by Cho Na, November 11, 2020
108

Writer sunbaes: MDL writers who have written articles longer than I do. Sunbae (선배) in Korean means senior (in experience, not age). Same as senpai (先輩) in Japanese; or male xuezhang (學長) and female xuejie (學姐) in Chinese.


INTRODUCTION

I am a newbie in writing articles for MDL. As I was writing my second article, I did some research and dug out older MDL articles. After flipping through 100+ pages of 2000+ articles, I found many interesting articles that, in my opinion, they are uniquely reflective, informative, and/or entertaining. Now I want to share them with you to enjoy. Also, if you are looking for ideas to write, you may get some inspirations. If you want to refresh a specific topic of an article, please contact the writer for consent.

My purposes for writing this article:

  • to promote past articles, that got buried under newer articles, to be read or reread,
  • to recommend ideas to other writers of various unique topics to write about,
  • to give tribute to the article writers for their hard work.
 Thank you all the writers who gave me your consent for me to use your articles, 
for your support and your excitement.
Thank you, editor Jojo for giving me advice and help during the writing process.


Important Link for Writers: Formatting and Writing Guidelines 


This article can also be seen in dark mode.

In Part 1, the articles are from Kaye, RisefromBlackAshes, AnanyaS, gooheajung, akai-kitsune, ReikaBleu, Dubu, Ugly Duckling, Jeana, and 3GGG. Clicking on the picture or the title takes you straight to the article. Clicking on "Writer's articles" takes you to a list of articles they wrote.

by Kaye

February  9, 2016

Reflective

Writer's articles

Article ideas:
Other holidays, movies/dramas on holidays, birthdays

Unsatisfactorily Single: Dramas and Romantic Expectations 

"You start seeing these picture-perfect first dates, swoon-worthy kisses, devoted leading men and you wonder: am I missing something?"

Published just five days before Valentine's Day, the writer's article hit home for single drama watchers who read it around the holiday. She and her readers discussed whether they watch romantic dramas because they are single, or stay single as a result of watching dramas? Check it out!

We need more reflective articles like this in MDL, especially during times where people get depressed or lonely easily, such as on Valentine's Day, end-of-the-year holidays, or broadly during the COVID-19 pandemic. Or articles on birthdays in dramas that are meaningful for the characters. For example, in Hong Kong drama Leap Daysomething magical happens during the FL's birthday that starts the whole story. Contemplative articles are not depressing; on the contrary, they give food for thoughts to enrich our journey in dramaland.


by
RisefromBlackAshes

February 25, 2017

Informative

Writer's articles

Article ideas: 
Idols from other countries, movies/dramas on idol's or actor's struggles

The Art Of The Idol Drama

"Highlighting the difference between an idol drama, and a drama with an idol in it, along with the good and bad that come with idol dramas/movies."

The writer's article is informative since we tend to label every drama with an idol in it as an idol drama. As someone who's not familiar with the Asian music industry, therefore don't know who's an idol and who's not, I watch dramas then read comments complaining about the acting skills of the main actor/ actress idol in it. 

She gave examples with Korean and Japanese idols. I wonder if someone will write an article on Chinese idol dramas (Super Star Academy, everyone?). Or the Thai ones, since it seems like in many of their dramas, the main lead(s) sang one or two of their OST songs.

If anyone is interested in how an idol struggles 'behind the scene' to branch outside his music world, you can watch The Brightest Star in the Sky with former EXO member Z. Tao.


by AnanyaS

May  1, 2017

Entertaining

Writer's articles

Article ideas:
stories of personal 'addiction' to dramas

5 Stages of Drama Addiction!

"These are the 5 stages of drama addiction that everyone has to go through!"

This article is entertaining as I read through the stages, and I realized I am at the critical stage, only to find out that some people in the comment section added more stages, lol!

Anyone here can write their own drama 'addiction' by recording their dramaland journey into a hilarious but contemplative article!

Then, when you think you're too much of an addict, probably it's time for you to start dropping dramas. The writer, who jokingly considers herself as an 'expert' in dropping dramas, also wrote this article. Hopefully, after reading it, you will be able to cut your PTW list down to a half, or even 0 if you dare. By the way, I love the gifs for #1.


by gooheajung

April 17, 2013

Entertaining


Writer's articles

Article ideas:
toilet scenes from other countries, or
other unique items

Korean Entertainment and Its Toilets

"Gooheajung shares Korean entertainment's fascination with toilet scenes and more... "

By only reading the title, you will predict the writer's article is amusing. And I got to see the video of the South Korean's toilet-themed park she mentioned, called Poo-Poo Land (놀이똥산). 

