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Author Topic: Possible Isekai or not? Latrea (anime, high-fantasy, deities, superpowers)  (Read 403 times)

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Offline Autumn McJavabean

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Latrea: Isekai or not to isekai?


A Little Introduction







So, hopefully, this will draw in SOME attention; I'm writing, for my pleasure, a novel about eight protagonists that are later to be revealed as being the avatars of a pantheon of deities for a rather large religion. The world, Latrea (L-a-tri-a), is a high-fantasy epic world, a vast terra planet, where magical energy, a new type that does not exist in our world, called pneuma (new-ma), is used to perform magical abilities from work, combat, to even saving lives.


I'm writing a story circle to Dan Harmon, my story up a bit. Still, I'm stuck on part one, the "You" section, the introduction, because I do not know if these deity avatars, these heroes, should not only be mystically unique but from Latrea or our Earth. The image below represents the eight primary emotion classifications. The deities, rather than being known by their traits and characteristics or talents (heroism, bravery, death, life, fertility, lighting, fishing, etc.) they're known as representations, yet very much believed to be the actual creators of the world (like a real religion, not some philosophical notion) of the essential, mortal, exhibiting embodiments of emotion. The primary eight in, I believe, psychology? It's below.




Here's some information from my Google Document on the story thus far.






Main Characters


  • Erik Hopkins (Avatar of Admiration)(Deals with insecurities and major anxiety, views self as lesser than others.)
    • Powers:
      • Plasmatic-kinesis
        • Manipulation of plasmatic material, such as lighting, plasma energy attacks, etc.
  • Samantha *Sam* Moon (Avatar of Ecstasy) (Is torn between two potential romantic interests, but also generally for two people who knows or cares for, based on their existing relationships and pasts, that she feels miserable about herself and over-emotional reactions. She also is indecisive at times when moments require swift judgment (s).)Powers:
    • Deityistic/God-level Heal Factor(receiving (major side-effects) or giving (very tiring, limited in capabilities, at least at first.)).
      • Manipulation of pneumatic energy to alter reality to heal wounds, reverse the damage, and potentially wrought life itself.
  • Richard *Dick* Goodman (Avatar of Loathing)(Very stubborn, headstrong, morally questionable, coward, and generally not directly displaying depression caused by immense trauma that's kept hidden, but often appears apathetic top things that should elicit an emotional reaction.)Powers:
    • Sanguinarian Control/Manipulation.
      • Manipulating blood cells and controlling, hardening, liquifying, or boiling the blood itself, as well as able to lift and control others’ blood (think Magnito with metal on Wolverine.)
      • Techniques include using blood-kinesis to harden self for increased durability, increase strength, speed, reaction, and heal-factors by a considerable amount, depending on skill and effort/energy being used and their current condition.)
  • Kelly Frowngate (Avatar of Vigilance)
    • Powers:
      • Time Dilation and hyper-awareness (like Quicksilver or the Flash in the movies; time slows down for them.
        • Time dilation and awareness heightened to extremely high levels allow Kelly to be an excellent CQC or arms fighter, such as a knight.
  • Giovanni *Gio* Hayes (Avatar of Rage)
    • Powers:
      • Adaptable Strength (Think the Hulk).
        • Manipulation muscle fibers to grow muscles instantaneously and increase one’s strength, durability, and more. He exhibits larger amounts of heat the bigger he gets.
  • Theresa Evans (Avatar of Terror)
    • Powers:
      • Psyche and Illusionary Reality Distortion
        • Using products, like special gas that Theresa can conjure, she can put people into strong dazes and conjure false realities. Basically illusionary, like Genjutsu from Naruto or Lord Sosuke Aizen from Bleach, who could make you believe things by altering your very perception with alterations to your five senses.

  • Sidney Davis(Avatar of Amazement)
    • Powers:
      • Mind Reading, Memory Manipulation, and Polymorphism.
        • Able to shapeshift, read minds, alter memories, and create false memories. Gowther from The Seven Deadly Sins and Beast Boy combined from Detective Comics, only though he can make himself appear as humanoids, not animals. (Not yet, at least.)
  • Leo Hicks (Avatar of Grief)
    • Powers:
      • Hydro-kinesis
        • Manipulation of any matter made of substances, such as H2O, or even conjuring some out of nothing, though at a cost. He can also alter the molecular properties to reduce energy within the matter to conjure solid states (ice) or gas form (mist, miasma, etc.). The things out of thousands (I'm not joking) of concepts and characters I conjured, one was the idea of deity avatars, normally thought to be used for the bad guys (the elite team that combats the team of heroes) with unique and diverse power capabilities.

