So you want to blog about Korean dramas

If you are an aspiring blogger (or an expiring one, all jaded-like and needing some help rekindling an old passion), this post is for you.

We are five ardent fans of Korean dramas, having watched them for a decade or thereabouts. We may not look it, but mark our words, we know this stuff. So, even though we aren’t bloggers per se and have no experience blogging (except one time and even then on the fly), we would like to offer some choice morsels of advice on the subject.

Let’s start with the basics. A name is the first thing you need because that’s going to be your identity; it shapes how others see you and your blog. For instance, you don’t want “prattle” in your name because have you ever seen that highfalutin word used in a positive way? You might as well substitute it with “babble”; the meaning is the same but at least it won’t be greeted with cackles of derision.

You also don’t want a name that puts you out on a limb. Take Sulovesdrama, a charming little blog that should cease being a well-kept secret. Fine if Su digs dramas now, but what if a day should come when she is no longer in love? Then what? Thus, pick a name that gives you room to change and diversify, such as the one chosen by a clever blogger. If one day this blogger discovers a new addiction and wants to write about that, she can wag a finger at those who wail, “Joonni, why are you blogging about sugar gliders?!” She can say, “The warning was up there all along.”

After you’ve decided on a name that takes into account the present and the future, think about a tagline. Unfortunately, the one tagline that you swear best encapsulates what you want to do has already been coined and patented years ago. That’s right, you can’t use “blogging my kdrama obsession,” not even if it came to you in an epiphany. That tagline is owned; don’t mess with its owner.

One of our favorite taglines is “I’ll talk about dramas if I want to” because it exudes a whole lot of sass. It’s also perfect because talking about dramas is exactly what that blog does, with supreme confidence. Do not try to be self-effacing with a tagline like “kdrama fluff and stuff,” not unless you want to rile those who take their Korean dramas very seriously. Also, never ever combine “fluff” with “prattle”; that’s like shooting your own foot twice.

Identity in place, what’s next? A platform and a theme. You create your blog, give it that name and tagline that you have carefully chosen, and pick a theme with which to showcase it. A simple and functional one will do for now; six months or a year later you could always switch to another design. Refrain from switching themes every two days; it’s disorientating to people (and other creatures) who favor familiarity over madcap experimentation. Save your creativity for your blog posts instead.

Now we’re ready to talk about your focus. What exactly do you want to do?

Before you respond with an eye-rolling “blog about kdramas, duh,” consider this: With so many Korean drama blogs already out there, can you offer something that is different? Not necessarily unique, but not too commonplace that you become just another person on the street. For example, can you paint scenes from a drama and make them so beautiful and lifelike your readers do a double take and curse the genes that make them artistically-challenged? Can you do live recaps from Seoul and do them so well people continents away set their alarms so that they can read your recaps the moment you publish them?

Don’t despair if you can neither paint Korean dramas nor recap them in real time; that breed of bloggers is rare and special anyway. If all you have is a love for the dramas and for writing, that’s all you need. Keep the faith! Hwaiting!

First, cultivate that love. We are referring, of course, to your love for Korean dramas. Horse before cart. You watched the dramas, got addicted (got innocent bystanders addicted, too), and decided you wanted to write about them. You didn’t start out watching dramas because you happened to love writing. Get your priorities (and timeline) straight.

Your dramas are your material. Keep watching so that you have things to write about. And if you have others in your household who love watching, do not deprive them of that pleasure. Kindness to all, remember?

As you watch, do not worry about how you want to write. Some people multi-task like they were born doing it (screaming, kicking, socking the midwife one in the jaw), but a majority of viewers concentrate on just watching because the effort itself (all that squealing and swearing that they do) drains them and they are barely coherent after that. Finish watching first, then mull over that hour or two that you’ve just spent. What impressions linger?

In a book that we read whose title and author we’ve forgotten (because a lot of books get read and tossed aside around here), these words left a mark, enough for them to be scribbled on a post-it and stuck on a place where they could be seen every day:

Your readers want to know what you make out of the work — how you interpret it, or why you like or dislike it.

