One of my problems with getting back to my writing, besides the intensity of everything that was going on for the last six months in my personal and professional life, was that I'd made a mistake in how I'd written Destiny. I've learned there is a balance on how much a writer can switch around between various plotlines within a story and still keep the focus of the reader. What I'd heard from my beta-readers was that the writing was good, but the story switched perspectives around too much and this took away from the story itself. It took me some time to get my head around this. Partly because no one likes to hear that they did less than a spectacular job on a huge project and that then requires some introspection, but also because the story is now setup with so many plotlines that I now realize I need to take back down to the hero's perspective. Although, due to how I've written book two, I will now have to break the various plot lines down into two or possibly three perspectives. I'd like to take it down just one plotline, but it will probably end up being two perspectives. Unfortunately, this is going to take some work to do it right.
It kind of reminds me of a book I just recently finished reading, J. Langland’s The Demons of Atlan series. I loved the concept and how the author put the book together, but the third book in the series jumped between everything that was going on within the universe so much so that it made it difficult to enjoy the story. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like the story itself. It just means the jumping around between various heroes and plotlines was a little too much and detracted from my enjoyment of the story itself. I understand why J. Langland wrote the story this way. There is so much happening that the hero is not directly aware of and is a good part of the story that he wanted to add this in for the reader to enjoy. I ran into this same issues with Destiny. At what point do all of these other parts of the story become too much for the flow of the overall book? Knowing this balance is quite difficult, which is why I’m moving to a more first person perspective for my proceeding books.
In November, I just started reading the hell out of several LitRPG novels. I'd never ran into the genre before and I found it very effective in taking my mind off of the multiple surgeries my wife had to have as I went to visit her in the hospital daily. The only problem with using reading as a mental distraction is that I'll read a book in one or two days. It took me no time to read a slew of books in the series. Towards the end of the month I was out of any LitRPG novels that really drew my attention. Some of my top choices in the genre so far are as follows: Aleron Kong's Caos Seeds, D. Rus's Play to Live, Vasily Mahanenko's The Way of the Shaman, Alexey Osadchuk's Mirror World, Andrei Livadny's Phantom Server, G. Akella Realm of Arkon, Luke Chmilenko's Ascend Online, Travis Bagwell's Awaken Online, Christopher Booth's Omnia Online and Edward Castle's Unbound Deathlord series.
At this time, I was at a loss as of what to do to keep myself distracted, and I was unable to feed my current reading addiction for the new genre. Also, I still needed that mental distraction from the surgeries that my wife was going through. It was at this time I got my drive to write back. Part of my writer's block was that I couldn't think of how to start out Book 3 for the Last Paladin Series, so instead I decided to start writing a new series. A FIVR-MMORPG / LitRPG series. Surprisingly enough, my desire to write the new series took off stronger than anything else I'd ever tried writing before. The story is based around a full immersion virtual reality massively multiplayer online roll playing game concept, FIVR MMORG. The entire concept has me so excited and is something that is on the borderline of development right now. It's a gaming concept we could see out within the next five years, since the virtual reality market is on the edge of making this full immersion a reality.
The whole concept of the story takes into consideration my love for gaming and my current discontent with games not being realistic enough. Things like the whole the whole left-mouse clicking to attack action in modern day MMORGs that have left me completely bored with the style of play. Sadly enough, just changing the MMORG came play to a FPS mode doesn’t help the issue either. The action in FPS tends to be spawn attacks that aren’t realistic enough, neither is there a real world that you're playing a part. The fast action FPS game play style currently out right now doesn’t properly fit a fantasy game style. Instead it should follow something like a realistic concepts of a Dungeon and Dragon’s style of reality, there are no world building concepts built into the world, no true storyline. The FPS versions are just blood fests. While interesting on some levels, it is still ends up being boring. I could have the same fun from playing a game of Quake or Unreal Tournament instead.
Another problem I find with most modern games recently is that many of the games are either pay-to-win or win-by-length-of-game-time, both of which I find extremely distasteful. Gaming genres seem to have gotten away from skill-based games. For those of you who don't know what "pay-to-win" is, it's the abilities for players who want to win to simply pay money for better equipment in-game that almost guarantees their ability to win over other players. The win-by-length-of-game-time type of game is games that give players huge boost in abilities just because they've spent a certain amount of time playing. Their ability to win is not based on skill, but simply the bonuses they've been given and the extra weapon options available just because they've been playing the game longer than others. Battlefield 4 was a great example of this. A game that people could run around a building due to the "skill bonus" they were given, before new players could reach the edge of one side of the building, or a veteran having access to better guns that can kill in one or two shots, while the new player’s gun can empty an entire clip into a veteran without being able to kill them. This type of winning is simply from game companies rewarding players for being in game with longer play time that newer players that allows them to win. Basically built off of the pay-to-win model, since the skills being given out to players in these games aren't due to how well the player played, nor is it available to everyone equally.
I hope and believe that in the future games will get away from these types of models. That gamers will be bored with this "dumbing down" of games and will want more skill and balanced game play. That games will have a world to discover, that there will be a strategy gaming component that could be accessed and that there will be a skill component for the actual in-game combat system, along with bonuses that are earned and not simply given due to someone having just spent extra money or extra time within the game. I wrote a novel of the gaming world I'd like to actually play some day in the future.
It took me a little over a month to write Book 1 of The World. The cover is basically finished and ready to go. The only thing I'm trying to do is pop-out two more books. My goal is to have all three ready to before May. As long as I can keep writing the way I am, I believe this should be more than possible to do. Also I already have the covers completed for Book 2 & 3. Anyway, this is just a quick heads-up as to where I've been and what I’ve been doing. I hope you will want to check out my new series. For those of you waiting on Book 3 of The Last Paladin series, don't worry. I'll be continuing that storyline too. I just needed a break to decide how best to start book 3.