A breather from the cliffhangers – PR talk and translations

posted in: Blog | 6

Feeling in despair due to the cliffhangers at the end of LSK volume 6? No worries, distract yourself with all these little somethings first to tide you over till the next chapter-
Ray here has a few things to post.
1. Warning for LSK + random chit-chat.
2. Random statistics I compiled from our translators
3. A translated extract from Yu Wo’s blog.  (Topic is “Inspiration is like Air” ) (For all you budding writers-)

First of all, I would like to warn you all that the feels journey of LSK is not over yet. To be precise, the feels journey ends after V7C1. (Highlight to see) Please prepare yourself. One joke that I made with my fellow friend (who is a fan of LSK), that the journey of LSKV6 end to LSKV7 start is pretty much:
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Welcome to the Feels Restaurant! How may I be of service to you today?
Our special menu for today is a soup of Despair, followed by a main dish of Drama with a side dish of Angst. Dessert would be a ting of melancholy.
Sorry, you’re asking for light-hearted comedy? We’re out of that for the moment.
Warm-hearted feelings? That is out of stock too.
We hope that you enjoyed your meal at the Feels Restaurant. Have a nice day!
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XD Okay, I’m sorry for the bad jokes. Anyways, talking about statistics now. After looking through my past translations, for no reason at all I decided to try and count the average amount of words per chapter per series. Yes, we’re talking about the amount of words that each translator has to type out, and the amount of words that the proofreader has to go through. Not the final published version! And here are the stunning results.

1. No Hero chapters are actually the lengthiest, beating LSK in length. (comparing average) This was actually pretty surprising to me.
2. LSK chapters have a min average of 5k words per chapter. (This is the average of 3 translators)
3. LSK side stories’s average are in the 2k range (accurate info by Luka)
4. The average of Female Warrior chapters are in the 2k range too.

And I noticed… that I have an unfortunate habit to either pick really long chapters or type too much. I think a bit of both. (The highest number of words that I typed for a chapter is a shocking number of 8527 words) (LSK is the culprit)

Anyways, that’s the end of the stats report! You can do your own ones too if you want to! (the published versions)
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Last item on the list. Yu Wo posts stuff (rants *cough*) on her blog from time to time, so I thought I would translate one of her newest ones. Please take note that I have taken some liberties to rephrase her words a bit so that I don’t have to footnote too much (*cough*) And it’s not proofread, so it may seem a bit off. Anyways, hopefully it might help any budding creative people out there, or just make you laugh. I know it made me laugh :)
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“Inspiration is like air” by Yu Wo

Inspiration is just like air; One cannot see it, touch it, and often is unable to grasp hold of it, but actually it has always been there.

I frequently say that I am from the publishing industry, as every time when I honestly admit that I’m a writer, I would almost always get asked the question below.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I have been asked this question for at least a hundred times. As long as my occupation as a writer is discovered, I would usually get asked the question, “How do you get so much inspiration to write”, especially after they find out that I have already written sixty books.

This question is as though you are asking the winner of the grand prize of the lottery, “How do you know that this number would win?”

It would be best if I knew which number would win. If I really knew the winning number, then I would go buy the American lottery. Once I win it, then I wouldn’t have to worry about food and clothing for the rest of my life even if I broke all four of my limbs. Why I would I go buy the lottery that can only buy a luxurious (extremely) apartment (narrow) in Taipei?  (Translator note: The chinese words for luxury apartment sounds like “very narrow” in chinese.)

Actually, every one has inspiration, and would frequently think of certain ideas that are pretty good. Perhaps it is along the lines of “this combination of colors is not bad”, “this design is not bad”, or “this activity proposal is really good”. When you see a certain familiar product, you might perhaps shout out, “I thought about this before in the past.”

You thought about it before, but you didn’t note it down, and of course didn’t do it. To just let it go like that, and never remember it ever again ten minutes later. It is only until you realize that other people have done it, that you can only say, vexed and wringing your wrist in despair, that “I thought of that first.”

