The Amber Sword – Volume 2 Chapter 135

TL: Get ready for the longest translator’s notes in the history of Wolfietranslation.

I’ll move the notes to another page in a few days, but you can skip to the story and ignore my notes entirely if you want to.

 

 

Let me break it down into sections.

1) The editing process of TAS
2) What’s my recent update?
3) Selecting the new web host

 

1) The editing process of TAS

Oh boy, where do I start…

The goal of telling you how I edit TAS is because I want the readers to decide on how they want to deal with the protagonist’s name (again) as I re-edit the chapters.

Long explanation ahead.

I generally edit TAS with 2 concepts in my mind, “Character design” and “storyboarding”. These two elements are what I learned in school and generally built on the “Three Act Structure“, and also the reasons why editing time has gone way up.

While my edits are generally done with broad strokes based on the concepts, I do believe the outcome of my process is actually quite close to a formal editing, or at least how I understand editing to be for a novel.

There are variations on the different types of editing but I will specify the four general types that relates to my process.

A) Developmental Editing
B) Substantive Editing
C) Copy Editing
D) Proofreading

 

 

A) Developmental Editing (DE)

As a thumb of rule for DE, the basic ideas are to enhance and refine the story, kill off inconsistencies and unrealistic things if there are any. The easiest example is the blind girl mentioned in TAS. She basically ‘cannot’ see, but the author chooses “She looks at Brendel” and I correct that.

I create general character sheets and stick to them as much as possible for consistency. There are descriptive text written in to develop or change the characters’ motivations / behavior to make it consistent and less cliche (if applicable).

I also research various elements that are related to medieval stuff for proofreading. An example would be Freya enrolling in that academy/school (which I actually am not sure if something like a knights’ school actually existed?). Medieval knights basically transit something like this.

Page (6-13 years old) > Squire (14-21 years old) > Knight (can be ranked earlier than 21 years old)

Basically one can be made a knight or inducted into a knighthood. Since Freya is under Princess Gryphine’s forces, she can be made into one. Female knights does exist in medieval times, by the way.

In case anyone is still wondering, no, I have not changed any significant plotlines at all. Not the job of an editor.

 

 

B) Substantive Editing

The idea of [] as “thought lines” did not exist in the original raws.

The raws’ dialogues will be split up across really long passages as the author creates his exposition, and it is generally confusing and has a 4th wall narration to it. Ultimately I chose to [] it and clarify various things to make it easier for the audience.

The ======= XXX POV ======== also does not exist in the raws, and is requested by the majority of the readers.

There’s quite a bit of reordering to the passages whenever applicable in order to maintain a coherent flow to the text.

Other additions include

– Related terms of addressing like, My lord, Your Highness, etc, and falls under this category.
– Names. I gave a few of the more important names a lot of thinking. Trentheim is a recent example. Brownie points for anyone who actually manages to guess what it means.
– Reduction on word padding. Please Brendel. You have to stop turning your head around 720 degrees. It’s like a horror movie. And stop looking up so many times too, you’re going to break it.

 

 

C) Copy Editing

This typically falls under smooth Engrish operation. Basically, I need a real copyeditor who has an A grade in English because I’m admittedly not good enough, but lol there’s no possible way to afford anyone like that.

Copy editing is supposed to ensure proper word usage, fix awkward grammar English, clean up even more redundancies, improve the prose and natural feel on how the plot is conveyed. I’ll stick characters’ word choice consistency into this section instead of DE.

 

D) Proofreading

Finally, prooreading is just spelling corrections to be done.

 

You guys still with me?

 

When it comes to translation, I don’t exactly follow the above ABCD in a specific order. My process immediately applies mostly A and B during my first draft TL, then my 2nd TL edit will apply ABCD again as a clean up.

This initial first draft takes me approximately 3-4 hours. The second read through and editing takes me another 1-2 hours. Generally I want to be done in this time frame so I can take a break on this.

If you think that’s good enough, nope, it actually isn’t. To be honest, there should be one more round of BCD editing again to ensure I don’t commit inaccuracies.

I have to balance speed and quality at the end of the day, because I don’t have enough time or financial backup on this (yet, I’ll see how it goes when I get a proper job). I also assume that you took the warning seriously in my TAS sections that I edit extensively.

