Currently listening to –> The First Town from the Sword Art Online OST
So, this post really should have been done yesterday but…I was too busy working on my project to remember that fact…
Well, week 1 of NaNoWriMo 2015 is down, and I’d say I’m doing comparatively well so far (if one takes into consideration all the other years I’ve totally failed this challenge). I’m still behind in my word count goal, but it’s not as bad as it could be. As of Saturday night, I ended my first week of NaNoWriMo with 7,639 words out of the goal of 11,666. I’m aiming to get caught up this week, but we’ll see how that goes.
So far, what I’ve found to be the most difficult in my NaNoWriMo project is the fact that I am starting almost entirely from scratch. Yes, I knew what the characters would look like in advance, but I really didn’t know them, nor was I particularly familiar with the technology and rules of the world(s) in which they live.
Probably the most intimidating part of starting this project, though, was the prologue. The prologue is the one section of the book that occurs entirely in the real world, containing all of the technology of the year 2250. I’m a fantasy writer by nature, so delving into the realm of sci-fi was a bit intimidating. (After all, I only barely scored “college ready” in the science section of my ACT test back in high school). Still, though, researching all the scientific theories and experimental technology has been so much fun, so I think the challenge was worth it.
There are other challenges about this story, though, too. I always dreamed of designing my own video game, so Infinite really is a dream come true in its own way. On the flipside, though, I really have to give props to those who actually create these sorts of games in real life. There are so many details that I need to know to make the story (and, subsequently, the game) work the way it should. I have to figure in stats, skills, game mechanics, the whole nine yards. And somewhere in all of that, I’ve got to remember to describe the graphics, bring the characters to life, and ensure that dialogue is natural and entertaining. Overall, I think this may be one of the most difficult stories I’ve written so far (aside from Willy’s Covenant, but that’s a whole other issue).
While I’m already convinced that I will probably end up taking a chainsaw to this story once NaNoWriMo is over (I’ve lost track of the number of cliches, inaccuracies, and typos I’ve discovered in reading back over what I’ve written), I can, at least, say that I adore my characters as much as I thought I would.
As of the end of Week 1, I had officially introduced the characters of Vigil, Wraith, Searos, and Tara. I introduced Alex and Yoshitsune last night, and I’ll be introducing Raine before too long, so more on them in next week’s post.
Vigil and Wraith have turned out to be exceptionally interesting characters. I based the two of them off of myself and my childhood best friend, meaning that the inspirations for Vigil and Wraith come from the same people who inspired Razi and Rayne in The Four Stars. I was a bit concerned at first, wondering if maybe Vigil and Wraith would end up being nothing more than mimics of Razi and Rayne, but as I write, I find my fears are subsiding quite a bit.
Vigil is, by far, one of the sassiest characters I’ve ever written. She actually reminds me more of my fanfiction character, Adaria, than she does Razi. Her relationship with Wraith is also quite unique. Though they are certainly friends, this doesn’t seem to stop them from picking on each other. In fact, I’d say it’s possible they act more like sisters. (Wraith would be the annoying little sister in that case).
I will say that Wraith does have similarities to Rayne, though that has mostly to do with impulsiveness and adrenaline addiction. If anything, I’d say Wraith is a mixture of Rayne and Eryn, containing the impulsiveness and love of fighting that characterizes Rayne while simultaneously displaying the ego and immaturity that characterizes Eryn. Yet despite all this, she does seem to be a likable character.
I’m still getting to know Searos and Tara. At the moment, they don’t seem to be stand-out characters, but then again, they haven’t been in the story long, so it’s hard to say. Searos is an unassuming personality, calm, quiet, but I feel like he’s actually a powerhouse in disguise. Tara seems to be a bit more of a straightforward character. I was afraid at first that she would end up being really ditzy, but so far it hasn’t been too bad. She does have no sense of direction, though.
Anyway, that’s where I’m at with my Week 1 update. I’m excited to see where the story goes here in Week 2. (I also can’t wait to introduce you to Yoshitsune since – yes, confession – I’ve already fallen in love with him!).
With that being said, here are some excerpts from my Week 1 writing spree. Hope you enjoy! Happy reading!
The light hum of the hovercar echoed like mere static as a young man in business casual attire idly flipped through the document hologram that glowed in front of him. The sound of a news reporter in the background worked to drown out a good deal of the hovercar’s hum, but he was only half listening as the reporter spoke.
“Since the launch of the Hermes System in February, statistics show that more people are travelling between countries than ever before,” the reporter was saying, her voice containing a slightly irritating scratch to it as she spoke. “The World Commission authorities released a statement last night announcing that international business is booming and that investments are expected to increase by over 120% in the next 5 years. But some people are saying that even the Hermes System, the pinnacle of teleportation technology and the highlight of 2250, is still not enough. Proponents of a more effective, less dangerous means of rapid transit are already pushing for an even more sophisticated system by the year 2260. Let’s move to David at the London International Portal Station for more details.”
