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View Full Version : 300K "word count": the truth about the online novels in China



starscape
05-31-2011, 05:52 AM
300K chinese characters ( certainly more than 300K if translated into English)

This is reality. This is the starting word count if you want to "publish" your novel on the biggest e-novel website in China.

http://quotes.nasdaq.com/asp/SummaryQuote.asp?symbol=SNDA&selected=SNDA

If your project is below 300K, it will not show up in the list. And the bottom line ? at least 100K update every month. That makes 3 million chinese characters every year.

How about the payment ? 2 chinese cents per 1k characters. (Google:0.02 Chinese yuan = 0.003 U.S. dollars ) And it depends on the clicks too. So they would write porn, mostly many deus ex machina in the project.

Can any of you do this or imagine this ? Certainly not me.

Yes 99.9% are rubbish. Even part of the readers in China don't like that.

All of us here should feel lucky. At least I feel lucky that I write in English and I cut the project from 140K to 110K and will continue to do so. And the US literary market seems to be healthier, regarding the word counts.

Further reading:

Ok, there are also teams working on the same project as if they are on an assembly line. The report I read talked about nine writers. They write from 5K to 40K every day in front of the computer, eating just biscuits and instant noodles.

No, they don't revise the finished parts, generally.

Well, their income seems to be ok. Thousands of USD per month for the word counts and clicks. But not all teams get that much.

My mind is a bit messy now so I will stop here. Do you have any thought on this word count? ^^

froley
05-31-2011, 07:14 AM
If I had to write (or read) something that long, I'd quit writing right now. Either that or write hilariously-rambling and incoherent non-stories to vent my frustration.

starscape
05-31-2011, 07:38 AM
Thank you for your reply. Perth is a nice city, so I've heard. ^^

blacbird
05-31-2011, 07:44 AM
I just got back from a trip to China. 1 Chinese character does not equal 1 English word. Modern Chinese novels I looked at in bookstores over there were the same size, even in translation, as novels written in English.

Unless you are writing in Chinese, this is something not to worry about.

Little Ming
05-31-2011, 08:28 AM
300K chinese characters ( certainly more than 300K if translated into English)


Not necessarily.


I just got back from a trip to China. 1 Chinese character does not equal 1 English word.

1 Chinese character = 1 syllable

So Harry Potter would be 哈利 波特. Four characters.

Or California would be 加利福尼亚. Five characters.

I'm not arguing whether its good or bad, just wanted to clear things up.



Modern Chinese novels I looked at in bookstores over there were the same size, even in translation, as novels written in English.

Same with all the Chinese books I've seen, even the ones that are originally written in Chinese. Some are thicker than others, some are broken into a series, but it's not all that different from the English books I've read.

I can't comment about "online novels," but I'm sure it you look hard enough you'll find a lot of crap English "online novels" too. ;)

starscape
05-31-2011, 09:22 AM
I can't comment about "online novels," but I'm sure it you look hard enough you'll find a lot of crap English "online novels" too. ;)

Thank you for your reply. Would you mind telling us where we can find a "crap" english novel complete at 300K words ?

lol

froley
05-31-2011, 09:47 AM
Thank you for your reply. Perth is a nice city, so I've heard. ^^

Sure, if great beaches and Mediterranean weather are your bag :) Good place to write.

Cyia
05-31-2011, 10:08 AM
Thank you for your reply. Would you mind telling us where we can find a "crap" english novel complete at 300K words ?

lol

Fanfiction.net for one.

There are "novels" there in excess of 300K that have been posted in increments for years, and still aren't finished.

(And 100K/month, for fanfiction at least, is nothing, btw. I did it for an entire year.)

blacbird
05-31-2011, 10:17 AM
Not necessarily.

1 Chinese character = 1 syllable

So Harry Potter would be 哈利 波特. Four characters.

Or California would be 加利福尼亚. Five characters.

To be fair, it's not quite that simple. Chinese (Mandarin) is structured very differently from western languages, in not having plurals, tenses or verb conjugations. Those concepts are very hard for Chinese speakers to comprehend, let alone master, in learning Western languages. But they are trying very hard, and English is widely taught in elementary schools, as well as studied at universities, and many young Chinese people are mastering it very well.

