As a result it is merely a rough draft but I hope you enjoy it.

J. D. Nyle

Legends: The Basis of Wisdom

"Teacher Simulaen," the younger prince raised his voice. "What makes you qualified to teach us?" he asked. The older brother began to rebuke him for asking such a question but the prophet knew there was no mal-intent behind the question.
"Young lord, am I teaching you how to forge a sword?"
"No," the prince replied, a little confused on the relevance of the question, but the prophet continued on his path.
"Am I teaching you how to fight a hundred men?" Simulaen asked. The prince answered no. "How about how to prepare a delicious meal?" Again the answer was no. The prophet then asked, "What am I teaching you?"
The prince pondered the question for a moment. That was indeed the real question behind his initial inquiry. "Random stuff" he finally replied. The prophet laughed.
"I am not qualified to teach you how to forge a sword, how bake a cake, or even how to fight. In fact your brother is far more qualified than I in that last field. And so in that regard, it would be better for him to be your teacher. However, what I am qualified for is relaying what I have learned myself and I have indeed learned much. But take heed and realize that it is never enough to learn from only one unless it is the Spirit. You must take up and learn from all deemed fit. There is still so much for me to learn and much more for me to become wise."
"So the Spirit didn't make you wise?"
Simulaen laughed again and began to explain. "I do hold that all wisdom does in fact come from the Spirit. After all, if the Spirit established order, then by nature it established the Wisdom to accompany it. However, even if we are told something, it doesn't mean we understand it. Do you know what you need to gain Wisdom?"
"A good teacher?"
"Ah! Very true but that's not all. There are three things required. The first is Experience, Your curiosity is indeed a gift, my prince, but not one to be taken lightly," the prophet began to lecture. "In some men, it is in their nature to explore. I believe that these men are meant to seek wisdom and become teachers. Teachers are supposed to convey experience so that students may learn from them as well. One lesson is to take caution with your curiosity lest you die or cause harm to someone."
  The prince sat in silence after hearing that last sentence. The prophet looked over and continued his lesson.
"The second is leisure. A man who works all the time focuses on his work and has no time to ponder. A man with leisure may indeed reflect on what he has learned and grow wiser."
"Zel, isn't that great?! We can use this to get out of chores!"
Zel looked at his brother with an expression along the lines of "You wish but you know it's not going to happen." Simulaen spoke up and dashed the young prince's hopes saying, "Ah but chores give you experience. Without experience, leisure is meaningless. You cannot be idle for idleness is the misuse of leisure. What leisure allows is for you to perform activities unrelated to your trade or rest and meditate. If you do nothing at all, then you have just wasted precious time.
"Now the third item is perhaps the most important. It is the willingness to accept Wisdom. Truth often has two enemies, those who don't understand it and those who do but reject it."
"Why would they reject something that is true?"
"Because they find it inconvenient," Zel spoke up. "If they accept the Truth, then it would mean they need to take a certain action they are unwilling to do."
"That is correct, Zel," the prophet applauded. "Now I can bestow upon you the first two, but the last requirement is up to you. It is your choice whether you seek wisdom or not. It is my hope that you do, for to become a wise man is truly a great goal. And if you wish to be good leaders, it is important you obtain wisdom so that you may properly and justly govern the people under your care."

