GOTR L28

Loop 28

●Day 1●

Well, another 50,000, huh?
I have to carefully consider my options.

The first thing that springs to mind is increasing the number of chapters.
I started posting on the 50th day and posted 400 chapters over 300 days.
The point growth would have been even better if I had continuously posted twice a day.
I could reach that rate of release by increasing the number of chapters to 600.

After that, I should consider the posting time.
I’ve been updating twice a day, at 9:00 and 18:00.
That was because those times got the highest traffic when I tested it out on day 1.
Now that I think about it, however, this is only indicative of a single day.
It’s possible that it varies day to day.
Perhaps on the second day, 8:00 and 19:00 are better.
There must be a pattern.
 
Perhaps I should start replying to comments…
Things like thanking readers for their responses and answering people’s doubts.
However, I don’t know about the author of the highest ranked novel, but the 2nd ranked author hasn’t responded to many comments, so it may not be very meaningful to do so.

Maybe I should change the title.
I don’t think “Other World’s Pincer Master” is a bad title necessarily, but I feel like I could name it something more striking.
The synopsis could also be made more interesting to hook readers.

In any case, I’ll do what I can.
It’s only 50,000.
It’s not a small number, but the novel’s reached 300,000, so it should be possible.

●Day 80●

As previously, I first built up a following by posting other works until the 50th day.
In the meantime, I’ve been revising “Other World’s Pincer Master.”
I looked over the story and split the chapters where I was able.
In addition, I greatly increased the dialogue in the second half.

From here I’ll use the monthly loop to return to the 50th and begin posting.
Before that, though, I need to come up with a new title and synopsis.

Currently, they are as follows:

Title: Other World’s Pincer Master

Synopsis:
Hirata was an average 29 year old office worker. One day, he died due to overwork.
However, he awoke in a blank world and a goddess was standing before his eyes?!
Because of sins in his previous life, Hirata was punished by being incarnated into a world ruled by monsters.
Before descending into the new world, a voice reached his ears.
“You rescued me in your previous life…now allow me to return the favor!”
A small stag beetle entered his field of vision.
And thus began the adventures of a man who received the power of a stag beetle!

I don’t see anything particularly terrible about any part of it.
However, there should be a title that has more “oomph” to it to draw in readers.[1]

Anyway, let’s come up with lots of ideas.
If my best friend were here he could advise me…
He’s energetic.
It’s been so many years since I’ve talked to him.
He may not be the best for creative brainstorming, but I’d give anything to talk freely with him…

●Day 50 – 2●

“Other World Guillotine”
“Stag Ripper”
“Dual Insect Gods”
“Black Diamond and the King of Flies”
“The Stag Beetle’s Gift”

For now, these are the five title candidates.
Whichever one can get more points than “Other World’s Pincer Master” will become the official title.

●Day 50 – 8●

In conclusion, “Other World’s Pincer Master” got the most points, in the rate of increase and speed at which it became daily first place.
However, I gained interesting data.
Even just looking at the first, the title had a large impact on the number of points gained.

Even after building up a fanbase to raise the numbers, it seems there’s still a lot of people who decide to check out the novel based on the title.
“Other World’s Pincer Master” is better than the other titles I thought fit the current milieu.
This may differ over time, but posting at this point, with this title the work goes on to become yearly first place.
It seems I won’t be able to pad the numbers this way.[2]
“Other World’s Pincer Master” was the best title for this time, by coincidence.

If I take more time, I may be able to think of more titles…
However, would any of them be any better?
To be honest, I doubt it.
It’s like trying to pull out a random number from 1 to 100 and hoping that it will be higher than 95.
I likely won’t do better.
It’s the same with the synopsis.

Thus, the title has been kept as “Other World’s Pincer Master.”
Keeping the title as is, let’s try posting 600 chapters twice daily.

●Day 284 – 8●

It’s not good.
I thought the points would increase if I posted 600 chapters, but…
Frankly, it’s gotten worse.
In the comments, phrases like “redundant,” “the story isn’t progressing,” or “cliche” were mentioned.

This method is useless.
Let’s return to day 50.
Next I’ll check the optimum time of posting for each day.

