AIP-236: Fantasy Novel about NFTs

Proposal Name: The Legend of Izza

Proposal Category: Ecosystem Fund Allocation

Abstract | Two or three sentences that summarize the proposal.

Several collections have their own storytelling, but what about a world where all apes, cats, wizards, etc. live together? This is a full-length fantasy novel to read on your way to ApeFest or while monitoring $APE price on a rainy afternoon. Follow the adventures of Izza, an outsider who wakes up with amnesia in a strange world of talking animals. As she tries to find out who she is, she meets familiar characters (Jenkins, Andrew, SpottieWIFI, and the traveling Sealsman, among others), gets embroiled in world politics full of magic, right-click savers, and inter-collection intrigue, and has to decide between going home or defending this strange land from a full-scale invasion by [redacted].

(illustration by fellow ape Julian the Creative)

Author Description (mandatory if the AIP is requesting funds) | A brief background of yourself

I’ve been in NFTs since June '21 and an ape since Aug '21, @nftsasha on Twitter. I was at both ApeFests, am followed by BAYC twitter (no idea why), met many people. I love this space, video games, and storytelling, and wanted to do something that combines all three passions. I’m starting with storytelling, so in Nov '22 I started writing this book.

Team Description (mandatory if the AIP is requesting funds) | A brief background of your team involved, if any

Just me right now! Part of this AIP is so I can pay a few illustrators, though.

Motivation | A statement on why the APE Community should implement the proposal.

As apes we lead the community and help set the tone for the space (we also own many avatars/participate in many communities). Otherside tech is a foundation, but what is the lore layer on top of it? What stories will we be telling? This is some of that lore, some of the stories. Just like with World of Warcraft, I want to start with book(s). Later, stars aligning and universe willing, I’d love to turn this into an RPG where you can accept quests from the characters in the book and go on adventures. But first we must write origin stories, hero and villain arcs, plots and dramas.

The book isn’t just about apes, but most of us aren’t just apes. The world that includes other avatars is far richer, allows for political intrigue, and is, well, just that - a world instead of just a community. We’re also the only DAO in town - Forgotten Runes one isn’t legally finished yet, Cool Cats doesn’t have one, etc. (and I don’t have a Noun). The apes lead right now and that’s why I come to fellow apes with this AIP.

Rationale | An explanation of how the proposal aligns with the APE Community’s mission and guiding values.

ApeCoin DAO is about making our time in this community more fun, meaningful, and rich. Storytelling, imho, is a big part of that. In this story, the main character is an allegory for all of us being thrown into the whirlwind of NFTs and trying to make sense of it, forge our paths. It is a fantasy representation of our collective journey and its pains, triumphs, and humor. For someone not familiar with NFTs, this is a standard-format fantasy novel that may spark their interest in NFTs and some of our stories. For those of us who have been in the space, this book is full of inside references that make it more meaningful and fun.

I hope this becomes a quintessential coffee table book, so to speak, something to get lost in by ourselves or with our kids, a saga that pulls on our heartstrings as much as it engages our imagination and plays to our sentimental memories of these whirlwind years when web3 and web2 raged battle for our minds and loyalties.

Key Terms (optional) | Definitions of any terms within the proposal that are unique to the proposal, new to the APE Community, and/or industry-specific.

I’ve seen amazing isolated lore in every format so far - comics, videos, illustrations, short stories. I’m sure we’ll all agree that they made the space better, improved the experience for all of us within each of the nft projects those stories were about. This book is a major, year-long effort to write a larger story that crosses collection boundaries. There’s more meta here. It makes this entire nft collective feel like one place. And like IRL, Yuga assets play a key role in this fantasy story. Even punks and meebits.

Specifications | A detailed breakdown of the platforms and technologies that will be used.

The book will be self-published and free to read in electronic format.
Given enough interest, there will be a limited physical print.
I choose characters based on what makes sense for the plot/story, and I do not accept money for features or anything like that.
I’ve received verbal, sometimes written approval for name usage given final approval of the script; some people may revoke that permission before print. I minimize this risk by only using IRL names for characters that are positively represented (or have redemption arcs, or I notified person of full plot beforehand and they agree). For villains, etc. I use made-up names and characters, and any likeness to real people is entirely coincidental. My lawyer (me) approves this message.

Steps to Implement | The steps to implement the proposal, including associated costs, manpower, and other resources for each step where applicable.

Half of the book is already written! So you can judge my commitment and the work done so far (the link is 1st draft only! Read for plot and not style, grammar, etc. as those will suck in first drafts :pray:).

From here:

I’m in Vietnam (Da Lat) or Thailand (Koh Phangan) while writing so as to reduce my expenses (and b/c it’s nice here!). So these cost estimates are based on that - ~$800/mo rent, $300/mo food, $150/mo transport (scooter + fuel), and $350/mo miscellaneous. Or $1600/mo total.

Note: in my AIP Idea, I estimated $8k total off the top of my head, w/o taxes. As I wrote the draft and accounted for everything, well it’s over 2x that. Accounting for taxes - 3.5x. Still I hope you find that I’m asking for very reasonable, if not bare minimum, amounts and outside of literal food and bed I am asking for $0 for my own profit.

