Daybreak Volume 3 Closing Thoughts

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.)

Several readers have commented that Kaede in much of Volume 3 didn't feel like the Kaede I first introduced at start. No, she isn't. After Sylv's episode, Kaede was scared as hell for what her life had become -- she had inadvertently stepped on a royal landmine and wasn't sure how to take her foot off it without being blow to bits. Suddenly, that snarky, quipping part of her evaporated in an instant, at least around everyone except Pascal (whom she was still in that 'comfort zone' with).

But as I noted as early as Volume 1 Chapter 3 (just before she gave Pascal that beating), Kaede didn't actually know what she could do to survive in a world where she simply didn't have a trade to ply. Remember that her original goal was to become a historian and adviser, Earth history. Hyperion was on an entirely different tech and social level, not to mention basis of technology. With none of her science books around to reference all those minute details that even an apprentice was expected to know. She was basically stuck with entry-level menial jobs -- being a maid in a pre-modern age was a fairly dreary prospect of long hours, poor treatment, and no personal life, a fact Kaede would know well as a history enthusiast.

I added the Volume 3 Interlude after Chapter 15 specifically to give a proper window into these thoughts of hers again. A minor detail most people wouldn't pick up in Volume 1+2 is Kaede's sleeping posture -- she tends to curl up, and it's not done just to be cute. It's the sign of someone who ultimately wants stability and safety in her life. She realized in Volume 1 that Pascal was someone capable of giving her that -- of being part of a family and feeling that unconditional acceptance that few people could truly offer. She tries to hang onto this pillar, this one pillar of stability in her life in the new world. But after Sylv's episode in Volume 3, her faith in it had thoroughly been shaken.

Nevertheless, her conscience wouldn't let go unless she helped Pascal through the immediate dilemma and gave it one more chance -- which was the core message of Chapter 12 - Never Leave Regrets. Having accepted Pascal as family meant that she couldn't just let him die on the battlefield either.

Did her gamble pay off by end of Volume? The reader can decide... but only if they made it that far.

Sticking a wrench in all this was Vivienne. She was another character I planned early given all the references in early Volume 2, although not quite in enough detail and it showed (her being an almost doppelganger to Kaede came as bit of an afterthought). Her own background is based on an absurdly complicated historical figure, and hopefully I'll get to tell the tale in Volume 4. But Sir Robert brought her in to give Sylv an "endorphins kick"... because seriously, I've always found how 'pep talks' can fix depression in other media to be utter bull and disparages what is a very serious issue for many people. Some people take anti-depression medication for a reason.

But wow... readers did not stomach this combination of Sylv-Kaede(-Vivi) well. Apparently I got too realist?

(Thanks to PaulusAlone for the comment that really put it to perspective for me.)

The unique views count drop between Chapter 7 (6,500) and Chapter 11 (3,300) is 50% of the total audience. Sure, part of it is probably due to the fact I posted much slower during that period and with cliffhangers during a serious, if not painful arc, many people would rather wait to read it. But that doesn't explain such a huge drop!

Talk about depressing.

In fact when I first noticed the trend late last year. I went into a depressive episode myself -- much thanks to Kadi for putting up with me during that period. Without his (and other beta-readers', and long-time commenters') support, I'm not sure I would have finished Volume 3.

So yeah -- to be honest -- Volume 3 is something I regret writing a bit. Not because I think the content was done in a wrong way. I went through absurd amounts of research precisely because I wanted it to be realistic, and I'm rather proud of the work I created, as well as the Sylviane character I built by its end.

But... I don't think that's what most people wanted to read in a work like this.

And no... I don't think I'll be doing something this serious again, at least not anytime soon. Working with Sylviane's character has taught me a lesson about just how truly flawed most people preferred their characters (no disrespect to the audience ^^). I'm one of those people who can sit through a book or a series despite hating the entire cast... but I'm clearly not the norm.

Also... we may be in the climate of cynical, passive-aggressive a-hole protagonists with a martyr complex (Hachiman from the highly-rated OreGairuMy Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU really disgusts me, actually). But clearly that does not extend to heroines who go through a breakdown and temporarily lose all sense of compassion. As a 'Not-Feminist', I actually find this to be decidedly sexist behavior. Nevertheless... reality is what reality is.

(Sigh). Well, I am a hobbyist writer who writes fiction but reads mostly nonfiction. It actually gives me a fun edge when arguing about 'realistic characters' as most of the characters I read about aren't just realistic but... real.

But, I guess this is my first experience on just where the clash lies... or maybe I'm just in the wrong genre again?

I don't know. I may never know. This just reminds me again of the many reasons why I don't aspire to be a professional writer.

I still fully intend to continue with Volume 4. But at the moment, I'm less certain of Daybreak's long term prospects compared to when I was between Volume 2 and Volume 3.

On the good news, from what I've spoken with readers, it does seem like I managed a much better balance on the 'war' aspect in Volume 3 -- less time spent on the mechanics and every little tactical maneuver. The flaw seems to the fact that Volume 2 used a lot of minor character POV scenes that, because the audience didn't care for them, they processed/remembered it like some sort of 'overhead view'. Of course, Volume 2 also held the burden of setting up the Manteuffel Incident (scenes from Weichsel politics), the Rhin-Lotharingie Coup (scenes from Gabriel) and others -- like how I planned to develop Gerd more but, just never had the time. Oh the inexperience shows again.

Volume 3 seem to mostly fix this by framing the major battles almost entirely from the major characters' perspective, with time spared for the main opposition. It emphasizes mostly on how the struggle, loss, and chaos affect the main characters, and spends far less time trying to deliver a blow-by-blow account. Obviously, still needs more polishing, and I still stray from it at times -- like how Chapter 7 (first fight vs the Caliphate) was still extremely-detailed as I tried to both introduce Edith's character and show why the Lotharins struggled qualitatively as well as quantitatively. But... I think I'm at least on the right track on reach that optimal point.

What do you think?

Thanks for all your patience and support up until now,

~ Aorii


P.S. I originally designed Sylv with Bipolar II Disorder (the lesser of the two 'true' bipolars). Then when doing research, I realized that her character would dig such a deep hole that she can't climb out if she had a true, clinically-defined hypomania episode. Which is why I made her case... quite mild, so mild that in fact, a psychiatrist in our world may hesitate to even diagnose her. See the 1st minute of this Crash Course video.

88 thoughts on “Daybreak Volume 3 Closing Thoughts

  1. Last Fênix

    As a person with a slight case of bipolarity myself, I find your work truly beautiful, if not perfect, of a representation on how bipolar people fell; This 3rd Arc is by far one of the best "Amateur" works out there, because you clearly have done your homework, in how to give depth to characters - through events that mold their personalities and changes who they are; You can see too that after everything they've gone through together, Silv and Kaede managed to get closer and become friends - still on a rather jealousy based relationship of two sisters after a man, but closer - and the good things this friendship will give to this world; And for some of you who don't know how bipolarity works, you can be in the most Zen moment of your life, if something tickles you the wrong way, you explode, and then depression comes carrying a F***ING HUGE wave of negative emotions, and if you explode often against family and friends, you WILL consider self harm, very often, and that's why most people need heavy medication; I hope this novel achieves at least 6 to 9 Vols.

    Ps: Who want's to be my Oriflamme paladin?

  2. Tiredsouls

    I've been following your story for a while now back when Alice was still being updated on this site ahh those were the days. It is such a lovingly crafted story from the characters to the story to the conflicts. And I mean I love all of your characters especially Sylv I don't know if many people have ever had to deal with someone who has wild mood swings like her but I have. An it is just like that one moment they're chilled out on the couch an next moment they're threatening to smash their own mums head in with a pole for taking their weed.

    I know it must be a struggle to have to write a story especially with a heap of people who have expectations of what they think your story should be, please just remember we originally came to read YOUR story. I've seen plenty of authors push through with their vision an then change it to try suit their readers taste an not long after that they usually stop writing. So please hold your faith in your abilities your story has been a great pleasure to read with all the ups an downs. An I look forward to being able to come back an read it again an again.

    Thank you for the hard work Author-san

  3. GenericSample

    I love the works. Then again I also love David Weber's works about -Honor Harrington- and the -Safehold- series.

    He's a major author for similar stories as Daybreak. I recommend looking into the Safehold series, or at least have someone you know look into it for you so they can relate to you the story-telling methods/techniques that David Weber uses. I believe that will boost your opinion of your own writing of Chapter 2 and 3.

    Only real qualitative difference I get from my non-professional judgement between you and David Weber is that he's reached a larger audience by being published and has far more volume of words in each book. This quantitative difference in volume of words significantly better supports the shifts in perspective to side and one-off characters that for the purposes as vehicles for additional perspective, as you used in Chapter 2.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thank you for the kind remarks. I don't pretend to be a professional author, nor am I really cut out to be one (I'm too sensitive to reader pressure =\). In the end, I simply write about the topics I find interesting by weaving it into fiction, rather than always sticking to a coherent genre that's focused on a particular range of audience interest. It's probably my biggest weakness ^^;
      I actually know Webers' works quite well, although Safehold came to my attention after I mostly stopped reading fiction. I agree that professionals like him definitely have much better techniques in storytelling execution. But he also has decades more experience than someone like me =P

  4. Lodovico

    Hi Aorii
    i have just binge read the three published volumes and i loved them, i don't think the Sylv's parts where out of place, i really love complex characters and the evolution of the relationship between her and Kaede while they both discover each over. More other i find the military aspects of the novel (expecially regarding the logistical and operational level) quite grounded and realistic, a breath of fresh air in the medium ( i admit i'm not an expert regarding light novels but in the mangas and anime i have read/watch i have really found realistic depiction of warfare). Finally being this novel writen directly in english i don't get that "lost in translation" feeling.
    Keep it up!

  5. John Corff

    Im sorry to hear that this volume was so poorly received. I thought it was a wonderful addition to the greatest light novel I have ever read. It is also the only one I consider on par with if not better than actual published fiction I read by well eatabliahed authors. Yes the subject matter is difficult and I can tell there is a bit of a learning curve in describing things like battle and people's evolving psychological states in extreme situations. But all in all I think you have done a great job. I thought the Viva-Sylv interaction was an excellent example of being pragmatic and dirtily human. In fact all of the parts that you described as to realistic I loved because they made feel feel like the characters were human messed up people who were accomplishing great things because of and despite their humanity. I understand if you aren't as realistic in the realistiand if you aren't as enthusiastic about writing Daybreak but please know that for me at least as an aspiring writer and human you have left me deeply deeply impressed.

  6. Andrain

    Hmmm let's see, I know you're in the middle of Vol 4. Well I hope this message finds you well. I REALLY don't see Kaede acting extremely out of character as many do. People change due to their environments. I can see where you're coming from, and I didn't notice any fundamental changes to who he was. I mean, he's still him enough to be EXTREMELY pissed off to be put in a Pokéball! Maybe she'll open up more to the Princess as the other opens up to her. After all, now Kaede is suddenly even more powerful then Pascal in this new government.