●Day 80 – 722●

I tried out the time slots as before.
It’s been 30 days and my soul feels like it wants to leave my body.
However, the upward growth of the points hasn’t really changed.
In fact, it seems like it’s the opposite of my expectations.
Today, the points are at their highest only if I posted at 9:00 and 18:00 every day.

I thought about various explanations…
There are many readers who are not familiar with the work, so a lot of the readers are reading it solely because it appeared at that particular time slot and aren’t particularly committed to the work itself, so it’s more a matter of convenience than interest.[3]
When readers access the site at the same times, they see the next chapter and continue to read.

This method is also useless.
Even if there are some changes, they’re only significant for 10-30 days.

For the moment, let’s think about what I’m going to do from now on.

●Day 81 – 722●

I decided to try replying to comments.
Although the second place author doesn’t do so, the first place author does.
There’s a large difference between first and second place; maybe it’s because they reply to comments?
Those who receive replies to their comments should be happy.
Reading the novel is fun. Writing comments is fun. Receiving replies to those comments is fun.
I want to build an excellent relationship with my readers.

●Day 90 – 722●

It’s gone up in flames.
When I earnestly replied to comments that were a little too outrageous, I got trolled.
Although I should have blocked them immediately for trolling, I escalated it into a flame war.
The comments section was like a warzone.[4]

However, it seems like it’s gone viral.
The number of points and rate of increase have exploded.
Is this flame marketing?[5]

●Day 95 – 722●

Flame marketing is amazing.
I’ve gotten 10,000 more points than usual this week.
If this repeats, there’ll be no trouble reaching 350,000.

●Day 150 – 722●

In summary, the increase in points was temporary.
The rate of increase slowed dramatically about a week ago.
Even if I try it again, the increase isn’t that large.
The more I do it, the less increase I see, to the point that the rate has become negative.
Well, to clarify, it’s not that my points are declining, but I’m only gaining points when I don’t reply.
I thought that I could keep increasing even if the rate decreased below 10,000 points, but it looks like I’ll get even less points than usual if this keeps up.

I get some attention for the comments section, but it seems it isn’t good to get into a fight again.
When they find this exciting novel, readers go to the comments section wondering about how other commenters felt, only to be greeted by the author’s angry ranting. Nobody wants that.
Those commenters who normally write about the parts they found fun would encounter that toxic sight, and as a result, they leave.
With the decrease in newcomers leaving mostly veteran readers, the influx of points would also decrease.

Presently, the comments section is like a warzone.[6]
Previously it was around 9:1 comments to criticisms, now it’s about 5:3:2 comments to criticisms to criticism of criticisms.
The absolute number of comments has increased, but this is just because of the amount of criticism and admonishments directed towards me personally.
In the midst of it, some commenters purposefully tried to provoke me.

While flame marketing may bear consideration for short term gains, it’s not worth it in the long term.
It isn’t a good idea.
For now, let’s return to the day I first got emotional.
After that, I’ll just ignore the criticism to a certain extent.

●Day 160 – 723●

Replying to the comments does seem to have an effect.
On average, it’s about 10 more points a day.
Lots of dust forms a mountain.
I’ll take even the smallest increase in points. 

Considering it now, it doesn’t seem like it’s 10 points from new readers.
In fact, it’s the opposite.
These are 10 points that haven’t been decreased.

Reading the novel is fun. Writing comments is fun.
That’s as far as it needs to go, but some commenters become sulky[7] if they don’t get a reply.

Anyhow, that’s the amount it decreases due to readers feeling uncomfortable looking at the comments section.
The trick is to make new readers feel like the comments section is fun.
I can’t control what other people comment, but I can control my reply.
Readers who receive replies from the author won’t wilt away.
I’ll ignore criticism or respond in a mild manner.
Don’t get emotional. It won’t help the points. 

●Day 180 – 723●

I’m getting impatient.
I replied to the comments and the points increased.
However, at this rate it’s clear it won’t reach 350,000.
What should I do? 

Maybe I should write an activity report.
The activity report is like a blog that’s connected to “Let’s Write a Novel.”
As the name implies, it’s for the author to talk about what they’re up to, and it can be updated regularly or at the author’s leisure.
I haven’t used it up to this point, but maybe it can help me?

