Meet Naomi, a talented writer (and graphic artist as well!) In this interview she touched on the topics of growing pains as a writer, the “fanfiction game,” past trends, and more.
DOB: june 18, 1993
Contact information: xiaochingu[AT]gmail.com
Online aliases: ah, way too many to count, so I guess only the ones that matter; on soompi i use to be “a nice day.”, “encore.”, <3., lovechild. ..now MR. W@RHOL. nimmy, princetaem, jisol, princebelle..those are the only ones i can remember..
Forums most frequented: soompi, ficaholics, sfi, affxtion, illustrious
Completed fics: Falling from the Sky, Meeting Lee Taemin, Kiss Me Again, White Sand
Current fics: From 9 to 5, Chasing Stars, the Kids Next Door
Additional information: T_T sort of sad that the only things I’ve finished are one shots. Okay let’s see, um I write mostly about SHINee and Fx, and SM town are my only muses. Fanfiction helped me grow so much as a writer, that and junior year AP English… my permanent OC to write about is named Choi Eunkyung, I really like Korean names starting with J.
fancracked: Hello Naomi ^^ Thanks for agreeing to do this interview. Why don’t we start out by having you tell us how you got into kpop and kpop fanfiction.
naomi: Hm…it was I think in seventh grade? 2007, at that point I don’t think I even read that many stories yet…it was sort of arbitrary but I had an idea, thought it was funny…and wanted to share it :-)
naomi: Fanfiction (when I first started writing…) was so much simpler than how it is now…
fancracked: So when exactly did you start branching out into writing and how has it grown more complex? ^^
naomi: Mm… after my initial story I stopped writing until I got into high school? and I guess it use to be simple in a sense that I wouldn’t be SO concerned with what other people thought of the story. Say I would be thinking of inserting this joke in a chapter, I’d run it by my friends…we would laugh… and I would write… but after just being in the fanfiction community for a while you start to notice certain trends and what not and at the time…I was so pressured into following those trends.
fancracked: Ahh the seriousness that comes with writing and criticism at times!
naomi: haha~ exactly! During my first story I was pretty content with people going “LOL! cute chapter!” but… something happened, I can’t remember what changed but I started feeling more greedy as an author :-( I wanted to write something…deeper? Something I guess… that I would be more proud of.
fancracked: You talked a bit about trends earlier. What sorts of trends were going on at that time?
naomi: There was a phase when everyone wanted to write “dark” stories about tortured souls and whatnot.
fancracked: haha the emo and angst era!
naomi: But yeah, I fell into that trend! It was sort of fun actually. The year I think would be… 07-08ish… T_T I had the previous moderators delete all my old fanfiction threads…something I wish I didn’t do… now it’s so hard to keep track :<
fancracked: Aww ): You should definitely PM the mod – all it takes is a quick click to fix it ^^;;
naomi: :-( I wish I wasn’t so impulsive I guess. When I start not liking something I get rid of it right away, and times later I think back and I wish I had those threads or just records of what I wrote to track my growth :< … [Nowadays] my mentality is to just do it [writing] for the fandom; it shouldn’t really mean anything else because it IS fanfiction. Certain genres and styles can mean things but I think the important thing is to just write about things you like.
fancracked: How sweet!
fancracked: What does the “fan” part of fanfiction mean to you? I know Shinee is your go-to group when you write ^^
naomi: They are! Hm… the fan part, essentially fanfiction is a form of expression for fans so… writing is something I hold dear to me, it’s representative of all my feelings for Shinee in a way? haha, oh so cheesy, but yeah those boys really make my heart melt.
fancracked: hahaha Aww how cute~ and don’t worry… in the end that’s what we’ve all been doing anyhow :p And I dunno – I can’t imagine kpop without kpop fics. It’d be strange o_O
naomi: I know! I think fics can be so much more than just stories… Most of my fandom for Big Bang consisted of fanfiction xd
fancracked: oo Big Bang~ I didn’t know you were a big Big Bang fan!
naomi: I sort of remember when there were barely any Big Bang fics on Soompi! I would dig for pages before finding a few!
fancracked: haha The hunger grew and then bam… not just Big Bang but WonderBang :p Did you read Wonder Bang as well?
