Daybreak Development Diary #1

As volume 3 design moves towards wrapping up and the writing starts, I felt like posting something similar to what game studios do these days. Sue me =P

(also a perspective on genderbenders)

You can probably guess from the end of volume 2 where events are heading. Volume 3-4 is what I call the 'Burning Throne' arc, which was originally planned to tail volume 1 until I realized that things just weren't set up for it. Although vol.3 will begin with several pleasant days of rest & recuperation in Nordkreuz where the cast shall interact and digest, the story will soon shift towards the western conflict between continental powerhouses:

  • The Empire of Rhin-Lotharingie and its autonomous vassal kingdoms: Garona, Gleann Mòr, Ceredigion, and Avorica. Some of you might be able to guess which Earth regions each one represents ^^ In addition there is a 'new' subspecies with deep roots among the nobility: the Faekissed.
  • The Cataliyan Caliphate and its (relatively) enlightened theocracy with multi-species ethnicity: humans campaigning alongside descendants of the vanquished Elemental Lords.
  • The Holy Imperium continues to lay on pressure through the Holy See and Papal Inquisition, putting them at odds against Rhin-Lotharingie's religious practices and especially the Kingdom of Garona, where the Albigese Heresy steadily spreads its wings.

 

Things are also looking up in the character art side. However I'm not going to say much more until I have something finished to show (and not just discussion sketches).


 

Furthermore, while I've edited many parts of the first and second volumes since finishing vol.2, here are few pieces of particular significance to point out:

"Throughout her entire life, Kaede almost never lost control of her emotions. Yet this was already her second time since coming to Hyperion.

A small corner of her mind couldn't help but wonder if being a teenage girl had something to do with it. Although not a psychological expert, Kaede once read that the hormone imbalance of undergoing puberty had a critical impact in how teen minds perceived and responded to situations.

There was also the fact that female brains were wired very differently from male brains, or how neurotransmitter roles varied between genders, or...

Perhaps shedding a few more tears were the least of her self-adapting changes since arriving in this new world." -- volume 1 chapter 14

(rant warning!)

So I finally got 'fed up' with explaining endlessly that people are taking mainstream genderbend tropes as 'what should happen' when it's complete BS. No, you do not keep your exact personality and preferences when you genderbend, because human judgement/personality is tied to emotional feedback, which is a biological function determined by neurotransmitters, which functions differently between male and female genders not to mention produced in different quantities. That sense of 'individuality' you're so proud of could easily be manipulated by injecting chemicals into your brain, or even magnetically shutting down parts of your brain to turn you into a psychopath (science is scary!).

There is in fact an entire scientific field that studies the effects of gender biology on cognitive and emotional functions, for those interested in facts instead of tropey wish-fulfillment hogwash.

While I do not presume to be a professional on this or tell you that Daybreak is 'definitively right', I can proudly claim that: unlike most genderbenders out there, at least I'm trying!

It is true that Kaede isn't particularly resistant towards many of the changes. But then (1) it's written what Kaede wasn't the macho type even before the summoning and (2) accepting natural adaptation to circumstances is a sign of emotional intelligence (a buzzword that management loves more and more; if you haven't heard of it yet, I suggest you read more on the topic, because the success of your careers and relationships will depend on it).

Lastly, to those of you thinking sexuality should definitely remain the same after genderbend? That's no different from the Church claiming that being a homosexual is a choice (and therefore a sin), rather than a deterministic effect of genetics. If sexual orientation is purely or even mostly circumstantial, homo/bisexuality would not exist in the world's conservative cultures where there is so much backlash -- yet it does exist! Even in nations like South Africa with its infamous, horrifying high rate of 'corrective rape'!

When getting a new body, a person's sexuality essentially resets. Their retained values and memories might deny the new sexuality, sure, but one's sexuality doesn't change just by denying it. Otherwise Gay Christians wouldn't struggle all their lives and Priests would no longer molest little boys!

(phew! feels much better to let this out!~)


 

"Either way, Kaede suspected that as a subspecies, Samarans had far less of a sex drive than average humans. It would certainly explain their low population growth over the centuries, despite their innate healthcare and a policy of staying out of foreign wars. Furthermore, as devotees of the reincarnation cycle, abandoning pleasures of the flesh was a necessary step on the path to enlightenment.

...Assuming their faith paralleled Earth equivalents anyway. Kaede had yet to confirm any details, since 'sacrilegious' evangelical writings were banned from Weichsel by the Heresy Laws." -- volume 2 chapter 11

If you ever wondered why Kaede seems to lack the interest to 'experiment' like most boys do in genderbender material. Note that attraction and sex drive are very different things. There is no major religion that does not believe in platonic love as the ultimate of virtues: compassion.

