Breaking the 4th Wall as an Author
Another chance at life? Hell Yeah! As the strongest Soul Cultivator, Rihan sat in the Pinnacle of the Martial World but was taken down by the Ancient Gods and his lackey.
He was killed by the Ancient God and returned to his 11-year-old self. Given another chance to change his destiny and save his loved ones.
With another hope to battle the Ancient God, he will once again set out with the vast knowledge accumulated from his previous life. Training faster than anyone else, and holding the knowledge from the distant future, he will set out to settle the enmities from his past lives as he climb to be the strongest again.
This is mostly a rant on the project and my inner thoughts on what I really think about writing the web novel. You can check it out here.
I begin the story of the Ash Earth because a particular book that I was reading was updating a little too slowly. So I began envisioning it in my head as I read on, and it wasn’t long before I’d written my first draft.
On the other hand, this story’s setting was inspired by various web novels that were trending on the internet at the time. Most Chinese web novel focuses a lot on Wuxia or the Cultivation style. Having read many of them, I decided to apply this inspiration to my work.
The Ash Earth is an action-adventure, and it’s also a story of friendship, love, and courage.
Now that I’ve written a big part of the story I could say that I understand what an Author struggle with as he writes. Especially as a new aspiring author. I learned a lot about structuring, story, pacing, and more.
However, the struggle was on how to keep the project running while still updating the book.
Given that it is a web novel, it’s a lot easier than say traditional book. I didn’t have to complete the book before I could upload it, but I had to still make sure it was decent enough.
However, the fact remains that it’s probably financially difficult to obtain enough funds to keep writing it. Thus, it remains a passion project. Given that my writing skills are also relatively poor, I don’t see myself having the skill to make this a professional work anytime soon.
I’m still writing and in the process of getting it serialized with a contract with Webnovel.com to solve this financial issue for this web novel project.
I think I understand the difficulty in upkeeping the project in terms of commitment too. Don’t get me wrong, this is my passion project and I do believe it’ll eventually become a complete story, but the journey is far from over. I’m still in the process of redrafting this story and rewriting it.
In the midst of that, there’s always the little nagging feeling that I should have done this or that, or that there’s a new idea for a new book! Like a system, romance, rebirth, or other genres. Keeping my mind on a single web novel project isn’t easy, but it doesn’t mean I’m quitting either. As long as I continue to write, the story will continue to grow and evolve.
Now, for sharing my experience with writing a web novel, I believe the very first thing you’ll want to do is understand the concept and what the overall story is about. There are plenty of systems out there, but they don’t really fit the way a web novel functions. You see, a traditional novel is a physical book with some 20-50 chapters.
But a web novel is never-ending. A single chapter a day, maybe 600 to 10,000 words per chapter. Thus, you’re better off creating a writing system that will work for your story.
A lot of advice I get is face-slapping or making sure to keep the tension with cliffhangers so that readers will stay interested. However, this isn’t the case I realize. Not every page should have a cliffhanger or face-slapping scene.
So, it’s better to think of a web novel as a manga or an anime episode. You’re writing an episode and like any good tv-show, you need to have a structure to your story.
I’d say, you can split your writing in sections such as:
1. Theme of the Web Novel
2. Main Plot
3. Plot Arcs
4. An episode’s structure: Every chapter or episode you release should form a plot arc which will drive your main plot forward.
But perhaps, a template for every chapter might work better. Like, you have an opening, a conflict, resolving conflict (can happen across several chapters), face-slapping or delayed conflict, a big battle that showcases the protagonist’s strength or advantage, leads to a discovery of new relationship, artefacts, ability, or any other opportunity.
As for the cultivation novel, you can just introduce a time-skip whenever the protagonist is cultivating to skip the time forward.
But writing in this sort of structure might feel a little repetitive or difficult for some, I do struggle with this sort of repetitiveness and would prefer a more traditional writing style. But it wouldn’t really work because web novels are generally repetitive with lots of high action. So that’s what I need to incorporate into The Ash Earth.
The characters are something that I enjoy writing and developing. Most of the time, I’ll write the protagonist first and then branch out to the other characters in the same story. It’s not easy to keep track of all these characters, but it’s worth it because they’re important to the story. However, sometimes I have a specific character that I’d like to develop further and thus, have written him or her in as a secondary character.
I’d often completed my plot for several books even and just need to expand and really flesh out the story. For the Ash Earth, I’ve already plotted out the next 8 ‘books’ major plotlines. That is fun for me.
But to write the details in every chapter and how the character interacts with their surroundings, I have to build a lot of backstory for the characters. This is important because it shows the reader the motivation or background behind why your character acts the way they do.
This is difficult.
It’s also important to build the story so that it’s easy to read and easy to understand. So for now, this is still lots of learning and experimenting. However, I’m getting better at this as I keep writing. I hope to at least see this web novel to completion!
This is one of the many writing project I have and a what I really do enjoy is writing a template or game. I’ve created several project and sold them on itch.io under Sparuh label. The Ash Earth is also a project that I’ve created personally as a Solo Journal Game that was not released.
I might share that here in the future.
That’s all from me, I’ll update this page if there’s any major update. But for now the major thing I have going for this web novel project is a contract with webnovel.
Want to collab?