Xianxia Novels

Discussion in 'Author Discussions' started by Jaxxson, Feb 17, 2021.

  1. Jaxxson

    Jaxxson Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2020
    Messages:
    15
    Likes Received:
    7
    Reading List:
    Link
    What cliches do you like?

    What cliches do you dislike?

    What do you want from a main character?

    Do you enjoy detailed fight scenes and arcs where the main character learns alchemy, blacksmithing, and learns about formations?

    Are there any specific side characters that you want to see?

    What makes a good xianxia villain?

    Do you like the pets that some main characters have?
     
  2. grish99

    grish99 [Pelican Hater] [Hater of Face-Slapping]

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2016
    Messages:
    827
    Likes Received:
    637
    Reading List:
    Link
    I guess system.
    I guess pretty much any classic xianxia cliche like arrogant young master with arrogant father that is discipline of arrogant master.
    To be interesting and not carbon copy of another mc.
    Depending if it's written in interesting way.
    Somebody that don't disappear after 20 chapter's.
    Somebody that is way way way stronger than mc but can't or don't want to just kill the mc and not for reason like "I want to humiliate mc"
    Yea if they are not 3 lines of text that latter disappear
     
  3. Halcyon Observer

    Halcyon Observer Setting in motion

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2019
    Messages:
    717
    Likes Received:
    2,212
    Reading List:
    Link
    Clichés and common tropes will always be the bread and butter that makes a cultivation novel a cultivation novel. One-in-million-year genius, old grandpa trapped in a ring, some cheat system, hiding your true cultivation level, perfectly tiered cultivation levels, indefinite realm ascension, etc.

    That being said, I generally am not a fan of them, because authors like to repeat the trope in a re-skinned situation. So in a sense, I understand clichés, but how much I enjoy reading them depends on how it is used. Done well, and you have the benefit of expressing an understandable and known concept without sacrificing a reader's interest. Done wrong, and I, the reader, will be staring at the screen on the four hundredth chapter thinking this is a waste of time.

    There are a couple of tropes, actually, that I legitimately scorn, however. For one, face-slapping seems like one of the dumbest things you can do. I understand that the novel's cultivation breakthroughs do not entail spiritual enlightenment. I also understand that it is not right to just accept slander or humiliation regardless of the situation. That being said, why the fuck do I have to read this in every arc. The amount of bullshit that comes from "I'm telling mom/dad" is ridiculous when it evolves into "I'm telling Fifth Grand Ancestor" with some sort of generational clan extermination sentiment. Character development is absolutely abysmal. No antagonist ever fucking gets through their Neanderthal skull to suck up their loss and mind their own fucking business afterwards. And the main character doesn't ever fucking learn to turn the other cheek. Would it really kill you if some bloke ogles at your girlfriend, and you don't satisfy your urge to cut off his hands and gut out his dantian? Will your Dao Base explode if you even forgive someone once? For the sake of face, every arc has these people that get beat up and these people that die. Depending on the MC's level and how high the author is, casualties may range from ten to a thousand to some million that came out of nowhere. Despite the entire novel's entire premise of cultivation being the path of trials you walk alone, they sure like to bring everyone else into the fray.

    Face-slapping also doesn't do jack with "staying low-key."
    "Oh, I'm going to hide my cultivation level because I don't want to be targeted, but I'm actually going to reveal it at a time to greatly humiliate someone so everyone else sucks me off." You spent twenty years in earnest to reach this level, and you blew it all on vanity.

    Alchemy, blacksmithing, formations, etc. are all fine as is. However, I just feel as though writers don't exactly think too deeply in their insights as they could. But to be fair, they are just making stuff up as they go.

    A good xianxia villain would honestly probably be some kind of rival, since they're going to be a persistent character. It's hard enough to think that the final boss is some kind of 10th dimensional, realm ascending, meta-level god entity while the main character starts off as some bum in a rural village. Sure, you could work your way up in progression of difficulty, but then the final boss is less of an overarching enemy as opposed to an arc enemy.

    Now that I think about it, a rival would actually be nice to see for once. And not one that gets left behind in the dust after the first 50 chapters, one that remains until the very end. As opposed to fighting some kind of world-ending evil, it's a friendly competition between two cultivators. But technically, that's just an antagonist as opposed to a villain.

    A good villain would be cruel and manipulative. Amoral and likes to cross a lot of lines. Someone who sees the MC as an obstacle in furthering their own goals as opposed to someone with a petty grudge. Or maybe a villain with a set of beliefs, and the MC embodies practically everything they stand against. Villains with personal vendettas are great, but they can only last so long. And stories go on for thousands of chapters, and every arc is hundreds of chapters too. A dynamic character would also be great if I have to keep reading about them for the next three hundred or so chapters. Essentially, you write a good xianxia villain the way you write a good villain in general, but you factor in the background of the story.
     
  4. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    936
    Likes Received:
    758
    Reading List:
    Link
    A rival is quite difficult since the MC is usually one out of a billion years, usually paired with cheats. Who is supposed to match that without a titanic headstart? The scaling is xianxia's biggest downfall, and it happens every single time.
     
