— Part of notes/outline for Book03: The Arcane Side of Life
I’ve slowed down with work (for the moment) as I’m working on improving my eyesight naturally (I have more info on that on this eyesight blog of mine).
I’m currently able to work at the computer without glasses for short amounts of time. The text is a little blurry but it’s more relaxing for my eyes than having glasses on. I try not to wear them now except when absolutely necessary only (such as when driving or travelling).
I’m editing Book02 of the Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy — the second half is a terrible mess so I’ll be tweaking some things (and removing 1-2 new characters who aren’t really doing anything, or contributing much to the plot). I cleared a range of projects earlier in 2012, so progress on this trilogy has been not as quickly as I initially intended. But I will do my best to tie up any loose ends etc. :)
I intend to start writing Book03 today or tomorrow (I’ve expanded a bit of the outline — I like to have several points per chapter outline, for certain projects). I’ll be busy in October-November (will be participating in Singapore Writers Festival). I’ll do as much as I can for Book03 now, then see how much of the final product I can do over December 2012 (where I’ll finalise both Book02 and Book03 of the trilogy).
I’ll be seeing to a couple of projects before fully (re-)focusing on The Darker Side of Life (Book02).
There’s way too much going on in the plot so I intend to strip things down and remove 1-2 “unnecessary” new characters. The main storyline isn’t cohesive enough, so I’ll do my best to tweak those settings so that the “emotional intricacies” aren’t mishandled or compromised (after all, emotion is what moves a person, lol). I’m determined to set up a love triangle that is based more on something more than the involved characters’ “droolicious good looks and hotness factors” (I got so tired of the damage Twilight has inflicted upon culture and society, that I ended up writing a Twilight parody — the first in a list of parodies I’ll be working on…).
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On another note, the first time I heard about the role-playing game Shadowrun was in late 2010. I was born in 1986 and eventually grew to like NIN and cyberpunk-themed media during my mid-teens, but for some reason I missed out on a lot of info and news on Shadowrun (which combines the ‘cyberpunk’ and ‘urban fantasy’ genres, like I do in The Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy).
While there are several classic cyberpunk tropes that feature in my project, I generally try not to “totally copy” another earlier piece of work (where’s the fun in that?).
Even though I don’t really fancy MMORPG games (I like solo role-playing games best), I think Shadowrun would make a fantastic MMORPG, and will some day finally try out the game for myself (I’ll be getting a digital downloadable copy of the game in 2013 — see “Kickstarter” link below). If you like the blend of cyberpunk and urban fantasy, it’s definitely something you should check out!
Some links and info included below:
Shadowrun on Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shadowrun
Shadowrun Returns: Kickstarter ($400,000 goal / 5 days left to pledge)
— Shadowrun image from Kotaku
I hope to have the first rough edit of Book02 (The Darker Side of Life) ready by end of 2011, after which I’ll be going on to Book03 (The Arcane Side of Life). I’ll texturize/edit both books back-to-back (and probably release them around the same time too).
I’d like for certain future projects to take on a more mainstream appeal (my early work was mostly for discerning readers). I am now slowly getting better at balancing both idealism and realism (I was more “swingy” during early 20s). Maybe I enjoy the challenge(s) because everyone in my immediate family is entrepreneurial (all in the genes…).
It has taken me several years to realize that the type of romance I write is not emotional porn (just as the type of erotic fiction I write is not sexual porn). I continue to learn something new everyday. I think this awareness will help me with how I present/package some of my future projects (especially those which contain romantic and/or erotic elements).
I intend to focus on output (with commercial/mainstream projects) over 2012. I have several projects planned. I still intend to stay true to my brand of “meaningful entertainment.”
There’s a lot of stuff out there that promotes and celebrates shallow values, which is something I’ll always fight against.
It’s not just about/for myself, but for society as well (for the astrologically-inclined, I have Neptune and Uranus in the Ninth House). I appreciate the people who appreciate what I do. I’ll continue to improve myself so that I may use my time/skills/energy wisely and make some sort of useful contribution to society eventually.
It doesn’t matter whether I’m doing alternative or commercial work (or collaborating with others on a joint project). I need to stay true to the part of me that champions higher ideals and moral beauty :)
Real Love Versus Romance
P.S. I recently compiled a 4500-word mini collection of (informal) essays on commercialism’s de-spiritualizing effects on society.
* Free Download (PDF): PDF Download
I wrote and compiled a “mini collection” over the weekend (short stories for animal lovers). I was motivated/inspired by the (horrors of the) exotic skins trade.
“Laer” [the dark elf from the upcoming The Darker Side of Life (Book02 in Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy)] features in the last story of Skins. It covers an incident that occurred in his younger days ;)…
* Free Download (PDF): PDF Download
* More Info: Skins @ jessINK
I’ve added the summary and synopsis for The Darker Side of Life (Book02) on the about page.
I’ll probably get straight to the first draft of Book03 once the current draft for Book02 is done (since the “momentum” is in full swing at the moment — might as well make the most of it).
I’ll still need to spend some time refining the drafts.
I had three separate rounds of “enhancements” for the first draft of Book01 — one round for the cyberpunk elements, one round for the romantic elements, and one round for the fantasy elements (plus a couple of rounds of edits after that). I suppose it’ll be the same sequence for Book02 and Book03 (both of which I’m aiming to complete in early 2012).
A non-cliched love triangle has been established in Book02. I’ll take extra care to keep it non-cliched, but still intense.
