About Lake Shield
My name is Lake Shield and I’m the writer of the immersive virtual reality mmo novel, Fantasy Edge.
I should also mention this, but Lake Shield is simply a pen name.
If anyone was curious…
Lake because it felt like a wonderful name.
Shield because, at the time, I was watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
Although I’m the writer of this novel, I’m technically not a writer. I work as an Android app developer and only write during my free time.
Due to this, daily updates are pretty much impossible unless a huge bundle of cash with my name on it suddenly drops down from the sky and lands in my hands.
Why Did I Start Writing
Since I’m both a college graduate and a developer, I discovered that I no longer have any chances to practice my English skills.
Essays… writing assignments… I haven’t written any of them for years.
As a result, I grew a bit fearful that my English skills would begin to deteriorate.
To avoid this, I decided to pick up some reading. At that time, the idea of writing a novel had never crossed my mind.
Sadly, I didn’t have the time to frequent the library to hunt down for good novels, so I chose to look for novels online.
A few google searches led me to a reddit community that was devoted to translating Japanese light novels.
I chose to give them a try. However, I soon discovered that Japanese light novels were not a type of novels I preferred reading. The concepts were new and fascinating, but there were certain character related elements and eventual plot developments that caused me to run away.
I was ready to go on Amazon or some other place to look for some native English novels, but before I did, I followed another tip. This time, I discovered the translation of a Chinese webnovel named Coiling Dragon. Immediately, the style of writing and the story sucked me in.
Inevitably, I grew immensely interested in more stories that were similar to that novel. It offered a type of fantasy story that was very different from the fantasy novels of western writers.
I chased down more and more of these translated Chinese works and discovered that the genre was a form of eastern fantasy that I was greatly familiar with.
However, I was a bit surprised to realize that Coiling Dragon was classified as a xianxia novel.
Don’t be fooled by my pen name, but I’m actually of Chinese descent. Because of that, I wasn’t foreign to the xianxia theme. However, Coiling Dragon wasn’t the type of xianxia novel that I’m used to. However, since this was how the community viewed it, I went along.
I grew up with wuxia and xianxia in both novel and drama formats, so I was pleasantly surprise to realize that there was a current boom for Chinese webnovels in the fan-translation world.
In the midst of reading these fan translations, I realized that I had lost my original reason for reading.
I wanted to improve my English skills!
Sadly, although I greatly loved this genre, I discovered that a great amount of the novels were being translated by beginning foreign language students. Afterwards, the English was dependent on groups of fan editors with varying English proofreading skills to edit.
Although the novels were wonderful to read, I soon realized that reading translations weren’t a good idea if my goal was to maintain and improve my English skills
Thus, I decided to try my hand at writing. After all, I didn’t have any troubles with my reading skills.
My fear was the deterioration of my writing skills.
Why Write A VRMMO Instead Of A Xianxia or Wuxia
To be honest, I already had a xianxia novel idea floating around my mind for years before I discovered Coiling Dragon. This concept was born from frequently watching television dramas of the xianxia/wuxia theme. However, at that time, I didn’t have any confidence in my Chinese writing skills to write it.
Of course, currently, I see a recent addition of writers writing a native English novel of the xianxia theme. However, at the time, there were barely any. It also didn’t help that a lot of the ideas I had wouldn’t translate well to English, at least, not with my current skills.
Thus, I was left with the intention of writing, but without the actual idea for a story.
At this time, I had chanced upon another tip that led me to the translation of a Korean novel named Legendary Moonlight Sculptor. This novel was a vrmmo novel and it was absolutely amazing!
This wasn’t the first time I had read a vrmmo novel, after all, my first one was a Chinese novel named Zhan Long. However, that novel didn’t make me like the genre, instead it caused me to grow a certain dislike of it.
However, LMS was different. Unlike other vrmmo novels I’ve read, this one had a fully free-formed and expansive game world! In a way, I felt that a whole new world had opened up to me.
I’ll admit. I’m a gamer.
I was never a professional gamer, but I’ve played my fair share of games.
Sadly, the amount of games I’ve played since graduation could be counted on one hand.
However, I still loved games.
