"Show, Don't Tell."
It is the Mantra of storytelling in any media. Books, film, comics, games, theater; if it has a story, you best remember this.
Only three chapters in, and there's already been plenty of Tells without any Show.
Darius is evil. Okay, but why? And how? He has genius level intellect? Okay, but why should we take your word for it? What has he done, right before us reader's eyes, that proves this?
Rather than Telling us these things, Show us. Show us the things Darius has done or show it through what he is doing.
The eulogy was a nice subtle touch, mentioning how 'others scorned him' for his actions, but you should have left it at that if you wanted to be subtle, rather than out right Telling us Darius is Evil. It would be better for the readers to work out that fact themselves.
There's a nice metaphor for this. I forgot where I heard it, but it goes something like, 'the audience prefers 2+2 much more than 4.'
Make us, the audience, add two and two together to figure out these facts about the character by leaving about nuggets here and there.
For example: The eulogy briefly mentioning Darius wasn't all praise worthy, plus his kids revealing their sobbing grief at the funeral was an act is just enough to clue us in on that maybe there's something not right about this Darius fellow.
You ruined this by outright telling us that Darius is Evil in the following chapters.
I'm not here to tell you your writing is bad; far from it. There's a good webnovel somewhere here, but it's buried under heaps of dirt and rubble that you put there yourself. Trim down on the explanations and shows us more instead, and I believe there's a decent story to be told.
Good Luck, and Keep Writing.
Update: Dropping it as of ch. 47. The MC's part of the story is mind-numbingly boring compared to when it's focused on other side characters. That's a big red flag for a declining story if I've ever seen one. Shame, I actually liked this one at first.
There's way too many descriptions, expositions, introspection, and narration.
Way, way too many.
We don't need to know every single thought that goes through the MC's head. We don't need to know every single thing the MC does.
I've been skipping the long-ass paragraphs recently and just reading the dialogue, and you know what? It felt like a decent book.
There's just way too much fat.
You've got a good, well thought-out world and magic system here. I could understand your excitement to show it off, but don't be impatient. Let the characters shine some more and reveal the world through their interactions.
I'm not much of a fan when it comes to crafting-centric stories. Actually, anything that's not centered on characters or plot is a no-go for me, but that's just personal taste.
There's actually a pretty decent story here, about a boy who's trying to set out on his own, meeting interesting people and having fun adventures along the way - a classic story. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. It's great, even.
But it gets bogged down, and I mean bogged down, by needlessly long explanations about crafting this and that and maybe doing that and this, which in the end turn out to be inconsequential to the narrative.
Everything you put down should have a purpose.
If it's not progressing the story, building the world, or building character, it should at the very least, entertain the reader.
Reading half a chapter's worth of MC's inconsequential ponderings about crafting is Not. Fun. At. All.
I hope you can find the time to trim the fat, and there's a lot of it, so that the great story buried underneath can be seen.
Interesting story, poor pacing.
It's well written. Grammar is top notch, barely any mistakes and typos.
Great characters. No self-insert, overpowered, cringey protagonists. It's an old elven merchant who's wise enough to not underestimate this potentially catastrophic new invention that humans have made. In some ways, there's some r/HFY vibe to it.
Great world building. The world feels alive, and although the races are your standard Tolkien fare, they get the job done and are portrayed decently well.
To me, the biggest flaw is the scarcity of dialogue.
The world feels real, but the people inhabiting it don't feel alive. There's plenty of exposition narrating character interactions, which is a whole lot of missed potential to develop them in depth.
Instead of living through them, you watch them from a distance and disconnected from the world.
It's not immersive.
For example, one passage goes like:
'The drunkard insulted the bounty hunter for carrying a bow in a town of gunsmiths.'
Instead of letting the drunkard insult the bounty hunter with their own inebriated voice, you get this.
It goes for some side characters as well. Like,
'The human and the dwarf slowly reconciled.'
Instead of showing us the process, you're just told that that's what happened.
And this also leads to a rushed pace. There's so many things happening, but we don't get to actually know the characters, aside from their introduction. After they're introduced (fairly well, at least), character development is, while not ignored, rushed along.
There's a few more inconsistencies that bother me, but they're more nitpicky so I'll save them for now.
Overall though, it's still one of the better stories here. So good job, author, and keep it up.
