The System Apocalypse Arcs

Had a few questions and comments about the System Apocalypse after Book 2 was released.  One comment I’ve seen is that Book 2 was more of a ‘filler’ book, which seems strange to me. I guess what people are looking for is somewhat different than what I envision(ed). Here’s roughly what I’m working on:

Arc 1 (First Trilogy)

Introduction of the System to Earth and basically takes place in 1 year.

Book 1 basically sets the scene and deals with John’s response to it.  Book 2 is a coming of age for John and a realisation of what he is and what he needs to do. It also continues to play out the changes including the Dungeons and Swarms.

Book 3 has the world shaping up to what it will eventually be with high level zones established, big nasty monsters running around and the conclusion of the Whitehorse arc.

Arc 2 (Second Trilogy)

By the way, everything from this point on is nebulous. I’m a panster not a plotter, so everything I have here is rough ideas.

The three books (and this might easily be more!) in this arc cover Earth. I tenatively have Canada & North America to be dealt with in Book 1 (it might be book 2 for the US actually) so there’ll be timeskips and time compression galore

Book 2 or 3 will cover a wider range of areas and continents. We’ll definitely see what happens in Europe & Asia, and we might see a big timeskip as Earth slowly redefines itself along with humanity.

Arc 3 (Third Trilogy)

This arc basically takes us out of Earth and into the wider Galactic scene. We finally see some of the other worlds that have been hinted at and will basically conclude John’s journey.

A word of caution

Now, I call them trilogy’s because I like writing in 3’s. These arcs are also a bit more malleable since I expect I’ll be time skipping a lot more in Arcs 2 and 3.

Tentatively, what I’ll probably do is write the entire series as best I can in the above arcs and then fill in the blanks later.,   Part of it is that writing the same thing for each city will get repetitive, and if there’s an interesting plot for a city, it might take up a whole book.  Rather than derail the overall arcs, I might hold off on writing that and skip pass to write that plot as an individual ‘stand alone’ book later.

That being said – ‘pantser’. I might have an overall idea of what each scenario / book / theme is going for, but the eventual book is often different from what I planned. Often better too.

Now, before anyone asks.  Book 3 is being written right now. I’m about 15% done. It is VERY unlikely to be out before end of the year since my day job gets very busy during this period.  Expect it maybe February?

Filler, The Foreigner and Protagonists

I just watched the Foreigner, Jackie Chan’s latest Western film.  It was decent, though significantly less action oriented than his previous owrk. No surprise there, he is getting old.  It did have some serious acting by all involved and was quite decent in that regard.

However, Jackie Chan was a filler protagonist. After watching the entire movie, I was left with the realisation that nearly nothing that Jackie Chan’s character did actually had any effect on the plot / the bad guys. If we removed him from the entire plot, nearly everything would have played out very similar to what happened.  The bad guys would have been caught and punished (in one form or another).

He was, as mentioned, a filler protagonist.  Now, filler scenes / episodes are pretty common especially int erms of TV series / any on-going medium. You see it a lot in Anime TV series like Naruto or Cowboy Bebop or even in the Adventurer’s Heart.  In many cases, these scenes are either to flesh out characters or just to change the tone / mood.  I am, not surprisingly, not opposed to filler episodes, especially when they are done in moderation.

However, a filler protagonist is not moderation in my view.  The protagonist needs to have an effect, if not on the main ‘plot’, on the small portion of the plot the character is involved in.  Daniel in the Healer’s Gift might not change the course of the battle with the Orcs, but he does effect the small portion of the fight he is involved in.  Jackie Chan’s character, while getting the revenge he sought, ends up not affecting the plot at all.

Contrast this to Taken which is another revenge story where Liam Neeson’s character exacts his revenge and gets his daughter back.  At the end of the day, the difference is scope – the Foreigner attempts to showcase Pierce Brosnan and other sides of the story, attempting to give us a broader scope of the story.  I believe if they had focused instead much more on Jackie Chan and his story, we would have had a better overall film rather than a weird story that just didn’t satisfy in the end.

Paperback released!

I have just uploaded the paperback version of Life in the North: An Apocalyptic LitRPG.

There won’t be a paperback version of A Healer’s Gift or An Adventurer’s Heart but once I am able to create a box set for that, I’ll create a paperback version.  Since each of those books are only 40-50k each, I figure a full paperback of all 3 would make sense.

The other thing is the cost of producing paperbacks.  Just to get the backcover images, it cost an additional $100.  Now, knowing that each 1,000 eBooks I sell, I (might) sell a single paperback copy, you can see how it would take a VERY long time for covers to be paid back.

Thus, only producing for the System Apocalypse series for now.