Wuxiaworld & Webnovels in the News!

Many of our readers aren’t aware of this, but there has actually been a tremendous amount of interest in China regarding the English webnovel scene.  Below is a major news report I just translated from Southern Weekly (南方周末), which features our very own etvolare in it!  There have been several such news reports, including a few focused completely on me, but I didn’t translate them as it would feel rather self-aggrandizing.  This one is one of the biggest ones to come out lately, and the online version alone has been viewed by more than 330,000 people in the past day or two alone.  I thought this would be of interest to the community as a whole in understanding how much attention the Chinese are paying to this stuff.  An even bigger news article from the People’s Daily is coming soon, and I’ll post that as well!

Chinese Webnovels Help Young American Kick Drug Habit

Many foreign readers first learned of [Panlong] through its manga, seen below, before beginning to read the original novel.  The interesting thing is, the official translation for [Panlong] is ‘Crouching Dragon’, whereas the overseas translation teams chose the name [Coiling Dragon].

(This article was first published on 03/16/2017 by [Southern Weekly] magazine.  The original tagline was ‘May the Dao be with you – Chinese webnovels enter the English world.’)

“If the topic of ‘face’ comes up in the first few pages, you know the novel was written by an Asian.  One of the main drivers used to push along a storyline is someone not giving someone else face.”

When English readers of translated Japanese and Korean novels got tired of their tropes, it became natural for them to turn their gazes towards the new genre of Chinese webnovels.

Because of China’s unique publishing history, webnovel industry ended up swallowing the biggest piece of cake which the traditional paper press wasn’t able to eat; genre fiction.  Thanks to the enormous power of new media, webnovels have grown to become a remarkable, marvelous thing.

After American ‘Kevin Cazad’ spent half a year reading Chinese webnovels, he successfully got over his drug addiction.

In 2014, Kevin broke up with his girlfriend.  He was extremely depressed and was unwilling to leave the house to meet with friends.  He stayed cooped up at his home, using drugs to numb the pain.  After doing this for a period of time, he started to suffer chest pains.  He went to the hospital and had multiple xrays done, but the doctors were unable to find anything out of the ordinary.  Kevin still felt nervous, and he felt as though the specter of death was closing in on him.

Kevin liked to read manga.  One day, as he was reading some manga online, he saw a chatbox flickering nonstop at the corner of the screen.  Kevin rarely got involved in these chats, but this particular conversation seemed to much more lively than the usual ones.  Finally, Kevin could no longer hold back and turned his attention to it, and his fellow manga readers began to excited talk to him.  “Have you read CD before?”  “You’ve gotta read CD!”  Kevin was so confused.  “The hell is CD?”

“CD” is actually the abbreviation for Chinese fantasy novel [Panlong] (Coiling Dragon).  In 2014, [Coiling Dragon] was translated by American translator ‘Ren Woxing’ into English and serialized online, broadening the horizons of many English readers.

“In the West, we have novels like Harry Potter.  I’ve read all types of books in my life.”  Confident in his experiences as a novel reader, Kevin casually clicked open the link he was given…and in the end, he was ‘irrevocably sucked in’.  He didn’t eat or drink for an entire day, spending all that time reading five or six books of [Coiling Dragon] (there is a total of twenty-one books), which is comparable to roughly 1 million Chinese characters.

The start of 2015 was also the start of a craze which brought Chinese webnovels to the English reading world.  This was when many of the first translations begun.  However, some translators were slow, updating just a few thousand words per day (or even per week).  This was completely unable to sate Kevin’s appetite, and so he quickly found a solution: He scoured through the internet and found three main translating websites and began to follow fifteen Chinese webnovels at the same time, much like how middle-aged American women might follow multiple soap operas.

Half a year later, after having been completely intoxicated by Chinese webnovels, Kevin had completely gotten over his cocaine addiction.  “In the past, whenever I went home all I wanted to do was do drugs.  Now, when I get home the only thing I think about is Chinese webnovels.  They are just as addicting as drugs, but at least they won’t kill me.”  This was what Kevin said to our reporter from Southern Weekly.

There are now more and more readers overseas whose minds are filled with the stories in Chinese webnovels.  In March of 2017, our Southern Weekly reporter asked etvolare, the owner of the third largest Chinese webnovel translation platform in the United States, to help send out a post requesting people come in for interviews.  “Within six hours, we received more than a hundred emails,” etvolare told our reporter.

These readers from from 18 different countries in the Americas and in Europe.  Most of them were college students, while some of them were engineers or software developers.

“I wish to become one of the figures in the fantasy novels.”

Roughly two years ago, the author of [Panlong], the webnovelist ‘I Eat Tomatoes’ was informed of Kevin’s story.  “I was seriously speechless,” IET told our reporter.  “Quite a few readers also said that reading these novels gave them a new outlook on life, and some were motivated to work harder in life.  I wondered if they were perhaps just joking with me.”

After being introduced to Chinese webnovels, Kevin quickly became intrigued by the main character of [Against the Gods], ‘Yun Che’, because he felt Yun Che was ‘really cool’.  “Each time he reaches a new world or a new city, he’ll get the best girls there.  I’m an American.  This stuff doesn’t really seem ‘real’ to me,” Kevin told our reporter.  “When I saw how unrealistic the lives of the people in these webnovels could be, I had the feeling that this author probably isn’t that mature.  There’s no way his life is like his MC’s life, where he goes everywhere and picks up chicks wherever he goes.”

By comparison, Kevin preferred the main character of [Coiling Dragon], known as Linley.  After finding his soul mate, Linley was devoted to his family and his wife.  Although Linley lived in a different world and had magic powers, his lifestyle was one that was much more realistic.

Through a webcam interview, Kevin showed off a black dragon tattoo which he had gotten on his left arm.  The black dragon is the form which the main character of [Coiling Dragon], Linley, assumes when he transforms.

In this story, Linley was born in a downfallen noble clan.  His mother disappeared after he was born, and when he was in his teens his father was killed.  Linley worked hard to train in martial arts, for the sake of one day avenging his family and restoring his clan.

