4

Where can I find (preferably free) online resources, such as How-To-Write or styleguide articles and blogs, about writing a litRPG book?

LitRPG, or Literary Role Playing Game, books combine elements that you would find in RPGs with science-fiction or fantasy. This means that the reader is made aware of what the character in the book sees, such as tables with the different stats or messages by the system that show who attacked what with how much damage.

An important aspect is also that these books often describe the player and the character alike and therefore switch between different points of view to explore the role of RPGs in our society, while at the same time depicting the fantasy or sci-fi elements that the in-game character experiences.

This puts the writer in a situation where they have to think about designing the most important aspects of a game and especially how these mundane things are presented to the reader of the book in an interesting way. The combination of a critical real-person plot with a less-serious fantasy-character-plot is another aspect that the author has to keep in mind.

  • There's a fic that may be a helpful example (or parody) of this: Harry Potter and the Natural 20 -- where a D&D type character (who learns via "levels", not gradually, and heals via rest, but who can't do "normal" wizard magic, finds himself near (and later in) Hogwarts -- he has a lot of meta-knowledge, but keeps applying his D&D worldview. I haen't read it in a while, but it was very amusing. (It's a fanfic, rated G, so you should be able to google it. I think I found it via TVTropes originally.) – April --Un-Slander Monica-- Apr 30 at 13:19
  • 1
    Based on what's frequently seen in the LitRPG, you don't have to worry about designing the game in the story because most of the "games" seen in the genre, at least in the English language stories I've read, if they aren't cribbed straight right out of a tabletop RPG (typically AD&D or a clone) or an MMORPG (typically World of Warcraft), don't make any sense and would be, in real life, a horrible game to actually try to play. – Keith Morrison Apr 30 at 19:31
2

Disclaimer: I don't know much about litRPG, but I may be able to help some.

First, a quick internet search for "how to write litRPG books" brings up articles such as this and this. Of course, those are just random posts I found on the internet. They seem helpful and like they know what they are talking about, but maybe they don't.

The best advice is probably to read a lot of LitRPG and understand what works in the genre and why. That way you are prepared to write your own. I do the same thing with science fiction. In my opinion this is probably the best approach to writing any new genre.

That didn't exactly answer your question, but hopefully it helped some.

-1

Anime:

  • Log Horizon: a bunch of MMORPG players get stuck in their game, with some major changes, also, there is respawn.
  • Overlord: a single level 100 player gets stuck in an unknown fantasy world, that also has broken af game mechanics lifted straight from an MMORPG and a d&d 3.5e ogl (open game license) positive magic system.
  • SAO Abridged: technically, it's a parody, but let's forget the existence of the original, please.

Web:

These are only a few but should be enough to get stuff started. SAO abridged show typical player types from the absolute noobs to sociopathic leets, etc... It's also an accurate representation of notable moments of failing in an MMORPG, like Leeroy Jenkins and other forms of poor teamwork.

Overlord is what an actually smart person in an MMORPG looks like. Log Horizon is pretty much the same, but with more focus on economics.

1d4chan, the wiki of /tg/, contains laughably brilliant d&d stories and tactical insight (for Wh 40k), as well as pages about iconic monsters, characters (like Kenshiro Cascadero "Rattata" Orcuslayer), exploits of poorly worded rules (Iron heart surge) and sheer brilliance (Tucker's Kobolds).

And for everything else, there's this site and Mastercard.

3
+100

I think that the best How-To-Write guide you could follow is the one you created yourself.

Most advice found on online blogs and articles are the result of analysis. They pick a work they like, is currently popular or that they themselves have written and pick it apart. Why do they like it or why is it popular?
But that's also something that you can do yourself.

My suggestion is that rather to look for a guide that someone made for you it's better to just start reading. LameZeldaPun mentioned a few anime (Log Horizon, Overlord and Sword Art Online), but all of these animations are based on light novel series of the same name. I personally do not think they are very well written, but all three of them are massively popular in Japan (Sword Art Online in particular sold over 20 million copies worldwide according to the AnimeNewsNetwork), so there's probably some reason for that.
I'm sure there are also other works that you yourself know or maybe inspired you to create your own story in the genre. Pick them up, (re)read them, and whenever you encounter a passage that makes you think "Wow, that was really good", stop reading and write down why you think it works like it does. That also goes for the opposite, if you think something was badly handled write down why. After reading a few stories, compile all your findings and apply them to your own work.
The trick to this is to keep your 'examples' varied so not to accidentally create something unoriginal or copy someones writing style.

I'm not entirely sure if this was an answer you were looking for, but I honestly believe that there is not much to online how-to guides on making art. Even if it doesn't work it's better to fail on your own advice than that of a random stranger on the internet who convinced you he knew what he was talking about.
I suppose that also includes me. Ehhh, wait...

1

Webnovel.com has a writing guide, and many of their works have exactly the rpg-based genre you speak of.

The genre and trope is very popular in Asia.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.