Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#3
Info-dumping! I think people turn to Isekai as an easy way to have mc know nothing about the world they enter and proceed to just ask all the side characters to explain what's going on, but that just isn't that fun for the reader! This is obviously a problem in non-isekai fantasy as well but it's still hard for my eyes not to glaze slightly when it's happening. The classic show don't tell is all to keep in mind!

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#5

Kathy Wrote: Info-dumping! I think people turn to Isekai as an easy way to have mc know nothing about the world they enter and proceed to just ask all the side characters to explain what's going on, but that just isn't that fun for the reader! This is obviously a problem in non-isekai fantasy as well but it's still hard for my eyes not to glaze slightly when it's happening. The classic show don't tell is all to keep in mind!


I think Info-dumping is fine if utilized properly and well-executed.

"Show don't tell" can be solid advice, but it doesn't have to. Writing is about building ones creative style. Forcing yourself to adhere to certain "ideals" can hamper ones development.

Personally, I think you should enjoy what you write, and that is the most important.


To answer the posters question:
Something I personally suffer from too. You need to have good grammar and solid sentence structure

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#10

T.K Wrote: I am genuinely curious about your opinions, as it could allow me stay away from said tropes in my own novel.
Sincerely, T.K Paradox
Honestly, it isn’t really a specific thing such as tropes or whatnot. It is more that much of what I read, it lacks distinctive buildup. Battles do not feel like it is reaching a high point, but rather just something to move on. Also, a good portion of them lack a competent lead. If there is anything I suppose I would have to identify, is that, I really do not give a damn about training arcs. This is boring as hell, refer to it as a past scene if you want to.

Though, I am there to read an adventure. More often than not, so many gets stuck in this mindset, that I have to hit my hand away from leaving a 0.5 and moving on. Yes, I have to put in restraint not to rate. The stories have promise, but it just gets pulled down with some of the most boring things. 

I can ignore a lot of stuff, though, when it comes to the training/incompetent lead. I have to throw away the book before I leave a 0.5 on it. 🤨

There are many ways to show the capabilities of the main, but dragging the story on with the training thing is a good way for it to burn. My reviews might be positive, but if I was not grading in the supposed demographics. I can ascertain you, most would have been torn to shreds. 😐

I have a lot of restraint.

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#12
One of my main gripes regarding Isekais is that the main character doesn't make note that they came from another world at the start. Like some good isekai that I've watched always have the main characters make reference to Japan in some way. For example, the heroes in Shield Hero in the first episode discuss their homelands and make note of their different Japans. Another case is Arifureta, where he makes magic that resembles technology from another world like guns or cars, I also believe his goal is to get back home. So these characters have a link to Japan in some way.

In other isekai, the characters just quickly adapt to the isekai world and pretend like they have lived their whole lives there. Which I think is pretty pointless, why write an isekai story when the character makes no use of being isekai-ed. At that point, one should just write a character that was born in the fantasy world and skip the isekai.

Moving on, there are other common isekai troupes. A lot of the fantasy elements tend to stay the same, and my friend says that all the isekai anime tend to have the same art style which quickly tires him. Harems are another thing, I'm a bit conflicted on this one. I hate the harems where all the girls like the MC but don't do anything, so it's just funny tsundere moments and yandere moments. However, there are some exceptions that I liked such as Arifureta, Saenai Heroine (Not Isekai, but Harem) and Quintuplets (Same as Saenai.) Another point is the cheat powers. I usually enjoy these powers if they are used smartly, and are not stupidly OP, where every fight is won instantly. Like in the story I'm writing, it's the power of summoning others from another world. It's different and neat, and it requires the MC to be smart. 

Well I think that's all my personal problems with Isekai I believe. Later! DrakanSigh

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#13


Monus Wrote: I think Info-dumping is fine if utilized properly and well-executed.

"Show don't tell" can be solid advice, but it doesn't have to. Writing is about building ones creative style. Forcing yourself to adhere to certain "ideals" can hamper ones development.




I think we might have different definitions of info-dumping. When I think of info-dumping I think of like a lecture's worth of information. Sharing information between characters is obviously fine if it isn't a sermon on the world-building. I kind of define info-dumping if it feels like you should be taking notes for the exam later on the world's gods or history. I do agree a level of telling is necessary sometimes and it does make things easier. And sometimes showing can make the story more cumbersome that it needs to be if overdone. When it comes to creating a more engaging experience of world-discovery in the story, generally speaking, show is more interesting imo as a reader - but it's very circumstantial. 

But you're right to point out every reader is different. And you're right that having fun is more important than any so-called "rules" for writing. It's just my personal annoyance with isekai because it's a tendency I see more in that genre what with the unique position of the protagonist knowing nothing, and I just find it more boring than the alternatives.

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#14

Kathy Wrote: I think we might have different definitions of info-dumping.
I would agree. When to deliver information is key as well. For instance in the first book of the Honor Herrington series, this high profile admiral comes onto Honor's ship, and me as the reader was anticipating this moment. And then Webber stops the story cold for EIGHT PAGES to deliver a monologue of exposition on this admiral's background. It wasn't even a flashback, just cold stop, info, info, info, for eight pages. Now that, is somewhat of an extreme example.

But what if you just got past this big action scene and now the character is simply walking through the woods or whatever, digesting the past events, making sense of them, and then you as the writer stop describing the action, which lets face it, isn't really that exciting right now anyway, to give three or four paragraphs of necessary exposition? More acceptable in this regard, definitely.


Though I'm always of the opinion to filter exposition through the eyes of the character, so that it's not just straight expository info being dumped onto the reader, but rather  a peripheral internal monologue of the character. But that's harder, because feelings and opinions have to come through based on the character's state of mind.

