What are the stylistic differences between Chinese, Japanese, and Korean light novels?
I will preface this with: I don't know many of these differences are stylistic differences, how many are cultural differences, and how many are linguistic differences. I know there are few things with Chinese novels, when I started reading them, that drove me crazy that I eventually learned were part of the language.
One of the things I couldn't wrap my head around was, in all these different novels I read they would all use the same turn of phrase. They would use, "the smell of gunpowder was heavy on the air" in a world with no gunpowder, and I was "what is this?". Apparently, they have phrases that are directly translated that way, but have their own meaning in the language that don't mean that. "You are courting death" is another one everyone says and I'm sure is a genre thing.
In my experience, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese novels, just like popular American novels tend to, follow trends at a time. It's interesting to see how many become similar to one another. One of the things I've noticed is that a Korean main character's flaw is being very greedy. I don't know why, but they're considered very materialistic. It's considered a flaw so they aren't saying "you should all be greedy", but that's clearly what the Korean main characters start to do.
One of other things I've also noticed is that a lot of these main characters start - I don't want to say emotionless - very stoic, and in a way that is expressed differently in different cultures. The Chinese stoic protagonist is honorable and ruthless. Where as a Japanese main character will be distant and a loner. The Korean one sets boundaries; if you're fair to me I'll be fair to you. They bleed over each other a little bit. When I noticed that, I also noticed it's common in American novels, but the stoicism is portrayed very differently for American main characters. So you have stoic protagonists like John Wick, or any of the Clive Cussler, or Tom Clancy (TC is sometimes less stoic) are men who just get the job done. They're the growly men who "I only cry tears when a brother of mine dies in the battlefield". It's just interesting how different cultures have interpretations of the same trope.
One of the things I've noticed is that a lot of these cultures, the video game inspired novels have taken over. Those are expressed differently in the different cultures. In Korea there's a lot of trend towards things set in the real world where dungeon portals open up and people get powers and can go into the portals and grind up and come back to the real world. There's a lot of different interpretations of it, but they're all video game inspired which makes sense, I think. It's why LITRPG are really popular now. Video games are popular and they're probably more popular now than they've ever been and we've all grown up playing video games. It's just something that is hear to stay and will evolve and change as literature always does.