That's all for today!

~~ Aorii

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60 thoughts on “Daybreak Development Diary #1

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  1. Rayleigh-Jeans

    Hello,

    Before beginning, i wanted to say i'm a big fan of daybreak.
    I was looking for a realistic fantasy themed story for such a long time now ( by fantasy and realism i mean "you set up yours self laws, fine but at least make it reasonable". Don't go looking down on normal people with techn when you send messages using a fucking bird...

    About the matter of genderbending, i think your point of view is refreshing while showing deep thinking and i couldn't care less about it being right or not in RL. I just love the way you make Kaede struggle between his male mind and her female new body with the brain being made of these two.

    About the story, well... Being a french native i have to confess that reading tactics was really... really hard ( and it's an euphemism...) but really worth it.
    I found in daybreak a great relationship based realistic fantasy themed story ( sometimes warm and sweet or sometimes cold and relentless) and i can't thank you enough for it.

    Finally, have you ever heard about the trilogy "leviathan" by scott westerfield ? It's a story about a crossdressing female in a steampunk fantasy revised version of the first world wars and i give me the same kind of vibes as daybreak

    I will stop here and not go more in depht about the story because it's not the time nor the place for that.
    Thanks for reading and sorry for my bad self-taught english.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      I'm glad you enjoyed it~
      I think the term is 'setting consistency' x) having a properly built world that with laws that actually makes sense and self-upholds.

      "Being a french native i have to confess that reading tactics was really... really hard" - have to say this made me laugh a bit. True that French and tactics hasn't gone hand-in-hand since Napoleon

      Just looked up "Leviathan". Looked interesting, though it reminded me of the gripe I have against YA novels that the story is always 'solo adventure' type; the protagonists never put in a strong position of authority with responsibility despite the scale of conflicts surrounding them. (even the Hunger Games does this terribly and I love making fun of it xD)

      Reply
      1. Rayleigh-Jeans

        I admit since a certain time "tactics" hadn't been our forte but i can proudly/sadly ? claim that our level of internal politics, our "intrigues" aren't so simple even now.

        I understand what you mean but honestly i don't think a book with a mc in a strong position of authority will sell well ( i talk about young adult or younger). Because authority comes with so much constraints and duties that being a good ruler rarely comes with doing things you find right at personal level. It requires maturity to accept this and a pratical mind to really enjoy these decision-making kind of stories but young people are more about dreams, personnal achievements and convictions.

        Unlike Hunger games (which i stopped reading at vol 2 disappointed with the fact that the Mc ended being a "symbol" (pawn) for the story) "Leviathan" run parally with the story with every historical events being transformed in a steampunk well thought universe.
        But what i truly liked about the story is the how the male lead grew from an arrogant prick to an arrogant yes but mature young. And how the Mc show that despite being a female at this era she can beat up some arrogant lad and take the lead.

        Reply
        1. AoriiAorii Post author

          No France politicks too much and too well (so much that their generals spend more time intriguing than studying war). Must be all that time spent rivaling Austria =P

          Yes I recognize the sales factor, that's why I don't really like YA as a genre or a target audience (too immature). Personally, I grew up on Romance of the Three Kingdoms, so I've always been fascinated by the dilemmas of those in power caught between ideology and practicality. Though some of this may be a cultural clash, as even the most idealistic far eastern literature (such as Water Margin) takes it time hammering in the important of social responsibility, loyalty, and duty. Song Jiang rejoined the government to serve the people knowing he would likely die by the hands of the corrupt bureaucrats whom he fought. How many Robin Hood figures in the west did that?

          Katniss is incapable of being anything more than a figurehead anyways. She has neither the charisma, the foresight, the organization skills, the mental acumen, not even the moral integrity of being a good leader. In the end she's just a kid swept away by a revolution she accidentally triggered, and I could say the same for most YA protagonists.

          Reply
          1. Rayleigh-Jeans

            " She has neither the charisma, the foresight, the organization skills, the mental acumen, not even the moral integrity of being a good leader. In the end she's just a kid swept away by a revolution she accidentally triggered"
            Yup you have just summarized the YA genre but you forgot the most important things. It's the MC development/growth. I just love reading about the mental growth of the Mc to a complex (evil or kind) adult. I never judge the context or the personnages alone. It's always the ways they interact that matter for me. And it's what i love about Daybreak about Kaede about Pascal. ( well in this case the setting are interresting as bonus).

            "Romance of the three kingdoms" hum considering that i have just graduated from ado stuff (well i'm just 20 too) i have never dared reading it by fear of not understanding as well as i would.
            But I think i will give it a shot after my exams.

