How do you like a Litrpg to start off?

Discussion in 'All Things LitRPG' started by PS2572, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. PS2572

    PS2572 Level 7 (Cutpurse) Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I generally don't really care about the real life stuff and prefer that they jump straight into the game. Not that interested in character design either, but I guess it's a hard part to skip. Especially if you want the character to be something other than a human.

    Would you mind reading a book that started straight with the game? Like the character wakes up in the gameworld and boom! they are in a fight? Sort of like how you start off in Skyrim?

    Maybe it would be good for a story that doesn't involve RL or something like a portal fantasy? Or would you feel like you missed out on something?

    I just started reading Hack by @Paul Bellow and love how they are in the game world in a few pages. Well done!

    Curious to hear what other people like!
     
  2. YonEye

    YonEye Level 7 (Cutpurse) Citizen

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    This thread covers lots of similar stuff: Do you need the intro stuff anymore?

    As I mentioned there, the worst part of any litrpg is the real-life part. Get me in and go and don't come back. I don't need a B-plot.

    If you insist on grounding it in reality, make it something simple like "Billy needs to raise a gazillion dollars for an operation to save his brother's life" and then we don't need to visit his brother and we don't need detailed descriptions of his life outside the game. Just simple "...and then I logged off to eat and sleep. The next day I resumed the Goblin Apocalypse . . ."


    as far as character design, either way can work
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  3. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Into the game fast with instant bits for me to connect with the MC.

    I kinda really don't care about RL or RL stakes, because it's very hard to do well, and I'd prefer that to be in the realm of "one-paragraph disbelief you've gotta suspend".
     
  4. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 17 (Theurgist) Citizen

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    Start off the way you want to keep going.

    I noticed in Litrpg that the books start in one of two ways, rambly start as if the author is trying to get a feel for things and has no idea how to start it off. OR hit the ground running with a million cool visuals thrown at you.

    Here's the problem. the first kind are a toss between a slow starter where things start to get interesting after the first few chapters of world building and character intros. It actually makes me like the author more since I see it has him being a bit shy and bad at putting his best foot forward yet really awesome once you get to know him.

    OR he's holding back the good stuff because this is going to be a series and no use blowing your load early, just tease them for now. This is fine with an experienced writer who knows what he's doing but 9 times out of 10 it just means you have very little and spreading it paper thin.

    Then you have the runners. This also ends up into two types of books and are very common in YA. Mostly because the author thinks he needs to grab your attention in any way possible like you have ADHD or something. What ends happening is

    a. The first two or three chapters are action packed with everything going at light speed. The rest of the book is the author back peddling to establish characters and world since he didn't do it earlier, He isn't sure he did a good job at it and maybe the character lacks depth so he keeps trying to prove the same point over and over with very little happening here and there. Big finish because we all remember the ending and hopefully you'll buy book two if only for the cliff hanger.


    b. Less common. The momentum is maintain throughout as the character and the world is established in the background. the focus is on the series of events they're living through and how they deal with it. That actually takes a good writer to make and a lot of confidence in your readers since you won't be telling them everything and instead relay on common knowledge to fill in the gaps. This only works with plot driven stories.


    Honestly books aren't like a TV series, you don't have to pull out all the stops in the pilot to get me to read. People who read for fun are more patient and have longer attention spans. It's why we can wait a full year for the next installment in a series we like!

    For me I'd still read a slow starter so long as there is nothing fundamentally broken in the structure. It's the ones that start off running that I'm weary off. They rarely deliver on their promise.


    EDIT =

    Regarding the real world. I think it should be included only if there is a reason for it to be so. Like say if the MC is a 6 foot girl and feels awkward about her height, she's a teen and most boys won't look at her because she's taller then them. Contrast this shyness with her gaming persona of a tiny robust cutie for fulfillment and you can go between the two worlds to see how she reacts to similar situations in both and if there is any growth in her character because of the game.
     
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  5. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    This is a very good observation. I haven't read that many LitRPGs, but I've noticed the same thing with shounen manga. The ones that start with "the bad guy of the week" kinda thing for a significant number of volumes before starting its real big first arc usually end up being better-developed and ultimately more satisfying. The ones that start very promising, with loads of mystery and intrigue, usually fall apart after a little while and end up super messy and confusing.

    A slightly separate point is that it's very easy to throw in mysteries to make the readers go "oooh, this is sick!", but then you eventually have to solve them. Sometimes writers can't solve their own mysteries, and you end up with nonsensical cop-out answers that leave readers feeling cheated. TV shows are a huge culprit of this. But unfortunately it's a cheap trick that sells.
     
  6. Gryphon

    Gryphon Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    My experience is this needs to be planned out and ingrained from the first pages if you want an overarching mystery subplot. As long as I keep getting excited questions, I know I'm going in the right direction.
     
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  7. Windfall

    Windfall Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Yep. I guess the problem for the readers is that you don't actually know if the author has anything planned for a satisfying reveal until the end, and by that time it's too late :p
     
  8. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Level 9 (Burgler) Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen

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    As an expansion on my delima I mentioned elsewhere: what I tend to like is a more Literary/Contemporary approach to a GameLit, where much of the beginning of book is actually spent in the MC's real world, going into different members of the castes reason for why they became addicted to the world of Voreth's Promise.

    Often, the game provides some abstract means of escape, that makes them neglect their body for sake of the score. So often some 6,000 words is spent building characters for a work that is only about 15,000 words.

    With my work that's 23,000-26,000 the amount of words spent building character is less stark at 9,200-10400 words. But that's mainly for prequels.

    My last beta actually thought my work was contemporary fiction at first, just for that reason.
     
  9. Kidlike101

    Kidlike101 Level 17 (Theurgist) Citizen

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    @Windfall

    That shows a lack of planning. Any mystery the author presents should be reverse engineered into the plot. It's what mystery writers do, start with a solution and work your way back from it then limit the reader's viewpoint until they get to it.

    Rowling is very good with those, Her style is to hide a tree in a forest so you get the sense that you too could have solved this ahead of time if you paid attention.

    I think I feel cheated when the clues are withheld from the reader and the author goes TADA! THE REASON IS THIS! YOU NEVER WOULD HAVE GUESSED RIGHT? VAT A TWIST! No, I wouldn't have. why would I guess that a Chuthulu cultist were working on shifting an entire building randomly from our world to that one when there is no reason what so ever to think that... and when the book is a scooby doo like haunting mystery?! And yes this was in an actual book I've read last year and came out of nowhere. All the clues the author placed through out were thrown out of the window.
     
  10. LWFlouisa

    LWFlouisa Level 9 (Burgler) Roleplaying LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Ah so then I might have more in common with mystery than I thought. I start at the end and work my way backwards. But for larger conspiracies, not individual murders.
     




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