fancracked: What are some of your favorite universal themes found in stories? Are they different from what are found in your own pieces?
min: When I’m reading, genre wise, I love comedy. If I cry from laughing, then I know I’m reading a good story. Also, I love things that are heartbreakingly sad. I personally feel like I can’t write sad things because right now I’m going through this phase where everything feels corny XD
As for themes, I really love when there’s a strong aspect of friendship or family in stories. I think family and friendship are really important, and when there’s a story that shows how close two friends are or how close/far apart families are, it’s really interesting to me.
I feel like when I write, it’s always about the same thing XD I try to be funny, and add a little bit of what I consider to be romance and just string it all together. I do like reading “abstract” pieces, where it isn’t clear what the subject/plot is, and I can’t really tell what’s going on, but the writing is so beautiful, that I don’t really care that I don’t understand XD Sometimes I take breaks from fanfiction and try writing abstract drabbles (I think I mentioned that I did this earlier) but again, I feel like I’m being corny, so I don’t think mine are as beautiful :P
fancracked: Sometimes I study how writers/”creators” execute their ideas by watching/reading their work. Other times I do it “second-handedly” by reading in depth movie/drama reviews and commentaries (to see others’ opinions and interpretations of specific scenes and executions). Do you have any particular “methods of learning”? ^^;;
min: When I’m writing, I find myself getting more and more boring. When I feel like I’m getting boring, I stop writing and start reading old fics that I know I love. I get this jolt of energy after reading, and then I’m ready to write again. I think when I ONLY write for a long period of time, I’m squeezing all the juice out of my brain and the only thing that comes out is monotonous and unexciting.
But I also do what you do. I haven’t found any really “in depth” reviews, but I like reading what other people think about movies/dramas. Likewise, if there’s a story I’m in LOVE with, I’ll read the comments that other readers leave the writer because I love the story that much. Which makes me kind of wish there was more discussion to stories, instead of ten different conversations going on with the reader and each of her writers :P
fancracked: On the topic of readers and discussions, through time I’ve come to see how readers make a difference in the lives of writers. Not so much in the “popular bandwagon” way–but more so in a “your comment really made my day” sort of way ^^;; Could you tell us a bit about what readers mean/meant to you?
min: I love getting to know readers. It’s kind of like when I mentioned the community of artists earlier, and getting to know writers and readers. I looooove when I get close to someone and can’t wait until I see their comment or update. I even appreciate people who just stop by and say, “Oh, I enjoyed this.” and leave. Because I have to admit that sometimes I read something, and I don’t leave any feedback mostly because of laziness, or because I don’t know what to say, so when someone goes out of their way to tell me they liked it, it’s really awesome.
fancracked: Although you sort of touched on this, I shall ask it again because some readers on the blog/elsewhere have mentioned how much they miss your fics/writing! Will you be making a comeback in the future? [note by fancracked: This portion of the interview was done before Min posted her current fic ^^;;]
min: Wow people miss me? LOL That’s kind of a nice feeling knowing that people keep my writing in their memory <3 <3 I do WANT to post again, but I don’t know if I can D: I’m more picky and honest (to myself) about my writing now, so if it’s not perfect to me, I can’t let other people read it XD Also, now that I’m getting older, I don’t know if I can keep up with that world anymore T_T I feel like I can’t just post and leave. I would want to read and start getting to know people, but it’s just so fast paced, and I haven’t been active for such a long time.
Another thing that stops me from posting, is that lately EVERYTHING feels corny to me. I can’t write romantic/dramatic/sad stuff because I feel like I’m being corny. I can read other’s romantic/dramatic/sad writing…but I just can’t seem to do it. I don’t really like serious stuff, and I’m not good in serious/tense situations, so I try to avoid them as much as possible XD
fancracked: What sorts of lessons have you walked away with through your writing and reading processes/experiences? ^^~~
min: I think I learned in reading and writing that everything has a consequence. I mean, this is something I learned in real life, but reading it in other people’s perspectives and other situations, I can really see the cause and effect in a lot of things. Things in literature are always dramatized, so things are blown out of proportion or exaggerated for entertainment, but… it’s like learning from other people’s mistakes. It’s really awesome when I realize I’ve learned something valuable from reading.
I also feel like I’ve gotten better at imagining certain situations beforehand (and guessing what someone might say or do), because you really start to notice certain characteristics and word choices that certain characters have, and I put that into my personal relations with others, but that might just be me.
Also, I learned the power of words. The way something’s worded can change the outcome. It’s really amazing to see how an entire story can change because a character answered a question with “no,” or they came ten minutes late opposed to coming fifteen minutes early.
fancracked: Writing is such a personal part of me that I feel like I could never split away from the writer/”dreamer/thinker” in me… What does writing mean to you? ^^;
min: I feel the same. Writing is really personal to me, and I don’t think I’ll ever give it up. When I think, I feel like writing. When I have an idea, I feel like writing. I really feel like writing is part of me, even though I probably won’t ever do something really serious with it. Something I can’t do is talk verbally about my writing, because it’s so personal. I’m taking a children’s book writing class, and I hate reading my own stories out loud, and I can’t look anyone in the eye when I’m getting them critiqued. Even if they say something nice, I get all nervous and thank them without looking at them.
