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

Drama BloggingHeisui's ThoughtsOther

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.

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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. =_=

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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. 😉

heisui

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!
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  • Interesting post! Rants/gushing fangirly posts take the least time ‘cos my immediate reactions just pour out into words, so they take about an hour or so? Reviews for whole dramas take a couple of days to a week for me to organize all the points I want to cover for that drama. Recaps … oh boy, I’ve only recapped one and I had trouble even finishing 1 episode per week but I guess it was my problem ‘cos I have the tendency to go into too much detail.

    Hats off to those who drama-blog and review on a regular basis. There are periods where there are dramas I want to talk about but I can’t summon the energy that’s required to type up a ‘proper’ post for my imaginary audience. That’s when I go back to my written drama journal. Yes, I have one! It’s written in a mish-mash of Chinese & English with references only known to myself. XD

    • This is probably super random of me but I have a drama journal too! “It’s written in a mish-mash of Chinese & English with references only known to myself.” THIS LINE RESONATED WITH ME SO MUCH I was omg I’m actually not the only one doing this! HEH. The Chinese & English mish mash usually happens when I’m writing about Chinese/Taiwanese dramas. Rather than drama journals, I think it’s more of a guideline for me to see what are the things that stood out to me, and I find it really useful especially when dissecting/analysing certain parts of a drama because you’ll then be able to get the gist of what you were actually feeling at the time of writing. ^.^

    • Wow that is awesome you have an actual written drama journal!!! O: So cool! Yeah I should’ve mentioned fangirling, I can write those posts super quickly because it is just ranting about a character or actor HEHEHE.

  • Thanks for all your time and effort spent to post reviews – I know the process can be really long but I do appreciate reading your posts. It can be quite taxing to post daily reviews or recaps, I don’t know how people do it. A lot of people (like me) are glad to have someone to share their passion in dramas, so thank you again!

  • Great post!!

    Recapping can be so, so tiresome (I already wrote a whole post on its disadvantages. LOL :D) Recaps doesn’t satisfy the writer in me as they have less room to be innovative. They are more like a dictation.

    Reviews (my most favorite thing) for me take 2-3 days as it takes time to write one : first I accumulate all the points about the drama and then comes the final use of words to express it. I might complete in a single day and that takes 2 to 3 hours. I also tend to use less pictures.

    I usually don’t write episodic thoughts and keep it random. I do write my current interests of a show I’m watching through different posts related to the drama like previews, OSTs, behind the scenes or if I like an episode A LOT, then it requires a special mention, and of course I do write first impressions.

    I like posting daily as with my blog, I grew love for writing (which I never had before. I was only an avid reader!) and now it gives me lots of enjoyment. My posts usually consists of discussion on upcoming dramas, films, music, magazine photoshoots, lists, and finally the reviews: all kdrama related.

  • So my question for you is.. how long did it take you to write This post? Lol

    Drama blogging is still for me a mixture of “OMG I have to write about this NOW– uhh… maybe tomorrow” and a lot of halfplaced thoughts that I slowly piece together. Whether or not it makes it to a real written post, or even to draft version, is anyone’s guess. I have a note app on my iPad where I randomly collect thoughts or quotes and I never organize it so it’s got a million different thoughts in random order from over 3 dozen dramas by now. Whenever I get around to writing about those dramas, I go and search up all misc thoughts I had.

    My writing process differs with each post- because I never write the same type of review. Some are just non-spoilery thoughts, and others I fine a particular theme I want to discuss. I typically don’t think my reviews are worthwhile at all unless I find something unique about the drama to focus on. Other times I’m just lazy and let it go to publish.. but only if it’s one I don’t care too much about. My favorite dramas I almost never finish, because I can’t bear to NOT analyze it for all its worth. Like, I need to do it justice but am too much of a perfectionist to just throw it out there. I take weeks on some of these, and sometimes I just give up.

