Why We Write? Thoughts from a Drama

Perhaps this is why we write stories.

To unveil the complexities of humanity

and to stretch it, explore the depth and the limits of it:

How far is too far

and how would we deal with it?

What happens when someone stumbles into chaos?

What happens love is stretched so thin it threatens to break?

And what happens if the person who experiences this also has a back story

rife with the most unfortunate circumstances and events?

What then?

What would we do?

What would I do?

What would you do?

And then out comes the pen, naturally, the patient friend waiting to listen to everything at the tips of their mind

to let everything rush out, to follow the trail, to race with the thoughts sprinting as ideas flash from A to V and then back to C then to Z then W.

And then

to share it with the world,

this brain child, this experimentation;

in a way, adding to the body of knowledge

the body:

a new thought to how we as humans will act

a new idea

another star flung out into the swirling dark galaxy-

if it’s studied or not doesn’t matter; it exists, it is the fruit of something explosive and beautiful, someone’s thoughts fully exhausted on a topic,

the birth of characters, of what-ifs

living,

breathing,

sparkling wonders of sheer imagination

of humanity

~ ~ ~

This was inspired by a drama (for the second time, haha-first time I wrote a post inspired by a drama was here). But this time, I’m writing to give credit and admire the work of the writers.

I’m presently watching 함부러 애틋하게, or as it’s known in English, Uncontrollably Fond. It’s the first drama I’m really enjoying since Master’s Sun, which I watched 2 years ago. Unlike Master’s Sun, however, I’m really loving UF because of the sheer complexity of the story.

There are so many back stories and the characters are all so human. The villain is not clear. There is empathy all around, even for the people who we don’t like. The main characters are very flawed. And in particular, one character is absolutely fascinating for all the mental gymnastics he has to perform to stay true to his conviction and still please his family (for the readers who watch the drama, I’m referring to Ji Tae). And the layers of secrets, as they are unpeeled one by one, often in inappropriate times, which then throw the story off as characters recoil and react to it.

It’s so wonderfully complex and I’m actually taking notes about the ways the story is moving along. I’m analyzing the characters and noting the storytelling techniques the writers use.

But as I do so, I’m also realizing why we write.

Because who’s to say that there isn’t someone who has such a complex life? There are poor people who have been terribly wronged by richer folks, just like No Eul, the female lead character. There are people with family secrets hidden for so long that they could wreck everything they worked for, just like Shin Joon Young.

And if anything, this is a way to do a mental experiment as well.

Often times, dramas are consumed as a means of escapism, which is true. But at the same time, they put us through an emotional roller coaster and make us think about topics we didn’t think of before, like the army (Descendants of the Sun), mental illness (It’s Okay, It’s Love), the harsh reality of celebrity life (UF, Monstar), justice (there’s a lot that fit in here). And yes, of course, there is a financial component for these writers but I believe that there’s also a degree that the dramas that are finally released carry a bit of the writer as well and their thought wanderings, perhaps even a personal anecdote wrapped up in an OST and presented with a good looking face.

~ashley j chong

~ ~ ~

*a double after note? yes, dear reader; I promise this post is almost done, bear with me 🙂*

I surprised myself by writing this post. It’s been a while since I spontaneously wrote a post; I’m not sure if this is to credit the drama or if I’ve just been craving to write. I hope this becomes a habit more, because it truly is refreshing writing something as soon as it comes to mind.

And I was a bit hesitant to also write about a drama, but it’s not like this was to freak out over the plot (I have a friend to talk about the drama with, don’t worry I won’t put my readers through that haha). It’s a good point to discuss. And in fact, there’s even a website dedicated to in depth discussion and analysis of Korean dramas (It’s called dramabeans, you guys should check it out!). On their about page, they said that they believed in the analysis of popular culture. And why not?

So often pop culture is brushed off as irrelevant and not important, but it is so important! If you think about it, Shakespeare, Beethoven, Edgar Allen Poe, and Mozart were the popular culture of their day. Yes, pop culture is very easily consumable (it’s made to be that way) but it is also a reflection of a particular time, so what better study to understand further a slice of society?

Yes, there’s a difference with just gorging on pop culture, but I think that there is fruit in critically consuming pop culture: music, art, cinema. That means that yes, these people will be spending more time partaking in pop culture, whether it be listening to more music or dedicating more of a chunk of time watching dramas or movies. For me, I invest more in the music side, but still, there’s something I find very fascinating about the trends and the direction of Korean popular music. I often check the charts in Korea and keep tabs on comebacks, trends, news about the music. I’m not an expert, but I still do invest time into it. I don’t know what end it’ll go to, but I do enjoy it.

…I’m not sure where this second after note is going, haha. It turned into a mini rant/ramble session. Sorry readers.

Thanks for reading all the way to the end if you did! And you’ll most likely hear more about the topics mentioned above soon as the drama continues and as I continue to wonder about the study of pop culture.

~ajc

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