Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Update: The Many Paths and So Little Time

So it's been a while since you've heard on any updates on the latest story. You've gotten insights about the development process, but no progress update on how much I've written. To be fair, it's probably always a bad idea to share how far you are in a story because something may happen that causes a complete rewrite. I believe I've hinted at it before where if I had the time and energy, there is one major change I would like to make to Shining. However, at some point, enough is enough. Even though this change I would make wouldn't change the story, it would require a lot of changes to dialogue and then making sure it fits with everything else. As such, I'm being very deliberate about what decisions I would like to make with this next one. On the bright side, the chapter I wrote years ago is still as I wanted it to be.
Now I don't recall if I shared this with you but one of my goals with Neostriker from about the beginning was to create a game. As I was brainstorming, another story was being made and I kept thinking how well it would fit into a game. While I have played many games, my knowledge about coding them is next to nil. As a result, I decided to pursue learning more about programming games and see if I can possibly make a demo for my projects. If anything, then I can get hired at a company who might be interested in helping me flesh out the Neostriker world I have planned. I'm still slowly writing the next novel but it will take longer than I had originally planned. To be fair, that's the kind of thing that happens when it's only one guy doing everything and not getting paid for it. However, since I love this series so much, I'll continue to give it my best to create the best world it can be.

J. D. Nyle

Monday, July 13, 2015

Characters: The Women of Neostriker

Sorry for long delay! I meant to post something last week, but I forgot all about it. To make up for that, here's some insight about what to expect in my upcoming novel.


When people talk about diversity in some stories, women tend to be one of the categories to be mentioned.  However, I do not intend to include any women among the primary cast this time. So will there be no women? Not at all. In fact, there are a few that the characters will meet and they will be important in some way or another (and none are damsels in distress), especially as I set them up to be major later. There is one character I'm holding off on introducing until later but you may be surprised to see how much she is involved in the first story when I do reveal her.

So why won't there be any among the main cast this time? One major reason is I'm personally tired of seeing romances and so no characters will be romantically involved with anyone they meet on this first quest. The easiest way is to simply not include women as part of the main cast. Second, I have some adventures planned specifically for the feminine characters and I want to save those for my second and third novels after I use this first story to set everything up (I'm even holding back the Legends that relate to them until then). Third, I want to focus on world building for the first story instead of distractions. Fifth and perhaps the greatest reason, they just don't fit into my story to be part of the adventuring party this time. Instead, for their greatest impact and glimpse into cultures, they need to be among those met along the way.

The essential point I want people to consider is to let the artist or storyteller convey the story as it comes to him or her. Sometimes we can be too demanding to see "equality" that we consider them essential to a good story. That isn't the case. While they can bring about interesting topics, sometimes we neglect that diversity is a relative term and that there is plenty just within the white-male stereotype as we can see in Lord of the Rings. On the other hand, perhaps these men aren't white and people will just imagine them that way based off stereotypes.


Friday, June 26, 2015

Inspirations: Redwall

    You might recall I mentioned a while back that the fantasy elements stemmed not only from the Legend of Zelda, but also from Brain Jaqcues' Redwall. Close to when Ocarina of Time came out for the Nintendo 64, Redwall was airing on TV. I actually recall the first adventures being riding on a horse like Epona with bombs to find a cave to fight a giant snake to claim a sword. In fact, for a long time, those two were linked as I called my castle Bluewall. Eventually, the elements from Brian Jacques' stories faded away though I might revisit the ideas.
    While my introduction to his stories was Redwall, the only book I had read was Martin the Warrior, corresponding to when it was on TV. So recently, I decided to pick up the original book and see what lessons I can learn from it. It is quite interesting to see the alternating style of a long chapter then short chapter. What I was more hoping for though was tips about describing the essentials for the blind reader. There are some uses of sound, but they aren't as profound as I thought they were going to be. Either way, it will probably be a good experience and beneficial to my next novel due to similarities in the environment. So while you wait for my novel, I can recommend that you pick up one of his books.

Happy Reading,
J. D. Nyle

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Casting Call: Searching for Artists

    I guess "Casting Call" may not be the correct phrase. However, I am in search for an artist who may be able to help illustrate various ideas I have in my mind. Something I have learned over the years is that the imagination focuses on one aspect at a time when coming up with a description. This means I can conjure up many cool things, but when you put them together, they are hideous, kind of like that one Digimon that took various parts from other Digimon.
    This of course also relates to the creation process in general. Long ago, I took whatever I thought was cool and tried to connect it. This led to things like YuGiOh style battles happening alongside Beyblade. If that sounds like I couldn't work, it didn't. Nonetheless, it is still the process of creating something you can call your own. This is because your imagination can only work with what it has seen. What eventually happens is that you mix and match so many things, you eventually come up with something unique that also works. In my case in general, that happened to be the current form of Neostriker.

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