    Right now, I’m writing an epic long review of BBJX and I have over 1500 words and I’m not done yet! Plus, I’ve only screencapped half the show and I need to finish that before I continue writing. The pictures I include often fit in part of the narrative flow. The wrong picture between two paragraphs, and my whole flow may be lost. Ahhh, so stressful sometimes. 😀

    • Ahahaha Rosie! I think it took me about an hour? Or maybe a bit shorter, I was basically just writing writing writing because I had so much to say about this topic, hehe! I think you phrased it perfectly, oftentimes after watching an episode I have the urge to write about it ASAP but then when I try..I just can’t. So I have to sleep on it and maybe give it a few days to really sink in before I can write. >__<

      I love all of your reviews because I feel like they are more creative and usually you have a surprising point of view. Like I will read your review and realize I never thought about the drama/episode in that way. I am looking forward to your BBJX review!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 😀

  • Hmm, I wonder though about that dilemma of ‘blogging’ and ‘real life’, I feel like that’s more a way something we say, but that doesn’t accurately describe the situation. As in, if I’ve got something time-consuming in my ‘real life’, it’s in fact not just blogging that gets less attention/time but other other (‘real life’) things too. In other words, blogging is just one of those activities of several that sometimes have to play second fiddle to others that are top-priority (e.g. job commitments, because no money = no food = no nothing). If I’m blogging less (like I’m doing right now, there are other things I’m doing less right now as well, including drama watching, hanging out with friends, attending events, etc.).

    How long does it take to write a post? Well, I don’t recap and have never tried (I just don’t think I could do it, and I’m in awe of those who put in the time and energy), and only review films (not dramas). I’m a slow and sort of perfectionist writer, and I do a lot of research (images and content) about everything. I always include the original title (in the original script), which many people don’t, so with some films I spent hours tracking down that title as film festivals, distributors and bloggers more often than not just stick to the English title or the original title but not in the original script. I spent around 8-10 hours on most reviews, and a few take even longer than that. Rarely less than that. I have some that I have been working on forever… may never finish them! (I think I have 50+ posts in my draft folder X_X.)
    Special habits: not really, though I try to stick by the rule not to read reviews of what I’m writing about until I have finished my own review.

    • True, that dilemma can be applied to other activities too. I’m not surprised you are a slow writer because all of your reviews are so articulate and they feel like they’ve been carefully crafted. O_O Like you have chosen each word very carefully or something.

  • Heh, I like this post! 🙂

    I’m always curious to know how other bloggers blog so thanks for sharing your experience! I know some people who post everyday and…It’s very impressive! I talked with them and they told me that some the articles were written beforehand so that they “just’ have to post them. I heard that it’s less stressful that way but planning is typically the thing that I can never do.

    I’m glad you pointed out how long it can take to write a post. One of the reason why I’m not a very good blogger is because I’m a very slow writer. A post takes me hours. And I’m not even including the watching and screencapping. Just writing takes me hours. I can’t write then post immediately (it’s like homework. I could NEVER hand a homework I only finished some hours ago). I have to write. Read what I wrote. Keep on writing. Read what I wrote. Sleep (I usually write at home, in the evening/night). Read what I wrote. Editing. Again. Again. And Again – and again – until I’m satisfied (or fed up, it can also happen 😛 ). That’s also because I usually write lengthy posts (not very talkative in real life but in my “blogging life”, I’m quite a chatterbox :D) even when I was determined to be brief. It explains why I don’t post as much as I would like (I try to post every week but sometimes I just miserably fail xD). That explains also why sometimes I feel discouraged to even write (like you, I don’t recap anymore, it takes way too much of a time that I already don’t have…) – especially about a drama I love, like Rosie above also said -, kind of ironic, no? 😀

    And, also, I love commenting on your posts but I have to admit that sometimes I just don’t do it (sorry for that) because…it always takes me forever to write in english. O.O But…keep on blogging, I love your reviews! 😀