So this is your typical isekai reincarnation story. There's the barest hint of an interesting story here, but it's just heavily bogged down by poor grammar and simplistic prose.
The pacing is horrible, years randomly passing by within a paragraph.
There's also the issue character deaths.
It's handled poorly to say the least. The reactions are unreal. No one is believable. Everything is a shit show.
And it's only been 5 chapters!
I feel absolutely nothing for these characters, but the premise is interesting at least. There's a skill passed down their family, and it entails a bunch of issues with everyone involved.
That's it, that's the only redeeming quality of this story.
It's evident that the author is more interested in this part of the story than the characters, which is understandable, but there's a limit to how lazy you can be. There's a bare minimum of characterization to meet when you want a story rather than an outline.
Sadly, this story doesn't meet it. It's like the characters were made as an afterthought. Which is just sad. Characters are what we readers experience the world through, so even if the world you've built is the most interesting this site has ever seen, it's going to look like shit if the characters and pacing are shit. Which they are.
I hope this gets revised, heavily, because it really feels like a, not a diamond but maybe a quartz, in the rough.
Another victim of the Telling Syndrome.
Way too much telling, not enough showing. There's also a TON of useless thoughts being thrown around, biggest offender being Blue wondering to itself what to do with this and that, only for it to not have any impact on the story whatsoever.
Still, I've learned how to skip over the filler paragraphs (they can easily take up more than half the chapters) and what I'm left with is an okay dungeon story.
And for RR standards, 'okay' is pretty damn good for this site.
You didn't have to write what is essentially a hentai plot, so goddamn well. But you just had to, you lunatic, didn't you?
It's so much more well written than 99% of the crap here on RR. And I'm not joking. I'm a junkie for trashy wish fulfillment, so I've seen shit. Lots of it.
This... this is gold. Nay, this is diamond. And not rough diamond, no, this is a well polished gemstone handled with so much care that you could put on a ring. But instead you put it on a buttplug.
Which, mind you, is not a downside. Just utterly perplexing, as you would imagine a diamond buttplug to be.
Original or Fanfiction, this story right here is one of the best written here on this site, both for prose, plot, and characters. Again, I'm not joking.
The girls are not some hole for Naruto to stick himself in. They're fully realized characters. The sex is well integrated into the plot and is pretty much integral to it. Which is pretty goddamn amazing to pull off so well, considering how ridiculous it is.
I just have to say, bravo. Bravo to you, author. You've done something extraordinary here. Something that will likely not be done by anyone else.
You could be paid a handsome sum for this level of writing, but you put it here, instead, for everyone to see. And I applaud you for that.
This story borrows a lot from the korean wn "Trash of the Count's Family." Just change the Hero who beats MC up in the original story, to Yandere who kills the MC in the original story.
It's an okay story, far from perfect.
My biggest gripe is the author's numerous grammatical mistakes. He/she should hire a proof reader, or just proofread the whole thing themselves. Because there are grammatical errors in EVERY chapter.
(surprisingly, though, no spelling mistakes)
It's still perfectly readable, though, but it gets very annoying.
Try it out if you like Reincarnated into Story/Game type of fictions.
I've made it to chapter 72. Dropped it for a while because the grammar was just atrocious. Went back here because... I don't know. Because I hate myself, probably. Also, I'm a sucker for trashy isekai stories.
I missed the 'Martial Arts' tag the first time I saw this, so imagine my surprise when it started to introduce stuff which were vaguely wuxia/xianxia, a genre I hate with a passion.
However, I too, have mastered a secret technique which I have honed through out the years by slogging through countless trashy isekai stories.
Yes, that technique is called: Skipping Paragraphs.
Yes, by using this mystical technique, I have persevered through numerous trashy stories, and I have managed see the essence which lies at their core.
In normal English: Skipped through all the wuxia/xianxia bullshit (which can take more than half of some chapters), forced my way through the atrocious grammar with sheer strength of will, and I was pleased to find a decent power fantasy romance story.
It's not an amazing story, far from it: it's generic as fuck, but that's the kind of shit I'm in to, and at the end if the day, it's enjoyable. But I shouldn't have to put myself through so much trouble just to enjoy this story, so I'm not changing my rating.
TL;DR: An enjoyable, generic, isekai power fantasy romance story buried under horrible grammar and even worse (my bias) wuxia/xianxia elements, which are completely skippable and should definitely be skipped.
