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Offline RScott

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #50 on: December 08, 2017, 04:01:55 PM »
I'm giving LitRPG a whirl right now, posting my serial on Royal Road. The feedback there has been invaluable, and it's gone well enough that I'll probably be turning the three arcs into a trilogy next year.

It does mean that they won't be in KU, since the bulk of the material's over in Royal Road to read, but oh well.

My story's here: http://royalroadl.com/fiction/15130/threadbare

You can just truncate your fiction to 10% and still go KU. That's what I'm planning to do with mine on there.
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Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #51 on: December 08, 2017, 04:10:03 PM »
I'm fairly sure RoyalRoad readers demand a complete (or still ongoing) story. A free sample leading to paid content might be met with angry comments and bad ratings.

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Offline RScott

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #52 on: December 08, 2017, 04:33:48 PM »
I'm fairly sure RoyalRoad readers demand a complete (or still ongoing) story. A free sample leading to paid content might be met with angry comments and bad ratings.

Oh for sure. A lot of the good one's out there get that kind of flack.
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Offline AndrewSeiple

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #53 on: December 08, 2017, 05:55:45 PM »
Oh lordy, no, I'm not gonna truncate. You don't gain cred and trust with a community, then turn around and DO that.

You're welcome to if you wish, but I think the downsides for me going KU with it would outweigh the benefits.

Offline Paul Bellow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #54 on: December 08, 2017, 08:09:16 PM »
Oh lordy, no, I'm not gonna truncate. You don't gain cred and trust with a community, then turn around and DO that.

You're welcome to if you wish, but I think the downsides for me going KU with it would outweigh the benefits.

KU is good for new LitRPG authors, IMHO. Helps that they tend to be longer books.

Also, I've heard of authors having problems with leaving only 10% on RRL and Amazon yanking books for another copy being live. Apparently their bots couldn't distinguish it was only 10%... Just a heads-up!

There's also something new being bandied about - GameLit - which is a bit more inclusive with the definition. A lot of people have broke down LitRPG into soft (less stats) and (hard/crunchy) with TONS of stats. At the LitRPG Forum, we're a bit more open with the definition of LitRPG...

https://litrpgforum.com/threads/whats-a-good-definition-of-litrpg.150/
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Offline Awasin

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #55 on: December 08, 2017, 09:17:11 PM »
I've never played an RPG.  Or an MMORPG. 

Ready Player One?  Meh - I preferred John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van, an RPG played - wait for it - by post.

I've watched Sword Art Online - s'ok - and read some LitRPG novels.  I'm also taking a course about how to build games, the coding and everything.  That'll help with verisimilitude, I reckon. 

I understand about leveling up etc.,  but I can't get my head around what makes LitRPG work and what readers are looking for.  I'd welcome any suggestions about how to hit this genre as a novelist.

Offline Paul Bellow

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #56 on: December 08, 2017, 09:47:39 PM »
I've never played an RPG.  Or an MMORPG. 

Ready Player One?  Meh - I preferred John Darnielle's Wolf in White Van, an RPG played - wait for it - by post.

I've watched Sword Art Online - s'ok - and read some LitRPG novels.  I'm also taking a course about how to build games, the coding and everything.  That'll help with verisimilitude, I reckon. 

I understand about leveling up etc.,  but I can't get my head around what makes LitRPG work and what readers are looking for.  I'd welcome any suggestions about how to hit this genre as a novelist.

Research then hit those tropes. ;)

There's a pretty wide range of LitRPG these days. I recommend checking out some of the top books. We've been talking about "LitRPG tropes" over at the forum lately.

I've seen quite a few authors coming into the genre over the last year or so. Good times. :)
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Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2017, 05:09:01 AM »
Forcing game rules onto literary sci-fi protags sounds horrible and self-indulgent. How is this a thing at all?

The game rules don't limit character development, they're just there for the skilling / leveling aspect of the game - and the loot drops.  :P Apart from that, LitRPG characters are very 'human' - they usually are, after all, real people trapped in a MMORPG environment. They have hopes and fears, fall in love, hang out with friends... and then go kill a boss monster together.

Dang it, this thread makes me want to write in the genre... but I have an UF to finish. Hey, at least I can read Andrew's Threadbare. The blurb sounds sooooo cool! Do you post anywhere else or RRL only? I'll do a review on WFG if you're listed there.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2017, 05:20:40 AM by C. Rysalis »

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Offline RScott

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #58 on: December 09, 2017, 06:34:51 AM »
Oh lordy, no, I'm not gonna truncate. You don't gain cred and trust with a community, then turn around and DO that.

You're welcome to if you wish, but I think the downsides for me going KU with it would outweigh the benefits.

