fancracked: Could you tell us about some of your favorite characters that you’ve written? (: What makes them so special and close to heart? Are any of them similar to your real life personality? xP
vifz: It’s hard to say… I hold dear to all of my characters. And in them, there will always be a bit of myself or people I know instilled into the characters. Most of my fanfics do not feature female artists, so they become characters that either I hope to be or can relate to. A lot of times, I give them professions that I am interested in, and try to imagine what it would be like. Right now, my current favourite would have to be the two female leads in my current project. They were crafted to be the opposite of one another. I really enjoyed contrasting the two.
fancracked: You spoke about your Eric and Hyesung bias earlier but I’d like to generalize the topic of writing/muse biases a bit… Although one may call herself a Shinhwa writer or a 2PM writer, one may find that it’s easier to write about some members over the others ^^;; Is this the case for you?
vifz: This is definitely the case for me. There are certain characters that I am more comfortable with. Like Hyesung, Yoochun, and Junsu (2PM). I am not as comfortable with writing about Nichkhun, or Wooyoung, or Dongwan and Junjin. It’s hard to say. Although Eric is my ultimate bias, I can’t describe him properly. I almost don’t want to write about him because I feel that my description can never do the man justice. Sometimes it’s because they have such a complex character to portray, like JoKwon was definitely giving me a headache, and other times it’s really because I haven’t spent enough time studying them. Perhaps it’s my bias speaking; I find it easiest to write about the idols that I am fondest of.
fancracked: Can you tell us more about The Condom Shop xP and your cafe fic and any other fics you’d like to mention?
vifz: The Condom Shop is or was a “series” like fic, with the main character acting as the owner of the Condom Shop. Her customers frequent the store, and in the meanwhile, share with her their stories. That’s where it branches out into various stories or problems that those customers were facing. It was more of a “dedication” fic to my friends, so the characters were named and modeled after them. For example, I had Hae Mee as one of the customers coming in to tell the main character (who really is me), about her troubled love life (as it does revolve around the concept of a condom shop ;)). And for the main character, she is also facing her own problems. I had a lot of fun writing it back then, and to be honest, I am very close to finishing the story, I just haven’t had the chance to actually finish it.
I am currently writing a story that features 2pm and 2am, as well as Eric and Hyesung. I think this one is a blend of A Star’s Key and my more recent approach to stories. I am starting to enjoy writing stories that reflect the realities of life. This one is about hopes and dreams. I think “Dream High” probably rubbed off on me, hence the theme of the story. The story mainly revolves around two employees of the coffee shop, they work different shifts, so they have never met one another. Both of them encounter their customers, and listen to their stories, either being told to their employers (Eric and Hyesung), or told to them. They both also have their own dreams and desires, and the story sort of skates along the surface of how we shouldn’t give up on our own dreams, even if circumstances make it difficult. I am happy that it is almost done. I have yet to post it anywhere, and when I am finished with it, I don’t even know if I will post it or not.
fancracked: Do you have any particular sources of “knowledge” that you use to gain insight and understanding (as a writer/”creator”)? ^^
vifz: I get inspirations from books, dramas, and movies and I learned to write by reading other people’s fics or published novels. The hardest genre for me to ever attempt was thriller, because at the forefront, you think it is really easy to write a plot about a serial killer or whatever, but in actuality, you need to do a lot more research than you think. And this I learned from reading really good thriller fics, and trying myself. I learned from them that I would never be able to successfully write a thriller unless I am willing to invest my time into researching the topic I wanted to write about, so till now, I have not officially posted any “cop” stories. I still try though on my own leisure and see how far I can get before I decide if I want to commit (most of the time I opted out of the commitment).
I don’t know if that answers anything. I am the type that learns by trying, so my insight on tips is to try and write. Blab until you can’t anymore… if it doesn’t make sense then try and relate it to something you are familiar with, a story, a movie, a drama…what have you. Not to copy their plot or style, but to think how the authors have come about delivering the plot.
fancracked: On a similar note, are there any creative people/people in general who you look up to?
vifz: I love Margaret Atwood’s novels. To date, she has been one of my favourite authors. I was first exposed to her novel, A Handmaid’s Tale, through my favourite English teacher. The novel was likened to 1984. Her stories are really thoughtful and satirical. It criticizes society, human nature… I think to a certain extent that’s how she influenced me. I focus more on human nature than the actual plots. I am learning how to balance that though… but it is really hard. Miyazaki is really good with imagery, and hidden messages. I think his mind is out of the world and his stories touch me each time.
fancracked: Do you visualize your stories a certain way (through a certain medium) when you write and braindstorm? ^^
vifz: I see my stories like a movie or drama. I visualize their interaction and sometimes I start saying words aloud as if I were the characters. It feels weird to admit that, but it helps me understand how my characters would “feel” in a certain situation. In a sense, I like to become one of the characters to see how the story can be driven. Normally I opt for the female lead, but sometimes, I try to take the angle of the male lead and see from his perspective as well. It’s… eh, an interesting process.
fancracked: Before we end, is there anything that we didn’t touch on that you’d like to touch on? ^^
vifz: I don’t know. Maybe it’s time we switch the plate and I ask you questions instead. Hahaha :) Now that you know so much about me, it makes sense, no? I think one thing we haven’t really touched upon is how the fanfic world has not only been a place to share our stories and thoughts, but also a place to meet some of the most awesome friends. A lot of my closest online friends were made through fanfics. I really enjoy that companionship. Also, it’s always exciting to get sneak peeks of your friend’s stories before they get posted, so you can say “ooh! I read this already but here are my thoughts…” so rewarding.
fancracked: Do you have any messages you would like to leave to the current generation of fic writers/readers (and fans? ^^)
vifz: I think it’s important for readers and fans to know that what is written by the writer came from their hearts. Even the fluffiest drabble probably meant something to the writer, so respecting the work of the author is the foremost important thing. I know a lot of readers and fans can get impatient when a writer doesn’t update the story say once a week or more, but give him/her time. A writer’s block is sometimes very difficult to overcome. It’s nice to see encouraging message, but not ones where the fans/readers demand the writer posts immediately.
As for writers, I really do think that you have to feel the story to write it well. So write from the heart. Sometimes it feels stupid to write about yourself or have plots about your friends, but they can be the best inspiration. If you can feel the emotions, you can deliver the story in the way it should be. Pretty words don’t make a story, the projection of these pretty words does.
And to both readers and writers of this generation. I know that yaoi and yuri are the “genres” to write about now. But try stepping out of the convention and try something else. Yes, they are scandalous, they realize your fantasies about your favourite pairing, but there is something more than that in writing.
fancracked: Do you have any messages you would like to leave to anyone in general?
vifz: First of all to Phim, thank you for having me do this interview. It has been an interesting back and forth between us. You posed a lot of questions that I haven’t considered as a writer. It helped me see my own stories and others on a different perspective. So it was both fun and challenging.
To Harphe, whose name I saw on the site, I miss you! Please message me ToT (you know where you can find me).
To HaeMee, whose fics are posted on this archive, I also miss you tons. You dayam well know who I am… and maybe I should just stalk you on AIM.
To those who have read my stories and those who will eventually read my stories, thank you for reading. If there is one thing I love most is to read comments from my readers, so if you ever come across my stories every now and then, please comment on them. I will read them eventually. I do find my way back to the places where I have left my mark.
To everyone else, writing is an expressive art. Appreciate the process of writing, and appreciate the story behind the stories you read.
Thanks again to Vifz for sharing her time and thoughts ^^