Re: The roots of RR's popular fiction

#2
I've been trying to crack this site's "meta" for about a year now. I think I find the answer and then it doesn't pan out quite how I envisioned it. In the end, I've learned to write what I want and hope it attracts the right audience.

That said, isekai is such a popular trope in anime that it's hard to pinpoint its beginning, but it probably became really popular more with titles like Sword Art Online and Konosuba. If you're looking for this site's most beloved gems, check out Best Completed, and for what's hot now, check out Best Ongoing on the homepage. Both things that I ought to do at some point if I ever give "writing FOR Royal Road" rather than "writing on Royal Road" another try...

Re: The roots of RR's popular fiction

#6
Though I can't speak for every trope, I do know that the Harem trope is inspired by Love Hina. A lot of people place the inspiration for the Harem trope earlier, but all of those earlier animes and mangas involve demons or goddesses or monsters, or guys who are on a different sort of quest other than finding a girlfriend -- more akin to Fantasy tropes than to actual harems.

Love Hina involves normal human beings doing normal human things, where a guy is pursued by women. Furthermore, he wants only one specific girl, but cannot figure out which one of them is her. Typical harem stuff.

And as far as a meta for Royal Roads, I would go with Systems. People here like Systems -- Tables and charts and progressive elements, where skills and items are acquired via experience.

🐯

Re: The roots of RR's popular fiction

#7
The Gamer, the manwha, is where several authors found the idea of 'LitRPG' first. Isekai? Derived from Korean and Chinese novels. Especially with the first batch of authors (2015-2017), you can see the heavy influence of Chinese stories. You can take a look into all the dropped stories on the website and you'll find a good deal of Xuanhuan. Harem is much more popular on Amazon than RR, so I'm not considering that as much as the other RR 'popular genres.' But that's also something you would find in a Chinese novel, so... 
In general, this literature has existed for quite some time in the East. People started making their own versions in Europe and US, and that's how Isekai, especially the apocalypse subgenre, came to be. 
"Stories most are familiar with" depends on when you were introduced to this world. Web novels in the West have been mainly exported by Wuxiaworld and a website which name now eludes me (Japanese stories, among which Sword Art Online). Post-2020, many authors were influenced by The Wandering Inn, Randidly Ghosthound, or Defiance of the Fall. If you take a deeper read of Defiance of the Fall, you can see how both Primal Hunter and He Who Fights with Monsters (pillars of the genre) are, in a way, descendant of that novel, taking some its concepts further and advancing the overall scope of the genre. 

Re: The roots of RR's popular fiction

#9
Asviloka Wrote:
CrowsCrowCrow Wrote: I've heard murmurs that this site used to be a fan site of that story.
RR used to be the official translation site for LMS, but when they lost the rights to continue translating the site's focus shifted into fanfiction and original works. It kept growing and expanding, and now here we are. :)
LMS means legendary moonlight sculptor a korean web/light novel, for those who don't know and it's influence is one of the main reasons litrpg's are so big on RR. The site being Royal Road is named after the game the novel is set in. 

Re: The roots of RR's popular fiction

#10
I'm not personally into isekai/anime tropes, but from what I understand isekai is THE anime trope right now. Makes sense lots of younger writers would be inspired by it. 

A fun fact for isekai enthusiasts, a big precursor to the genre was Terry Brooks' "Magic Kingdom for Sale-- Sold!", written in 1986. The story follows a lawyer from Chigaco, who loses his wife and unborn kid in a car wreck. After seeing an add for a magic kingdom for sale, he gets curious and eventually winds up in another world. I only ever heard of the book because my grandma *loved* it. 

All things old are becoming new, I guess.   DrakanBook

Re: The roots of RR's popular fiction

#11
Things have changed, the readers and writers as a whole on this site have shifted compared to the original batches. It's a lot more western now, and you can see so many novels are male writer writing female MC, heavy D&D influence, and other very subtle but strong indications that the east asian cultural influence is has been replaced by western cultural values. 

So now the meta has shifted away from what i'd call "first generation" or direct fanfiction of eastern media, and is now "second" or "third generation". 

You can even see if you ever open a patreon and read the names of your patrons (and I've had 4 patreons), it's overwhelmingly white americans/europeans/australians, who have their own cultural values that they expect in a novel. 

Re: The roots of RR's popular fiction

#14
The thing about genres is that they are about a larger number of works. So while there might be a "first" work for many aspects, those first works are usually quite atypically and might not even belong to the genre itself. For example the modern fantasy elf clearly was introduces by Tolkien, but at the same time, his elves don't really fit the genre any more (for examples the idea that elves are immortal in the sense of not aging at all was almost everywhere replaces with very slow aging).