            Ps: I'm glad for your replies, it's kind of cool to be able to talk to an author you like and to see her reply :3.

          2. AoriiAorii Post author

            I admit that most YAs do tackle emotional maturity very well, coming to grip with personal issues and establishing a sense of self. I just want to see some social maturity, watch them become responsible members of society who take roles and responsibilities equal to their opportunity and unique station as a main character -- much like a Prince or Princess would be expected to rise to expectations.
            I've been told that ROTK is hard to understand without a good grasp of traditional Asian culture (especially honor and loyalty, in much the same style as Japanese Samurai), just a forewarning ^^
            Talking to you has been quite enjoyable so, my pleasure~ ^^

  2. FlameStrike

    I'll just chime in to say I agree with your views Aorii. I love Daybreak and its characters. Don't let naysayers influence your writing. Do what you think is best for your story! Well I'm not saying to ignore constructive criticism, just if someone is like "NO I DO NOT LIKE THIS CUZ MY OWN PERSONAL PREFENCES" tell them "TOO BAD IT'S MY STORY!" Hahahahaha!

    Seriously though Daybreak is probably the best Gender Bend I've read that takes the aspect seriously. For example Alice Tale has insane fluffiness and cuteness, but the Gender Bend is played for laughs. For all intents and purposes Alice is pretty much a girl that just occasionally says "I'MA MAN!" in a cute fashion. A lot of GBs I've read are like that. Of course I love those too, but what I mean is Daybreak has something pretty unique, and I like it.

    Reply
  3. Gawd

    Quoting Aorii here: "Lastly, to those of you thinking sexuality should definitely remain the same after genderbend? That's no different from the Church claiming that being a homosexual is a choice (and therefore a sin), rather than a deterministic effect of genetics. If sexual orientation is purely or even mostly circumstantial, homo/bisexuality would not exist in the world's conservative cultures where there is so much backlash -- yet it does exist! Even in nations like South Africa with its infamous, horrifying high rate of 'corrective rape'!"

    i have a bit of a disagreement with the statement that sexuality is determined by genetics or hormones. from the 50s to today there are researchers who study sexuality and they all have one thing in common the results of their study coincides with the tide of political and public opinion. there is nothing i know of that for a fact with hard science proves the cause of a particular sexual bent, because for every study that claims there is a physiological reason there is another claiming that its psychological.

    and to the point of backlash deterring homosexuality if it was not genetic i ask if incest is genetic? there is just as much or sometimes more backlash over that, but it still happens is there an incest gene somewhere? one that specifically says you cant physically love anyone but your (insert relative here)? but there are people who claim to be unable to find anyone but that relative physically attractive. i am not saying that these things are the same, but it does in my opinion give a bit more weight to environment and emotion over genetics in the discussion of sexuality.

    ok now since i dared to step away from the socially accepted (Cause) of sexual preference i shall put on my flame retardant suit

    Reply
    1. Gawd

      btw i do love the story and will continue reading it i hope to be reading for a long time to come. you are the author and therefore can not be wrong about the direction you decide to take your story.

      Reply
    2. AoriiAorii Post author

      Humans are naturally biased. Researchers are not different (even if some of them like to think otherwise). Social perception will ALWAYS affect the results of research. Oh, and the Academia is just as political as anywhere else -- researchers want to make a good name for themselves and avoid results that may destroy their careers, even if those results seemed true.

      I can't argue for incest one way or another. 'Incest' is not a sexual orientation. There are no population groups who are only attracted to blood relations yet nobody else, assuming they find others just as physically attractive and emotionally close. Personally I believe that biologically, we simply don't care about incest. Our bodies cannot tell whom is related to us by sight, smell, etc. It's our logic that 'incest is disgusting and harmful' that drives us away from it. I bet there are PLENTY of people who had sexual attraction towards a close family member at one point or another in their lives; they simply decided not to act upon it.
      Remember I'm not saying the values and emotions doesn't play a major role in attraction, just that genetics plays such a big role that resetting genetics requires the process to completely re-evaluate. A metaphor would be switching your computer's OS kernel but retaining the same harddrive -- same data, sure, but how that data is processed will be drastically different.

      Reply
  4. Dain

    Nice to know two volumes are planned for the upcoming arc. It should allow to dive even deeper into various things along the way and still catch a breath between stuff.