Kevin lives in the Californian city of Riverside.  After he was born, his parents got a divorce.  His mom gave him her own surname of ‘Cazad’ for him, a surname which was different from his father’s surname or any of his siblings’ surnames.  His mother hoped that he would start his own Cazad family in the future.  Kevin felt that there were certain parallels between his own life and Linley’s.  He was very earnest when he told our reporter, “I’d rather be a figure in a fantasy novel more than anything else.”

Kevin loved to watch Chinese martial arts movies as a kid and spent a lot of time dreaming about Tai Chi and other types of Chinese martial arts.  After graduating from high school, he joined the U.S. military and spent several years in the U.S. Navy.  In the military, he had the chance to learn quite a few grappling techniques.  Once, when he was reading a magazine, he read the backstory and history of superstar martial artist Jet Li.  He was both stunned and envious.  “There are actually schools that focus exclusively on teaching martial arts?”

Alas, there are no such schools in the U.S.  After retiring from the Navy, Kevin went to college and studied computer programming, then became a software developer.  He first worked at AMD, then worked at Amazon and other enterprises.

Kevin was both a software developer and a huge gamer.  When he worked at graphics card developer AMD, he once set up a high quality gaming rig for himself.  When he read about stories like [Panlong], he felt that the main character’s growth and development was really similar to how people would level up in online games, even though the author ‘IET’ himself didn’t appear to necessarily base it off of online games.  “When people my age were playing video games, I was reading novels,” IET told our reporter.

Because of his addiction to Chinese webnovels, Kevin completely got over his addiction to cocaine (picture provided by Kevin). 1

While following these webnovels, Kevin ended up making many friends.  They all address each other as ‘fellow Daoist’.  Some of his ‘fellow Daoists’ were just as addicted as Kevin was; they deeply desired to become characters in these fantasy novels, and they solemnly believe that the marvelous spells and creatures described in the world of Chinese webnovels actually exist somewhere.

“After enough training, people can actually visualize energy.”  This was part of what Kevin shared with our reporter, regarding the fruits of his research.  “When you reach a certain level of cultivation, you can see different colored chakra on people’s bodies.  From this, you can tell if someone is lying or in love.”

These ‘fellow Daoists’ love to crack jokes with each other using Chinese webnovel tropes, and scoured the world for all sorts of ‘tomes on magic’, including legends from Islamic, Iceland, India, Tibet, and other places.  After translating them, they are put on a website known as ‘secret documents’.  Kevin describes these legends as the ‘truth of history’.

This is one of the reasons why so many people view the boring, repetitive arcs of webnovels positively.  In their eyes, it is a way for them to understand what is happening in parallel universes.  Through reading, they are preparing themselves for being summoned to a new world.

When our reporter discussed these readers with etvolare, etvolare was reminded of a novel [Transmigration and Reverse Transmigration].  The female main character in this novel lives in the modern world, but deeply desired to be taken back in time to ancient times.  Thus, she read many ‘time travel’ novels and began to learn sword-arts, ancient poems, and palace rites so that she would be prepared if she was ever sent back in time.  This novel is actually going to be translated into English as well.

During the translation process, etvolare discovered many interesting things.  In China, men usually tend towards fantasy, sci-fi, wuxia, and other similar novels.  This is what we call the ‘male webnovels’.  Females, by contrast, prefer to read about life in school, life in the city, time travel back to ancient palaces.  This is what we call the ‘female webnovels’.  However, once these novels are translated into the English world, things change.

Volarenovels has translated multiple ‘female webnovels’ into English, and readers will often discuss the novels in length with the translators.  Etvolare took a look at her back-end analytics and found to her great surprise that actually…many of her readers were male.

“Female writers often write about battles of wits and various schemes people employ against each other.  The male readers of the English world also enjoy reading about them.”  Etvolare’s analysis is that the English world hasn’t really distinguished between ‘male webnovels’ and ‘female webnovels’ yet, resulting in them not being so clearly separated [as they are in China].

The popular tv series [Three Lives, Three Lifetimes, Ten Kilometers of Peach Blossoms] was adapted from a webnovel.  It has been troubled by accusations of plagiarism and mired in public dispute, but after its subtitles were translated into English it has been given nearly a perfect score of 5 points by foreign viewers. (pictures)

Ten chapters about a side character?  Impossible in Western literature.

“Mr. Reporter, please forgive me for my poor English.”  This is what 18 year old Colombian student Carlos Howard told our reporter when describing how he felt when he first encountered Chinese webnovels.  “Why am I just finding out about this now?!”

Carlos first found out about [Coiling Dragon] from the manga, then eventually found the original novel.  “When I found out how many changes the manga made to the real story, I stopped following the manga,” Carlos said.

Manga readers make up a large percentage of the English fans of Chinese webnovels.  In 2014, a discussion regarding the English translation [Coiling Dragon] was posted to a Japanese manga website, and soon the website began to explode with conversations.  The conversations got so out of hand they were overwhelming the manga related posts, resulting in the managers being forced to eventually delete the [Coiling Dragon] posts. 2.

Before Chinese webnovels entered the consciousness of Western readers, the most successful Asian novel exports came from Japanese and Korean light novels and manga.  Japanese and Korean light novels built up a readerbase of English readers, but these readers eventually grew tired of their tropes and thus naturally turned their gazes towards the Chinese webnovels that slowly began to appear across the various forums.

Wu Wenhui, CEO of the Yuewen Group 3, has been paying close attention to the top-ranking English webnovel sites.  The Yuewen Group is China’s largest webnovel platform, and it has signed agreements with the vast majority of contracted webnovelists in China, including [Coiling Dragon] author ‘I Eat Tomatoes’.  Wu Wenhui believes: “In terms of raw numbers, the West generates far fewer original novels than we do, and it isn’t enough to satisfy the market.  Their own webnovel culture is very weak; in fact, you can say it doesn’t really exist.”

“So what makes Chinese webnovels unique and successful?”  In a conversation with author Li Jingze, assistant professor Shao Yanjun of Peking University’s Chinese Department gave this analysis: “Simply put, in the era of print publishing, we weren’t able to really develop or commercialize novels very well.  We weren’t able to build up a corps of healthy, thriving genre fiction authors, much less a marketplace and avenues of sales which had clear distinctions and a specific position.  After China’s market transformation in the 1990’s, almost all of our novels came in from the outside world.  At this time, the internet era arrived, and webnovels began to scarf down the largest piece of commercial cake which the print press hadn’t been able to consume – genre fiction.  Thanks to the enormous power of new media and more ten years of wild growth, webnovels have become a remarkable, marvelous thing.”

