fancracked: Can you tell us about your own fics? ^o^
tae: Of course! Let’s see. When I wrote my first fic, which I think was titled something nonsensical like ‘Too much love isn’t enough’, or something, I was about 11 or 12 and had no idea what I was doing. I just saw that other people were writing and thought, ‘Oh! That looks fun. Let me try!’. That was back when I had just become exposed to the internet and internet forums. The fic was badly written and probably broke about a thousand grammar rules. I’m pretty sure it was about Kangta and Bada. I continued to write these thoughtless fics for a while — at one point, I think I was starting 4 fics a week and actually posting them in the forum just to see people’s reactions. Looking back now, it was definitely a time before I even understood the components of a story or even what I was doing.
When I entered my Se7en-obsession stage in 2003, I think I wrote a few with him in it. They were probably better grammatically. The last ones I wrote (and never finished) were DBSK fics with Yoochun as the lead character (I was in love!). I still write stories now, just for my private pleasure as a stress reliever, and I will continue to write stories for the rest of my life. I don’t think I would have started if it hadn’t been for Soompi’s fanfic forum! I learned to become a better writer through experience, age and lots of reading. I took a lot of inspiration from Soompi writers as well. I don’t know if people do this nowadays, but back then a lot of writers would put readers into their stories as minor characters. I remember that was a lot of fun. I remember I once had a fic in which Jaejoong was a bitter and fragile dentist. He was a riot to write. I still remember him.
fancracked: HAHA Wow… A bitter and fragile dentist O_O that’s intense!
tae: lmao fragile as in he would fall over a lot and break bones. Man I had some weird nonsensical stories hahahahah
fancracked: I think Soompi really strengthened my writing/passion for writing as well — It gave me an outlet ^^
tae: Right? Same ^^
fancracked: Also — Se7en<333 I only read se7en fics on Solid I think… bc I barely found them on Soompi T_T minus one called The Seventh Note by cecilia I think ^^; [note: I think this is the incomplete version… though I’m pretty sure it was finished. Sorry guys… I’ll rummage through all the files I have to see if I have a completed version ^^ edit: I think shoebox has the complete version but it’s currently down and I’m going to respect the owners by not posting their version ^^v]
tae: haha yeah I was really heavily into him during his first debut album. I loved Solid07. I remember when it closed :/ #1 stop for kpop. Oh god memories.
fancracked: There was a different feel with Solid fics… even if many were also posted on Soompi/Winglin/etc. Every site has its own touch xP
tae: haha definitely. Nowadays I noticed that the fics in the fanfic forums were all pretty much written with some semblance of correct grammar. Back then when I first started out, half the fics were written lyk dis hahah lolz those were the days lmao
fancracked: It’s funny bc I thought of fics as “all the same”—even the ones that had better control of language etc. and though I noticed, I never really thought of it as a “plus” or something “better completely xP I just cared about the story/gasoo. Now with time I think my standards have gone up a bit but back then… I really could care less.
tae: Exactly! My standards have gone through the roof. I can’t read fics anymore. They make me cringe. LOL I’m a grammar nazi now. But when I was 11, anything went.
fancracked: lol very true~~~ It feels like the younger writers/those starting out now have become more accustomed to higher standards etc. which is good but then sometimes I feel like those who may want to just write “for fun” feel less inclined or welcome to write or share their work because of these heightened standards.
tae: aww yeah. That’s how everyone starts out though. I feel like it was easier for me to post stories because Soompi was so small back then. When I was there it didn’t feel small, but now that I look back it’s definitely nowhere as big as it is now and then I had readers like Moley who encouraged me to become better.
fancracked: I love the relationship between a writer and a reader T_T
tae: It’s definitely something new on the internet because it’s such a direct relationship. Instant feedback. How great is that.
fancracked: Indeed! ^^*
fancracked: Is there something we haven’t covered that you’d like to touch on?
