XianXia story idea about a time-travelling cannon fodder protagonist

DragonTrainer201

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Okay, so I have this idea for a story that I've been considering writing, but wasn't sure if it'd catch enough interest:

In his first life, the MC was a follower and yes-man of the main villain. The main villain is your stereotypical arrogant noble who used to bully and antagonize the hero. One of the main reasons why MC follows the villain is because their families have been staunch allies for generations. Also, MC's family has been riding on the villain family's coattails for a long time. Also, he used to be almost as bad as the villain, so they were basically childhood friends. Also, the MC is kind of dumb, lazy, and is only above average in strength due to pills provided by his family's connections.

The story starts with the OP hero completing his revenge against the villain. The villain's family and their subordinates' families within their faction have fallen at this point and were making one last desperate attempt to take over the entire empire. MC and other followers move in to stop the hero, deluding themselves into believing they actually stood a chance... and are promptly killed off.

MC wakes up to find himself in the modern world in the body of a 12 year old. While in the modern world, he reads a bunch of Xianxia novels and manhua, realizing that the hero from his previous life fit all the typical traits of an OP Xianxia protagonist. He also correctly deduces who the heroine, the villains, and the love rivals are supposed to be. He decides to take this chance to start over and live a better life, eventually becoming a member of the police force's special duties unit. Though he has made multiple mistakes while living his new life, there was always someone there to help him out or give him a second chance. He has come to genuinely regret all the sins he committed during his previous life as the villain's follower.

During an operation to rescue hostages, he gets run over by a truck.

MC wakes up to find himself back in his first life, except he's 12 again. With his police force training and his knowledge of Xianxia novel tropes, he decides to... stay the heck out of the hero's way! No matter how much he cultivates and how much he schemes, there's no way he stands any chance against the OP hero, right? Ah... but he can't just abandon his friends and family. If he can change for the better, why can't they? With this in mind, he attempts to change and redeem his friends and family... but they continue provoking the hero and heroine! Why does the villain keep thinking he can take down the hero? Why is his family still going along with the villain's schemes? Why don't his friends see that they're being treated as cannon fodder? Why does his fiance keep following the villain's sister's schemes and bullying the heroine? Why do those rival noble houses who have nothing to do with... actually, let's break out the popcorn and see where that goes. Most importantly, though... how can he convince the hero that he's not a threat?

Also, someone really should do something about that demonic horde that'll be attacking in ten years. Too bad the hero only got around to dealing with it last time after wiping out the villain's family and half the population died...

So... how much story potential do you think there is in the summary I provided above? How arrogant and obsessed with revenge should I make the OP hero? After reading "Tales of Demons and Gods", "Phoenix Against the World", "Xian Ni", "Rebirth of the Urban Immortal Cultivator", and other similar works with OP protagonists... well... would it be accurate to portray the OP hero in my story idea as arrogant, merciless, and prone to escalating the conflict?

Also, I'm having some trouble coming up with names for my characters.

Also, do you think it'd be a good idea to have both hero and heroine be OP and revenge-obsessed?
 

NiQuinn

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Might just be me but it sounds too convoluted. Too many twists and turns for an otherwise simple plot. Still, asking here is a bit strange. I mean, just write it if you feel compelled to write it. And, btw, the fact that you stated that you're having trouble with names for characters kinda shows you haven't had time to really sit down and think about this story. More like a passing thought. Let it stew for a bit in your mind and then plot it out little by little. Jumping the gun is okay but if you don't even have solid foundation for it, then you're in trouble.
 

flucket

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Start writing it. Don't post it, write it privately like in Google Docs or something, and see if you can get uuuh... thirty chapters in. Yes, thirty. If after like, five, you start to realise "this concept is interesting but there's no meat on this bone, in fact", then you can stop writing it without any public loss of face.

:blob_popcorn:
 

Ruyi

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It sounds quite complicated, so if anything, don't info-dump the readers. I have read a story with a vague similar double-transmigration premise...the cannon fodder of a ancient setting dies and becomes a ghost that lingers in the modern world for years. She can't interact with anyone but soaks up on modern ideas, sensibilities and logic before her spirit transmigrates back into the ancient setting again--only this time, into the body of another girl a few months in the wake of her original body's "death."

She then uses her new identity to track down the mysteries surrounding her death and find out that a ton of the people she thought she knew in her first life weren't what they seemed at all. (Ex: her husband was a cheater, the little sister she thought turned on her was actually trying to protect her the entire time, etc.)

Again, convoluted, but they made it work by revealing pieces of the real picture as the story went on. It looks like you're taking this story as a "MC does everything over, except better because he has meta knowledge to recognize tropes and fix them." If that's the case, I hope his second life knowledge in the modern world plays a big part, or else it'd be no different than "modern dude transmigrates into ancient setting and pwns enemies" sort of story again. I'm assuming his regret for his past mistakes and his wisdom from his new one will make him different somehow.

