VicsLab.com Forums English Light Novels The Rights and Wrongs of Light Novels

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10 replies, 7 voices Last updated by  Tarl 2 months ago
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  • #424779

    Mohamed Shafiek
    Participant
    @WeebmetalOrange
    Rank: 4th Kyū – Yonkyū

    Here, we can discuss what the community feels are the right and wrongs of writing a light novel. These topics can range from what we personally prefer to use in our stories or even tips to get noticed through our writing skills. You can also share writing tips and tricks you’ve noticed in other lights novels.

    Let’s start with this: What do you feel is the best font and font size for a light novel? In my opinion, it’s Garamond 12.

  • #424998

    Vic
    Keymaster
    @Vic
    Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

    Garamond 12 is a good selection for ebooks. For print books, we use 11 point. There are other things in professional formatting for print books that many writers aren’t aware of such as kerning, leading, orphans, widows, when to omit page numbers, etc. That’s something a publisher can handle, though.

    As for writing light novels, what’s the right way? They tend to be light on descriptions, heavy on dialogue, inspired by Japanese anime/light novel culture and between 30,000 to 60,000 words.

    • #425000

      Mohamed Shafiek
      Participant
      @WeebmetalOrange
      Rank: 4th Kyū – Yonkyū

      The light novel industry is evolving, to say the least. More and more books are being written and drawn in hopes of being adapted into an anime. We even see that more and more since the incursion of Sword Art Online, light novels become a bigger adoption pool because they are able to give more specific emotions to characters and gives themselves to a lot of a studio’s liberty in freely transferring the story to visuals. For me, I like to write between 90,000 to 100,000 words, just because I feel like I can give the reader who is willing to read, more intelligence praise and “bang for their buck.”

      As for the next topic, what do you all think is a good illustration ratio. Allow clarifying. Light novels come with illustrations, whether they are decorative pictures before the story or during. What do you think is the best amount of illustrations for a light novel in relation to word count?

      • #425039

        Strovist
        Moderator
        @Thaddeus
        Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

        Hey there,

        For my personal preference, Illustrations portraying character image list is a huge must as they are a common find in almost every mainstream LN. Lots of LNs start off their books with an illustration page showcasing all known characters (either main characters or arc frequent characters). You can see plenty of this in To aru Majutsu no Index Ln series, Mahouka KK no R, Konosuba, Fate/Apocrypha, and the list goes on.

        As for simple illustration pages portraying story detail around parts of the book, I would prefer having illustrations at crucial parts of the story. They can be used to depict plot twists, new char introductions, climaxes (fight scenes especially!) or pre-fight scenes showcasing opposing characters. Depending on the depth of story content, the number of illustrations can go up to 20 or as low as 7.

        Some LNs like Black Bullet have relatively few illustrations pages. I don’t know whether it’s because of budget or the lack of time for the Illustrator. I can’t comment much on this since I don’t have any illustrations for my own story yet, but stories with few to no illustrations have a major disadvantage compared to a story that has the necessary pics. Everyone wants some pictures to sell the story and enjoy picturing the illustrated character doing what he does as described in the story.

        So to conclude, the more illustrations a story volume has, the better.

  • #452992

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

    2-Bru Krew agrees that the more illustrations the better. We personally have 42 in our published Light Novel: “KOG 1: Enter The Keepers”. (Available on Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/author/2brukrew) But you don’t necessarily have to have that many. Even if you just have basic illustrations of the main characters both protagonist and antagonist, that’s fine. We structured ours so that in the beginning it “Introduces The Keepers of the Gate” with large headshot photos of the main protagonists. Then throughout each chapter, we put additional illustrations. Some are action scenes, others headshots of new characters and antagonists being introduced throughout the story. Not all photos have to be action; some of them can be dramatic or even comedic. We’ve done that too in our Light Novel. It gives a light novel a good mix and helps the story flow by perking the reader’s interest with wondering what they’re going to discover next. For an example of some our work, check out our website at: http://www.2brukrew.com.

  • #457386

    Sead Sejo Alibalic
    Participant
    @sead-alibalic
    Rank: New member – Mukyū

    I would like to ask for some help from an experienced writer to tell me what im doing right and what wrong.I am a newbie light novel writer and would appreciate it if i could get some advice.Thank you for reading this and please contact me.

    • #458619

      Vic
      Keymaster
      @Vic
      Rank: 10th Dan – Jūdan

      Try adding a chapter from your profile or through the Stories tab under Members and ask for feedback. Most users communicate via comments on stories or by using @username on the Activity page under Members.

  • #472735

    Tarl
    Participant
    @Voicespider
    Rank: 10th Kyū – Jikkyū

    I feel internal art is a must, but also an eye catching cover design. Most people will judge a book by its cover, and if yours looks cheap or amateur, it is more likely to have people skip over it in favor of something shinier.
    One thing I have also learned about covers is that generally people react more to head or ‘bust’ shot rather than full body images. (I’m on the fence personally about this)

  • #517408

    Tarl
    Participant
    @Voicespider
    Rank: 10th Kyū – Jikkyū

    Okay, it’s been something like 5+ months since I posted on here and I’ve read a significant number of light novels and I am starting to see a trend that I am curious about. How do you all feel about over powered characters/mary sue protagonists? There seems to be a 50/50 mix when it comes to them in the light novels I have read, especially in the Isekai genre. Often the protagonist, who has been dragged to anther world, is stupidly over powered for the world they are in.

    Now light novels are aimed at an age range where power fantasies are common. (young teenage boys to be specific) So I can see why this would create an instant appeal to these kinds of readers, as they would instantly put themselves in the roll of the main protagonist. But the main issue with this type of character is that they are often done poorly and thus create an uninteresting character as nothing truly places them in danger or challenges them. They have no room to grow.

    Where in, if the protagonist is just your average person who has been taken to another world, and actually finds out that through their own skill they are actually hero material, that is a far more inspiring and interesting story generally. But in that regards, you run into the fact that it’s not a ‘light read’ as far as a story goes and ends up being something far deeper and moves away from what a light novel generally is.

    So, in the attempt to stir something up, what are your thoughts?

    • #517885

      The A.C.
      Participant
      @theacstories
      Rank: 1st Dan – Shodan

      Yeah, this recent trend of going to another world and automatically being over powered did lose my interest. Also, going to another world in general has became over done in such a short time. My favorite part in any story is the character development, and these just do not have any true development in both the character’s power and mentality. Personally, what is inspirational to me is starting from nothing and becoming something great, and the longer that journey takes to become great the better I enjoy it.

      • #526834

        Tarl
        Participant
        @Voicespider
        Rank: 10th Kyū – Jikkyū

        Recently I have actually enjoyed this genre where the characters are given unusual abilities and then it goes on from there. Take Mixed Bathing In Another Dimension for example.
        The protagonist’s powers are unusual, and don’t seem very cool, and yet, through sheer creativity, it’s actually interesting to see him solve various situations. And sure, it’s kind of over powered, but at the same point, it’s different enough that it captured my interest.

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