Hi everyone. Regardless of whether you are a sponsor or not, the end of the series is approaching within a few months, and there are a some things that bear mentioning.
Shorter chapters. The author, Divine Dreamwalker, continues to write chapters of roughly the same length all the way to the end. However, I’ve come to realize that in order to do that, he is adding more and more filler. Please note, this is not plot filler. Truth be told, Sage Monarch is highly regarded in China due to its complex, overarching plot. Even top sponsors who are many chapters ahead of the live chapters have not yet had all the puzzle pieces click together. Trust me when I say that this is one complete story, not an episodic compilation of random things. It’s not until the final few hundred chapters that everything finally starts clicking together, and you realize that all of the major elements of the story up to this point are relevant and have a purpose. And there are many open questions that will be answered. (About the big stuff, not every random little thing. If you're waiting to get an explanation for what happened to Holy Daughter Manyflowers, don’t hold your breath).
In any case, the point is that the author has a plot-related goal for each chapter, but adds A LOT of filler content to meet the per-chapter quota of characters. And this happens a lot more in later chapters. In earlier chapters, I would say that filler content accounts for about 10-15%, while in later chapters it's more like 20-25%. For instance, something he loves to do is have a character say something in dialogue, and then repeat it almost verbatim in the narrative, sometimes multiple times. For instance:
“I have an idea,” Deathblade said. “I’m going to head to the store to get some beer!”
That’s right, Deathblade just had an idea. He was going to head to the store to get some beer. With that idea in mind, he headed out toward the store to get the beer.
This kind of stuff happens constantly. There are other little tricks he uses to pad the word count. For instance, he uses ridiculously hyperbolic descriptions for just about every single attack that happens. As in
Deathblade launched a fist strike, and it was an attack that could shatter heaven and earth, invert yin and yang, overturn the cosmos, turn black to white, cause the sky to become the land, transform darkness into light, dry up seas, topple mountains, divert rivers, and kill all living things. It was like a 30,000-meter-long ancient dragon from primeval times that could destroy everything in its path, but at the same time, it was like a powerful primordial phoenix from primal-chaos whose eyes had the fire of ten thousand fiery suns that could burn anything and everything.
While that kind of stuff sounds cool, after having it be used in almost every chapter for almost every move sort of negates its coolness.
I simply cannot tolerate so much filler, so I edit the content when appropriate. For instance, in the first passage, I would probably change it to something like.
“I have an idea,” Deathblade said. “I’m going to head to the store to get some beer!” And so he left to do just that.
And for the second passage, I will selectively keep some of the hyperbolic descriptions that make sense in the circumstances, and leave some of the others out.
As I’ve mentioned many times in the past, this does not make my job easier or faster. Quite the opposite. But I think it makes a better experience for you readers, and that’s my goal. And honestly, it makes the story a lot better too. However, the result is that as we get closer toward the end, the chapters get a lot shorter than usual because of this. I know I’ve mentioned this in the past, but going forward, it’s going to get more and more pronounced. There are even some cases where I’m going to cut multiple paragraphs that are simply egregious instances of filler. In rare cases where there is a huge amount of cut content, I'll make a note in the chapter. But as long as it’s simply trimming some extraneous stuff here and there, I’m not going to say anything.
Typos. Life has become crazier than ever with a newborn in the house, and I've not been doing a good job of keeping up with typo reports. If you leave a comment pointing out a typo, or notice a comment that was made that I didn't attend to, could you please report that comment, even if it's your own comment? That will send a push notification to me, and I will definitely make the change.
Sponsor chapters. The top Unlimited tier now has many, many more chapters than the amount listed in the description (something like 50 additional chapters last I checked). In fact, assuming my calculations are correct, I should be posting the final chapter to top sponsors around Christmas time, so that would definitely make a nice gift for yourself. Remember, if you want to avoid actually subscribing, just sign up for a sponsor tier and then immediately cancel your subscription (cancel, not refund). You will remain in that tier for the entire month you paid for, and won't have to worry about getting a second charge. Alternatively, if you like my work and would like to support it, please consider a subscription to a lower sponsor tier. Wuxiaworld has changed dramatically in the last year or so, and we translators are more reliant than ever on direct support from readers. Every little bit helps.
My next translation project. I still don't know what my next project will be. I had a project “99%” locked down, only to have RWX message me a few days ago saying there were some snags and that I might not get it. I’m still waiting to hear from him. If you haven’t already, please sign up for my e-mail newsletter. I don’t send stuff out very often (maybe a couple of times a year), but it’s the best way to keep up to date with my latest work.
Final word. Thanks to everyone for reading, for leaving comments, for sponsoring, etc. I really appreciate it!