The man in the business attire huffed slightly as a man’s voice came over the speakers. Then with a wave of his hand, the hologram in front of him disappeared, the voices went silent, and the hovercar settled down in an empty spot outside a massive chrome structure.
“People are just never satisfied,” the man muttered under his breath, grabbing a crisp white jacket from the storage compartment of the hovercraft and rushing off toward the building in front of him.
“Command initiate,” he said as he jogged through the crowds of people, pausing to check his appearance in a nearby glass wall as he came through the first set of automatic doors. “Time.”
“Pacific Standard Time, 06:00 hours,” an AI voice echoed through the earpiece in the man’s ear, her tone far too placid for as late as he knew he was.
“Portal transit to Tokyo.”
“Portal congestion is listed as green. Estimated time of arrival, 06:16 hours.”
Good. He would only get to work a minute late today if he was lucky.
Quickly the man skimmed his thumb over the fingerprint reader at the terminal, hardly even waiting for the gates to swing out of his way as he passed through them. He could hear another news reel going as he headed toward a glowing white capsul set up on a platform not far off.
“Since the popular VRMMO, Infinite, launched its Hermes System compatible software last week, competitors of the industry have been rushing to catch up with the game’s sensory immersion capabilities. The CEO of the popular game company…”
“Keep dreaming,” the man muttered, hurrying up to the portal capsul nearest to him. “It will take them years to catch up with Infinite.”
He was just reaching for the control screen when he felt someone shove him out of the way, and he looked up quickly to see a younger man in expensive clothes reach for the portal controls.
“You’re in the way,” the younger man grunted, glaring at him over his shoulder.
The man in the business attire clenched his free fist, then turned and rushed for another portal that stood open nearby. On a normal day, he might have said something. If he didn’t hurry now, though, he’d be more than just a minute late to work, and he’d hear about it for sure if he was.
Now feeling even more pressured for time, the man swiped his hand through the air to summon the holographic portal controls. Los Angeles, Terminal A, Portal LA6579. Destination: Tokyo, Terminal B. ETA: 06:17.
The man quickly selected his destination and half threw himself into the capsule, the door sliding around behind him with a light snap. A whirring sound then caught the man’s ears as the white light of the portal began to spin.
“Initiating atomic sequence now,” an AI voice echoed through the compartment. “Please remain still.”
The man resisted the urge to check the time again as he stood waiting for the moment that he would be zapped from one location to another. The light grew, spinning, spinning, spinning. And then…
And all went dark.
Effort starts with E (from Chapter 1):
The sound of birds chirping echoed through the tree branches as Vigil and Wraith left the Elysian Plains and headed into the Hesperian Forest beyond.
“So…what’s our strategy?” Vigil inquired as she followed after Wraith, who was doing as much tromping as a herd of elephants as far as she was concerned.
“Simple,” Wraith replied, grinning over her shoulder. “I kill the monster, you keep me alive while I do it.”
“Brilliant plan,” the elf sighed sarcastically. “I give you an F for effort.”
“Effort starts with an E,” the human girl laughed back.
Vigil couldn’t help but grin at this, then settled back to a gentle pace as she observed the forest around her.
Regulus the Basilisk King (from Chapter 1):
The pair fell silent as they entered into a long, darkened corridor that lead out into a flat, circular open space beyond. Here the rising earth ringed the circular space in sheer, jagged stone walls. The putrid fog hung even heavier here, making visibility not much more than 2 meters at best. The only sound was that of the two girls’ footsteps as they walked further away from the corridor’s opening.
“Now where is it…?” Wraith muttered moving out in front of Vigil and glaring at the fog. There was a pause, then the woman let out a frustrated growl. “Aww, come out and fight already! Quit hiding in this fog like a coward!”
“Keep yelling and he’ll come out alright,” Vigil sighed. “Give me a minute and I’ll see if I can detect it.”
Leaning down toward the ground, the elf gently placed one hand against the hardpacked earth and activated her Detection skill. For a moment, there was nothing but the faintest of a presence aura around her. Probably, the young woman mused, the putrid fog was meant to do more than just accost her nose. Most likely it was also acting as a debuff, something that would interfere with her comparatively low-leveled Detection skill.
Then, all of a sudden, however, a slight blip of green caught her eye, and the elf almost didn’t have time to gasp before she shouted, “Wraith! Dodge left!”
Dropping the Detection skill, Vigil darted backward as Wraith followed her command. Both had only barely gotten clear of where they stood before a massive form the height of a giraffe swooped in, landing on the ground with an earth-shaking thud.
