A Modern Man in a Cultivating World
Quan's life on Earth is ripped from him for violating rules he didn't know existed. Reborn on a world full of cultivation, and none of the Modern technologies he's used to, he must find his own way. Does he accept the new world f)or the wonders it has, or try to uncover why civilization is stuck in an unending iron age and try to restart the gears of advancement?
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
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Dropped in the fourth chapter...
TL;DR: As a first attempt at writing it's readable but it has a lot of problems. It needs to fix at least some of them to be any good. It also needs to focus on something and not shyly speed through everything as if it's afraid of commitment. For a plot to have impact it must be fleshed out. This is barely a scaffolding.
It's barely decent and doesn't allow me to immerse myself.
The whole thing lacks impact, as everything that's happening is happening without preamble and nothing is explored deeper.
Everything is skin deep and immediately adequately explained without going to the nitty gritty or just exploration of what's happening.
It's like you're reading a pretty shallow montage.
The reincarnation could have been much more powerful if only the god did not just act as competent IT guy telling you where you made your mistake and what precisely happened in three paragraphs or less.
And then he gave him an OP technique which is not explained at all with shallow and pretty clear expectations.
All this followed by half a chapter skipping several years during which "he got better and learned to cultivate".
Then the scene at the temple.
The scene at the temple could have been better if it was fleshed out and the family dynamic was explored a bit before that. If it was a culmination of happenings instead of just disinterested Sunday afternoon during which the MC killed someone for the first time.
Right now it's more of "my name is inygo montoya and you killed my father so I'll fly into berserk rage" out of nowhere twenty seconds after the scene started. More information is given on why he was late than on who he's fighting.
It's really really flat.
And the reason is extra flat is amongst a lot of other things because his father is mentioned twice before in two sentences and the relationship is explored as much as his relashionship with the florist next door (who isn't in the story and I just made him up).
Another niggle is that the whole story has this smell of preordained prophecy where nobody is even excited he's a reincarnated soul and he's expected to do great things.
For fracks sake he grieves his old life off screen so the author won't need to properly explore his feelings.
And there are no dialogues unless they are factual.
All in all two and a half stars for barely reaching basic literary competence. Try using other words for describing the MC than Quan over and over again.
For example he, young man, enraged blacksmith, benevolent youngster.
As it is there are a lot of sentences telling us Quan did this and then Quan did that, followed by Quan tried something and it didn't work so Quan despaired. Quan didn't like that so he thought about that and then Quan stood up.
Please flesh it all out beside basic framework and leave some things unexplored and just hinted at!
Oh and tactical use of details.
The more important a thing or an event is, the more you should revel in details. The more of MC's attention is bound onto to the thing, the more you describe it's properties and flesh it out.
I would think that a fight to the death with six people after they killed his father would count as one such moment where it's advisable to slow down and take your time and describe his actions and the effects it has on the properties of events and objects around him as they come into focus.
Do not stop the action to describe the boots the bandit is wearing, unless the MC is coughing out pleghm and blood on them and they take up his whole attention as they are closing in on his eyes thanks to the bandit kicking him in the head.
But also don't just write "and then he plunged his hands into his ribcage and broke his ribs and used them as daggers" on the unspecified bandit that did not exist 20 seconds ago (as it is now).
And the appearance. The whole thing is a huge white room.
We know the MC is a male, his mother is probably female and he has three siblings, his father is a blacksmith and his mother is his father's manager.
We don't know how he looks like, how does his house look like or anything else beside "generic xianxia with a touch of roman architecture" which are almost exactly the words that are used in the novel to describe his surroundings and also all the words that are used.
We know that he's wearing a nice tunic and has a wet hair, but we don't know how long the hair is, or how the tunic looks like besides "nice".
The first hint that some bandits have crossbows is when he gets shot by them and all we know about the temple is "grey stone building".
That's just stupid. There is no introspection but there also isn't any exposition or description of anything.
The whole thing is just an excercise at telling as little as possible about anything that is barely the focus.
By far the most attention was so far given to the reason he is late to the temple for some holiday and even that was only mentioned as generically and broadly as possible.
For a story that has such a generic name, and no artpiece, the story is actually surprisingly ok.
So far the only real issue I noticed was the brief summary of his rebirth, and how there was basically zero real description of him growing up with his family, making them feel very lackluster and emotionless.
Beyond that though, the story and character personalities are mostly ok so far. No typical edge personalities that you see with the main character, or side characters that usually come from this genre.
I'll likely watch to see if this continues updating.