But this is just writing. I go to an art school, and I can talk about my art no problem. But not writing. Well, they’re two completely different things. A lot of art is about interpretation and storytelling, but writing is almost like your inner thoughts, streams of consciousness, and sometimes really personal things come out (I mean, art is like this too, but in a different way from writing). These things come out in characters, or they happen to characters, and they’re so personal that I can’t verbally talk about them with someone. Maybe this is something I’ll grow out of, because at first, I was really embarrassed to get my art critiqued.
fancracked: Where do you go/what do you turn to when you are looking for inspiration?
min: I wish I had the luxury of being able to escape to a different place when I’m hit with writers block, but I don’t T_T If I really can’t write, or everything I write seems to suck, then I take a break from writing. I read, watch something, distract myself, pretty much anything. Usually I won’t write for about a week, and then suddenly, I’ll feel like writing again. I think writers block happens when you don’t really want to write, but you force yourself. Well, at least that’s what it’s like for me. I realized that everything I write seems forced and unnatural. If that’s the case, I just quickly jot down the idea I had so I can come back to it when I actually feel like writing, and develop the idea.
As for inspiration, I get inspired by pretty much anything. There was a time last year when nature really inspired me, so I wrote a couple “one-shot” type things describing almost naked twigs swinging in the wind, the reflection in puddles, or just anything random that I saw outside that was particularly beautiful to me at that moment. But if I’m writing a fanfic and I need inspiration, I usually listen to songs by that artist or watch shows they’ve been on to be reminded of their personality or situations they’ve been in. Or reading lyrics. It’s really amazing how much you can learn about someone just by reading lyrics (assuming they were written by said artist).
fancracked: Do you share your ideas with anyone during the writing/planning process?
min: omg no definitely not. I mentioned earlier how personal writing is to me, so I can’t discuss them [my ideas] with anyone. I know I’d probably be able to grow more as a writer if I shared ideas with people and got feedback, but I just can’t. I have one friend who likes to tell me about her stories for feedback/a slight critique, so I can discuss other people’s writing, but not mine. I get embarrassed really easily. I don’t mind reading people’s thoughts about my writing after I’ve written it, but definitely not during the process. But maybe if I had a sister that I was really close to, I might bother her about it, only because she’d be my sister. Sadly, I’m an only child T_T
Also, when I get ideas, I really get married to them, so I can’t let go. But when people are honest and tell me that those things would probably be better taken out, I get discouraged and don’t feel like writing. Also, when I hear that an idea I was really excited about isn’t that great, or the person I’m talking to isn’t as excited as I am, I get a little embarrassed and I feel like I’m wasting their time D: Also, I don’t think I’m good at selling ideas, so I can’t make something sound as good as I feel it would be, and then I’m back to feeling embarrassed XD
fancracked: If I remember correctly, you’re also quite the artist! I’m interested to hear more about your artistic side if you wouldn’t mind elaborating on it ^^
min: Oh yes I love talking about art XD Lately I’ve really been interested in the aesthetic of books (which makes me really sad that kindles and nooks might make books a thing of the past) so I’m taking a book structure and paper making class. Other than that, I like working with plush and I love making toys. I really only make stuffed animals, but I would like to play around with vinyl/plastic/sculpey and make little hard toys. There was one point when I really wanted to work for kidrobot and design and make toys for them. Conceptually I like adding elements of irony or humor into my work.
Two artists that really inspired how I work now are Marcel Duchamp and Claes Oldenburg. Duchamp works with humor and irony, and Oldenburg brings small objects to a monumental scale. Other artists I really admire are Egon Schiele and Olaf Breuning.
I won’t mention what school I go to (I’ve mentioned it somewhere on the forums so if anyone wants to know THAT badly, you can try looking for it? Or you can personally ask me :D), but as for my major, I’m a general fine arts major, because I enjoy all types of fine art whether it be painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking (although I haven’t been able to take a printmaking class yet, I plan to in the future and I’m super excited!), etc. I’m concentrating in book arts and graphic design.