naomi: haha Oh WonderBang, I’ve read a few but not many… I think my friend wrote one of the first WonderBang fics on Soompi… :-P just putting it out there haha It was before Hyunah left and Yoobin joined xD before WonderBang even got popular xD
fancracked: Oo name and title please!
naomi: Oh it’s um… Mother! Leave My Princess Alone! A very cheesy title! But it’s hilarious I promise.
fancracked: You mentioned the rise of Big Bang fics… what other trends can you think of that made an impression in the fic world?~
naomi: Mm… I remember melonbar92 and her story… afterwards I think a lot of people tried writing ‘quirky’ fics.
fancracked: haha oh yes ^^ Smj– Story Time (:
naomi: Like… stories with really random names/concepts/speaking styles o-o? Hm I wonder if that’s the right way to describe it. But I loved Smj– Story Time :-)
naomi: Oh how could I forget ah! Ulzzang fics!
fancracked: hai hai~~ Kim Kyungrok :p
naomi: The Ulzzang Who Couldn’t Play Piano… Blackmail! and Love Sucks… and Suicide Note? All of those had the conventional cold guy… and pretty girl concept thing.
naomi: Sort of unrelated to writing… I have a theory… that some stories are popular not solely for the writing. I remember when I first clicked into certain threads… the character charts that they had made such a big impact on me as a reader.
fancraacked: On the topic of graphics, do you remember when index graphics used to be really popular? xp With the “prologue” banner “character” banner etc.
naomi: Oh I think they’re making a comeback actually xD People have gotten so creative with them now! It’s cute~ I remember a time… when I didn’t have photoshop and I would ask my friend to type out the index banners for me :-P haha
fancracked: If someone was starting out in the fic world today… what would you say to them if they asked for advice/suggestions/recommendations? ^^ (Since the Soompi section is so big/vast—or, I know you don’t just go to Soompi so feel free to talk about whatever sites you go on ^^;)
naomi: Let’s see… Try not to get disillusioned by the number of replies, or with trends or what other people are writing, but focus on the message and the type of story you want to tell for the artist that you like~ Don’t give up because a reader forgets to comment on a chapter, the story will stay alive as long as you choose to keep it :-)
fancracked: Aww TT_TT <3333
naomi: haha! It’s nothing really >.< Just… I guess I wish I didn’t hold myself back so much when writing. And this is what I’ve learned from like… all this time.
fancracked: Sometimes it feels like it’s inevitable that we as writers are sensitive to readers/what they say/what they don’t say ne. But why did you hold yourself back? TT_TT<33
naomi: Oh yeah definitely! Even today… I mean of course writers are going to be happy when a reader comments and everything xD and oh… I guess I was really hesitant to share my writing and my thoughts? And I think if I just took the chance, sat down and gave myself time to write instead of thinking about all the fundamentals of the fanfiction game…..who knows? xD
fancracked: The fanfiction game?!!!!
naomi: Game ah~ :-( ah well, in a way I feel like it’s a game between writers and readers… like writers have a certain way of addressing their audience and formatting and everything and it’s like a game? But… I think it shouldn’t be… it should just be about writing for the fun of it.
fancracked: hai hai
naomi: T_T Oh I sound like… really bitter… but I’m not~ really.
fancracked: No no ^^ but I honestly think like in a way it wasn’t always like this—“this bad.”
naomi: It would have been nice~ I hear the ‘old timers (oh haha)’ talk about how it was better before and stuff.
fancracked: I’m not saying there wasn’t some sort of game going on, but what I remember about the fic section when I started out was that the focus wasn’t always on a “race.” I guess in a way there was greater attention to the fandom aspect.
naomi: I think… it depends on what community we’re writing in? It’s still like that on LiveJournal :-) In a way I feel really comfortable writing on LiveJournal… because the type of fandom is somewhat concentrated?
fancracked: Tell me about LJ (: I usually know LJ as the place to read good yaoi fics.
naomi: Like if I wanted to read only about Shinee then… I would go to a certain [Shinee] community xD
fancracked: Do you write het (heterosexual pairings)? Or yaoi? Just because like I said I know it for its yaoi communities ^^;;
naomi: OH I know! >.< I don’t usually read yaoi… so it’s harder for me to find fics. Mm… I write mostly f(x) and Shinee but I wouldn’t say I’m dedicated to like a certain community, and by comfortable I mean like, readers on LiveJournal aren’t really… commenting on something because oh this author is famous for this or that, but I feel like people are reading those fics because of the content and the people who are in it? And I think that’s nice :-)
fancracked: hai hai – I think that’s something really wonderful and special about LJ as well. It feels like everyone there has a really strong understanding of fandom and writing as well ne.