    Of course Kaede's character is extremely hard to pin down, the change in body chemistry to someone who is not transgendered is reflected quite well. It seemed the male was somewhat meek to start with, but I'd like to think she considers Pascal one of the bros now so to speak. I do wonder how you're going to approach her character going forward. It's clear she's got a diagnoseable case of PTSD even though she seems to be getting used to combat, and in fact is willing to rush into it. My view of the disorder makes it seem that this is fairly difficult. Will she be continued to be plagued by nightmares like this? Will she start showing its signs in less tense circumstances like overreactions or flashbacks while conscious? I'm quite interested to see where things go. This is NOT a bad story and you're excellent at detailing Military battles. I do hope you continue things.

  7. Skoonting

    So, I liked this volume a lot. I thought delving into more realistic topics was pretty interesting, especially on the parts of Kaede. I've always thought it was lazy how most of these transported-to-another-world characters acclimate to their environments so quickly, and so I appreciate that not being the case for this series. However, I do agree with many in that Sylviane's 'problems' don't feel quite right. To me, it feels unnecessary and almost forced. It's as if the mental illness serves as an excuse for the bad things she has done and most likely will do, so that the readers can still like her since they have something to blame for her actions.

    I don't see a reason why the mental illness was needed, and I know it's sort of silly to say, since people do have mental illnesses and there's not exactly much a choice in it. However, in the context of this being a story, it just felt sort of unnecessary. There was already several reasons that could have explained why she sometimes acted like a dick (history isn't exactly lacking in not so pleasant royalty and aristocrats), without the mental illness there to (in my opinion) muddle things up. Also, like many have also pointed out, how she managed to survive in the world of politics with what should have been a politically debilitating illness is something I don't quite understand, even if said illness is a mild one.

    Then again, the whole bipolar sub-plot (for lack of a better word) is a relatively minor one, even if it did have larger consequences outside of itself like Kaede's change in personality. It's not all important to me whether or not it's continued to be used as a plot-device or whatnot, as long as it doesn't become too much of a focus.

    Also, there was one thing I took issue with in this post. That's the comparison between Hachiman from Oregairu to Sylviane in this story. I'm not a fan of Hachiman either, as in my opinion he's an edgy self-insert character with some questionable world-views, but that's beside the point. I don't really see how to the two compares, and how it's sexist to not like Sylviane as a character. You mention that in the broader sense, it's the "cynical, passive-aggressive a-hole protagonists with a martyr complex" that people like, and I would agree with that. However, I don't see how that somehow extends to people liking characters with mental breakdowns that causes them to lose compassion. I have no issue with the latter myself, but the two aren't really comparable. And I definitely do not see how Sylviane being a woman has anything to do with it. To go back to Hachiman, while he might not be a likeable character, he didn't try to rape anyone either. So even if the two characters were comparable, there is still a reason why people would have a more negative reaction to Sylviane. I won't deny that there might be a sort of sexist attitude towards fictional women in media expressing these kinds of breakdowns or whatever else (though I would argue that it stretches to men too), this was not one of these cases in my opinion.

    1. Aorii Post author

      A few discussions noted that Sylv's condition is in fact so "light" that many of our own psychiatrists probably wouldn't label her as "mentally ill". The volume just puts a big spotlight on the issue because mental problems, traumas, and scars are in fact quite common amongst people -- it's just a rarely spoken of topic due to the social taboo. Bipolarity is also not rare in royal politicians (in fact mental oddities are fairly common due to how royal upbringing works: too much stress and not enough familial acceptance).

      (also since the main theme of the volume was Cognitive Bias, it's hardly out of place that I do an episode on Bipolarity which presents the strongest bias in human psychology).

      I didn't compare the two. I simply listed Hachiman was 'what seems to be in trend'.
      "And I definitely do not see how Sylviane being a woman has anything to do with it." Nobody wants to admit it, but yes gender has major effects on our perception of characters and people. There are many, many studies on this topic.

  8. CSS

    The dilemma of realism. I'm no expert in this, so I might be wrong in the details, but take films as perhaps the foremost example of this.

    All too many details about movies are simply wrong. From sound, to physics, and even explosions, it's often scarcer to pick out what is true to life from the vast unrealism. Some of it is simply constraints, but the fact of the matter is if movies looked more accurate to reality, audiences would find it less 'realistic.'

    With writing, it's that, but worse. Everything about the scene is conveyed by the author, with little qualitative distinction between the landscape and a passing thought to the audience.

    The paradox of the written word. Absolute control in the hands of the author. Near total helplessness to the interpretation of the audience. The more words to exert ones perspective, the greater the likelihood the very words get lost in the morasses.

  9. TheMagesticalJACalope

    I've rewritten this like five times now attempting to explain why I dislike Sylv, but I can't find a rational explanation. She is written very well, and apparently very accurately to her disorder based on the other comments, which is honestly the most likely reason for why I dislike her so much. Her having a mental illness does not provoke enough sympathy for her to see her as anything other than a threat to everyone around her, especially given her position of power and the dangerous interactions she has had with Kaede and Pascal (who are by far my favorite characters).

    Despite that minor annoyance, I think this is a great novel. I really love your world building and how fleshed out your characters are despite my dislike of many of them. As I sort of said above being able to evoke strong emotion, even negative emotion, shows how well you have developed them to feel like real people. I look forward to seeing what is to come.

  10. TMP

    Let me start with saying that I like daybreak for its overall uniqueness and there would have to be really a lot of things I dislike to stop following this. I will not reread before I criticize, because sometimes even if "everything is there" in a story, the order in which it appears is sometimes relevant. Which brings me to this:

    "Hyperion is a continent on the cusp of something historic, something that will shape the future for centuries to come," Kaede tried to explain. "And for once, I'm not just a passive spectator to the events of the world. Instead, I stand right next to some of the great actors who will shape the continent, a unique position to not just witness but also influence the turning pages of history itself.

    "How can I not take advantage of that? To help make this world a better place?"

    This little statement is so very important to at least give a moderate explanation why Kaede didn't just jump off a cliff earlier. I really had issues with Kaede this volume and how she reacts, but not quite for the same reason as others have mentioned. The "oh she has nightmares and trouble sleeping" isn't remotely enough to address this in my opinion, rather the opposite - it makes the problem worse. We have a character that got removed from their home, no friends, no rights, no future, only abuse and nightmares. After months of this and no perspective of change killing yourself or at least considering it is to be expected. Suicidal ideation should be a part of her. Now, the quote lessens that problem because it shows a reason why Kaede would want to continue. But it's in my opinion too late in the story.
    In short, Kaede as a character is insufficiently explained during this volume. That doesn't mean that you should overexplain everything in the future, but in this specific volume I think it was a real problem. People would probably have had less of a problem with Sylv if Kaede as a character would have been written better.

    I also think the other characters reaction to her mood swings (especially because we later learn that they weren't really a secret) didn't quite convince me. I believe giving more explanations and context before she goes off the deep end (and not after) would have made readers less annoyed.

    And one thing about realism: Happiness is very much a part of reality, even if just momentarily. Realism should never be confused with bleakness. Reality is often bleak, but just as often isn't. It's a little bit more complicated, but in general I think it's an important warning.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thanks for the comment. You're certainly right that sometimes I don't explain a character well enough or perhaps explain them too late. As an Author who not only designed the characters but often delves deep in psychoanalysis, it's often obvious to me on what drives a character which probably isn't as obvious to the reader -- and sometimes the only way I recognize that the readers didn't understand is through feedback.

      The part you mentioned on Kaede is something I've been hinting at since vol2 -- as Kaede realizes more and more that Hyperion is anything but medieval and she increasingly exerts modern influences on Pascal. It was only in mid-vol3 when I realized that many readers don't quite get it so in the interlude chapter I specifically created a scene where she would put it into words. Realistically speaking, people rarely open up about their personal motivations so creating a scene when Kaede could go into it naturally (and not feel hamfisted) took some setup and timing.

      I once realized during a beta-feedback discussion that most people are used to thinking of characters based on behavioral patterns (archetypes) and not based on the personal motives that truly drive them. It should be reminded that Kaede's core goal in life was defined all the way back in vol1, when she mentioned that she wanted to use historical knowledge as a means of educating (and bettering) society. She hasn't changed from that, merely recognized a greater opportunity. Though from a writing perspective I guess this bears reminding more from time to time.

      Haha I'm not a big fan of dystopias. Bleakness has never been my goal, hence why I do write slice-of-life scenes where Kaede enjoys some of the benefits her life here has to offer. Though I guess the early chapters of vol3 feels so far away now...

  11. Kalistira

    So, I'm fairly certain that everything that would need to be said in regards to the quality of Volume 3 has probably already been said. (Though I did just do a minor scan through of the comments and by and large I agree with them.)

    Volume three was interesting to me. Both with the number of threads that you've started to pick at, and while I know some people might not appreciate it, I admit, the way you're having no one in power being trustworthy (at least from my perspective, because I freely admit that I'm not clever enough to outscheme what appear to be professional schemers) really works for me.

    This isn't a rosy adventure after being tossed into another world. This is the sort of place where Kaede could easily stumble into death. Any OOCness as far her personality is concerned isn't her being out of character, but rather a bloody logical decision to keep one's mouth shut, and one's head attached to one's body.

    I admit, it's a hard read at times in that it's what I imagine 19th century politics to have been like, and I know plenty of people come to stories like this to stop contemplating reality for a time. But when I think about it, the fact that you've managed to craft a world, and characters that get an emotional reaction? It doesn't matter if I dislike them, or their motives, or loathe their flaws. It means that they're real enough for me to feel that way about them. And in the end, get me to look past my first gut reaction to ponder why they're acting like that.

    I'm attached to the characters, at least Kaede, Pascal, and yes, even Sylv with her flaws. I see them doing their best to overcome what could very easily be insurmountable odds, with backers that seem just as likely to cut them loose should it suit their position.

    You've some amazing quality writing here, and I'm eagerly looking forward to more in volume 4.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Realism is certainly a big goal of my writing so I appreciate what you've said.
      Thanks for the support~ ^^

  12. Westroad

    Reading Volume 3 has been hard, feeling a connection with some of the characters only to see them slip away. It was a struggle to watch Sylv tunnel-vision on regaining her crown and losing two of her closest friends, heart-wrenching even, but in that anguish and sorrow I saw the beauty of your narrative, and it reminded me of a song that I think suits her rather well.

    "The royal circlet of bright gold rests lightly on my brow,
    I once thought only of the rights this circlet would endow.
    But once I took the crown to which I had been schooled and bred,
    I found it heavy on the heart, though light upon the head."