Graphic design is actually something that I became interested in because of Soompi. There are so many talented artists on Soompi, and they make such beautiful artworks, so I learned photoshop from the tutorial thread in Soompi’s tech forum and started making my own posters/banners/icons, and I got really into it, so now I’m doing it at school :P but I haven’t made anything kpop related in a long time D:
For a while I also wanted to intern at a huge company and design stuff for them, maybe like Urban Outfitters or Anthropologie, or maybe even a record company and do CD covers/posters/merchandise, but right now, I feel that if I could make things for the rest of my life, I’d be happy. I just like making things that are somewhat functional, but not really. That, or be a children’s book author/illustrator :P
fancracked: Could you share a pic or two of art pieces that you really like? (If you’re okay with it, I’m sure readers would love to see your work as well! ^^)
min: This is pretty small compared to some of Oldenburg’s other stuff, but I really like it. I’m kind of drawn to plush XD and for an example of the monumental pieces he does:
min: For Egon Schiele – ** I don’t know how old the readers are, but a lot of his work is pretty NSFW only because he does a lot of nude studies but I’m really in love with his line work and his color palette.
min: As for my own art… I might post it on tumblr one day if I feel confident enough :P but for now jpeg versions of them sit in folders on my computer :P
fancracked: Just reading about your passion for art really makes me feel all happy inside for some reason lol! Do you have any advice for those who may be interested in or planning on heading into the art/design fields? ^^
min: Well, for me, my high school art department really sucked because the chair wasn’t great. My AP art teacher (who was also the chair) wasn’t helpful in critiquing or developing skills and she was really lazy and just… terrible. She wasn’t even a nice lady D: but I went to this after school art school, kind of like a cram school for art, and that teacher was amazing.
Getting as much help and feedback as you can is really good and can help you grow as an artist. Also, a lot of kids think that if they go to art school, they don’t have to worry about grades, but kids are getting smarter these days, so if you don’t study, it’s hard to get in with JUST your art. I know a couple kids from my art cram school who applied this year and got rejected to their top choices even though they had amazing portfolios, because their grades didn’t make it.
But other than that, carry around a sketch book with you and write down ideas. You don’t have to draw, but if you have an idea or a vision in mind, write it down. If you want to get better at drawing, just do random drawing studies of objects around you. You don’t need to set up a still life with apples and fruits and fancy bowls to practice drawing. Just draw what you see and look at the work of artists you like, and you’ll feel yourself getting better.
Also, my best friend’s dad asked me how school was going, and I told him it was hard and I have so much work to do, and he answered, “Really? But it’s just art school.” T_T haha Art school isn’t as easy as people think T_T A lot of work requires hours of thinking and preparation on top of production.
**[Perks of studying art:] I’ll be studying abroad in Italy next year :DDD so I’m super excited XD
fancracked: Before we wrap up, I have just a few more questions for you ^^;; — Has there ever been a story of yours where you felt like if you didn’t sit down and write it within a short amount of time, you’d never be able to capture it satisfactorily? (Like it’d lose its meaning? )
min: Everything. I get certain ideas of a specific scene, and I write it down, and if I don’t write everything right then, I can’t really write it later. A lot of times, I type out the general plot, and I get really excited to flesh it out, but I usually do that a couple days later (for whatever reason) and I lose my fire D: I have a bunch of unfinished documents in a folder on my desktop, and when I go back and re-read them, I always wish I wrote more. And then I start writing more, but I stop myself because the voice is different, I’m different, and I can’t get the character portrayal to be right.
fancracked: Recently you posted a fic called Two Birds on a Telephone Wire. Could you tell us a bit about the premise of the story and its leading characters? (:
min: It’s a story about a girl and a boy~~~ lol ummm well this is actually the third version I had for this story. I wanted to show process of the development of a relationship instead of having a lot of time lapses, where the relationship developed over time (like, “three months passed, and now we were incredibly close” or something like that :P). I don’t really mind when writers do it, but I kind of felt like I was taking the easy way out, by letting time do all the work. It was also kind of practice.
I wasn’t going to post it, but it was the first time I “finished” (I put finished in quotations because I want there to be two or three parts, and I only have part one finished) something, and I was excited, and I kind of wanted feedback. I haven’t gotten feedback on my writing in a while, so I just wanted to see how others saw it so I could work on clarity (which is a weak point of mine T_T) and character development.
As for the characters, it’s centered around Jiyong Kwon from Big Bang, and an original character named Somi Park. The story is basically a look inside Somi’s brain. I wanted it to be a stream-of-consciousness type of story, where we can see how her thoughts may go off on a tangent (like when you think of a water bottle, then you think of plastic, then you think of that old plastic toy you played with when you were younger, and then you think of a time you were sick, and then you think of medicine. Something like that XD) and her thought process. It’s very character-centered. It’s a little less story like, because it’s not written as if she’s talking to an audience, but more like we can suddenly read her mind.
fancracked: Lastly, would you like to leave any messages to anyone? (:
min: To the people I met between 2007-2009, you really helped me a lot <3 I had a lot of fun on Soompi with you guys, and I wish you would kind of come back as well. And for the people I’m meeting in 2011, hello! I hope the general community hasn’t changed too much, so we can all be friends too :DDDD
Part I can be found here.
Thanks to Min for doing this interview with me ^^~