 

 

Going forward I want to address the name Su Fei/Sophie again. After all the long read about my editing processes, I have 3 polls for you. Basically if question 1 gets a negative respond, I will ignore question 2 and not edit the protagonist’s name.

The reason why I’m asking this is because I have seen a particular bit of spoiler about the protagonist after the book was finally finished by the author. Therefore I can roughly say that the Sophie/Su Fei name isn’t so important (at least for the start of the webnovel), and wouldn’t change the overall plot for the chapters that I have translated so far even if I take it out.

Su Fei/Sophie’s identity is generally isolated in the beginning and I will probably write ‘the youth’ (doesn’t it sound like there’s an air of mystery ~_~) as a general replacement and even bring forward Brendel as a name change, then reveal his real name when he does it in-text to the people around him.

Please carefully think on answering these few questions, I’ll be leaving the power in the readers’ hands.

 



 

Finally, there is one more thing that I will do when I re-edit everything. I’ll create a list of changes for all the chapters and a lexicon detailing my information on TAS’, which will come much, much later.

 

 

2) What’s my recent update?

You know…… I don’t remember how I started up my translation at all. I guess it must be some kind of “meh, lemme just get straight into translating”. I translated on notepad which is kind of disastrous because I lose content from time to time by not saving the drafts, and worse off, I don’t save it in my computer.

Everything is in wolfietranslations, lol. If one day there’s some crash or hack into my website, that’s probably game over. Buttt I finally managed to, sigh, get all 291 chapters saved into txt files and stored in my local computer. Such horrible inefficiency by wasting a whole day.

I also downloaded wordpress manager and local PC hosting software to test out development, and I’m going to start looking into 3 things.

– Design new website and CSS for reading accessibility.
– Auto-linkage whenever I publish a chapter, back/next button.
– The plugins available.

CSS plans

– Font type. I’ll check out verdana, arial, helvetica, sans-serif as the initial reading font.
– Day/Night background. I might need to rely on the readers’ expertise, if any, on this.
– Adjustable Font size. Let’s see how it goes.

Auto linkage

– Back/next buttons, easily explained.
– TOC for the series

Plugins

– Disqus maybe?
– Various useful plugins if any, I guess.

 

 

3) Selecting the new web host.

Technically there are two webhosts that I’m looking at, DreamHost and A2 Hosting. I’m choosing something slightly more expensive so there wouldn’t be any downtime and hopefully it’s going to be faster in page loading.

I don’t have any intentions to put in ads for now, so you guys can enjoy the ad-free experience lol (coming in May, I hope).

 

 

 

 

Chapter 135 – Romaine’s second plan (3)

“Miss Romaine, I don’t think you can call their actions a trade but a donation.” Sanford answered in the back.

“That’s obviously a trade. If you are buying hope with food isn’t that a transaction?” Romaine’s face went up a little higher as she tapped her chin with her finger thoughtfully.

“Using food to buy hope? What does that mean?” Amandina gave her a strange look.

Everyone felt the same way about Romaine’s replies. Brendel was the only exception as he wondered on how Romaine’s little mind functioned. She seemed to be always thinking of ideas that normal people could not.

“Amandina, how long do you need to make this place a self-sufficient economy if the region is governed by you?” He asked.

Amandina immediately sensed there was an additional meaning in his words. She turned her attention to him, wondering if the youth had his eyes set on this territory, or simply to test her out.

Regardless of what his intentions were, she took a long serious look at the filthy citizens whose clothes were patched up so many times that their former appearance was no longer there, before she answered with difficulty.

“The shortest amount of time would be a year, two if things do not go well. The citizens currently have no wealth, and the territory lacks the basic requirements to be converted into a commercial industry. Even if we did a tax reform and redistribute the land to build a proper city, we need more time to gather the resources to store up wealth…… I am confident that I can start a commercial district in two years, but it would require a great sum of money—“

“We just need to distribute the wealth so the citizens are wealthy enough, right? We can save time if we do that.” Romaine interrupted her and said it like it was matter-of-fact.

“Are you…… serious?” Amandina nearly choked on her indignance: “We would be no different from gamblers if we lend our money to the poor! Even if they pay the money back it’s still our own money— It’s more likely that we would lose everything!”

She looked at Romaine like the latter was a crazy merchant addicted to risky deals.

