DONE Violence Online

Discussion in 'Works in Progress' started by Yuli Ban, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    When I'm finished Walpurgisnacht, this will be the next story I'll be working on.
    [​IMG]

    As with several others, I already have a basic idea for the story as well as a small outline.
    Expected word count: 90,000 to 100,000.

    I'll likely start work on it in September or even late August if I can light the fire under my ass.

    General gist: The MC is employed by a magickal mafia group and a drug deal goes seriously wrong; they are locked up and then threatened by their old bosses, so they have to hunt down the traitorous smugglers. Then they decide to take over the city itself (which is where this book ends). It's basically GTA: Vice City, but even more ridiculously over the top. There's a lot of Kung Fury in there, for example, and the original vision came from some old ideas on how to make Just Cause 2 even better. Eventually, I decided to combine elements of my original fiction work, Enekai of Kollidor (name still pending) by including the Saiyan expies, the Yabansaru. It'd be a good debut for them.
    The whole retrowave/outrun aesthetic is also a part of it since it's deliberately meant to be a theme park 80s fest of wretched nostalgia I personally don't even have. And there's also vaporwave in there as wannabe-90s fake nostalgia clashes with wannabe-80s fake nostalgia.
    Who wouldn't want a Miami Vice-styled litRPG story? Actually, a lot of people don't. But I'm still gonna write it. I just like that aesthetic.

    Also: I'm conflicted on calling it a 'litRPG' because it's essentially a lot like GTA Online in a lot of ways. I haven't played many MMOs in my life— indeed, outside of a brief stint of trial vanilla WoW once long ago, it's only been since I got into litRPG in late 2017 that I did any of this sort of gaming— I've always been a straight RPG guy. My roots are in the likes of Deus Ex, Secrets of Mana, Earthbound, Final Fantasy, The World Ends With You, Knights of the Old Republic, Skyrim, Arcanum, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, Suikoden, etc. But I do understand how MMORPGs work mechanically and how they differ from RPGs and why GTA Online isn't an MMO or RPG. I can still get away with RPG elements in it, but there are some mechanics in this game's world that definitely aren't very "MMO". I'm conflicted on whether or not the MC's mafioso group could theoretically count as a "guild", but that's not what I'm talking about.

    When I mentioned the Saiyans/Yabansaru and Just Cause 2, I was getting at something else. Something a little more... explosive. Explosive on a level that you simply can't do in an MMORPG for balance reasons.

    On that note: I never really got a lot of that sense in most LitRPG/LitMMORPG. Many of them feel like taking a typical high fantasy story and transplanting them into a game world, and the only out-of-experience players & resources are from those couple of jokers, trolls, and maybe the main character. And I'm not knocking it— I'm doing the same thing. But for MMORPGs set in a future of full-dive VR written by those who ought to have a very close relationship with the internet and internet culture, there's surprisingly few cases of such randomness. The game worlds are pseudomedieval fantasies, so all the players fit aesthetically with a pseudomedieval fantasy; the game world is a post-apocalyptic Mad Max dystopia, so everyone's in leather and has a lesbo-punk haircut; the game world is the real world and it's suddenly reverting to that of a Tolkienesque or DnD-esqe fantasy; or something of that order.

    Maybe I'm thinking too deeply into litRPG because I'm thinking of future games that I want to play myself and seem feasible for the mid-21st century (the "YourWorld" game from Pyramids: Big Brother Online and the world in this story literally do come from daydreaming I had a decade ago involving a future super-game) and it seems odd that the best-selling MMOs of the future are consistently an even more restricted version of WoW (to the point you sometimes can't even speak out-of-setting) but with photorealistic graphics.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2019
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  2. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Alright, I started work on this story on Saturday. If I stick to a certain writing discipline, I could be finished with it by October 1st.
     
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  3. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    This story is even more Grand Theft Auto than El Sexorcisto Z was, Jesus. Just nonstop killing. I'm almost intrigued as to whether audiences will like it because of how maximally violent it is.
     
  4. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    You know, at this rate I could probably get away with calling this "LitGTA" or something of that sort, because goodness.

    After this, I'll likely work on a sequel to one of the stories I've already written, like Tournament Wars or Walpurgisnacht's sequel.
     
