Aaaaand welcome back! This will be the first release for the official sequel to LxM, Seeking Elysium. The link to the page itself will be found at the bottom of the post – feel free to skip over and click it, but first I’d like to talk about a few decisions I’ve made regarding this work.
I’m going to talk about differences, stylistic and thematic, between this and LxM. The most striking difference is likely the form of narration. While LxM was written in 3rd Person, Seeking Elysium (SEly) will be written almost completely in 1st Person. The reason for this is threefold. Firstly, it lets me better convey how Elysium (the protagonist) engages with and responds to the world around her. Secondly, it allows for me to conceal some information from her eyes – and by extension, the reader’s eyes. Thirdly, it allows me to more fully develop Elysium through portraying how she views the actions of those around her – a 3rd Person style would necessarily force her characterisation to be understood through the lens of the reader, but a 1st Person style lets me flip those lens around, which (in my opinion) allows for me to do much more interesting things.
You’ll notice that I’ve got a little “Volume 1” up there in the title. Unlike LxM, SEly is going to be split up into seperate volumes. This is mainly to stop the contents page from being too cluttered, as well as to provide me a more certain framework for narrative organisation. I’ve realised that pacing is one big problem that I have, and I’m using the volumes framework to attempt to address this weakness.
Thematically, SEly is going to be much more heavily loaded than LxM. While there are a few overarching themes present in LxM (and I honestly have no idea how they got there), the plan I have for SEly has it being my first attempt at actively engaging with various themes in a story. How prominent these themes will end up being, I cannot say; but hopefully it’ll end up as a more thoughtful story than LxM.
In terms of scale, SEly is both smaller in scale and larger in scale than LxM. Smaller in scale in that I’m going to be placing emphasis on the day-to-day interactions between my characters, meaning there might be numerous chapters where basically the same things are happening, though hopefully in different, interesting ways. Particularly for the first volume, when Elysium is getting used to her new world, there will be a number of digressionary chapters and dialogues which might not serve to advance the plot – while this sounds like filler material, I do believe that such chapters are necessary for establishing the atmosphere and relationships that will come into focus later on in the story, as well as for worldbuilding. However, despite this, as a whole this story will be larger in scale than LxM – while Lily’s actions in LxM largely only impacted herself and those around her, and later on a single continent – the events that transpire in SEly will impact the world as a whole, shifting borders, establishing new borders, moving the world stage. I’m pretty excited to write about these, and I hope I’m not inadvertently over-hyping it.
One thing you’ll notice after you’ve read these two chapters, and much of Volume 1, no doubt, is that there are distinctive Chinese influences in this story. This is because I’m ethnically Chinese, and I thought it would be interesting – as well as admittedly safer – to draw upon my own culture, rather than on Japanese culture, as I attempted to do in LxM, with questionable results (Think Hina). While these influences will likely persist throughout the story, I promise they won’t overshadow the original world of LxM that you have come to recognise (and, I hope, love). While there will still be influences from Japanese webnovels and light novels in this tale, I hope the tropes and themes I’m borrowing can transcend their generic bounds, and above all, I hope I can write them in such a way that they might not fall prey to the trap of cliche.
Which brings me to the most obvious trope I’m using: Isekai, or Parallel World. This is an extremely popular trope in Asian webnovels, as I’m sure you all are aware. I was hesitant about this decision, but ultimately I went with it. There are various reasons for this, but arguably the most compelling was that it allowed me to deposit Elysium into a situation that was familiar yet unfamiliar, challenging her limits and her strengths. It all sounds a bit cryptic at this point, but that’s because any more elaboration would delve into spoiler territory, and we don’t want that, do we?
Ultimately, SEly, as I’ve planned it, is going to be a story very different in style and tone from LxM. LxM characters do appear, yes, but for the most part, this is not their story. I understand these differences may be a bit jarring, if you came here expecting more of a direct sequel, but I hope you’ll continue to bear with me, and hopefully I can churn out a story that ends up at least as engaging as LxM was.
Now then, thank you all for reading this far! Or if you skipped ahead, that’s fine too! Without further ado, Volume 1, Chapter 0 of SEly can be found HERE.