Once, Shao Yanjun asked her student, “Why do you like to write fanfiction?”  This student replied, “Because I don’t know how to draw.”  “These kids grew up watching anime, but they don’t know how to draw or animate.  They have to write in order to tell their stories.”  Shao Yanjun explained, “Actually, in the internet era, written works were no longer the ‘favored child’ of the literature community; they became the ‘neglected children’ of print publishing.  The internet era is an era of video and podcasts.  If we took [My Love From the Stars] 4 and put it into our webnovel scene, people would feel that it used a lot of stale tropes.  The problem is that our production capabilities aren’t able to keep up; our anime, movie, and gaming industries have really fallen behind.  [Nirvana in Fire] and [Empresses in the Palace] 5 are ‘old books’ that were written more than ten years ago.”

Etvolare ‘betrayed’ Western fantasy novels and became a reader of Chinese webnovels.  Etvolare’s favorite Western fantasy authors were Mercedes Lackey (Valdemar, Knights of Ghosts and Shadows), Andre Norton (Witch World) and Tamora Pierce (Song of the Lioness).  During the interview, etvolare would often glance at her nearby bookcase, noting the various titles on the books and discussing the stories they contained.  Her bookcase is now completely overstuffed; there’s no place for her to even put any new books.

Etvolare mainly reads two different types of novels.  The first is one where evil has taken over the world, but a savior suddenly emerges; an ordinary girl or boy who suffers through many hardships before becoming a powerful figure.

Chinese webnovel stories are often very similar to each other, but etvolare is still able to quickly distinguish between whether a novel is Asian or Western.  “If the topic of ‘face’ comes up in the first few pages, you know the novel was written by an Asian.  One of the main drivers used to push along a storyline is someone not giving someone else face or perhaps trying to regain face (or their own territory).  This stuff is really Asian.”

Western fantasy author JRR Tolkien, who wrote the [Lord of the Rings], would spend tremendous effort in building up a world, going so far as to create entirely new languages for it.  By comparison, Chinese webnovel authors spend most of their time focusing on interpersonal relations and relationships, to the point of being willing to spend time on every single supporting character.

“Harry Potter’s story revolves around the main character.  The authors will write about some other supporting characters, such as Neville Longbottom, but you’ll never completely know his story.”  This was an example which Kevin game.  “In Chinese webnovels, you might have a chance to learn much more about every supporting character.  In fact, the author might spend 5-10 chapters writing about just one supporting character.” 6

This sort of writing style is obviously connected to how Chinese webnovels make money; they get paid based on clicks and by the word.  The more longer they are, the more the authors earn.  “So you’ll find out that a chapter with 3000-4000 words might actually have nothing happen.”  Kevin isn’t alone in saying this.  When reading Chinese webnovels, etvolare also noticed that certain supporting characters would be forgotten by the author or just mysteriously vanish.  7

Yuewen CEO Wu Wenhui once spent a year reading all of the top-ranked Chinese webnovels.  To this very day, he maintains a habit of reading one webnovel every week.

As Wu Wenhui sees it, Chinese fantasy novels being embraced by English readers is a huge sea change for the entire global literature market.

“Marvel brought us a wave of superheroes and alternate universe literature, and Hollywood has undergone an enormous transformation in the past ten years, turning from action flicks towards scifi movies so as to better accommodate the rampant youth interest in science fiction and fantasy,” Wu Wenhui told our reporter.  Clearly, as far as the English market is concerned, not only do Chinese fantasy novels and Xianxia novels fulfill their fantasy needs, they also bring their own unique characteristics which differ from those of the stories of Marvel.

Wu Wenhui has more webnovel copyrights than anyone else.  As the Chinese online literature marketplace grows increasingly heated, he plans to establish an international version of Qidian in 2017.  (images provided by Yuewen Group)

How would you translate 色即是空?

Etvolare is Taiwanese.  After graduating from high school, she came to the United States.  When she was young, she loved reading Jinyong novels and watching wuxia TV series.  High school was the first time she encountered Chinese literature.

Prior to 2015, etvolare was a ‘gold-collar worker’ on Wall Street, responsible for investment financing and advice.  At the end of 2015, etvolare started to translate her very first Chinese cultivation novel.

Before translating webnovels, etvolare had worked part time to translate Chinese business documents, music educational material, computer games, and various documents.  She realized that although China had some decent webnovels and games, very few of them had ever been translated into English.  As for the Chinese tv series she loved to watch when she was young, the English subtitles were often gibberish and completely terrible.

In 2015, she stumbled across Chinese webnovel [Sovereign of the Three Realms].  The story starts with the main character being beaten to death because he let out a fart in the imperial palace, resulting in someone being reincarnated into his body.  This ridiculous start tickled etvolare, and she decided to first translate this novel.

In the beginning, etvolare spent 2-3 hours translating each of the 3500-character chapters.

The editors on these translation websites don’t understand Chinese, but they have high levels of English language skill.  When they encountered difficult-to-understand parts, they would ask the translators to better explain the original text in detail and then modify it.

Buddhist concepts often come up in Wuxia and Xianxia novels.  “For example, 色即是空.  Good God!  How am I supposed to translate that?”  Etvolare sighed as she discussed this with our reporter.  Sometimes, four simple words would completely stymie her.  She would have to write a lengthy summary explaining the religious meaning and implications behind those four words before she could then explain those words themselves.

Chinese webnovels often discuss the ‘道’.  This is a term which English readers are now very familiar with, and it is often translated directly as ‘Dao’.  Wuxiaworld set up a special page explaining Yin and Yang, the Eight Trigrams, and their connection to the Dao and other things.  When readers like Kevin chat amongst themselves, they often refer to each other as ‘fellow Daoist’, and a common phrase seen on the forums is ‘May the Dao be with you.’

