Should I write this?

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by GabeZhul, Feb 6, 2019.

?

Should I?

  1. Yay.

    30 vote(s)
    83.3%
  2. Nay.

    6 vote(s)
    16.7%
  1. GabeZhul

    GabeZhul Well-Known Member

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    Okay, let me clarify some points:
    I call it wuxia instead of xianxia because of the different focus. As far as I know, xianxia revolves around cultivation for immortality and reaching higher stages of being, while in wuxia is more about actual martial artists, rivalries and politics, with cultivation-levels being much less pronounced, if there at all. Speaking of which, there is a huge difference in power levels as well. While a wuxia fight between two young combatant might be decided by one of them using a self-developed technique to deflect the opponent's famously unblockable stab, xianxia fights are usually decided more along the lines of one of the combatants pressuring the other with their all-powerful dao eye of infinite whatchamacallit, but then the other uses an artifact to summon the river Stix, forms a ten thousand miles wide and one million miles long bridge on it, and then he picks up said bridge and uses it as a whip to strike his opponent's eye, thus blinding him. Not really on the same field.
    As I said, the world used to be a xianxia one, with sect elders and young geniuses and OP artifacts and all that jazz, but because of the Age of Strife, the most powerful people all died, got crippled or said "screw you guys" and ascended to the next realm, techniques and resources were lost, and so "modern" cultivators do not have the means to reach the same cultivation levels.

    Speaking of level, I have an eight step thing in mind, exemplified by an average cultivator dude:
    -Qi gathering - This is where the dude forms his dantian and starts being able to use techniques
    -Body cleansing - This is where the dude uses the collected qi to reinforce their physical body, which also eliminates most disease and increases lifespan
    -Diffusion: Qi is spread in the body, further reinforcing it, plus it can be used as temporary power boost in times of crisis or can protect the dude from harm to a degree
    -Meridian opening - This is where the dude starts opening up their junctions (think acupoints), with the number depending on one's talent and with the meridians being channels connecting them. Different techniques require different meridians, and if the dude aims for a specific one without being able to unlock all the necessary junctions, in the best case they won't be able to use it to its fullest, in the worst case they might get stuck in their cultivation altogether.
    -Unification: Fully synchronizing the meridians and the body. Further raises lifespan physical abilities. After this, no more junctions can be opened for the rest of the dude's life.
    -Aura: This is when the dude begins to project qi outside his body. This is where the wacky stuff starts happening, like shooting kamehamehas at each other, or summoning spectral dragons, or creating wings to fly around.
    -Rejuvenation: The dude's body is returned to their peak and they get another boost to their life span, plus regeneration factor.
    -Golden Soul: The dude's consciousness is diffused into their qi, allowing them better control and to survive with otherwise mortal wounds, and at the end they can separate their souls to ascend to a higher plane.

    Because of the Ages of Strife, there are no complete manuals beyond Unification, and while the new simplified, hobbled-together manuals allows even peasants with zero talent to reach Body Cleansing, they also damage their foundations, making reaching even Diffusion incredibly hard.

    As for the story focus, it would be mostly a mystery, with occasional spots of buddy-cop comedy between the sardonic MC and the prim and proper first prince, plus most of the early investigation would exist as a vehicle for the world-building. As for the tone, I would aim for something like the Dresden Files; mostly serious, with occasional bits of comedy, and some epic climaxes.

    Finally, where I come from, 100k words is about the length of a paperback short story, that's why I used it as a yardstick. My previous works usually ranged in the 250k range, but I don't really have that kind of time for writing anymore.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  2. GabeZhul

    GabeZhul Well-Known Member

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    That's kinda the thing: the dissemination of cultivation on this world would have the same effect as the industrial, agricultural and healthcare revolutions had on ours, except at the same time, in the span of a few decades. Also, tech would obviously nor develop the same way, as when you have a herd of untiring peasants each with the strength of three men, willing to work for a pittance, there is little incentive to invent mechanization, so the actual level of tech stays roughly at your typical vaguely ancient china, with maybe more robust tools and clothing to withstand the wear an tear.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2019
  3. Greater thunder

    Greater thunder Well-Known Member

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    Wuxia usually ends with multiple characters showing what you described as Unification with Aura being achieved by special techniques or coming naturally to a character with Unification who never confirms or denies his/her/its progress on that most basic and crucial level with Rejuvenation being possible in a particularly high-level Wuxia setting if the author allows it.

    For a Xianxia setting, all these are already showing in a Qi Gathering realm with a standard 1-8/9 levels to it but are only noted as specially increasing in the following realms after.

