I want to write a Light Novel (and I want your help!)

zerohour

Well-Known Member
#26
Follow up question: Don't Light Novels have art in them?  How are your drawing skills?
 

balthanon

Well-Known Member
#27
daniel_gudman said:
So I've been working on a big long fanfiction project recently: Fate Revelation Online.

From there,
By default I need three characters:
1) The Hero (stereotypically a normal teenaged boy but not always)
2) The Love Interest
3) The Villain

As for setting,
The biggest question is whether to make it fantasy or not.
I'd kind of like to do hard scifi but I've literally never seen real a hard SF light novel. The medium is driven by characters and their relationships with each other, not setting.
So for the characters, my thoughts are:
  1)  I like the teenage girl posted up above; but to be honest, I think it would actually be more interesting if she isn't especially skilled or talented.  I actually kind of like the idea of a character that has some natural advantage going for her (beauty, charisma, whatever), so she's never really had a reason to develop those skills.  And as a result, because she's had everything handed to her on a silver plate, she's bored.  It also gives her a lot of room to grow in directions that she herself never expected.
  2)  A childhood friend, who is stuck firmly in the friend category despite numerous attempts at getting out of there over the past several years.  Depending on the route you want to go, this could be a girl and the Hero hasn't had a shred of thoughts in that direction despite numerous hints (kind of my preference) or a boy who is very nearly into brother category because they've done everything together since they were like 2.
  3)  The Love Interest :)  Being the Villain is a last ditch effort by the Love Interest to _finally_ get on the radar of the hero by giving her something that no one else has actually bothered with-- namely a challenge, something that only she can do.  (Because the Villain literally won't show up for anyone else.)  So she organizes something that only the hero can respond to supposedly-- could fit in with the Sad Girl and the Ghost idea too potentially, to explain how the childhood friend now has the means to do this.  That also plays into the later conflict of-- is the hero actually going to love me if I lose this new part of me (when the ghost finally finishes and is ready to leave).  One of the reasons I like the love interest being a girl is you could also going into the playing the opposite gender thing, which is always fun and is yet another point of contention when things start getting revealed to the hero.

For setting, I'm not sure how popular it would be, but playing off of all the dystopian novels that we get in the US with hard-bitten teenage girl protagonists, I've really been wanting to see a novel set in a utopian society.  I think a light novel might be a good place to set that, since you don't need world shaking plots to drive them really.  You could probably get away with hard sci-fi in that setting if you wanted to go that route-- we have a lot of cool technologies that are on the rise that with some development could lead to a much better world and it would be fun to see someone actually play that out rather than focusing on the "oops, someone forgot to insert a comma here, the robots have taken over the world".

Haven't read your new FSN/Sword Art Crossover yet because I haven't gotten around to watching FSN and it's been awhile since I read Spying no Jutsu (though it's one of my favorite Naruto fics), so it's hard to speak to your talents.  (Actually had a full paragraph typed out here about Naruto Genkyoukien and then realized that was an entirely different author who's name starts with "Dan". :))
 

Leidolf

Well-Known Member
#28
zerohour said:
Follow up question: Don't Light Novels have art in them?  How are your drawing skills?
Deviant art has some decent guys that work on commission.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
#29
How's about the gazillionth-and-one novel about a Virtual Reality?

The plot twist is the VR was developed and owned by Malthusian extremists who figure if everyone's busy playing video games they won't have time to reproduce.
 

daniel_gudman

KING (In Land of Blind)
Staff member
#30
Tyrantviewer said:
...for example in your sorcerer snip, rather than his state being some random reincarnation or unique power (like so many reincarnation stories have with little justification) it happened because he did it- with magic he studied and learned- he isn't amazing because he did what would be impossible for anyone else, it is because he did something that he came up with himself- the magic looks like to be something he worked out within the logic of the setting- figuring out how to do it is the amazing thing...
So I realize this wasn't clear, but I first started thinking about a "reincarnation" story as the result of reading the manga Witch Craft Works, in which case the Main Character is a Muggle Who Doesn't Know Anything but is the vessel for some kind of magical super-power, and the Main Girl is the Witch who protects him.

I was thinking about a setting like that: where some rando normal boy has a stupidly vast mana capacity, and the Magic Association put a seal on him to contain his power, and the Designated Love Interest is a local magician girl that's helping look after him, so that Bad Guys can't kidnap him and stick him in a juicer to squeeze him for power.

Except the reason he has a stupidly vast mana capacity isn't because he's a statistical outlier, it's because he's a Sorcerer from a parallel reality (sliding is unsual-but-not-impossible magic) who explicitly manipulated his parameters in his last life, so in this life he can use his vast mana capacity to do, like, high-energy physics experiments and turn himself into a Magical Tokamak.

So from his perspective, the Designated Love Interest is the Villain, related to those obnoxious bastards who stuck a seal on him and are getting in the way of his hermetic research.