However, the vast majority of ‘cultivation vocabulary’ doesn’t have a solid, established foundation in the English world, causing translators a fair bit of trouble.  For example, ‘修炼真元’, the phrase ‘真元’ is very hard to translate or explain. 8

After two years of hard work, etvolare now only needs roughly an hour to translate a 3500 character chapter.  Even so, translating [Sovereign of the Three Realms], which has a total of more than 7 million characters, remains an enormous undertaking.

Etvolare didn’t make any money until she had translated more than 200,000 characters.  This money came from the donation of a reader.  “I really was making nothing.  The money was maybe enough for me to buy some vegetables and that was it.  However, this made me understand that perhaps there really was a future in this direction,” etvolare said.

When she worked on Wall Street, etvolare was at the office from 9 AM to 9 PM every day.  After starting her part-time ‘job’ of translating, she would come home from work each night, rest a few minutes, then embark her overtime job of three hours of translation.  Every day, she wouldn’t be able to rest until 1 AM.  In July of 2016, etvolare completely switched her focus to her new translating career, and her monthly salary dropped by more than half as a result.

Just as etvolare was becoming a full-time webnovel translator, the website ‘Wuxiaworld’ created by ‘Ren Woxing’ had already become the 1253rd most visited website in the world, according to 03/15/2017 Alexa rankings.  His daily pageviews range from 3-4 million views per day, and in the global rankings he’s actually surpassed the 20-year old Chinese webnovel website, ‘Qidian’.  9

‘Ren Woxing’ is an American Chinese.  When he was 18, he started to learn Chinese because of his love for Wuxia novels.  In 2014, a Vietnamese web-buddy encouraged him to read the English translation of [Stellar Transformations].  Afterwards, RWX began to read a different book by the same author, IET.  This book was [Coiling Dragon].  He began to translate it and even set up his own translating platform, ‘Wuxiaworld’ 10

“Prior to that, around 2012, the English world already had its first wave of webnovel translators.  Back then, everyone was translating on forums or on their personal blogs.  Before RWX appeared, everyone was just doing this in a very casual fashion.  Because of him, during the past few years many different translation groups and translation websites appeared, causing more and more people to start to do this full time,” etvolare said.

Let the bullets fly for a while.  11

“I underestimated the growth and potential of this market,” Yuewen Group CEO Wu Wenhui told our reporter.  “We have a traditional character version of the website which is focused on users in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, but we don’t have any websites which are oriented towards the Western/European market.”

Actually, long ago in 2004, Qidian began to sell webnovel copyrights around the world.  “In 2006, due to its fame, the English, French, Vietnamese, and Korean copyrights of [Ghost Blows out the Lamp] were sold to publishers around the world.  However, what we were focused on was more oriented towards copyright sales,” Wu Wenhui said.  The phrase ‘copyright sales’ refers to the translation authorizations and print publishing authorizations for these webnovels.

Compared to reading these stories chapter-by-chapter online, these rights clearly trend towards the older model of reading.  “When you read webnovels, you read the new chapters that come out each day.  You can see how authors might weave modern events or current trends into his stories.  They are much more responsive than print publishing in this regard,” etvolare told our reporter.

“Traditional literature is much more stringent with regards to grammar and how the stories are constructed, which places more restrictions on the imagination.”  Wu Wenhui gave us his explanation on why webnovels have risen to prominence.  “By comparison, the internet is an open place, giving many people a chance to come up with and display their own strange, bizarre, and fantastic imaginations.  Even if they are poor writers on a technical level or have lots of plot holes, they won’t be criticized by others.”

There is currently an enormous demand for Chinese webnovels in the English market, but there clearly is a deficit of talented translators.  As a result, the interests of this narrow group of translators is the deciding factor in what readers find to be popular.  “That’s why the most popular novels right now might be novels that were popular in China a few years ago but are now passe,” etvolare told our reporter.  However, the ‘time difference’ is beginning to shrink.

As more and more content is being translated, the English readers are beginning to have higher and higher expectations with regards to the quality of the translated works.  “Two years ago, you could rush out chapters with bad grammar and lots of spelling errors and people would still read.  These days, people are a lot more picky.  They care more about which writers have broader vocabularies and are more gifted with words,” etvolare said.

Thus far, all of these English translation platforms allow readers to read for free.  Translator income comes from reader donations.  “There are many readers who push us to translate faster, and so we came up with a solution.  You want to push us to do more work?  Fine, donate to show your support,” etvolare said.  One rich guy actually tried to completely ‘buy out’ one of volarenovels’ translators.  “Someone asked him if he could donate a large sum in order to have the entire novel be completely translated.”  In the future, these websites might develop more income streams through sales of ebooks.

The translation industry is slowly starting to boom.  Sometimes, after a novel becomes very popular in the Chinese world, several translators will try to fight over it.  “Generally speaking, most translators will try to negotiate this stuff in private, but on occasion you will see some ugly competitive spats between translators,” etvolare said.  “But in the future, once more sites get authorizations from China, these disputes will be more easily resolved.  Whoever has authorizations will be whoever does the translation.”

Even though the translations are free to read, pirate sites for these English translations are beginning to appear.  Etvolare and her translators have actually set up an action group to report these pirate sites, relying on the protective internet IP acts of the United States to make various search engines shut down and block off the links to these pirate websites.

“If this market ends up evolving towards a paywall model, pirate sites are going to become a huge issue,” etvolare analyzed.  “Many of my readers from Southeast Asia, India, Africa, or Eastern Europe.  There’s a huge difference in how much money they make compared to readers from the US, Canada, or Western Europe.  If you set up a paywall, this will place a burden on our comparatively less well-off readers and result in a dramatic drop in readership.”

When our reporter from Southern Weekly interviewed these 20 readers from 18 different countries, nearly half of them (nine) said that they had given donations to translators.  More than 80% of them were willing to pay to read the novels they liked, and on average they were willing to spend roughly $35 per novel.

At present, the cooperative model between Qidian and Wuxiaworld as well as other translation websites is for Qidian to give these websites authorizations, allowing them to find translators on their own, rather than have Qidian employ full-time translators themselves.  Although they do have their own translation team, Qidian’s international website is more oriented towards being a platform for foreign-language readers, rather than a place to actually produce translations.