Michael Chatfield seems to have done it successfully with his series. The key is to keep posting your next WIP if you want to stay in that community, but really I think they're two different groups. The people on amazon are not the people on RRL. But they are a great test bed to see if what you're writing is hitting the mark.
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Offline Joseph Malik

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #59 on: December 09, 2017, 06:39:27 AM »
I'll admit I initially didn't know LitRPG was a thing, and was taken aback by a message from a reader who wrote to say that he loved my book,  but he found the fight scenes hard to follow because I didn't track stats, hit points and damage. It really is a whole other world.
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Offline RScott

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #60 on: December 09, 2017, 06:57:02 AM »
I play games, love games. Read fantasy and sci-fi, love them too. Could kill you nine ways to Sunday in Fallout 4, any rules, any platform, mods or no mods, any skill level. By the time you found your ass, I would have the drop on you. I am too good for stories, better than your armor can handle.

This isn't something I write about. Videogames are a self-limiting genre any writer hates: character is limited this way, limited that way, author has to show this artificial growth spurt at random intervals. It seems nothing about traditional RPG character advancement tracks to classic literary advancement.

Forcing game rules onto literary sci-fi protags sounds horrible and self-indulgent. How is this a thing at all?

I didn't really understand it either until a read a couple of books and joined some of the societies. The key is not playing games. It's the type of games. RPGs specifically. The "experience" you are selling is two fold. Adventure and discovery and progression and enhancement through the game system. Basically the same thing you get from playing the game yourself. If you can look at it from that angle, it might start to make sense a bit.
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Offline AndrewSeiple

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #61 on: December 09, 2017, 08:03:22 PM »
The game rules don't limit character development, they're just there for the skilling / leveling aspect of the game - and the loot drops.  :P Apart from that, LitRPG characters are very 'human' - they usually are, after all, real people trapped in a MMORPG environment. They have hopes and fears, fall in love, hang out with friends... and then go kill a boss monster together.

I wasn't so sure about the genre myself. But...

...well, one of my iconic authors, a man I looked up to for decades, wrote about a goofy little fantasy world made up of giant elephants standing on the back of a turtle, swimming through the void. A world where the absurd and the profound mingled, intermixed, and managed to tell bang-up stories despite the oddities of the setting.

So yeah, LitRPG can be worthwhile. Just depends on how you go about it. Shoot man, when you get down to it, Narnia was one of the early, early ancestors for the notion and THAT turned out pretty good...

Dang it, this thread makes me want to write in the genre... but I have an UF to finish. Hey, at least I can read Andrew's Threadbare. The blurb sounds sooooo cool! Do you post anywhere else or RRL only? I'll do a review on WFG if you're listed there.

I don't know what WFG, so I'm probably not on there. RRL's the main site for Threadbare.

Offline Elizabeth S.

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #62 on: December 10, 2017, 05:44:31 AM »
As a former EverQuest nerd and current WoW addict, this subgenre seems perfect for me. I've been glomming the books like crazy lately and would like to try writing one, but...

It seems like a very guy-centric genre now. Do you all think there's an audience for more female-driven stories?

Offline AndrewSeiple

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #63 on: December 10, 2017, 07:15:34 AM »
Tough to say. One of the realities of the genre is that it's descended from anime-related subject matter, and a lot of tropes from that have crept in. Some common ones include harems, casual sexism, and a few other troublesome ones.

I think it's certainly possible, but you'd have to break away from some of the tropes others have leaned on, and you'd have to do it well. A good story will pull readers, though, so if that's the direction you want to take it by all means, give it a whirl.

Offline Lee Sutherland

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #64 on: December 10, 2017, 07:18:57 AM »
I posted chapters on Royal Road as I wrote them, left them up during the editing process, and then only took down the first few chapters right before I uploaded to Amazon.  That way, most users have the opportunity to read the unedited version for free.  Rinse and repeat for the sequel.

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Offline RScott

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #65 on: December 10, 2017, 10:25:04 AM »
I posted chapters on Royal Road as I wrote them, left them up during the editing process, and then only took down the first few chapters right before I uploaded to Amazon.  That way, most users have the opportunity to read the unedited version for free.  Rinse and repeat for the sequel.

You took down the first few chapters and left the rest up?
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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #66 on: December 10, 2017, 11:03:41 AM »
As a former EverQuest nerd and current WoW addict, this subgenre seems perfect for me. I've been glomming the books like crazy lately and would like to try writing one, but...

It seems like a very guy-centric genre now. Do you all think there's an audience for more female-driven stories?
My raid team in WoW has a large number of women in it. So women gamers do exist and they don't just sit there fishing or herbing or cooking. I'm sure there are plenty of women out there who might enjoy LitRPG if it involved kick butt heroines who aren't double Ds and wearing thongs for armor. Unless of course you make fun of the thong armor--that's certainly fair game!