    Sylv pursues her birthright because of her father's legacy, but also I think because of her inherent need to prove herself, to herself, but also everyone around her. This never becomes more obvious than her outrage at Pascal all-but-and-maybe-even-then assaulting her before her subjects. If she was content to stand aside for him to make decisions like who not to spurn or provoke, than maybe she wouldn't be playing at the game of thrones. But being told that her subjects will happily die to see her sit on her spellfire chair isn't the same as accepting it in her heart. Kaede is a romantic and a historian, but to Sylv the reassurance might ring hollow, because these aren't the last of those close to her she'll have to sacrifice to get what she wants. These are decisions she'll be struggling with every day.

    "Although I am the head of state, in truth I am the least,
    The true Queen knows her people fed, before she sits to feast.
    The good Queen knows her people safe, before she takes her rest,
    Thinks twice and thrice and yet again, before she makes request."

    This will likely drive her, and has driven her, to think about the people, from the lowliest commoner to the most noble highborn, and that their interests aren't again and again weighed as dice, to be tossed by royal hand for something so base a thing as greed or personal ambition.

    "For they are all my children, all, that I swore to defend,
    It is my duty to become both Queen and trusted friend—
    And of my children high and low, from beggar to above,
    The dearest are my Heralds, who return my care with love."

    But that doesn't change that fact that those loyal to her will be making the sacrifices in her stead, again and again, so that her vision of peace and progress can bear fruition. Her only tools are those of someone raised to be an Empress, and though powerful to keep in mind, the cost is always in the heart. Her sacrifices are on the forefront of her mind, even something so 'small' as her forbearance from punishing Pascal for growing closer and closer to Kaede, all for the good of her realm.

    "The dearest are my Heralds, swift to spring to my command.
    Who give me aid and fellowship, who always understand
    That land and people first have needs that I may not deny—
    So I must send my dearest friends to danger—and to die."

    Because she knows she's going to ask them, both of them, to risk their lives, just as with her loyal, steadfast knights.

    "A friend, a love, a child—it matters not, I know indeed,
    That I must sacrifice them all if there should be the need.
    They know, and they forgive me—doing more than I require,
    With willing minds and loving hearts go straight to grasp the fire."

    For however fluffy this story is, how heartwarming it can be, rarely are people in their position graced with happiness that didn't come at great cost.

    "These tears that burn my eyes are all the tears the Queen can't shed,
    The tears I weep in silence as I mourn my Heralds dead.
    Oh gods that dwell beyond the stars, if you can hear my cry—
    And if you have compassion—let me send no more to die!"

    1. Aorii Post author

      This was just an amazing comment with a beautiful song to accompany it. I can't add anything to it other than... well Sylv knows her country as a singular collective. She's not quite the type we'll ever have trouble sending troops into battle, certainly not if she sees war as furthering the interests of that collective. But monarchs don't send troops to war, they send generals -- and the most trusted commanders are often friends.

      1. Westroad

        Right, as insightful as I tried to be there, I admit that I /was/ mostly focusing on the personal investment she has in individuals (her Generals, I suppose, in this case) who, given the setting, are basically one and all front-line commanders. Maybe the dominating need to prove to your troops that you'll fight and die with them isn't necessary in Weichsel (too much discipline to voice complaints/breach protocol, and way more faith in their military apparatus), but leading her troops and keeping her other commanders committed will require personal risk taking on his part even if, as demonstrated in Volume, it's way more prudent/practical to nest up in the rear and direct from there.

        What else... ah, man, I dunno. I've drifted back and forth from like to dislike of Sylv. It's been done to death, and I understand after the fact that there was a degree of author appeal that drove the decision to make her faux-bi-polar, but most of her behavior could have been explained as extreme stress given the situation without relying upon it as a literary crutch used for future set-ups where similar hammer blows (like friends or family dying) weren't necessary to make her act out like that again.

        That's another reason why I excuse a lot of the more questionable decision you made when writing Volume 3, if we're being honest a lot of what drives interest in this story, from what I can tell, *IS* author appeal. The focus on military actions in the form of operations, the allegory to similar operations from our reality, parallels on our history, the genderbent protagonist....? People who house complaints about some of the decisions you make have to realize when a story is written as a set-up to introduce some of the writer's interests.

        And Sylv as a character in general... I want to dislike her, but I can't exactly recriminate her for holding certain... opinions and outlooks when A) Someone's acculturation is a factor by which you have to keep aware of, because the fact of the matter is there's a reason everyone around you thinks/acts as they do, as a practical concern, and bringing your own culture's sensibilities to the table when you, as an observer (Kaede for example, or you as the reader in a more literal example) have no place there to begin with, and if anything have just been "invited" to watch the proceedings.

        And B) Perhaps more guiltily, Pascal is my favorite character, and he's even /worse/ than her in some ways, better in others (unlike Sylv, when he sees an opportunity to exploit an opening someone leaves/a huge difference in rank, it's never out of petty malice or straight-up cruelty) than the Oriflamme Princess when it comes to some of these same behaviors. I guess it's just because he rarely lets his emotions control him and thus force others to suffer such an outburst solely to their detriment, because he realizes his position and knows that not only is a lot riding on him, but a lot of people are relying on him.

        So in a way, having a character that's so flawed, paired with another character who has different flaws, created for a surprisingly wonderful contrast. I really didn't understand at first why so many people could think negatively of Pascal, but then I realized that the past three volumes have taken place over the course of like, weeks, at best, weighed against years of him neglecting his interpersonal relationships. He's improved his behavior so dramatically, because someone he's pretty much committed to immediately upon pressing them into service, has in turn requested that he work on these bad habits. And because of who he is, when he says he'll do something, he does it. He doesn't dance around it, he doesn't find excuses for failures on his part (nor excuse others), but furthermore allows his focus on rationality to do the heavy lifting in a way more productive than being condescending about someone letting their emotions shape their responses.

        Ugh, I could write essays, I should stop, it's just that I'm really, really involved with these characters now. It's a shame that they're going to make decisions that will continue to horrify Kaede, who's a really, REALLY surprisingly sympathetic character. Mmmgh pushes all my buttons. They're so pathetically sweet, and in hindsight I'm guessing she's sort of a morality pet. Ironically, probably more so to Sylv than Pascal, but we'll see about the validity of that statement in the next volume.

        1. Aorii Post author

          Yeah, I realize there's no author who writes a story without highlighting their own views and interests. We only think so when their values are aligned with ours as a reader and thus we ignore its presence. The only difference is that my personal views and interests disagrees with that of most people (which is a big part of why I treat writing as a hobby P=)

          I also love writing really flawed characters who try really hard to do the right thing... You're pretty spot on with Pascal. Honestly if it weren't for his perfectionist side, Pascal would just be a stuck-up, self-entitled, annoying brat.

          Kaede is a Samaran for a reason, and the conversation with Captain Markov hints at it. Daybreak simply doesn't have the opportunity to seriously delve into this much (since the Samarans are kind of isolationist and barely exist in other countries). Maybe this is an aspect I'll get to expand on the other story I've started work on... we'll see ^^

  13. IgneousOculars

    I love the story quality of Daybreak. The realism is part of what really draws me to the story. I did stop visiting your site for about 6 months, but that was due to the erratic and slow release schedule. I figured that you would get around to finishing the volume when you got around to it; therefore, I would be better off just forgetting about the story for a while. I had no way of predicting your schedule, and didn't want to rush your work. Now, I just check for updates about once a month, if that. But I will not give up on reading Daybreak as long as you are still writing it.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Yeah I figured many people read Daybreak in spurts since I update so slowly and the events are so interconnected. Which is why I don't put much value in short-term trends. It's only when something feels like a long-term pattern that I get worried...
      Thanks for the support~

  14. Xere

    Yeah,it's true that vol3 was different compare to old chap but you did great and daybreak was amazing.

  15. Aminity

    Hey, after reading this, and finshing a re read of everything released up till now last weekend, I really wanted to say that all material you released so far really is very good in my opinion. Ive read dozens of light novels and Id say its of the quality that I would certainly buy it if sold.
    Looking forward to future releases ;D

  16. Armaell

    About the visitor counts, yeah, it can be depressing but I think you should wait a little, then see the total visitors count overall. Since myself did "drop" Daybreak two time. Means I've read in three chunks which corresponds to the period where I'm frenetically reading webnovels, and other time I'm on physical books. (I have a lot of catch-up to do on other webnovels still, but you were my first to have to !)
    I found the pacing really better in this book, high and low succeeding, never a boring chapter (not that there really one in Daybreak).
    On the Sylviane case, I found her character truly interesting since her first appearance, I was already on the edge for our poor Kaede against her, a looming danger. And you brought that to its peak, the looming danger was now truly real et totally unstoppable, unpredictable. Yup I hated Sylviane enough to be on the camp wishing her to die... which I suppose is proof-enough how well built the narrative was. And thus only makes good to see them trying to bridge the difference between them.
    Actually, my biggest complain here is the alternate POV of the ennemy side. While I do love like a lot of others in novels to have a view of the other side, an understanding of the motivations, seeing how obstacles aren't just appearing from the thin air to the MC. Here I found them absolutely useless, just some lost time reading stuff not really giving useful insight. I'm pretty sure removing them would loose nothing to the story. I suppose there is the problem that we never care about them or their motivation (again ? I suppose here lay your flaw).
    But here is the biggest problem of all : gotta wait again !

    PS : On your PS : the fuck that's not enough to be bipolar ? Gosh, I now I fear what's really like.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thanks for the thoughts. I've certainly considered some of that...

      Are you saying that volume 3's other side didn't show how obstacles or counter-planning from the other side affected the MCs? Like how did they notice the river was dammed? Why did Salim gamble on an overnight chase after Lysard Point? How did their organization hold together to still press the attack despite the sheer confusion and devastation after Pascal's spell?

      Those were my main goals for showing the other side in vol3, and I feel the events will feel a lot less cohesive and more arbitrary without it. Some key moments, like Salim's overnight pursuit which resulted in Edith taking it as a sign from God, would even feel more like a 'plot device' than a logical progression without an explanation. In addition, these scenes sought to give a peek of the Caliphate's views, mindsets, and even their culture itself. "Motivation" however isn't a major factor here. General Salim doesn't have any personal stake in the war; he's just following orders and behaving professionally. He's not meant to be quirky or particularly interesting, just well-rounded, thorough, and responsible (kinda like how Omar Bradley is one of the most boring yet competent generals of WW2).

      At any rate, I'd never write a story where the other side wasn't fairly represented. I consider that "unjust".