Yuewen Group CEO Wu Wenhui believes that it isn’t the right time for the Yuewen Group to flex its muscles just yet.  “Right now, all of these overseas websites combined make around 1% of our total income.”  As he put it to our reporter: “I think we should just let the bullets fly for a while.”

  1. That’s Wuxiaworld he has open!  And I believe it’s ISSTH.
  2. This appears to be a somewhat mistaken understanding of the exodus from r/LightNovels to r/NovelTranslations
  3. This is the group that owns Qidian
  4. This is a popular South Korean TV series from 2013
  5. These are recently popular TV series
  6. Alas, then those supporting characters are never mentioned again…
  7. I agree with this.  I think Chinese novels have MUCH more filler and much less depth to its side characters than Western novels, even if a bunch of time is spent describing them, but that’s my personal opinion.
  8. I usually use ‘vital essence’ to translate 真元
  9. This claim that we surpass Qidian is a false statistic, because Alexa is EXTREMELY bad in counting Chinese pageviews due to the Great Firewall.  Qidian beats the pants out of us in terms of total views. That being said, our total pageviews and Alexa rankings are correct.
  10. This is a reference to he-man and his translation of Stellar Transformations, which really did get me started.
  11. This is the tagline of a movie; it means, ‘let things develop for a while before taking action’

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312 thoughts on “Wuxiaworld & Webnovels in the News!” - NO SPOILERS

  1. Hi Fellow cultivators Age 22 here 😀 wuxiaworld is the reason why i have stop playing dota2 overnight till morning 😀 … i accidentally stumbled upon this site due to TDG and later on i find myself reading everyday till now since june 2016, even though i hate reading when i was still at school hahaha

      1. Yeah it sucks. I won’t read any of his stuff in the future until it’s actually completed. Doesn’t have to be fully translated, but completed in Chinese so I know he doesn’t just drop it like he did with TDG.

    1. me too! was already reading panlong manga before starting TDG manga with almost only 10 chapters out. then saw the chatbox saying that it is based from a LN. that opened the world of Chinese LN for me. now the only manga i am reading is one piece. my free time is almost spent all in LN reading

      1. I stop reading manga now. Waiting for a week just for a chapter, i’d prefer stop reading manga for several years while waiting for the manga to finish. I prefer reading these dope called WN, TWO chapters a DAY! That’s what i call a life

    2. I can see the headlines, LOCAL MAN GETS OVER LIFE CONSUMING WUXIA ADDICTION WITH NOTHING BUT SOME COCCAINE, it really is a model we could look for, hundreds of thousands of people are helplessly addicted to reading to the point of obsession

    3. I have my own story. First just like all of newbie i fame here by reading coiling dragon, and now i find reading novel isnt that boring and reading novel become my new hobby. I find it easy to read novel everytime and everywhere. When i got work i can read novel too via mobile, and its not consume too much battery. My current status.
      CD : complete
      DE : 1000+
      ISSTH:1300+
      Atg : dropped
      Ri : 500+
      AWE : 500 +
      Wmw : 500+
      Etc

      I fans of Iet and and ergen. And my fav translator is rwx and deathblade, i hope them keep up 🙂 (sry bad english)

      catatan : ane orang indonesian

    4. I came here for he novel of TDG but instead ended up reading CD first for the simple fact I could binge read it lol. Best decision I have ever made in my opinion.

    5. I am here because I NEEDED to know what happened next in the TDG manga. Then I found Panlong and here I am now. I first just found ebook versions and only later found translator websites.

    6. i got to say at first i was reluctant to begin reading LN since i did like the manwhas i was reading.. i didn’t think it would be interesting at all to read books since i don’t like them. i was following CD, TDG,BTH manwhas but i decided to read a LN following what i knew from the manwhas and catch up up to where i left off..my fist pick was TDG which was the one that hook me up.. Then i picked CD,Child of light and ATG.here I’m a years later still here at wuxiaworld..i love this..i go to sleep daily around 1-2 am just bc i need to read at least a chapter before i go to sleep even if i fall sleep on the computer.

    7. I actually started because I had read the manhua version of Douluo Dalu 5 times from start to where they currently were in the adaption, and then I learned it was an actively translated LN out there and I just… Got hooked, man. So much content. I spent like 4 days doing almost nothing except reading DD’s LN version when I found it. Then I moved on to almost literally every other translated CN LN I could find, on all manner of sites, lmao

    8. ironically it wasnt any of the novels here that led me to this site, i was reading tale of the shield hero and a mis click link led me to the site,now i have read 75% of all the novels on the site lol

  2. 29 filipino.
    I started reading WW in early 2016. I was reading panlong (manga) and got tired of waiting for the release of next chapter. So I google hoping that other sites will have one (lol) and ended up going in WW. I also read MGA, ATG, AST, HJC and recently TMW. Thanks WW ???

  3. Great read which I can relate to, Coiling dragon is what brought me to this site as well and reading novels has changed me in many ways!! Spread the word of light novels!!

  4. Hi, I was inspired by all of you with your posts and stories, so I am also writing a post (my first post).

    I started reading on wuxiaworld because of TDG. I was reading for whole days, I went to sleep and then back to read until I catch up with the last chapter. When I finished TDG I started to read another and so on with 7 other novels 🙂

    Before reading these novels I hated reading, but not anymore 🙂 But this is not everything that I gained because of these novels. I became a lot more confident. I would say that with the help of main characters I got a whole new way of thinking. I slowly reprogrammed my thinking. My shyness is almost gone. I started to look at things on the bigger level and so why would I worry because of some trivial every day stuff. What would this worry mean after one year, nothing, I won’t even remember it.

    So I really thank authors of these novels and RWX for this page! 🙂
    And now back to my cave to cultivate 🙂

  5. i cant remember when i started reading on this site i think it was when book 2 of coiling dragon had a few chapters,better watch out as soon as this generates them more money there not going to let the bullets fly,like they’re now.

    1. Pretty sure WW has deals with Qidian, so it’s safe. That also might be the reason why so many novels are coming to WW recently, but that’s just speculation.