“Didn’t you already say that you’re ‘lending’ money to them? They won’t run away and bring back even more money for us. It’s going to be stated clearly on our promissory notes.” Romaine said.

“In the end we won’t get back anything because they will just spend everything away!”

Romaine wagged her finger to disagree with Amandina like she was a world-class banker, before pointing at the citizens in the city.

“You are not wrong if my idea is done in Bruglas. But these people here are desperate to get out of poverty right? Distributing our money to them is the same as buying them hope. We can teach them how to work in production lines and fulfill their wishes on being self-sufficient. They will be able to pay off what they owe in their promissory notes when they work for it, and I will gain many partners in the Game of Commerce. This is different from gambling. If you bury a gold coin in the ground here, you will be able to gain two the following year.”

She winked at Amandina mischievously.

“That…… It might work, but achieving it in reality is difficult……” Even though Amandina understood Romaine’s point of view, she was unable to accept this crazy logic.

“Indeed, there’s a certain difficulty…..” Brendel nodded, but he looked at Romaine with praising eyes. Romaine’s ideas were not really transactions, but a form of redistribution. If they direct both capital and production materials to a group of highly motivated citizens, they would be able to create high productivity. However, that idea will only work if the entire region’s wealth was under the territory’s lord. Still, it was remarkably ahead for its time in terms of economic policies.

While Brendel was capable in administering the financial management, he was not specialized enough to build the finer details on a commerce district’s infrastructure.

He was confident he could set the foundations for the policy and free it from any outside interference, though.

“Rather than say you’re buying hope, you can think it as buying labor. By having a driven workforce, there would be a difference in the speed on creating financial gains. If we execute this policy, then the most important aspect would be on to redistribute the wealth. Amandina, what are your specific thoughts?” Brendel said.

“Repair the roads.” Amandina promptly said.

Brendel nodded inwardly when her idea was the same as his own.

“…… My lord, are you planning to do something to this territory?” Amandina hesitated for a while before she finally gathered her courage and whispered to him.

She almost could not believe her own words when she spoke. It was the same as encouraging her lord to attack a legitimate lord. Usurping this land was the equivalent of betraying the kingdom. But the royal crown was weakening as the days went by, and she was greatly shaken in the kingdom’s future after witnessing the noble lords’ cruel and decadent behaviors.

Brendel first nodded, then shook his head and rubbed his forehead.

[I certainly have my eyes set on this place. That bastard Graudin isn’t some decent noble in the game or this world. Just look at the sight of this place. He’s also too close to my future territory. Even if he doesn’t invade us, there will certainly be extortion and unfair tradings that will happen in the future, and there wouldn’t be any profit to speak of. But there are two things that I’m lacking in to take him down. Men and timing.]

He estimated that he should wait at least one to two months, until the various lords in the kingdom announced their independence. Then no one would pay attention to the southern border where two lords fought for each other’s land. By then, he would be ready to deal with Baron Graudin.

[But this is a headache. This year’s Trentheim is certainly one of the poorest regions in Aouine. I was afraid Romaine might have trouble creating commerce in this area, but it seems like she already have ideas in place. Should I get Amandina to start working on a plan now? Money is the next concern. The first step in gaining our startup capital will be blackmailing money from the nobles who skimmed profits from Bruglas’ routes, then start working towards gaining access to the rich southern mines. Any other sources of revenue like overseas trading, can be left to Amandina to work on—]

A sharp snapping sound from a horse whip suddenly broke his thoughts. He and his men immediately turned to the source of the noise, and saw a group of riders entering the city. Even though their equipment were mixed all over in an ugly fashion, their emblems were clear.

The flags that they carried showed a pelican on top of checkered squares, clearly representing the emblem of Randner’s retainers. Brendel immediately knew these men belonged to Baron Graudin’s personal troops.

They dashed across through the uneven roads and raised their whips in order to drive the citizens on the street to the sides. The citizens scattered like they were a bunch of livestock, but this sight seemed to be highly humorous to the riders, and their harsh laughter echoed in the street.

A few of them even had to correct their riding postures.

Amandina instantly frowned. This was not an uncommon sight in Bruglas as the city’s guards did the same thing. Scarlett scoffed coldly after observing the riders.

“They seemed to be dragging something behind them.” Sanford suddenly pointed at the ground behind the riders.