The first time I watched an Asian show with a toilet scene was the PSY’s Gangnam Style MV, way before I came into the dramaland [It was also mentioned in the article]. Since then, after watching so many Asian dramas, I can say I am quite comfortable watching toilet scenes from any country: three brothers and one sister in the bathroom in Thara Himalai, embarrassing toilet moment while dating in Hana Yori Dango, or late dinner meal in the bathroom in Skate Into Love. Still, the Asians were daring enough to bring toilets outside their homes and entertainment industry by opening toilet-themed restaurants (started in Taiwan). 
Anyone wants to write more about... toilets???


by akai-kitsune

June  8, 2017

Reflective

Writer's articles

Article ideas:
Remakes from other countries, other forms, other time periods.

Remakes: Win or Lose!

"Why don't we give remakes a chance? This MDL'er has given it much thought and hopes to share her thoughts with you. "

From reading her opinions about remakes of the popular Hana Yori Dango manga, I wonder what the writer's thought on the later Meteor Garden or even the future F4 Thailand...

Reading her article got me to rethink on remakes. Personally, I can be quite judgmental with remakes. For example, Sungkyunkwan Scandal was one of my early dramas. Recently, I dropped the Chinese remake  In a Class of Her Own. Through the whole first two episodes, I kept thinking about the original K-drama instead. The emotion you feel the first time you watch the original drama cannot compare to the emotion you feel while watching the remakes.

Remaking a drama is quite an interesting phenomena that can give tons of ideas for writers to write about. Remakes from original novel/cartoon to anime to live-adaptation to movie. Remakes from one country to another country. Remakes from year to year; or, in the case of Thai lakorns, remakes from decade to decade.


by ReikaBleu 

December 21, 2017

Entertaining

Writer's articles

Article ideas:
Fashion style, other actor/ actress

Takuya Kimura's Hair Style Evolution

"Takuya Kimura's hairstyle definitely deserves an article of its own. "

Honestly, I had no clue who Kimura Takuya is. Is he a Japanese... actor? Give me a Japanese name from the younger generation like Yamazaki Kento, and I would have recognized the name, lol. Anyways, the writer definitely is the actor's fangirl. She wrote four articles in MDL dedicated to Takuya Kimura. Apparently, the idea of this article came from comments of her previous article about the actor's hair.

Other writers, especially one who is fangirling about an actor or an actress, can definitely write an article like this. Wait, this is not an Ultra Fan Guide (or used to be a Stalker Guide) type of article? Not really, since the writer already wrote two of them in 2012 and 2018. Writers can apply the same idea on an actor/actress's hairstyle or fashion style. For example: how about an article on Kim Soo Hyun's hairstyle? There was even an article with a DIY video tutorial on how to style hair like his! Any popular actor and actress who have acted for many years must have a stack of articles written on them: how they evolved in appearance, including fashion, hairstyle, makeup, etc.


by Dubu 

February 19, 2013

Reflective

Article ideas:
refresh the article topic, gender-related genres, age-related female watchers.

A Male's Perspective: The Significance of Gender

"Aurorae's analysis of gender's influence and impact on dramas and viewers."

This article is very insightful: I ended up not only reading the article, but also the comments that answered the questionnaires given by the writer. While reading, I could not help but agree with his statements. 

On targeting the female audience, for example, I saw a lot in Chinese period dramas. Production teams tweaked the history and custom to romantic stories that favor modern women. Historically, by custom the imperial and noblemen have concubines. The romance dramas make it that the MLs love their FLs so much that they only have one woman and do not keep concubines, for example in Oh My General. The concubine topic can probably become an article by itself. Other writers can pick gender-related genres. Or, if you want to refresh this topic with newer dramas, please contact the writer first. Writers can also research on the comparison between younger/teenage and older/working adult female audience.


by Ugly Duckling 

August 26, 2018

Informative

Writer's articles

Article ideas: Interviews with subbers, experiences in subbing, or watching with language not familiar to you.

Translators' Lifestyle Explained By Memes

"Funny article which describes the difficult and often funny lifestyle of translators!"

