[SEly] Seeking Elysium Volume 1, Chapter 0 + 1

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.

By |2017-05-18T16:37:08+00:00May 18th, 2017|Blog, Musings, News & Announcements, Releases, Seeking Elysium|9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Dark Jackel May 19, 2017 at 01:57

    I’m glad to see you starting up again, and I look forward to this new journey! ?

    A word of warning: while a first-person POV might *seem* easier to write than third-person POV, in my opinion and experience it’s actually a great deal harder to use *well*. A close third-person POV is actually a great deal more flexible, while still focusing on a single character, precisely because a first-person view can ONLY deliver what is directly experienced by the POV character.

    As an example: it should be obvious, but without a mirror, the POV character *cannot see their own face*. It’s very easy to violate the POV by narrating detailed expressions of the character’s own face. Another example would be unwarranted correct assumptions about other characters’ thoughts and opinions. As the song goes, “You never know just how you look thorough other people’s eyes.” ?

    I’m not saying this to try to dissuade you from your decision, mind you. There are indeed many good reasons to use a first-person POV. I just don’t want you to underestimate the technical difficulties of doing so. I believe a lot of amateur authors end up using first-person because “a lot of web novels use it, and it looks easy.” As far as I’m concerned, it’s not. ?

    Anyway, sorry for talking your ear off, especially since I’m sure you’ve thought hard about your decision already. I just didn’t want you to underestimate the difficulty and get discouraged, since I’m definitely looking forward to reading your new story. Good luck, and thanks for writing! ?

    • ExtantLily May 19, 2017 at 09:19

      Aha, I’m well aware of the limitations of 1st Person. They’re the main reason I’m using it – so I can selectively hide information from readers without making it contrived. Thanks for taking the time to read this and reply, though, and I hope I can craft a good story this time, too!

  2. malkarath b. May 20, 2017 at 12:09

    LXM was a great story and even the more “filler” chapters were great. As long as we aren’t reading about them doing literally NOTHING different I trust you to give us another wonderful reading experience. I look forward to what you have to share with us, thank you.

    • ExtantLily May 20, 2017 at 12:57

      I’m glad to have you along for the ride, and I hope I can meet your expectations!

  3. Dante May 20, 2017 at 15:59

    I know this might seem like I’m getting ahead so feel free not to answer, but will we see Lily’s quest for vengeance and her reign as demon queen? Also there was quite a bit of unanswered questions in the previous. Thanks and I’m happy to say i get to look forward to the time you post chapters again.

    • ExtantLily May 20, 2017 at 16:38

      Those unanswered questions that I can think of should be answered, but I might have missed something. Maybe you can list off a few troubling you and I can tell you whether I’ve planned for them or not?

      And yes, you’ll get to see more of Lily and her quest for revenge, but that will be in the reasonably distant future. After all, the target of her revenge is pretty epic XD.

      • Dante May 20, 2017 at 17:02

        So, i guess to start off… First would be the bombshell at the end, Lily’s daughter and the roll she will play? Second, We know that Lily takes over as queen but now that vessel is dead I’m sure the gods aren’t going to sit back anymore? Third, this new story is a parallel world? I don’t know I’m lost on that. I guess lastly which is more of my curiosity, would be will Lily hope to find someone to ease the loneliness? I Don’t want to forget about Iris but after all that and her new goal she’d be a little on edge in my opinion, unless that’s what your going for xD. Like i said feel free to not answer any of the questions.

        • ExtantLily May 20, 2017 at 17:18

          Lily’s daughter and the roll she will play?

          Will be answered.

          Second, We know that Lily
          takes over as queen but now that vessel is dead I’m sure the gods aren’t
          going to sit back anymore?

          Sort of.

          Third, this new story is a parallel world? I
          don’t know I’m lost on that.

          No it’s the same world, but parallel worlds are involved.

          I guess lastly which is more of my
          curiosity, would be will Lily hope to find someone to ease the
          loneliness?

          Nope.

          • Dante May 20, 2017 at 20:28

            Ah ok, thanks 🙂

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