fancracked: I wonder what it is about Soompi though that makes [some] Soompiers feel this intense need to push for the numbers.
naomi: And I think it’s not always even just numbers now? People are so prone to writing like a certain type of story… and I see that it’s because those stories have gained so much recognition in the past :< Soompi really is big like you said. So many fandoms are smushed into one like the US xD har har and there are definitely fandoms that dominate the other so in a sense I see how… writers would lean towards one thing and not the other?
fancracked: haha like the US~ Somehow, instead of making me feel any sense of competition or pressure, it just kind of makes me shudder though haha aiyo~
naomi: :< it’s kind of discouraging T_T [but] I think, just be comfortable… like no matter where you’re writing just be yourself and don’t change your writing to try to ‘fit in’ because…in the end I don’t think that will make you any happier as a writer :< Replies from readers will only make you happy for so long? Like eventually I realized that… if I’m not writing as ‘me’, then it’s pointless because the readers are liking something that I essentially don’t even like :<I think freedom from pressure is like… the best thing.
fancracked: Let’s talk about your personal muse—Taemin from Shinee.
naomi: xD For me, I think he’s so versatile. I love Taemin as an idol… his dancing and singing and everything so… it stems from that, and from there it’s like if I see a certain photoshoot or something he does on a show then… it would lead me to picturing a version of him and a story would just happen xD
naomi: Say in… The Kids Next Door? He’s a bass player… and I don’t even think he plays guitar in real life but… I think I saw a similarity between him and Shin from the movie NANA? So it started from there. And… since he’s the baby of the group… I see a lot of people portray him as this 2 dimensional… kid T_T! And I guess in my stories I try to break away from that, since he’s so relatable to me age wise [and] I guess what I’m going through in life as a ‘teen.’ I try to see Taemin in a more human way and make him into those characters xD
fancracked: Tell us a bit about your drabble/collection thread. I see more and more people making them but I believe yours has been going on for a while now ^^
naomi: Oh that ah… I think there’s less pressure with drabble threads because it’s like a collection and not an ongoing thing where people are anticipating the next chapter xD Mine is just a dumping ground though, for when I have those late night writing spasms and don’t really finish? I guess for my thread, I’m not really thinking about telling a story but about showing a scene? Each drabble I want to paint a certain picture and in a way it’s freeing because I’m not writing long… things xD
fancracked: I’m just curious because you wrote a lot about dancing in your drabble thread. Are you a dancer?
naomi: Ah! Actually. I’m about the most uncoordinated person in the world, but it’s always been something I wanted to do but lacked the confidence for… so… I think my characters are like… symbolic of something idealistic and something I hope to do in the future xD haha I think in that sense sometimes I worry if… I’m describing dancing in the right way >.< lols
fancracked: Before we end, let me ask… What are your future plans?~ With your fics, etc. ? ^^
naomi: Oh I think… this summer (if I can find the time to) I really want to revise From 9 to 5 and I’m actually planning this story… a lot of it’s still a blur since I’m just getting back into writing but it doesn’t have Shinee and is actually based off a NCIS character XD but that’s about it :-)
fancracked: Oo! Very exciting :D
naomi: Oh oh! And… something I really want to happen… is a Shinee trend… to happen on Soompi. I think a lot more people actually write about them but it’s not really shared on Soompi >.<
fancracked: Try getting them to come :P
naomi: I will! xD
fancracked: Do you have any other comments or last words to share?
naomi: To future writers or current writers, fanfiction is so great and I think there’s a lot of things writers who care about it can do to change things or even just keep it from becoming something that we don’t want to be a part of, but it’s up to us whether we want to take that step and be the change. Writers and readers can sit and talk about how bad things are getting but more importantly we should be that example and show others that fanfiction can be so much more gold than it is right now ^_^ lol so cheesy, but I think that’s it :-)
fancracked: Such nice and meaningful words (:<333333 Thank you for sharing your time and thoughts with us. All the best on the future ^^
naomi: No problem! Thanks for having me! :-)
— our next interview will be with Yin (Pseudonym.)