Monday, July 9, 2018

Editing Light Novels: Getting Myself in Gear

I don't have enough to do with my time, so now I edit light novels. And my first one is Full. Of. Gears. So I hope you steampunkers are happy.

A bit back, I was contacted by J-Novel Club about editing light novels for them. JNC is basically, like, Netflix for light novels. I'd heard a lot about them, have a couple friends who work with them, so I was on board.

The thing is, even though I co-write a light novel series, I'm not on board with every single title out there. I really wish I was, but there are only so many hours in a day. On the bright side, that means that (for the most part) any new job I take on will involve me discovering a totally new story. And I love discovering totally new stories.

My first project is Gear Drive (Haguruma Drive), and... yep, a completely new one to me. But I really love the look of it so far, and what I've edited is super entertaining.

Antikythera Is Now a Name.

Our heroine is Anti Kythera -- named after the Antikythera Mechanism, widely believed to be history's first "computer." Considering it ran heavily on gears, that's a good reference.

Anti is basically her world's equivalent of a squib, unable to use even the most basic of magic skills. We kick off with her fifteenth birthday trip to get her Skill Bestowal — basically a rite that reads out your stats and tells you what you can do.

And Anti doesn't get Water Magic or Fire Magic or Dark Magic or anything... she gets Frickin Gears. She can create them, modify them, and move them. She also gets a sentient tiara named Crown Gear: equal parts control panel, data readout, Bag of Holding, mascot character, and comic relief.

So what does that mean? Well, first of all, it means she's alone in learning how to use her new powers, since there are literally no other Gearcraft users in her world. But... and this is the bit I love... it also means she gets to be super creative.

What can gears do?

I don't want to give away the events of the book, but... let's just say if you're super creative, the ability to create and move gears around is hugely useful.

What I'm liking about Anti's powers most so far is that they're treated as very Green Lantern in nature. It's all about quick thinking and imagination. So sometimes her ideas work, sometimes they don't, and sometimes a mess-up can lead to a later good idea.

I'm still working along, so I haven't read all of it, but Anti's a fun kid and the Gearcraft magic system seems pretty neat so far.

If you're interested in reading it, check out its page on J-Novel Club. Bag a subscription and you can read Gear Drive, plus lots more titles constantly updating.

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