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Chapter 1058: Afterword: End Testimonial
Note: Author’s thoughts so you don’t have to unlock this chapter if you don’t want to.
Three years of perseverance, the weight of 4.6 million words and thus, it is over.
The Soul of Searing Steel concluded smoothly and steadily without any turmoil or signs of going to be banned. The one chapter blocked was my leave application when I grumbled about being ill (I have no idea why either), and it seems that I was right in choosing to write about a fictional universe with no female main character, the story of a pure warrior without involving political elements (not really).
The Soul of Searing Steel is too a heavy story, and you might not believe me, but I am basically not such a heavy person. It must have been due to my last book failing spectator that I had been feeling down and instinctively wrote this book so that I could cheer myself up. But as the book ends, I have indeed cheered up, but the tone of the book had basically been set.
The last part was certainly rushed, I would admit.
Naturally, it is not because I did not want to write it, but because I ran out of ‘gas’.
In the drafted synopsis, Joshua would have entered the memories of every Wise One, from Psi to the Sage. In other words, the chapter ‘Meeting the Wise Ones’ would have been split into seven more chapters, where he would personally witness how three Wise Ones had been defeated and how the other four were caught in a stalemate, and therefore unable to interfere with Future.
And in the end, Joshua would break the shackles over the many Wise Ones, and as they urged him on ‘don’t mind us, stop Future right away’ as well as the pressure of Future’s rising progress bar, he would save everyone and obtain the key to reversal and the final victory in that last battle.
I had the confidence to write well; I definitely can write well… that is beyond doubt.
Still, I felt that it was dreary, and Joshua was no such person.
One spurt comes energy, the second spurt comes withering and the third spur was exhausting. Near the ending, the first burst of the strength I accumulated over writing the entire book was used on Joshua’s sacrifice, the second puff on Joshua’s resurrection, while the third and final one was the ending exclamation of the Soul of Searing Steel.
If that much ink was to be spent on Meeting the Wise Ones, it would drain the drive for me to type out the words ‘Soul of Searing Steel’ at the very end… (I am unsure If that is safe)
Most importantly, I am very pleased with how I wrote the ending.
Really, I felt as if I have finished the book under a single breath, and not only was I not feeling melancholy when I wrote the conclusion, I was instead exclaiming in exhilaration—there certainly had been regrets since my prowess had not reached the stage where I could share my own joy with ever reader, but to tell the truth, I do not believe that it is too weak either. My original intent had been to maintain the feeling that it had yet to end, but now it appears that it might have been a little too much.
Either way, thank you. Truly, I am very grateful that I have company who could share this three-year journey and see this story to its end.
Whether it was the synopsis or setting, my last book was more or less as complete as Soul of Searing Steel had been since both initial synopsis for both books were written at the same time. Still, my experience and technique might have been sufficient to give it a smooth flow—there is novelty, but it definitely would not count as good writing what with the lack of an overall perspective, draggy pacing and everything was over the place.
As for the Soul of Searing Steel, I definitely felt that I had surpassed myself. It was my feeling that whether it was the fights, the characters, the plot arrangement, explorations and adventuring or the struggles between ideals, everything had fully surpassed who I had been in the first place. Even so, I would also have to acknowledge that the fights in the latter half had become monotonous and often scatter, concluded with punching a hole in the brain or leaving some sick one-liner. Such is the common feeling when the fighting power had bloated to stellar or even individual cosmic class, and with myself remaining a mortal and that I really hate the oral sparring in the midst of a fight, I had therefore really failed, and barely forced myself to write something I think would pass.
Moreover, the tone of this book comes from the feeling you get from Dark Souls… I am not about to debate the philosophy of Dark Souls here with anyone as it is a matter of perspective, but what myself saw in Dark Souls is war, sacrifice, salvation, legacies and the fire that burns amidst the darkness.
I wanted to write this feeling, and it was heavy. Things are cool in the design phase, but when pen is put to paper, there is the understanding that those questions affects an entire book significantly. Interesting plots would have to be held back because of the incompatibility with the book’s tone, while I am a person who prefers having a start and an ending, and would only ever maintain my initial intentions in writing. Furthermore, the somber style would definitely repel some readers who were attracted by the sense of invincibility depicted in early chapters, and all of that is an outcome caused by not thinking things through.
There were many problems and I still have much lacking to make up for and resolve.
Nonetheless, it is with luck that I gave myself and the book an ending I myself find satisfactory after 4.6 million words. At least I saw that I have improved, and I could only hope that I could keep getting better with the next book, such as writing better parts for the side characters so that the main character would not be the sun and the rest stars in the background.
They should at least be the planets forming a solar system.
In the end, the three-year long serialization definitely left errors and mismatching setting details between the early chapters and the later chapters. Well, one way or the other, the later chapters could be used as the standard since there is no adjusting from now onwards.
With my afterword out of the way, thank you, readers.
Thank you, friends who believe that it had been good writing. It shows that I have shared my joy and emotions with you.
Thank you, friends who believe that it had not been good writing. Your opinion is evidence of another opportunity I could try to pursue so that I would improve.
Thank you, friends who have not read my book. Although you would not see this, I am aware that you are proof that I am still lacking, and far from the goal I want to achieve.
Thank you, friends who have read my book and this chapter. I love all of you, and our chance meeting needs no reason just like Miracles, and like Miracles, there are countless cushions.
Finally, it is about the new book.
The subject of the new book is rather complicated: it is a combination of urban spirits being revived added with superpowers, western fantasy, science fiction, Cthulhu, aliens and all kinds of mythologies, tabletop modules or novel games. To tell the truth, you just need to take a look at this very book’s contents and genre to know: such things could never hold me back. I could only assure you that this is indeed a story I believe to be interesting and had prepared for a very long time.
I would never write about things that I am never able to reach.
The new book would probably be published on the first of November—around those few days, I did discuss it with my editor so I would not be standing anyone up. The month had been spent on TI as well as resting and recharging because the three-year serialization was really a little tiring. During my break, I could also take a look at the good reads by other authors, and all of you do know about the latest happenings… but, well, I should not stand out too much.
Three years, and a part of my life had hence past, and I trust that it had been the same for everyone else too… anyway, it is almost time to say goodbye for the time being, and I shall leave everyone with some final words.
The poet Bei Dao once wrote:
We had dreams then. Writing, love, journeys across the land.
Now, deep into the night we drink, with the clattering sound of glasses and that of shattered dreams.
But now, I am still young. I had yet to reach the age for recollections.
My dream is not yet broken.
I am still writing.
I am Gloomy Sky Hidden God. I am writing—and I would write a tale for all of you.
Let us meet in the new book!