The Origin of The Silver Ninja:
For those who are curious, the original idea for The Silver Ninja came around 1999 or so. A year after the game Metal Gear Solid was released on the Playstation. I was over my cousin’s house and we were renting video games to play over the weekend from the now defunct Hollywood Video. It was during my play through that I was introduced to the character Grey Fox, who was this cybernetic ninja that had a sword which could cut through almost anything. His suit was a mix of cybernetic and biological tissue, making him into a fascinating character to behold.
Needless to say, after much introspection, I wondered how much cooler it would be if Grey Fox was a female.
(Later in Metal Gear Solid 2: Son of Liberty, Olga Gurlukovich took on the persona of a female Cyborg Ninja, but it was nothing like what I had imagined for Cindy.)
It wasn’t until 2002 that I decided to put pen to paper, or rather put text to screen. I began to formulate ideas on how to create the ultimate heroine. I knew I wanted the costume to be simple and not elaborate, this way, if I ever made a movie, the translation could remain relatively intact. I wanted her to have a ‘presence’ something that made her stand out from the scrawny Super girls that could lift tanks while having toothpicks for arms. So she needed to have a physique and gymnastics seemed like the perfect avenue to do so. She needed to be beautiful in both personality and appearance, yet at the same time, needed to have flaws. I wanted her to have an incredible suit that could take punishment, but also create weapons and provide a sophisticated user interface.
In retrospect, people may say that Cindy’s design was based off the Silver Surfer and Iron-man. But for me? The true inspiration for the exterior design came from Grey Fox, but the interior interface that Cindy uses? That one was inspired by a little game called Terminator 2029 by Bethesda Softworks.
Does that name sound familiar? If not, have you heard of a game called The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim? Yeah, those are the same guys. Boy they sure have come a long way haven’t they?
Anyway, You can thank my father for exposing me to the Terminator game, (even though he probably didn’t mean to since I found the manual which contained the passwords to play the game.) If he hadn’t introduced me to video games well… there would be no Silver Ninja, that’s for certain.
There was only one problem though…
I didn’t know how to write -well-. I banged out the 1st draft of the book and it ended up being a whopping 84 pages. Not only that, but it was written in a hybrid prose and screenplay format. So all the character dialogue was written as, “Michael: blah blah blah. and Cindy: blah blah blah.” Oh and another kicker? As I’m looking at the original document, I completely forgot that Michael was the original narrator of the book! Don’t know who Michael is? Guess you’re going to have to pick up a copy of the book or wait until I can post more content in the Bonus Content section.
I will give my past self some credit though, at least I still wanted to write Cindy as a character that did not dress provocatively. The dialogue was as childish as can be and wow, talking about telling and not showing, absolutely atrocious. Perhaps one day, I will consider sharing the original manuscript to teach people how NOT to write, but until that time comes… it stays hidden under lock and key. Anyway, to get back on topic… I decided to shelve the project and pretty much forgot about it for a few months. I don’t quite remember what brought me back to the project. All I know is that over time, I kept on trying to revisit the character in my thoughts. I don’t know if it was through the feedback my friends gave me, telling me that it was cheesy and horribly written. Or if perhaps, I had some sort of obsession with self masochism. For some reason, I kept wanting to work on Silver.
Dozens of rewrites later, I started to lose hope that I could get the story I wanted done. The feedback I received was not giving me much hope. I received such delightful, criticizing ditties as; you can’t have a hybrid script; you need to pick screenplay or prose; your dialogue is awful and very campy; you’re telling too much and are not showing anything; stop switching perspectives all the time; it’s corny; it’s cheesy; this is horrible. I was on the verge of giving up, maybe not enough to trash it, but enough to give up on publishing it… I don’t know why, but I felt compelled to persist. I started looking at my college books and began reading grammar rules on line. I bought books like, “How NOT to write a novel.” And visited dozens of websites to learn tips from the pros and how to properly punctuate dialogue and prose. I always hated the “he said, she said,” format, never realizing it’s importance in differentiating who was speaking. In a screenplay format it’s easy to tell who is who, the name is right there with a colon next to it.
Then, after I was told to erase my manuscript and change it back into third person, out of sheer frustration, I google searched the most famous starting sentences in novels, and decided I wanted to write one of my own. “The hard, dry blood on my fingers reeked of someone else’s life.” Hmm… kind of catchy, I thought. With that one fateful sentence setting the tone for my book, I poured everything I had into the opening like a madman. I shared my intro with my girlfriend (and co-editor) Chrysti who told me, “Wow, that was really attention grabbing. I would read a book like this.”
“Are you lying to me?” I asked.
“I would tell you if your script was garbage, this is actually pretty good. Can you keep writing like this until the end?”
“I don’t know, that was really hard!”
“If you can keep writing like this, I think your book could be really great.”
Cindy a.k.a. The Silver Ninja was reborn.
When I had my girlfriend read the 1st draft of the completed manuscript, she said, “This is great, but now you need to edit this.”
Wilmar Luna (1984) was born in Trenton, New Jersey, to Guatemalan immigrant parents, born in the United States, grew up in Hamilton, New Jersey, and studied Television production at Mercer County Community College. For 10 years he has written and re-written his first book, The Silver Ninja while juggling a career as a video editor and a motion graphics artist. In 2012, he decided that it was finally time to publish The Silver Ninja—for real. With the obstacle of publishing the first book out of the way, the future looks bright for more Silver Ninja storylines.