The Dragon Ball Novelization Project

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Gyt Kaliba
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The Dragon Ball Novelization Project

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:53 pm

This is something that has, in a way, been a long time coming. At the same time though, it's something I kind of decided to do on the spur of the moment, which seems like a pretty Toriyama way of going about things (though I balk hard at even jokingly comparing myself to him, because yeah, no – I'm not even in the same ball park creatively).

For anyone unaware, I'm an aspiring writer. It's something I've wanted to do off and on for my entire life, and as I get older, it quickly becomes evident that it's the one thing that not only do I enjoy doing, I find myself with at least a modicum of talent for with which to match my passion. For over a year now (and it's depressing that it's taken this long, but life keeps intruding) I've been hard at work on an original novel, and while it does take certain inspirations from various stories I'm a fan of, Dragon Ball's not one of them. That's not what I'm here to talk about today anyway though.

For years now, even more off and on than my own original writing, I've dabbled with writing Dragon Ball fiction. Most of it's not readily available anymore (I don't even have copies of my earliest work myself, but trust me, that's a blessing if ever there was one), and the last one I was working on had to be temporarily shelved due to the massive influx of new material we've gotten in the years following Battle of Gods. At this point, whenever I do get to that story again, it'll require either massive changes to certain aspects of it to make it work alongside all of the new stories we've gotten since then, or I'll have to examine and decide at what point in the storyline I want the official story to stop and my story to begin. Neither of these are things I feel equipped to do at the moment, for two main reasons. First, it's hard to really know where all I'd need to make changes to account for since the franchise still ongoing again (I could change something one way, only to learn I'd have to change it again shortly after). Secondly, the entire original concept of that particular story was for it to fit fairly snugly with the existing “canon” material, and crazy as it might be, I'm still stubbornly holding on to that plan right up until we get something that 100% cannot fit with what I had in mind. As such, nothing has been that game-changing. So where does that leave me in regards to writing something for Dragon Ball, something I still feel quite passionate about doing?

I had to think about that question for quite a while. There are other somewhat unrelated stories I feel like telling, but somehow they didn't quite feel like the right thing to jump to just yet. Then I remembered various conversations I'd taken part in and seen over the years about whether or not Dragon Ball could even be done well in a text-based medium in the first place. And that's when it hit me, something that I feel passionate about that, as far as I could tell (and I checked), nobody else was currently doing or had been successful at doing in the past – turning Dragon Ball itself, the original series, into a novelized form.

So it's with that goal in mind that I'm happy to announce the Dragon Ball Novelization Project.

Image

Now, there are a couple of caveats to this that I should announce going in. First off is that obviously, this will be an extremely long-running work. I can't even begin to imagine how long it'll take me to finish this. I mean, we're talking about a 500+ chapter series as a COMIC. That alone is going to be quite lengthy. I'd also like to give people here, and where I post the story, both time to read and look over each chapter as it comes out. I'm considering putting it on both FanFiction.net and Archive of Our Own, since I'm familiar with the former going years back, and the latter seems to do pretty well nowadays I'm told. As for the story itself, I currently have it divided into thirty-five distinct 'novels', so to speak. That would take us all the way through the currently released and finished storylines of the franchise, starting with Book 1 that would naturally be 'The Search for the Dragon Balls' arc, and Book 35 which would be the 'Broly' storyline from Dragon Ball Super: Broly. I'm sure by the time I get anywhere near that, the Moro arc in the Super manga will be complete and who knows where it all goes from there.

Secondly, while the original manga itself will form the basis for the writing, it won't be 100% exactly the same story you know already (though by and large it'll keep as close to it as possible). Certain scenes and jokes may be adjusted slightly to better fit the format of a novel, but those won't be the only differences. As I go along, I'll also be incorporating the stories of some of the films and filler episodes from the anime adaptations. Not all of them will make the cut, and some of them might turn out differently from the existing versions you already know, so hopefully this will help spice things up a little from time to time, both for myself, and for other long-time fans who already know the twists and turns of the story both inside and out.

The idea of new material to spice things up brings me to the last thing I should mention. I don't know about everyone, but for myself, I'm a big fan of when stories have both a prologue and an epilogue. Not all stories need them of course, but when stories utilize them well to both further the story in-between, or even to set up stuff to come further down the line? I eat that up like I'm starving. So in the interest of doing both of those things, each 'Book' of this project will come with both a prologue and an epilogue. In general, the prologues will showcase some aspect of the series that most likely got glossed over in the original manga and even the anime upon which it's based, and will generally pay off in the contents of that particular novel (though some won't pay off until much later). The epilogues will likewise serve to compliment the ending of the novel that's just been finished, and to tease the next arc that will get adapted – think of them sort of like the post-credits sequences for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Each prologue and epilogue will be entirely original as well – I can think of only one, maybe two instances where they'll be drafted from existing material – so hopefully they'll be something everyone will enjoy as well.

I think that's about it, though if anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I don't have a firm release schedule in mind, and generally each book will come out as it's completed. Once I have the entirety of a book finished, I'll begin releasing the chapters one at a time (likely once a day) until the contents of that book is complete. Work on my original novel that I'm still hard at work on will always take priority as well of course, with this serving as a good clearing of my mind in-between work on that. I'll post links to where they can be read as soon as they begin to release.

