fancracked: Hello Sarah! It’s great to finally get to do this interview with you! Could you give us a short introduction? ^^
sarah: Hi there :) I’m Sarah. I’m about 162 cm, my favourite food is cereal with rice krispies on the bottom and frosted flakes on top, and I like cold pizza. My fingernails are perfect for painting, I love red licorice but not black, and I’m going into my second year of university. I follow Jesus and I’m not allergic to peanut butter. I play the ukulele.
fancracked: How’d you get into kpop and kpop fics? ^^
sarah: I always loved writing and when I was in high school, I discovered fanfiction.net and began to write ‘Zoey 101’ fanfics. Eventually I found Soompi and I started going through the fanfic threads there. When I got into Dong Bang Shin Ki, I got really into them so I started writing about them and featuring them in all my stories. I think that’s where that all began…
fancracked: I know you more as a writer than as a reader so I’m wondering what sorts of fics do you like to read? Which ones did you start out reading? ^^
sarah: The only one that I read consistently was High School by scribbles*. I loved that fic! I always wished it was a TV show that I could watch. Every day. hehehe
fancracked: You’ve gotten busier through the years (I guess this is a common trend ^^). Looking back, what are some of your fondest memories about the fic world? ^^
sarah: I loved/still love how writing fanfiction creates relationships. Even now, I think back to all the readers that supported my writing and I feel a little bit mind blown. Also, not only were all the readers amazing but there were some crazy (in the best sense of the word) writers out there that I connected with as well. I love the unexpected communities that you can find in fanfiction. It was definitely my favourite part of the whole experience :)
fancracked: You’ve got a lot of spunk in your fics (for me personally, I enjoy the interesting humor and sarcasm). Where’s it all from?
sarah: hehehehe I… don’t… know… haha! I’m not so great at writing beautifully descriptive sentences (though I wish I was!) and I’m better at writing lighter, quirky bits so I tend to make that the central feel of most of my writing. It makes me happy that my writing can make people smile a watermelon smile like this -> :D
fancracked: Your characters always have cool/fun/interesting quirks. What are some of your favorite quirks that you’ve given them?
sarah: Junsu’s paper clip earrings. Kang Kangkang’s name. Changmin’s home on a hill. And then in another story, Changmin’s unicorn that ate furniture. hehe.
fancracked: Out of all the characters you’ve written, who do you find the most memorable? The funniest?
sarah: Oh definitely Junsu from SMJ. He was just something else all together. I don’t even know how he came to be. I also really enjoyed Jaehyuk from Mipilasica with all his sarcastic remarks. I remember one reader commented this one time and said ‘Jaehyuk sounds like a hottie ;)’ and I was like ‘???’ It must be the sarcasm. hahaha
fancracked: That’s so funny! Truthfully, I really loved Jaehyuk’s sarcasm – it worked really well against the dorkier sides of Yunho and Jaejoong and co. ^^;;
fancracked: Have you ever based a character you’ve written on someone in life? Is there one that bears a resemblance to you?
sarah: I can’t say that I’ve ever based a character on someone that I know in real life. Although with that said, many of my characters definitely do hold certain traits and mannerisms inspired by people in my life. I think there’s a little bit of me in each one of my characters and not one that resembles me fully. I can relate well with all of them.
fancracked: I’ve read SMJ-Storytime and Mipilasica and enjoyed their humor a LOT but I’m wondering if you’ve written fics with a mellower/sadder tone (or something different altogether ^^;;)
sarah: Well! My first DBSK fanfic was called My Lonely Friendship and that was more dramatic and sad than my later stories. I personally prefer my humourous ones, mostly because it’s a style that I’m more comfortable with and I tend to enjoy it more. And even though I loved My Lonely Friendship while I was writing it, I cringe a little bit when I look back on it now. But, nonetheless, it still holds a special, cheesy place in my heart (in a box. Labelled ‘things you thought you forgot, but you really didn’t.’ To be opened only on special occasions).
fancracked: What are some of your favorite scenes that you’ve written/thought of? ^o^
sarah: To be honest, no particular scene comes to mind. I guess because I’m always so focused on characters and their development that plot comes second in priority sometimes. one conversation from SMJ comes to mind though where the main character, Seo Minji, is depressed and she wants to eat pancakes or some kind of western breakfast, and her parents say ‘We’re Korean, you can have rice!’ I also remember the adventures in Mopseen forest in Mipilasca. I still love the idea of Mopseen forest. I hope I come back to it again one day!
fancracked: Hearing about your focus on characterization/plot development definitely piqued my interest!! Could you tell us how you go about planning/creating characters and plotlines? ^^
sarah: Ahh I’m not actually too sure how I go about planning characters. They’re just kind of born. The hardest part for me is definitely naming them. Like, ‘what name can capture you perfectly?’ I guess I assign a gender. A name. A couple logistical things like age and so on. And then I give them one defining trait which I can build off and around throughout the whole story. I love when more is revealed about a character as the story continues.
fancracked: I’m wondering if you are the type to outline everything/have everything written out ahead of time.
sarah: I am not. When it comes to writing fanfics, I’ve always just gone with the flow of things as opposed to making outlines. But I’m actually starting to appreciate the presence of an outline while I write long essays for university so maybe I’ll start using them for creative writing as well! It does give a sense of structure that ‘going with the flow’ doesn’t have. Although I do enjoy the freeness of no outline writing very much!