Monday, May 11, 2015

Writer's Notes: Re-Exploring Old Ideas

    There's an interesting thing about writing a series. Ideas that you had dismissed long ago can suddenly grant you inspiration. One idea was an idea of maneuvering between a real world and a spiritual dimension where actions would affect the real world and you could combat demons. Sound vaguely familiar? I remember getting the idea from the implementation of the Dark World and its future versions in the Legend of Zelda series. This actually is what led Neostriker's core concept centering around Spirit Battles and it fits perfectly.
    The reason why I started thinking about that was because of some ideas that popped into my head from "understandings" of another series called Persona. Now this is where I start using an example of creativity I covered before where I don't understand something. I have never played any Persona or Persona related games. It has aroused my attention, but the concept of allying with demons has always turned me away. There is also the fact that I don't have any of the game systems to play those games. As a result, I know essentially nothing about the games. This means the only way Persona has given me inspiration is through headlines of articles about the games. One such article was the idea of "Social Links" where doing simple actions had huge effects. At least that is what I gathered from the article's title since I didn't read it. This, in combination with a trailer for Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, I started thinking about spiritual dimensions again.
    However, I need to be honest and add that another title has brought about more thinking on the concept and that is Tales of Hearts for the DS and PSP Vita. I haven't played it, but I was tempted to buy it and so at least know the premise. The major problem was I didn't know which version to buy and I couldn't understand Japanese well enough to warrant a purchase.
    Would you believe that there is actually a third thing that brought about this thinking? This is actually more of a parallel concept that I was thinking might possibly tie in. When I mentioned that the Spirit Battle becoming Neostriker's core concept, I didn't mention that it only became official in Shining (which can you still read on this blog from the Episode List page). Shining is the bridge between the old and new as it became, by accident, the most succinct and convincing core explanation for how everything works in that world. Until then, the Spiritual Dimension, which was very vaguely implemented, was only a concept that I had for a completely different work years ago and forgot about. The implementation only grew as I began to ponder sequels, the current novel, other novels' plots. The original plot involved machines and then eventually plugging into the cyber world sort of like The Matrix but with the Mega Man Battle Network System as that was the actual inspiration as well as a method to linking my older works. Anyways, the reason why I have been thinking about this is because I was also pondering exploring the concept of Operators again. However most of these ideas are mostly restricted to the Shining Universe as they relate to how I was planning its sequel dependent on if it will be a movie or a game. As you may already know, I'm not actively working on that so it may be a few years before it becomes reality.
    So why did I write this piece then? Well, to put it simply, I thought it was a nice look into how a creative mind works. I also wanted to establish that there are some things I come up with just given a headline or premise. The thing about creativity is that you are given a little piece but you need to fill in the rest. Someone helps you take the first step, but you need to walk the mile. I could possibly look into those games I mentioned, but I have no intention as it would possibly take away from the fact that I developed these concepts myself. Sometimes if you envelop yourself in too many works, your own creativity weakens. Being creative is an exercise and so you need to leave yourself open to being able to develop things on your own, otherwise you just end up copying.

J. D. Nyle

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Concerning My Legacy

What will happen to Neostriker after I am gone? This is something that has worried me for a long while. Based off what I've seen around me concerning those who inherit stuff, I've decided that I need to declare some conditions. The first in line to claim rights to the Neostriker property will indeed be my family (wife then descendants unless I dictate another). However, all those who inherit my works and Intellectual Property must agree to these conditions or they forfeit all rights.

  1. The characters and all works regarding Neostriker must be in line with Roman Catholic Moral Teaching. In my research, the Roman Catholic Church is the only one whose positions have not really changed despite cultural and political pressure. All Christian sects have changed their morality over time, but the Roman Church appears to have been a strong constant. And so I judge that these moral teachings are the best constant I have surviving my death. To make things more clear, look at the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Nothing in there that is said to be evil can be promoted through Neostriker.
  2. No company that directly opposes the Moral Teachings of the Roman Catholic may publish Neostriker content. The only exception would be if ALL proceeds go to the Roman Catholic Church wherever it is based or to feeding the poor directly (not through any third-party organizations or charities). In other words, those sort of publishing companies cannot make any money from such a deal.
  3. Licensed products cannot be made in countries where abortion is forced by the government. That includes present-day China.
  4. Only one person at a time may hold the rights to the property
  5. All future inheritors must abide to all of the conditions or forfeit their rights.
  6. The stories I have written must stay as is. Nothing added, nothing subtracted.

Failure to abide by these conditions will automatically transfer the rights to the Roman Catholic Church wherever it is based. In that case, the pope will need to approve of any publication or licensing agreement. While I know there is corruption there just like everywhere, my logic is that it would then be next to impossible to release anything official that opposes my moral views. You might think it's bad that I would be constricting my stories from "evolving" but I rather keep it the same than to promote what I would consider evil within my lifetime. After all, these stories do in part represent ideas I have and I rather these ideas not be corrupted. If they are wrong, then so be it. I can at least rest assured that they were not wrong out of malicious intent as I am committed to finding Good.

Now, I do have a method for my family, should one of them end up being worthy, to regain the rights to the property. If one member can prove he or she is line with the Roman Catholic Church's Moral Teachings, then he or she may regain control of the property but still must abide to the conditions above. Failure in any part will start the cycle again and the rights shall be transferred back to the Roman Catholic Church.

J. D. Nyle

Monday, April 13, 2015

Writer's Notes and Excerpt: Tips on Approaching Your Story

    When it comes to writing a story, a patience is a must. Sometimes it can take 2 weeks or 4 years to plan just a single scene. When it comes down to a crucial scene, it is important to get it right. However, just letting it stay unwritten will not do the job for you. Sometimes you have to change how you think about. It is common to think linearly and write the scenes as they come. However, I do not know of many authors that do just that. Like a director who shoots many scenes and rearranges them later, an author must be ready to tackle a scene from multiple directions.
    I prefer writing things in order, but when you skip around and concentrate on the crucial points first, then you are able to better craft the entire story. This is because you get to think about what needs to happen and when. What must happen for this scene to exist? What impact do you want it to have? I realized that one scene would make more sense and have a greater impact if one small detail was included before. Not only did it help me set the stage, but it gave a better glimpse of the characters and their motives. I hope this advice helps you with your own novel endeavors.
   
