Please support my entry into the Japanese light novel industry
This petition had 148 supporters
Hello, my name is Reito. I am Thai by birth but is aspiring to become a light novel author in Japan but will need your support to achieve my goal.
-My personal info and goal-
My goal is to become a light novel author, focusing on stories with deeper settings and characters and presenting unique worldviews not commonly used in the current Japanese anime media.
These days light novel and by association, animes adapted from light novels have a bad rap for being shallow, cliched and uninspiring, which is why I wanted to show both the Japanese anime community and the industry that there are still much more possibilities animes and light novels had yet to explore if only they are willing to expand their narrow worldview.
I want to be the make a success within the Japanese industry so they will see this benefit they have been ignoring this entire time and therefore establishes a better opening for other foreign writers to be able to enter and express their influence in the anime industry scape.
In order to become a light novel author, usually one has to go through contest held by the publisher itself, where the top 10 or so will be selected for publication and the top 5 will have special prize money awarded to them.
At first glance this seems like a good system, but the issue is that these will judge your works solely on 150 pages(130 for some companies) alone, meaning if your story does not conclude within said page count, any loose ends will be treated as a negative point.
So the issue here is that I have written 13 separate stories so far and had submitted 10 of them to 2 separate publisher contests, only to fail on both occasions, though it was not due to my stories not being good enough.
My stories were praised for having intriguing characters, settings, concepts and depths, good action scenes, unique worldview, deep emotional dramas, and being well researched.
Yet the reasons for my disqualifications were almost all cited as because those stories do not have a decisive conclusion, have too many characters, the plot did not follow the 3 act structure, certain characters have too little role, or due to subpar Japanese composition. AKA apart from the trouble with the composition, these are all issues that would cease to be if only the judges evaluate my stories as a series and not a standalone piece.
I wrote all those stories intending them to be series, intending to build up the stories for a better overall experience. This means the first 150 pages merely is the 1st act or if converted into anime, would be equal to around 3-5 episodes.
Which is why this first volume still is an introductory phase, where the climactic scenes and results of the characters' growth are to be saved for a later stages. Of course this does not mean the 1st volume is not enjoyable with a self-contained plot, conflicts, twists and smaller climaxes of its own, it simply is not the one-off piece the contest wanted.
And this is not an unreasonable thing on my part. All light novel publishers derive the vast majority of their income from publishing series, in fact they would even encourage all of their contest winners to write continuations of their stories anyway. So to me, their rejection of stories that were intended to be a series from the get-go simply makes no sense.
On my 2nd submission to a different company, I had even asked the publisher via mail beforehand if they accept series writings to which they said it is OK, on top I also added a footnote in my submission form asking the judge to look at my work as a series and not a standalone piece. But regardless the result ended up being the same, as the judges clearly missed my message.
The issue with the Japanese composition too, was not something I took for granted. I am versed in Japanese with an N1(the highest level) in the Japanese language proficiency test and therefore is confident that there were no grammatical errors.
On top of that had spent over 300,000 yen(2,644 USD) on hiring actual Japanese proofreaders to check my works to make sure all the Japanese is "natural", though apparently that still was not enough. It wasn't that my Japanese had grammatical errors or they were unnatural, rather the publishers simply believed it not to be flowery enough. Regardless this should have been a minor issue that can be easily fixed afterward.
All this, combined with the fact that each publisher only held their contest once a year, all contests taking 6 months to complete, and almost all contests opened at roughly around the same time meaning that you can only enter a single contest a year. This ended up wasting me 2 years just to get a chance to "gamble" in this system where the judges still won't listen despite me asking them nicely to judge my work suitably. So I hope you understand why I simply no longer have any faith in this system.
Above all else, there is the undeniable truth that despite this method of selection, light novel still is a medium flooded with uninspired, shallow cliches, which further brings into question why publishers are so stubborn in maintaining this as their sole method of selecting employees.
Which is why I have changed my mind to simply ask the publishers directly if I could talk to the editors, wanting for a chance to present my work fairly on the grounds of them being series.
I have 13 volumes of fresh stories to present, additionally with 14 volumes worth of continuation. The reason I wrote 13 separate stories was not because I could not concentrate on one, but it was to show that I can offer both quality and quantity, that I could write multiple stories of different genres at once all without having to sacrifice any originality, and that I am hardworking, willing to work to 2AM every day to get these stories out.
