Korean Drama (K-Drama) Trends (Part Two)

The list of trends in K-Drama are never ending. In a way, it makes K-Drama rather fun. If you didn’t catch the last 5 on my list, feel free to do that now. For the rest of us, the trends continue.

Men have egos bigger than the moon

I’m surprised the men in the dramas don’t have broken arms with all the time they spend patting themselves on the back. They’re constantly telling the women of their dreams why she should love him or why she’s so lucky to have him. Because all women love egotistical jerks, right? NOT!

Men LOVE ugly women

How do I know this? Because when he never fails to correct her when she or someone else mentions she’s pretty. And if that’s not enough, he’ll flat out tell her she’s unattractive.

Koreans can put away the food like it’s nobody’s business

Okay… that’s only half true. Korean women can put away the food like nobody’s business. I don’t know if they think they’re in a race to the finish, afraid someone will take their food away if they don’t gobble it down as quick as possible, or fear it’ll be their last meal so pack away as much as possible before it disappears, or what. The thing I don’t get is how actresses stay so skinny, especially when every other scene includes shoveling away food.

Koreans can drink like it’s nobody’s business

The evenings are filled with Gunbae! (cheers in Korean) and one shot as shot glass after shot glass of soju (Korean rice wine) is consumed. I will note, Koreans are not immune to the effects of alcohol. And a scene of binge drinking often transitions to a scene with a piggy back ride.

It’s not a K-Drama without a piggyback ride

Which brings me to the last notable mention for this post. The piggyback ride. No K-Drama is complete without the piggyback ride. Once in a while, the lucky (or rather unlucky) lady will find herself on bottom, as she struggles up hills and suffers flights of stairs to tote her drunken fella home. But by the end of the series, she’ll get her piggyback ride too, even if she has to twist her ankle to sucker him into it.

Into Korean Drama? Check out my list of favorites!

Writing a Story: Start Writing

So you know your characters, you’ve created a summary or outline, and now you’re ready for NaNoWriMo!

For those who aren’t familiar with NaNoWriMo, I’m here to give you the down and dirty. Basically, it’s a yearly event which happens in November. The idea is to write a novel in a month. Technically you don’t have to write a complete novel. Rather, you write 50,000 words of a novel in a month from start to finish. It comes out to be approximately 1,667 words a day for 30 days. You are allowed to do prep work before you start, such as creating characters and plotting. Just no writing the actual novel.

In all honesty, this is often the most difficult part about winning NaNoWriMo is writing. It’s easy to fall behind and quite difficult to catch up. A lot of writers are motivated the first few days, but the task of keeping at it day after day can get tiresome. It’s not just of NaNoWriMo, but it can be that way with writing in general.

Just Do It!

One of the things I’ve learned over the past few years is when it comes to writing, you just have to do it. I know, I know… it’s something I haven’t serious done since last NaNoWriMo, but still… that’s what it takes. Writers write. If NaNoWriMo is too much, start small. In fact,I finished I Loved You First by dedicating 100 words a day to the story. Some days I wrote more, but I committed to just 100 words each day for about 3 months, and voila! one day it was finished. 🙂

Wondering Mind

The thing with writing (at least for me) is it’s so easy to get distracted. I sit down to write for an hour and my mind spends 45 minutes of that time wandering. Even if my mind isn’t wandering, I can waste a significant amount of time just thinking about what I should write. Ah! Distractions! The bane of productivity.

I don’t know about others, but I have a short attention span. I’m the type of person who will “multi-task” to keep things interesting. Why in quotes? Well, multi-tasking really is just a way of jumping around from activity to activity, never really giving full attention to any one thing. In effect, it’s less efficient, but it can keep things interesting.

Helpful Tool

A couple of years ago, I found an awesome tool called Write or Die. I loved it so much, I purchased the desktop version for $10. It was one of the best $10 I’ve spent when it comes to writing. Here’s how it works. You set a word count goal for a set amount of time, then go for it. If you stop typing for a given amount of time, Write or Die will send you an attention getter. It can be a mild one, such as the screen slowly turning red (this works best for me) to obnoxious, loud noises (breaks my concentration and distracts me more than helps).

What I like about it is, it forces me to concentrate for a set amount of time. For me, that set amount of time is 15 minutes 500 words. Since 1,667 words a day will win NaNoWriMo, that means, I only have to dedicate 1 hour worth of writing time each day in order to win NaNoWriMo. I typically scatter those 4 15-minute blocks throughout the day as not to be so much of a hassle.

So, I highly recommend Write or Die. I honestly didn’t realize how distracted and inefficient I was, when it came to writing, until I started using Write or Die. It alerted me to the fact I was sitting down to write, but not writing. By the way, I started with the online version, which is free. Give it a shot, if you’re afraid to part with your $10.

Using allotted time effectively

So, you’ve set aside your time to write. You might have even picked up Write or Die. Here’s the thing, it’s hard to be efficient if you don’t know what to write. That’s one of the reasons I like breaking my slots into 15 minute increments. It allows me to consider what I’m going to write when I’m not writing. Then when it’s time to write, I just hit it. 15 minutes of putting down what I’ve been thinking about for hours.

So! Don’t waste time sitting in front of your laptop thinking about what you should write. When it’s time to use your writing time, write, and only write. You can think about what you should write while you’re washing dishes, doing menial tasks at work, changing diapers, or driving in the car. But when you dedicated time for writing, keep your fingers flying across the keyboard.