I too has frequently ran into this type of stuff. Occasionally when I’m watching movies, television dramas, or novels and comics, I see a familiar scenario and image that was recorded in my computer’s “Inspiration folder”, but at this point of time I can only wring my wrists as I shout, “It’s been written!”, but who asked me to write too slowly.

Speaking till here, are you starting to feel puzzled, and feel like asking me whether if I really know where inspiration come from?

The truth is, I do know it. However, I also know that everyone wants a concrete and simple answer. The best is after knowing the answer, not only would you grow tall and beautiful, you’ll even score a hundred marks on the exam! However, after graduating from school, I have yet to see this kind of thing called a hundred marks.

I say that inspiration come from movies; but which teenager has never watched movies before?

Or perhaps inspiration comes from the music I listen to, but which person has never listened to music before?

Otherwise I have also read a lot of graphic novels since young, but which child has never snuck a peek at graphic novels before?

An author  – this kind of profession that sounds very dreamy and often appears in novels – is actually living in the same world as everyone else. Whatever you have, I too have them, and he has them as well. Though there are small differences in the world, everyone will always have different understanding and perceptions towards living. This causes different ups and downs in one’s lives. No matter how you think about it, it is very interesting.

Where does inspiration come from – It is very hard to give a concrete answer. That is because there is nothing that cannot become inspiration. Whatever you see and hear, or even smell can be inspiration, it is everywhere.

If I ask where is air, how should I answer? It is just in the place that I see, I hear, I smell, and breathe. However, I wouldn’t be able to state where it came from. Inspiration too has a similar miraculous aspect. It is just there, but sometimes you just can’t grasp it no matter how.

I have tried many methods to let inspiration come to me.

I have went on trips. However, to tell the truth, for a fantasy writer like me, going on trips seems to be less effective for finding inspiration than watching a movie, unless I can take part in a tour group for other universes.

However, to think about it, if a hole were to appear in front of my eyes, and jumping into it would allow you to go into another universe, I would think about the parents and brother that loves me as well as the readers that are currently waiting for me to write the ending of my books. Then, I would obediently seat in front of my computer and continue to type, and not go on a fantasy tour that I’m not sure if I can return from.

To lack adventuring spirit this much, I guess that the book that I have the least possibility of writing would be a travel book.

I too has thought about going into a storm to get drenched, to experience how unhappy people are always dashing into the pouring rain, and how it feels exactly. Also, to see if it would help me get more inspiration. In the end, I am still scared of getting a cold- and most importantly, I’m scared that the neighbor next door will think that I’m a madwoman. Never mind then, forget about getting drenched with disheveled hair.

For the sake of writing battle scenes, I bought a number of weapons. (Sometimes, this is only an excuse to buy weapons.) Then, I made all sorts of outrageous swinging and slashing motions in the living room. If I were to be seen by my neighbor, not only would they think that I’m a madwoman, I’m even going to be a weapon-wielding, dangerous madwoman who is randomly swinging the weapon. The possibility of getting arrested by the policemen uncles are pretty high. Thankfully, the size of the living room still allows me to go crazy there, and I don’t have to go out to withstand the strange stares and the danger of getting arrested.

I have once heard a certain writer say- Forgive me I have forgotten which great writer has said this- “Don’t think about what kind of thoughts your aunt will have after reading the book you wrote.”

In the various kinds of books, if one were to write an writer, they would always like to write them to have neurotic tendencies. They would have a record-breaking stubbornness to writing, and their brains would only think about “I want to write my manuscript”. When their inspiration comes, even if you can save the world by pressing a button, he would not stop writing to go and press it.

It sounds very dazzling and full of personality, but in real life if you were to meet this neurotic author… If it’s just acquaintances then it’s still okay. But if you have to spend a long time hanging out with him, you might only want to tell him to hide at home and not to come out and scare people, or just simply just forgo his humanity.