Apart from that, with me being Thai, I also offered that I am willing to serve as a bridge to help expand their market overseas, especially to Thailand. After all Thailand's anime market also is massive, boasting the 3rd spot after China and South Korea in foreign cinema ticket sales to both Your Name(Kimi no Na Wa) and A Silent Voice(Koe no Katachi) while yet lacking a hand drawn anime production industry of its own.
But of course, none of these offers can be delivered to the publisher through the contest, which is why I need to directly contact with the editor or someone higher up who may actually be willing to acknowledge that I am offering far more than merely a single manuscript.
I am currently trying to contact through to the publishing section of Kyoto Animation(Clannad, K-On, Haruhi, Hyouka, Maid Dragon, Violet Evergarden, etc) but the issue is I am stuck with the Japanese bureaucratic system that will not budge no matter how much I try to convince them what I can offer. All they will reply to me is that they simply have a rule to refuse non-contest submissions or direct contact with the staffs regardless of the circumstances.
I have currently spent over a month of mailing back and forth both to Kyoani and other publishers trying to convince them how I am not asking for contact for free and how a foreigner writer is simply unsuitable to the current format of the contest system, but of course no matter how much I try to convince them that all I ask is an opportunity to talk with an editor, or that there is nothing to be gained from refusing me,it seems that all offers had been falling on deaf ears.
Please don't misunderstand that I'm trying to force them to bend to my will. All I am asking if for a single chance talk with an editor where I will be able to properly present my works as a series, including what other ideas I have been saving for the continuation volumes.
Which is why I must implore of you to simply sign so this petition that I may be able to show both the weight of my determination and the will that is the international anime community. At this rate as it is, with anime struggling financially inside Japan itself, it may be the best for them to open their worldview and see that there is a market welcoming them outside of their country.
In promise to prove what ideas I am bringing into the anime industry, here are the premises to all of my works I hope to be published.
- Uchronia series
A story about the world where only sociopaths and psychopaths have superpowers. It views psychopaths from a neuroscientific standpoint and explores the utilitarian worldview through the eyes of the sociopathic characters while offering high-octane actions.
The first part is inspired by the works of Edgar Allen Poe, about a young man haunted by a mysterious raven that ominously warn him that he will bring disaster to the world in the future, so he has to uncover the mystery of both the raven and his own past.
This is intended akin to Jojo to be separated into different parts each with its own plot and protagonist, with 9 parts planned in total, each intended to be 4-5 volumes long. Currently has 7 volumes completed.
A story about a boy who is in love with a Vocaloid-ish virtual idol. This is not in the otaku waifu love way but rather because the idol gave him hope when he had contemplated suicide in the past. But in return the character he loves is severely underrated, so he is finding a way to raise her popularity to prevent her from being forgotten. To save her for the sake of her having saved him in the past.
One day, he gained partner anime character that manifested into the real world, a mecha pilot. From then along with his friends, some of which has fictional characters from animes, games, American comics, Tokusatsu shows and films as their own partner, the boy also seeks to find the origin of these mysterious "Metacharas".
In case you are wondering, I wrote this in 2015, before Re:Creators. Other than that Metafiction's story is far less action-oriented, focusing more on what it means to love something that "doesn't exist", the contrast of idealism, self-indulgence, escapism and reality, and the relationship between fiction and truth. Currently has 6 volumes completed.
- Samudra Manthan
A mecha story of a war between a seafloor city and a city floating in the sky using mechas that can transform into aquatic animals/flying creatures respectively.
It features 2 protagonists from each faction, featuring different worldview, idealism, objectives, loyalties and their own conflicts outside of the war. The protagonist of the sea is a traitor to the revolutionary army turned to side with the dictatorial government but nevertheless is ambiguous in his true allegiance while the protagonist of the sky is a female knight who tries to keep her idealism and altruism in a world that supports neither. Currently has 2 volumes completed.
A modern spy story of 3 friends who, under certain circumstances, ended up separately serving the spy organization NSA of USA, MSS of China and MI6 of the UK to fight against a single conspiracy organization. Each spy organization, including others such as GRU of Russia and Mossad of Israel are stylized into either ninjas, hackers or James Bond-esque gentlemen spies to fit more with the anime aesthetic.