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Offline RScott

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #67 on: December 10, 2017, 12:28:03 PM »
As a former EverQuest nerd and current WoW addict, this subgenre seems perfect for me. I've been glomming the books like crazy lately and would like to try writing one, but...

It seems like a very guy-centric genre now. Do you all think there's an audience for more female-driven stories?

I would say, just like in gaming, the audience is primarily male. The genre also tends to be skewed more toward allowing the reader to "experience" the gaming in first person through the MC, so gender perhaps may play a bigger role when it comes to LitRPG. There's a lot of wish/fantasy fulfillment involved and I think the majority of readers feel more comfortable/can relate to it, when it's their own gender that's in play.

That said, there might be a niche for female LitRPG fans who are starving for a gender role "they" can relate with, because I can't think of any with a female protagonist. But it's likely to be a smaller target market than the male audience. These are just my thoughts.

Perhaps others who have been in the genre more can guide further.
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Offline C. Rysalis

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #68 on: December 10, 2017, 12:37:37 PM »
That said, there might be a niche for female LitRPG fans who are starving for a gender role "they" can relate with, because I can't think of any with a female protagonist. But it's likely to be a smaller target market than the male audience. These are just my thoughts.

If I ever get around to writing in the genre, I'll go with a brother & sister protagonist team. I don't believe the 'male wish fulfillment' in regards to gender roles is a requirement even though it appears to be fairly common - not just in LitRPG, I've read books in other genres (with a bazillion five star reviews) where every male protagonist was some kind of Gary Stu superhero and every female character dreamed of hopping into bed with them (while also needing to be saved and supported).  ::)

I you have a protagonist readers want to root for, I don't think it matters whether or not they get their harem trope wish fulfillment. Write an interesting RPG game system with an interesting story and kick ass battles, and readers will love it.

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Offline Natkot

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #69 on: December 10, 2017, 07:57:55 PM »

Huge coincidence finding this thread: picking up a Kindle soon and just finished Andrew Seiple's Threadbare (spoiler: completely unexpected awesome) and I've been on a litRPG binge and just watched the new Ready Player One trailer. Really happy to see authors discussing the genre because it's growing so fast but it's still so immature as a genre. You can sadly tell when reading about a teddy bear protagonist is more enjoyable than the bulk of the fodder that's being pumped out to meet the demand.

I was going to post a PSA about Aleron Kong attempting to trademark the term 'litRPG' but very gratifying to see authors already fighting it. Net neutrality has struck a nerve in me with these kinds of opportunists.

I'm fairly sure RoyalRoad readers demand a complete (or still ongoing) story. A free sample leading to paid content might be met with angry comments and bad ratings.

The most successful RoyalRoad authors are usually aspiring authors who post their stories as a test and draft essentially. Gauge interest and popularity before releasing a more polished e-book.

Using a free sample as an incentive would depend on the reception. If the first arc or book appeals to the crowd, it's a great option to effectively advertise and build a fanbase. Readers on RoyalRoad will read anything and there are a lot of readers on that site.


As a former EverQuest nerd and current WoW addict, this subgenre seems perfect for me. I've been glomming the books like crazy lately and would like to try writing one, but...

It seems like a very guy-centric genre now. Do you all think there's an audience for more female-driven stories?

I've read somewhere that female players of RPGs outnumber guys. It might depend on the kind of RPG, but I wager the same applies to litRPG. There's definitely a niche: it just depends on how you craft and sell it.

I would highly recommend checking out The Wandering Inn. It's one of the few litRPGs with female protagonist(s) and, in my opinion, one of the crowning exemplars of litRPG. I don't believe it's been verified but I suspect the author is female. With the way the author writes and from reading the readers' comments, it's strangely enough appealing to readers of any gender. I think there's a woeful shortage of litRPGs that are just good stories - sometimes I've felt the game aspect distracts authors from storytelling.

Offline AndrewSeiple

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #70 on: December 11, 2017, 05:15:53 AM »
I posted chapters on Royal Road as I wrote them, left them up during the editing process, and then only took down the first few chapters right before I uploaded to Amazon.  That way, most users have the opportunity to read the unedited version for free.  Rinse and repeat for the sequel.

Wait, what did taking down the first few chapters do? Keep their bots from picking up your work?

Did you put the chapters back afterward?

That might be the way to go. I own the rights for my story but I KNOW the bots are going to trigger a false positive and a whole chain of ridiculous events unless I find a workaround...

Offline Lee Sutherland

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #71 on: December 11, 2017, 08:55:27 AM »
Wait, what did taking down the first few chapters do? Keep their bots from picking up your work?

Did you put the chapters back afterward?

That might be the way to go. I own the rights for my story but I KNOW the bots are going to trigger a false positive and a whole chain of ridiculous events unless I find a workaround...
You took down the first few chapters and left the rest up?