    Now, regarding the gender issues. We know not so much about it, gender change without consent (here it's actually even more than that - it's essentially a new body, with different skeletal structure, biology, etc.). How exactly would that play out? For issue this complex there is uncountable number of opinions and uncountable number of possibilities, and whatever route this work is taking, it's but only one of such possible ways. There is no 'one true answer', there are far more shades than just black and white, and nothing is ever carved in stone, so claiming something absolutely has to stay this way and not the other seems unwise (I'd guess great many things would not stay the same (some apparent soon after, others taking more time to dawn upon) with such a colossal body overhaul; but I'm hardly an expert on the subject, so I stop there for now). Leave the typical baseless tropes outside the window though. Evidently author does do his homework on the subject, seemingly weighing in current knowledge plus characters personality and circumstances involved from victims perspective, so all I can say really is two thumbs up for that, and looking forwards to reading more.

    Ah, and science sure is scary. Though in a good way.

    Reply
  5. Mmm, mostly agree. Just... it's a bit like saying it's a vending machine. You can simplify it by saying (coin in can out) or you can complicate it with wiring and such, but in the end it's a machine. Likewise, when observing people, everything is evidently complicated, but when cut to it's barest, anything illogical is a flaw or feature.

    Reply
  6. Cyregnosis

    After reading this I decided that I wanna be a psychopath now. Do you guys have any ideas how to become one? If there is, I would like it to be safe, painless and cheap.
    About Kaede. I think he/she is the most realistic gender bent character. My favorite part of the novel is the 'Burn them with the flamethrower' part.
    I love lolis and shotas equally! I adore cute stuff!! But for me macho is EVIL...
    My sentences are flowing really badly.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Install a permanent electromagnetic hat on your head to short-circuit the part of your brain that handles empathy.
      Side affects may include police and sensitive/knowledgeable people disgusted by your mere presence.

      Reply
      1. Cyregnosis

        The side effect won't work against ME! My presence is already disgusting to most people if I acted normally so I would go into my 'other' normal mode in order to cancel that. I think activating psycho mode would aggravate my already unpleasant aura causing the police to go aggressive or afraid of me. I wonder how would it feel to other humans when they watch guro stuff full of pain and suffering because I laugh when they die slowly and frown if they died quickly. The best guro for me is an excruciating guro but still yanderes are the best!
        If I am a normal person I would add a on/off switch to it be able freely toggle between psycho mode and normal mode without removing the hat.
        Rather than that I think I need money to hire a pro to make it for me, I don't want it to be short-circuiting the parts of the brain I did not specify.
        Why is it that I, a guy feel nauseous when I look at large oppai?

        Reply
        1. AoriiAorii Post author

          Try taking your hand and slowly pull strips of flesh off it as though it was BBQ pork. That's what I feel when I see guro...
          Anyways, it sounds like you may have an empathic disconnect. The more 'empathy' someone has, the harder it is to watch someone else suffer without cringing.
          Why nauseous? no clue. But low empathy is typically (not always) a side-effect of poor treatment by others in the initial years of life. I don't know anything about you, but those facts you listed does not say good things about your mother's maternal behavior.

          Reply
          1. Cyregnosis

            But still laughing at others with worse problems than me is epic especially those charity campaign ads.In my childhood, I have been isolated from my cousins and brother because I am rather different to them as I prefer games and literature over studying and sports. At school I was good at stuff other kids are bad and I can pass other subjects without studying. I got into fights with my slightly poisonous mouth and I never fought back but fled every time. My personality while I was a child was really terrible in fact I score A's on Morals tests but my grade was D (lol).
            I am super excited on the third volume of Daybreak. I wish there would be more new and colorful ideas like the skiing flamethrower wielding vikings, freaking flying whales and the original tofu slime.
            And by the way, my mom is the best one in this world!!! In fact I have a bit of Oedipus complex.

  7. Name

    Fiction is a means to convey a story, and by its nature it doesn't need to follow reality at all. And authors can write those stories the way they want, without having to pay heed to what readers think about it. But conversely, readers are entitled to their opinion and don't have to accept what the author writes with any excuse they want being valid. There's no contract to breach and no one is being forced to do things a certain way. Ultimately I see a discussion such as this one about how true gender bending would work pointless for the first reason I mentioned. The only thing that matters is whether a reader likes how it is or not and thus decides to keep reading the story the author writes.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Of course. I'm just tired of people telling me that I'm "wrong" just because I'm not following their tastes. So here's some scientific big guns backing my approach up.