One reason why LMS excited me so much was because it almost felt like an ideal game! It caused me to greatly anticipate for the day such games were real. Sadly, I doubt if this would actually be achievable within my lifetime.
After discovering LMS, my intentions to write a novel was lost again. I started to search for more and more vrmmo novels.
But unlike my search for the XianXia novels, my search for good VRMMORPG novels fell short.
The problem wasn’t that there wasn’t any to be found, the problem was that none of them were good.
I was only able to find Ark and Shura’s Wrath as novels that were similar to LMS.
I began to move onto reading original VRMMORPG novels that readers wrote. However, these were even less satisfying. Quite a lot of them were obvious copies of Legendary Moonlight Sculptor and Ark. Some more original ones weren’t suited for my taste.
I found very few that I considered gems of the genre.
Around this time, I had become inspired to write again. It was LMS that inspired me.
However, I didn’t want to do something similar to LMS. Although I loved the vrmmo concept, my true love still remained within the xianxia and wuxia novels.
I chose to adapt my original Xianxia novel idea into a vrmmo novel.
About Fantasy Edge
What Is Fantasy Edge
Essentially, Fantasy Edge is a character progression story that follows the main character Era through his life in both the game world and the real world.
In the beginning, Era is a young man who lived a heavily bullied life. This caused him to develop a timid personality and a tendency to run from troubles. After high school, he chose to live as a shut-in and spend the majority of his time within the safety of his home.
He lived as a dependent to his family and spent a few years escaping from reality.
However, rather than continue to allow their useless son to continue his daily lifestyle, they chose to force him to face reality.
The novel will break Era out of his comfort zone and then make him realize that he needed to change.
Afterwards, the novel will carefully let Era adjust to the real world through experiences that’s gained through a game world. He’ll experience countless situations that will show him how useless he truly is and will carefully expose his flaws as a person.
Finally, the novel will show Era through his transformation process, how he’ll work on fixing his flaws, and how he can become a man that can be respected by the world.
Of course, this isn’t simply a character progression novel, but also a gaming novel!
Venturing through a vast unexplored world.
Battling countless monsters.
Fighting against players.
There are countless fun content that will also be inside the novel.
Why A Character Progression Story
Honestly, my original protagonist wasn’t a weakling. In the xianxia novel idea, the protagonist was a man who was already well-known for his strength.
In the vrmmo adaption, I had once thought about having a similar type of man be the protagonist. However, I decided against it.
I didn’t want to write a story about how a powerful man started off weak in a game. It would have been frustrating to write about how he would normally be able to defeat certain foes, but fail to due to him being at a low level.
Most novels combat this by giving the main character a lot of overpowered skills or equipment, which makes him powerful enough to contend against all foes.
I didn’t want to do that.
I found that type of story very distasteful. One reason why I greatly enjoyed LMS was because the main character, although a skilled gamer already, still had a steady growth. There wasn’t an overnight power boost that caused him to become the WarGod.
I love character development novels. Most of my favorite novels usually include a naive main character who eventually matures into a hero.
This was the type of story I wanted to write.
Thus, I chose to not only use a weaker main character, but one that was heavily flawed. I wanted to turn that person from the weakling he initially was to the strong respectable man that was visioned in the original idea.
Novel’s Balance and Pacing
This novel is meant to be slow, yet not unbearably slow.
What this means is that I will take time to carefully write out the full details of the main character’s changes, but will take care to only write enough so it won’t detract from the fun parts of the novel.
The main character is meant to be a person that readers can easily relate to. Someone who feels very realistic and personal.
In terms of the gaming aspect of the novel, the game is meant to be balanced, yet chaotic. The main character will obtain classes and equipment that might appear to be overpowered, but this is easily balanced by the fact that he’s not alone in getting strong classes and items.
I want the players to have fun battles and this wouldn’t be possible if the main character could easily OHKO any other player and monster in the game.
Thank you for reading about who I am and my reasons for writing.
Although I won’t be able to release chapters frequently, I can definitely say that I don’t have any plans to ever stop writing. After all, my reason for writing is to improve my writing skills and its an excellent change of pace from coding all day.
Now… enjoy the novel 😀