Why Dropping Novels Is Okay and Even Cool

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Wujigege, Apr 4, 2021.

  1. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    2,521
    Likes Received:
    2,253
    Reading List:
    Link
    No, no, I get your point. It's horribly reductive to say that people do X because of Y. Generally speaking people do certain things for a multitude of reasons and reductive takes like that are serious overgeneralization. This particular case really doesn't work for me because it's rare for me to complete books I don't enjoy. I'll read plenty of books that aren't particularly good but I'll generally at least get something out of them.

    Why is this so rare? There are plenty of good untranslated novels out there. And a lot of the more famous ones were written years ago so finding finished ones should be easy. Translating a book is a ton of work so wouldn't it make sense to make sure it's going to be good first before picking it up?
     
    Nimroth and Wujigege like this.
  2. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Alice is Friend, Not Food』

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    20,723
    Likes Received:
    83,765
    Reading List:
    Link
    Because webnovel authors drop novels all the time no matter what country they're from?

    There are indeed plenty of completed good untranslated novels out there... And a ridiculously bigger number of ongoing/hiatus/dropped novels out there.

    Also, I dunno how exactly people find out novels in syosetu, but if it's anything like Scribblehub, novels that are currently being updated get a lot more visibility than completed novels... Wouldn't it make sense that translators would start translating a novel that they happened to find perchance and are currently reading as it is released?

    Not to mention the tons of novels that were dropped by previous translators, which can be picked up by another translator that may or may not be as good as the previous translator... It is not that uncommon for a good translator to drop a novel, then someone that wanna continue reading decides to MTL said novel... And then since they're already MTLing for themselves, they figure they might as well start editing it and releasing online for others.

    Moreover... Translating is fun? Like uhn... Reading a whole series takes forever, I don't wanna read the whole thing before I start translating it... Especially because I'd then need to re-read it, which would make it more of a chore than anything. Translating as I read feels a lot easier.
     
    afelice likes this.
  3. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    2,521
    Likes Received:
    2,253
    Reading List:
    Link
    The total number of each kind of book out there is immaterial. For this topic we're only interested in books that are worth translating, and books that get dropped mostly aren't.

    Syosetu might be a bit of an exception for this as books there don't seem to get finished and it feels like the books that do get finished don't have much of a narrative to begin with. But even then, it's possible to read ahead for a few hundred chapters before deciding if it's worth the trouble of translating.

    See I'm not a translator, but if I were to ever become one it would be because there's a book out there that I love so much that I'd want more people to be able to enjoy it. To my mind, doing justice for something you love is a lot of hard work so it had better be worth it. The idea that someone that would take on such a challenge frivolously is mildly disturbing - if they're not putting in any effort is it going to be worth anything?
     
  4. AliceShiki

    AliceShiki 『Ms. Tree』『Alice is Friend, Not Food』

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2016
    Messages:
    20,723
    Likes Received:
    83,765
    Reading List:
    Link
    You don't need to read the end of a story to like it. You can always start translating it and pray that the author picks it up from their hiatus some day.

    Especially when what is probably the best novel of syosetu and that has been among their top ranked ones has been on a hiatus since forever... Some novels are just too good to pass on reading, even if you might not ever see their end... Same goes for translating~
    Syosetu is the same as any other webnovel platform in the world. Tons of amateurish stories, tons of dropped stories, tons of stories that go through rewriting, a handful of stories that actually get finished.

    The main difference between stuff like Scribblehub and Syosetu, is that LN publishers actually look at the stuff that gets popular in Syosetu and offer them publishing deals... Pretty much everything else is mostly the same.

    ... Even the fact that some stories get taken down once they get an official publishing is the same. The difference is that in Syosetu it usually happens through a traditional publishing, while in Scribblehub it is usually through self-publishing.

    It's really not an exception, rather... It is pretty much the norm of how webnovel platforms work.
    ... And this argument ignores the part that having to re-read the story in order to translate it feels like a chore for many, which makes translating it a lot less interesting.
    You're overestimating the amount of effort people put into translating things and thinking that it is like... A super taxing job that basically kills their free time.

    For most, translating is a hobby. It's something they do for fun or because they want to practice the language... For others it's how they actually read the novel since they can't read the raws without the assistance of machine translation software...

    Like uhn... I need to throw tons of words into dictionaries in order to translate a chapter of a novel, I just don't have a very good Japanese, so I have to rely a LOT on dictionaries to understand anything that is written... And I take like... 1-2h to translate a chapter. Other people that are fluent at the language can probably do it in 30min or something... Either way, spending like 1-2h a week for a chapter really isn't the end of the world. Even doing it once a day isn't that big of a deal, I'd essentially be spending some time I'd be using to play games to translate instead, it's just changing one hobby for another.

    Sure, it's not a professional quality translation, but I don't see why I should aim for that when I'm not a pro myself. I do it for fun, and to then have the translation available to others in case they wanna read it too~
     
  5. Wujigege

    Wujigege *Christian*SIMP*Feminist*Comedian

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2016
    Messages:
    15,121
    Likes Received:
    14,235
    Reading List:
    Link
    In summary, the way webnovel platforms work is to exploit authors.
    It is like a colosseum of free fighting gladiators.
    You pick the best and don't even pay the rest at all.

    Instead of traditional publishing that involves grooming authors and novels that might fail
    Marketing is done by the authors in advance before signing the publishing deal

     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2021 at 9:05 PM