  1. Finish 1st/rough draft: 4 months.
  • 4x1600 = $5,600 living expenses
  • 10 illustrations (~one every 30 pages) = 10x$250 = $2,500
  1. Alpha feedback + revisions = 2nd draft: 2 months

This is to make any final (potentially semi-major) changes to plot and character arcs, and to correct most writing style issues (“show don’t tell”, dialogue, repetitions, etc. etc.). 1st drafts usually suck to read, they’re just plots vomited on a page. 2nd draft is where you re-watch dozens of hours of videos on how to write and painstakingly re-write every page to follow those tips.

  • 2 x 1600 = $3,200 living expenses
  1. Beta feedback + final revisions = final draft: 1 month
  • 1 x $1,600 = $1,600
  1. Editor feedback + polish (if I’m lucky to get a real editor): 1 month
  • 1 x $1,600 = $1,600
  • Pro editor: ~$2,500
  1. E-book published + cover art: 2 weeks, $800 living exp. + $500 for cover art = $1,300
  2. Limited physical print (if there’s demand): outside the scope of AIP; costs will be covered by those wanting the books via an nft release.
  3. ???
  4. Profit

J/k I expect no profit, this is art.

Timeline | Relevant timing details, including but not limited to start date, milestones, and completion dates.

A full novel takes one year, plus-minus.
Started in Nov '22
First draft finished: Aug 1, '23
Second draft: Oct 1
Third/final draft: Nov 1
Release version: Dec 1

E-book published: Dec 15, 2023 or sooner

Overall Cost | The total cost to implement the proposal.

$28,150 paid in ApeCoin

3 Likes

Hi,

Such a reasonable ask in terms of funding. Would love to have a sample to read (will keep my eyes peeled). Love the idea of free to ‘us’ and then follow further methods to monitise and generate revenue for yourself ongoing and possibly return some benefits back to the DAO as well - win win.

You get my VOTE - love to see more and this move forward. GL

3 Likes

Thank you @Sasha - love the story line and equally looking forward to reading through the draft in the AIP :slight_smile:

While I also think the ask is reasonable, if we make this book “presented by ApeCoin DAO” or some sort of sponsorship I do think there is marketing value (i) with the characters you are using in the book and (ii) the broader industry to showcase how we are actively creating media material about and around the space - almost omnipresent :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Stories shape the world, not a large ask and a lot of upside.

Do you have a teaser you can share? Would be really helpful in making a decision.

3 Likes

Can’t wait to read the story!

3 Likes

Would it be interesting to be able to slip us 4 or 5 crisp pages to get an idea? :slight_smile:

4 Likes

Heyo @Sasha and congrats on posting your idea👏🏽.

Love your interweaving of real-life experiences into the fictional and combining the characters of founders and creators from across other NFT communities and projects – this makes it so relatable and fun.

Just a few items we should consider as we bring this proposal to life:

  • Who will print and publish the finished book?
  • How many copies are planned?
  • Can this be split into 12 monthly deliverables or something?
  • With such great connections, have you considered integrating an NFT into the drop?

Happy to help in any way you might need.

Onward
SSP :fist:t4:

7 Likes

I hope this proposal can go forward. I join the idea if you can publish some pages of what you have already written so we can get an idea. In your budget also take into account taxes, it depends a lot on what country you live in but it is something I recommend you to take into account and include it also in your requested funds :slight_smile:

Best of luck @Sasha :heart:

3 Likes

Hey Sasha!

Love physical collectibles and tying them back to NFTs. Currently, I’m leading a small team accumulating content for a somewhat similar concept as we speak. But to be clear, is this a physical product or an e-book?

Also, to echo @0xK’s comments; I think that having it made very clear that this is being presented by the ApeCoinDAO and/or potentially even including ApeCoin into the storyline would make more sense to voters than simply funding an art project. My goal when voting on proposals is making sure these projects will benefit the DAO in some shape or form.

Given that you are including NFT projects and people from the space, I’m curious if you would consider incorporating ApeCoin into the storyline somehow. Perhaps making it the currency of this world in the book you are creating. Would also be interesting to have the ApeCoinDAO written into the script as maybe some sort of governing body overseeing the world’s currency.

Just some random thoughts from me! All the best with the proposal!! Love the creativity!!!

AC

9 Likes

Didn’t expect such a warm response. Thank you, all. Here are the first 20 pages (updating the og post with the same link):

5 Likes

Re: ApeCoin - yes, happy to use it as the world’s currency. So far I just used “coins”. And yes, the book would have acknowledgement/thank you to ApeCoin DAO if AIP if funded, of course!

Do note that the link between our reality and book’s reality is subtle. I aim for something more akin to Warcraft universe. NFTs live in this universe same way dwarves, tauren, trolls, and humans live in Warcraft’s. Though I call them “NFTs” here, for us, in the book they have zero clue they’re NFTs. There’s no concept of blockchain or computers. They don’t actually know why they’re immortal. When web2 decides to attack web3, the way it’s reflected in this universe is akin to gods invading their planet. Collection founders and web2 villains relate to the denizens of this universe similar to how Greek gods relate to humans in Greek mythology.