      Reply
  8. dragon1412

    Never thought we would have this discussion 1 day, well scientifically, the topic of genderbend actually discussed quite a lot before in psychology and neuro science field, i remember my professor once answer when a student in my class bring it up.
    Basically, it is depend on your memories and your previous experience as a different gender, since as he said, a girl who became a boy have an easier time accepting compare to a boy became a girl, this is due to natural defensive system of a girl is based on relationship and boy is logic. There is no point in 5-10 years when you experience gender change, but if you are 15 or above then there is problem, Basically, at this age, the person in question has already etablished their own self and their gender is a part of it, now, we all know that human is scary adaptable to situation, but it impossible to overturned someone self unless you broke their mind and even in that case, some of their "self " still remains. Even when you changed your gender, it's true that the physical might cause some change but it still impossible to overturned the "self". Even when someone change his personality, when given the chance, their original personality immedietly emerge, that's just how it is. This is why some people with homosexuality is curable while the other is not.
    In Hyperion, Kaede is already at university level, which mean, he should already have a "self" that defined who he is with about 20 years of experiences backed it up so it actually rather hard for a physical change to affect his mentality. He will get affected, sure but it actually rather impossible for Kaede to be atractted to any guy unless she have lived in a girl body in at least 10-20 years.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      I agree that "self" remains. A person would retain their core beliefs and values -- which is true for Kaede just that her most tightly held values (humanism, tolerance, karma, etc) weren't gender-focused. But keep in mind "self" is a logical aspect of the mind, which may affect the emotional but doesn't determine it. If I pump you full of happiness neurotransmitters whenever you saw an attractive guy, I bet I can change your outlook and behavior. This is why there's the concept of "Conditioning", which is NOT limited to only below 20 year olds.

      As noted to Sanngrior below -- http://krytykal.org/daybreak-development-diary-1/comment-page-1/#comment-9367 -- your mind will happily toss away your personality in order to adapt from dramatic changes.

      Reply
      1. Abyssal

        and don't forget that people's mind and body is not separated, hormones is scary stuff.. even if a person "self" remains what your body tell you attractive is attractive, funny when pascal doesn't included.. already brotherzoned..?

        Reply
      2. dragon1412

        actually this is easy to answer, when human faced with, let's say, a trauma, there is commonly 2 direction the reaction will take, the 1st is to blocked the memories of said trauma entirely, with the 2nd being make the memories less important to lighten the damage.

        For the sake of the discussion, let's say a woman got r*ped, there will be 2 common reactions, of course there are others type as well but let's not complicated it anymore, 1st is not talking about it and continued on as it never happened and the 2nd is possessed the thinking like " what'e the big deal, it's just sex?" to lighten the damage, this is how mental defense work. To be specific, in Hyperion case, Kaede is extremely unlikely to fall into the 1st case, since it'd required her to create memories enough to blocked her previous life memories and the gender-change itself is very hard to caused such measured to be used. So she'd fall into the 2nd case, create new memories, lowering it's importance or alter it to lighten the damage. It's true that your mind will switched your personality to cope with the damage. This is also related to "conditioning" concept you told about, there was actually result showing how a person memories reject the external stimuli to conditions.

        Now the problem is per see, not in 20 years old or not, but with Puberty, that's right, Puberty. When someone reached puberty, it's will make someone aware of their own gender and that's also the age where people starting to developed their core value, Kaede is obviously gone through puberty, and have experiences with dating a girl before, this will be the greatest barrier against the acceptance toward new change. I do agree that Kaede will, in time, change a portions of her personality but as the story goes, her change is way too fast, she need time to at least cope with both sides since as of the time, the female side is considerably have weaker time available compare to her male side, At the very least, she would take quite a time to accept her new change before reaching the ultimate conclusion that is whether fusing both sides of her/him or let's the female side prevail.

        Reply
        1. AoriiAorii Post author

          I don't think her female side is "prevailing" anytime soon. Just some traits showing up...

          Reply
  9. Anon

    What is more important though is that it's a fictional story. While it is a fact hormones effect the mind, that does not mean it has to be relevant to a fictional story, especially one with magic.

    Personally in regards to Hyperion I stopped reading (indefinitely on hold a bit after the flame thrower bit) because I didn't like this change in the main character. I'd have preferred if the author had either; ignored romance/lust all together, or made it an actual Yuri story which would make it far more appealing to a broader audience (The majority of male to female genderbender stories aren't even Yuri (Most commonly the MC falls for their male childhood friend, or the guy responsible for their gender change) so it's not like would make it cliche, if anything I think people would appreciate the author contributing to the niche), or just not included the genderbender element at all (Had the MC female to being with) since it only serves to make the audience cringe in this specific case (Even Kaede herself cringes at it).

    To be clear I don't hate stories with a characters gender changing from male to female and them falling for a man (I read plenty of Manga like this). It's just in the case of Hyperion I felt it was out of place and detracted from the experience for me.