    So it seems more like your setting's civilization's progress was lost rather than outright broken. Same thing if they never bother to get back to former heights in that area.

    I hope you have fun writing.
     
  4. Wu Jizun

    Wu Jizun Well-Known Member

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    That was the longest way of saying traditional xianxia with borrowed elements from xuanhuan lol. Cultivation systems and blasting are not my cup of tea. But nonetheless, enjoy yourself if you write it.
     
  5. GabeZhul

    GabeZhul Well-Known Member

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    Okay, so we apparently have a really big conflict in our terminology. As far as I know:

    -Wuxia: Only human martial artists, who reach superhuman abilities through training and cultivation, but the story mostly focuses on things like honor, romance, revenge and so on, and things are fairly low on the power curve. (eg: Condor Heroes)

    -Xianxia: Pretty much wuxia, but with higher power levels, way more focus on actual cultivation and techniques, and the cultivation itself is very heavily influenced by Daoist and Buddhist philosophy. There is also a lot more mythological and supernatural elements and creatures there, plus the whole "ascending to higher realms" business. (Eg.: I shall Seal the Heavens)

    -Xuanhuan: It's pretty much just fantasy with a mixture of chinese folklore elements but without the daoist influences. (Eg.: Douluo Dalu)

    So again: The setting I had in mind used to be a straight up Xianxia world at its peak, but then it went into a decline, most of the mystical stuff went away, then the big war happened and it ended with cultivation techniques getting widespread but greatly regressing. Because of this, there are a lot of rogue martial artists running around (hence the need for a police force with some strength to back them up in-universe), but Also, while cultivation techniques (as in, the physical manuals) would be important, the actual characters are not going to cultivate and power up over the story, instead they all have very specific skillsets granted to them through their cultivation.

    Also, since xuanhuan is pretty much just "chinese fantasy, without daoism", I don't even know how I could even "borrow elements" from something that broad.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  6. Wu Jizun

    Wu Jizun Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand what point you're trying to make.

    Not all xuanhuan is void of daoist influence. That's a general statement.

    I acknowledged you have a xianxia setting, which you said you're aiming for, and just specified it as traditional xianxia.

    Xuanhuan is what really popularised cultivation and "ascending to higher realms - not in the enlightenment sense". That was then adopted by xianxia, creating modern xianxia which is why I said there are borrowed elements from xuanhuan. If you prefer, I'll word it as, "You used some elements more prominent in modern xianxia."

    Traditional xianxia lacked the system, or what you listed as your "8 step thing". Traditional xianxia uses cultivation much more similarly to how wuxia uses it. Example, body cleansing isn't found in traditional xianxia - at least, I've never seen it in one.

    So, while I don't understand the point of your response, my point is, a step system isn't my cup of tea, and I shall stick to old-school and modern wuxia.
     
  7. GabeZhul

    GabeZhul Well-Known Member

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    My point was in the first paragraph already: we are using different definitions of the same genres, and it confuses me. My definitions are based on the NU tag system and this particular site. If you have more reliable sources, please do share, as it's impossible have a proper discussion without the proper, agreed-upon definitions. Again, to reiterate, as far as I know:
    -Wuxia: Literally "Martial Hero". It's about martial artists doing martial artsy things. Cultivation can be there, but it's not the focus.
    -Xianxia: Literally "Immortal Hero". It's about pursuing enlightenment and immortality through Daoism. Can have any kind of different levels and cultivation techniques based on the author.
    -Xuanhuan: Literally "Mysterious Fantasy". It's a chinese fantasy story, with or without cultivation or chinese lore, but it doesn't actually focus on immortality and enlightenment, and it is usually completely devoid of daoist philosophy. Aka, The Experimental Log of a Crazy Lich is Xuanhuan, despite being set in a western fantasy setting with no cultivation.

    Your turn.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  8. GabeZhul

    GabeZhul Well-Known Member

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    Just a bit of a heads up: While I started writing this, I decided to stop procrastinating and began uploading one of my already completed books onto Scribble Hub. It's called The Simulacrum, and you can find it here if you want to check it out. I will upload the whole, 237k words long book over next week, then maybe also put it out on RRL as well, depending on my mood at the time.

    As for the story outlined here, I will probably keep it here on the forums for the time being. I don't know when I will finish the first chapter though, as my job has been kinda killing me since early January, but I will try to have something up by the end of next week.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  9. Maelstrom08

    Maelstrom08 Active Member

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    A noire detective novel then put into an imperial setting, then put into a cultivation world? Sounds about right, go for it, if you have the time to let your mind run wild, then write that shit to your hearts content!