So while yes, there’s Jenkins the ape there, it’s not exactly OUR Jenkins (as in human we know). It’s Jenkins the NFT, the character, the actual ape working as a valet who also helps apes procure some umm borderline legal things. Such as exotic elephants they like to ride sometimes. But I borrow. FartChick in the book will be selfish. Sniper - laser-focused on profits. etc. Readers need not know any history to enjoy the plot, but those that do will find many inside jokes/references.

If the communities inhabiting this world ever found out that they’re digital tokens living on this thing called blockchain, it would be akin to us finding out that we’re just programs in a simulation. It would cause a major identity crisis that could lead to planet-wide chaos. Not even sure I want to take it there because this is fantasy, and from the book’s point of view computers are sci-fi.

That said, I am taking themes from our world and imagine them in a fantasy setting. For example, while here we have misinformation, deep fakes, etc., in my book we have an elixir infused with illusion magic that, when added to ale, makes the imbiber believe that their friends around them are not really friends, maybe even enemies. It makes them cynical and mistrustful. (At the same time, I love humor so this elixir was created in short by simply one wizard saying “bet you can’t” and another saying “ha, watch me!”)

I hope this paints a better picture!

5 Likes

Cool! Thanks for taking the time to put this forth.

This raises an interesting question: while we often think of a “Metaverse” as a virtual world accessible via digital devices, does the “Greater Metaverse” alluded to in our Mission Statement extend to exclusively written material, like novels?

4 Likes

As worded - I hope so! Lore enriches our experiences and later leads to visuals. Take Forgotten Runes Wizards Cult - members started with written lore for their NFTs (for ex, everyone knows about The Greasy Hobbit from David’s lore even if it’s not on the official map! Read: The Lore of Illusionist David of the Veil). Then people started making hi-def renders of their pixelated NFTs, comics, and FRWC official are doing a movie, a game, and an anime.

So I wouldn’t say “exclusive,” I’d say I’m starting with written material. :wink: Check this page from my secret comic, for example, where Izza confuses mutants who want to welcome her with a hug for scary forest monsters and runs off until she stumbles upon the yacht club. If I’m lucky, a game will follow maybe 5 years from now ha (or I build in Otherside). But this AIP idea is about the book only, I don’t feel comfortable making far-away promises.

3 Likes

I was thinking digital and free. It’s very rare that an author clears the publishing bar with their first book. And I like the idea of it being accessible. Of course, if people love it and there’s demand, we’ll offer a print version then. I’m just trying to stay humble about expectations.

Yes, in the actual AIP I’ll outline a payment plan. Something like half upfront (half of the book is already done, so there’s hopefully enough trust factor), 25% on first draft finish, and final 25% on final version finish.

If the idea comes from enough of them, sure.

Otherwise, I think people more willingly post/retweet about free stuff, and I don’t want to use friendships to advertise an nft drop (I know, I know, integrity in web3 whaaat? This is why I’m poor, man). So I’d rather it be free, and on the last page of the book I’ll suggest that people donate $5-10 if they enjoyed it in return for an NFT as both “poap” and also beta access to/discount on the next book (if there is one). If anyone has better idea(s), though, I’m all ears, of course! Marketing isn’t my top strength :stuck_out_tongue:

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I believe I misspoke. I should perhaps have omitted the word “exclusively,” didn’t intend to be reductionist with respect to your project. I like the art, and look forward to seeing what comes next!

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Oh no, I didn’t take it as reductionist at all. I thought it was a valid question! My winky face was meant more as “shh, it’s our little secret.” Or something. I dunno, man, I’m old, what’s even an emoji. :smile:

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Hi @Sasha,

Your topic will be automatically closing in about 24 hours. Are you content with the feedback received, or do you wish to extend community discussion for another 7 days?

If we do not hear from you within 48 hours after your topic closes, your topic will be moved straight to the AIP Draft process.

We look forward to hearing from you.

-Vulkan

2 Likes

Cool stuff @Sasha :slight_smile: Looking forward to read more!

I met a guy at NFT Berlin who’s spinning up NFT Stories with the use of AI. Maybe could be cool to have a convo? https://twitter.com/fabianstelzer

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This is a cool proposal. Thanks for bringing it forward.

I just want to chime in and mention that while the DAO is not currently set up to return revenue to the treasury, there are a number of ideas being considered to create an alternative entity and/or a DAO returned-revenue fund, which would be held for the benefit of ApeCoin DAO.

In the meantime, some options include sending the returned revenue to an initiative like Thank Ape, or committing to holding it yourself until one of the DAO returned-revenue funds is set up.

2 Likes

I’m happy with the feedback, but I didn’t word this post to be draft-worthy, just wanted quick feedback. Do I create new post of Draft type or do I let this one roll over and then it will let me adjust everything to make it more AIP-worthy? ty

Reached out, thx =)

We can always just donate to treasury wallet, though, right? Just no smart contract/official way of revenue return. Honestly that’s a stretch goal.

1 Like