fancracked: Jumping back to characterization — Do you have any favorite fics/books/movies/dramas that executed and developed characterization well? ^^
sarah: Lilo and Stitch (my favourite movie!). Harry Potter, of course. Digimon (the first and third seasons are my favourite)!! I think quite a few anime series do a very good job with character development. I love the flashbacks/back stories they insert throughout the series.
fancracked: Aside from characterization and plot development, what are other key elements of writing/developing a story that you pay attention to when writing your stories/when watching or reading others’ stories/films/etc.?
sarah: Humour. And I don’t mean that the whole story has to be considered a comedy, but I like when there are traces of wittiness just cleverly placed at exactly the right moments. Actually, is humour and wit considered to be two very different things? Yes, I would say wit. Wittiness!
fancracked: You’ve touched on themes/elements of friendship, magic, and romance before… Is there anything you’d like to dabble in that you haven’t yet?–or anything you’d like to write more of? ^^~
sarah: I’d like to write more fantasy, especially since ‘Mipilasica’ was never finished. One day!
fancracked: There are a lot of “pairings” in Mipilasica/sidekicks. Do you have a particular one that you enjoy writing about?
sarah: I liked Jaehyuk and Jaejoong. Bromance. Heheh.
fancracked: A few random questions… A situation in life demands that you get a bodyguard. Out of your fic characters, who’d you call upon to be your bodyguard?
sarah: Junsu from SMJ. He would just scare everyone away with his weirdness and I would always be safe. Also, I figure if the king of weirdos is protecting me than other weirdos won’t bother me.
fancracked: You wake up and find that you’re in one of your characters’ body (you’ll be stuck in it for 24 hours). Which character would you choose to be and why?
sarah: Changmin as Mr Advice Man! It would be fun to just give advice to people for a day. And to live in a secluded cottage on top an even more secluded hill. I’m not even sure if he rents or has a lease on that house or what.
fancracked: If you could ever take a trip up to Changmin’s hill in Smj– Story Time, what do you reckon your conversation would be like? ^^;;
sarah: Oh hmm I’m not sure… I would like to have insightful conversations with him about people. We’d probably talk about mutual friends hehe.
fancracked: If you had to relive one scene that you’ve written over and over again (assuming you are one of your fic characters), what scene would it be and why?
sarah: I would say the scene where Tio is born. A dragon hatching would never get old.
fancracked: A few more questions on writing… Are there any “conditions” that must be met before you start writing?
sarah: Haha no, I don’t think so! I’ve never thought about it before. I just start writing and find the right music, right food (although all food is the right food), right whatever to help me as I go.
fancracked: I really enjoy reading your characters’ conversations ~ Do you have any advice/tips/thoughts on how to write dialogue (or any other writing-related tips you’ve learned over the years)? ^^ ~~
sarah: Dialogue is one of my favourite things to write. I think it’s really important for each of your characters to have a distinct voice for dialogue to come through effectively. It should be realistic enough to be relatable but kind of fantastical in the sense that everything is crafted to fit into a bigger picture. I think that in real life we sometimes have too many conversations that just don’t matter. We dance around the topics we really care about and substitute it for unmemorable small talk. When I write, I want all the conversations to matter in some way or another.
fancracked: What is your solution for tackling writer’s block?
sarah: I used to just wait for it to go away. But now I write anyway and force myself through it. That’s what editing is for, right?
fancracked: Is there anything that we didn’t touch on yet that you’d like to mention? Fic related or not ^^
sarah: Well I think regarding other passions of mine, I would have to talk about Jesus. I have a big heart for the gospel and for missions. If there is one thing that I always want to talk about, it is Jesus. (So if anyone ever wants to have a conversation about this… or about anything!…. I am down to chat/skype/meet up/whatevs. Even though I live in Canada, I’ll fly to you and we can grab hot chocolate. Or if you live in Cali, we can go to Disneyland! yeahhhHHHhhh disneyland!!!).
I’m actually going to Haiti this summer with my church from Aug 18-30. Ever since the earthquake last January, Haiti has been stuck on my heart and I am sososososo excited to be going there in less than three weeks. We’ll be doing Vacation Bible School (VBS) with the kids there and there’s the possibility that we will get to do some construction/repairs as well. Also, we’ll be visiting orphanages and meeting with the people of Port-Au-Prince. I think that’s what I’m most excited about. Just to be there and to meet the people and to be apart of it all. Even though it’s been a year since the earthquake, Haiti still needs a lot of help and a lot of love. They might have disappeared from the the media, the but the nation is still in need.
If you’d like to make a donation to support my trip to Haiti (each team member is required to raise around $2000 to cover the cost of shots/plane tickets/accommodations/etc) you can follow the Paypal link on my blog to make an online donation!:
Everything/anything is appreciated!
Or if you’d like to talk more about Haiti (or anything at all really), pleaseplease don’t hesitate to e-mail me at: melonbar92[AT]hotmail.com
I think that was my longest answer on this interview so far…. hahahha
fancracked: Would you like to send a message to anyone? (feel free to send multiple messages ^^)
sarah: Susie (scribbles*), Susie 2 (iridescent), and Sunny (sunnylee) from back in my Soompi days. You all inspired me in some way, shape, or form and when I think about Soompi fanfiction, I always think of you three ladies. And of course, Phimmy (timedhappiness) whose reviews always made my login to Ficaholics incredibly enjoyable. If I ever get a real book published one day, I will send it to you for free. With my picture on the inside. And a sour key taped to the back. Heh heh. :D