This hits a sweetspot. It's scratching that Wuxia-bashing itch of mine that hasn't really been scratched.
Now, I actually don't fault the Wuxia genre itself. I'm sure, in its native Chinese language, they're not as atrocious as I imagine. Hell, they might even be better than western web fiction, for all I know.
It's the translations that I have a massive bone to pick with.
Naming conventions, for one, are atrocious.
"This esteemed one" "This humble junior" "This peerless senior"
PRONOUNS, MOTHERFUCKER, DO YOU SPEAK THEM?
I! YOU! ME! IT'S NOT THAT COMPLICATED!
I have the same problem with Japanese translations, but they don't make me cringe as much as Chinese translations. At least the Jap translations include the literal pronouns like 'Nii-sama' or 'Onee-chan.'
(Which is still horrible, mind you, and if you're using these unironically in English, you should be ashamed of yourself.)
The tropes of the Wuxia/Xianxia genre aren't even that bad. Take the biggest one: Cultivation.
For me, Cultivation, D&D, and RPG Systems are just that: systems.
Magic system, power system, they all do the same thing: make you stronger and let you do cool shit. At some point they all just blend together, and if you think about it, aren't that important for the narrative. They're just means to an end, and that end being able to cast Fireball.
Now that I think about it, I really don't hate Wuxia itself. It really is the translations that are ruining it for me.
The allergy to simple pronouns, the pretentiously long titles... how many great power fantasies have missed because of these pseudo-English speaking people?
SCREW YOU STUPID TRANSLATORS! YOU'VE RUINED WUXIA AND XIANXIA FOR ME!
(In all honesty, I admire these translators for even translating in the first place. They do it for free after all.)
Oh, and the story's great. Harold is funny and kick-ass, Alex is adorable, and Limpet's precious.
Edgy characters are fine, but not like this. 'Harry' here just screams 13-y.o. edgy power fantasy fanfiction.
To be fair, I can tell a lot of passion was put into this, but passion alone isn't going to make good writing.
Every paragraph just screams EDGE. I can't keep reading this anymore.
Another huge mistake: everyone is an weakling/idiot except for Harry. You should never, EVER, bring down other characters to elevate your protagonist. ESPECIALLY in a fan fiction, because the supporting characters have already been established to be not complete morons or spineless cowards.
The dialogue is bland, the pacing is all over the place and the characters are hollow husks of their actual selves.
Here's a tip: Go DEEP, not WIDE.
Choose a few characters to focus on and really explore them in this new HP setting. Rather than doing a speedrun of mentioning the entirety of the HP cast, have two to four characters explore that very same cast through their POV. You'll find that you'll cover the same name count but it will feel more real and organic than what you're doing right now.
(A great example is Borne of Caution, a Pokémon fan fic. Just focused on the MC with 1or 2 POV shifts. It's not only great fan fiction, but just great writing in general)
I'm giving two stars just for sheer passion. Everything else is just... ugh.
Forget fanfiction, this is a great story, period.
I'm a sucker for isekai, but man, this really ups the bar.
For once, the main character isn't cringe-inducing. He's actually a normal person! Can you believe that? An actual normal person from our Earth. I... It's beautiful.
Having a normal protagonist is important when you want to highlight the wonder and wackiness of something like the Pokémon world. And well, our boy Lee is just so likeable. He genuinely cares for his Pokémon, but he's not some hot headed idiot who dishes out impassioned speeches every five-fucking-minute.
No, our boy Lee is slick, cool, and pretty normal. NORMAL! And everyone else acts like real people, too! Even Ash, who, thankfully, is just a side character. I'm not a fan of most shounen protagonists, and Ash takes the cake with the list of traits that annoy me the most. So yeah, glad to see that I won't be seeing him much!
Then there's the Pokémon themselves.
They're amazing characters! That's right, characters. Each of of Lee's Pokémon have their own personalities, and it's fun to see those personalities clash from time to time.
Lee's companions are great, too. Though it's a bit weird to see Brendan, who I guess is 11, be so crass around Lee and Zinnia. Lee doesn't seem to care about not being a role model to the boy, though, so whatever.
Zinnia is great, though her character is only starting to show a bit of real progress as of chapter 13. But what she's shown so far is engaging.
Overall, this absolutely amazing and should hit the top of trending.