Monthly Capriccio

A blog dedicated to the ezine "Monthly Capriccio," a monthly light novel magazine.

Imitating Isin 2009/10/24

Filed under: writing — nolwenn961 @ 4:26 pm

As you may or may not know, next month is November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). It’s a month-long contest where you sit down and put pen to paper or fingers to keys in an attempt to complete a whole novel in just thirty days or less.

Did you know that popular light novelist nisiOisin wrote his 12 volume “Katanagatari” series in just one year, completing each volume in a single month? I know that’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it. The amazing feeling of accomplishment that you have after completing a novel-don’t you want to feel that? You may not be nisiOsin, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make the attempt.

This year will be my first year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I’ll gladly type away on my laptop until I have a complete manuscript. NaNoWriMo is the perfect way to get started on a story if you’ve been contemplating submitting material for the ezine.

I hope that everyone will join me in this year’s contest. Feel free to add me to your Writing Buddies list. My username is o2co. The contest is just around the corner from November 1-November 30, so there’s just under a week left before November starts. Happy writing, everyone!

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New Guidelines 2009/10/19

Filed under: Uncategorized,writing — nolwenn961 @ 1:49 pm

After many delays and unexpected problems, I was finally able to get around to updating the guidelines. They’re listed under “submissions guidelines,” and they are a lot more detailed than they used to be. I hope that I’ve addressed all of your questions and concerns about submitting work to the ezine, but if I haven’t, feel free to ask. I’ll do my best to answer your questions as quickly as possible. I’m looking forward to reading everyone’s submissions.

 

The Inner Circle 2009/10/03

Nothing says indie publishing like dojinshi. Since we’re essentially an indie ezine, I was wondering what people would think of a light novel dojin circle. I know that a dojin circle usually creates something, but we don’t necessarily have to create anything. Although I think a light novel dojin cirlce would be the best way to do a relay novel. (A few people were interested in that idea.) As you can probably tell, I’m just throwing ideas out there, seeing what people would like the most. If you have a great idea for this, feel free to let me know; I’m open to fresh ideas.

I would really like to hear from other light novel enthusiasts who aren’t really interested in writing light novels, but still love to read them. There seem to be so few of us, and I would like to talk with them. A group or just an informal society of people who happen to love the same thing talking to each other would be the perfect way to get us all together. Discussion would probably have to take place in a group though Google groups or something, but I definitely think it’s worth a try. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just find each other in a single place? It would really make me glad to be able to read other peoples’ impressions of light novels and the light novel industry.

Anime and manga have thousands of forums dedicated to them, so can’t we light novel enthusiasts have at least one venue for ourselves? Maybe gathering together is a better way to improve the light novel industry. No action without unity, right?

Even if this proposed group never became more than a society for people who were passionate about the same things, it would be fine with me. I can’t help but think about the possibilities of a dojin circle. In Japan, dojin circles have produced some amazing work both of existing and original characters. I feel really inspired just thinking about all of the things that dojin circles are responsible for because as you know, the power of fans and fandom is amazing.

Tell me what you think. What’s the best way to gather together the light novel fan base? How can we get more people interested in what we love? Do you think that we enthusiasts have the potential to affect the light novel industry in the US?

 

A Replica, but not a Pastiche 2009/09/26

I’m still looking for writers for the ezine, and I never thought that this would be a difficult process. It’s not that I’m having a hard time finding writers, it’s more like I’m having a hard time getting writers to understand what the light novel style is in general. I suppose this all goes back to the ultimate question of “What’s a light novel?”

I want the writers to create a replica of the light novels that have been written in Japanese and the ones that have been translated into English. I want this to be a smooth transition for those who have read light novels either in Japanese or English. I would like the writers to emulate the same brisk writing style that allows a reader to read the story quickly.

If the reader can get through each story quickly, then the possibility of a re-read increases. I remember when Shonen Jump was first published in America. I read that first issue over and over until the next one came out. Everytime that I read that first issue, it made me ancitipate the second issue even more, and I could easily retain what happened in each of the stories.

One thing that I am a little bit concerned about when trying to emulate something that already has a sizable following is that I don’t want to make this into a pastiche. I don’t want it to appear that our authors are trying too hard to emulate the light novel style, and I don’t want this ezine to become something that only does cheap imitations. Quality of stories is what I’m looking for overall, and that will come first, so if the story is good and engaging to the reader, you can be concerned about formatting later.

 

Is Self-Publishing the Only Way? 2009/09/19

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how light novels can become a profitable media in the US.  A lot of publishers have failed with the light novels, resulting in them dropping titles altogether.  If a translated light novel from a popular franchise with anime and manga tie-ins can’t be successful in America, what success does it have if an American (or any other individual) wants to publish their own original light novel?  Is there any hope?  Is there a real market for light novels at all? 

I am inclined to believe that there is.  In spite of all the failures that publishers have had with light novels in the past, I want to remain hopeful.  Afterall, it is still a work of literature.  As long as people like to read, there’s a chance for success.  I was reading an advice article about self-publishing. As it turns out, self-publishing is ideal for niche audiences. That’s perfect for us light novel enthusiasts who are but a niche of a niche. To me, published is published. I don’t care that a major publishing house didn’t help produce it. I just want people to read the work, and I want to see to it that more people actually know what a light novel is.

So, is self-publishing the only way to go about this? Maybe not, but right now, I think self-publishing is the best approach. There’s nothing wrong with self-publishing. If anything, it says that the author is hardworking and dedicated to the work that he or she wants the world to see.

I have another purpose for the self-publishing model. In the style of a Japanese light novel magazine or even a Japanese manga magazine, once the stories have been serialized in the ezine “Monthly Capriccio,” they will be collected into individual volumes, physical books, or e-books, if you prefer. As physical books, they can be sold to the both the people who read this ezine and to general lovers of fiction everywhere.

Maybe you don’t want to go through the hassle of a major publishing house and have them tell you no because your work doesn’t fit their business model, but at least you’ll have self-publishing which has a POD (print on demand) model so you don’t have to worry about losing any money. Just print when people want to buy your work. To me, that is where light novels have the greatest chance of success regardless if the author sells 700 copies or 70,000.

 

Relay Novel 2009/09/17

I was doing some random internet searching on the Japanese side of the internet when I came across the words “relay novel.”  I didn’t really know what it was until I thought about it.  Can you imagine it, a team of writers sitting down, one person scribbling away at the page then passes it off to the next writer sitting beside him or her?  There’s no timer, but there’s lots or pressure (maybe).  That’s how I imagined it, this high-stakes over the top literary drama.  A relay novel is not exactly like that (although it could be).

My point is what if I wrote a relay novel with some of the other writers who have agreed to contribute to the ezine?  That could be fun.  With each issue, there’s a new chapter published, and people will anticipate the next issue to find out what will happen next or what kind of twist there’ll be.  Anyway, that’s just a thought.  I’m not sure if anyone would want to do that.  Am I the only one?  It could have a really wacky or quirky name that would make people think, “Hey, what’s that?” when they read the title.

On another note, I got a story from someone who wants to write for the magazine.  I haven’t read it yet, but I’ll gladly look it over.  I’m still in need of writers as well as other people.  Maybe what this ezine blog needs is a google group.  I couldn’t find anything when searching “light novel.”  Such a shame.  Let’s get that awareness up, up, up!