    • “not very talkative in real life but in my “blogging life”, I’m quite a chatterbox ” Oh honey, I suspect a lot of us are the same as you in that respect haha I’m such a socially awkward person in RL. I mean, it’s not like I can go up to some random person and go “OMG have you watched this drama it’s so good bla bla bla” and not freak them out right? XD It’s alright, we’ll always have our blog to turn to when we’re itching to talk about something that we can’t really find an audience to talk to in RL. ^^

      • Haha, true, I suppose I’m not the only one in that case. 😀 That’s (one of the reason) why blogging and commenting on other blogs are important to me! 🙂

    • Pas un problème Kaa. Si tu veux, tu peux aussi faire un commentaire en français. Donc je peux pratiquer mon français avec toi hehehe. Hmm je ne fais pas un moyen (a plan) pour écrire au cours de quelques jours. I just play it by ear. Je ne suis pas surprise que tu es un auteur lente (slow writer) parce que tes articles/reviews sont TRÈS TRÈS LONGUES! Je suis toujours impressionée par ton style d’écrire parce que tu as toujours les bonnes idées.

      • Haha, I will keep that in mind (that I can comment in french) though I’ll try to keep practicing my english when I’m on your blog! 🙂

        Yes, my reviews can be super long (and long posts are not always the best one, I must admit) and sometimes I’m wondering if it doesn’t scare some readers xD. But well…^^

        And you don’t plan your reviews but you manage to post quite frequently actually, that’s amazing! 🙂

        • Oui n’oublie pas! Hmm tu ne post pas souvent mais chaque article est longue donc je sens que c’est ok. En fait je souhaite que je peux lire tes articles plus souvent hehe. >_<

  • I must be like…the laziest blogger on earth. I usually do the watching and screencapping in my first sitting. I generally don’t like rewatching a movie/drama episode because I’m just plain lazy and it sort of kills my excitement a little bit since I already know what’s gonna happen next (surprisingly, I am completely fine with rereading books – Harry Potter in particular never bores me, EVER) so you’ll probably very rarely see me rewatching anything UNLESS it’s really really good. Once I marathon finish a series, it’s unlikely for me to go back for a second round. So what I do when I’m watching is I just pause during scenes that stood out to me and screencap away (hence the long pauses in between while watching a drama episode) so it would usually take me about 3 hours to finish watching an episode.
    Then I go to the selection of photos (I once had screencaps amounting to 200 for a drama episode because not only did I have to make a collage, I also need to create GIFs to illustrate certain scenes on dessertography. T.T) and btw filtering and sifting through does takes up quite some time as well. More than often only a small amount of pictures actually make the cut. Picture selection would typically take up say…1-2 hours? I’m not very particular about the images (as in they don’t need to be HD) because I just can’t be bothered, I just take whatever I’m given from the website that I’m streaming from. (Again, that’s laziness at work over here lololol.)
    The hardest part is actually churning out the words to fit the scenes. I’ve got like…what feels like a gazillion thoughts running about inside my head and I often have to make sense of what idea do I actually want to posit as there has to be a certain flow and fluidity. I must ensure that it’s something that I would like to read before actually posting it up.
    On the topic of recapping…I don’t think that I’ll really be able to do it (at least, definitely not in the foreseeable future) because it just requires so much more effort. I once tried doing episodic reviews and THAT alone took me AGES so kudos and salutations to those who really churn out those frequently (where they find the time to do recaps is beyond me – they must’ve struck a sneaky deal with the fourth universe or something).
    I love doing everything in one go but RL has been such a pain as of late so I can’t really devote as much time as before so what I do is I just divide a post into parts in my draft if it’s too long. I think a blogpost would take about 2-3 hours (and that’s for posts written in a one whole sitting) if it’s just me blabbing out whatever that comes to mind. It’ll take a lot longer if it’s meant to be an in-depth review. Sometimes it takes so long till the extent where I would develop back aches and my butt would be sore from all the sitting. -.- One of my most popular posts actually took me about 10-12 hours for completion @.@ (Now if only I can devote that amount of heart and effort in my academic studies/assignments…. XD)
    As of late I have added an extra step in my usual drama-blogging routine. I have a note app on my iphone so what I usually do is to jot down notes/quotes of particular scenes that stood out to me while adding in my thoughts (in brief) about them as well. Then when I sit down and blog I just expand on those points in greater detail.
    Bottom line: It’s definitely not as easy as it seems to be a drama-blogger.

