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In between editing I’ve started watching Korean dramas.

I have some friends who are addicts and recently my parents got hooked on them too. I started watching these shows in order to figure out the attraction.

I’ve watched two or three series so far and find the writing has some common items:

  • Social classes – there are the obvious classes based on money, power and/or position. These play heavily in the dramas as one of two primary points of conflict
  • Forbidden Love – as mentioned the prince liking the pauper’s daughter or one is already betrothed to another. This is the second primary source of conflict in the series I’ve watched so far
  • Sacrificial Love – things are rough at first but their love grows because of the conflict. It grows to the point that they are willing to die for each other and in some cases do die
  • Respect for Elders – people who are older and especially anyone who was a teacher to that person is deserving of respect and in many cases obedience
  • Clean Content – even holding hands is improper if not in the right relationship, thus no time is wasted on Western content like sleeping together within the first month
  • Very Dramatic Reactions – lots and lots of crying as if one’s soul has been ripped from their body. The characters really feel and express these feelings outwardly, unless their character is supposed to be purposefully hardhearted. Even the men actors/characters may be found sobbing
  • Silly humor – there is always some form of comic relief and many times in Western views is really, really dumb. But sometimes the humor can be glib and outrageously funny

Because of these categories and some others I probably have missed, this forces the writers to work hard at characterization. . .and the dramas deliver!

They have characters that are truly despicable and other that are truly likeable. They have obvious flaws and strengths, either which may come out at the least expected moments.

Overall, there is some excellent, excellent character writing done with Korean drams. Check ’em out!


Set the timer for 10-minutes and try this writing prompt.

Writing prompt #0043


Write about sacrificial love