  17. Thanatoss

    Ok so few morons and primary school students which expected gender bender yuri left this great story. Ok who cares. Don't expect everyone to read your story. Volume 3 in my opinion was just perfect. If every volume is similar story starts to get boring. But not in Daybreak. Every chapter feels fresh and new BUT at the same time is extrimly consistent with the whole story and we could even see "oh so Sylv did that few volumes ago because she have problems... ok it makes more sens now".
    For me this was acctualy the best volume or at least few parts of it. I love start of volume 1 but it is beginning of the story and it almost always is best part of good story.
    Sylv outburt and this whole hate for her problems "hey make her perfect princess with op phenix now she can't be my waifu" is just fcking joke. It was genuinly one of the best parts of this volume.
    I am medicine student and I should... like really SHOULD study now at 3:00AM or at least sleep but I just have to write it.
    Don't play for audience. Your choices for this story maybe are not 'mainstream' but are very good and brave. I expect a lot.

    Please don't drop :)

  18. ubu roi

    I'm sad to see that many of the readers weren't able to cross the bridge that was Sylvie's episode in Book 3. Having read a ton of the dreck being produced for sale on Amazon, I can say that you're doing better than many of them who turn out cookie-cutter characters and plots based on thinly-sourced space games. If anything, I'm doing you a disservice by mentioning them in the same context.

    Yes, she was a hard pill to swallow, but I did; I found your portrayal of her in volumes 1 and 2 quite believable and consistent. And then there was that "Oh HOLY S#!T -- SHE'S (clinically) BIPOLAR!" moment which elevated my opinion of your writing to a point your ego probably shouldn't know :) I didn't need Robert to tell me she was bipolar; I twigged right in the middle of her rant at the unconscious Edith. You'd written her *that* well. You see, I'm a much milder bipolar myself. The depression, the maniac energy surges, etc. I know it too well. So, kudos, kudos, kudos.

    Now as to the criticism -- Worst cliffhanger ever when Sylvie woke up during Kaede's nightmare! ;-) I was on pins and needles waiting on the resolution, and then it... was aborted. You skipped to the morning after. Now this may be in response to the haters, but I have to say, haters gotta hate and you will constantly be faced with choices between "art" and "popularity". This time...screw the haters. The last several chapters were a buildup to the moment where Kaede's fears and Sylvie's guilt met head on, and skipping to the next morning didn't work for me at all. It's the pivotal moment when Sylvie has to face that not only she's wronged Kaede, not only that Kaede isn't necessarily a rival, but that Kaede has to become a part of *her* life too. And Kaede has to reach an accommodation/understanding/acceptance with Sylvie. If you ever re-write for publication, I urge you to include that chapter. And make no bones about it, it's going to be emotionally brutal for both of the girls. But it's necessary to their future relationship. (It might work to break it into two parts, with the second occurring after Vivi shows up to mediate.)

    1. Aorii Post author

      No, my ego doesn't need to know xD It tends to do bad things.
      Actually, I skipped past that scene because... there wasn't any more I wanted to describe that scene? And I didn't want to drag it out and slow the pacing even further. Kaede is going to be darn confused for a while (noticeable how when morning hits she's STILL confused), and Sylv's guilt was the main factor I wished to portray. I don't believe either girls had the perspective at the moment to really do any well-rounded thinking/reflecting, so it's unrealistic to resolve anything there. So... I did a scene skip and hanged the circumstances out to dry.

  19. bbdest

    To be honest, there are some things I don't like in this, (mainly the slowness of the story), but overall, it's one of my favorite web novels. The readability of the story is great, the gender dysphoria (I have to admit, I'm a huge gender bender fan), the realistic characters (in my opinion, as everyone in this story isn't some perfect Mary sue or Gary Stu). However, the most favorite thing I have about this story is how the author listens, and sometimes implements ideas into the story. I was ecstatic when Aorii implemented my Air-gun idea. So keep writing these stories just the way you have been, and I'll still be a fan ^.^.

    1. Aorii Post author

      I do take comments very seriously, especially any well-founded criticism ^^
      3 Volumes done, less than 3 months has passed since Kaede's arrival... so yeah pretty slow. But gosh a lot has happened.

      1. Thomassr

        It didn't fell slow to me. Probably because I read the 3 volumes without much pause. I guess if you have to wait for each chapter to be released, the waiting makes it fell slower.
        Anyway, haven't too much happened for just three months? There was some points on the story that I felt more than a year could have passed without any problems to the narrative... I mean, treaties, treasons, assassinations, multiple battles, kings rising to and falling from power in a spam of a few days? Is it reasonable? Well, I guess it is, given the convenience of magic, but my point is, maybe having more time passed may be a little more convincing (?).
        That said, thanks and keep up the awesome work, it is a really enjoyable read =)

        1. Aorii Post author

          Vol1's events were mostly expositionary. But once the Holy Imperator's plans began with the assassination of the Marshal, everything started kicking off in a chain. So no, I don't consider it too fast. Just look at say, the July Crisis or the Hundred Days.
          It will slow down soon though~

  20. Thomassr

    Well, I don't usually comment on these things, but I have to say: this is some beautiful work here. I really hope the author continue building this magnificent world with those even better characters, and that, most importantly (in my opinion) is able to give a satisfactory ending to it. It's just too good to be dropped along the way.

    So thank you very much for this, I think you are awesome and I love pretty much all this so beautifully made characters. Thank you =)

  21. Anonymous #4

    I felt like Sylv's character arc into 'her lowest spot' made sense. And I understood that Kaede was different because of it. Your points get across and I want to see where the characters go from here. Maybe I am just hardened to sexual scenes from Light novels and Manga, but the vivienne thing meant nothing to me. I was actually more interested in seeing how the summer and winter fae relate in your worlds than using a Kaede look-alike to give Sylv a pick-me-up. So please keep writing. I love your approach to battles, your realistic cause and effect, and the Germanic language references throughout.

    Anonymous #4 out.

  22. Dyro

    I need to say this, especially after I read PaulusAlone's comment. His comment is literally every single good meaning, but utter ignorant take of what mental illness is and how people cannot tolerate it in their stories. Can the mentally ill be portrayed reasonably accurately in media, or is that too much to ask of a neuro-typical audience?

    I'm sitting here with Bipolar 1, with psychotic features. A relatively mild in the case with respect to mood episodes, more intense than Sylv but still mild. Classified as 1 primarily from the strength of psychosis. As you write here you tried to give her a mild case of BP2, I think you failed in that. I think you gave her a pretty solid, near typical case of BP2. That combined with her royal heritage and the severe stress (which exaggerates episode intensity) I can easily see her being pushed past her boundaries and able to act on whatever she wants, in this case assault Kaede, because she won't feel legal/absolute consequences as ruler, only personal consequences. That is absolutely in character for the person that has been built. A person who 'broke' to a degree under stress and let herself lose control, a control she, and every bipolar person, has to maintain every moment of every day, even when medicated properly in a modern society.

    I'll admit right off that I don't remember the scene with Vivi very well. I do remember reading it and thinking, "damn, that's a really reasonable way to make a magical psuedo-SSRI ." I thought that was wonderfully done. I will say that I would need to reread the bit around the assault of Kaede but as I remember it it was a fantastic example of a hypomanic person exhibiting hypersexual tendencies and a loss of restraint. If I remember right, the backlash was too quick for an episode but that could very well have been her royal discipline making her realize she fucked up and lost control, which would absolutely cause a depressive episode shortly after once again exaggerating the 'normal' depression after doing something you think/know/believe is wrong. Which would absolutely cause her to lock herself away and refuse everything for a while. I said I need to reread because I don't remember where Vivi comes into this exactly, but I do remember liking it.

    Again, if my memory holds, the only bit I didn't like was that Kaede had some of the gender bent thoughts and such which really made me think that part, the gender bent premise, was just is tacked initially. I forget about it until Kaede mentions it and then I cringe a little because it's so unecessary to every other topic this work addresses. There seems to be little to no point to it regarding the main story so far. The story would be near identical with Kaede being a girl on Earth with the same hobbies, but a lesbian or bi if you still want the kaede being attracted to girls subplots. Absolutely no different yet, I don't know what you have planned for later.

    Around the assault, a bit before, I honest to god sent my best friend a link to this story and that specific chapter because it was one of the first times I have seen Bipolar accurately portrayed in writing. I may just be like you, I may just be able to enjoy truly troubled characters. I honest to god like the cast more after all that.

    "Oh man~ you're killing me here! She has been turned into a broken character now."..."but it feels like Princess Sylviane has just gone from being someone difficult but real; a kind of admirable (if not outright loveable) character that you root for...into becoming a Britney Spears type of high maintenance Diva and Pro-Nutjob!" - PaulusAlone
    This bugs me. This just shows me how little he understands a mentally ill person. Slyviane is the MOST real character I've come across with respect to her illness. It's like he's arguing she's not 'real' because she doesn't fit the trope of every other mentally ill hero out there, none of whom I have ever related with as a honest to goodness person who has to deal with the shit-show that is bipolar. He wants her to be a character she isn't. He wants a upright Joan of Arc warrior princess who will plow through obstacles without letting herself ever get down. That is not who Sylv is, that is not who she has ever been since she was introduced. If needed I can go examine her character after my exams and I move and show every line where she shows weakness. She shows flaws. She shows that she is a person, not some storybook hero.

    The other bit he talks about, Kaede. Kaede goes through a lot. Kaede seems to go through almost no gender dysphoria, only a little body dysmorphia. That's why I mentioned above that she would fit better as having been introduced as a female on Earth. "On top of which the main protagonist Kaede (the male soul inside the female familiar form) is now becoming such a passive victim and general doormat that it's hard to believe he was ever acquainted with testosterone in the first place!" - PaulusAlone again doesn't understand mental issues. He does not understand that when someone has their one stable pillar of life ripped out from under them, especially in sexual assault, and has then lost all safe areas, not even in their own head (familiar link), or home (paranoia about further assault despite it not happening there) they are inclined to withdraw, isolate, and make them self small so they cannot be abused again. They need someone to reach out to them and show them the world is safe again. I can see this easily being conflated with, "waiting for 'her' prince to come rescue her" but they are not at all the same thing. He goes to stipulate you're going to bring in another Earth character to 'save' her, when in reality she needs someone in her current life to show her it's safe, which characters who I can't recall and Pascal have done quite well.

    "Kaede at the moment seems more of a cipher than a real human being - What happened to that feisty interplay between her and Pascal from the earlier chapters?" - PaulusAlone. No dude, She seems like a women who has been traumatized and has withdrawn from being assertive to scared of being attacked again, as she has right to. She's got hurt, her psych was damaged, what do you expect her to do? Act like it was no big deal? There is no human who would do that, only a cipher as you put it.

    "the characters are starting to follow more of the generic mainstream tropes already flogged to near death in other web novels etc." Honestly? It seems to me like PaulusAlone's suggestion on who the characters were/should be is more bland and filled of tropes than anything else.