Before, the first draft had the eight heroes mostly be stereotypical, boring power representation. The main protag had fire and fire manipulation, and his rival was water. The love interest would be plants that could bring the dead back (at a high cost). There were two lesbians, one chap-stick the other lipstick stereotypes of lesbians, one gay average-looking "cool" guy. Simultaneously, one was a fem-boy (essentially an anime stereotype being just that by the community that came up with the term, trap) that worked like The Seven Deadly Sin's Gowther and Beast Boy combined (humanoids, not animals). The last, Gio (Giovanni), was this Lord Escanor (The Seven Deadly Sins anime/manga), Mr. Armstrong (Full Metal Alchemist/Brotherhood) gentleman who was really ripped, bodybuilder level, and strong, but like a cuddly bear. I decided to scrap that 50k+ novel draft in favor of a reset and to interject this god avatar concept of emotion-based powers from an emotion-based powerful pantheon of the said world (Latrea).


I was forced onto disability due to my mental health deteriorating from my schizophrenia, which has affected me professionally (author, journalist, writer, columnist) and my fantasy writing. But I want to get back into it and get this idea out of my head; only I'm fearing I'm over, over, OVER thinking things. However, writing is and always has not just been a passion. Still, something I enjoyed a lot, think about a ton, and became so infatuated with writing that I would take my creative outlet out on role-playing, as nerdy as it sounds, and editing Wikipedia articles purely for fun. Despite this, my mental health has greatly impacted my ability to perform basic tasks required as an adult, sadly. Something I'm working on. But I do not want my symptoms, such as disorganized thinking, autism, etc., to prevent me from doing what I truly enjoy. It may end up being incomprehensible, but I enjoy this. This is why I'm writing this; I need help if it should be isekai (Japanese for an anime trope where they, the hero, are transported, by some means, sometimes never explained (Re: Zeo) appear in a new, sometimes oddly alluring, beautiful, vibrantly starred world, often time resembling a Japanese take, or anime-trope take on the Tolkien-esque stereotype's, archetypes, and tropes within most western mediums. (D&D, World of Warcraft, Warhammer, ASOIAF/GoT, and so on.) These characteristics that influence the anime and manga stories that do the isekai trope, sometimes it's oversaturated in the market with bad writing, are inspired heavily by such western tropes of high-fantasy as seen in said titles just mentioned, which can include a variety of fictional, sometimes somewhat realistic "races" or type of humanoids, like gnomes, dwarves, any elf you can imagine (high elves, night elves, wood elves, dark elves, blood elves, mystic elves, blah blah blah, etc.), to orcs, goblins, trolls, fairies, and so on.





The world is run by a major kingdom called the planet and continent, Latrea, and often denoted simply as "The Capital." The royal family died, but the prince (Damon Grain. aka a bastard of the sand region) is trying to pull basically a Hitler by manipulating ugly, unfavored races to do his bidding to rid the world of any threat, any strain or corruption, and to rule Latrea without the Capital, who the High Council currently runs since the royal family is gone (it also functions sort of like a parliamentary system in that the royals are just figureheads), so he's going to rid the nation, the only known landmass to the people of the continent, of "fairy tale creatures." Yes, play all the Shrek memes you wish to do. I would.










So, he is like a Thanos, but also played like Alexander the Great. A conquer who was taught by the protag's teacher, Master Varius, who has lived centuries. He's also the last of his kind, which are like almost deity, eternal, immortal beings who can manipulate pneuma (magic) with incredible ease and creativity, even at young ages. He's the former teacher, originally, of Damon, like Aristotle was for Alexander the Great.



Now I'm thinking of adopting the tale of the Two Prince's who were locked into an isolated tower by their uncle, who killed their dad to take control of the throne in England. Or Hamlet, or Lion King, but this would mean rewriting Damon as a completely different person. But like I said, I'm fearing I'm over-thinking this. I don't want to rewrite EVERYTHING again. I'm doing that for the 10th time on my non-fiction book on trans issues.


So, I guess I'm lost on doing isekai-style where they are young adults pulled into a new world suddenly by being picked to represent these deities from Earth to Latrea. Next, there's the concept that the heroes are originally from Latrea, so no alienating feeling.







Isekai Style
Pros:
  • Regardless of formats (first, second, or third person), readers are introduced to the new world the same way, at the same time as the character, creating an almost relatable connection and more liner style of story-telling that's rather simple.
  • Easier transition by starting, after the prologue, in the normal, human world. Our world.
  • More relatability.
  • Can bind the work, or not, to existing laws of physics.
  • Characters come from a world and time where, like someone on this forum (be it me, you, or anyone) can experience things for strategy, like psychology, how some things work.


