After doing so many WPC Discussion streams, I think I should share a little about what I'm looking for as a reader and not a writer. I prefer reading non-romance (with the exception of BL) so I will be talking about the ML genre and ranking them according to Webnovel's categories.
Before I start, I'm going to exclude ACG as it isn't an applicable category on Webnovel as that's more for fan fiction.
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Favs: Fantasy, Gaming & Horror
There is literally no limit to fantasy. It's as vast as what your imagination can create and personally, I fell in love with this idea of freedom in the genre. It's why most of my works exist within the fantasy genre.
Games are a little more restrictive in terms of development. It isn't as free as fantasy but the world-building is less tedious than a fantasy world. I like the prospects of gaming when I came to learn about "systems" in Webnovel. Gaming and systems go surprisingly well and more importantly, I grew to like gaming as a concept after watching the anime "Log Horizon". It's a must-watch for anyone who is into this.
I grew up reading Goosebumps by R.L. Stine and honestly, very few things supernatural can scare me. I like the simplicity of the unexpected events and exploring disturbing possibilities that most people would rather not talk about. I'm a huge fan of dark humour and psychological struggles that turns a functional human into a dysfunctional one. The adrenaline rush from a good horror story can stay with me for a while.
Neutrals: Urban, Eastern, Sci-fi, Sports, History
I'm not a huge fan of romance so I don't actually actively seek this out. If anything, I prefer my urban to be mixed with things such as mystery or crime. Things like financial wars between companies, police and mafia or even hackers in an urban fiction setting are things I'd pick up to read. Apart from that, I probably wouldn't care.
There are pros and cons to this. I enjoy the cultivation plot that is unique to this genre which is Webnovel's speciality. However, I don't like all the overpowered and insensitive main characters and face-slapping acts that come with it. I do enjoy it in moderation but that's not the things I seek when I read eastern fantast genres. I hate it more if there is harem.
Books that I would read in this genre would be like the Condor Heroes and even Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre.
There are pros and cons to this. Sometimes, I feel like my brain is unable to keep up with the jargon that come with sci-fi. I'm not very good at understanding complicated science mechanics so if the author insists on only entertaining professors of quantum physics, I'm out.
However, I do like the sci-fi genres that involve aliens and easier-to-understand concepts like time travel. I like the what-ifs that play out in sci-fi but not the "how to". Some good sci-fi movies I like include "Fifth Element" and "Lucy". Similarly, I like books like "Halfhead" by Stuart MacBride. It's not so much the genre here but the plot and setting that I'm looking for.
I like Haikyuu. I cosplay Nishinoya. However, that is manga and anime. I don't really know any sports novels or take a particular interest in them so I'm presently neutral to it. I don't particularly like the technical analysis of sports and have my preferences for them. I imagine sports genre to be a very high-school and teenager type of vibe. If there is something I am looking out for in a sports genre book, it would be the team dynamics and character more than the plot.
As someone who did martial arts and had to retire at 16, I can understand when a sportsperson struggles. It's not easy. It won't always be worth it. But there is never regret for loving what you love.
There are many types of historical fiction and some are drier than others. I'm neutral to it because I do like Sherlocks Holmes and it was based on older England back in the day. I do read a mix of fantasy in historical time periods. You'd often see the medieval times or even the Roman times appear in historical fiction. It has its pros and cons and I like reading adventures in this genre most.
Hates: War, Action & Realistic (Bonus: Harems)
Just to put it up here before I delve into the rest of the remaining genres. It's my personal preference to not read these genres as they are usually infested with things I dislike. Also, anything with a harem tag automatically gets the boot from me. I don't care how interesting the plot is, if there is a harem, it should burn in my library.
Although this is the genre where spy fiction and mafia wars are meant to be, there is a huge lack of skill from writers covering this genre. The characters and complexity of the plots often fall short of my expectations. Webnovel readers aren't known to be the brightest. I can understand why these action novels were made for babies but they absolutely will not meet my expectations.
This is pretty self-explanatory if you know me as a person. Why the fuck will I want to read about the real world when I live in it? It's shitty that you cannot fly as a human without the help of technology. You don't have to remind me.
Unless this is about some form of alien attack or zombie apocalypse, I don't actually want to read this genre. It's depressing and I don't need more depression when I have enough to donate. Why can't we all enjoy the good things in life?
I'm a very fastidious reader. I seek things that have certain philosophies, styles and thought processes. When I read, I want to be surprised and impressed. However, it is sad that the average intelligence of humans is at an all-time low and everything is predictable, unlike content from the 2000s.
Although writing skills irk me when they are terrible, I learned to give some leeway to new writers with good stories to tell after reading Webnovels. Unless they have completely trash English, I would still give them a chance.