    I'm going to bed now. Exam tomorrow. Sorry if any of this comes off as very aggressive. I had to catch myself getting angry a couple of times while writing it out. I strongly disagree with PaulusAlone on pretty much everything he said, minus the weird Yuri thing with Viv. That could have been handled better/differently.

    There's indications of a LOT of epigenetic effects to bipolar. As in, to my knowledge among people with bipolar, it is uncommon to be born with it, but it is much more likely to trigger/develop it at some point in life, typically after trauma, stress or other factors. So you carry it genetically but then it is 'activated' by trauma, stress, etc.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Dyro, first of all, thank you for the amazingly insightful comment.

      I'm no actual psychiatrist nor know a psychology major who focuses on bipolarity, so most of my research deals with various magazine articles or the DSM-5 manual. I've always thought that Sylv doesn't quite meet the criteria for BP2 but, you're clearly more knowledgeable in this field than I am. The volume 2 scene I intentionally shortened because I didn't want to go heavily into it then, and needed the episode to be 'over' within 2 scenes -- so, temper realism with literary need. Robert also did note that Sylv's crash in the middle of vol3 was "her worst yet", and he's been with her for many years.

      Kaede has never quite fit the male mold -- her thoughts back to her one 'dating experience' in v2ch11 actually shows that people expect [him] to act like the strong male but [he] was never that.

      "Apparently I'm not manly enough," Kaede shrugged, trying to keep the bitterness out of her voice. "She said since I studied martial arts, had excellent grades -- academics, good friends, and knew what I wanted to do for life while still in school, I seemed like a pretty mature guy. Then she accuses me of being uncompetitive, unambitious, indecisive and introverted..."

      However, quite a few scenes would change if she was a girl at start. For one, she doesn't have any of the social conditioning of a girl growing up in a conservative culture/household. For examples she doesn't quite keep the minimum 'safe distance' from Pascal before she got used to him, nor does she debate throwing her sexuality at him to create a safety anchor. She never once considers using her 'special relationship' against Pascal as a weapon vs Sylv -- which would be extremely unusual for anyone growing up with a female social hierarchy. She certainly has none of the mannerisms that a girl is taught from early years to watch, like how they sit/eat. The biggest difference is, as Kaede stated in v3ch14:

      "I wasn't raised a girl. Don't expect me to have their expectations."

      Kaede was meant to represent a fairly shy, introverted, and sensitive boy who had a very mature and responsible outlook. I dare you to watch the currently airing anime Tsuki ga Kirei and tell me that male protagonist couldn't have been Kaede =P

      If anything, Kaede is written to be slightly Asexual due to the Samarans' lack of interest in sex. However asexuality is a VERY complicated/misunderstood topic so I had no plans to discuss it.

      No PaulusAlone doesn't understand psychology -- one of his comments actually shows his disdain for the subject in general. But I nevertheless found his comment very insightful for how an average person would view those chapters from a literary perspective. Although frankly, I feel like you know about as much about gender differences as he does about bipolarity =P Especially if you think that just because Kaede was male it means she should never exhibit passivity and withdraw.

      I think it's too early to say whether bipolar is genetic, epigenetic, or environmental. The research into it is too new.

      1. Dyro

        Yeah, I'll be the first to admit I know very little about gender differences. Being near gray-ace/bi but cis/male and not having grown up with significant gender bias of any sort I don't see the differences in gender well if at all.

        Your right, if I went over the start of the story again I would probably change my mind. Memory is biased and just because I remember thinking Kaede could be female/ace initially does not mean it is true she could be overall. You know the character better than me for sure.

        Back to want I know about, I thought on it a bit more and Sylv may have a somewhat weak case of bp2. I'm working from my own framework mostly which is bp1, though I was initially diagnosed 2. I'd forgotten about Robert's 'worst yet' statement. I was taking that episode to be large but not extreme for her. If so you probably got what you were trying to more or less.

        I'll go give Kirei a look, cheers.

  23. vanagandr

    I really like your characters, and your style of writing is pleasing to me!
    this is a better piece of fiction than most of what I get elsewhere (webnovels and western fiction).
    The only negative point is that all the comments are so damn long, which discourages me from reading them.

  24. TehCoopaTroopa

    "Also... we may be in the climate of cynical, passive-aggressive a-hole protagonists with a martyr complex (Hachiman from the highly-rated OreGairu / My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU really disgusts me, actually). But clearly that does not extend to heroines who go through a breakdown and temporarily lose all sense of compassion."

    I'd like to believe its because being "cynical, passive-aggressive a-hole protagonists with a martyr complex" is typically used in characters who are supposed to be stoic and manly, but having a breakdown seems nearly the exact opposite. Without proper build up of WHY that happened, it just makes the character unlikable. In all honesty, slipping in a truly bipolar character without a tragic backstory or something which lead them to that is very difficult unless that person is the focus of the story. It takes too much time to warm up to someone that you don't sympathize or relate to.

    It doesn't help that Sylv is in such a position of power. The idea of someone with such wildly ranging intense emotions being able to order people around is going to give the character a hard start. Even though it can be said that a lot of the fault also lies with her retainers, "Vindictive Ruler" is not role that many people will like. It's also made worse with the mere existence of Pascal: Someone who originally was the "Cool calculating" time, but has shown so much growth and compassion that in comparison it actually seems as if Sylv is regressing as a person.

    Basically, I'd say that the mental health aspect of this was executed poorly, or perhaps accurately it was executed so realistically it made a character lose their chance for redemption or true growth since being bipolar can't exactly be fixed. I also have to say that this "quite mild" case of the disorder definitely does not seem to be. Someone attempting to rape and torture (and I THINK murder) really cannot be classified under "mild". I don't have any experience in the field to be honest so I'm just speaking from a readers perspective, but deciding to do the above mentioned things on a whim, even in a state of mania, and then FOLLOWING THROUGH with at least one of them, would definitely be classified as severe, right? Yet again, its made worse by the fact that she has the POWER to do such a thing.

    Regardless, I enjoy Daybreak quite a lot. I can't say I LIKE Sylv, but as a character I at least understand her. I pretty much feel as if the mental health aspect may just not belong in this story, especially not since its already filled with so many topics that also require a lot of explanation and time to work correctly.

    I look forward to reading Volume 4 when it comes out. Thanks for making Daybreak, and I hope that maybe in some way this message might offer some constructive feedback.

    1. Aorii Post author

      I really appreciate your feedback and criticism here. It's great food for thought. However...

      "slipping in a truly bipolar character without a tragic backstory" -- you mean like how Sylv was taken as a prisoner of war, then lost her mother+brothers when she returned, forced to endure enormous pressure during her adolescent years, then lost her father to her uncle's betrayal, leaving no family other than her fiancé remaining. Uh, how tragic does it need to be?

      I studied a lot of articles on bipolar disorder when writing Sylv. I can't speak from a literary perspective since one rarely see this covered in fiction, but from a clinical perspective, yes she has it 'mild'. It's the fact she has power that turns it excessive. As voiced thru Robert in ch9, a person undergoing 'mania' has no real internal checks to their behavior and thus "follows through" on every bad idea they have. And while bipolarity can't be cured, it can be 'treated', and her growth comes from the fact Sylv recognize this as a problem and seeks way to counter it -- culminating in the vol ending.

      See the 1st minute of this video:

      By the standards of the period (keep in mind non-Kaede characters in this setting do not have 'modern sensibilities'), what Sylv did to Kaede in vol3 really doesn't qualify as torture. In fact, my original plan was to go much worse... but I toned it down for the same reason. What Sylv did to Kaede is an actual punishment east asian teachers/parents handed down to kids as late as... me. My own mother did it to me for about 2hrs when I was a kid (she's a stereotypical asiatic "Tiger Mom" - loving but very strict and demanding).

      1. TehCoopaTroopa

        You know what, I was under the impression she was bipolar from birth, I forgot that she may not have been bipolar in the flashbacks cos I read them ages ago, so thats a good point. Also the "torture" statement wasn't accurate, since I wrote this from memory I must have mistook it for something worse.

        However, Sylv's solution for the issue while valid, still can be taken as deflection of the issue to someone else; "I can't deal with it so someone else will have to". I know its obviously not that simple, but it has a chance of creating negative reactions towards the character. Same thing with the mania: Because its such a complex issue being a mental illness, its very easy for people to feel negative towards Sylv even understanding how it works.

        Yet again, I'm not saying I believe this or took it this way, but it's very easy to see that people could.

        1. Aorii Post author

          Bipolar disorder is generally agreed to be genetic, yes, but -- depending on type -- it could also hide in the background until triggered by stress, grief, or some factor.

  25. zog11

    I like daybreak because it is interesting mix of alternative history, fantasy, slice of life, with some mental and philosophical exploration. I read a lot fiction and non fiction for fun and being unique is a good thing! (every writer has a style and different themes and ideas they want to explore and yours are interesting and appreciates history and humanity in general.) while it may not be every one cup of tea,(preference) I like it and I think this volume was a good addition.

    I think that Kaede great lead-in character for helping understand the world of daybreak as she has a modern relatively open minded viewpoint but still scared and very human in her abilities and mind set. Pascal and Sylv are interesting, complex and likeable individuals with their own goals and flaws.(I think characters development and interactions are great and realistic in your portrayal ) The problem with Vivienne for me is that she still a bit of a mystery as kaede hasn't had much interaction with her as yet. It make her seem less developed in comparison given she seems important??? ( but maybe that was just me)

    I think that you should be careful reading too much into viewer counts, people are busy at different times and free time to read/ check if a new chapter is up is limited. (and may just read the long version link or read updates elsewhere) I read to relax when I have time work, exams, family, other books/novel can mean I catch-up later. (at that point I read the long version link so I remember all the story/ any chapters, I missed for that volume)

    Anyway I just wanted to say I enjoy it and offer some heartfelt thanks for sharing your writing.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thanks for your detailed feedback as always! And you were also the first one to calmly point out that I was lacking sensitivity during Dev Diary #4's political thoughts ^^' (never got to thank you for that!)
      Kaede's "viewpoint window for the audience" is actually the core reason why I love the 'Isekai' premise (The Twelve Kingdoms is the title I always look up to); or as hipsters would say: "I was a fan before it was popular" lol!

      I actually feel like Vivi represented a "level up" moment for me as a writer -- because I recognized early that while I had prepared her character (vol2 mentions) and therefore must insert her to be consistent, I didn't have the 'screentime' to truly characterize her this volume. So I intentionally wrote her as this mystery box who is really hard to understand for now. It's not common in LNs, but for a long-running series with a huge cast it should be fair game.