    So I do like giving you all something other than my own thoughts and notes. However, I don't have another Legend prepared. On the other hand, I do have a small piece from the novel to share which you are probably more curious about anyways. I hope you enjoy this small taste as well as knowledge what my next novel is about. Keep in mind that this is only a small piece of the first draft. Some details are bound to change and improvements to the writing style as well. Anyways, enjoy!

J. D. Nyle

~during the battle, Zel finally encounters Daelan.~

“I must admit, your skills are far beyond what Celonret and Zenoth have anticipated,” the shadowy figure exclaimed across the cleared area. His purple armor with black highlights took a fearsome shape. Legends spoke of the knaunuhts but even they would pale in comparison to the Daelan king. However, Zel had always overcome his own nightmares and this was no different in his mind.
“So you finally emerge, Daelan,” the warrior prince said, focusing intently on his mighty foe. At least, that is what one Daelian soldier thought as he attempted to assault the prince before being slashed by his holy sword.
Impressed by this talent, Daelan smiled and shouted out in a loud voice that could be heard across the battlefield, “No Daelian soldier shall approach the mighty prince! He that ignores my instruction shall face my wrath!” Then turning his head back toward the prince and said, “No one shall steal such glory from me.”
“Hoh?”  Zel smiled in return. “That pride is going to be your downfall.”
“Enough blabber. My sword will silence that tongue of yours!”
The two royal warriors rushed in crossed blades. One-two, swings were tested. Three-four, speed was observed. Five-six, skill had been assessed. They backed off slowly and rotated clockwise as if in a well-coordinated dance. A feint here and a motion there, the contest of wits had just begun.
“I know you have a few tricks in your set,” the king stated.
“It is rarely wise to reveal your secrets at the start,” the prince replied.
“Your wisdom does not apply to me,” Daelan said as he raised his left hand and a blast of purple flame shot out toward the prince but he quickly evaded it.
“You are certainly a fine warrior. Not even fazed,” the Daelian king complimented.
“There’s not much to be fazed by. I could sense the dark energy emanating from you. So you really did bond with Zenoth.”
Daelan laughed. “Of course! Once I learned of this power, there was no one who could stop me from mastering it.”
“You jest! The Dark Power’s only master is evil. No man could tame chaos like that.”
“That’s where you are wrong. Zenoth recognized my greatness and granted this to me as a gift for me to control.”
“If he is the source of your mighty power, wouldn’t that mean he is more powerful than you?”
This statement enraged the Daelian king and his swings become more ferocious. Nonetheless, Zel was more than capable in fending off his attacks. A parry here, a redirect there, the mighty prince was patient in awaiting his opportunity. When it came, he took it and with a glowing rising slash, he leapt into the air and followed with a strong turn-around kick in Daelian’s face, knocking the wicked king back before any counter could be made.
Daelan staggered as he regained his footing. “I see you have control over the Elements.”
Zel softly landed and readied his shining blade for any movement. “The Elements were used to defeat Zenoth before and they shall be your downfall as well.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Writer's Notes: The World

    When crafting a story, it's important to determine the location. Will it be in America, Europe, or even Mars? The location is important because it can grant you many choices and freedoms, as well as help narrow your path. In my case, Earth is not the setting. Instead, I'm crafting a new fantasy world that may be Earth-like, but free for me to shape.
    In one sense, it's best for an author to write about what he knows. Since I've only lived on Earth, shouldn't I write about that? However, I've also spent time analyzing the imaginations of different authors and animators. When you have all of that, it's hard to write only about Earth and so crafting a new world is the best.
    So what does this mean for my story? Well for one, I'm allowed to craft my own creation myth. I can also play around with the nature of characters and their biology. For instance, I have yet to decide whether or not my characters can be called "humans," just like Tolkien and his predicament with the "elves". However, since it would be too much of a pain to come up with a new term and get my readers to grasp it, I'll just call them humans as the nature will be very similar. There are a couple things I'm want to play with but morality and that side of nature will still be the same. I hope you are looking forward to what I have planned.

J. D. Nyle

Monday, March 16, 2015

Writer's Notes: Not Developing the Villain for the First Novel

Hey Readers,
    When writing a story, a decision needs to be made regarding the narrative. Either focus on point of view of the protagonists or alternate perspectives between protagonists and villains. An example of the former would be The Lord of the Rings books while the latter would be Star Wars: Heir to the Empire. I enjoyed reading both, and considered the latter but I do not feel I could properly write in that style. As you may have read in Shining, most of the story was from the point of view of David and occasionally Jenny.
    While there is certainly an audience for developed villains, I'm honestly tired of it. Sometimes we need stories that really are good versus evil. At least that is what is needed for this first novel as I set up the world it will take place in. It is actually mostly due to having to focus on world building that I don't have enough space to focus on jumping perspectives. While it will be a battle between good and evil, I'm mainly writing this novel to be an adventure and so the focus will be on the protagonists and the world they see.
    So will I never develop the villain? If we are talking about the villain for the next novel, yes and no. In some respects there won't be any development due to one nature of the character. On the other hand, there are plans for legends where he is developed due to a second nature as well as how he connects with our heroes. Yes, it is a fairly complicated antagonist, but his development will be more in Legends than in the first novel as his development is tied to revelations about other character not yet in the spotlight.
J. D. Nyle

