Updates, and Daybreak Dev Diary #6: Plans

This is Aorii. It's been a while.

I have several updates to push out. I've actually been sitting on all of them for over a month now; but several of the beta-readers had been busy due to personal reasons and I haven't been able to meet my minimum 'beta-passes' quota until now. This seems to be a consistent trend every winter ^^;

A few of you may have read my Dev Diary last December on both Flowers and my plans for the future of Daybreak. The TL;DR version is that after some conversations (special thanks to the artist Hachi and beta-readers Jorge and Ahmsab), I finally came to the realization that the entire Flowers exposition was far from satisfactory and that I was rushing too fast into the story to do it justice. I was trying out a different storytelling style that I've seen in many other fictions -- where the main events are introduced first and the character details/reactions are filled in later from flashbacks to slowly piece together a full picture -- but eventually came to the realization that this did not work well with my writing and, if anything, it undermined some of my better qualities.

An ineffectual general edit finally helped me to pin down the flaws, and I decided to do a complete rewrite of Flowers from scratch. Hence after much rework, the prologue of Flowers is re-posted, as two separate chapters this time. Everything from this point is being rewritten as well.

That Dev Diary also finally discussed the main issues I have with Daybreak, especially ones pertaining to its casting. Because I originally wrote it as a fun joke, Daybreak never had the initial planning to be written as a long serialization, and the more I write the more I seem to hit my head against a wall that refuses to go away. The stress really became too much after vol3, and at this stage I'm growing weary of forcing it to stay as a series, especially when -- due to its silly genderbender start -- I have trouble even recommending it to many friends who'd normally like this sort of story. Thus I decided that since my detailed planning for Daybreak only went as far as volume 4, I will be discontinuing its main story at the end of this volume.

That being said -- a month after announcing that -- I realized that I'm not entirely okay with just dropping Daybreak either. I can't afford to keep pouring the same amount of time in; a political-military series is extremely time consuming to plan, research, and simply check all the dots to make sure its actors remain intelligent and internally consistent. I persist that I won't continue the main plotline, but I plan to convert the story into... something else. A short stories series mostly focused on its main characters while giving hints about the accomplishments they achieved? A time-skipped slice-of-life story far into the future when the continent has settled into peace? I don't know yet. But I still have Volume 4 to finish so I have plenty of time to figure out.

For the time being I plan to divide my time between Daybreak and Flowers. But in the long run I plan to have Flowers take over my obsession with writing stories focused on more complicated societal issues. Thus, Flowers is meant to be Daybreak's successor in everything except the genderbender tag, and I intend to pour in every bit as much effort to make it as interesting. I hope Daybreak's readers will give it (another) chance and offer me feedback with their thoughts.

If nothing else, the rewritten prologue of Flowers delves very heavily into Samaran psychology and social views -- something I've never quite had a chance for Kaede to properly explore and will certainly answer questions about her behavior.

Best regards,

~ Aorii

P.S. I'm pretty busy this season due to taking a management course, but I'll try to make periodic chapter updates.

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13 thoughts on “Updates, and Daybreak Dev Diary #6: Plans

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  1. Ebisu

    I'm saddened to hear that Daybreak will be discontinued after volume 4. While it continuing like a slice of life may work, I love the action and epic parts of Daybreak. I like Daybreak's characters, but I don't like seeing their exploits sidelined in favor of Flowers', which I always thought would be a one or two volume prequel, perhaps sort of a spinoff... Shaky foundations or not, the lighter comedic tone of Daybreak at the beginning worked very well to introduce the characters and make the readers interested. Without the genderbender Flowers drops in appeal for me too. The Samarans reincarnation system sets them perfectly to remember lives as a different gender, so It's weird hearing that Flowers will have none too...
    Honestly, I'd rather you didn't skip any fights and battles in Daybreak after volume 4 with the slice of life parts, so that if you feel like returning because you manage to find ideas or your motivation to give Daybreak the continuation it deserves, you can. You could totally make arc 4 last a hundred chapters too (worse is I may not be kidding).
    As for recommending it, you should be more proud of it and give people a chance to surprise you. If Daybreak ends up being your best work, wouldn't it be strange to never recommend it? I'm glad Daybreak is too complicated and big for you to rewrite at this stage too, he he.

    TLDR: It's Daybreak that I (we?) love.