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#15
Meeting a god after death and getting reincarnated.

It is at best info dumping with a stupid conversation and it is completly avoidable and never relevant to the rest of the story, it is used as a poor and lazy way for the writer to give what the hero want from the start most of the time.

Just make the guy wakes up somewhere and make him earn his power.

Now i just quit reading as soon as I see this trope. Never seen one good isekai with it and never will.

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#16
One of the things that tends to frustrate me about a lot of isekai is that they tend to be pretty repetitive and often run the same general ideas and concepts. Also a lot of isekais tend to feel very stagnant and like they're spinning their wheels for too long. Something I appreciate about stuff like Reincarnated as a Slime and Re:Zero is that the protagonists both get very invested in their unique worlds and the plot goes into some interesting directions with it.

Basically, I think a good solution is give your main a personality and have them reflect on what it means about their past. I think the biggest thing is otherwise to give your story something iconic to it. A part of the premise that makes it interesting and space to be creative in the future, as opposed to a gimmick.

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#17

HylithRage Wrote: Meeting a god after death and getting reincarnated.

It is at best info dumping with a stupid conversation and it is completly avoidable and never relevant to the rest of the story, it is used as a poor and lazy way for the writer to give what the hero want from the start most of the time.

Just make the guy wakes up somewhere and make him earn his power.

Now i just quit reading as soon as I see this trope. Never seen one good isekai with it and never will.
I have to wonder if you just don't understand how this type of scene is supposed to work and what it's supposed to accomplish if you can't imagine a hypothetical good version of one.  How is having every isekai start with a clueless main character better than having some start with a deal or assignment and a 10-minute briefing on the world and/or their new power?

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#18

sunandshadow Wrote:
HylithRage Wrote: Meeting a god after death and getting reincarnated.

It is at best info dumping with a stupid conversation and it is completly avoidable and never relevant to the rest of the story, it is used as a poor and lazy way for the writer to give what the hero want from the start most of the time.

Just make the guy wakes up somewhere and make him earn his power.

Now i just quit reading as soon as I see this trope. Never seen one good isekai with it and never will.
I have to wonder if you just don't understand how this type of scene is supposed to work and what it's supposed to accomplish if you can't imagine a hypothetical good version of one.  How is having every isekai start with a clueless main character better than having some start with a deal or assignment and a 10-minute briefing on the world and/or their new power?


All alternative way of doing it is preferable whatever that may be, I must have read at least 50 fictions with this trope and all of them were very bad scenes.

It is in my opinon the worst trope by far in isekai.

You can do a hobbit scene, someone writting his own story and you read the prologue as he indtroduce what happened to him.

You can do everything, it's a fiction just make sure it works and isn't completly weird, out of character, irrelevant or a lazy way of giving him cheat powers for no good reason.

Discovering things with a mysterious new scenes has always been more engaging for me. Like for exemple Release that witch reincarnation is better that all thoses meet the gods reincarnation scenes.

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#19

HylithRage Wrote: Meeting a god after death and getting reincarnated.

It is at best info dumping with a stupid conversation and it is completly avoidable and never relevant to the rest of the story, it is used as a poor and lazy way for the writer to give what the hero want from the start most of the time.

Just make the guy wakes up somewhere and make him earn his power.

Now i just quit reading as soon as I see this trope. Never seen one good isekai with it and never will.
This trope also doesn't take in account how world breaking this is. Like what if the MC was an atheist? He meets actual GOD and is just completely fine with it?

Re: What about Isekai/Portal Fantasy that turns readers away the most?

#20
Most tropes are bad because of execution, not because of the trope itself.

Bad isekai is famous for poor execution and the worst of it is the level of surface fanservice with no substance. All frosting, no cake as it were. The worst offenders are:

Flat characters: Besides the projector screen MC you see harems of archetypes with names attached and nothing beyond that plus cartoonish enemies who don't make sense and seem like the author had less than great reasons to add them.

Incoherent worldbuilding: Most authors ripoff dragon quest ripoffs and call it a day then never explore feudal systems, government, religion, different races or cultures, etc. beyond basic 'bad guys' or 'fanservice'.

Lack of reason for the iseka-ing: We love to joke about Truck-kun, but seriously, why does this guy get to reincarnate sometimes with literal divine favortism? Most of the face to face with divinity meetings are cringe inducing and seem like a bad joke, not something like a face to face meeting with the divine. Same goes for ritual summoning of 'random schlub' to be a great hero (why didn't they go for a guy like John Wick?). This is one of the trickier areas to justify, but the common cures are worse than the disease.

Cheat skills: Where the MC gets superpowerful early on because of something so obvious everyone else should know about it or because of literal divine favortism (with no religious implications ever dwelled on). 

Lack of plot: A vague evil that will almost certainly never be defeated or 'adventuring seems like the thing to do' isn't dramatic or interesting. Give actual conflict and drama.

Infodumping: The magic system ripped off from video games just isn't that interesting in the end. What people do with it is. Or better yet, actual skills in things like swordplay etc.

Lesser problems, in the sense that they are less common are:

Otherworld idiots: People who live in fantasyland are going to be better suited to it than the newcomer. They're not going to be wowed by rice or miss an obvious trick to making things better because it's the MC's job to point it out. Read the short story The Man Who Came Early by Poul Anderson and you'll have a good idea how to avert this.

Normal dude prodigy: No, a normally educated guy will not be able to start an industrial revolution, recreate much of anything, or be a great swordsman because he was in the kendo club. This is related to the above, but is common enough to get it's own list.

Just so sensibilities: Democracy, free love, and current year values are the biggest offenders forced into a fantasyland that, by all sensible means should not have them. Let your setting be solid and sensible and not twisted for those reasons.

Just my 2 cents, hope something here was useful