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Why should online novels be serious?

China Daily | Updated: 2013-10-10 07:22

First person | Yang Hao

Editor's note: Yang Hao, whose nom de plume is Sanjiedashi (Master of Three Commandments), began writing historical novels online in 2008. He is one of the few Chinese online writers to earn a six-digit annual income.

I believe that the works on professional online literature platforms are completely market-oriented commercial creations, so there's no need for them to reach the high levels of serious literature, like the works of Lu Xun, the leading figure in modern Chinese literature.

We have to satisfy fun-seeking readers. As a result, we writers, especially at the very beginning, have to suppress our desires so we can cater to the readers' needs. However, we have not lost our ideals and gradually, when the time is ripe, we will let ourselves go.

It's my belief that online writing must not be vulgar, kitsch or advocate money-worship. It will be enough if our writings can warm and touch people. There's no need for us to deliberately try to be as profound as Tolstoy, because we will live a very hard life if we do.

I always position myself as a commercial writer and I don't see why that's not a good thing. Why should we separate online literature from literature as a whole? Why do we think online literature is so different from traditional writing? I think it's wrong to separate them.

The great novels in history were mainly created to entertain people, not to be profound or great. I think the online novel is a real return to the traditional mode of literary creation.

Yang Hao was talking to Yang Yang.

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