On the Substantive Impact of Network Novels

When network novels first became popular, almost all the mainstream voices were critical of them: the inevitable formulization and conceptualization of characterization and storyline cause the story short of thinking volume, conscious contents, and aesthetic depth. However, nowadays, it seems that no one can stop the popularity of network novels.

Its success cannot leave its carrier– the Internet. It is the development of the Internet and the popularity of smartphones that make network novels have a popular environmental basis. Imagine that if we only send information by printing or even hand copying today, a novel with millions of words would never be read by so many people.

I used to handwriting, especially accomplished an article in one breath. Meanwhile, I liked to use ornamental rhetorical which can make readers think I am a “brilliant” person. However, with the development of technology, I abandon many beautiful words and like to describe things as briefly as I can. In the digital age, I find out that no matter as a reader or a writer, we are no longer accustomed to reading/writing a long piece of an article.  It becomes fragmentary, which called fragmentation writing/reading.

Quick pace of modern life puts people in a state of anxiety and pressure. They are no longer accustomed to the complicated creating processes and no longer in the mood to appreciate sophisticated works.


The Internet also enables people to fully spend their leisure time. Especially in today’s society, people face great pressure in work and study every day. Troubles in interpersonal communication and setbacks in life will make people very irritable. At this time, you read a network novel, through empathy (sense of participation), imagine yourself as the protagonist of the novel. You can do anything, be lucky, be strong, and beat the haters. During these 10 minutes, you may be able to escape from the pressure of reality.

Another characteristic of network novels is that they don’t pay attention to literariness and artistry, and even a few idioms are used. It will never cause you any trouble in reading. The simple text is better than complex text. This is because the smoothness of information processing affects people’s emotions. In the process of reading a novel, the simpler the text, the easier it is for us to read.

This demand of readers makes the development of network novels run counter to the development of literature. It’s interesting to say that when we think of network novels as a form of entertainment, their crudeness seems to be no fault. But when we call it network literature, our requirements for network novels suddenly become higher.

    In this digital age, people’s digital literacy has improved and their ability to use technology has also improved. It seems that people read more books than before. However, if you just read network novels, people’s thinking ability, logical reasoning ability, expression ability, and aesthetic ability may continue to decline.

One thought on “On the Substantive Impact of Network Novels

  1. As I mentioned before “Network Novels” are something new for me and it has been interesting to learn about them from your podcast and your blog post. I appreciated your insight that our perception of the value of this work can be transformed by how we think of it: either as entertainment (which makes the simplicity and “crudeness” acceptable) or as “literature” which causes a whole different critical apparatus to kick into gear!


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