      1. zog11

        I hope the feedback has been a little helpful.
        On Dev Diary #4 thoughts: I just said what I felt and thought, so you don't really need to thank me but your welcome! (besides it also lead to an interesting, exchange of views, on related issues, If I remember correctly)
        As for Kaede's viewpoint: I would add that I think you write it well. (the hipster thing made me laugh as well so thanks for that!)
        As for Vivi: I agree it is fair game, I am just suggesting that maybe why she was less well received. That said I am definitely interested in finding out more about this mysterious individual.( so if that the main aim. well done!) I am not critical of the choice your made, I think it good choice.
        On Sylv: I am quite sympathetic to your portrayal of her mental health problems, given the stress she must be under and the setting.(family deaths, loved ones losses, responsibility, Kaede effect on Pascal and worries about abusing her power etc....) I think its understandable and realistic if not condonable.(even without a previous history) I thought it brought some interesting depth to this volume.

  26. Shadmad

    Hi Aorii,

    After such "back patting" from other commentors, maybe you don't need mine. Have it anyway :
    I've been lurking on your work since 2014. You hooked me with the very first chapter, and even if I'll recognize your chapters haven't been equal for me, I like the characters, the plot, and the cheer efforts you put into it, because it shows.

    I'm one of your readers who wait for each new release expectantly (by the way, I know this guy "nobody103" who's giving expected delivery dates for his releases, and even if it's not always on time it's great for my fanboy nerves).

    I found that Sylvianne wasn't unhinged enough to be considered really bipolar, and that you could have her do the same things without the psychiatric diagnosis. But at the same time I get your point : she's also too unhinged to be cured by petty prep talks, and medication is in order. You put yourself in quite a tight spot with this one, for me that makes you a courageous writer.

    I found that pacing was evolving during the Volumes, and considered it good writing style : no matter which pacing, you need to change it to explore an interesting plot. I liked the first Volumes pacing more (both 1 and 2), but with the plot you developped you needed to change it for the story to still be good (which it is). I'm not sure how to do it better.

    As for your viewership, you write a genderbender summoning fantasy story with a realistic angle. That's ridiculous and niche, and all hail to you because I like it a lot. I'm not sure trying to please a large viewership or making money was your intention when you started, so maybe you should try to feel good writing what you really like ? From what I saw, you'll keep me and some on board. I've spoken to published authors, and at your level you need a professional editor to hone your skills, if it's a concern.

    And I'm waiting for Volume 4, I trust in you ;)

    1. Aorii Post author

      The feedback really has been amazing, and thank you for your support as well ^^
      My original rough estimate was to release chapters once a month. However I've broken this so many times for vol3 due to one circumstance or another... some due to my own scheduling, others because of late beta-reader feedback or simply an unsatisfactory chapter I wasn't sure on how to fix.
      Sylv was unhinged just enough to show what bipolar swings were like without completely destroying herself -- there was a lot of calculation that went into this xD

      I'm not sure trying to please a large viewership or making money was your intention when you started

      Nope. I've never been populist to begin with -- you notice that Daybreak openly challenge a lot of commonly-held views. And this is pretty much purely a hobby for me since my career makes more than the average author. Otherwise yeah, genderbender is way too niche of a genre XD But you are right that at this stage, I'd have to consider going professional if I'm to get any better.

  27. nipi

    Kaede might be worrying too much about her financial prospects in this new world. She practically has gold flowing in her veins. Not sure how trading blood is regulated in the Samaran Republic. So theres that uncertainty. I mean the blood is closely tied to the nations international politics and continued existence.

    Being taken advantage of for her blood is another thing but the merchant and black ops lady she met do indicate that her race has a support structure to prevent that. Being ready to kill someone of Pascals standing is showing.

    The bigger problem is the familiar bond that forces her to not stay away from Pascal for too long.

    Also reread "Interlude - A Quiet Night"
    "Both of them yawned back with muttered greetings -- a sign of Rhin-Lotharingie's lax military discipline. If this was Weichsel, they would have at least stood up and saluted to greet an officer."
    That might fit the setting but... I just wanted to note that in todays military youd be in trouble if you saluted an officer in the field. Its the equivalent of telling an enemy sniper who the priority target is.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Somehow, selling her own blood simply was an idea I never seriously entertained. There certainly would have been a degree of danger to it as she attracted attention... I mean there's a big diff between 'organ donation' and 'selling organs'
      I actually did not know that about modern military protocol xD Wow times have changed.

      1. nipi

        Well being a samaran thats not a citizen of the Samaran Republic would probably put her in danger everywhere.

        Im sure the Republic keeps close track of all its citizens who are abroad to ensure they dont go missing. Surely there are serious repercussions for any kingdom in whos territory it would happen and anyone else involved. After all having a monopoly on samaran blood is what ensures the Republics continued existence. If somehow anyone were to manage to get a sizable samaran population of their own then that would alter the current power balance. (For a time I thought that Kaede might be a target for kidnapping or assassination for this reason.)

        The thing is that while she would be safe in the Samaran Republic her blood might not be worth all that much there. Either because of the larger supply or how its regulated. How did these non-magic users come into and remain in power? My guess is they provide excellent medical treatment and pay for their mages.

        Actually Im kind of surprised by how little Kaede asked the merchant about the Samaran Republic. You know get an idea how advanced they are technologically. Was it because Pascal was there with her? Or was she afraid she would be told something she wouldnt be allowed to leave with?

        One thing is that Kaede has full memories while most other samarans have snipets of their past lives. While she might not know how to make a lot of things she does know what is possible, what the basic prerequirements are and what the basic work principles are. That in itself is valuable. Getting to a point where anyone would listen to her might be a problem though.

        Hmm... Does the Samaran Republic have a system for gathering and organizing knowledge from past lives?

        Us conscripts were instructed that we do not have to salute:
        1) while not in uniform
        2) in the toilet
        3) in the showers
        4) in the mess hall
        But you definitely do not salute while out in the field. Your commanding officer does not want to get shot.

        1. Hakurei06

          Yeah, but (at least, as I remember it) in the good old days, you had aristocrat officers wearing fancy hats and flamboyant uniforms, like they're begging to be shot... or taken for ransom.

          1. nipi

            As I understand it ransoming reached its heights during the Hundred Years war. Rules had to be set to keep overly greedy troops from ruining your battles, ect. And you know only barbarians execute captive nobility.

            Ransoming a few aristocrats from wealthy/influential familys could contribute to compensating the cost of the war. And a kings ransom could be millions of gold coins and other secessions.

            If a significant ransom could be expected for you then your captivity might be quite enjoyable:
            On the other hand if you didnt place a sufficient worth to your freedom you might get tortured to get you to increase the estimate of your own worth.

          2. Aorii Post author

            It depends on culture, region, and circumstance. The flemish, for example, butchered the flower of french nobility during the Franco-Flemish Wars in revenge for french cruelty, not giving a care about randsom.

            Since you don't want to move the discussion elsewhere nipi (=P), I'll just make a quick reply:
            (1) There are Samaran mages, just rarer.
            (2) Again, Kaede wasn't a technologist and far more interested in the Samarans' way of life and culture. Also, I had to pace the chapter =P

  28. Alent

    Another first time poster here, I usually just lurk and read, but this seems like the right time to pipe up some support: I would strongly encourage you to keep on truckin' and write regardless of your pageview stats.

    I haven't been here long, I stumbled in looking for Only Sense Online back in august, but as soon as I ran out of OSO, I started poking around with the other stories on the site, and Daybreak quickly won a place on my reading list with the approach, subject matter, and style. I enjoy Isekai/Tensei/MMOfic stories for the escapism, but I often find myself frustrated at their lack of coherent aim- often times they simply suffer from the shallowness of the authors' worldview and experience. Daybreak escapes this common trap of the genre by simply having depth and a 3D world where even the mundane is still relevant and real despite magic- it was refreshing to see the simple ripple effects that came along with Sylv's issues. Pat yourself on the back for a job well done. I wish my own writing efforts were going as well as Daybreak is for you.

    Volume 3, despite its flaws, was quite enjoyable. I would not list it as my favorite volume, but I would also say that it lays the foundation for more enjoyable adventures later. While currently it stands awkwardly, it will benefit from future developments that will cause it to read differently in retrospect. I already look forward to seeing how Kaede and Sylv's relationship as "family" develops, especially in light of Kaede's new position of strength on the council. Before reaching the part of chapter 18 with Robert's will, I half wondered if somehow Kaede was going to somehow inherit Robert's Phoenix in the wake of that battle. It seemed clear from Kaede's early fear of Sylv and suffering at her hand that at some point in the greater story Kaede would gain the status to stand against Sylv during future episodes. In this light, I thought the council was an exciting and perfect bookend development, and I look forward to seeing what exactly this development means and entails.

    I would offer detailed criticism, but I think I want to re-read all three books before I do so. There are things that stand out in memory, but memory is an unreliable thing and I find the second read helps me hone the validity of criticism, and I note that almost appropriately given the theme of volume 3 that another reason I hesitate to criticize is "the bias of an expected outcome." I've often found that what I expect from a story influences my enjoyment of it, causing me to read it differently when I know the ending. Additionally, while I do feel something was wrong in the pacing, I don't see how the pacing could have been much different without sacrificing the coherency and urgency of the plot. Productively analyzing any flaws in the pacing will take more effort than a casual "I think this would've been better as two books".

    On the subject of pageviews, could it be that your pageviews are the result of an overall drop in site traffic? I'm not sure of the exact dates, but aside from your own break in writing, didn't OSO translations run out of material during your own writing gap between ch 7 and 8, while Antimagic Academy's last book finished up during the second half of daybreak vol 3? Do the overall site numbers support the idea that a non-trivial portion of your lost pageviews were people here for one of those other two stories and were reading daybreak to fill the time between releases?

    Anyhow, this got long and wordy, so tl;dr: Keep up the good work.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thanks for the support o/

      Robert doesn't have a phoenix. He's an armiger who follows Sylv, but not a paladin himself.

      I feel like the intense edits I've done to vol3 mitigated some of the pacing issues, but I won't know until Kadi gets time to look into it again. Part of it is definitely still me groping about on how to best handle the writing: vol1 was purely character focused, while vol2 was focused on the war and how it affected the characters. Vol3 was an attempt to balance the two, with the characters' clash sending ripples into the war and then coming back to bite them. Storyboard-wise however, turning it into 2 vols would have been a disaster -- as Sylv's issue would end unresolved during a volume.

      I considered that for pageviews, but... I'll not bore you with the details, but let me just say it didn't match the pattern. Probably contributed, though.

      1. Alent

        Ah! That explains a bit, for some reason I thought Sylv's rank gave her paladins as armigers and that I'd just forgotten the last time I saw their birds since I feel like the birds themselves seem to lack presence. That's actually one of the reasons why I want to re-read things when I have a whole day to drop into re-reading stuff, I know I remember Sylv's bird here and there, but I don't even know if I'm remembering it's name right. Correcting that misunderstanding about the Armigers does actually cast the results of that last pyrric victory in a slightly better light, I'd been thinking they were temporarily down national symbols on top of the lost war potential.