    On a comment, perhaps the problem with Flowers is that while Lydia has a proper prologue, a story that allows the reader to know her, Subutai was lacking one. So Lydia is presented in a way that anyone would think she is the main character of the story, but the moment it starts, she suddenly becomes a secondary character losing all the protagonism to this Subutai who appears and is introduced out of nowhere to solve a situation that reeks of incompetence from the present leading figures (Lydia included, which undermines her and makes her look suddenly as just another incompetent officer). Perhaps if Subutai got a proper prologue before appearing at Polynesian headquarters and then Lydia is kept more in the spotlight, everything would work and flow better. Alternating more the characters povs perhaps. It's the dynamics and relationship between these two that was lacking in the previous version, thing that Kaede and Pascal had since the very beginning.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      I'm sure there are plenty of people whose interest in Daybreak lies purely because it's a genderbender, especially considering the contents of this site. But (shrug) not everything necessarily works out. If I choose to write volume 5, its issues would require such a ridiculous amount of research (due to something at ch4's ending) that it just isn't worth my time anymore; not after how much volume 3 has wounded me. I really appreciated the support I received. However, a lot of the negative feedback really depressed and stressed me out, and left me very thankful that I have no intention to go professional because worrying over such things would tear my life apart. Flowers will actually have genderbender elements due to the Samarans' nature (since it tackles gender issues, having some helps a lot), but it won't leave as much of a footprint.

      Of course I'm rewriting Subutai's introduction too, and I recognize some of the issues there as well. But he has the same role as Pascal, and Lydia is the heart and voice of the story. There'll be a lot more content prior to his intro this time (it's been pushed back to ch5-6). It's a "rewrite" because I noticed too many things needed changing. Whole deal is partially because I was trying out a particular storytelling style -- where you set the main events up first and explain all the character details later in flashbacks -- that clearly does not work for me.

      Thanks for the feedback ^^

      Reply
  2. Thanatoss

    Ok.

    Still Daybreak is our live....
    You know what will happen if it is gone? OUR LIVES will be GONE!
    But it will be continued as short stories.... at least we will have something to live for...
    Ok jokes aside I think that ending story short but great is good idea. I hope for some big ending... pls don't kill then and make some kind of super sad ending.... do you know how many suicides that would couse...
    Ekhem jokes aside*
    Short stories will focus more on relationship of main characters? Ok but don't forget about the rest of the world. I haven't read Flowers yet but I hope Pascal, Kaede and at leat few other characters will be mentioned there. I can asume that worldwalkers plot line "100% not M**** the gathering rip off" will be continued I like it the most after Pascal Kaede's.
    Thx for updatw I will be waiting for nore Flowers and end of chapter IV of Daybreak.
    ~whispers: I hope I won't have to wait too many years.... i might die and not read it till end....

    Great job and I hope you keep it up like this! :)

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Sorry, Daybreak characters do not appear in Flowers, considering that Flowers take place many centuries before the events of Daybreak

      Reply
  3. Varevas

    I can definitely understand why the genderbend elements of this story makes it difficult to recommend to some, hell I've had the same problem myself. It's a real shame too. I greatly enjoy reading them and thinking how the physiology of sexes affects peoples mind and personality, the cultural and societal factors as well as the difficulties brought by the change.
    I greatly look forward to your work in Flowers but I do hope you'll still do the occasional short story for daybreak, the slice-of-life idea sounds good too.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      As mentioned, I don't plan to just 'drop' Daybreak, even after vol4 =P
      Gender roles/issues will be a major theme in Flowers. Just without the genderbender. I came to realize that a lot of people just can't seem to screw their head on straight when dealing with a genderbender, due to preconceived notions about gendered behavior. Real shame, since a genderbender allows more seamless transition between light-hearted and heavy conversations.

      Reply
      1. HextecNeko

        Honestly even if people have bad attitudes about the story because of its tags i think u should continue writing it in my opinion its a masterpiece. If u dont mind i would like to repost it on wattpad i think daybreak would do well there of course i will not take any credit but i enjoy it and i think others there will too

        also if u do end daybreak please give kaede a chapter filled with cute stuff like oso level cute i beg ^0^

        Reply
  4. xrick

    It's quite saddening that Daybreak isn't working out the way you probably wished it to be.
    It's a matter of fact that, when starting a story, planning and structuring may help a lot. That is, if you know beforehand you want it to last long.

    I, for a matter of fact, have been trying, for a few years, to have my story be a long-running one, but now the content has been reduced to half of what I originally intended. Revisions, restructuring and getting to know that certain ideas weren't working out as intended led to such a situation.
    Of course, the way I'm trying to get my story to go leaves room for additional material to flow in, down the line, it'll just depend on my creativity and ability to keep it all cohesive and appealing.

    Keep it up, don't give up, you may find a new solution to your dilemmas anytime soon.

    Reply
    1. AoriiAorii Post author

      Pre-planned long stories have its own challenges as well. Flowers was overplanned, if anything, as I kept thinking to myself "well these details would be better left till later than now". Nope. Sometimes the 'now' needs to take priority over everything.
      Thanks for the support ^^

      Reply
      1. xrick

        When I first started writing, around 10 years ago, I'd simply go with whatever would come to mind.
        Obviously, such a thing would spell disaster...
        At a certain point, I'd write ideas I'd have to this or that, since my memory isn't that much friendly to me.
        When a friend of mine started analysing my scripts, and deem them crap (and nowadays I can say they really were), I finally started structuring and outlining stuff for the story. Events, characters, concepts, elements, locations, etc.
        Nowadays, I can't simply write without having a guideline of sorts sorted out beforehand. And that's my life xD

        Reply