In the end,  I still could not dash out onto the streets to get drenched in the rain during a storm, and still has to care what my aunt thinks upon reading my book. That is because this aunt might not care what the entire story is about, and only remember the bed scene and fighting scenes. Afterwards, all of my relatives would know that I am writing a perverted and violent novel.

Perhaps you think that this is too exaggerated. Let me raise an example.

In my talks, I have been asked numerous times, “Do you think that the cursing in your books will teach kids the wrong thing?”

In my books, some characters will curse, but a lot of the cursing is actually for humor purposes and not ill-meaning scolding. Moreover, perhaps I have only used a “F***” word. Furthermore, I have also seen a lot of books that has mentioned curse words a lot more times and more frequently than mine. Within them, many are what you call “Literacy novels”. Because their characters perhaps are people from the lower depths of society, and are characters that uses a lot of foul words. You couldn’t possibly write a gangster that is full of semi-incomprehensible talk.

However, I have still been asked repeatedly, “Will it teach children the wrong thing?”

Yes, within the entire set of books, I am talking about friendship, talking about mutual support, talking about choice, talking about the dividing line between good and evil, but they still only care about whether that one “F***” word would teach children the wrong thing. Every time I have been asked this question, inside my heart I am filled with the “F***” word.

The topic seems to be diverted a little too far. Back to the topic of inspiration, and going away from the discussion of cussing, everyone is still expecting authors to have a bit of a literacy aura, and not to use vulgarities frequently with a whole mouthful of cursing their entire life.

Every time I have been asked how does inspiration come about, actually I can only answer officially to look more, hear more, and experience more. Then, the most important is to practice. Inspiration can be shapeless and nonexistent like air. Though this answer is very formal, but reasoning is always simple and clear without too much shortcuts. Usually, it can even be said within five words, and any other words is excess.

All of the dieting books, no matter whether they teach people to eat apples, bananas, or drink vegetable juice that even the dead would refuse to drink, to tell them to brisk walk, ran, jump, or go dance the Gangnam style, in the end it can all go back to five words – Eat less and exercise more.

For the sake of explaining where inspiration comes from, I have written an lengthy amount of words. In the end, I still tell everyone to “Look and Listen More”. A simple theory like these four words, has even one less word than dieting.

The lengthy novels I write possibly has five hundred thousand words, but the simple set-up for the entire book might perhaps only need fifty words. Therefore, every time when I write the synopsis, I would always be crying as I feel like within my five hundred thousand words that I wrote, four hundred thousand- ninety-nine thousand, nine hundred and fifty words  seems to have suddenly vanished.

Though this theory feels like it can be fully explained in a few words, but to think about it on hindsight, when I read novels I too want to read five hundred thousand words and not fifty words. Therefore, I have written this lengthy text that has over two thousand words to explain where does inspiration come from. It looks more convincing than those four words, right?

6 Responses

  1. LOL :D I like Yu Wo’s rants/blogs. They’re pretty funny. In this case, more inspirational than funny. XD

  2. Yeah She’s got a good sense of humour ^^

  3. Nn… This is why someday I want to write a fanfic that will not be immediately thrown into the rubbish bin! Sometimes I think an idea is good, but as soon as I try to expand it out of my few sentence ideas… I wonder how anyone even gets past writing the first sentence. orz
    So I really do think anyone can get inspiration! But I really admire the people who can actually make something beautiful out of it.

  4. geez her rants r even longer than mine </3 ive been beaten *shock*

  5. Crimson Rhapsody

    *bows to the power of the rant*
    Cassandra Claire and YuWo could be soul sisters :)

  6. Yu wo i feel you, how you had an idea and later see it was taken. When I was 5 I created an icecream sandwich, i put icecream between two chocolatechip cookies and thought to myself ‘if this isnt taken in 10 years from now i will start a business and buy the rights to my idea!’ 2 years later…. “Hey mom look icecream cookies!” says a sibling, looking at a vending machine
    me: “…” I must not have kept my secret well enough ;_; *silently thinks to self* *cursing a little*

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