        Thanks for the clarification!

        1. Aorii Post author

          The phoenixes aren't mentioned much, especially in battle since they're merged with the paladin. On most scenes there's just a line or two of acknowledgement if the phoenix is present, but since they don't speak and generally don't interrupt there's not much purpose of more.

          CTRL+F the character list if you need a reminder of who has which phoenix, but so far there're six revealed thus far:
          Princess Sylviane's Hauteclaire, Saint Estelle's Durandal, Emperor Geoffroi's Joyeuse, King Alistair's Almace, Gwendolyn's Courtain, and Vivienne's Olifant

          1. Glacierfairy

            This reminds me, is Gwendolyn counted as one of the 12 Oriflamme paladins? If that is so, doesn't that imply that Rhin-Lotharingie effectively only has 11 paladins, assuming that there are only 12 phoenixes?

          2. Aorii Post author

            Yep. This "deus ex machine" costs 1 permanent paladin upkeep slot! xD

          3. Alent

            This Deus Ex Machina's too expensive, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush.

            *rimshot* I'll show myself out.

  29. Ben

    I would say that the length in between releases is a factor, as it sometimes feels like this site is suddenly barren whilst waiting on an update, not that it stops me from refreshing on the daily.

    Though I find it tasteless to simply offer pleasantries and support, I nevertheless have enjoyed reading your novels. If I can't find some pleasure reading to occupy myself or if I get bored waiting for an update, I tended to lean towards rereading Daybreak from Vol. 1.

    I found the conflicts in Volumes 1 & 2 to be more engaging, as I subscribe to a notion of things occurring as a result of horrifying cascades of minor actions and details. The unnamed mage dying after blasting the ground to stifle the Nordsman advance always felt like a case of 'I dun fucked up', as the snow screen he creates to cover Kaede hides his source of death.

    Volume 3 with its worldwalkers felt like a fairly abrupt departure, as they seemed almost irrelevant. Truth be told, I felt that their exclusive use was to correct the direction of the book in case you inadvertently outclass the protagonists by too much, the archetypal plot armor if you will. Naturally, Pascal will probably fully recover after a period of sickness. It's inevitable.

    However, I feel like his actions should've set off some alarms in terms of power creep even if it was the usage of 10 odd years of his mana. Though there is always the pleasure of seeing a hammer of God , I felt the MOAB mage group cast was a bit rediculous and the introduction of the Nuke doesn't make one feel much more pleased, as being able to utilize such a spell ensues a one-sided dominance. It may have taken Pascal 10 years, but I wouldn't doubt that Wescheil could crank out a smaller version in a matter of days using 100 or so mages as a mana-pump or simply going to a leyline node. This was probably already brought up in some one else's previous comment I would assume.

    Overall though, I will say that I have enjoyed reading your Novels. I don't think you need to change your style, and the fact that you are reflective of what you write and how you wrote is by itself a positive virtue.

    Though at risk of losing sight of the greater picture, I nonetheless appreciate the detail-driven writing style that you utilize. I do have to agree that it sometimes feels like you spend too much on the characters and too little on driving the plot forward, as this entire volume has felt fairly slow, but at the same time, I feel the story only continues because of the investment you made in detailing the characters. I sometimes feel like I'd rather have more of an understanding of the world these characters live in rather than details about the characters themselves. But ultimately, an understanding of the characters is pivotal to advancing the story without sudden moments of confusion due to the appearance of a neglected character.

    I have to ask though, throughout the series, it has felt like the path of a magus' advancement is through comprehension of how to manipulate magic rather than total magic capacity. Nothing directly implies a net method of increasing mana supply, aside from the mention of Admiral Vinterstead streching himself as an Arch mage to hold off the efforts of a few mages. Nothing particularly leads to the conclusion on whether or not ether capacity is a growing trait or if it is a static one as no mention of either direction is really made.

    I mainly ask because there isn't any impression aside from the fact that it feels set up such that one of the primary protagonists will inevitably be bolestered towards the worldwalker level by virtue of their ability to impact Hyperion. The basis of these worldwalkers after all seem to be an issue of the impact of strong magical beings upon a world, which sometimes makes me wonder why if there exist any from Earth.

    Regardless, I would say that you should stick to writing the story you care about. Style will inevitably change as you try to find the ideal method of expression. These novels written by Aorii are ones I have enjoyed reading after all. Some of these appetites for reading are particularly hard to sate.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Well, I've already noted how reading trends would change based on release time. And the sheer amount of release needed for this volume certainly made me slow down.
      And thanks. It's never tasteless to offer support, since that's the only encouragement keeping hobbyist authors like me going =P

      To address some of your points:

      (1) I figured any inclusion of 'gods' will trigger a reaction from many readers. However, I assure you that the Worldwalkers are important to both Hyperion's setting and story, although their direct involvement will be limited due to the treatise (and the fact it's literal deus ex machina every time they step in). They are also NOT my counter to "character power creep". That job is assigned to my character sheets (which details/limits how quickly characters scale in their abilities) and time spent on designing worthy opponents.

      (2) Pascal will recover but not fully. It's been discussed in the v3ch18 comments, and hinted at by the medic's conversation with Sylv.

      (3) In my experience in fantasy tabletopRPG campaigns, the development of high powered combination spells goes hand-in-hand with advancement in 'magical technology'. It's basically fantasy's version of... for example, WW2's technology war. That being said, Pascal's spell's lacking isn't power or ether, it's control -- he doesn't understand enough quantum physics to balance the equation the way our scientists did. Throwing X mages at the problem will only make that worse =P

      (4) I used to be a lot more plot-driven, but in my years of writing I learned that most readers (myself included) care more about good character development than an impressive plot, and only the best characters make the plot truly epic. Hence my time spent on them (especially vol1, which is by far the slowest in terms of plot advancement lol!)

      (5) v2ch7/8 mentions that Weichsel's Noble Reiters lack the ether endurance of trained battlemages, which should highlight that ether capacity can be increased by training. There other ways of improving spellcasting include improve ether process speed (spell acceleration), learning more/higher tier spells, and as you said, better understanding of magical manipulation in the real world.

      (6) As the Worldwalkers achieved their immortal status by feat of magic, there are none who originate from Earth. At least by my current plans. I do stage-by-stage worldbuilding so... may change =P

      1. Alavaria

        Kaede should know enough to tell him a world-spanning war ends with the use of two of those, on population centers.

        So they better find some substitutes for the good guy explosion ending.

  30. Nifalh

    I don't know about other people but I actually like this volume. The scene in mid volume between Sylviane and Kaede may leave bitter taste and make people feel bad, but I think the very fact that people can feel hate for Sylviane, a fictional character from a novel, is a great achievement. Because it means that people who read the novel are immersed enough to actually make them feel something by the action of character inside. I actually think that Sylviane having a psychological disorder or at least some problem with herself is something to be expected. She is the third child with 2 older brothers. From the conversation of her and pascal when they are child, we can see that while she is educated, she is only expected to be a a flower in the palace. But with both her brother died, the burden of being the next ruler is placed on her shoulder. We got a glimpse of her thought in volume 2 before she is contacted by pascal to give reinforcement. Her royal conduct is something she learned as the next empress and not her natural self. It is not weird for her to be broken after years of putting on airs. I think people think negatively of this volume because it has such a heavy content for a web novel. and people are not used to it.

    1. Aorii Post author

      (Somehow your post went under 'spam')
      Well... it's why I'm still proud of what I've achieved with Sylv, despite many people not liking it. And you've mostly listed my thoughts as I decided to wrote 'Bipolar' on her character notes ^^

  31. Pyro1515

    Keep going I enjoy the story weaved and the characters created even if it sits out of my "norm."

  32. linkhyrule5

    Just some thoughts from someone who didn't keep up with Daybreak, not for any dislike of the material but rather from lack of time (lolschool)...

    I don't think I'd've liked it, but that's much because I can't stand the Hachiman archetype either, of either gender. If I want to read about real characters, I can read the newspaper; if I want to read tragedies, I can read the newspaper; if I want to read about people screwing up and making things worse in understandable, human, but ultimately self-destructive ways, I can, again, read the newspaper.

    I read fiction to read about the impossible, or at least the unlikely. The people who *aren't* like that - the airbrushed people who exceed every limit, save every world, never lose their cool and never forget that the other side has a reason for their actions too. I will always prefer the Madoka, the Nanoha, the Naruto over the Hachiman or the "let me live an ordinary life" Blando LN character.

    In that regard, there's absolutely such a thing as too realist, IMO.

    1. Aorii Post author

      There's no accounting for taste. But whatever else, Daybreak is not 'bland' =P
      Within Daybreak's cast, Pascal represents the 'exceptional character' far more than Sylv does anyway. So you may still enjoy?

      I like airbrushed people too (it's part of why I read biographies about the great figures of the world), but I can't stand Gary Stus. To me, characters have always been best defined by their internal struggles when pushed up against extreme situations... and 'perfect people' lack that.

  33. Just Another Daybreak Fan

    Nah Aorii, I think your doing fine. Personally, I'm tired of over simplified plots, similar characters, and similar plotlines on most Novels these days. This is new, fresh, a chaotic mixture of everything you want to mix in, and still comes across well. Who has heard of a web novel where theres a gender bendered girl stuck in a fantasy world where magic acts as nukes, all while dealing with a bi-polar princess who tried to abuse her? xD

    I wish you the best of luck, I'm loving the complicated plot and characters. And detailed battle scenes are good once in a while.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Well... whatever else, Daybreak is indeed fairly unique in its genre-smashing.
      Thanks for the support o/

  34. Zatman

    In my case I very much welcome complex mental diseases inside novels, bassically because I suffer from a severe anxiety disorder, though people tend to avoid reading stuff that shows a crude reality much like their own (because the main reason they read fantasy novels is to get away from the very reality you're showing)

    The main problem I found though, is that the specific disorder you chose for sylv might have been waaaay too much disrupting in terms of storytelling,
    each time Darth sylv appeared, the flow of the read stopped for me because I had to twist in agony as she became an antagonist of her own campaign and clashed with her allies, as this started bit by bit from the moment she started making kaede's life impossible, it made me start to feel bad by reading the story, since it was practically the main focus for this volume, because even if the plot goes about the war they're in, it felt as a side story while sylv's disorders took the central stage, people are more used to seeing more anxiety related issues accumulating in the character as a side topic, that ends up becoming a big deal by the end of the arc (I'm not explaning myself so well) making the main characters clash and ending up getting closer by letting it all out in a rather conflictive way

    1. Aorii Post author

      Oh I understand what you mean. And it's certainly been a gamble for me to put Sylv's psychological issues front and center -- ch8's ending and ch9 were cringeworthy even for me to write. I guess part of it is because after so much historical reading, I'm amazed at just how many monarchs (especially famous ones) have had mental disorders of their own. Not to mention: Pascal really isn't a unique character archetype, nor is Kaede. But Sylv? Sylviane became personal -- and her bipolar-ness is part of why her mindset is so unique.