    In anycase that's my insignificant opinion on the matter, feel free to ignore it.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Part of that may be true. Daybreak started out as a genderbender short which evolved into a story, rather than a story designed with genderbender premise (noted in Author's Notes). I always thought it made an interesting perspective while Kaede examines a new world, but (shrug).
      Also... I didn't discount yuri. You did =P Attraction to men / women isn't a mutually exclusive choice you know...

      Reply
  10. Chuz

    wow... what a long rants, lol. so, there are many that actually ask about Kaede's "preferenace" now. it's great that it won't go toward the direction on many gender-bend story where the MC still retain her sexual preference evenn though she already became a girl. while i think that kind of yuri-yuri thing is fine, i stil think that daybreak goes to a good direction. good job mate! can't wait for volume 3. ah, i also never noticed about specieses. i always thought that the people who live in that world is a normal human being just like in real world. well, there's a dhampir here so i guess it's not that strange. so, basicaly, even though all of them look the same (just like normal human), there's a possibility that it actually is a diffrent species, right? like samaran is actually a completely different human from the human of nordkreuz. what a new discovery...

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Hence why I call them "subspecies", kinda like different types of Timber Wolves (a species) from different continents with little differences.
      Don't rule yuri out either! xD Honestly, Kaede's still trying to figure out things herself.

      Reply
  11. Sanngrior

    nyahahahaha :3 you tell 'em Aorri :3

    though I personally believe my tastes won't change, mostly because I am a relatively screwed up balance between mental sound and virtual insanity. In some respects I have a strong mentality in that I have never collapsed, crashed, broken down or allowed people to decide my actions, I am highly susceptible to personal influence both positive and negative :s (I have succeeded in going from healthy to full on Ill by accidently convincing myself that I was... apparently acting to trick your mom stops being an act once it actually happens) I also took a psychological test that pretty much defined my mental state as gender neutral, with my biological gender showing the weakest influence :S

    At least everyone who reads your post (and shows a modicum of intelligence) will finally realise that just because it is over-used in a particular way, that doesn't make it true or limiting to such a way xD as if the discovery of the flame only succeeded in keeping us warm when we are cold :P

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      The mind is a curious thing. It will actually generate FAKE memories if you try to convince yourself said something happened for long enough (or if others tried to convince you). They've tested this, and it's kinda disturbing. My psychologist friends calls it one of the mind's "defenses" for adapting to situations. The brain's main goal is to stop itself from going into shock / emotional breakdown / etc, not to maintain one's personality -- which it's happy to toss aside for the purpose of 'safety'.

      Kinda shocking.

      Reply
  12. NottteBoy97

    This is my first attempt to comment on this website so apologies for any errors in advance.
    I just want to make sure but are the Samarans basically hyperion's Jews? I just want to make sure if that's the interpretation you meant and I am not created unreal connections. Also thank you for your story I find your approach to gender-bending and the story in general to be both well done and well thought out.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Uh, two ways to look at this. Samaran is a pun on the Buddhist "Samsaran" cycle of reincarnation. But their religion is actually based on Mongol Tengri. However they're "Jewish" if you examine them from the point of view that every other culture treats them questionably (albeit less judgmental and more materialistic). Not based off an Abrahamic religion, Samarans are far more tolerant and less offensive to other religions than Jews though (whose religious texts pretty much claim 'superiority' over others, hence the Promised Land argument for Israel).
      I strongly suggest reading the Author's Notes if you like making connections.

      Reply
  13. SilenceComes

    Oh hey, Aorii is ranting... I like lots.

    In all seriousness, Aorii, your rants are well justified and even backed up by medical and scientific research. The whole trope thing with genderbent people keeping the entirety of their previous gender has always been... unbelievable. Even if it were to happen in reality, the way you depict Kaede's ordeals are far more believable.

    Very much looking forward to vol 3's completion, for I will once again binge read vol 1 and 2 in addition to vol 3. My neck hurt so bad when I finished vol 2 last time... I was reading for almost 12 hours straight.

    Reply
  14. Valthan

    While interesting, I think you still need to realize that your argument contains a logical fallacy at the fundamental level. No one in the history of all time has ever been magically and completely changed to another gender (whether they wanted to or not). Sex change operations and subsequent drug and hormone replacement therapies, etc. don't and will never completely change someone's gender to the extent implied by the magical means in these stories. No matter how far modern surgical technology gets, they cannot change the fact that every other bit of DNA in the patients body contains a Y chromosome.

    Back to my point, because this is a situation that cannot happen, that means that the correct answer (or any answer, really) similarly does not exist. All we have is "What would I do if it happened to me?"

