Thursday, November 9, 2017

November 2017 update

I got my proof in the mail the other day and have been looking over it. It's really interesting to finally have a copy of the book in your hands. I've also found that when it comes to reviewing it, this is very important. By not having the computer screen, it makes it easier to read. In addition, I can judge the actual size of the book and font.


Here are my impressions so far:

The cover looks fairly good. I was a bit worried about how the colors would turn out but it turned out fine. Likewise, I was given a warning about the resolution of the photo, but it also turned out fine. So if I don't get a good cover art by my deadline, then this will likely be the final design for the first edition. My main complaint, though this is the nature of paperbacks, is that the cover doesn't close after opening it a few times. There isn't much that can be done about that, but it does make me consider pursuing a hardcover edition sometime in the future

My theory about the book being easier to read in print has been vindicated. In addition to making things easier to read, it made it easier for me to catch mistakes, both grammatical errors and plotholes. Due to the extensive editing beforehand, I found that things that used to make sense no longer did so I added more content to help bridge the gaps.

Update on cover art:

The artist has sent me a few drafts. They looked pretty good, but I think they didn't work well with the book so he is working on another one. However, each draft gets better so I have faith he can do a good job.

That's all I have for now. So far I still hope to release by December 1st.

J. D. Nyle

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Timeline update

First off, about Twitter:

I did just create a twitter account to help promote Neostriker. I don't really have any plans to use it much more than the facebook page, but I figure it is easier to do some promotions and make some contacts. Don't hesitate to follow at @JDNyle

Second, Publication Plan:

I'm going to order a proof for Neostriker: Shining. A proof is sort of like a pre-published copy. This is so I can see how the book appears in physical form. If this goes well, then I'll technically be ready for publication.

There are still two things that I do need to figure out before publication. First is which copyright date to put on the book. I'm trying to get a hold of the copyright office to take care of that. Second is trademark. I want to make sure no one can prevent me from using the Neostriker brand later on, but I also don't want my identity to be public information. So I'm trying to contact the US Patent and Trademark office about what my options are.

As for cover art, I gave my artist a timeline. He thinks he can make it. I did a cover draft using the trial piece he gave me and I think it worked. So I have hope that whatever he makes will work. If he cannot produce anything good, I have a backup plan to use a photograph. I was originally thinking about using something else, but when I found the photo, I figured that it actually was fairly appropriate. I'll see how it looks when the proof arrives.

Expected release date is now December 1st, 2017! Yay! I hope for everything to go well so that I can make this date.

Pricing: $12.

I tried for $10 but the publisher wouldn't let me. Apparently this is because I want to have the book available for libraries and schools as well. However, maybe I can still get it to $10 for the kindle version. I'll have to wait until I'm closer to actually publishing before I find out.

The book itself is estimated at 284 pages. Over 20 pages is new content (1 tiny, bonus "episode" and 2 appendices). It has also been edited and reviewed by a professional so it should be higher quality than the draft posted on this blog (to be fair, it was only 1 session so don't get your hopes up too high). I hope you will all buy a copy, enjoy it, and tell your friends. I'm so excited that it's almost time. I can't wait to finally hold a copy in my hands.

Dream on,
J. D. Nyle

P. S. about the game thing I mentioned before. I bought a course about how to create a games. It's over 48 hours of material so I'm not sure how long it will take me to actually go through it. I will definitely need the support of my wife before starting this project.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

October 2017 update

Something I realized is that it is not too important to have cover art. I wanted the cover art to help sell the book, but this has resulted in waiting for well over a year with no one providing even a draft for me to view. As a result, I'm thinking I will just publish the book without art. If I can get good art, then I can republish later, but the main purpose of the book is so that it's easier to read and so that the physical book exists. Whether it has art or not, I'll be extremely happy to be finally holding one.

In the other areas, I'm contemplating shifting focus for a short time. Something I've always wanted to do, and the reason why Neostriker exists in the first place, is to make a video game. Since I do not have all of the various skills and resources, I keep putting it off. I tried to make a demo in Unity last year, but had trouble getting the turn based system to work. However, my head started swarming with ideas again and I figure that I can do some faux coding where I plan out the classes, gameplay, and progression. That way when I find an engine, I can more quickly write the code. Of course now I just need to find the time.

J. D. Nyle

Saturday, September 2, 2017

September 2017 update

I don't have much to update with on this month. I contacted my artist and he was having some housing issues and so hasn't been working on my art request. I myself have been taking care of housing needs as well and will continue to do so for a while. On the bright side, I now have a new furniture arrangement which allows me to write more often as the desk is no longer in the living room. Hopefully that means I will be able to make more progress besides taking notes.

One fun fact about the latest legend on stopping a riot is that it was written using a phone while I was riding a train. I wanted to see if it was possible for me to write the next novel using that method because I had little chance to use my PC. However, while I can plan some things, the virtual keyboard really isn't conducive toward writing a story. Fighting with autocomplete and "autocorrect" is a very tedious task and I'll more likely miss more errors if I tried to write that way. At least by using my keyboard, the mistakes I make are my own as opposed to the virtual keyboard trying to "correct" for me or not getting the right input.