Sorry, took down everything but the first few chapters.

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Offline RScott

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #72 on: December 11, 2017, 10:06:28 AM »

Sorry, took down everything but the first few chapters.

Ah that makes more sense. How was the reception? Did you get a lot of hate or no? And are you continuing with posting chapters of the second book?
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Offline Elizabeth S.

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #73 on: December 11, 2017, 10:42:29 AM »
Tough to say. One of the realities of the genre is that it's descended from anime-related subject matter, and a lot of tropes from that have crept in. Some common ones include harems, casual sexism, and a few other troublesome ones.

I think it's certainly possible, but you'd have to break away from some of the tropes others have leaned on, and you'd have to do it well. A good story will pull readers, though, so if that's the direction you want to take it by all means, give it a whirl.

I've avoided the harem ones so far! That seems like a niche within a niche. Hopefully as the genre grows, it will open up to a wider variety of stories.

My raid team in WoW has a large number of women in it. So women gamers do exist and they don't just sit there fishing or herbing or cooking. I'm sure there are plenty of women out there who might enjoy LitRPG if it involved kick butt heroines who aren't double Ds and wearing thongs for armor. Unless of course you make fun of the thong armor--that's certainly fair game!

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My raid team has a large number of women too! My guild's GM and co-raid leader is a woman as well. (How are you guys doing with Antorus so far?)

There's a lot of wish/fantasy fulfillment involved and I think the majority of readers feel more comfortable/can relate to it, when it's their own gender that's in play.

That said, there might be a niche for female LitRPG fans who are starving for a gender role "they" can relate with, because I can't think of any with a female protagonist.

That's my main concern--a lot of the more popular LitRPG series rely heavily on wish fulfillment. I wonder if this is a case where women haven't (largely) discovered the genre yet.

I would highly recommend checking out The Wandering Inn. It's one of the few litRPGs with female protagonist(s) and, in my opinion, one of the crowning exemplars of litRPG. I don't believe it's been verified but I suspect the author is female. With the way the author writes and from reading the readers' comments, it's strangely enough appealing to readers of any gender. I think there's a woeful shortage of litRPGs that are just good stories - sometimes I've felt the game aspect distracts authors from storytelling.

Thank you! I'll check that out.

And thanks, everyone, for your comments. I'm going to give it a shot. The worst that happens is I have fun writing a story that very few people read. It wouldn't be the first time. :)

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Re: Any LitRPG Authors (readers) in the house?
« Reply #74 on: December 15, 2017, 11:03:11 PM »
But this is not new. In the 80s Stephen King and others wrote about a bunch of people trapped in a weird situation. Or are we talking about non-modern people? Then every fantasy ever, particularly TSR Fantasy books written in the 1980s, Dragonlance before and after, had this take. I don't see how anything called "LitRPG" isn't either already fantasy literature or some other shade of sci-fi or fantasy. I feel like this genre is trying to foist something new on us, when fantasy already exists and in specific, commercial fanfic.
Dragonlance is written about people in a real to them fantasy world. They don't know anything about rules like you have to memorize spells each morning, it's just the way their world works. Raistlin was born weak, and had no idea he had a constitution of 3 on some sheet of paper when he was rolled up as a character. He remembers being sickly as a child, remembers how Caramon was always the loved one and feels jealous about that. Remembers the choices he made to obtain magic so he could feel powerful and have something few others had. To him it was all real.

If I was to write a LitRPG world set in the Dragonlance world, I would pick a character, Raistlin because he rocks!, and I would be inserted into a virtual gaming world. I know it's a game and that Raist is my gaming avatar and I'd probably play him as neutral alignment too since I hate bowing to deities. I know I'll get X number of spells each time I level up and I'll be gunning for Fireball because Fireball is awesome. The story would be very different because it would focus on my ambition to level up by slaying monsters and finding scrolls to learn new magic spells in treasure troves. I would get excited when I level up (which is not a concept in the first scenario) and I would spend experience points (also not a thing in the first scenario). And at the end of the day, I know I'll win the game, and go home to my real world. Raist in the above scenario didn't have such a happy ending. I hope that helps clarify the difference.

My raid team has a large number of women too! My guild's GM and co-raid leader is a woman as well. (How are you guys doing with Antorus so far?)
I'm the GM (fire mage if you couldn't guess from my Fireball comment!) and the raid leader is a woman (hunter) too. She does mythic level raiding on another char so she can bring good strategies to our team. We have a DH woman, druid healer woman, two women hunters that are mother and daughter, plus a few others who come when they can. We downed the first boss in heroic since he's a loot pinata, and got to Kin'garoth (7th boss) in normal tonight. We downed him last week but he's a bit ragged for us still. I'm sure we'll down him and move on tomorrow night. We might also do heroic dogs too. We'll see :)