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A Study on the Narrative Form of Korean Web Novels

Choi Bae Eun 1

1숙명여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study considered the creation, distribution and consumption system of Web Novels and their narrative form on major websites, investigating the effects that Internet media and mobile devices have had on novels. Web Novels are based on existing ‘Internet Novels’ and genre novels. However, thanks to the creation, distribution, and consumption of Web Novels in the systematic web platform market, the class of authors and readers of Web Novels has been expanding. Thus, Web Novels have undergone a variety of transformations and become an changeable branch of fiction. When the simultaneity and immediacy of creation, mediation, and acceptance - which are characteristics of Web Novels - lead to competition and a blatant market focus, Web Novels come to be valued as goods rather than literary works. Accordingly, considering interest and readability(legibility) as the first priority, on the one hand, the narration of Web Novels follows the custom of genre novels, while on the other hand, such novels take a form that is suitable for mobile devices. The plot depends on the interest and tension of each episode rather than close correlation, and the paragraph structure is destroyed. Characters are portrayed via audio-visual imagery, usually by making use of icons, illustrations, and dialogue scenes. The description of time and space is often left out, and the event is narrated by a character - focalizer, with a concentration on characters’ actions. In this way, Web Novels are destroying the value and form of traditional novels. The utility of novels is moving toward consumer goods of interest and pleasure from the media of reflection and enlightenment. In addition, Web Novels are valued in terms of emotion above perception. Thus, the form of Web Novels has been transformed to combine various contents, thereby shifting away from the traditional aesthetics of narration, which supports a well-organized structure and seeks to deepen and maximize the language function.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.