Last month, I shared my pick for Neostriker's mascot. The little fox known as lumecyx was not always about light. However, the idea to integrate light did come a couple years after I originally wrote Shining. The inspiration for this characteristic was a video I saw on Youtube by All Radio India called Rippled. I don't know how I found the video, but I do recall being impressed and I wanted to integrate it. The influence you can see is in one scene in Episode 20 when he distracts the enemy with a ball of light. I will share the video below. Enjoy!
J. D. Nyle

Monday, July 31, 2017

Neostriker's Mascot and Logo

There is not much to update on this month in terms of book progress as I am still waiting for the final draft of the book cover art. However, one thing I have realized is the importance of having a mascot. When I thought about what I would like my mascot to be, I was tempted to pick Sunflare, the legendary bird. However, when it comes down to simplicity of drawing, as well as what I like to draw a lot, I decided the fox was the best candidate. When I reflected more, it became even more evident that the fox was my favorite.

There were two parallel paths to developing Neostriker that eventually converged. One was the Legend of Zelda and Mega Man hybrid while the other was Digimon and Pokemon clone. In the second path, the first non-Digimon and non-Pokemon creature I can recall making was a fox based off a stuffed animal I received somewhere. In fact, that fox still sits upon my desk as it was one of my favorite toys and I look at it almost every day. Coincidentally in Shining, the first "real" creature you encounter is the fox.

Here is a quick drawing of the fox mascot, Lumecyx.

The shape outline is also important because I made it roughly to be the design I had for the logo long ago, but I thought if I drew the fox in the shape, it would look more appealing.


As for the design, it was a simple thing that I thought looked pretty. Occasionally I thought of it like an ocean wave. This made it nice to integrate with the general sun crest which I figured would be the Nellenion crest

That's all I have for this month. Hopefully the cover art will be completed in time for the next update.

J. D. Nyle

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Legend: Stopping a Mob

It has been a while since I shared a story. That is partially because I haven't been able to write much lately. However, I recently had an idea and so wrote up a quick draft of a legend to further build up the character of the prince. At some point I hope to return and elaborate on it, but I hope you enjoy the current draft.

J. D. Nyle

Legends: How the Prince Stopped a Mob

Long ago, there was a certain foreigner who took residence inn the castle town. He was a good man and a skilled blacksmith. His shop was fairly successful due to the high quality set at decent prices. However, one man of similar trade became envious of this success and so began to incite people against him. Soon enough, he gathered enough people with prejudice into a mob and they began matching towards the Foreigner's shop.

When they arrived, the foreigner was nowhere to be seen. The mob was about ready to destroy the shop when a man came running. He said, "He's not here! Follow me!"

The mob followed the man to a house. One of the mob, realizing it was the house of another member called out, "What is he doing in your house?! Hand him over to us or we will burn it down!" The accused answered, "I don't know. He's not there under my protection. That's for sure."
"You're lying, aren't you?! I've seen you by his shop before. Admit it! You're protecting him!"
"I'm not. I'll go grab him myself if he's there!"
Just then, another man came running and calling out, "He's not here anymore! Follow me!"
The mob followed the man, but the accused quietly dropped out of the mob. As the mob moved further away, he heard a voice say, "Scary, wasn't it? The mob attacking an innocent man?"
The man turned and saw the Prince.
The Prince continued, "A flame it's a very useful thing, but let it grow uncontrollably and it will only lead to destruction rather than progress. Just like the irrational mob. In this case and quite often, the target is a good and innocent man. And if it were not for another man, you too.
The man behind this mob is merely envious of the success. It's a shame he didn't use his charisma for good instead."
"Won't you do anything to stop this madness?"
"In due time"
The mob continued to follow the man to another house where a similar breakout occurred. Then another man came and left them to another place. This process continued for some time and members of the mob snuck away either due to exhaustion or internal strife and then the Prince would talk with them is like the first. Eventually the group found the man they were after. The leader of the mob step forth and said, "We finally found you. We don't want your kind in this town. Time to teach you a lesson you'll never forget. Let's get him!"
Just then, the Prince stepped in between and said, "That's far enough. We already know the true purpose of this mob is to remove competition for you."
"What are you talking about? We're here to protect our town. If the king won't, then we will! Let's go, men!"
No one moved to the leader's surprise. The Prince responded, "The Court's investigation had already found this man to be perfectly innocent and good but you to be the real perpetrator because of your envy of this man's success in your trade. Now let me ask you something. What happens to the leader of a mob when the mob no longer exists?"
The mob leader looked around and realized what had happened. "Knights!" He exclaimed. "You replaced my men with knights!"
"Exactly. And now you are under arrest for inciting the mob against the innocent."
And that is how the prince stopped a mob.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

May 2017 Update

Sorry for the late post. On the other hand, there is some good news. I found an artist who says he wants to do the art for Shining's book. I had him do a brief demo to see if he can pull of what I have in mind. The first stage looks promising. If the final work of the sample is good, then I will have found my artist. The timing is good because I think I finally figured out a design that would be perfect for the book. Beyond that, I've been working on the "Writer's Notes" that I will include at the end of each chapter as promised. This is something I've wanted to do for a long time, perhaps even while I was writing the original draft almost 10 years ago. I am really excited to hopefully publish the book soon. To be fair, I was optimistic last year at the same time but was disappointing by my old artist never contacting me again. Hopefully this will fair better.

