A. ON FANFICTION
fancracked: How did you get into kpop fics?
sooji: My friend Jisun IMed me one day and this was like…. spring of 97 and she said she had something I needed to read and she sent me a fanfic. We talked about what it meant… fanfiction and all that and decided that we could totally do this too… I had already written several short stories for school and stuff we figured it wouldn’t be that hard.
fancracked: Can you remember any particular names/SN’s of active writers/readers from back then?
sooji: Sue was really popular because she translated Korean fics. Love Inside Silence changed my entire fanfic perspective…
fancracked: Which fics do you think defined your time? For the general reader and for yourself personally?
sooji: Honestly, I don’t know that any of them defined the time… We all had such different styles of writing. The most popular fics are still popular which says something.
fancracked: What genres and storylines did you personally enjoy reading? ^^
sooji: The gangster fics were my favorite. Cops/gangsters. But my absolutely favorite was written by my friend Clair and she based it loosely off a Thai drama with a prince and a sorcerer and omg it was awesome (Title: Sun Moon Sect, Featuring: Sechskies.) Another of my favorite writers, though she isn’t terribly old… is Jhigs (jhigavicious.) The way she writes never ceases to amaze me.
fancracked: Can you remember when certain trends started popping up?
sooji: A lot of gangster fics started showing up when HOT released the music video for WE ARE THE FUTURE… they were in those suits and everyone was like… yeah okay. And HOT did a lot of skits for shows… they had one with gangsters, and that definitely fanned the flames and because of that skit… I think everyone convinced themselves that Woohyuk would be the greatest gangster ever lol and then he was surpassed by Lee Minwoo some years later. But most of the trends happened because of things the artists were actually doing or wearing.
fancracked: HAHA yes… Woohyuk’s gangster self was deliciously violent and amazing as bad as that may sound (violence is never the answer!!)
sooji: I knooow.
fancracked: I can understand where people come from when they think of fanfics as “low rate” in the “modern” kpop world but what do you think of that POV?
sooji: I got into a few arguments over the years with people who didn’t understand the point of fanfics. I think fanfiction is a perfectly healthy and productive way to share your fandom with other people while being creative and using your imagination so I don’t see how that’s low rate.
B. PERSONAL THOUGHTS ON WRITING
fancracked: So tell me about your own journey into kpop fanfiction as a writer… What made you start writing?
sooji: I started writing long before I became a fangirl… short stories, poems, etc… but after reading a couple fanfics… I figured I would try that too and I’ve been writing ever since.
fancracked: What was your first fic? (:
sooji: Technically my first fanfic is called Nae Ga Pil Yo Hal Ddae… after my favorite HOT song BUT I never posted it. The first finished fic I posted… was Soh Mang. A Shinhwa fic.
fancracked: Do you mind sharing the synopsis with us? ^^
sooji: Nae Ga featured HOT and Sechskies. The story followed 3 characters in particular… which is something I do when it’s not in first person POV lol Woohyukie, Jiwon, and a female character named … dun dun dun! Sooji lol
fancracked: HAHAHAHAHA woot woot
sooji: Hyukie is a dancer… and he wants to become a legit dancer (get paid)… so he enters this dance competition. He doesn’t remember anything about his past except that his mother is dead and he has nightmares about the day it happened but he can’t really remember anything else. As the story unfolds, his nightmare starts to have more detail. He’s dating this girl who is all sorts of wrong for him. His best friends are Heejun and Tony and Sooji. His girlfriend’s younger brother is Jaewon. And Kangta… who I called Chilhyun… is in love with Hyukie’s girlfriend… but he’s also friends with Hyukie… so he’s all sorts of conflicted. On the flip side Jiwon is kind of… the leader of this gang… but they don’t really do illegal things or anything. Just a group of friends. He has two younger sisters: Minji and Minyoung. Minji is part of the “gang” but Minyoung isn’t because Jiwon thinks she’s too young to hang out and do bad things… Jiwon’s girlfriend, Krissy, died a few years before the story begins. His group of friends had gotten into a huge fight with a group of kids and the cops were coming to break up the fight and arrest everybody they all jumped into cars and took off… Jiwon got into an accident and Krissy died. The group of kids they fought then, turns out to be Hyukie and his friends they find this out because Jaeduc transfers schools and ends up at school with Hyukie and them and he recognizes them and tells Jiwon. Jiwon… likes to blame Hyukie for Krissy’s death, even though Hyukie clearly was not the one driving… Jiwon was. Hyukie ends up breaking up with his girlfriend and he meets Minji by chance and they start liking each other.