    • Well actually it sounds like your screencapping take a lot of time for you. I think for me I can generally know which shots I want to keep and which ones need to go. It is organizing them and deciding which ones I want to use that takes me more time. It is not unusual to take over 100+ screenshots for one episode, usually I eliminate some though so the actual total ends up being less than that. I am often impressed by the sheer length of your posts because they are SO LONG. O_O

      “Now if only I can devote that amount of heart and effort in my academic studies/assignments” THIS. The time flies by when I’m writing but why does it go at a snail pace when I’m studying. T_T”

  • One thing about recappping is you have to make sure the drama you are recapping have all the links. What if there’s not more links of it? I’m a really lazy blogger, I recap and screencap at one setting. I don’t really rewatch dramas unless I miss a scene.

  • I really loved this post of yours! No one will truly understand the time and effort that goes into recapping/writing a review/running a blog unless they have tried it themselves. This is something that requires a lot of time and effort! For me recapping can usually takes 5-6 hours. Firstly, I watch the ep while taking screenshots (and this is not an easy task because like you I need that perfect screenshot! Taking a perfect screenshot is so difficult because the actors move so fast! You have no idea how hard it is to take a screenshot without the actors blinking!) which takes about 1-2 hours depending on how long the ep is and how long it takes me to screenshot. I then re-watch the ep while writing up the recap (so that I can catch down all the dialogue) while takes anywhere from 3-5 hours depending on the difficulty of the dialogue/scenes. And then it takes me an hour or so to put down my thoughts. Afterwards, it takes me 15-30 minutes to upload the pictures and clean up the recap. All in all, recapping is something very time consuming but I enjoy doing it knowing that there are people out there who appreciate it. (:

    Reviewing takes lot shorter but it depends on my thoughts and how long I want to make the post.

    I think the most time consuming thing about this is gathering your thoughts and getting them down!

    • AHAHAHA I take so many accidental screenshots with the actors’ eyes closed. It really does take time to get the perfect screenshot!! Wow 5-6 hours is a really long time but then again, it’s recapping. O_O Yeah I remember that getting the dialogue for the recaps is also very time-consuming, and checking to make sure I got every scene etc. T_T

      • I know! How annoying is it! It takes me forever to get that one perfect screenshot!

        Yeahhh! Getting down the dialogue is really time-consuming! Sometimes they just speak with so much meaning with their dialogue. I watch Taiwanese/Chinese dramas without English subs and sometimes I do not what they are saying so I have to go and search up what it means.

  • Heisui…. I disagree with you when you said “And trust me my recaps sucked and they still took forever to write. T_T”
    You have written excellent reviews!!!, especially BBJX, Love Forward and Love Forward…
    Anyway, I totally get what you said.. That’s why I never actually succeed to write one even though they are so many dramas I have been watching..
    I guess I just don’t have the time, skill, and committed dedication for it.. That’s why I so admire you, and other drama recapers… That’s also why I was so sad when aishishi deleted her blog because I know the amount of hours she has put in to make her blog.
    Keep writing Heisui… :))))

    Btw, there’s one new drama series and the trailer is soooooooooooooooo good..
    You can read one here: http://koalasplayground.com/2013/11/24/amazing-c-drama-preview-of-chang-ge-xin-as-a-more-romantic-empress-ki/

    I can’t wait to start watching it… 🙂

  • Love reading everyone’s process in drama blogging!! Since I’m still fairly new the process varies. But I know I have the memory of a goldfish, so I must recap as I watch!! If it was a recap I have to take screencaps as I go (99% I won’t upload but they serve as a reminder of what happened!) and then once there’s an ad break, I have to write at least a draft recap straight away before I forget all the details. So the watching / writing will take about 3 hrs, then another 2+ to either get more screencaps or if the video source is so bad / I’m too lazy, save the stills from the official sources.