    2. me too, cant remember . . forgot how i came here, but the 3 novel i like back then was lms , cd , xian ni wich one first for me i forgot,when i followed cd here maybe when it was still book 1 or book 2 and xian ni not even got 50 chapter and now cd have complete but xian ni still in chapter 394, i hope xian ni is getting fast, sorry my english really bad
      thank you very much

  6. Got it, CNs are the cure to drug addiction~

    Also, I appreciate Qidian letting old translators continue their translations (although probably gonna have to move to Qidian’s website) since from the things I’ve seen, ‘official’ translations tend to not be nearly as good.

  7. 20 started reading on japtem a few years back. It’s great that so many sights have popped up. Soo much to read. I recommend world of cultivation to any body who is interested in quality. So far on of my favorites after lms and coiling dragon. I truly hope this site and others continue to grow.

    1. I began reading translated novels back in late 2009 with the advent of Baka-Tsuki, when it started really accumulating novels. Things like Baka to Test became bookmark-and-check-back stories I’d pay a little attention to and enjoy. Supplementary or even “in advance” to this Anime release or that one. Shortly after, I picked up 1/2 Prince. It became another such bookmark-and-go thing. Until I realized that not only was 1/2 Prince not a Japanese work, but that it was also based on a novel.
      Later still, I found the big stories. Interest in LN/WN was ebbing and flowing, and there were a few notable forums with translations up. LMS, especially, got incredible traction. As translators struggled or faltered, new ones exited the woodwork.
      Early-to-mid 2015, the absolute boom was unlike anything I had ever seen.
      This glorious monster that has been born out of something I thought was niche and unassuming for nearly 6 years was born seemingly from thin-air. The signs were all there, but I had not seen them. Even as someone who participated as a reader in the ‘advent’ of all of this, I was caught unaware, sinking hours into novels I didn’t really know existed, from a site I just assumed would be banned or tiny in China. The freedom the Internet brings is a beautiful thing.
      I want to see it get bigger, the same as you. Being on this train towards the future of literature is quite the ride, and I can only see it getting more fantastic as time goes on, especially with smart people like Wenhui taking care of us on the other side.

  8. I started reading December of 2014 I was tired of looking for manga that was to my taste ive read all kinds of manga action adventure romance sports slice of life comedy ect, ive watched more than 700+ anime series not counting movies, ova, oav, ect at some point most anime just seem to have too many kiddy main characters i tend to like when main character is around 15-20s in recent years some of the anime just have too many children main characters.

    I was reading Tales Demons and Gods manga and saw comment about it having a novel and clicked on it to fins my self read almost 30-60 chapter in a few hours instantly addicted.

    i call it my super list MUAHAAHHAHA novel updates list XD

    Series (44) My Status Latest Release
    9 Heavenly Thunder Manual c251 c251
    Against the Gods c760 c760
    Assassin Landlord & Beauty Tenants c44 c50
    Chaotic Lightning Cultivation c66 c185
    Chaotic Sword God c523 c660
    Child of Light v1c1 v12c29
    Dominating Sword Immortal c200 c169
    Dragon-Marked War God c397 c450
    Galactic Dark Net c254 c254
    God Of Slaughter c230 c230
    Great Demon King c296 c296
    Heavenly Jewel Change v18c145 part1 v18c145 part1
    Himekishi ga Classmate! ~ Isekai Cheat de Dorei ka… v3c56 v3c56
    History’s Strongest Senior Brother c149 c149
    I Shall Seal the Heavens c554 c1346
    Imperial God Emperor prologue c249
    I’m Really a Superstar c560 c560
    Lazy Dungeon Master v1c1 c171
    Limitless Sword God c134 c281
    Long Live Summons! c343 c444
    Martial World c775 c775
    Miracle Doctor, Wild Empress: Genius Summoner c8 c8
    My Beautiful Teacher c256 c256
    My Wife is a Beautiful CEO c147 part2 c147 part2
    Paradise of Demons and Gods c127 c162
    Peerless Martial God c457 c593-594
    Shura’s Wrath c70 c358
    Sovereign of the Three Realms c430 c430
    Stellar Transformation v18c45 part3 v18c45 part3
    Swallowed Star v10c34 v10c34
    Tales of Demons and Gods c451 c451
    Tempest of the Stellar War v4c5 v4c5
    The Desolate Era v24c49 v24c49
    The Great Ruler c274 c274
    The King’s Avatar c581 c581
    The Nine Cauldrons c327 c327
    The Six Immortals c203 c225
    True Martial World c731 c922
    Undefeated God of War c461-462 c461-462
    Upgrade Specialist in Another World v2c173 v2c173
    Virtual World: The Legendary Thief v5c155 c158
    World Defying Dan God c111 c350
    Wu Dong Qian Kun c658 c658
    Zhan Long c611 c742

    Series (25) My Status Latest Release
    Ancient Godly Monarch c59 c403
    Ancient Strengthening Technique c590 c590
    Awakening c222 part3 c222 part3
    Chronicles of Primordial Wars c148 c148
    Demon’s Diary c212 c212
    Genius Sword Immortal c228 c228
    Global Evolution c63 c67
    God and Devil World c514 c514
    Godly Model Creator c54 c54
    Heavenly Star c160 c160
    Lord Xue Ying v8c8 v8c8
    My Father in Law is Lu Bu c202 c224
    Omni Genius c73 c73
    Otherworldly Evil Monarch c198 c231
    Realms In The Firmament c268 c279
    Rebirth of the Thief Who Roamed The World c163 c163
    Release that Witch c266 c266
    Tales of the Reincarnated Lord c0 c166
    The Gate Of Good Fortune c210 c231
    The Grandmaster Strategist v3c1 v5c11
    Transcending the Nine Heavens c308-310 c308-310
    Warlock of the Magus World c475 c475
    Womanizing Mage c72 c72
    World of Immortals c202 c219
    Ze Tian Ji c257 c403

    Series (10) My Status Latest Release
    Close Combat Mage c363 c363
    Devouring The Heavens c164 c164
    Emperor of The Cosmos c142 c142
    God of Music c52 c52
    God’s Song c230 c230
    Great Dao Commander v2c33 v2c33
    King of Gods c218 c218
    King Shura c114 c114
    The Dark King c349 c349
    Upstart Pastry Chef ~Territory Management of a Gen… v1c22 v1c22

        1. that moment when you’ve read all of those and more , I’ve read to the point that any recommendation list becomes useless ,but anyway exactly like you said since it is so boring waiting for them to update you just pick up more and more novels till you start forgetting what you were reading.