  5. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    If you want to listen to the soundtrack, here you go:



    "What, not any V-Rock?"
    Believe it or not, no. I think it hails from that Clockwork Orange-loving part of my brain, this love for dissonance. Ultraviolence on the streets, sweet synthpop ballads in your ears.
    During a big qigong-filled kung fu battle between my Tony Montana-dressed protagonist (who's gone full Rico Rodriguez ala Just Cause) and a freerunning Triad, a battle that was literally compared to Dragon Ball Z even in the narrative, the song I was using for background fare was:
     
  6. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Word Count: 59,001.
    My schedule works like this: write 3,000 words (which takes about an hour twenty). Then rest for two hours. Then write another 3k. Then rest for 3 hours. Then write another 3k. Then I'm pretty much done for the day, but I often write another 3k before bed but I don't have to do that last 3k. It might only be 1k or 2k. The point is to just write the story without burning myself out.
    As for the outline, I build it first from following the beats: the inciting incident (but not the point of no return) should be around 8% to 12% of the story, the first plot point/start of act 2 is 20% to 25% of the way, the pinch point is 37% of the way, the midpoint is 50% of the way, the second pinch point is 62% of the way, the second plot point/start of act 3 is 75% of the way, the start of the end is 87% of the way through, and the climactic event is 95% of the way.
    Then I fill in the details from there. I used to just build an outline starting at 0% and keep filling it out from there until it feels like the end should happen. If you don't have a good handle on how to pace and plot, that can easily spiral out of control and lead to vast stretches of nothing happening and then clusters of everything happening at once or maybe too many things happening with important characters still being introduced as late as 90% of the way through a story.
    For a serial, that's fine. But I'm not writing a serial (yet).
     
  7. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    A bit over 16,000 words to go!
    This is gonna need some rewriting and editing. There's a lot of stuff I write as I'm going on that retroactively applies to the story, for one. And this goes in just about every story I create. 70,000 words in, I start referencing something that ought to have happened at the 20,000 word mark. It actually does work out, especially as Chekov's Guns. But that original referencing does actually need to be there first.
    That's what happened here, though to a much less extreme extent. The main character got bugged, and that was about 2,000 words ago and he's just now referencing it. In the rewriting stage, I'll probably have it revealed to him rather than having him know it, but this isn't that stage. I'm just trying to actually have a story to rewrite.

    By the way, I've been thinking of what might make a good blurb and might post the draft of it later on.
     
  8. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    And it's finished!
    I actually finished it yesterday, but I added a few garnishes today. The story's real raw, but it has a shape.
    It's not 'complete,' but it is finished. And I inadvertently made it into a standalone story a quarter of the way through when I didn't like how the original concept was playing out.
    I do have a sequel or three in mind, and it might seem odd how I could considering how this story ends, but it does actually make sense. It's more that I'm unsure if audiences will take to the GTA-style madness. That, and the fact this is so blatantly a "VR" story. And by that, I mean that it is 100% a story about a guy playing a video game without any real world stakes or trapped-in-the-game plot. The literal very first line in the story, and I mean copy and pasted into this text box first line of the entire story?



    I'm still wondering how to play that one out. I like the first part of the sentence because it gets right to the point— no real life subplots in this book— but should I keep it the same or have him say "but you can call me by my online ID: Donut Steel."
    I'd say I don't want anything too edgy like "because only my virtual name matters" or anything of that nature, but come on, his VR name is "Donut Steel." If you don't know what that's referencing, I almost envy you.

    Much like El Sexorcisto! (the universe/game in which this story is actually also set), this got very over the top at times, but I'd argue it's not as completely loony as it. I say when the main character is a Legally-Not-Saiyan getting betrayed by an Italian Mafia that's more like a private army in a Miami/Vice City expy unironically known as "Paradise City" and in which there are kung fu fights with demons and mechs destroying buildings Rampage style and a Just Cause style hookshot. I'm surprised at how closely the story kept to the spirit of my original (i.e. April/May 2019) vision, even though the city-takeover aspect was dropped.


    Beyond this, expect to see Tournament of Titans, El Sexorcisto Z!, and Ghosts of Smoke republished in October. I'm expecting the first two on October 1st, but I might spread it out even more just so it doesn't look like I'm spamming releases. Violence Online 1 (Current book title: Chaos Under the Heavens) is probably going live in late October or early November. If all goes according to plan, it'll be accompanied by Astral Falls and Tournament of Titans book 2.
    I also plan on writing a few gamelitRPG stories that aren't so over the top for once. Something more slice of life in spirit. Or maybe something repurposing an old idea of mine.
    A very old plotline for Astral Falls from 2014 to about 2016 is what I have in mind for that, but I want to get some of these ideas done with right now. I might make a thread about that concept in the future.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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  9. Gryphon

    Gryphon Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Congrats!
     
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