That’s all there is to a review. Not too daunting, is it? A recap’s the same, even if the format’s different somewhat. People come to your blog because they value your opinion; they like knowing what you think. But even as you share your thoughts, leave some room for your readers. Try not say everything that has to be said about an episode or a whole series; resist the urge to over-analyze. Plant a seed and let it grow; your readers are intelligent and can make up their own minds. Kevin Grossley-Holland puts it this way:

I see the role of the writer as creating a room with big windows and leaving the reader to imagine. It’s a meeting on the page.

Speaking of a “meeting on the page,” that’s an admirable goal but it shouldn’t become an overriding concern. Your readers are important, sure, but you shouldn’t be blogging just for them. Don’t write to please others; write to please yourself. Your writing should entertain you before it can entertain anyone else. If you find yourself bored by your own words, others will likely be bored as well. That’s why it’s best not to hurry when you write, but to approach it with a measure of caution and deliberation so that months or years later, you can reread the piece without cringing.

Do not, however, become excessively careful and deliberate. Do not become like one blogger that we have observed, who pores over her writing like a surgeon reattaching blood vessels, spending upwards of two hours on just the first paragraph, editing and editing until the poor paragraph can scarcely breathe, so stripped is it of life. Blogging should be fun. It should make both blogger and reader happy.

That’s why some of our favorite blogs are the ones that make us laugh. Their owners have a wondrous way with words; their posts crack us up because the humor is sharp and wicked.


Ha, twins separated at birth, but we digress.

Use pictures in your writing, and use your words to paint pictures. Show rather than tell. Instead of declaring that a particular scene is silly, describe it so that there’s no mistaking the silliness. Let your readers walk alongside you so that they can take ownership of the journey, rather than have everything spelled out in so many words for them.

Above all—above a natural flair for writing and devotion to the craft—write with heart. Write because it gives you joy to be able to create something out of nothing. “Why do writers write? Because it isn’t there,” says Thomas Berger. There isn’t going to be another blog like yours (unless you are all about taking content from other bloggers and reproducing it as if it’s your own; that’s “plagiarism,” from the Latin word “plagiarius,” which means kidnapper). No one is going to write like you, and you are not going to write like anyone else. Leave your own mark as a blogger of Korean dramas and take pride in that, even when the number of hits is low and the comments few and far between.

Keep writing. More importantly (please, please, please), keep watching!

Sincerely,

Archidamus, Gertrude, Donalbain, Portia, and Hortensius

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27 thoughts on “So you want to blog about Korean dramas

  1. Love this post. I recently started a blog and of course right after I did I, all of a sudden, got a life so my posts have been few and far in between. Now that things are slowing down, I am planning on getting back into it but as a blogging virgin and an okay but not great writer, it will be a learning process. It took me a really long time to learn how to add the “read more” icon to my posts…a really long time…like weeks. However, I just figured out how to screencap so I have been having fun with that. I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and getting these numerous thoughts out of my head and onto cyber paper. :)

    • Beware, screencapping is highly addictive and so time-consuming. :D

      I’m actually trying to screencap less and use fewer pics so that I can focus on the writing rather than on images. A main reason why I find recapping exhausting is the 4-6 hrs I spend per post just working with screencaps. After my Wane post, I decided I should try writing more frequently, but in order to do that, I will have to cut down drastically on pics. In fact, other than the lead image, there aren’t supposed to be pics for this post. But well, lizards can be obstinate!

      Keep writing, SweetiePie54!

      • Totally agree on screencapping, both dangers. I was so proud, and thought it was a huge step forward when I started adding photos to my posts… until I noticed that they took 3 times as long to write! It\’s a relief to hear that experienced bloggers have the same problem.

      • I recently started a blog as well, and have already discovered the dangers of screencapping. I decided to try to keep it under 5 screencaps for any drama episode that I’m talking about.

  2. This is awesome! Super funny, and very good advice. Though I take issue with you guys’ mocking of Thundie. She is a goddess. Also, she feeds you, so you might want to be nice to her.