  9. Wow.. I feel like i grew up along this progress..even though they said people become more motivates to do work after reading webnovel,, i do less work so I can read more..
    The CD reference just hit the mark when I out of thing to read while waiting for my weekly binge reading.. I decided to reread CD again after a year ..even though I still remember everything..

  10. More than happy to see Wuxiaworld and the novel community get news coverage.

    On the other hand though, I’m not surprised at the fact that this article, like many others, has the primary goal of portraying foreigners in a negative light, all while glorifying the homeland.

    An ex-navy African-American cocaine addict gets his life sorted out with the help of Chinese fiction novels? Really? Oh come on, they either paid the guy to play the act or were out on the hunt for people like him specifically. They could’ve picked any one of the more than million active Wuxiaworld readers and they chose him? With all due respect, the Asian news model never ceases to amaze me — “foreign countries are in chaos, the homeland is thriving and our leaders are busy making your lives better”. Can’t help but agree that it is indeed a smart tactic, but oh boy is it obvious in the eyes of foreigners like us.

  11. Although I was reading from 2014/2015 I didn’t know the background story really now wow, in future competition to translate a novel will be more intense I guess. Translators will be translating in parallel with the authors, ahhh the arrival of the golden era?

  12. hmmmmm… does not really matter that much whether it true or not he gets his life sorted out with the help of Chinese fiction novels, if and i say if even just a bit teeny tiny bit of help comes from reading novels then its well and good. I myself admit that reading novels has help a lot during my clinical depression moments [and when i say depression, the kind that you are thinking(more of have decided) or planning what is the best way to go] but then again on that moment when you know its time, there’s a notification and it says a new chapter and I wanted to know what happens next on the novel I’m reading. I don’t know if its a coincidence or just timing but it really did help. Thinking back idk if its luck or divine intervention and sometimes i can’t seem to believe it myself and sometimes ahh well I’m fine now.

  13. Reading Chinese web novel is addicting, it helps to clear the mind from all the problems around you (not all the problems can be solved by reading, but it still helps to relax ). I can’t remember when I started reading web novel, but it’s should be almost 2 year now, I started because I was bored to read manga, or I should say that reading novel got manga boring, but I guess the reason was because I was searching for the novel of some manga I can’t remember now, but didn’t found it, so I started to read a random novel and the novel was CD (Panlong), since then I started reading daily, I finished both CD and ST, and currently following a few, while other are half dropped (I stopped atm but will resume one day).
    The Dao is boundless and this lowly one has still a long journey to make, and hope that more and more will understand how great it is and follow it.

  14. Welcome to the (Chinese Novel) addiction!

    I remember I was bored from reading other novel genres so I began to read Coiling Dragon 2 years ago and I’m doomed to become a fan since then lol..
    I like anything with interesting plots/characters and my favourites now are I Shall Seal the Heavens, True Martial World, Lord Xue Ying, Returning from the Immortal World, The Amber Sword, Emperor’s Domination, I’m Really A Superstar, Perfect World, Transcending the Nine Heavens, A Thought Through Eternity, Magic Chef of Ice and Fire, Release That Witch, The Demonic King Chase His Wife and Wicked Soldier King (there are more but it can fill two whole pages haha)
    I hope translation websites will get bigger and bigger and more people will know the fantastic world of Chinese Novels!

  15. I’m one of the older guy here lol. I started reading CD when there was 7 books translated. I still remember when people compete against each other to attain the first place in comment and reach higher level in their Cultivation. Hahahah. My first novel was actually Re:Monster. And starting from that, i craved japanese, korean and chinese novels. I love the fact that we are getting the attention of the World! Good job Ren and Team!

  16. Although I do not speak English the power of diffusion of coilling dragon was extreme, when I realized I was already addicted to Chinese novels and f5 in novelupdates every 5 minutes xD

    Qildian international *o*

  17. I agree, 2 years ago i only read japanese manga and novel, then i started read manhwa and korean novel. But the plot or genre is similar, so i sometimes i got bored and always search something new.
    Until one day i find Coiling Dragon Manhua and Tales demon and gods. I started read those but i can’t stand i need to wait for update. And at that moment i search TDG and Found WuxiaWorld website. Everything change, for 2 years i got addicted read Wuxia novel and almost read all of WuxiaWorld novel. And i still addicted until now and catch up with the updates and every new novel.
    Thanks i really like Wuxia novel, different from japanese novel and korean novel. It’s more exciting.

  18. I’m not as addicted as aegis062 but I also have an update list so I wont forget…I’m also an online gamer and a sports athlete thats why I seldom read. Like to read them as update piles up. Just started reading in September 2016..here are my list..
    Im into Fantasy, vrmmrpg, reincarnation and transmigration, less cultivation and marrial arts.

    ✅Arena c67
    ✔Breakers c71
    ✅Bringing the Farm to Live in Another World? c271
    ✅Bringing the Supermarket to the Apocalypse c60
    ✔Campus Cultivators c127
    ✔Chronicles of Primordial War c149
    ✔Emperor of Solo Play? c95
    ✔Everyone Else Is A Returnee c78
    ✅Evolution Theory of a Hunter c102
    ✔Genius Doctor: Black Belly Miss? c649
    ✔God and Devil World? c491
    ✅Godly Hunter? c52
    ✔Gourmet Food Supplier? c24
    ✅Great Tang Idyll? v1c48
    ✅Heavenly Farmer? c21
    ✔Hidden Marriage ? c118
    ✅I’m Hui Tai Lang? c33
    ✔I’m really a Superstar? c560
    ✅Invincible Saint c160
    ✔Kuma Kuma Kuma Bear? c107
    ✔Legendary Moonlight Sculptor? v48c8
    ✔Martial World c781
    ✔My Wife is a Beautiful CEO ? c149
    ✔Rebirth of the Thief? c166
    ✔Reign of the Hunters? c43
    ✔Reincarnator c116
    ✔Release that Witch? c267
    ✔Seoul Station’s Necromancer c90
    ✔Star Rank Hunter c96
    ✅Tales of Demons and Gods c451
    ✔Taming Master? c65
    ✅Tensei Shitara Slime Datta Ken?
    ✔The Great Thief? c33
    ✔The King’s Avatar? c583
    ✅To Deprive a Deprived Person? c172
    ✅Upstart Pastry Chef? c21
    ✔Zhan Long? c743

