VicsLab.com Forums Miscellaneous About the Structure of a Light Novel

15 replies, 7 voices Last updated by  2-Bru Krew (www.2brukrew.com) 1 year, 1 month ago
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  • #421805

    Javon Sankoh
    Moderator
    @javon-sankoh
    Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

    Hey, everybody, I need your assistance on the structure of my light novel. I have been told that a volume of a LN is a just one event. I structure my LN so that many events happen in one volume. So, I want everyone’s opinion on if my LN’s pace is too fast/different or not.

  • #421806

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Because of the short length, many light novels are about one overarching event, similar to “parts” in novels. But you can cover many events as long as the length is short and has some sort of conclusion between volumes.

  • #421807

    Javon Sankoh
    Moderator
    @javon-sankoh
    Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

    How short does the volume have to be? I plan for my light novel to be long and have arcs that last more than one volume. What then?

  • #421826

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Lengths per volume are usually 30,000 to 60,000 words.

  • #421827

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Lengths per volume are usually 30,000 to 60,000 words.

  • #421828

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Lengths per volume are usually 30,000 to 60,000 words.

  • #421829

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Lengths per volume are usually 30,000 to 60,000 words.

  • #421830

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Lengths per volume are usually 30,000 to 60,000 words.

  • #421831

    Javon Sankoh
    Moderator
    @javon-sankoh
    Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

    Well, I can guarantee that my first volume will between 30,000 and 60,000 words.

  • #421832

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Lengths per volume are usually 30,000 to 60,000 words.

  • #421872

    Ayumi Megumi
    Participant
    @Jyukai AMV Jyukai Ituna
    Rank: 6th Kyū – Rokkyū

    In my opinion, it really depends on the style. I’ve seen LNs that take 1 volume just focusing on one event or at least ends with defeating one boss character like ending a battle tournament arc in one volume or one floor of a dungeon. It’s natural to extend some arcs like during extensive world wars, fighting the last boss. Some LNs have long chapters that can almost be considered one arc, and some can conclude those long chapters of arcs into one connected event/scheme. This is just about the plot in topic.

    Other elements would, yes, consider page and word limits, but that would have to be dealt during the manuscript period. You can just focus on the plot line first and then talk with the editor/publisher about where to cut it if it’s too long (usually ends in cliffhangers) or add more content to have a proper conclusion for the volume. This is just for the process.

    This is the general idea that I have so far. I’ll try to research for the specific details if you guys want to.

  • #421875

    Javon Sankoh
    Moderator
    @javon-sankoh
    Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

    Thanks, Vic and Ayumi Megumi, I have a better idea of how to organize my novel. I thought my pacing was off, but it’s perfectly fine. As Ayumi Megumi knows, my chapters are long. That’s the case because I plan for my arcs to last a volume or more. The plot requires this pace. Hopefully, I can finish my newly revised (again) first chapter so everyone can read/critique it

    • #422563

      Luis Aleman
      Moderator
      @Locomotive
      Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

      I’d say two- three volumes are enough to cover one arc in the story and anything above that would be overstaying its welcome.

      • #422881

        Strovist
        Moderator
        @Thaddeus
        Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

        I fully agree with this, four volumes for one arc can be a drag. Even Index, which had a lot of ongoings (and words) only had one or two, max 3 long volumes for an arc. Personally I will say just space out your story content freely first. There will always be time to sort out the volume length and word limit. It’s more important to get your story arc done right first.

  • #422604

    Robert E. Parkin
    Participant
    @CorsonExsul
    Rank: 8th Kyū – Hakkyū

    In my experience, the current trend of LNs hovers around 60-70K words. While light novels “traditionally” have “arch,” in their story, typically it only goes three volumes tops (assuming it quite literally cuts off, leaving you hanging). However, I find most LNs these days always have “critical” plot point that is addressed for each volume, that may or may not, lead into the next volume. As Ayumi said, it comes down to style too. You can do a fully “on going” series, but so long as you address a major plot point, and climax, you should be fine with telling your story.

    Best to write and get a beat on what you think your style is, and find what you think is the way you wish to tell your story. We all are different, but so long as you have good characters, and a compelling story, you should be alright. Keep writing, and best of luck.

  • #452190

    2-Bru Krew (www.2brukrew.com)
    Participant
    @2-BruKrew
    Rank: 10th Kyū – Jikkyū

    The 2-Bru Krew agrees with the other authors chiming in on the structure of a Light Novel, especially the part about having good characters, and a compelling story. And of course, KEEP WRITING! That is the important part. Writing should be a passion, something you can’t stop doing. Writing is an addiction, but a good addiction. If you dread writing, or get writer’s block, then you aren’t a true writer. You may still become a great Author, but you aren’t a writer. A true writer can’t fall asleep because they’re scribbling down little notes about stuff they may use 3 novels from now. Ideas pop into their heads 24-7, so they always got a little notebook to jot them down, along with dialog lines they’ll use later. True writers don’t get writer’s block, they get anxiety worrying that they won’t live long enough to finish the 20+ stories they have bouncing around in their heads, that they haven’t gotten to putting on paper yet. But don’t worry if that’s not you. That’s just us. Like we always say, we don’t claim to be the best at anything. We just tell the truth. That’s what the 2-Bru Krew does.

    The best advice we can give, is to kick around ideas in your head and get a full story arc planned out. Jot it down in rough sketch points on paper. For instance, you know your protagonist is going to point A, and eventually to point B. And that’s the story. Sounds fine, but what makes for a good story is the WHY they’re going to point A and point B. And what happens when they get there? Are they the same person they are when they started the trip? Booooring. Are they a better person? Interesting. Are they a worse person? More interesting. Are they both better and worse? Now that’s realistic. Next step, What makes them act the way they do? Come up with a past history. Add modern moments of actions and reactions that interact with the main characters and shape them to make the decisions and act they way you want them to. Final step. Add detail. You started off as a rough sketch. Then added the backgrounds and foregrounds. Now lets’ really detail and trick this story out. Remember, people watch TV and Movies for a quick entertainment fix. They read to immerse themselves into the details, feelings, and emotions of characters. So give it to them.

    I saw a great interview with the influential Director Ridley Scott about his film Bladerunner. He read the first draft script, and saw that it was all interior shots. As the writer was describing it to him, scene by scene, Ridley stopped the writer and said, “What’s going on outside this room’s window?” The writer was stunned, and said, “I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. The scene is inside.” Ridley replied, “No, it does matter. This is a futuristic world. There has to be SOMETHING going on outside the window.” Ridley then re-focused the film to exterior shots, had the beginning re-written to the iconic opening scene of the outside city with the fires, as seen by an antagonist looking out the window. Bladerunner’s exterior visuals then became the icon that spawned the whole “Cyber-Punk” genre that we Anime and Light Novel fans soak up today in Ghost In The Shell, Akira, Psycho-Pass, etc., all because Ridley dared to ask, “What’s going on outside this room’s window?” (It helped that Ridley was reading a lot of Heavy Metal Magazines at the time, and they influenced his vision.) But see what we’re getting at? Ask yourself, “What’s going on…. wherever.” And write it into your story. It’ll add authenticity and interesting detail that the reader will immerse themselves into. That’s what we do. You can check out some excerpts from our Light Novel “The Keepers of the Gate. KOG 1: Enter The Keepers” on our website: http://www.2brukrew.com. Have a read, or also check out our “Look Inside” our book on Amazon.com, and read some of the chapters, and you’ll see what we mean.

    Peace-out… The 2-Bru Krew.

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