Posted a short, Extra Chapter for Daybreak Volume 3, finally getting a chance to explain archery as well as two scenes that I dropped from the main story due to pace considerations. It's a fairly lighthearted read so, enjoy~
Volume 4 is currently in planning stages although work on it will start soon.
For anyone watching current anime, Kotarou -- the male protagonist from Tsuki ga Kirei -- is essentially a younger version of male Kaede (introverted, awkward, sensitive and easily embarrassed, but very disciplined in his aspirations). I challenge those who say "Kaede doesn't feel like a boy" to disagree with this =P
Now that Volume 3 has ended... a bit of self-reflection.
This volume was not received well. So as an author, I ended up having a do a lot of soul-searching in the past few weeks... longer, actually.
I've written in the last Daybreak Dev Diary that Volume 3 was me trying to tackle a particularly ambitious topic -- the judgmental biases of human perception -- that proved somewhat beyond my skills as a writer. Sure, I managed to finish the volume and make it... mostly work? But there were definitely some jarring parts, some poorly paced chapters, and a whole midsection that seemed to have thrown people off.
Sylviane -- the main focal point of Volume 3 -- was meant to be a bipolar character from the start. She has a rather mild (yes, mild!) form of a serious psychological illness, and it took a long time peeling back the many layers of issues. Her nearly-molesting Kaede and her suicidal-moment in Volume 2 were meant to be the first peeks of her Hypomania and Depressive episodes. Her bulimia was also a lead-up, as for somewhere between 75% to 90% of anorexia/bulimia suffers, the bulimia is actually a "secondary effect" of a stronger psychological disorder (most commonly chronic depression).
Then she actually, truly crashed in middle of Volume 3 and hit her lowest spot... and a lot of readers hated her for it, and what it did to Kaede in exchange.
(Spoiler warning up to Chapter 12.)
Sylviane's Concept Artwork by Hachi-Hana - still WIP
As typical for end-of-volume time, I go around making tons of edits. A comment by Kemm reminded me that Daybreak always had an awkward exposition (something beta-reader Himeko used to tell me a lot) so I went back to make edits to chapters 1-3. Not much change a reader wouldn't know already, except -- I added a bit more detail for Kaede's last memory before waking up in Hyperion. A reader once complaining that they had to wait until volume 3's first chapter before receiving any information about what Kaede was like on Earth, so...
Working with Hachi-Hana on more Daybreak art. Here's a Pascal concept sketch where she captured his personality in one pose.
Finally, volume 3 of Daybreak draws to a conclusion. The epilogue is now posted, the chapter references caught up, and many chapter edits pushed in (mostly minor, aside from two scenes in v3ch11; also the 'Onee' explanation in v3ch18). I also posted something fun for gamer folks.
To be honest, I'm not quite happy with the results. Writing volume 3 has shown me that my ambitions here exceeded my actual skill as a writer. The volume isn't paced well, nor does some chapters hold on their own. It's been a learning experience, but it may be years before I try a theme as hefty as this one -- as always, constructive criticism is welcomed ^^
For the readers who did enjoy volume 3 though, I also hope you learned something. See page 2 for the Dev Diary.
Daybreak volume 3 chapter 18 is posted (here). This should wrap up any cliffhangers left by the previous chapters, and most of the major themes presented this volume.
There's still a few minor scenes left... in the Epilogue. But while I originally wanted to post this before my trip out of the country, it doesn't seem like it'll happen. So for people who wants to wait until the volume is finished (at least another month), there's still one more, plus I have to make my general editing pass. There may also be another Daybreak Development Diary on the topic that ends this chapter... because it is a very important topic to me and one of the central themes of Daybreak.
At the same time, I hope it shows a fresh direction to take fantasy compared to (most of) the stories you've read.