Wuxian Memes—from where?

Friends,
I'm loving these stories. They are a bit addicting but I have few things that I need to attend to so I spend many happy hours reading most days.
I have noticed some common themes in many of the Wuxian Novels:
A world that is far larger physically than Earth. A couple of the stories feature giant mountains so large that planets orbit them.
I do a bit of writing myself and might feature such a mountain/planetary system if I could just rationalize the gravity and day/night cycles. Wuxian Authors may not feel the need to rationalize such things but I do…
There are "Interspatial Rings" and "Bags of Holding" that hold between a van load up to the size of a huge warehouse of stuff—and automatically throw out whatever it is that you desire.
There is a LOT of "Leveling Up." My sister asked if this was a "Gamer Fiction" artifact—but considering how many martial arts have elaborate systems of ranks and "Dans"…
The ghostly mentor…the misunderstood underachiever who makes up for lost time…the badass dude who whips everyone in sight…
Many Wuxian heroes are changelings…
Does anyone know the origin of these memes?
I tell you—"Martial God Asura"—and a few other tales—had me sitting on the edge of my seat wondering WHEN and HOW the main character would Level Up once again.
I have always had a relatively poor memory for names and faces. Given the unfamiliar Oriental names I often couldn't tell you the name of the Main Character two minutes after standing up from the computer. I had kinda wished that the Translators would Anglicize the names or simply rename the character…
 But though I'm reading and Very Much enjoying "Coiled Dragon"—and it does have western style names and it is not as big a boon as I'd thought it would be. On the contrary, a Bit of Flavor is lost.

Saxon Violence

Comments

  • O yes, I almost forgot—teleportation devices—largely decayed…
    And the Idea that there are hundreds of thousands of years of recorded history and that many arts and devices from the past cannot be made anymore and Mankind has drastically "Fallen" from the "Good Old Days."

    Saxon Violence
  • Renaming a character imo is kinda disrespectful to the original author. In Asian novels they traditionally don't have words that are 100% designed for names, they often use adjectives and little descriptions instead as names, which authors use as indicators for their characters. Also how would a translator faithfully give a character a new name? Meng Hao would be ridiculous as Harry Meng, which also doesn't respect the Asian culture of the surname/family name being more important than the personal one.

    Also Wuxia is more traditional martial arts, Somewhat super human but it doesn't break all the laws of physics. XianXia is the magic/fantasy theme. More literally it means 'Immortal Heroes', which honestly very little popular translated XianXias adhere to.

    Anyway for the "memes";
    Levels: They're kinda just easy ways to gauge character strength. I'm not sure if it has a real basis outside of just general power level stuff. I can see the karate belts/dans being the origin though.

    Mentor/Underdog: The mentor thing is not exclusive to Asian novels, having a overpowered mentor/teacher has been used in western fiction.
    Also applies to the weak rising to be the strong in a short time.

    Bags of holding are a DnD thing, I haven't read enough classic XianXia to know if they had it before, but DnD was around before XianXia webnovels took off.

    World: Again that is done everywhere. Hell, Lovecraft's literature and extended universe makes the Earth completely irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

    Changelings: I'm not super familiar, are you referring to them being an orphan of a super powerful race/gods and they look human?
    Greeks have been doing that for thousands of years.

    Most of those aren't "Wuxian memes", just what modern literature uses to tell a story.


  • Thanks,
    You did understand—after seeing "Westernized"names in one story I came to the conclusion that it is NOT a good practice?
    Sorry, I'm a bit new to the Genres. "Wuxia" Vs "XianXia."
    Yeah, I was referring to the Orphan of unknown origins—but that goes all the way back to the beginnings of Literature—not to mention the '50's—up to the present—"Superman." 
    Parenthetically;
    The little recordings saying some of the names—They aren't remotely like their Western Phonetic Rendering—Though I'm sure that they were as close as it is possible to come.

    Saxon Violence
  • edited April 2016
    Completely random capitalization, bolding, and italicization... Sorry, but it's kinda hard to take your posts seriously; this is all I can think of as I read:


  • edited April 2016
    Hiyono said:
    Completely random capitalization, bolding, and italicization... Sorry, but it's kinda hard to take your posts seriously; this is all I can think of as I read:

    Grammar. It's more what you'd call 'guidelines' than actual rules.
    I think he needs to use space more than anything. Would be much more easy on the eye, something like the reply Aethernor wrote.
  • Hiyono said:
    Completely random capitalization, bolding, and italicization... Sorry, but it's kinda hard to take your posts seriously; this is all I can think of as I read:


    He's a writer, don't be too hard on him. You know, overthinking, emotional artists tend to overuse everything that isn't A-Z. Especially... those... to express... sadness... So far he's funny. And remember, DO NOT tell him, that his nickname shows over his post. Let him sign those badly looking posts as if it was LOTR in the making. 

    Rationalize gravity? GMm/R^2. It's not like size itself makes a big difference. And it's all according to Einstein's theory anyway. Those universes are totally random. Literally nothing can be rationalized there. If you want to make everything rational drop this genre. If you want to make everything logical in your work, you'd better make your own rules. After all rationalizing something that our "earthly" rules can't describe seems like a stupid thing to do. 

    Genre is about weak people getting really, really strong. Strong enough to lift mountains with a fart and obliterate whole planes with a snort. Of course it's big. You don't really think thousands of people who can obliterate Earth with a flick of da wrist can just live peacefully on a small Earth, right? They can live only where their strength won't obliterate everything around them. They are 100000000000000x stronger than normal people? You need 100000000000000x bigger planet, so that every fight wouldn't require "find new planet to live on" arc. So the size is there so that the protagonist can be stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger without worries. 