    The "wrong" lies with the one who forced this to happen in the first place. Just like everyone has the inalienable right to live, they also have the right to be themselves. No one has any right to take that away from them. You can try to persuade, reason, and try to convince them to change, but the final decision always belongs to the individual in question. If you convince them to change, great. If not, too bad. To force someone to be something they're not is clearly wrong and shouldn't be done.

    I think what may be rubbing people the wrong way is that perhaps they perceive Kaede as simply rolling over and accepting it. Kaede was clearly wronged there. Should there have been quite a bit more outrage at the situation? Probably. But another thing to look at is that while someone has the right to maintain their sense of self, they also have the right to accept any changes if they want to. Just because you wouldn't accept it doesn't make the decision any less valid.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      All good points, which is why I'm not saying the approach I'm taking is necessarily the only way but "a way". Mostly just frustrated with people telling me it's 'wrong' <_< If thunder hit my house and burned it down, I'd be clearly wronged by god. But how does not accepting it help me in any way? What's done is done and it's not a reversible one. Just like Kaede has no idea how to get back to previous life so she stopped throwing tantrums over it. Life isn't fair most of the time. But real adults learn to accept what they can't change and focus on what they can. Sure, I'll admit I did design Kaede with quite a submissive trend. But the 'accepting issue' was mostly written out of faith (Buddhist-leaning beliefs) and maturity.

      Reply
    2. Bbdest

      Actually, science has come out with a way to change plant DNA, and animals. Examples like cancer change the genetic materials of a creature. If there was some way to disable the harmful effects of cancer, it can be a mean to change the genetic material of a living creature. Anyways, I read this article recently: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/revealed-scientists-edit-dna-to-correct-adult-genes-and-cure-diseases-9273555.html. Although this does not count as surgery, it is still a viable option in the distant future. I looked further into CRISPR, the means of editing of the genome of a creature, and it checks out..

      Reply
  15. rurgah

    Aorii,

    While I think there is some validity to your thoughts, I would also propose looking at a rather large segment that undergoes massive hormonal change, which is that of female body builders that consume large quantities of testosterone while suppressing the estrogen cycle. I have done some research into the area and from what I have been able to figure out, by reading the lines as well as between them, is other than changes to physiologic remodeling on secondary sexual characteristics there is not a massive shift in sexual preference in relation to gender of preference. Of course this is circumstantial at best as is other forms of research.

    Although I could postulate that the earlier the gender switch happened, the easier the transformation would probably be, unless one were already pointed in that direction to begin with. It is still an interesting subject and one I have put my characters in a couple times, including a story I am writing currently.

    I look forward to the further development of Kaede as she / he is currently my favorite character.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      From what I know, that's because those who undergoes hormonal treatment already have sexual preferences considered "unusual" for their gender. But regardless, that only happens for a body change / transformation; we have no idea what happened to Kaede's body. But it's pertinent for most genderbenders (not that a sudden flip of male to female body is a realistic biological transformation! the host would die of shock.)

      There are transgendered who take high doses of estrogen yet with no physical attraction to men, yet can become emotionally attracted (which should have made physical attraction by conditioning possible? donno). So I suspect there's strong genetics involved as well.

      Reply
  16. happinezz001

    i haven't read the first 2 volumes (although i'm planning to) but if i could make a suggestion maybe you could insert a slight plot twist

    Reply
    1. Bbdest

      Ermm...I think you should at least read part of the novel before you make suggestions. It kills me inside when people tell the author to do something without actually reading what the author created.

      Reply
  17. Jakk

    I don't agree with your idea of sexuality, while homosexuality and the like isn't a conscious choice, I believe if someone had many years of being attracted to one gender they wouldn't change sexual orientation completely, at most they may become bi-sexual. Memory and learned behavior is equal to genetics in my opinion.

    I've never wanted Kaede to 'experiment' or have a harem. I don't mind a merging of values or even a few changes to them. BUT I'm sick of awesome female MC having to romance someone, why can't they just have some platonic? best friends/companions.

    If they are going to end up together and Kaede is going to become a female in mind as well as body why make her a guy in the first place!

    The world and characters are all interesting and overall I like they story, but the budding/possible romance turns me off, not because of any implied homosexuality but just because I'm sick of such cliche events.

    Reply
    1. KadiKadi

      Just because other strong women in other stories have "boringly" fallen in love with some other man, it's automatically bad if Aorii decides to go that way with Kaede? Come on, have some faith. I know it'll be good.