==================================


Cons:
  • Requires a more fleshed-out concept and the laws of the fictional world. Demanded to answer later the "who, what, where, why they were picked, how" they get back without relying too much on a McGuffin. Why focus on real-life, more relatable characters in an alien fantasy world filled with many species, races, and magic, when they can exist in the world already.
  • The overly saturated market in terms of anime, manga, or really any young adult type, the teen audience for this type of stuff present in Japanese literature.
  • It's basically a cop-out, at times, and you're not always required to explain anything, such as with Re: Zero.









Traditional Style
Pros:
  • Allows for fantasy, a rich backstory, flashbacks, and more to not only expound upon character's history and traits/personalities, but you can also world-building at the same time.
  • Less creative restrictions explain prior combat skills, knowledge of the world, and use of magic without having to write out the training portion for the isekai style.
  • Easier to justify physics, rules, world stipulations, and regulations for how things work.


==================================


Cons:
  • Less relatable.
  • Characters have no access to outside insight or knowledge, like you, anyone, or myself would have if transported to a fantasy world. We come from a highly intelligent, knowledgeable, and advanced, socially, scientifically, technologically, and culturally advanced compared to almost any high-fantasy world, generally. Ask for details. I'm having a hard time trying to expound my thoughts on this particular point.













TL-;-DR
(Too long, and you didn't read, or wish to read the whole thing)







Basically, is isekai style writing good, or would it be better, more appealing, and alluring to read if it was traditional, by my standards, rather than isekai?


Lastly, I also need help on the premise. Should I stay the same and have the bad guy be a prince bastard trying to pull a Hitler basically, or would it be best to do the Prince's Tower story/Hamlet/The Lion King where the relative, not in-line, tries to take control by military force?


Really, any help would be very much appreciated. I'm stressing and having anxiety because I feel too indecisive and unable to figure out which is best. What do you all think from a storytelling perspective?



Offline Autumn McJavabean

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Re: Possible Isekai or not? Latrea (anime, high-fantasy, deities, superpowers)
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2021, 02:12:06 PM »
Click here to view the emotion chart.

Offline Coryn

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Hey Autumn! Sorry for the delayed reply in this. Life has been crazy recently.

As you lined out, there are pros and cons to both ideas. Although I don't agree necessarily with where you put the pros vs the cons. The cons you list could be pros, depending on how you look at it.

If you're worried about oversaturation, then either a traditional fantasy or an isekai are both going to trio that alarm bell for the more negative people out there. To this I say: Ignore them. It's all about the execution that matters.

As far as fleshing out the "rules" of the world, then I don't see the difference. Your ultimate destination is high fantasy anyway, and people just don't slip between dimensions in the real world. You've got to break physics no matter what you do. As you yourself pointed out, isekais often don't explain themselves thoroughly. From my perspective, that's the best move. Unless it's important to the plot, don't spend too much time on it. It's a waste if effort when there's adventure to be had. Just starting in the fantasy world is approximately the same amount of "cop-out" as starting in the "real" world. And this shouldn't affect your characters personalities much either. They may have different pasts from one side or the other, but the way they interact isn't going to change.

As far as outside knowledge from the fantasy world goes, it will really depend on your specific characters and their knowledge. People are people after all. You would expect to see people living in a fantasy world to behave similarly to people in a world like ours. So the experiences the characters come in with shouldn't be that different with either approach. You're going to have good people, bad people, kind acts and tragedies. These things are constant. Also you have to ask if your characters would know enough about their own world to make a change in the fantasy one. For instance, I'm betting if anyone of us was pitched into a fantasy world, we wouldn't be able to build a radio. Even if it is a common and fairly simple technology by our standards, unless you're into that kind of thing already, you can't reproduce it.

Finally, when it comes to your bad guy, I prefer the bastard approach, although I encourage you to find a more fleshed out motivation for him than "pull a hitler". Just making Nazis in a different universe is definitely a tired trope, and will be pretty nakedly transparent. Maybe he should be legitimately sympathetic with the unloved races. Maybe he shares a legitimate grievance with them. Good villains have a point to what they're saying. Don't lose sight of that

With all that said, I hope it helps! Keep up the writing and remember that a story will never be perfect! Writers will always find flaws in what they create. You just have to press forward and let others do the judging.

Will review stories upon request. My latest arc: http://goo.gl/KYgsfF