Only a few days left until November 1. Hope you all are ready. haha I’m not.

Share with us some suggestions you might have when it comes to writing.

Eat to Live (Rambling Alert)

I mentioned a few posts ago about my newfound addiction to Korean Drama (K-Drama). One of the things they do often in the series is eat. Now I have to admit… I’m typically a big fan of eating. I LOVE meat… particularly steak.

A while back, my father-in-law (hater of all meats other than hotdogs and hamburgers) and I were talking about food. I mentioned I could eat steak EVERY night. He was quite skeptical and told me no I couldn’t. Crazy man… I assured him I could. In fact, I’ve been on steak binges from time to time. Day after day of grilled steak… yum!

So, steak… Yes! Enter K-Drama. Besides rice, noodles seem to be a big thing in the K-Dramas, particularly Ramen. Now, I’m not a ramen fan. However, I am fond of other noodles. So, I headed to my local Korean market and picked up some goodies.

Over the course of a couple of months, I found there are different types of rice noodles, even though they may look the same before cooking. For example, there are clear noodles (vermicelli) and another type which turn opaque after cooking. Originally, I started with rice noodles, which turned opaque white after cooking. Along with the noodles, I picked up some seaweed and miso soup mix stuff.

The first morning I had a bowl of the rice noodles and soup mixture was so satisfying. It was like comfort food. I had this wonderful full feeling… not the overstuffed bloated feeling that makes me feel like I’ve made a horrible mistake… but just very satisfied and cozy.

My rice noodles became my new steak. My late night snack would be rice noodles, and sometimes I’d slurp some down for breakfast. Oh, happiness. 🙂 Sometimes I’d mix things up by adding some meat into the mixture… chicken, smoked turkey, fish, shrimp, poached egg. Oddly enough, my preferred meat (beef) didn’t make it to my concoctions.

So, I ran out of rice noodles and headed back to the Korean store. This is how I learned rice noodles were not all the same. I picked up vermicelli instead of my opaque noodles on that trip. One difference was vermicelli took a lot less time to cook… 3 minutes. In fact, I originally thought the first rice noodles were the 3 minute ones and was surprised they took so long… even more surprised when they turned opaque. With vermicelli, adding hot water is enough to cook them in 3 minutes, and they’re really easy to overcook… falling apart if left in heat too long.

After tasting the difference between opaque rice noodles and vermicelli, I have to say I prefer the opaque ones (whatever they’re called).

Odd thing has happened recently though. The last week or so, I’ve had very little appetite. Food just isn’t very appealing these days. I still enjoy my noodles. They’re tasty, and I eat quite the serving each time. But then there is the family dinner. I sit down to eat, and it’s just a huge chore.

It’s not that I’m not hungry. In fact, I’m hungry right now. I was hungry before dinner. Yet, I didn’t want to bother with it. If not for my family, I probably would have skipped it. The odd thing, it was one of my favorite meals.

Apparently, pizza is rather popular. My family loves it. Me? Not so much. However, I’m quite fond of Pizza Hut’s Spicy Asian wings. So when my family wants pizza, I put my own order of wings… and usually, I don’t share. 🙂 They’re mine! All mine! Mine, I tell ya!

Tonight was pizza and wing night. I didn’t really want to eat when the food arrived. But like I said, I have a family, and dinner happens to be our family time. So, off to eat I went.

I decided to have a slice of pizza with my wings. However, after eating my slice of pizza, I no longer had the motivation to continue and skipped the wings, which explains why I’m hungry. Right now, what I’d really like is to not be hungry without having to eat.

Really, I have no idea what’s going on with my head. Have my noodle and seaweed meals met my needs to the point I have little to no cravings? Lately, I feel like I’m eating to live rather than living to eat, like I used to. Family meals are just a big hassle. The menu options are just so uninspiring, and I’ve yet to convince my husband and son to go on my Korean diet. I suppose it’s a good thing. It’s been a while since I’ve gone to the physician without hearing the polite suggestion to lose 10-15 lbs. Perhaps this will be the way to do it.

Have you gone through a phase where you’ve lost the passion for your favorite foods?

Writing a Story: Basic Outlining

Writing a Story: Basic Outlining

Last post we talked about creating a plot summary. Personally, I’m rather fond of outlines. My preference to outlines comes from my college days. I realized back then that creating an outline allowed me to skip around in a paper. Later, I applied the same techniques to my stories. A great outline means there’s no need to write a story chronically.

A while back, I found a program called Character Writer, which includes a section for plotting a story. Since then, I’ve used its formula as a guideline for developing my stories. Rather than reinvent the wheel, I’ll point you in that direction.

What makes Character Writer really useful in terms of an outline, is it allows a writer to use somewhat of a snowflake effect. It begins by prompting the writer to come up with 8 plot points which are later divided into 3 acts, similar to what I suggested in the last post. What I like is it doesn’t leave you on your own when developing those plot points. It provides hints, such as your character is living his/her life and is unhappy/happy with the situation and is seeking/not seeking an adventure. Simple enough, but a little something to get you thinking and a place to write specifics about your characters and story.

Once the plot points are completed, the outline is generated… but it goes further. Character Writer makes a suggestion of how many scenes should be for each plot development. This allows a writer to be as detailed or generic as necessary.

So, today I’ll leave you with an online tool from the same characters of Character Writer. For the most part, it’s just an online version of the downloadable program. It’ll give you a quick feel for how it works and hopefully get you started on your outline for NaNoWriMo.

Character Writer Online Story Tool