It features 3 protagonists, with the concept being that they all share a single conflict but both due to differing circumstances, having different tools and allies at their disposals and ultimately having different point of views and personalities, ended up taking different approaches to it.
- Doku no Philosophy / A Poisoned Philosophy
A high school love romance between a sociopathic, antisocial boy aspiring to be a neuroscientist and a rich and cocky British girl transfer student. A love story between a cold, condescending tsundere and a hot headed, prideful tsundere learning to open up not only to each other but the world, with many exchanges between their own personal philosophies.
Once again featuring 2 POV perspective from chapter to chapter for the sake of allowing the reader to see what each protagonist have in their own heads. Currently has 3 volumes completed.
- Ekou no Retribution / Final Kalpa's Retribution
A story about 11 personified natural disasters: Earthquake, Tsunami, Volcano, Wildfire, Landslide, Flood, Hurricane, Tornado, Drought, Blizzard and Pandemic. All of them were given the task of destroying human civilization but each have their own reason for doing so ranging from wanting to prove he is the strongest to wanting to restore nature to wanting to create a world they can live in peace with the one they love.
Is best described as a kaiju story if only the kaijus are all anthropomorphized and human sized. Features perhaps the heaviest action of all.
- Jumei Oten / Receiving the Mandate from Heaven
A techno-fantasy story based in a Chinese setting heavily borrowing from a combination of Chinese mythology and the reign of Qin Shi Huang, China's first Emperor. A story about a prince the son of the golden dragon emperor and a princess who seeks revenge on the golden dragon emperor who killed her father in order to attain immortality. Now the prince and the princess will have to travel the world together despite their own shaky relationship.
Originating from the concept of "steampunk fantasy in China". This is the most standard in terms of the plot but focuses heavily on the mysticism and fantastical elements of the world, featuring many locations from both Chinese mythology and real world China.
- Sekaishi Regalia / World History Regalia
A shounen tournament/battle royal story featuring characters who a representatives of each countries and fights each other using the representation of historical events of their own country as weapons, where the winner will be able to rewrite their own country's history to however they wish.
Once again featuring multiple protagonists on their own journeys. Similar to older Fates with intensive required researches so I hope it could be a fun and educational experience rolled into one.
- Benthic Zone
A story of a boy who one day discovers that all the blood cells in his body had been replaced with nanomachines, allowing him to transfer his mind into the internet space as if it is an ocean. He joins up with an internet vigilante hacker group "Mariners" who seek to clean the dark web of its criminal activities such as drug dealings, digital bank robbery, snuff film sites, and uncover other conspiracies.
My answer to the MMO trend without having to dip into the MMO setting itself. Nevertheless it features a lot of game-like mechanics.
An isekai story only that the protagonist is a suicidal 30 years old transported to his younger body, retaining much of his cynical and jaded worldview. He travels with 2 friends from the real world who he hates, only to find that this fantasy land is far from a standard fantasy setting but is rather a Lovecraftian world.
My answer to the isekai trend without any of the self-insert BS.
- Harem no Chitta Hana / the Harem's Withered Flower
Another Isekai story featuring a Gary Stu character with his harem only with a catch: the Gary Stu protagonist dies in the very first chapter. Now the rest of his harem will have to deal with both the demon king and the army of evil that remains and the hole in their heart left by this man they loved. The new protagonist is the "main heroine", the Gary Stu character's childhood friend who also was transported to this Isekai, now having to continue her quest all while traumatized and depressed.
Another answer to the isekai trend. First volume still incomplete.
- Auteur Setsu to Kimi no Tegaki / Auteurism and Your Drawings
Another romantic drama of a couple, a boy who seeks to become an anime director and a girl who seeks to become an animator, the two having promised each other in their younger years to make feature length anime together when they grow up. But one day the both of them are selected by Ganesha, the Hindu god of success and arts, among many other youths from around the world of other art fields, to be trained by him so that they can become perfect artists.
Written for the sake of expressing that I am not writing for monetary profit but for passion itself. First volume still incomplete.
- Severnaja Vojna / the Great Northern War
Yet another historical fantasy story this time featuring a fantasized version of the Great Northern War between Tsar Peter the Great of Russia and 15 years old King Charles XII of Sweden only with added elements from Slavic mythology such as different gods supporting differing factions.
Once again another piece written out of my love for history. First volume still incomplete.
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