However, I am having trouble deciding on the setting of my story. Any advise on which you think is best would be much appreciated.
- MC is born naturally in the world with magic. So everything is automatically real
- MC comes to the world through a higher power (not decided god or system or something else)
- Mc is uploaded to the world through a computer, everything is real but almost game like approach to entering the world picks race and such)
I'd say it really doesn't matter as long as you provide some other original and new elements into play, be it the world itself, its fauna, flora, culture, or the power system.
Good luck. :)
Thanks for your opinion!
In option 1. You need to kick your MC in the ass to get them to start moving. Essentially you have to justify why they are going on their adventure now rather than a year ago. This can be a coming of age (13 18 or 21 yrs old), a tragedy (parents/guardian die, home destroyed) or an opportunity (finding a mentor, winning a lottery).
In option 2: The MC is thrown into a random world so generally this starts with exploration, coming up against a threat, and then choosing to engage with that threat. This is in reality a very specific type of option 1. ie: the MC is starting their quest because they don't have a choice. It is explore and survive in the new world or die. This can be interesting in its own way based on how you go about it.
Option 3 is similar to option two but a specific genre (VRMMO, or sci-fi generally). The willingness of the MC matters here. Did they jump into the computer program willingly or were they forced by some evil corporation?
If you are shooting just for popularity, then Option 2 then 3 then 1 is the most popular that I have seen on RR. My two cents is that option 2 (and 3 to a certain extent) is popular because it is formulaic to some degree. It limits you, while simultaneously giving you complete freedom in the new world you create. Option 1 requires more legwork.
I read an interesting story a while back about an MC that was part of a family that could be 'called' as part of their noble heritage to fight on the other world. They could choose to go, fight a great evil, and eventually die (usually with a few scars on their real body) and the protagonist eventually chose to go there permanently to fight the great evil for real rather than just participating in a few battles until he died. Or they could choose to ignore the call, knowing that huge numbers of other people would die if they didn't choose to accept the mission.
The fifth option is someone that could choose to move between the worlds at will, and either stress or choice let them move back and fourth between the two as 'reality'
The sixth option, which might or might not qualify, is that the world comes HERE. on purpose or accident, the protagonist (and possibly everyone else) gets their world turned into a dangerous fantasy.
Ultimately, the business side of the question is twofold:
1. Which one is going to get more viewers, and
2. Which one is going to retain viewers as it is published?
The first one is a crap shoot. Yes, isekai is popular right now--but it's also on the way out. It's crested, like vampires, werewolves, and zombies before it. What's next? Who knows.
Which means we have to look at the second one. And in the second one, the answer is always whatever character you fall in love with. Readers like plot, they like theme, they like setting--but the only only only thing that a reader will fall in love with is a character. The trick here is not to pick genre for marketing at all, but rather figure out why your MC's story is worth telling. What about your MC is so cool that the reader absolutely has to know about them?
Isekai shortcuts that. We know the MC is important because this very unique thing has happened to them. It's an easy way to get to the fantasy world, and it's an easy way to have the world explained to the reader, because the Isekai'd MC needs to have it explained to them as well.
But that doesn't make people love them. It just sets up a template.
So take a step back and think about your character. The things that make them unique. The little things--their habits, their day-to-day, their slang. Let them grow into a real person in your mind, and when you love them enough you'll know you need to tell their story. And that will solve this little conundrum for you.