Monday, March 9, 2015

Legends: A Duel Between Brothers

    It's been a while since I posted anything with action. So I wrote this short story as a reminder that there will be action in my new novel as well. Also because I was able to imagine it so vividly in the first place. I hope you enjoy this little piece and some revelations about these two characters.

Legends: A Duel Between Brothers

One day, the two princes were dueling inside the castle with wooden swords. They had played many matches, but none of them ever seemed as close as this one.
"Today is my day, Zel," the younger prince exclaimed, not letting up on his swings. His spirit was high today and the look on his face appeared to say he had already won. However, the older brother was not going to yield so easily. Strike after strike, the older brother fended of the younger but his arm was steadily growing weaker.
"If you think you will win without a fight, you are sadly mistaken!" Zel stated, giving a strong push for space and a change of pace. It was not everyday that the other prince would dictate the fight, but this day might have been different.
"What did you eat today?" Zel inquired as his brother rushed in and crossed blades.
"The same as you! Eggs, meat, vegetables, too bad it's not helping you!"
The younger brother seemed to have a point as Zel was showing signs of fatigue. Nevertheless, his sword was always close but never hitting its target. Zel had always been know as the superior swordsman even on his bad days. On the other hand, the younger prince was not unskilled either. One-two, parried by Zel. Three-four, closer but still no score. Five-six, making sure Zel has had his fix. There was no opening for the older prince to attack without being struck himself. Unlike his usually more peaceful brother, Zel would not settle for a draw. In this castle, even if one struck first, as long as the other was in mid-swing and finished with a successful critical hit, the duel would be considered a draw. After all, such a situation would be the case in real combat.
Blades were crossed again, Zel was on the bottom, fighting his brother's unusual strength and weight. Sweat could be seen on his face as he was struggling but then his brother had placed too much weight and so Zel was able to roll off to the side, causing the other to fall to the ground. In most matches, this would have been the end, but the younger had indeed learned from his past mistakes and recovered in time to parry Zel's first attack for a long time. Unfortunately for the older prince, it didn't last. Soon the younger brother had the edge and spirit again.
"I don't think you've ever dueled this well before," Zel commented fending off another slash and thrust.
"Are you admitting I'm better now?" the younger said with a smile on his face.
"Dream on!"
Realizing there was no way to overcome his brother's spirit this way, Zel picked himself up and rushed head on to counter the next attack. After shoving the younger one back, Zel made his retreat, running up the stairs and corridor while throwing down chairs to hinder his chaser.
The younger prince did not hesitate to chase while the prey was in sight. This was his chance for victory and he was not going to let it slip away. His mind honed in on his target and proceeded to pursue. He easily overcame the obstacles and nearly caught up with his brother in the top room when he felt something hit him. He turned to look and saw a trap rigged to fire on him as he tripped a wire on the floor. The next thing he knew, the tip of Zel's sword had successfully poked him.
"That's cheating! You rigged this trap beforehand"
  Zel laughed as he lowered his sword and stepped back. Finding a chair at the table he sat down and sighed relief. "I have to admit, you gave me a harder time than I expected, but I figured it was time to open your eyes to the real nature of combat."
"What do you mean?"
"You can't expect whoever you are fighting to not have some tricks prepared beforehand. Every fight is different. You also can't expect no one else to attack you as you pursue your main foe. If you are in battle, you would be killed by one of the soldiers in your pursuit of their captain if you aren't aware."
"That still wasn't fair. I would have won."
"Really? Try again."
The younger prince did try, but the older easily parried and countered with a successful strike, revealing he was acting the whole time.
"That was your plan the whole time?"
"Of course. Like I said, I figured I should open your eyes to reality. The idea of playing fair is so that we learn the fundamentals. However, if you don't practice more realistic situations, you'll never be able to apply those fundamentals. Swordplay is as much a thinking man's game as well as brute force. You need to develop some strategies."
The younger brother was still upset about the nature of being tricked like that. However, seeing that his brother was not really tired at all helped convince him that he still had a lot of training before he could finally win. As a result, his resolve to surpass his brother in at least something strengthened. Something he did not realize until much later is that this sense of competition had greatly accelerated his progress in many things so that only his brother was known as superior.