      In hindsight, I really should have warned about it in the release posts back then...

      In fact, I originally designed Sylv with Bipolar II disorder (the lesser of the two 'true' bipolars). Then when doing research, I realized that her character would dig such a deep hole that she can't climb out if she had a true, clinically defined hypomania episode. Which is why I made her case... quite mild, so mild that in fact, a psychiatrist in our world may hesitate to even diagnose her as 'cyclothymia'. (Added this to post)

  35. WinterRED

    I honestly don't believe you should read too deeply into the viewership count. A number like that is greatly affected by a multitude of variables, a lot of which are difficult to pin down. Furthermore, I've noticed that interest in Web novels tends to wax and wane a great deal depending on release speed and content of specific arcs. If anything, you should focus on what makes YOU unhappy with your own writing. You can't please everyone, but by self-inspecting the personal flaws you can improve the overall quality.

    One thing I have noticed is that many of the recent chapters have focused on psychological issues, a topic that I'm sure many will find difficult to digest. Doesn't mean people dislike the novel, but I reckon a fair few people might drop the novel for a couple months to try to let the whole Princess/Kaide/PTSD matter blow over and then read it all in one go. I know we've discussed this before, and I'm sure my suggestion will be heavily skewed towards my personal vision, but If you're really worried about it then perhaps you could fit in a more lighthearted section after this one. Preferably a section that involves a little exploration, a glimpse into the future of Kaide's adventure path, but also something not completely unrelated ;).

    Another (possible) suggestion is that you could get the community more involved. By involved, I don't mean doing the writing for you or anything (unless you'd like me to write a paper for you on how electrical power systems might exist in Hyperion lol), but maybe open up a chat/forums/discord server. This might help retain interests between long stretches of no-release, and might also foster discussion on many of the interesting topics you've inserted into Hyperion. However, I would be cautious with this because people can get quite rude when hiding behind internet anonymity. The comments I've read on the chapter posts have been more thoughtful and civilized than many of the other LN/WNs I've read, but I'm sure there will always be ill-mannered people wherever you go.

    Anyways, all I reaallly wanted to say is that despite me being a fairly prolific reader, Hyperion is by far my favourite read of all time. Keep up the great work!

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thanks~ I don't take viewership count nearly as serious as professionals, and I understand that there's a tonnage of factors. But when there is such a sizeable drop-off alongside disparaging comments, it becomes something I have to examine. Otherwise I'd easily fall to the opposite, Cognitive Bias valley that I covered in the last dev diary... It's part of why I try my best to answer negative comments seriously.

      There's already an lite-hearted Extra Chapter in the plans ;D

      I've... considered a community? It's part of why I moved from B-T to Krytyk's as my main publishing site (the open commenting). I don't really like social media, especially Twitter or old IRC which I find an extreme distraction and time-waster. But yeah, it's something I'll think about~

      1. WinterRED

        I think it's good that you're examining the reasons as to why you had a viewership drop-off. If nothing else, it'll certainly help your writing ability/style grow moving forwards.

        Glad to hear you're already one step ahead of me. I seem to recall you mentioning this slice of life chapter somewhere (something about shopping), but I can't recall the exact place.

        Twitter is pretty unnecessary in my opinion since you post most of your announcements here anyways, and it isn't exactly ideal for lengthy discussions. I've actually never used IRC, but I assume that discord is basically a modernized version of it. I enjoy using Discord, and almost every School Group/Gaming Group/Social Circle (friends) I am a part of has its own dedicated server/channel. I agree it can be very distracting at times, but it serves its purpose as a communication method for people who can't always meet face to face. I'll be honest, the commenting layout here is quite limited and makes me not really want to post much. Especially on mobile, I hate using it on mobile.

        1. Aorii Post author

          Why/how is the commenting layout here too limited? Have an example of a good ver?
          I'd be happy to look into improvements =3

          1. WinterRED

            Hey Aorii, sorry for the late reply! Final exams been taking their toll on me. Never did I wish more that Rejuvenation Spells were a thing for real.

            I would say in general that the layout is not very ideal for extensive discussions. It's a bit vague, but I think if you've used a forums before you kind of know what I mean. Having to search for the comment thread every time, not knowing if it's appropriate to post fan creations (or where to post them) - I think there's a plethora of reasons as to why a forums or messaging service might be more useful. For example, I've been meaning to ask you about the possibility of creating non-canonical writings about mundane characters that you haven't/probably won't cover. Stuff like a diary of a regular citizen while the city was bombarded. It would be something fun to work on, but at the same time there's no "non-canonical fan fiction" subsection here to post it in. Or If someone wanted to discuss the economic system of Hyperion, where would they post for the topic to have relevance and traction?

            Just my two cents, but I guess it's something to consider. I'm not even sure if you'd approve of something like fan fiction written by mediocre writers, considering how much time and effort you put into researching the details before writing. It might cheapen the experience for other readers (all the more reason why it needs its own sub section with a big DO NOT ENTER sign for those that don't want Hyperion to be spoiled).

          2. Aorii Post author

            Oh wow, your college has early exams =O
            Yeah a forum is preferable for extended discussions, but for the most part requires signups -- not to mention loading/navigating new pages entirely. That extra barrier is why I switched to Krytyk's from B-T (which does have forum support). I do get that some of the comment threads run too long and get awkward though.
            If you want to add non-canonical stuff, feel free to email me and I can always create a separate page for them. I recently added contact info to the bottom of Daybreak's page.

  36. Xerty

    A few thoughts hear. Firstly from my point of view kaede's so called change was handled consistently by you kaede alweas seemed nervous of sylviane the whole no real legal protection against the royal temper. Add to this her knowing she was a sore point between sylviane and pascal and only a moron would not be nervous under such a situation. As for cliffhangers i can't say that i felt any of them were particulary bad for the most part you would end chapters at the end of a scean yea maby there was big events coming up but you rarely paused in what i would consider the middle of scene and i consider those as perfectly natural chapter breaks. hell some of your chapters could and in a printed book probly would be broken down in to 2 or ocasionaly even 3 chapters. a chapter is not the end of a book, a chapter is not a short story and does not need, nor should it be written like a short story. As for people liking characters i belive it is far more important for readers to have some point of refernse some commonality with a charcter to find them engaging a character that is totaly foreign or alien to the reader makes it impossible cor them to relate either possiti ly or negatively to them . This ahain imo makes the reader either finding the charcter eiher bland and boring or way to far over the top and not believable. Well enough of mh run on rambling i have been enjoying your writing a lot and thank you for all the time and effort you have sunk into it.

    1. Aorii Post author

      There are authors who end chapters in the middle of a scene? I mean outside of things like shounen manga's long battles, I consider that kind of behavior just poor writing.
      I've written in the past that "making characters relatable" isn't quite one of my skills. Apart from the fact I'm pretty weird myself, I rarely seek out characters who are like the common person. Out of the 3 main leads in Daybreak, Kaede is the only one even mildly relatable and even she is (1) an overachiever and (2) unusually mature for her age. In exchange my goal is to make characters interesting, but that takes screentime, which minor characters simply don't get.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts~

  37. Glacierfairy

    I'm not sure whether this would help, but I must say (once again) that I really enjoy your writing. The world-building, the characters and their interactions are more or less what I expect of this genre. I may perhaps be a forgiving reader, because I cannot say I truly hate any of the characters thus far in this series. All of them have their own viewpoints, and all of them play a role in the grander narrative. So, Princess Sylviane is definitely a problematic character, but that is not enough to turn me off, because I know that this story is still a work in progress and there are plenty of opportunities for her to reflect on her actions later on. In fact, I have to say back then I was morbidly curious about how far she would fall, just to see how she could possibly recover from the consequences, and the end of this volume only made me want to know more about her story. And herein lies my only problem with this story - the cliffhangers. However, this is inevitable since the story is still ongoing, and I will gladly wait for the next instalment. But it would not surprise me if other readers would stop reading and wait for the chapters or even volumes to accumulate before returning to it, because I myself would do it from time to time to other ongoing long-runners. I daresay that readers' apathy is an inevitable phenomenon, but until your story has ended I do not believe it is fair for it to be judged in absolute terms.

    1. Aorii Post author

      Yeah thanks for your longtime support since vol2 ^^ All those detailed feedback really do help me a lot~

      All of them have their own viewpoints, and all of them play a role in the grander narrative.

      That's what I try to portray at any rate. Whether I did it well or not depends on the reader ^^

      I've mentioned before that my cliffhangers aren't intentional. I'm not one of those calculating authors trying to sink hooks into you -- I had a bad experience in high school where too many cliffhangers made me finish a book overnight and flunked a test the next day... But alas, I do have to end chapters somewhere, and most complicated situations take several chapters to resolve.

      I guess one thing I could do is to add 'Cliffhanger Warnings' on chapter announcement posts so people are forewarned if they'd rather wait a few chapters or not?

      1. Glacierfairy

        Cliffhanger warnings would be a nice touch, but I know I would jump in regardless, and I know there would also be others who would do so as well. The resulting comments would make a good read too anyway. =)

  38. Hugo Gilarranz

    First time posting a comment, im pretty shy even on internent and im not confident at all in mi english but i thinck i should comment.

    I thinck your are crazy (in a good way) for triying to reflect such complex topic and is good that you try things tought some people may find the litle changes of your writing style anoying but i don't particulary dislike it.

    About Kaede change in last volumen i dunno if im dense or that i found normal her change after what she suffer. For Sylv i like that her is either black or white i like her more now that before and i also love how Pascal pay for using "nuclear magic".

    For last the use of minor character PoV is something i like tought is dificult to do well, i dont thinck you do it bad at all but it can confuse people if isnt done almost perfect.

    Now that i end mi comment about the post i have to say that i enjoy reading your work and want to keep reading it while you enjoy writing it, and as a funny fact mi mental image of Sylv and Pascal was totaly the oposity of the concept sketch( mi Sylv image was closer to the Pascal Sketch and mi Pascal image closer to Syl sketch).

    1. Aorii Post author

      Thanks for the support ^^

      Pascal has a natural holier-than-thou attitude that comes with his self-sense of superiority. Sylv doesn't and is -- appearance wise -- quite humble; only once she start speaking does she take on royal airs and, as Kaede notes, "does not tolerate impertinence".

      A typo to take notice of:
      thinck > Think. 'C' only goes before 'k' when there's a vowel


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