Until that time though, I do have one small sneak preview, in the form of the very first prologue of this project. This will be the only one I'll be posting here on the forum itself. So in the very next post, please enjoy the very first entry of the Dragon Ball Novelization Project, with the prologue of Book I: The Search for the Dragon Balls – 'The Death of Gohan'.
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Gyt Kaliba
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Re: The Dragon Ball Novelization Project

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Tue Sep 17, 2019 4:55 pm

Prologue: The Death of Gohan

Staring out at the moon shining brightly in the sky outside his bedroom window, the elderly man lamented at the thought that his beloved grandson might never be able to witness such a sight.

He sighed, telling himself that letting his mind cloud over with such morose thoughts was no way to prepare to rest for the evening. More and more lately however, such thoughts had continue to intrude into his consciousness. He supposed it was only natural to worry about what the future held for your grandchild as you yourself got on in the years, and realized you wouldn't be able to protect them from the world forever. Sometimes though, the old man darkly wondered if it wasn't the world he was protecting from his grandson.

He scoffed at the thought as soon as it crossed his mind. It was true that his grandson had been an unruly child when he'd first found him, violent and dangerous even. Enough so that, more than once in those early days, he'd wondered if he was truly doing the right thing taking in such a child. The only thing that had kept him from casting the child aside was the fact that he had too kind of a heart. That and, the boy's potential for combat seemed incredibly high.

He'd been violent and unruly, yes, but the truth of the matter was that the young man was incredibly strong. For the first time in years, the elderly man had actually had to try in a fight against an opponent. Witnessing such strength coming from a small, untrained child filled him with great visions of what this young man could become with the proper training and upbringing.

In time, as they lived and trained together, the old man had come to truly love the boy as his own grandchild, despite never even having any children of his own. His grandson even referred to him as 'Grandpa' now, a fact that never failed to warm the man's heart. As much as he wished to credit the boy's change of heart to his own ability to raise him, the man couldn't deny that much of the boy's changing nature had come after 'the accident'.

As always happened when the man mused over such things, his thoughts inevitably returned to the opposite extreme. Though he was still far stronger than his grandson, that gap would no doubt be overcome in short order, and the old man was already at a loss in coming up with new, effective training methods for his young protege.

As he finally walked away from the window, he took off his hat and laid it on the floor beside him, the man then sitting onto his futon. He closed his eyes, and one last thought about his grandson crossed his mind before sleep would come for him. Perhaps it was time to give up the ghost, and let his master take over his grandson's training? He smiled slightly at that thought. He hadn't seen his master in a number of years, but he wasn't sure the time was quite right for a reunion yet. His grandson was still young, and there was still life left in these old bones. There would be time later for a proper introduction, and a transfer of student to master. There would be more time.

*******

Unbeknownst to the elderly man, his young grandson was having the exact opposite sort of night as he was. The child had already been sleeping in his room for some time now, when he was awakened by the call of nature. Hurrying outside, the child dropped his pants as soon as he reached a nearby tree, having been doing the pee-pee dance the entire way there. Sighing contently as he relieved himself, the young man found it strange that he'd even needed to get up to pee at all. Usually he slept through the night without problem, having already peed before going to bed. For some reason, this night was different.

Pulling his pants back up and re-tying his belt, he giggled to himself. “Much better!” As he worked his way back to the house, he suddenly realized that although it was night, it was a lot brighter than it usually was. Finding this strange, the young boy looked around for the source of this light, his eyes eventually turning upwards towards the sky.

“Oh wow!” The child marveled at how big and bright the moon was. This must be what his grandpa called a 'full moon', something that his grandfather was constantly cautioning him against looking at. Staring at it now though, he couldn't understand why. Despite his grandfather's assertion that a terrible monster came out during the full moon, the young man heard nothing but the usual sounds of the night. And besides, the moon was so pretty like this. What possible harm could come from something so beautiful?

As the young man turned back to face the house, he thought that maybe he'd go to his grandfather's room and sleep with him. He liked resting his head on his grandfather's lap, though lately his grandpa had been chastising him to stop doing it, claiming he was getting 'too old'. The young man didn't get it. His grandpa didn't look a day older than he ever had.

As that thought passed through his mind, the young man felt his entire body grow stiff. He slowly turned and looked up at the moon again, a strange feeling coursing through his entire body. His tail, which had remained idle at his side this entire time, began to sway back and forth precariously.

And then, nothingness. The boy fell asleep, unable to remember anything from the night before when he awoke the next day, to find his life changed forever.

*******

From the old man's own perspective, he had just barely laid down to go to sleep when the world suddenly exploded around him. As he pulled himself free from the rubble that had previously been his house, the old man immediately began to fear the worst had happened and that his grandson was injured, or perhaps even... He called out the boy's name, and at first received no answer. Then came the roar of the beast.

His eyes widening with recognition, the old man knew immediately what had happened as soon as he looked up at the horrific, ape like monster that was stomping across the land around their home. His grandson must have broken their one rule and looked at the full moon again.

