I am not prepared to translate a light novel as I would need to get new tools to handle the intake of text. It’s not on my todo list, or pretty low if it’s on there. But, I do want a better binge reading experience for the webnovels I translate. So what am I to do?
I chose to make up a novelization process I can follow that doesn’t involve scanning in light novel characters and retranslating a novel-sized body of text. I’ll probably continue to tweak it, but I think I have a good set of steps.
First, I generate a new novel skeleton using my cahaba tool. Then, I rollup daily chapters in larger chapter to insert into the skeleton. This is easy, I wrote a tool to merge the text and images that I can copy into the novel data folder.
Then I start the editing process, which takes a good long while. The merge tool inserts breaks between each daily chapter, so I remove most and tweak the paragraphs to link up the daily chapters. I’m doing all of this in Google Docs, to take advantage of their spelling and grammar checks.
Once the first round of editing is done, I’ll pull down the chapters into the novel folder and build the files. Then I’ll grab a pdf and start reading it, looking for issues. After finding and fixing a bunch of issues and tweaking the formatting, I can build the final version and upload it to the site.
Except, I can’t. I host the site on Cloudflare Pages, and that limits my file size to 25MB, and the All Images versions are 27 and 40 megabytes…
So the morning everything was supposed to go out, I’m writing a Cloudflare Worker to proxy downloads to R2 for books. But the next book will be simpler, I just throw the books into the R2 bucket and generate the links.
Oh, you think that was all the issues? Haha, no.
NovelUpdates doesn’t know how to parse a chapter title like 139: Time of Turmoil 1. So I renamed it to Chapter 139: Time of Turmoil 1, but that didn’t work either. So I had to go full hog and rename chapter 139 and 140 urls to c139 and c140, rewrite the site so only RSS will see the Chapter without the full title, and fake reupload the chapters so Novel Updates will pick them up.
Also, I was hoping to have an advance reader to assist with editing, but they got Covid and have been out of commission. Not ICU-level Covid, but I hate my life/worst flu ever level Covid. Could be worse, but not great for either of us.
Finally, I’m starting manga translation for Red Shinigami. To get the most recent manga images for chapters, I was already doing a rough translation, so I thought I’d clean up the rough translation and start putting out the chapters on MangaDex. I didn’t run into many issues here, but it was another time sink.
All in all, I had to rewrite parts of the website so NovelUpdates can pick up chapters and people could download the novelizations, my Advance Reader/Assistant Editor was missing in action, and I started manga translation, all while trying to finish editing a 55k word novelization. That’s not even mentioning the major project at my job that just wrapped up yesterday.
Well, I guess it worked out in the end?