      (Personally, I'm shipping Kaede x Tofu)

      Reply
      1. Sanngrior

        sorry but as much as I see that mysteriously working out (I know right? who would have found a better match xD)... I refuse to accept it until tofu shows a vaguely humanoid form. certain requirements must be met even if they are both familiars :S

        Reply
        1. KadiKadi

          Maybe Kaede can become blobbier? By overeating a lot? No, her Samaran body won't allow it? Damn...
          Okay, uhhh.... Sylv x Kaede! So many issues requiring some figuring out already, this has to be a fun couple. One of the issues being Pascal. Handsome guys go explode! In a familiar-friendly way, of course.

          P.S.: Actually, I have no idea if Samarans can go blobby or not. Was it ever mentioned?

          Reply
          1. AoriiAorii Post author

            No mentioned. Although healing does take metabolism, their blood doesn't boost in normally.

          2. Sanngrior

            hahaha Sylv is the dom and Kaede is full on sub, no questions asked xD that is a pairing that looks like it is relatively inevitable, where pascal gets to join in occasionally to make for interesting threesomes ;)

            currently I imagine Kaede as being rather svelte, not sure I could imagine a blobbier person xD

          3. Bbdest

            Personally, I am rooting for the threesome route (Sylv x Kaede x Pascal). Although I don't dislike girl x girl, I tend to find it boring for some reason. I don't know. Maybe I am fixated on the male, because I find yoai more interesting than yuri...

    2. AoriiAorii Post author

      You don't have to agree (this field of study is filled with heated debates anyway), nor do you have to like it. This post is aimed towards those complaining about what Kaede 'ought to be doing'. I know quite well that certain pairs make me not interested, regardless of the skill of writing.
      Although... that's funny. I don't remember anything but platonic relationship development in the story so far.

      Reply
      1. Jakk

        I can't state it properly but it is more a possible cliche romance which is off putting.

        Most romance is done in two ways, the relationship is well done and feels natural but detracts from the rest of the story or it is done poorly and is just an unneeded add-on, I haven't experienced reading a romance that is done well and adds to the story.

        Don't take my comments as criticism as they are merely my opinion and as I said overall I enjoy your story. Its the future developments that I am concerned about.

        Reply
        1. Sanngrior

          Have you ever read stories which the main theme and concept is romance, where all the other genre's are aimed at supporting the romance bit instead?

          I find that a lot of differences in taste and opinion are often just the result of the person having not experienced all there is to experience. I try to keep as balance and impartial a view as possible, so I have even read some slightly unuusual things like SM stories and gorey horrors ontop of my normal tastes (the miracles of the internet where money is less of an issue)

          Reply
        2. AoriiAorii Post author

          I can tell you here that any romance will not be "tacked on".
          Anyone who played the political game in Crusader Kings 2 can tell you: getting a good wife (/husband) for someone in a position of power is an asset. Getting a pair who are in love is just outright joy (better family-building, more favorable life events, more trust, etc.). This has historically applied to many Kings and Emperors, and I approach Daybreak's writing with this in mind.
          I do lack Romance writing experience, so we'll see.

          Reply
  18. Kaiflame

    Wait, there are seriously people complaining about go against mainstream tropes in a book?

    Reply
  19. Matthew

    Okay, so why is it worth writing about and why should I want to read about it? What themes are you trying to explore with this gender-bend, if it's not purely to cater to the kink of, "Isn't it so hot that this character who use to be a guy is getting screwed by a guy!"

    You've explained in detail why the genderbend is turning out like it is, but I don't get what narrative purpose it serves. Apart from some minor bits of dialogue here and there, would anything at all be different if Kaede had been a girl before being transported?

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      The theme is simple: the gender does not define the totality of a person, as Kaede goes on worrying more about life and the world than which side her reproductive organs are on. Too bad you were so focused on looking for a gender theme that you missed everything else (shrug).

      Reply
      1. Sanngrior

        yup :(

        I look for Gender Bender as a theme lately to decide what to read, but I at least judge whether I read it based on its other themes and the plot. I just want GB to be a part of the story (of the main cast rather than a single side character appearance deep into the story). I still only read it if I think the overall story is worth reading.

        Which is why I was soooo happy to find out about Daybreak because it fits more of my ideal criteria than other GB I have found and read previously. I love strategy stories since while 1 man changes the world is great story telling, it is hardly realistic or possible in the grand scheme of things xD

        The same could be said for normal romance stories, you don't want the story to only talk about the relationship and the person aiming to get the target madly in love with them. There has to be other sides to them, showing they can get on with their life in the case where they fail to capture the love of their life. external events spice things up and they all fall into categories besides romance :3

        Reply
  20. KadiKadi

    @emotional intelligence: HAHAR, TAKE THAT, LOVE-BLIND HAREM PROTAGONISTS!

    (Also, least ranty rant I've seen in... a long time)

    Reply