Also, it sounds like the last third of your story is where the main plot is. If that's the case, maybe you could shorten or speed through his second life somehow, or make part of it show up as flashbacks or asides in the third part of the story, since that sounds the most interesting of the trio.
 

tak

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Double rebirth sounds hard to write. Maybe do it in flashbacks kind of way?
Also, someone really should do something about that demonic horde that'll be attacking in ten years. Too bad the hero only got around to dealing with it last time after wiping out the villain's family and half the population died...
how do the protagonist know what happen after he dies?
would it be accurate to portray the OP hero in my story idea as arrogant, merciless, and prone to escalating the conflict?
i think yes. If you need "MC action from cannon fodder prespective", this specific arc from Quick Transmigration Cannon Fodder’s Record of Counterattacks. It highlights p
how unreasonable protagonist & his harem are. At least some of them.
Also, I'm having some trouble coming up with names for my characters.
Also it seems that there's a generational name rule from each family. There was a thread about it but I don't remember on NUF or SHF
Also, do you think it'd be a good idea to have both hero and heroine be OP and revenge-obsessed?
Kind of? Depends on whether you follow typical male MC or female MC. Usually the love interest just follow MC's revenge, as in they only attack because MC attack.
 

DragonTrainer201

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Thanks for the advice, everybody! I've already started writing it, but I'm going to follow Flucket's advice and not post it until I have a few chapters done. Not thirty chapters, mind you. More like... five to ten?

@Ruyi and Tak - Don't worry, I completely intend to showcase the modern second life in flashbacks, with the exception of how he died. I actually got the double rebirth idea from Doctor Elise (AKA Queen with a scapel, Lady with the Lamp).

Also @tak - Thanks for telling me about that novel, but I don't think the 'specific arc' link is working. It just says that the page cannot be found. :p

@NiQuinn - Thanks for the link. You're also right that I haven't really sat down to think it through enough. I've done a bit of research and I think I've a firmer grasp of what the setting will look like now. I've also come up with some names.

The main character's name will be Yun Xuan Jin (雲玄榗) or just Jin of the Cloud family. The patriarch of the Cloud Family is Jin's uncle, a Count (伯) in support of the third prince. The next head of the Cloud Family is Jin's cousin, Yun Xuan Lin (雲玄林), who was killed by the Hero during the first life.

Main Villain - Huang Fang Long (黃方龍), eldest son of a Duke who also supports the third prince. His sister, Huang Dai Yu (黃黛玉) is engaged to the third prince and is every bit as evil as the rest of the family. Both are incredibly talented and powerful martial artists.

The Hero - Ye Xin Long (葉信龍), was originally engaged to Dai Yu, but the engagement was broken off after his meridians were destroyed and his clan fell into ruin thanks to the Huang family. Reached the final stage of cultivation within ten years after his meridians were restored and earned the backing of the fourth prince.

The Heroine - Feng Mei Zhu (鳳美珠), is the first daughter of the prime minister and engaged to Fang Long. She is in love with Xin Long. Her half sister, Feng Mei Ling (鳳美玲), is friends with Dai Yu. Her half brother (name pending) is one of Fang Long's followers.

Fellow Cannon Fodder - Qian Bai He (), is the daughter of a Marquis and friends with Dai Yu and Mei Ling. In the first life, she schemed along with her friends which led to her reputation being ruined beyond repair and her first engagement broken off. She would eventually die at the hands of an abusive husband. Although a talented alchemist, she spent more time scheming than developing her talents and ended up being overshadowed by certain others... at least in the first life. She's also childhood friends with Jin, due to their families being close.



Do the names listed above look right to you? Should I make any changes to them?
 

tak

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Also @tak - Thanks for telling me about that novel, but I don't think the 'specific arc' link is working. It just says that the page cannot be found. :p
they changed the link :blob_cringe:
It's from chapter 510. She got into the body of male cannon fodder, fiance of protagonist's harem member.

Names looks ok, but idk Chinese. Maybe the others can give more input
 

Ruyi

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I just want to note that MC and his cousin’s name are veeeery similar in pinyin except for one letter, which may lead to reader confusion.

Heroine’s name made me giggle a bit because “Mei Zhu” sounds exactly the same as “pretty pig.” Maybe she can have it as a nickname from a mischievous character? With a little twist, it could even be Miss Piggy....oh my.

If you need name suggestions, there are tons of Chinese posts on the Internet with lists of them. Just Google “古风” (ancient) + “女名” or “男名” for girls and boys names, respectively. I don’t know how serious you want to get into the character names but they sound fine, just a little “白” (aka plain speech style) stylistically. :)

Edit: Also want to note that for some reason Daiyu is a really popular name for females even though it's basically been immortalized by Lin Daiyu of Dream of the Red Chamber as a sentimental, wispy, weepy girl. I have seen both main characters and side characters with this exact same name + Chinese characters on original stories both here and on Wattpad, so if you want a unique name, try alternatives! ^-^
 
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