  19. I encountered Light Novel about 2 or 3 years ago , it started with Pan Long . After reading a few chapters i somehow clicked on Martial God Asura and the journey began 😉

  20. I remember my first novel was TDG because I used to be really into manga and I saw the very few first chapters of TDG and I was so interested in it that I could not wait for more manga to come out and just went to look for the novel translations after I read someone’s comment that this manga was based on a novel and thats how I go to wuxiaworld and once i was done reading all the translated chapters in like 2 or 3 days I started reading CD, and so on, now I read around 11 novels on wuxiaworld and few more on other sites.
    TDG used to be my favorite but the author hardly writes anything nowadays so its a shame that a good story was kind of ruined as recently he’s been advancing the story way too fast

  21. Personally, I was reading lots of Light novels around 2013-2014 and found in 2015 that there began to be many issues with the “production” of translations, these being licensing and other things that would pop up destroying the ability for these lovely stories to pop out. As I searched the web for something to read I happened to come across He-Man!

    I came to find this lovely website years ago in 2015 back when I had come across the He-man translations of Stellar Transformations on a little forum. Read through a good number of volumes over a good period of time only to see that on this same forum there was work being done on a novel called Coiling Dragon. Got started on that. Then come to see later in that Ren had made a site to host it. Well I hopped on over to the site he made almost immediately as I was really hooked.

    Been here ever since.

    -Sage Hidden Bear

    (If I got my dates wrong its because time has no meaning for the immortal.)

  22. They care more about which writers have broader vocabularies and are more gifted with words,” etvolare said.

    Not sure I agree this. As sometimes words that don’t make sense, used out of context, or are out of the education level of the novel are often used which ruins immersion.

  23. Coiling Dragon is also the reason that made me read all this stuff… And Tales of Demons And Gods, which ,sadly, has not been updating its chapter recently nor very often. But I like everything else anyway. Thank you you guys!

  24. Man Ive read so much wuxia, xania, since 2015 that i felt like my life is completey gone lol ivd play less ps4 since then too. can u imagine 6 months straight reading nothing else i can even count the amount ive read so far all on wuxiaworld, all or gravity tales, all on xaniaworld, and to go even further jumping into machine translations sites like lnmtl.com because i cant wait on updates

  25. 36 from the Philippines. I read every night before I sleep and in the morning before preparing for work. I read during weekends my wife is complaining… hahahaha I lost count of how many books I’m currently following. I started off with CD and my travelling days stopped.

    cheers to all fellow daoist!!!

  26. 22 from China. I like Kungfu novels by Louis Cha.

    I hope to find more martial arts novels here,not just Xianxia or Fantasy.

    BTW….Thank you very much for the translation……吸星大法biubiubiu~

  27. I first learned about LN after i saw the manga of Douluo Dalu and Battle through the heavens and also TDG. i would read day and night, going to work and heading home from work. Unfortunately madsnail gave up on TDG which was very promising and moved on to Martial God Asura which i really love reading. I was never much of a reader till i started reading LN.

  28. So the guy changed a physical drug by a digital one?

    In my experience, the first time i read a chinese novel(Stellar Transformations) was a quite novel experience, pretty diferent to what you usually find into the japanese novels and i really liked those things… Lately thought, i dont find then as good as before, not with the same amount of tropes that you see into a novel being re-used into a lot more. The same thing with a MC obtaining a cheat cultivation tecnique, the MC being the only with normal IQ while the rest are ‘too dumb to live’, the ‘trash’, the ‘face’, the ‘revenge’, the ‘die’ being repeated an ungodly amount of times, the ‘my friend/brother/uncle/father/grandfather/clan x/sect y/group z will go against you to avenge me’, the overly arrogant people, etc. After a while you got borred of see the same thing… repetitive un-creative titles like (*Insert* *something* God) and the like.

    The Xianxia novel generally lacks of worthy villians that arent villians just because the MC need some antagonist/steping stone, most of the character lacks of profundity being mostly unidimensional or bidimensional and the characters interactions sometimes are just bland D:

  29. Hey fellow daoists, I am 22 live in Brisbane, I am of Fillipino and PNG descent. I started reading when I was 20. The novel that started it for me was TDG I first watched anime, then it got to slow, then read manga( too slow), then I branched out to manga authors from different countries. I found some satisfaction in them. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon the manga versiob of TDG. Life changed. I was very satisfied. I also picked up ISSTH, ATG, SOTR and various other webnovels.

    We need our own secret phrase, for when we meet other fellow daoists in public.

  30. all is great but well it is kinda hurtful to say this but chinese novels are also following tropes, now everything has gotten a kind of set pattern (not that i hate it but hopefully some novels really stop dragging things out forever)
    things with substance are rare to come across

  31. I’m really interest in your websites, and as an english major student, i feel very proud that Chinese culture can go to the western world in this unique way. Thanks to the wide appliance of website! It is your diligent translations that make more people know about profound Chinese cuture. Translators inject new vitality to Chinese tranditional literature, i think this is an attractive research orientationof C-E translation. @RWX

  32. i dont know about all of you im too tired too scroll through all 309 comments well 310 now but i stopped watching tv because i was into anime from that i caught up to latest episodes of bleach and naruto and hxh but i wanted more so i read manga versions then i wanted more scroled through mangapanda and saw tdg i loved it then i wanted more so i eventually found webnovel version after a bit of investigation and now i barely watch anime maybe 2 eps a week from 6 now i read atg, tdg if mad snail posts, sr, emperor dominations,mga and ore but my fav is absolute choice itsssssssss sooooooooooooooooo goooooooooooood

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