“Hey!” Wraith shouted, shaking one sword at the monster that stood before them. “What’s the big idea? Ambushing us like that. Fight fair!”
“It’s a monster, Wraith,” Vigil groaned, moving around behind the monster. “It doesn’t care. Now hurry up before it has time to use its attacks.”
“Right!” the Berserker replied. “Stun it for me.”
Putting her fingers together, the elf prepared to use her Purification spell as she had done with the other basilisks, but before she could use it, the creature lashed out at her with its snake-like tail, turning its chicken-like head toward her and opening its mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth. Already Vigil could see a massive diamond on the center of the creature’s forehead lighting up as it prepared for an attack. Her dodging ability was low. There was no way she would be able to avoid it.
Quickly Vigil put her right hand out by her side, preparing for a healing spell, but right when the monster was about to release a breath attack, Wraith appeared from the side, launching a flaming kick at the basilisk’s head with a roar and sending the monster tumbling to the ground. She landed nimbly on her feet on the opposite side of the clearing and was still skidding across the ground as she channeled the fire up from her boots and into her swords.
“Hey! Bird brain!” the woman shouted. “Over here!”
With a roar, the basilisk stood up again, turning its glowing amber eyes on the warrior nearby. Taking advantage of the situation, Vigil ran around behind a boulder located along one edge of the circular zone they fought in, then put her left hand out in front of her, palm vertical, and swiped her hand through the air.
“God Vision,” she said.
Instantly a bright light swirled up around her, forming a series of charts and bars in the air on her lefthand side.
God Vision. It was a universal spell, meaning anyone could learn it regardless of class or race. It was a level 35 quest reward and was meant to be used by a party field operator, allowing the caster to see all the stats for both party members and their targets. Currently, despite the heavy fire kick that the current target, Regulus the Basilisk King, had taken from Wraith earlier, there was no damage to his HP. This was, indeed, a tough monster.
With a roar, Wraith went in for another attack, flaming swords glowing brightly in the ochre fog, but with a roar to answer her, Regulus lashed out its snake-like tail again, striking the Berserker in the ribs and sending her catapulting backwards against the stone wall beyond. Her back struck the stone and with a groan she sank down to the ground, tottering to her feet again.
Vigil swallowed hard. The hit from Regulus’s tail alone had been enough to deplete a quarter of Wraith’s health. Quickly she raised her right hand skyward, shouting, “Healing Aura!”
Instantly a bright light cascaded down from the sky, engulfing Wraith and speeding up her healing process significantly. The Berserker nodded briefly in thanks, then turned back to Regulus.
“Chronos Steps!” the woman shouted, charging in toward the basilisk again. Instantly Wraith disappeared in a flash, reappearing at Regulus’s side a split second later.
A roaring explosion engulfed both warrior and monster as Wraith launched a quick 3-strike attack. Vigil glanced at the statistics chart next to her. Regulus’s health was down by 5%, but…
With a ear-splitting shriek, Regulus launched itself in the air, slashing its talons across Wraith’s body seven times before landing on the ground again.
Wraith’s HP was already down 75%.
“Brigid’s Blessing!” Vigil shouted, crossing her two index fingers out in front of her. Swirling green light flowed from her body, entwining itself around Wraith and instantly mending all the wounds on her body, bringing her HP back up to 75%.
At that, the Berserker pushed herself to her feet again, going in for another round.
In and out they went. Sometimes Regulus would use its tail, talons, or wings to inflict massive amounts of damage. Sometimes it would soar up into the air, coming back down and body-slamming the earth with enough impact to knock both Wraith and Vigil off their feet and inflict residual damage and disorientation debuffs.
It was only about 5 minutes into the fight, but already Vigil was panting as she pulled herself to her feet for a second time. Her HP was down about 20%, but it was only that good because the Basilisk King was so focused on Wraith who would have died 100 times by now if not for all her heals. Briefly the elf glanced at the stats again. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could keep this up. Her Will was down to below 50% already, and both she and Wraith were losing energy quickly. It would be bad enough if they ran out of will before this was over, but to run out of energy would mean the death of the both of them. And there was no time to use any potions. Maybe if they had a tank in their party, but not just with the two of them. And Regulus wasn’t even down to 50% health yet.
Just then, the basilisk reared its head back, sucking in massive amounts of the putrid air. Vigil watched as the ochre fog began to swirl into the monster’s fanged mouth and a chill ran down her spine. So far they had seen the physical attacks that the monster wielded, but this…
With a roar, Wraith bounded toward the basilisk again, but she stumbled and nearly tripped as the fog swirled around her. A poison debuff!
Quickly Vigil placed her fingers together in a triangle.
The purifying light encompassed Wraith, curing the poison. A split second later, however, the debuff returned.