J. D. Nyle

Monday, May 1, 2017

April 2017 Update

Thinking back about The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, there is one thing it got me thinking about. While my mindset for the new book has been to write it as a book and not like a video game as was the case with Shining, there are some checks that help when thinking from a game design. In this case, the freedom.

While my party of characters will traverse each "shrine" in a particular order, I started to wonder why. Each of these places were created independently and therefore should have no dependency upon each other. Also, it would be interesting to see this turn into a video game. While I will like to build up things, there is one particular shrine that I might need to rethink.

On another note, it was interesting to see a gameplay element in the new Zelda game that I used in Shining. It's one of the things that is fun to play with and I look forward to trying something with it here as well, I might even take inspiration from what people do on youtube with that ability.

That's all for now. I am still looking for artists to do the cover art for Shining if anyone is interested. You can apply via the google form here.

J. D. Nyle

Saturday, April 1, 2017

March 2017 Update

So I got to sit down and play through the new Legend of Zelda game, and while there weren't any major story inspirations for me, it did get me to consider the inclusion of side-plots. I probably won't include any thing more than what I've already thought of, but it might be useful to include side-plot lines in order to maintain the sense of adventure.


I'm also giving up on my old artist to provide cover artwork for Shining since I haven't been able to contact him for more than half a year. If you know anyone who is interested, please fill out this form. https://goo.gl/forms/FBGpPQa4p1EhTOp02


Beyond that, there isn't much of an update as I spent the month traveling, playing Zelda, and spending time with family. However, as I look at my family, I feel more motivated to create a story they can enjoy. So hopefully I'll make some progress with the new novel in April.


J. D. Nyle

Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 2017 Update

    February has continued the streak of being a busy time for me, but I did manage to write some dialogue for my next book. One of the issues with writing a book is writing good dialogue especially with more than two people. While some TV shows do a good job of developing it's many characters over the course of time, what is a good way of doing that within one book? One way I'm trying is to give them meaningful dialogue where we learn about their past indirectly and how it's affected them. Other is to see the little things they do and focus on. I'll try to utilize that, but I do know it's important to make sure they aren't flat either. However, that does bring an interesting question. Where do flat characters belong?
    In Hamlet, there are two characters where you can swap lines and not tell the difference. There is certainly a place for these sort of characters, possibly for humor, but I'm still experimenting with where. I'm aware that some characters in Shining ended that way and hopefully my next cast of secondary characters won't follow suit.
    Do I expect to make more progress in the coming weeks? No. I'll be busy with work and other duties, and I want to play the new Legend of Zelda game as well. From what I've heard, they have a nice story so maybe I can learn a few techniques from the game. I am curious to ponder if the story will be nice on its own or if it requires knowledge of the series for its effect.

Take Care,
J. D. Nyle

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

January 2017 update

I don't have much of an update this month. I can say I am disappointed in that I haven't received an update from my artist and potential publisher. As a result, I am tied of waiting after 6 months and searching for replacements unless I finally hear back.

On the bright side, I now have a new member of my household, though it means I really have no time to write my next novel. I hope to find time and energy to write as one of my hopes is to create a thriving series for my children to enjoy. I often find that I am disappointed with modern series and I would like to create something that my children can enjoy through adulthood. I certainly have lots of stories, I just need the ability to focus on developing then and then to find people who won't take months or years to respond.

On a completely different note to compensate for not having an solid update, here is my initial impression of the new Legend of Zelda game. You are probably well aware that the series has been an inspiration for me. As such, I am excited to play the new game and see what they do. I have only watched the trailers in order to maintain the sense of exploration, but I have to admit that the more I see, the more I am reminded of Studio Ghibli. It just gives me the feeling similar to Nausicaa, Princess Mononoke, and Castle in the Sky. To be fair, that would be an excellent match as both Nintendo and Studio Ghibli follow their own ideas apart from their respective industries.

One hope I have is for it to be fun and easy to start. Recent games can take a long time to start. While Ocarina of Time can take about 15 to get to the first dungeon, Twilight Princess can take hours. One of the great things about the Zelda games is that the general enemies normally take 1-3 hits to defeat and they are spaced out so that you don't get bored so easily. This makes the hands fun to replay, but if the introduction is long, then I don't want to replay.

Similarly, the ability to skip annoying sections would be welcomed. The game is supposed to allow you to go about freely a the is hope that I can avoid sections I don't like. For example, in Skyward Sword, I like the general game, but when I think about the Silent Realm and Demise sections, I give up on the idea of replaying. Since it is said that you can fight the final boss immediately, I have some hope for this new game.

As for the art style, I like it. It seems like the visuals should age well, making the game playable for a long time. If my cover art was a similar style, I wouldn't protest, though I would request for it to be less Anime-like. However, I do find Romantic art to be very nice for Fantasy novels. We'll see what I eventually end up with.

J. D. Nyle