Translators' Lifestyle Explained By Memes Part II

The writer is an active Asian drama subber for a Slovak/Czech website. She explains her journey as a subber. Reading her article definitely WILL make you appreciate drama subbers better, and no longer demand that they sub faster or more dramas.

When my habit was watching currently airing dramas in the past, I experienced what the subbers experience. The drama I watched, The Emergence of First Love, suddenly stopped subbing at Episode 6. I was able to finish the 30-episode drama with a painful process: Google-subbed the important conversations/events and watched raw for the rest. 

Writers can interview subbers, or share their experience of 'subbing' a drama for personal purpose, or even tips on how to watch a drama in raw version. I read this statement many times. Watchers just end up watching raw version although they don't understand the language. How can they do that, I wonder?


by Jeana 

February 19, 2018

Reflective


Writer's articles

Article ideas:
Survey on false rating, for example, non-aired drama, unrelated issues such as no sub, rating of young viewers and older viewers, etc.

An MDL-er's Eternal Plight: Ratings

"Rate a drama high? Or rate a drama low? For some MDL users, this is a never-ending dilemma. Find out why!"

The writer coined "rating-induced anxiety", a drama disease that is localized only in the MDL community. I swear I didn't have this problem until I joined this site, lol. A few months ago I was highly anticipating a popular drama, only to be disappointed, after watching a few episodes I dropped it. I wrote my mini-rant with my low rating in the comment section. BIG MISTAKE, I got several arguments. What the writer mentioned about the anxiety is true, for a few days, I felt scared of incoming messages every time I logged into MDL! When I was new in MDL I even bookmarked a rating guidance found in the discussion section; I linked it here. Even with recommendations on how to rate, though, it's really subjective for everyone.

The drama rating on this site can be a good topic for writing an article. The writer wrote some articles on opposing drama opinions with other MDLers. Please check out her list. How about articles on fake ratings? I saw this several times, especially in C-dramas, where a drama gets 10 rating, and it has not even aired yet! Why? Also, many times the rating is low for Thai dramas. For example, despite being warned that a lakorn has a sensitive theme, for example, people still watch it then rate it low and rant about it. Also, unsubbed Thai dramas tend to receive low rating.


by 3GGG 

January 24, 2019

Informative


Writer's articles

Article ideas: 
writing articles based on your strong point from what you learned in school or your work expertise

Popular Visual Cues found in K-Dramas [Part 1]

"Ever noticed the visual cues k-drama directors use to establish the relationship between two or more characters? This article will cover two of the most prevalent ones, as well as their variations and applications through several examples. "

Popular Visual Cues in K-Dramas [Part 2]
Popular Visual Cues in K-Drama [Part 3]
Popular Visual Cues in K-dramas [Part 4]

As a toddler in Asian dramaland (yes, I am only one year old), I have not watched any of the K-dramas mentioned by the writer, only the C-drama Legend of Fu Yao. However, I learned a lot from her articles, as one reader commented, it's like sitting in a film class. Before I could notice good directing in dramas, I just didn't know the vocabulary. 

For article ideas, probably we can never write an article as exceptional as the writer's, I know I cannot. However, we can apply what we learned at school or our work expertise in writing articles on dramas we love. For examples: someone who is majoring/has a career in Architecture can write on homes used in the drama. Someone who is majoring/has a career in Psychology can do character analysis. Someone who is majoring/has a career in Fashion Design can write about drama costumes. And the list goes on and on.


TO BE CONTINUED IN PART 2 WITH DIFFERENT WRITERS


Image credits: I do not own any of the images used. Credits go to the respective owners. The cover image is the official poster of Chicago Typewriter. To honor the writers' effort in searching, choosing, and reformatting pictures, I used their original article's cover images.

❓Have you ever written an article before, anywhere
❓If you have never written an article in MDL, are you thinking of writing one❓
❓If you have written an article in MDL, what are your experiences❓
❓Any interesting topic you want to write about (no need to answer here if it's a secret ;D)
❓If you are a reader: do you have any unique topic you want to know about❓

❓ What do you think of MDL articles❓

THANK YOU FOR READING! 


Edited by Jojo (1st editor), KimWanHee (2nd editor)

romance remake takuya kimura visual cues mdl writer mdl article valentine's day idol drama drama addiction male's perspective translator mdl rating subtitle

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