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A note from Trikki

There is no way around it, so I'll just say it: this is the end of the Shades of the Moon.

It's not the end of the story, however! As you may already know, I'm doing a rewrite for the entire story. It will take a while, but eventually I'll reach this point in the plot during the rewrite and Randel's journey will continue—albeit, at that point the new story will have some huge differences compared to this one.

 

In fact, the rewrite will differ so much that instead of editing Shades of the Moon, I'm going to start a separate story called Synergy. To explain why I'm doing what I'm doing right now, I've written a short FAQ for you.

 


Why are you doing a complete rewrite?

There are several reasons behind the rewrite, but they all boil down to one thing: I know I can do better.

  • The quality of my writing has gotten a lot better in the last couple of years. Both my grammar and my style have improved tremendously.
  • I felt like there are too many unnecessary scenes overall. It's not a definitely bad thing in a web novel format, but I'd still prefer if the story could be read more like a book, without any dangling plotlines and filler scenes.
  • The story needs a better buildup. One of the main plot points (Randel gathering together a bunch of individuals to form a team) has barely even begun. The struggle against the system didn't get enough emphasis either. There is no reason why these things shouldn't start in the earlier chapters. The story should at least hint at the long-term goals of the protagonist and what his endgame would be.
  • The world is vast, but it could be deeper. There are a few things that I thought up too late and have too little impact on the story. The worldbuilding should feel like a vital part of the story, not something that was pushed to the sidelines.
  • The side-characters should have more important roles overall. In Shades of the Moon, it felt like most of them had too little impact on the story. I should also work on making every character more sympathetic and less annoying. This goes for both the good and the bad guys.

What did you change in Synergy?

I'm almost done rewriting the first arc (first book) already, so here's what I can say that certainly changes in Synergy:

  • The personality of certain characters got retouched, and their backstory got deepened. For example, Randel is more charismatic than before and there is more emphasis on him being an artist. I'm trying to keep in mind that just because a character got transported into another world, they don't forget who they were.
  • The other Players in Randel's starter group get more screen time, and they are also changing thorough the story. On the other hand, some unimportant characters got cut out. For example, you may remember a caravan of lizard-people (Shrissten) from the very beginning, a species that didn't even reappear later on in the story.
  • The "Player system" changes too. Mana fuels Abilities, Stamina fuels Weapon Skills. Instead of Morph Ability, Players have something called "Domain", which in gamer terms is kind of like an "Ultimate" Ability.
  • Players get Feats for extraordinary deeds. New Ability unlocks happen after getting a certain amount of Feats. Players can choose their new Ability (each new unlock adds two more options to their list), instead of getting one at random.
  • Everyone in Randel's group receive different Abilities, even Randel. This creates new and more exciting possibilities for fight scenes. Some of the Abilities will combo well together—it's not a coincidence that I decided to name the new story Synergy, after all.
  • Some of the monsters, like the octopus giants and the alutnarat (armored spiders) will be changed to make the monsters around the cave area more thematic. The cave area (and the castle in the forest) is actually a dungeon.
  • Soul Eater, and by extension the shades, are changed completely as well. Soul Eater doesn't make the shades and/or Randel bloodthirsty—I've always felt like it was a cheap way to force fight scenes to happen. The shades are more calculating by nature. They have tremendous amount of fighting experience and knowledge about magic, but they lack creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, something that Randel has aplenty.

What else do you plan to change in Synergy?

As I continue on with my rewrite, there are other things that I'm planning to improve. I've already listed the bigger ones above (under the first question), but there are lots of smaller things as well:

  • There will be many more alien species walking around, even in a mostly-human city. These alien species were transported to Nerilia just like the humans were, and they all have their unique magic system.
  • I'll rework the magic system for non-Player people. Human magic system will be much more simple, consisting of only Necromancy and Golemancy. Every race will have their own "dual" magic framework.
  • The city should be more detailed. It should feel like people are actually living there, and there should be more focus on observing this through Randel's eyes. All the different alien species, all the different magical systems have small impacts on how people live. The knowledge that each race brings from their home world should have significance too. The world should lean more towards "magical steampunk" than the traditional "swords and sorcery" fantasy world.
  • Cores will be called World Seeds. The word "Core" will refer to "Dungeon Core", an artifact that can create dungeons.
  • From the moment Randel arrives to the city, he should be more proactive. He wants to do his own stuff — which isn't Questing and adventuring and risking his life on a daily basis — instead of just reacting to events. In Shades of the Moon this happened way too late (only after merging with the shades).
  • Characters should have a more defined character arc. Randel will change a lot over the course of the story, but side-characters should change too in the meantime. These changes should happen in a meaningful way.
  • Plot changes: Nosy will be introduced only later on, since in the beginning of the story he doesn't have much significance. It won't be illegal to own magical beasts. Randel won't meet Heda, Kim, and Jack; they will be reduced to background characters during the raid against the shade's castle. The species of several side-characters will be changed from human to one of the alien species, for example Tor, Koren, Lily, Kiona, Hiorg won't be human. Randel wouldn't get separated from the others so many times, and he'll keep in touch with Imaya and Teva'ryn in later chapters too.
  • Tone changes: Shades of the Moon had a few quite abrupt changes in tone thorough the story. Although I still plan the plot to have both comedic and dark parts, I'm going to lean toward a slightly lighter tone in general to make the story more reader-friendly. One particularly bad case that I'd like to correct is the near-rape scene in 2.11, where the chapter turned dark too suddenly--and perhaps even unnecessarily. I should be able to write a good foundation for Devi's motivations without plunging head-first into traumatizing contents.

What is going to stay the same?

I've listed lots of changes, so you may rightly ask: is there any stuff at all that remains from the original? The answer is yes, of course. If you put Synergy and Shades of the Moon side by side, they would look quite similar in spite of all the changes.

  • The base plotline remains. Randel and co. starting in the wilderness, trying to find civilization, getting caught up in defending the city from hordes of monsters and going against the shade in the castle. Randel's struggle with the shades remains too, though it takes a slightly different shape.
  • The core of Randel's personality. Although I changed some traits here and there, his humor and style remains. Other characters, for example Devi and Imaya, are in a similar situation; I tweaked their personalities a little around the edges, but their heart remains the same.
  • The concept of the world of Nerilia. Players and Abilities, Quests and racial magic. Pheilett Inspectors and Spectators. The details may have changed, but the premise remains.

When and where will Synergy be published?

I plan to publish Synergy in large batches whenever I finish an entire book. The chapters will be available on RoyalRoad for free, but I'll also sell the books on Amazon for anyone who'd like to support the project and have a nice e-copy of it. The first book of Synergy, titled First Contact, should be out in 2020.


 

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A note from Trikki

Thank you for taking your time to read the patch notes for Shades of the Moon 2.0! If you have any suggestions about what I should do differently in the rewrite, please let me know in the comments below. I'd also appreciate comments about what you liked in Shades of the Moon; things that I should definitely keep in the rewrite.

Last but not least, thank you so much for tagging along this journey! Writing Shades of the Moon was one of the most awesome things in my life, and I'm glad that I could share this experience with you all.

 

Until next time!


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About the author

Trikki

  • Hungary
  • Lankadatlan éberség!

Bio: Writing is just one of my hobbies. This isn't even my final form!

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