My first novel series is set around 2044, when jobs are scarce because of automation, climate migration and artificial intelligence (AI).

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) will also be a regular part of life in this time, just as smartphones are today.

The story will revolve around a fantasy VR game world, and its interactions with the real world. 

And that mix of SciFi and Fantasy puts it firmly in the genre of Gamelit and LitRPG.

Game What?

Gamelit and LitRPG are relatively new genres. They are offshoots of Science Fiction and Fantasy. 

In many cases, the genres are a novelization of RPG video games and Dungeons and Dragons board games. But not always. 

Ready Player One and even novels like Otherland by Tad Williams are examples of the genre, although these are more Gamelit, not LitRPG. If you’re curious, here’s a post that further explains LitRPG and Gamelit.

So why did I go in this direction for my first novel and series?

A Good Mix

A year ago, I wouldn’t have imagined this to be my first book series. But it combines several passions of mine. 

  • I am an avid follower of virtual reality and related tech. I experienced it in the 90s when it was a confusing, nausea-inducing blur. And I’ve been following its re-emergence ever since the early Palmer Lucky days. 
  • I’ve been a gamer from the early days of the OG NES system (and even before on hand-me-down Atari’s and Intellivision systems). I remember how simple games like Super Mario Bros and The Legend of Zelda gave me that “transported to another world” feeling. 
  • Also a big fan of RPG games, but mostly the early days—Final Fantasy, Dragon Warrior, Chrono Trigger. But also adventure games like Legend of Zelda, Crystalis, and Secret of Mana. I loved the sense of discovery and mystery in those games. And the puzzle solving aspect always made me smile. 
  • I’m addicted to the lore of fantasy stories. Tales like Lord of the Rings where there is this rich history going back 1000s of years. I think I’ve read the Silmarillion 3 times cover to cover. I wanted to create a world and a game that focused on that mysterious past. The deeds of those who came before, which can no longer be re-created. 
  • Finally, I used to dabble in a game called RPG Maker. I never created a full game, mostly because I’m more a language guy than a math guy. And that game often required you to code a bit for best effects. For me, the funnest aspect of that game was the creating of the world and the story.

So LitRPG is a perfect genre for me right now. 

It will allow me to scratch that itch of describing my dream full-immersion VR set up. While exploring both science fiction and fantasy writing at the same time. 

And since it’s a new genre, I feel it’s a perfect place to land as a first-time writer. It’ll give me space to grow and improve with each book I write. 

I hope you enjoy the journey with me.

Image by Gerd Altmann.

    2 replies to "Inspiration And Reasons For My First Novel"

    • Jake A. Strife

      Hey Demi,
      Just found the link to your site.
      I signed up for the newsletter and I like the posts here. Zelda is great. And so are RPGs. I love them.
      It’s interesting to learn GameLit and LitRPG are different genres. I’m wondering now if my VR series is more GameLit.

      Anyway, great to see some common interests. Your book is great so far. I’m glad I have the privilege of getting to be one of the first to read it. Good times.

      • demijl

        Same! I’ve been meaning to do a post on the differences between gamelit and litRPG actually. From what I’ve discovered, LitRPG generally delves into the stats and game mechanics more. Anyway glad you’re enjoying it! Working on critiques for everybody right now including yours 😁

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