●Day 200 – 723●

I’ve hatched a brilliant plan.
I’ll use a flame war on the final day. With my activity report, I’ll draw other well-known works into the fray.
This way, with flame marketing the points will reach a peak on the 365th day.
It’ll be even more prominent due to the extra attention from the completion boost.
This should be able to add tens of thousands of points.

●Day 364 – 723●

320,000.
It was useless.
Just a little more…
More to the point, my heart’s been hurt by the flame marketing tactic.
I think I have a strong mentality; it’s how I’ve gotten to this point.
However, I’m not so hardhearted as to feel nothing when I’m being insulted by the public.
What’s with, “I respected him because he reached the top of the rankings, but I’m quitting because he as a person is scum.”
As if that was a reason for respect, idiot.

*sigh*
No, calm down.
This was to be expected. What does it mean to flame, after all?
Play with fire and get burned.
What goes around comes around.
Even if they turn on me, it means nothing.
What am I scared of, if I can’t even leave this room?
It’s just empty.

Well, now what?
320,000.
Thirty thousand more.

Just 10% more.
When it comes, an easy victory awaits me.
It should be easy…

●Day 364 – 1129●

I can’t think of any more cards to play. 

I did everything I could possibly imagine.
I changed the title. I wrote the continuation. I posted twice every day, carefully replied to the comments, and at the end went up in flames.
I reworked the part I wrote countless times.
I also rewrote the part I copied over and over again, trying different things.
It was all useless.

I also tried out forbidden tactics.
Sending a message to the cumulative first rank, asking for them to exclude their novel from the rankings for just a single day.
Hiding my circumstances in my messages, I begged with all my heart.
If he (or she) was in front of me, I would have kowtowed.
I would have handed them my deposit book with my PIN number.
Well, I wouldn’t have believed it.
They didn’t reply and of course they didn’t exclude themselves from the rankings, and thus the 365th day arrived in vain.

I used all the tools at my disposal.
Word processor, spreadsheet, outline, mind-mapping.
The loop data viewer fully utilized all its loop functions.
I used the painting software to draw a map of the setting and published it. 

But it was all useless.

No matter what, I can’t gather the last 30,000.
Regardless of my efforts, I can’t breach 320,000.

What am I missing?
Do I need to include illustrations?
I can’t draw pictures. The story I can get away with, but I have zero artistic ability.
Starting from zero, without any instructional books or internet, is it possible to produce something that could be shown to the readers?
Well, I have endless time and there’s nothing that’s impossible.
However, thinking about it, most of the top novels don’t have illustrations.
I wonder how much it would matter, in that case.

I don’t get it.
What should I do?
How can I get first rank?

I don’t know.
……I don’t know.

No matter what I did I couldn’t reach 350,000.


[1] The “draw in” part is イカしていて (ikashiteite). イカす is actually a (apparently somewhat dated) slang term that, as far as I can tell, comes from a song in the 1950s…and in this case, does not refer to squid (イカ, as in Ikamusume) as I first assumed.
[2] Here, and in the first sentence of this paragraph, the author uses an idiomatic phrase, ゲタを履いた (geta wo haita) which means “to put a base under,” with the implication you’re hyping up something so that it appears better than it is. “Geta” are those straw/wooden shoes with slats beneath them so that the wearer is raised off the ground. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geta_(footwear)
[3] Japanese is, on the whole, more amenable to run-on sentences than English. I’ve paraphrased this paragraph so it’s not a nightmare to parse.
[4] Some wordplay here, 荒れに荒れた. Perhaps “deserted like a desert” would be a good approximation of the effect, but “deserted” is not strictly an accurate translation. If I were a publisher doing this professionally, I might have chosen that phrase as it was a better portrayal of the tone, but I’ve generally favored sticking directly to the script.
[5] In Japanese, 炎上商法 (Enjou Shouhou), describing a phenomenon where someone counterintuitively uses invective language/trolling to increase their popularity, particularly over Twitter and other social media. Think Donald Trump.
[6] Nearly the same as a sentence discussed in a previous note. Maybe the author wanted to use the line but forgot he already did? Though, in my impression, the writing’s gotten more nuanced as the story goes on, perhaps mirroring the growth of the protagonist as a writer. I might be completely off-base, though, because I’m mainly judging it based on how difficult it is for me to understand.
[7] The literal phrase is “bend the navel”, an idiomatic phrase I haven’t yet found the origin of.

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