  5. Darius Drake

    Darius Drake A poster of verbose posts

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Messages:
    946
    Likes Received:
    454
    Reading List:
    Link
    Honestly, the main issue I have with Xianxia is the repetitiveness, while what I like is the Setup and Heavenly Tribulations. Most Xianxia, and Xianxia-like Novels (I do not know enough to differentiate Xianxia from Xianhuan, for example) have at least a moderately interesting start, and turns the Heavenly Tribulations into something interesting. The problem I have with them is that most of them end up falling into using cliche's wildly and repetition in most area's beyond that.

    For example, "Face Slapping". In some situations, not only does it make sense, but also progresses the story along. MC "Slapping the Face" of one, or several, Noble Scorns by not only competing, but actually winning a competition that they all were willing to throw to the Noble Scorn with the most backing, for example, particularly if the MC was competing for the Competition's Prizes instead of for self-satisfaction, and the people behind the competition getting angry that their expected gift to a Noble Scorn was taken by some unheard of whelp who ignored the fact that they had rigged the competition. This both, likely, advances the MC's personal power, and antagonises a wide variety of people to act against him for a notable amount of time.

    The number of stories that use Face Slapping that way, however, is low. Instead, the MC embarrasses someone specific, keeps a treasure they won that a Noble Scorn wanted, or shows off in a way that an individual embarrasses themselves, but it's the MC's fault for being able to doing something like "the MC actually managing to do what they said they could do". And half the time it's used to show off how awesome the MC is at everything, without him actually making enemies that attempt to do anything against him. While this CAN be fun, for a while, if written well and as a joke, it should not be the standard archetype that it is regardless of the story's tone.

    Spirit Grandpa's is another one. I'm fine with the existence of Spirit Grandpa's, but why aren't they more common? In every story they're in, they're some mystery that's never been heard of by anyone, and are always masters of some esoteric practice alongside general cultivation, who was imprisoned or killed by some enemy of theirs. I would assume that this would be fairly commonplace in a Cultivation World, so why is it that there's only one or two that the MC runs into, instead of discovering one that's passing down their secrets down a family line or through a sect, hoping to find someone with enough innate talent and potential to take as a disciple and raise to fight the one who killed them? Hell, why aren't there Spirit Grandpa Hunters, who try to find these reservoirs of hidden knowledge when they're at their weakest and exploit the Spirit Grandpa's state to improve their own cultivation? Particularly for the stories where one reaches the Immortal Realm and are still relying on knowledge from the Spirit Grandpa, you would think that someone would have not only have learnt about them, but also developed a method to find them more easily to exploit for knowledge.

    And that's not even taking into consideration the fact that most Cultivation Novels have the protagonist become a master of all cultivation-tangential crafts, who's better even than the specialists in those crafts, despite splitting their concentration three to seventeen ways. Why do they do this? Why can't a specialist be better at their specialty than the "Golden Boy" Generalist MC? It's not even given a proper explanation beyond the MC having a cheat, and even then it's not given a decent explanation on why the MC's general cheat is so much better than a specialised piece of equipment, beyond it being the MC's cheat.

    On that note, I hate the fact that nobody can ever discover the MC's cheat, particularly when it's a foreign object. I covered this a bit in the Spirit Grandpa segment, but the amount of times that the MC ends up NOT having to hide the fact that they have a Cheat on them, even when facing people of Godlike Power and Observation Skills to them, even when actively using the Cheat in a test setup by those who are practically Gods to the MC at this point, is just a load of bull. And yet, it's what happens in nearly every story. No matter how high the MC grows, they'll rely on their cheat to the very end, and it will be imperceptible to everyone else to the bitter end. Why? Because the MC has to have a cheat, otherwise the author would have to put in actual effort to explain the MC's Growth Speed, Learning Capacity and Fundamental Talents in the most basic steps of any craft they put their hands to.

    ...I started this out fairly positively, and then ended up just ranting. I think that I'll stop now.
     
  6. SerialBeggar

    SerialBeggar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2016
    Messages:
    1,930
    Likes Received:
    1,304
    Reading List:
    Link
    One cliche that peeves me is that the MC never encounters anyone more than 2 realms above them at any time UNTIL he ranks up. Yeah, the usual excuse is that the higher the realm you are, the less you need to mingle with the lowbies. In addition, it's always "common knowledge" that it's exceedingly rare for anyone to reach those higher teir realms. Yet every time the MC advances a realm, a multitude of these higher realm antagonists just come out to try to rob and kill him.

    It would be nice for the MC to see, even from a distance, random very high realm individuals--who are minding their own business and have nothing to do with the MC or anybody he knows (at least in the immediate future)--just chilling or window shopping while passing through town.
     
  7. Feng Tian

    Feng Tian Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2018
    Messages:
    936
    Likes Received:
    758
    Reading List:
    Link
    The lack of an established power ceiling is certainly a problem... but this is partially due to the batshit insane scaling. Two realms above is already so stupidly stronger, that they can give the MC a particularly mean glare and he drops dead. Just that he usually doesn't cuz he has plot armour (stable foundations or whatever the fuck the author calls it). The truly highly ranked beings are usually so much stronger, that they have no business anywhere near the MC. There simply is nothing they would care about.