“Dead bodies.” Brendel answered, but sighed as he finished as his words: “The nobles’ private soldiers went out to kill bandits.”

“Is there something wrong?” Amandina was puzzled over his reaction. Was it not a common thing for the soldiers to do?

But Brendel placed his palm up to stop her queries, then pointed at another direction. When she placed her focus in the area, she saw a group of women kneeling on the ground, weeping as they covered their faces.

“…… What’s going on?” She asked with a perplexed frown.

“Rather than calling them bandits, you can call them peasants who are forced to flee from the lord’s taxation. Many of them lived their lives out like the common folks who lived in the city and do not partake in thievery, but since they avoid taxes they are classified and judged as outlaws.” One of the Grey Wolves Mercenaries answered her question with visible emotions: “My father was also killed in this manner, these fucking nobles…..”

“Are men the only ones who do this?” Amandina took a deep breath and asked.

“Yes. It’s not exactly heaven to be living out in the open.” Brendel nodded.

At Brendel’s final comment, the city suddenly seemed to fall into an odd silence. Other than the private soldiers’ yells and curses, and the women’s quiet weepings, there was no one who uttered a sound when they saw this sight before them.

Advertisements

30 thoughts on “The Amber Sword – Volume 2 Chapter 135

  1. While I think its a …. not good name …. I dont wish for you to edit all chapters before this. You can even keep using it and say “If you want to blame someone, blame his parents!” XD
    There are many odd names in this world, so what is the problem if the character has an odd name too? XD Blame his parents! XD

    Liked by 5 people

  2. All I know is, if I were the author of this work, I would be seriously impressed and thankful for all the effort you put into my story. As a mere reader, however, all I can say is: Thanks for the chapter! 😆

    Liked by 3 people

          1. They were talking about micro loans. Its true that they were also talking about improving infrastructure, but that’s not really communism or capitalism. That’s just a basic function of any competent government.

            Like

  3. For the Sophie and it’s replacement debate, I don’t think it is that big of a deal. Since the world was previously a game world, I see Sophie as his in game name rather than his name in real life. As an MMO player, I’ve named myself a variety of names, and in thorn had my share of nicknames. So a name like Sophie would not be too weird.

    Like

  4. Honestly? I’d prefer Su Fei, simply because while your localization of Sophie makes perfect sense in every way, at the end of the day it’s still a name. There’s no reason to change the name. Imagine if this was done in reverse, a Chinese translator takes Harry Potter and changes his name to some Chinese name instead of just leaving it as Harry Potter. Naturally in Chinese the way they write or pronounce it will have some adjustments, but for most cases names of people are respected, you rarely see someone’s name changed into a domestic language format completely, such as say Donald Trump would not become Tra-ump Do Nai D or something, just like how the Chinese basketball player is called Yao Ming even in the USA even though Yao is his last name, not Ming.

    However, your Sophie is one of the few exceptions I’d take since it lines up perfectly and even sounds similar. On the other hand stuff like Souffle or editing chapter structures starts getting into rewrite territory on whole different magnitude than right now where your changes have been made with a clear purpose.

    Having a shitty name is a bad excuse to change so much, cause while his name is shit you already said his parents gave him a shitty name, the original name was girly. It’s not like the English language doesn’t have girly names, look at Leslie, or Kamille. They even made an anime about a kid becoming a war monger because someone made fun of his girl’s name.

    Like

    1. If you go to any pronouncing website, ie English translate google and hear the word souffle – You hear the words SU FLE, which sounds phonetically similar to Su Fei (苏菲).

      While Su Fei 苏菲 direct translation to English is Sophie, souffle sounds very much like the original version (if you minus out the ‘L’ sound), so I put up a poll to ask that if the readers want an alternative.

      No matter how I think it out, Brendel reveals his original name as a disguise later and the people around him commented it *sounded* like a girl’s name. I have no way to bridge that connection if I simply use Sophie, and the closest way I can think of is souffle.

      Like

      1. I still don’t understand what you’re trying to get at. Su Fei is a perfectly fine name. While Jackie Chan certainly took on an English name as an example, we have examples such as Yao Ming and Chow Yun Fat, and nobody localizes their names in western media. It’s more about preference of the person, not the media.