    Interspatial rings... Come on, that is easy. Play MMORPG. YOU ALWAYS NEED FREAKING SPACE. Imagine protagonist carrying 10000 beads/medicinal pills/ 729 swords/ 100000 magical treasures on his back. NOT HAPPENING. If there were no interspatial rings, xianxia would have to say goodbye to every single treasure hunt. Or make every treasure one single item. Even then, protagonist would need to switch his equipment with every treasure to not have useless 100 swords on his back. And he wouldn't be able to rob whole sects with one finger flick. Or a flick of a sleeve. Or to carry a dragon without dragging ridiculously big piece of meat throughout empires. Soooo, interspatial ring is so that the protagonist can be stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger without worries. 

    Levelling up? To show a reader how strong a character is. To eliminate "randomness" in fights. RL fights are lucklusters (especially in... stand still? When not on ground.). It makes everything easier to explain. It's all about magic voodoo stuff anyway. It's there so that protagonist can be stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger without worrying anyone will lose track of his strength. At least A>B>C works in those systems. In RL life A>B>C>D>B>C wouldn't be strange. 

    Ghostly mentor? That one is even easier. For story to make sense, protagonist has to be in BACKWATER village of BACKWATER province in BACKWATER country in BACKWATER empire in BACKWATER continent on BACKWATER planet in BACKWATER plane in BACKWATER universe. You want them to reach peak of the whole universe despite being so BACKWATER? They need something to guide them so that the protagonist can be stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger without worrying he does something wrong/meaningless. Would you prefer shitload of luck and best techniques since the start of the novel? We wouldn't want our MC to train in some shitty technique that would be useless in another village/province/country/empire/continent/planet/plane/universe. And we wouldn't want MC to have only crappy resources from BACKWATER [..............]plane when people in NOT SO BACKWATER planes have godly treasures. No way MC would catch up to them, right? Unless he had the absolute best talent in the whole universe that is 200000x that of other supreme geniuses of the whole multiverse. Trust me, story would be bad, boring and shitty then. 


    When I saw the rant about names... you are that kid that wanted to change units of measurement in translations to imperial because (only) USA uses it, right? Oh, and it's "Coiling". 

    Ancient things? So that the protagonist can be stronger and stronger and stronger and stronger when he finds them. He has to catch up to those legendary figures somehow. 

    Teleportation devices? Supreme beings in the universe need huuuuuge world to live in so they don't destroy it. Protagonist is lots weaker than them throughout 99% of the novel. He needs to travel somehow, right? If the world was small enough for him to casually stroll in foot there wouldn't be any supreme experts there. 
  • Friends,
    It is customary italicize titles. I very rarely use titles or bold face in my writing because neither carries over well from "Word" into whatever format a given Forum uses. In actual writing I have gradually cut my untoward capitalization way back but in posts online I sometimes use capitalization to emphasize a word or group of words. If we were talking face-to-face I could use any number of facial expressions, hand gestures, change of voice tones and so forth to get across my meaning.
    Keep in mind, I am not complaining. I find the stories here very refreshing. I'm simply inquiring into the roots of some of the common themes.
    None of the main characters ever questions his world/universe and that works admirably for these stories.
    {Come to think of it—I can't bring to mind a single 1st person narrative in these stories. Then again, I'm not sure that the Mandarin Writing system has 1st, 2nd and 3rd person available.}
    My stories are usually in 1st person and I very much favor a protagonist from our world thrust into elsewhere.
    If my protagonist is describing the giant mountain that he's been transported to…
    He's going to wonder: "If the gravity here is a simple force downward then why don't those planets circling the giant mountain fall down?"
    I suppose that "down" could be a force towards the center of the giant mountain but then everyone would be sticking out horizontally into space.
    Yes, it would probably suffice for him to bring the subject up and then frankly admit that he hasn't a clue.
    Let me cite an example:
    In "Parallel"—which is one of my better novels—the protagonist is a fugitive who is on the FBI's "Most Wanted" list.
    He encounters a childhood friend who tells him that he is a member of a secret society that travels freely between a number of alternate earths. While boxcar loads of goods can be transported one person cannot "piggyback" someone else to an alternate world.
    Only people with both a rare talent and training that started in childhood can navigate between known worlds. Our hero has a far rarer ability though. He has the raw brute force mental power make a one-time-only jump to a new world—and incidentally open that world up for the society.
    He's told that while the number of worlds isn't infinite that it is astronomical. If he vividly pictures the type world that he'd like to go to…
    To the degree that his vision is A.} Logically Consistent and B.} Strongly Visualized his destination will largely match his mental image.
    Hero mentally tells the device that he wants to go to a world like Edgar Rice Burroughs' Africa.
    Africa as ERB described it would need to be forever mysterious, unexplored and incapable of full exploration.
    The device transports him to an ancient ringworld largely given over to a ERB style Africa…
    {Africa would then have more square miles than a hundred million earths.}
    Much of the narrative is the hero describing how various facets of the ringworld work.
    At any rate…
    I enjoy signing my name at the bottom each time.
    There was once a Forum run by a very irascible baytard. He had some interesting content that one couldn't examine until he had accumulated 50 substantive posts—no "+1" etc. One of the things that he'd promptly ban someone for was signing one's post.
    I was up to about 20 something posts when he was arrested and his Forum went offline.
    Sigh…
    If it really really drags someone's beat let me know and I'll stop.


    Saxon Violence
  • BIG PS:

    "Ranting" about names? No, I simply said that for me it is sometimes hard to keep track of characters with similar tongue-twisting names. I'm not a "Kid". I'm 59  years old and my memory isn't what it used to be. I also said that upon reflection that I did not favor names being Anglicized.
    I don't mind so much if Foreigners translate units to Metric. An American who translates units to Metric seems to be a sort of betrayer of what should be one of our revered traditions—the Imperial System of Measurement.
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