So when he really does get kidnapped by Bad Guys, he's like "whatever" because even with the seal, he can still scramble their brains whenever he wants, and anyway he's subtly trying to cut a deal with them and use the Bad Guys as a shield against the Wizard Association.



zerohour said:
Follow up question: Don't Light Novels have art in them?  How are your drawing skills?
I'm not worried about this, honestly. From my view, I'm using "Light Novel" as the template for what I'm doing, and in either case even if I did want to get art, I'd rather do it with the story essentially complete.

As for my art skills, I'm mediocre at everything except mechanical layouts and isometrics, 'cuz that's all I ever draw.



balthanon said:
For setting, I'm not sure how popular it would be, but playing off of all the dystopian novels that we get in the US with hard-bitten teenage girl protagonists, I've really been wanting to see a novel set in a utopian society.  I think a light novel might be a good place to set that, since you don't need world shaking plots to drive them really.  You could probably get away with hard sci-fi in that setting if you wanted to go that route-- we have a lot of cool technologies that are on the rise that with some development could lead to a much better world and it would be fun to see someone actually play that out rather than focusing on the "oops, someone forgot to insert a comma here, the robots have taken over the world".
Well, first off, I'm going to point out that Utopian societies are super-hard to set novels in. Because they fundamentally lack conflict, there's nothing to drive a story.

Utopian Science Ficition, as a rule, comes in two flavors: 1) Political Polemac that is extolling the virtues of some set of social / technological / whatever reforms that are the cause of the utopia, and 2) False Utopia or "Twist Utopia" settings where Things Are Not As They Seem!

Well, that being said, there was an anime called Fractale that was as close to a genuine utopia as anything I've ever goddam seen. The anime presented the people who sustained themselves on high-efficiency tube food while living cheaply in small trailers and doing everything in VR as living wrong, compared to the people who returned to the old ways of farming and living in solid towns and forsaking VR. But from my perspective as a viewer, we had two populations: one that has solved economic scarcity by filling everyone's bodily needs with the smallest ecological footprint possible while shifting the remainder of economic demand into the fundamentally unlimited space of Virtual Reality; and the second population were a bunch of reactionary jihadis.

I kind of wanted the "Return to the Old Ways" group to get in trouble with Sky Guard / Space Guard / Planetary Defense Organization, who kept all the really terrible weapons mothballed on the moon in case they needed to deflect any killer asteroids... or collapse any potential supernovas in the local group with a temporary blackhole. Possibly by making the rando kid they shanghaied a junior member of the Guard.



seitora said:
How's about the gazillionth-and-one novel about a Virtual Reality?
Well that's kind of what my big fanfic right now is about, so I'd want to do something a little different.

I think I'd rather do one where the Summoned Hero assumes by default that he's trapped in a Virtual Reality, since that's the explanation that he views as theoretically possible, instead of magic being real. That or "magic" is something like a software hack and he's getting firsthand proof that the Simulation Paradox is true.
 

balthanon

Well-Known Member
#31
daniel_gudman said:
Well, first off, I'm going to point out that Utopian societies are super-hard to set novels in. Because they fundamentally lack conflict, there's nothing to drive a story.
That is the general rule of thumb-- however, I'm pretty sure if people can make man vs nature exciting, there are forms of conflict that can exist in an otherwise Utopian society which can be played upon. :) I think it really depends on where you're going with Utopia-- just like not all dystopian societies are equally conflict ridden, I don't think you're going to end up with "perfect" peace. There's still the opportunity for conflict in something that threatens the society, between people within that society, etc... As a rule of thumb, it just isn't systemic because at that point you're no longer really in a utopia.

daniel_gudman said:
Utopian Science Ficition, as a rule, comes in two flavors: 1) Political Polemac that is extolling the virtues of some set of social / technological / whatever reforms that are the cause of the utopia, and 2) False Utopia or "Twist Utopia" settings where Things Are Not As They Seem!
Thus the issue that needs solving. ;) Good utopian feel-good futures where there isn't an ultimate moral to the story about why we shouldn't wish for good things because they'll come back and bite us on the ass. Though that said, #2 can be a lot of fun too.

daniel_gudman said:
Well, that being said, there was an anime called Fractale that was as close to a genuine utopia as anything I've ever goddam seen. The anime presented the people who sustained themselves on high-efficiency tube food while living cheaply in small trailers and doing everything in VR as living wrong, compared to the people who returned to the old ways of farming and living in solid towns and forsaking VR. But from my perspective as a viewer, we had two populations: one that has solved economic scarcity by filling everyone's bodily needs with the smallest ecological footprint possible while shifting the remainder of economic demand into the fundamentally unlimited space of Virtual Reality; and the second population were a bunch of reactionary jihadis.
Hmm... you know, I think I started that, but I only watched the first episode. That does sound fairly utopian to me and I suspect if I watch the rest my views would line up with yours. I always thought the Matrix could have made for a pretty decent Utopia too, with a slightly better relationship between man and robot. :)