When this had happened before, it had been all the old man could do to hold out for a few hours when, miraculously, the moon had waned and the monster ceased to be. But this time, he knew he wouldn't be so lucky. The moon was still high in the sky, and the night was long.

The monster, having been alerted to the old man's presence by his yelling, turned to face him. The creatures shining red eyes reflected the man's face to him, and he steeled himself for what was to come.

The fight that followed was intense, but short-lived. The old man jumped, dodging and weaving through the monster's attacks, which he found to be far harder this time than it had been the last time. Either the creature was stronger now, or the old man's age was finally beginning to catch up with him.

After dodging another attack, the old man back-flipped repeatedly until he landed on the spot where his grandson's room had once stood. He began to pool his energy within himself, and tried to determine what course of action to take. Of the two attacks at his disposal, one would almost certainly gravely injure the creature, and the other would outright kill it. He was having trouble dodging the creature, but his strength still eclipsed it if he put his all into it – at least, he hoped.

As he positioned himself to attack, the old man felt his foot catch on something on the ground. Glancing down, he saw the tattered remains of his grandson's clothing. A wave of emotion came crashing down over him as he realized what it was he'd been about to do. His mind raced back to his thoughts from earlier, and it all came crashing down on him. He realized now that there was no more time. Not for him.

He let the energy he'd begun to gather wither away as he looked back up at the large creature as it approached him, roaring in anger at being denied it's kill. The old man's eyes locked with the creature's red eyes again, but this time he didn't see his reflection. He saw his grandson.

Gohan was out of time, but for his grandson, there was an entire future full of life, adventure, and he hoped friends and mentors to guide him along the way. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he robbed his grandson of that.

The elder man crossed his arms behind his back as he faced the giant ape which now stood just before him. As it's foot raised into the air, a tear formed at the corner of the martial artist's eye. He wouldn't be there to witness it in person, but he just knew amazing things were in store for his grandson. As the monster ape raised it's foot high into the air above him, he closed his eyes and wished for that with all of his heart.

“Live, Son Goku.”

A moment of intense pain, and then, nothing. Son Gohan ceased to exist in the world of the living.

The story of Son Gohan had reached it's conclusion. The story of Son Goku however, had not even yet begun.
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"There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people. Psychopaths, and mystery writers. I'm the kind that pays better." - Richard Castle, 'Castle'

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Koitsukai
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Re: The Dragon Ball Novelization Project

Post by Koitsukai » Tue Sep 17, 2019 10:21 pm

Wow, that was a great start! It was a really refreshing take on Son Gohan's demise, one that only a novel could do so well, imo. I'm looking forward for more.
I personally think the original story of Goku up to Freeza fits perfectly for a novel, and also is an opportunity to "fix" the plotholes of the original run.

And to think that Gohan's death happened off-screen when it had so much potential as you clearly are showing. Well, maybe that was for the best.

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Gyt Kaliba
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Re: The Dragon Ball Novelization Project

Post by Gyt Kaliba » Wed Sep 18, 2019 7:48 am

Thanks Koitsukai! I hope the rest of it meets your expectations as well.

Admittedly, the one part I'm dreading writing the most is the Dr. Slump crossover during the Red Ribbon Army arc. Arale in written form is going to prove...interesting.

Agreed, as interesting as seeing Grandpa Gohan's final moments can be (and I could think of no more proper way to start off this project), it's not something that I could see Toriyama himself ever having handled very well. This prologue's tone was admittedly pretty melodramatic, but when you're writing about someone's final moments before being killed by their grandson? It's pretty much either that or horror, and horror wouldn't have fit here, so drama it had to be. And while I certainly want to keep the majority of the story's tone similar to Dragon Ball as a whole, that is going to be one of the most fun aspects of this project, at least for me - exploring the series in tones and ways that the manga and anime proper just weren't equipped to do very often.
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"There are two kinds of folks who sit around thinking about how to kill people. Psychopaths, and mystery writers. I'm the kind that pays better." - Richard Castle, 'Castle'

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Re: The Dragon Ball Novelization Project

Post by Dragon Sponge » Wed Nov 13, 2019 1:08 am

Very nice Project and very good written Prologue, you did execute the unseen Story of Grampa Gohans Death very well and it was a very enjoyable read expecialle with having DB Music running in the Background :) I´m looking forward to your next Chapters and how you will execute the Rest of the Story.

I myself also Plan on doing a Rewrite of Dragon Ball, where i will take Filler Events and Movie stuff and tie them together with Canon Story, but the actual Big Goal of my Story will be to give all the Characters better Ussage especially those who got the very Short Stick of the end in the original Story, like for example the Human Fighters. I´m Planning this Rewrite for some years now and i made already most plans in my Head what i would change from the orginal. Some new Ideas come along while some others change or are dropped entirely. Since i now have recently completet my collection of the German Manga of DB, i will start very soon with my Story here in this Forum, i already wrote down a very rough and incomplete draft on Paper for the First Chapter that i will fully flesh out with the Keyboard on PC and than also Post it here.

I wish you good luck with the work on your Story and well progress there, and i´m very curius how it will turn out ;)

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