P.S. Here’s my (quite) recently set up Facebook page — I usually cross-post from Twitter/elsewhere (saves time)…
An interview with Ithilnin of The Other Side of Life. Nin discusses his role as the protagonist in Jess C Scott’s novel and his relationship with the author.
* Thanks to Celia for originally posted this at her blog/website (now known as Celia Can Read)!
Celia: How did you first meet your writer?
Nin: She wrote the two words “cyberpunk” and “elves” together, during a brainstorming session. I somehow came into existence, somewhere along the way. I was her first “cyberpunk elf” creation.
Celia: Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?
Nin: I can’t say it didn’t cross my mind—I’ve known of Jess’s interest in writing what she likes to call “factual fiction.”
Celia: What are your favorite scenes in your book: action, dialog, romance?
Nin: Pretty much any scene where I get to strut my stuff.
Celia: Did you have a hard time convincing your author to write any particular scenes for you?
Nin: I voiced my concerns about some sections of the first draft being really clichéd. I’m thankful I was heard. Since Jess identifies as a non-conformist, it was my duty to ensure she went for something original/authentic > formulaic.
Celia: Do you infiltrate your writer’s dreams?
Nin: She’s dreamt of me on a white bed in a castle in the sky, with tall red candles lining the hallway. I was apparently lying on the bed, shirtless. I was never informed if there was a continuation to that first dream…
Celia: What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?
Nin: I’m either playing with gadgets, and/or explaining to people what ‘cyberpunk’ means (https://elventrilogy.wordpress.com/cyberpunk/).
Celia: Are you currently engaged in a relationship?
Nin: Yes, though as life would have it, my love story was kinda cut short before it developed into something deeper. I await my fate in Books 2 and 3.
Celia: Are you happy with the genre your writer has placed you in?
Nin: I guess so, because I get the best of both worlds [ethereal fantasy elements + rebelliousness of cyberpunk = edgy chic (if I had to use a fashion term…)].
Celia: If you could rewrite anything in your book, what would it be?
Nin: I’d add in bios about myself and the other protagonists, alongside the “author bio.”
Celia: Do you like the way the book ended?
Nin: Not exactly (considering what I have to go through in Book 1). Ah, but while Book 1 has ended, the full story/trilogy hasn’t!
Celia: Would you be interested in a sequel if your writer was so inclined?
Nin: She’s working on the outline of Book 2. She says the outline is really weak and choppy at the moment (which was the same case with the initial stages of Book 1). In the meantime she’s working on a couple of anthologies, and a dragon-themed novella. I asked to be in the latter, and she said okay. I’d be happy to make a cameo appearance.
Celia: Do you believe that you are suitably portrayed in electronic books or would you rather be in paperback only?
Nin: I live in the future, but I’m pretty old-school in several ways. Still, I like being presented in both formats. I like doubling up.
Celia: Did you have any input into the book cover design?
Nin: Yes, I requested to be featured on the book cover [since Jess happened to draw a sketch sometime in 2010, which looked exactly like me (right down to the hairstyle)]. “That’s me,” I said of the sketch. “Oh yeah!” she replied, and slightly tweaked the initial sketch on Photoshop, before selecting a suitable font for the title on the cover.
Celia: What is the lamest characteristic your writer has attributed to you?
Nin: She makes me have a pair of prosthetic ears on standby, in order to “blend in” with humans better. I hate wearing those things.
Celia: If you could give yourself a superpower, what would you choose?
Nin: I’d be a mad scientist (that combines art and science).
Now that I’ve finally gotten Primal Scream out of the way (my huge second erotic-and-non-pornographic anthology!), I’ll be seeing to an incubus/succubus-themed anthology. As I wrote in the linked blog post (on my main blog), I’m aiming to finish that one before Winter 2011, because I want to reserve the cold months to complete the Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy.
There’s just something about winter/snow and elves (and dark elves) that make for a very nice combination.
I’ve been gathering notes/ideas for Book02 — I intend to amp up the dystopian/cyberpunk elements. Below is a little bit of info on “what I (vaguely/roughly) have in mind”:
- THE DARKER SIDE OF LIFE (Book #2) — Sometime in 2012
Book #2 in the Cyberpunk Elven Trilogy.
LOGLINE / SUMMARY (tentative): A hybrid elf child combats a dark elf’s scheme to exploit and turn a virtual reality system into a weapon of mass destruction.
NOTES: This book will probably feature a British dark elf (the leader), dark elf hybrids, and elements of a sociopolitical nature. I’ll probably attempt a non-cliched but still intense ‘love triangle’ [involving Nin and Anya (High Elven leader, and female human protagonist from Book #1)]. I might bring in some cybernetics/bioware/DNA in Book02.
* UPDATE (17 Oct 2011): Synopsis available on about page.
COVER ART: I have a cover in mind (something mainstream/edgy, black ink on yellow background, semi-mangaesque feel again)…I’ll do the cover art once the textual content is complete :)
UPDATE (13 Sept 2011): First tentative try-out cover (yep, now to actually get to the interior/textual content!) —
I often wish for 3-5 clones of myself (so that I can complete various different projects faster). I think cloning might feature quite prominently in Book03…
P.S. Also, it took me about 2 years to come up with an official mission statement, which is as follows:
“jessINK is dedicated to publishing original stories that are both meaningful and entertaining. We focus on style and substance over short-term success with current fads and marketing hype.”