We USers should emulate that enthusiasm about learning other languages. I wish I had done more of it in my younger years.

Snitchcat
05-31-2011, 10:48 AM
Not to mention that there is no difference in words when it comes to gender, unless you're talking about pronouns.

shaldna
05-31-2011, 12:41 PM
300K chinese characters ( certainly more than 300K if translated into English)

300k in modern chinese is going to work out at anywhere between 60k and 150k words, depending on the words used, but assuming it's not a simple word book, the complexities of the words will increase the characters per word, which will mean . So, basically the same as an english language novel. I read somewhere that there are an average of 2 chinese characters per english word - obviously some are more, some less. So cut your 300k in two at least.




Can any of you do this or imagine this ? Certainly not me.

I work in government, I write about 50k a week on a slow week, and that's just at work, I write my own stuff in my free time. So yeah, it can be done alright.



Ok, there are also teams working on the same project as if they are on an assembly line. The report I read talked about nine writers. They write from 5K to 40K every day in front of the computer, eating just biscuits and instant noodles.

I spend all day on the computer eating biscuits and instant noodles.



Thank you for your reply. Would you mind telling us where we can find a "crap" english novel complete at 300K words ?

lol

Breaking dawn.

Little Ming
05-31-2011, 10:34 PM
To be fair, it's not quite that simple. Chinese (Mandarin) is structured very differently from western languages, in not having plurals, tenses or verb conjugations. Those concepts are very hard for Chinese speakers to comprehend, let alone master, in learning Western languages. But they are trying very hard, and English is widely taught in elementary schools, as well as studied at universities, and many young Chinese people are mastering it very well.


Oh, yes, I agree. But I didn't think it was appropriate to get into a Chinese lesson. Many different things will affect how words, sentences, and ideas will translate from one language to another. I just wanted to point out that it's not as simple as 1 Chinese character = 1 English word.


Thank you for your reply. Would you mind telling us where we can find a "crap" english novel complete at 300K words ?

lol

I can't tell if you are being serious or sarcastic.

If you're being sarcastic, I hope you are not implying that there are no "crap" English novels out there.

If you are being serious than as mentioned above there's fanfiction.net. Or you can try many of the other self-published online novels out there, Amazon has quite a section. There may be some good ones, but there's also a lot of crap. If you want a "traditional" published novel try Atlanta Nights (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlanta_Nights). It's even getting made into a movie.

envision
05-31-2011, 10:42 PM
To be fair, it's not quite that simple. Chinese (Mandarin) is structured very differently from western languages, in not having plurals, tenses or verb conjugations. Those concepts are very hard for Chinese speakers to comprehend, let alone master, in learning Western languages. But they are trying very hard, and English is widely taught in elementary schools, as well as studied at universities, and many young Chinese people are mastering it very well.

We USers should emulate that enthusiasm about learning other languages. I wish I had done more of it in my younger years.

I agree with you! Also, I really do believe if Americans don't start learning other languages we're going to fall behind when the economy becomes so global that other countries who have bilingual, trilingual, etc. speakers tailor products to American audiences but American companies fail to reach the global demographics or worse...use stereotypes.

I've been practicing Spanish for years and I'm trying to figure out the best way to learn Mandarin (other than spending money I don't have and moving to China, LOL).

starscape
06-01-2011, 09:56 AM
Thanks for the replies. I must have made a mistake on the word counts.


Breaking dawn.

Yet it got an agent, whereas we haven't. Those rejection letters make people think "Oh no, my book is far worse than Breaking Dawn."

shaldna
06-01-2011, 12:54 PM
Yet it got an agent, whereas we haven't. Those rejection letters make people think "Oh no, my book is far worse than Breaking Dawn."


Actually, it technically didn't. The first book got an agent, and a publisher, the fourth book came out several years later when it was already an established series.

It was also not recieved very well, even by fans of the series.

And also, the 'we' in the statement above is incorrect. 'You' might not have an agent, or a publisher, but many of us here do.

starscape
06-01-2011, 02:10 PM
And also, the 'we' in the statement above is incorrect. 'You' might not have an agent, or a publisher, but many of us here do.

Sry about that, I correct my last msg. Also thank you for the info about breaking dawn. It sounds sarcastic. :)