        Also, there’s no reason why people can’t bridge the connection when Sophie is a girl’s name to begin with. How does that possibly not work when you were the one who chose that name to replace Su Fei in the first place? Sophie is an actual localization (unneeded but at least it fits) while Souffle as far as the English language goes has nothing girly about it, it’s just food.

        Like

        1. When he revealed his real name Su Fei (and I assume he did it Sue Fey in the native English pronunciation) in a certain event, the reaction around him was, “Why, that sounds like a girl’s name!”, but I feel it’s unlikely that people will feel that name is a girl’s name in English, more like a food’s name called Souffle.

          Back then, I stuck Sophie for various reasons in the very beginning around 1.5 years ago that I’m going to pull off like so when the revelation comes.

          – Brendel reveals his name as Su Fi instead (with the reason of him trying to hide his past world’s name), and the people around him hears it as Suphie, then linking it to Sophie.

          The other idea I had was Souffle as stated before back then, but that sounds just as bad and I wondered if there’s any meaning to the author having the crowd’s reaction on his real name so I did not choose that option.

          Obviously the third option is the original Su Fei, but I felt this was just as out of place given the medieval settings. There is one more reason regarding my decision on not using Su Fei, but that is incredibly spoiler-related and I won’t be giving it here.

          In any case, the people have spoken and I’m going to stick with my original translation route plan, with some tweaks to the character’s personality to fit in with the character sheet I gave.

          Like

          1. Oh that makes a lot more sense, though I’m still a bit confused but I guess I just need to wait and see the whole thing in the future. So he basically used his old world name, but changed it a bit is that it? It’s not exactly his name Su Fei, but rather an alteration cause he feels embarrassed yet still managed to make everyone feel it’s girlie? That makes your Souffle make a lot of sense if not for the fact that it’s food and not feminine at all. At last I don’t think it sounds feminine, like does anyone even associate gender to food such as Spaghetti and Ravioli?

            Like

            1. Or is it the fact that in The Amber Sword they don’t actually use English and the word Souffle doesn’t get across to them so the NPCs think it’s a girly name? Cause if that’s the case you’ve won me over, though I guess it’s too late!

              Like

  5. I must say you are my favorite translator. You’re the only who posts on how you are clearly extremely aware of the concept of what translating is. Also the importance of a smooth flow cannot be understated. More so when the writing makes sense when one imagines the picture created by the text

    Like

  6. i so dont care about the protagonists name, especially since the last time i read sofie was two or so years ago.

    i am as always more concerned about what you call ‘Developmental Editing’. its not really the job of a translator to make a scene less clichee in my opinion. nor do you need to doublecheck everything the author writes for historical acuracy. i think this is actually one of the charming sides of translated novels, that you can actually see where the original author might have had missconceptions and if other authors from the same country have similar missconception you can as a reader then infer that this is a common missconception of people in that country.

    similar argumentation is also applicable for ‘chlichee’ story bits. as its a fantasy story realism is also not very important.

    and maybe lastly, female knights existed in so far as they held the title. it was a noble title so its not uncommen to have a female version. however they did not ride out in full plate on horseback during wartimes.

    of course you might find very few exceptions jeanne d’arc for example. (albeit i am not sure she was knighted. not that this is importnat anyway, since again its a fantasystory eitherway. so equallity can be applied and if the author does it, it should be applied.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. OMG How did you pick a worse name to replace it with… Soufle are you kidding me? Here’s a good name, Sophis or possibly spelled Soffis. It’s an actual boys name and in foreign cultures, it might sound girly.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I like more Su fei , niether (not one or other) Soffie or sufle . but its true I see the MC to his name to Brendel . If I read Sofie or other I chance in my head to Brendel XD . I think is better if the author put the name Sofie in some chapter in the future please put betwen () Brendel , because I going to think if forget some new chacacter XD

    Like

  9. You should use categories for each volume of each show. So tags like “Amber Sword”, “Volume 1”, “Volume 2”. Later you can just search for any posts with Volume X to make your own automatic TOC-Page where you just need to add a line for every new Volume.

    Beside that I would always say: Try to go more for user comfort. Not that much plugins, just easy ways to find everything with no loading time. I would just recommend some really simple mobile design. Add your typical “Next Chapter” Buttons to it and you are done 😀

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s