It's not an anime, but I think my favorite Utopian movie was actually Demolition Man. Outside of the fact that there were a few bad seeds threatening the whole thing and our own favorite self-destructive vices were all but extinct, that seemed to work about as well as anything else I've seen and people seemed largely happy. I think they were probably aiming for #2 above, but they didn't quite hit the mark.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
#32
I suppose if you do end up doing a VR thing as original fiction, there's tons of h-doujins about VR (and heck, even some actual shows like YuGiOh's filler arc) where the villain attempts to use VR to upload his or her mind into someone else's body, usually the villain being an old person and the somebody else being a young guy or girl with a full life ahead of him/her. Except this time, the villain could succeed.
 

Antimatter

Well-Known Member
#33
How about a play on the 'summed to another world' trope that's all the rage now.

But instead of 'being summoned' it's received a summons'.

As in they are suing him.

Turns out, the fantasy MMO he was king of the gankers/trolls/aholes in was actually tied to a fantasy universe, and they are tired of his BS.
 
#34
In all honesty, the simplest thing that daniel_gudman can do to write a Light Novel at this point is simply transliterate Fate/Revelation Online into a new, original work.

Rewrite the canon characters (the original characters wouldn't need much changing if any), rework the magic system, alter the setting of the virtual reality, set a new backdrop for the story's scenario, and you have something *mostly* new and interesting!

The premise itself wouldn't even have to change that much. The idea of keeping the players trapped inside the game could even be dropped, as players learning magic inside a video game and discovering that they can transfer those abilities to real life would bring an extra element of chaos that FRO doesn't have and deepen the sense of mystery.

If daniel_gudman wanted to write something more original and stray a bit from his original work while sticking to isekai, I would recommend either a Ring of Fire-style approach or do a spin on reverse-isekai.

In a Ring of Fire-style story, instead of one person or one small group being mysteriously transported to another world, an entire location or community gets transplanted, people, homes and all.

In the original Ring of Fire series, a fictional West Virginian town called Grantsville gets transported into Germany in 1631, in the middle of the Thirty Years War. This has been very successfully accomplished in fanfiction as well with the Halkegenia Online series, where ALfheim Online (Sword Art Online) gets actualized in the land of Halkegenia (Familiar of Zero).

This kind of story is not often explored, for the simple reasons of having to juggle a huge cast from the onset and the monumental task of worldbuilding and exploring large-scale culture clash, but it's not often explored, so it has a lot of fresh ground to stake out claims.

Reverse-isekai is exactly that, the idea of instead real people entering new, fantastical worlds, people from other worlds enter ours. This is not to be confused with the hidden world concept, where there is already a world of magic around and people don't see it, like in Harry Potter or the recent Ancient Magus' Bride.

There are a surprisingly small number of works that explore this concept, to my knowledge, but they include such works as the comedic The Devil is a Part-Timer, the divisive GATE (which explores traditional isekai, reverse-isekai, and a twist on the Ring of Fire), and the recent Re:CREATORS (which serves as a commentary on anime in general).

This is also a somewhat popular concept in fanfiction, with such works as the Emergence series (RWBY coming into real life) and an entire slate of brony wish fulfillment fantasies, most famously with "My Little Dashie" (brony finds and raises Rainbow Dash).

This is my take on what daniel_gudman could do, based solely on what he's accomplished in Fate/Revelation Online. Although I won't be offering any very specific story ideas, I believe that these concepts are great places to start, as they would allow for new ideas and concepts to flow naturally without breaking the mold too much on what has already been so well accomplished in FRO up to this point.

That's about all. Peace out.

(Kudos to the person who knows where I took that from)
 

Leidolf

Well-Known Member
#35
It could be done, but I'd go straight fantasy with a magical academy. The focus between different strengths and perspectives was a strong point.
 

seitora

Well-Known Member
#36
Something that popped up in my mind recently that might work best in the 'another world' ikesai genre that LN writers can't seem to get enough of. Something that's always thrown me off in stories with magic systems is usually they're in worlds where the vast majority of civilization is basically feudal age technology and political systems, and magic is just one more sign of the upper-class.

I keep reading novels where this is the case and thinking that all it takes is one mage-user to go and use his or her magic to divert a river, flatten out a hill, cause rainfall, etc. and basically build a village from the town up. Instead of fifty men labouring for weeks to divert a river for irrigation purposes, one wizard could do it in an afternoon sort of thing. and it never seems to happen.

of course it doesn't have to be an ikesai fic at all but if it was then the MC could at last have self-awareness. Particularly if he or she is too weak to be the Grand Poobah of the setting with uber-spells capable of decimating the villain king's army.

Then there could be some interesting dynamics where his spells actually _hurt_ the local economy since everyone else's labour is devalued because he is so productive with his spells.
 
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