fancracked: eeeek I’m like… wincing because I know what is to come ToT
sooji: Oh yeah, the story line was pretty generic and quite typical… lol but I’m totally skipping over tons of stuff (the story is 48 chapters + epilogue.) Every character had a story and they were all connected somehow to each other… I like to write about lots of characters. I have trouble if there’s only one main character lol I get bored really easily. I like to write about lots of people and I love writing love triangle type stories.
fancracked: So among your characters which was most difficult to write or understand?
sooji: The hardest character I’ve ever created was probably… Hyesung’s character in Soh Mang. The story is about a girl who pretty much loses everything after one mistake in high school. She got into a fight… with a boy named Eric and she broke his nose. She got expelled and her parents shipped her off to a boarding school. She didn’t have time to say bye to her friends or anything, she was just gone. She comes back to her hometown years and years later trying to find Dongwan who was her best friend and first love… though she never told him that she loved him. The story is told from her POV and she runs into Hyesungie first and he ends up trying to help her find Dongwan and she stays with him and stuff. Hyesung falls in love with her, but he knows that she loves Dongwan… that’s why she’s there. It was hard to write Hyesung…. to build up his character because the story was told from someone else’s POV and she was kind of… oblivious to his feelings. I think I managed it in the end but it was definitely hard.
fancracked: If you had the opportunity to do the following activities with your characters (1) who would you pick to spend a day with (2) have coffee with (3) take a walk with (4) have as a classmate/coworker (4) lastly have as a lover? And then (5) be in another life time ^^
sooji: I’d want to spend a day with Changmin from Paper or Plastic because I think he was just awesome lol I’d want to have coffee with Eric from A Better Day… because it’s Eric LOL Take a walk with Hyesung from Soh Mang… have Kiyoung from Paper or Plastic as a classmate because she was just crazy. Have Minwoo from Soh Mang as a lover… because he was a mean guy, but he was so good to his girlfriend in the story… he was so cute with her. Be in another life as Hwanhee with In My Dreams… though he turned out to be gay… so I dunno how that would really work out LOL
fancracked: hahahah We can rewrite the story for you :p
C. LAST WORDS
fancracked: What do you think of today’s current kpop fanfiction “culture”? Also, if we’ve missed anything that you think needs mentioning, feel free to expand on it.
sooji: The current kpop fanfiction culture… I think it’s more about popularity than it is about writing good stories. Whatever type of story is “popular” or getting a lot of hits 10-15 of that type of story just… appears within the week and sometimes that’s not bad, if the stories are worth reading but 9 times outta 10… they aren’t. Writers aren’t utilizing spell check and have no clue what grammar check is… which is sad. A writer should know how to spell. Just because you wrote a fanfic… doesn’t make you a writer. I think I’m an elitist though… most of us “OG” writers are… lol so this might all seem harsh
fancracked: It’s cool — it’s what you think.
sooji: But honestly when I think back on everything I’ve done during my fangirl years… and even now I don’t really think of myself as a writer. I wrote… and I still write… because I love to write but I think I’d be more in the mod/admin category… or some other category because of all the things I was doing at the time I wasn’t known for my writing. I was known because I knew people and knew things lol I dunno how to explain that really.
fancracked: Whatever the case I enjoy your writing ^^ So I must commend you for it nonetheless–along with all else that you’ve done (:
sooji: haha Thanks. My friends used to say… I was writing fanfics… and then I’d sign offline and go live a fanfic LOL
fancracked: HAHAHAHAHAHAHA how very true in your case! Well, that’ll be all for the interview. Thank you so very much for giving us some of your time and perspective ^^ All the best on future endeavors!
Click here for Part I if you missed it.
Our next interview will be with Naomi (MR.W@RHOL on Soompi.)