I’ve recently been reading a bunch of wuxia / wushu novels. Those novels amuse me, many of them an interesting glimpse into the culture and differing viewpoints that the writers have compared to ‘Western’ writers.
Having been brought up in South-East Asia myself, I have a weird relationship with Chinese culture (specifically, modern day China). I can read books like that and many of the terms and concepts make perfect sense to me, though at the same time, some of the things they espouse as ‘ideals’ don’t sit well with my more Western upbringing.
On the opposite side of this, I’ve read a few Wuxia novels written by Western authors. They never feel right, the books themselves always feeling just a little off.
In many ways, that feeling of ‘offness’ seems to happen with other LitRPG books too, series that you realise are written by non-gamers. There’s just something that isn’t right about such books, that there’s something ‘lacking’.
I guess, if there is a point ot this post, is to be careful about writing in genres that you don’t fully understand. While I love military scifi, I know I can’t ever write in that genre. I just know that I don’t have the right background or understanding to get it right. It’s the same with non-gamers trying to write LitRPG, unless they are willing to really put the time in, it becomes VERY difficult to do so well.
I always thought writers did more than just come up with ideas and words- there was also a lot of research involved to get that bit of realism. And then there’s this latest craze of pushing out books fast and furious which I’m loving not having to wait 3 years between books! That said it’s easy to fall into the pit of ignorance and try to BS your way through a subject you really know nothing about and then your work and reputation suffer.
Yup. I know swords and martial arts, so that’s fun. And obviously gaming systems, so LitRPG / GameLit is perfect for me. Writing up the stuff for System occasionally means I end up doing lots of googling. But writing a military scifi would be slow since I’d have to find someone to correct things like modes of address and the like.
Myself , i’m recovering from a stupid injury (backs are important children) and just ended 3 days bed rest and burnt thru so many books (thank god for KU), First with Gamer’s Wish – really enjoyed that. Love the world building and how it all went. Needs more Templar stuff please ( love them as goodies or baddies)
Then got some non Gamer LITRPG
Warden Online – 7 day death penalty. No one would ever play that game ( let alone the plot holes and inconsistencies and out right stupidity of the MC – waiting on a planet, watching for an assassin and they dont disable his ship they are watching? after watching for more than a day?)
Cherry Blossom Girls One – the robot/created girls have tracking chips, but the owners don’t turn them on for 2 days. And the MC can write and proof 3000 words an hour?
That’s just the one’s i currently remember. And the over-the-top harem ones….please i love character interaction and love scenes as much as the next guy – but women are women, not objects – so few do that right.
Talking about RIGHT
Then there is stuff like Dantes Immortality. The game system meshes so well as it IS the world. The society works, it’s not nice and fits with the system. The character acts like he should. More lucky sometimes than skill, but it all FITS. Pawn for everyone so works. Street kid that only knows the street. A Bed turns into a weakness because he is used to the ground! So he sleeps in… All the little things work. Reminded me so much of John in LitN.
There’s alot of stuff out there, just finding it (the good stuff) can be hard
Also as an older white aussie – i love the asian characters with the different outlooks. A couple of mates love the comparisons in the book, cause the references work for them ( the family references rally hit home). A good character is a good character – doesn’t matter age, race, creed, sex, sexuality. That’s why i collect your books.
So thanks again. Got out of bed, saw the email and went – cool, rant time.
Are there any of the wuxia / wushu novels you could recommend to all of us? I’d like to try a few.
Many thanks again.
Got to try Dante’s Immortality. I’ve also heard the Stork Series is very good. But trying not to get sucked into reading too much… or else the next book won’t get written!
All I can say is yes it does help to have background in a subject to write about it. But it’s doesn’t have to be that way. The best example I can give is Tom Clancy all he had was Army ROTC in collage. If you like it give it a try.
True. But Clancy also spent a LOT of time researching. He’s a literal gun nut – he read and read and read so much that even the CIA was wondering if he was a spy or something. 🙂