“I can’t move!” Wraith exclaimed, using one sword to prop herself up. Already her flames had gone out as she struggled to breath. Her health was depleting quickly, too. There was only one thing left.
Standing up straight, Vigil held her right arm out straight in front of her, pointing toward Wraith with her index finger.
“Wraith!” she shouted. “I’m going to use my immunity skill on you. Use it to get clear of the poisonous fog before Regulus uses its breath attack!”
She could see the muscles in the Berserker’s jaw flex, but then the human woman nodded.
“Do it!” Wraith shouted back.
“Golden Fates!” Vigil exclaimed, swiping her finger through the air in three lines.
The three lines formed into golden strings which wove themselves around Wraith’s body. Instantly her HP bar turned gold, clearing the poison debuff and momentarily filling her HP to full.
Golden Fates. It was a last resort skill particular to Clerics. Few people used it because it was a short-lived spell that cost way too much Will, but it did allow the recipient 10 seconds of full immunity, a good thing to have if one needed to escape a particularly nasty fate. It was only 10 seconds, but it should buy Wraith enough time to get out of the way of the basilisk’s breath attack.
Vigil watched as the golden threads wrapped themselves around her friend, but her heart sank when she saw a mischievous glint come to the woman’s crimson eyes.
“Oh yeah!” the Berserker shouted, summoning her fire again and darting toward the monster before her. “10 seconds of immortality! I’ll destroy you, you ugly chicken-head!”
The woman ignored her as she jumped high in the air, using fire in her boots as an added force and shouted, “Bloodrage! Excalibur Edge!”
Instantly Wraith went into a fury, striking Regulus at a speed only a Berserker could achieve.
“Idiot! It’s not going to work!” Vigil shouted.
She cast a glance at the stats next to her. It was true, Wraith was now doing a good amount of damage, but the monster’s HP was depleting at about the same pace as its attack was summoning. It would be a toss-up as to whether or not Wraith would make it.
Meeting Searos and Tara (from Chapter 2):
For a moment, the pair fell silent. Then, all of a sudden, the sound of rustling underbrush caught Vigil’s ears, and both she and Wraith instantly froze where they stood.
“That’s the mount you called, right?” the human girl questioned, glancing at the elf out of the corner of her eye.
“Nope,” Vigil answered. “And this is a level 50 to 55 region. I hope you’re ready for another fight.”
Both women had already readied themselves for a fight when, all of a sudden, two figures stumbled out of the thick brush. Instantly both paused, staring at Vigil and Wraith with about as much shock as Vigil felt.
The first one was a Faerie woman, clad in a black medieval dress with black and silver wings that shimmered from her back. An exquisite cherrywood staff with a black gem on the top rested in the woman’s right hand. Judging by that, Vigil assumed she must be a Mage-class player. Next to her stood a shorter man with pointed ears, long white hair, and steel-grey eyes. In the man’s right hand rested what looked to be an S-class spear, on on his left arm he carried an ebony shield. A Dwarf Skirmisher, maybe?
“Um…” Wraith mused, breaking the awkward silence. “Hi?”
“H-Hi,” the Faerie chuckled sheepishly. “Sorry, I was just surprised to run into you guys. I didn’t think there were a lot of players out here in the Hesperian Forest. Are you guys coming from Arcadia?”
Vigil and Wraith glanced between each other, then back at the Faerie.
“Actually…Arcadia is that way…” Vigil responded, pointing in the direction the two strangers had just come from.
The Faerie’s jaw dropped slightly as she spun to look in the direction the Elf was pointing.
“Seriously?!” she fumed. “Seriously, I got turned around again?!”
The Dwarf next to her sighed, crossing his arms over his chest and leaning his back against a nearby tree.
“I’d tell you ‘I told you so,’ but I don’t want to sleep on the couch tonight, so…”
The Faerie turned to pout at the Dwarf next to her, and Vigil glanced between them curiously.
“Are you two…?”
The Faerie perked up at this.
“Oh, right!” she grinned, holding up her free hand in greeting. “I’m Taralana, level 50 Faerie Mage. You can just call me Tara, though. And this is my husband IRL, Searos.”
The Dwarf nodded his own greeting toward the other two women.
“Nice to meet you,” Vigil smiled. “I’m Vigil, an Elf Cleric. And this is my friend, Shadowraith.”
“Just Wraith,” the Berserker interjected. “So what brings you two all the way out to the edge of the Desert of Agon? I hope you’re not looking for Regulus the Basilisk King, ‘cause we just beat him.”
“Have some manners,” Vigil sighed, smacking her friend lightly across the back of the head.
“Actually…” Tara began, as though searching for the right words. “We’re sort of…”
“Lost,” Searos finished. “She’s saying she’s lost.”