Heisui’s Thoughts: The Time it Takes to Drama Blog & the Drama-blogging Process

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I feel that for drama fans and drama bloggers alike, time is an important factor in the dramas we choose to watch & write about.  When other parts of our lives get busier, our drama time tends to decrease dramatically.  So in the post I want to reflect on the actual amount of time it really does take to drama blog & what my process is.  I think a lot of people don’t really realize how much time it actually takes to write up reviews or recaps unless they’ve tried it themselves.  I for one did not realize at all how long it takes to write a recap–let alone a good recap–until I first started blogging. And trust me my recaps sucked and they still took forever to write. T_T”  Looking back, recapping took a freaking long time, probably even moreso than reviewing because instead of just writing opinions on the episode you are trying to condense an hour long episode all into one post while not leaving out any details.  As you can see I am no longer recapping,(thank goodness) only reviewing.  Some bloggers actually prefer recapping to reviewing but for me reviewing is much less stressful and more fun.  Reviewing is more about analyzing the episode, characters, story, etc. whereas recapping is about telling what happened with maybe a short review at the end.


So now I will break down my LONG AND ARDUOUS process of writing drama reviews.   😛  Note that obviously this is just my own ‘system’ of drama-blogging and I’m sure other bloggers have varying times & methods too.

My drama-blogging process:

1. Just watching the episode– 1 hour+

Duh. Also might be more than an hour if I’m rewatching certain scenes and taking down quotes.  I also might be taking notes on the important scenes I want to talk about.

2. Screencapping, cropping/editing, collages–30 min.-1 hour

It seems like just the images part of the blogging would be the quickest but actually it takes a good amount of time.  You think it is just hitting the button to catch the screencap and then uploading it?  NO.  I am kinda a perfectionist when it comes to screencapping and as of late I am also very particular about getting the highest-quality screencaps I can.  Yes, I have on many occasions rewatched the raw versions just so that I can watch it in HD for my HD screencaps.  T__T”

For me screencapping involves taking the screencap at just the right moment, taking tons of screencaps and then using the process of elimination to figure out which ones are best, which ones to use, etc. The amount of time to make collages depends; sometimes it takes a really long time to do make my collages because I use them to organize my thoughts.  If my collages aren’t right then my organization isn’t right either which is why I have to take a lot of time making sure my collages are good.

3. Adding pics, writing the review–1-3hrs+ or over the course of days/weeks

Usually I cannot just write my post straight through and I cannot write super super long posts.  Some types of writers are able to do this (write super long posts) but usually I tend to be more brief so that doesn’t work out for me.  So I am not just rambling and spilling out everything that comes to mind into my post.  (unless I am ranting about how much I love a character 😛 ) Instead I am always visualizing the way I want to organize my review, what points I want to cover, etc.  I also have to strike the balance between giving a brief recap of what happened while still reviewing the episode(s)…which can be tricky particularly when I’m reviewing multiple episodes at one time.

I also have this weird thing where I just have to make my post flow right.  It has to feel right to me.  So sometimes I may have the things I want to say but I am not conveying them in the way I want to.  Something will be off with the way my review is flowing.  So instead I have to stop writing and come back to it later, possibly even deleting the whole thing and starting again from scratch.

As you can see the amount of time varies greatly for writing the actual review.  It also depends on my mood and what kind of drama it is.  For instance my final review for The Legend of Zhen Huan literally took me about 2 months to finally finish because I could not write it all in a few days or even a few weeks.  Instead it took me a long time to watch and rewatch the episode (seriously rewatched this episode like 5 times) & put together my collages.  Then the post just sat there until I finally got the ‘right mood’ where I was ready to write about it.  O_O  Other dramas that are really heavy like Woman or Mother also took me a long time to write about because they are so deep that it takes longer to analyze them & write well about them.  I guess my point here is..that if I’m writing about a very fluffy drama that I can just ramble about then sure it won’t take really long to write about.  But other dramas that have much more to the story than just eye candy and fluff is harder to write about & will take more time.

4.  Finalizing the review/editing, miscellaneous stuffs-?

This includes adding tags, categories, cleaning up the post to make it more visually appealing, etc.  Editing I usually do as I’m writing; for instance I always go back to reread what I write..then I move on..then I go back and reread it from the beginning all over again..and so forth.  Sometimes I will go back and edit a post that I already posted but usually I just don’t bother. =_=


Total Time:

So totaling this up, the average range of time a post takes is about 2hrs 30minutes-4hrs 30minutes…give or take.  Of course, this amount of time is flexible.  It depends on how many episodes I’m reviewing, what kind of post I’m doing, etc.  I am not joking when I have this written above my comment box:

“Reviewing takes hours, commenting takes minutes.”

It can take hours, it can take days or even weeks.  I admire those drama-bloggers who seem to magically have enough time to blog prolifically (read: DAILY).  But sorry, if you were hoping for the secret to prolific-drama-blogging & watching, clearly I don’t have it.  I am not a pro-blogger or a super drama-blogger, but I do think it is important to recognize how much effort can go into just one post alone.  Next time you read a post hopefully you keep in the back of your mind, just how long it took the writer to write it and whether or not you appreciate it.

So, I am curious, for other drama-bloggers, how long does it take you to write your posts?  Do you have any special habits when writing about dramas? And for the drama-blog followers I hope this post gave you a better idea of my drama-blogging process. 🙂

Shoutout to Dramamochi, I said I wouldn’t write about this but you tempted me so I did. 😉


I'm heisui, an Asian drama blogger and the creator of My Drama Tea. I love stories and writing, so I watch dramas and blog. I especially have a penchant for Japanese and Chinese dramas, and those hidden gems that are waiting to be discovered. Oh, and I'm Legend of Zhen Huan-obsessed!
The Pursuit of Happiness: Ep 6
The Pursuit of Happiness: Ep 7
  • It’s been fun reading all of the comments about this topic. I don’t review or recap, so, mine doesn’t really count. I basically just write a stream of consciousness ramble about the episodes I’ve watched that week, lol, and that takes 1-2 hours because I tend to stop writing midway through as I google search for some pictures to add into my posts. I stream the shows, and what I watch is quite low quality so I can’t take screen shots from them. I would have to download every drama that I watch, and I don’t see the point in that if I’m not going to watch it again anyway. I actually did start taking my own screen shots for Reply 1994 though, because I wanted to have a picture for every paragraph but couldn’t find proper pictures on a google search! Although, then I went overboard because I couldn’t decide what to screen shot because everything about the episodes was screenshot worthy, lol.

    I really like reading other peoples reviews and recaps of dramas because so often, they’ll write exactly what I was thinking but in a much more eloquent way. It’s great to find like-minded people, and they’ll often mention other things that I hadn’t even noticed or figured out, so I can learn a lot as well. Or, some writers can completely turn me around and have me thinking the complete opposite to what I was thinking before reading their post!

    • Sounds like finding the pics takes a long time for you. For the lower-quality screencaps sometimes I will edit them to make them less pixelly (i.e. put “glow” effect on them), or I will just use smaller sized ones so that you can’t tell that they are more low-quality, LOL.

  • Hello! Just found your blog today and it’s so pretty! I love your “meta” posts on blogging. I only started blogging about six months ago, and do more translating. Though I started “recapping” recently but I use it very loosely since I basically only recapped the secondary love line I liked. I really admire all the hard work all of you guys do! Wow 4 hours! I guess I never really counted! lol.

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