Tldr : I enjoyed the story so far, but the starting was kinda tough to get through. But now I am really enjoying this. Still there are a few kinks that the author has to figure out.
This story has a lot similar elements to what I imagined what my own cultivation story would have, if I ever wrote one, that is. The beginning is also very similar to what I imagined. So needless to say I am greatly enjoying the ideas and where the story is heading so far.
I am also very interested in the world building and the mysteries hinted at so far.
As the review title says tho, it's lacking polish. Now I am not a writer or an avid reader to really explain what is wrong. But the dialogue feels... off? Stiff might be the right word. There also some grammatical errors that kind people point out in the comments.
Don't get it wrong tho, you can see that the author is improving. The dialogue feels better in the later chapters, or maybe it's the same and I am just getting used to it.
There's also the thing that other reviews have pointed out, the conversation between the mc and the "God". And the relationship between the mc and his family also doesn't feel... organic maybe?
But As I said the author seems to be improving, the relationship between his warrior path master and his new rival seems so much better in comparison. Especially the master, cause the beginning of this relationship too felt a bit stiff to me. But it feels much more natural, and even rare in cultivation stories.
But it's a shame that the first few chapters will act as a wall of sorts to people who might actually enjoy the story for what it becomes later on.
I especially like what the author did with the mc as a modern man having some problems unique to him, psychologically and the ego he has because of being a modern man in a "primitive" world.
After reading the other Reviews, I started at Chapter 3. I tend to dislike the "I'm a child" sections anyway.
I have no outstanding questions from the first two chapters, and feel that the story kicks off at a good pace and does a great job of showing rather than telling, and spreading information through the first few chapters I read.
I'm enjoying the story so far!
As the story is now, its a no-brainer to recommend to any xianxia lover. The first chapter is slightly oddly set up, mainly in the conversation between our MC and the intervening deity; some minor tweaks and editing on this part would likely lead to many more people reading the story.
I'm enjoying how we deal with mainly rational actors in this story rather than the typical tropey antagonism that many xianxia novels have. If the author can keep up this sort of writing up, I imagine the conflicts encountered throughout this long journey will be intriguing and meaningful.
I very much hope this story continues on beyond Writathon, as it would be a shame for a story with such potential to stop short.
This is not the best Cultivation novel I have seen, nor the best Insert. However, it is above average in both those categories.
As xXSB101Xx's review said, the characterization of his family was lacking and the childhood arc was rushed. The only charactization we get is that his father is a blacksmith, and does the "mortal" work for the local sect.
After getting to the sect, things do pick up a bit. His new blacksmithing master is mostly a blank slate; we know he has a dry wit, teaches by having his students try for themselves, and is the brother of Quan's other master.
His other master has a better charactization so far. She is the person we have seen the most interaction with, and appears to genuinely care about Quan as a student. Despite Quan's jokes there are no hints to anything more.
The only "cheats" so far seen are the God-Given cultivation method, which is incomplete at best, and his knowledge of basic calculus, which could be learned in high school.
I found this gem while doing advance searches. Nice. Nice. If you like mixing modern man thinking vs cultivator world, you may like this one. Author is new at writing, but very passable. Liking the pace an style so far. First couple of chapters seem rushed, but that's just to get to the meat of the story.
Thankfully no arrogant young masters yet. Or weirdly enough, super greedy and evil fellow sect members.
That was another change of pace from overly greedy spazzy fellow sect members. We don't get that with this story so far. You read about righteous sects and demonic sects, luckily our MC wound up in a 'good' sect. About the same as how Clark Kent wound up with a good farmer couple as opposed to Homelander being raised in a lab...
Overall it's got the tropes, blended with some reasonable thinking.
my ONLY complaint? Why ARE the tech levels so primitive in cultivator worlds? You would think super wisdom leads to super ways to make life easier? or is there a deeper conspiracy....time will tell....read on folks!
7 chapters in, the story is intriguing and written well. There is no broken plot armour. The realistic mc is driven by logic. Other characters have depth to make them seem real and not just cardboard cutouts to entertain the mc. There is a drive to grow stronger throughout besides to "get bitches and money".
I've just finished chapter 11 and thoroughly enjoying this story. There may be some work required to touch up the first couple of chapters, but the author has brought the story to life through the next several chapters. There are bits that feel familiar to existing storylines, but overall his story is unique. Looking forward to the next chapters.
Overall a good story. Mc seems to be gathering his brain cells together at last. The first chapters he basically acts like some old 'master' from other cultivation novels. Like the one who knows all, but seems to be unable to do even the most basic shit. And then finds shit that is better than what he used to reach the pinnacle with...