Monthly Capriccio

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

Not Anime Enough? 2009/10/13

Filed under: light novels — nolwenn961 @ 4:09 pm
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I was told that one of the biggest issues that people had with the stories that were included Karui Shousetsu Magazine was that the stories weren’t anime enough. Since that publication is this ezine’s predecessor, I imagine that this is an issue that I will have to face as well. Should the characters all have Japanese names? Does the story have to take place in Japan? Is this what gives of a distinct anime feeling in a light novel, or is it something else entirely?

I feel like this issue of not being anime also relates to our perceptions of what is and what isn’t a light novel. Wikipedia has a definition of light novels, but unfortunately, it’s not very extensive. It is a good start, though; it gives a broad clue as to what constitues the content of a light novel.

What’s your definition of a light novel? What defines the light novel overall? Is it the anime cover and manga illustrations inside alone, or do the brisk reading provided by dialogue-driven text provide the driving force behind a light novel? Most of all, what can this ezine do to provide stories that meet your definition of a light novel?

I’d like to hear what everyone’s opinions about this. Feel free to leave your comments below.

 

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!