    I like lizard posts. Will we see a contribution from any chinchillas? :)

  3. But I fear I am not as scattered as I claim to be. I don’t know anything about sugar gliders but maybe I can write about the mating habits of hamsters to throw everyone for a loop.

    Thank you Archidamus, Gertrude, Donalbain, Portia, and Hortensius. Will take your advice to heart so the next time I have a blogging identity crisis, I don’t torture Softy.

    • Just had a :idea: moment so I googled “lifespan of lizards.” Apparently the larger the lizard, the longer they live. :oops: Help, there are monitor lizards living in my attic!

      • This post was truly inspiring for bloggers who have been at this for over a year. You reach a lull in your blogging and wonder if anyone will ever miss your work. Just in case that thought ever occurred to you, be sure to look down at each post cuz you are the only blogger out there who could write just one word and it would still be a hit cuz knowing you, I bet you will pick the perfect word. :)

  4. I love the post. Thank you for posting this!

    To tell the truth I did a blog like one year ago but never posted in it.

    I’m afraid of 2 things:

    -My english writing, because I do so many grammar mistakes;

    – and this ”With so many Korean drama blogs already out there, can you offer something that is different?” yeah, after I thought about it over and over, I never posted anything on my blog, because I don’t think I would bring something new or that is funny.

    I just wanted to blog about dramas I like, the k-actors…

    Btw, I love to do blog headers too. I have so many pictures on my computer thinking, this would be a great header for my blog. lolol

    Until today I still think, someday I’ll post on my blog, lol but lets see.

  5. Aww. Hats off to you, unnie. You warm the cockles of my frozeded heart.
    Note, however, the ‘drama’ in sulovesdrama is both plural and non-plural… bit of a double entendre thing… y’know? Haha!

  6. “Above all—above a natural flair for writing and devotion to the craft—write with heart.”

    Advice about writing doesn’t get better than that, no matter the genre you’re interested in.

    (Now if only I could get past the hours spent perfecting a single paragraph, I’d be in business. Teehee. I regularly revise posts that are months old, because it’s always occurring to me that I could have said something better.)

    • I suspect all writers do that. I kinda think it’s a good thing, myself. It’s hard to get enough distance from your own writing to evaluate it objectively, but time helps. Bloggers are really lucky that way. We must be the envy of print authors, who are stuck with their “kicking myself” errors or “if only I had said” regrets once their work is finalized in print. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired to improvement by your own work!

  7. Thank you so much for this post! I’m adding this to my Favorites so in case in the future I decide to dive in the blogging world, I have an excellent guide/reference. Thanks again! :)

  8. One of our favorite taglines is “I’ll talk about dramas if I want to” because it exudes a whole lot of sass.
    Wonder if Mrs Koala has seen this, for this is her tagline™. ^^

  9. Hello darlin’………nice to see you ……….it’s been a long time…

    ……You’re just as gorgeous as you used to be …..

    Dear Thundie…….

    This is Jeongmalro…..
    Has it been a decade?…….
    Was thinking of you………and wondering if you are still in it….
    or if you had crashed and burned…..eons ago…
    like the most of us…

    Yes ……..

    I fell in love again…………

    then ….on a whim………(and coherently)…..i just googled

    “Joo Won and Thundie”

    as if that is the nature of things…………this blog popped up.

    Here we go again……
    this time with the very talented Joo Won…

    I just want to say “Hi”…..old friend…

    Jeongmalro

  10. “Try not say everything that has to be said about an episode or a whole series; resist the urge to over-analyze. Plant a seed and let it grow; your readers are intelligent and can make up their own minds. Kevin Grossley-Holland puts it this way:

    I see the role of the writer as creating a room with big windows and leaving the reader to imagine. It’s a meeting on the page.”

    OMG so true. This is what keeps me from ever becoming a blogger. I’m spazzing half the time and too obsessed with pouring out everything I know. Which is boring since half of it can be deduced already. I love writers that mention and let go. And yet their words have enough depth to sink into your thoughts.

    Singing, acting, writing. You may hit the right key, you may have the right expression/interpretation of the script, you may have good insights but control establishes the grace and professionalism that inspires.

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