tae: hmm let’s see~ hahaha … Fics are one of those things that…you can’t STOP talking about them, you know what I mean? And that goes through all the eras. People are still reading fics like Kiss the Sky and What I Did for Love and it’s been more than a decade since they were written. I think that’s amazing… fics are a force of their own. So many friendships have been made over the years just by bonding over fics and I think every fangirl would agree with me when I say this… that nothing in the world can replace the awesomeness of finding someone who loves and cares for the same things you do. And k-pop, more than anything in my life, has encouraged that attitude.
fancracked: So true TT__TT<3 there are people I’ve met/connected with who I would have never met otherwise due to time/distance/etc.
tae: YES! Totally. And you know what’s amazing is that I still keep in touch with a lot of those people I met on Soompi on facebook and twitter and although they’ve moved on, they taught me some of the best lessons in my life.
fancracked: And I also think — especially for writers or really for readers as well… when you’re friends with someone like that they really inspire you because there’s so much fangirly energy flowing around that you end up catching the fever–as a graphic artist or a writer or a fan in general.
tae: hahah exactly! Those conversations that go on like “omg minwoo’s face!” “omg I want to kidnap him and put him in my pocket” “let’s do it” “OMG STUD MUFFIN.” Only fangirls know those conversations.
fancracked: An old friend used to always tell me that she was going to kidnap him and put him in her closet!! lol When I look back on it now, I’m like “omg we sounded hella scary” lolz but those were such funny convos!! And they lead to great crack stories! hehehe
tae: LMAO agreed. Fangirl convos are the best.
fancracked: That’s why I really loved reading Shinhwa fics in particular because you’d read the comments and they’d be soooo funny and bizarre xP but absolutely perfect and right on!
tae: hahahaha omg some of the comments – I died. … I don’t know if this is true now, but there used to be a very big sense of community there. It was like going home. I miss that a lot.
fancracked: Me too )*: I think maybe it’s with time… and I’m happy that fan writers/readers right now can still call wherever they go “home” … but for me personally, I felt sad watching power house writers go away… There was a time when I felt like people weren’t valuing fanfiction in the way that I thought had always been the norm. Back then, I feared that the loss of old writers, and the lag in having new writers emerge to “replenish” the stream with really awesome stories featuring gasoos made the Soompi section (and the fic world) less homely. It was a “real concern” for me, though I knew it wasn’t like the fire had gone out… it just felt different… seeing the transition from old to new was hard. But I realized whining about it wouldn’t change things or improve things.
tae: >____< I feel the same way when I visit the forum once every blue moon.
fancracked: But I realized and accepted that that was then… this is now. Though I still wish that we could bring back a more familial feel to the fic section.
tae: hahaha yeah. It’s hard to explain to people what Soompi was like before 2005. Especially now, with individual forums and AKP taking over the stage.
fancracked: Yeah–I miss when Soompi used to just have EVERYTHING in one place xP — we used to know everybody’s business HAHA And that’s how I learned about kpop so fast as well.
tae: hahaah YES!
fancracked: I will say that I stuck around thanks to you guys (the older generation). You were the ones that taught me how fandom can make you so happy… and how it’s never a shame to be a hardcore fangirl xP
tae: HAHA We were all happy in our own rights.
fancracked: Nowadays I feel like some people (sometimes) hide how fangirly they are because it’s not as “cool” xP
tae: It is NEVER shameful to be a fangirl. Never.
fancracked: Before we stop, would you like to send any messages out to anyone? ^^
tae: First and foremost, to the amazing people I met over the years at Soompi: I miss all of you. I hope you’re doing well. To my RW: Some of us still keep in touch, but some of us don’t. Wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing, I hope you remember the great times we had together and the memories that will never be forgotten! ^^
And finally, to those of you who are just starting to read fanfics or have not been here long: Enjoy the stories. Just like fictional books, that’s what fanfics are — stories. Great stories told by great people, whether they’re about made-up characters or real celebrities. And enjoy the time you have now to fangirl your heart out :)
Thanks to Tae for taking the time out of her busy schedule to do this interview with me ^^*
To read the first part of Tae’s interview, click here.