    My original aim was at least post twice a week, one review / thoughts / longer post and others can be news / fangirly whatever. Although even the news type post takes at least 3 hrs but most of that time is spent researching while the actual writing time might only be 1/2 hr. I get distracted so easily, but at odd times of the day an idea might pop into my head which I thought – “oh I need to include this in that Dragon Gate post I keep on thinking about LOL.”

    For some reason I do write faster at the most inappropriate times / when I’m supposed to be doing something else. I have spent lunch breaks writing and that would at least be 80% of the end result lol.

    • It is really interesting hearing the different writing styles & approaches that people have! 😀 Yeah screencaps are also handy because they can remind me what happened in the episode as well as the order of events. Researching also takes a long time; I thought that an upcoming-drama post would take a short time to write but..it doesn’t. T_T”

      LOLOLOL I also experience that phenomenon of suddenly being able to write a lot when I really shouldn’t be writing. AHAHAHA. (total procrastinator here 😛 )

  • I used to do the same exact steps, except I find that it was unreasonable for me. I was barely sleeping so I decided that there has to be another way.
    #1 – Watching and screen capping at the same time – nonstop (only stopping for when I think I don’t have a good screenshot.) Maybe 1 1/2 hours.
    #2 – Going through my screencaps: deleting the bad or irrelevant ones, maybe retaking the screenshots that I really need. I also manually rename my pictures for SEO optimization. Then, I use a program to resize all pics. At the same time, I am writing or mentally taking notes of key points I want to write about. Maybe 1-2 hours.
    #3 – Writing the post. Adding tags and other links. 30 min-1 hr
    #4 – Adding pics. 30 min-1 hr
    #5 – Copyediting. probably 1 hr.
    I’m just guessing. I actually didn’t time myself. Total time: 4 hrs, perhaps?

    • I also usually watch & screencap at the same time but sometimes I will go back to rewatch for better screencaps. >_< Resizing pics used to take me a long time 'til I started using Picasa for that, heh.

      • I just used Fotosizer (the free-to-try version). It would be nice if we have some tips on how to create better pictures efficiently. Either way, I don’t think time can be saved if we look through our pictures manually to see which ones we want to use and edit.

  • You’re so quick and efficient! My drama blogging takes HOURS. Like days. I also figure reading others’ thoughts on whatever I’m watching into my blogging hours, too. I decided it’s better to spend as much time as I need on a post and only post once in a while than it is to post a lot but not say/cover what I want. Do you ever go on long stretches of mot posting and feel bad about it?

    • LOL I thought my blogging time was inefficient but I guess it is actually average? Hmm usually I purposely don’t read other reviews before I write my own, that way I will not be influenced by what I read before.

      I have gone on long stretches of not posting..usually because I just cannot think of what to write or I’m not in the right mood. It feels odd when I don’t post for a long time and I start feeling restless, hehe.

  • I read this post few days ago and only today I realized that I didn’t post my comment yet. Haha =.=”

    I’m amazed with bloggers who can screencap at the same time when they’re watching an episode because I don’t really do that. I would watch the entire episode and try to get the gist of things happened in it before writing down the rough recaps. Then I would rewatch the episode, this time rewinding and pausing would take place countless of times to catch the dialogues. When the recap was completed, then I would screencaps the necessary scenes for the recap. This step would be the hardest since I tend to get carried on with the scenes I loved. Hehe. Recapping an episode would take about 5-6 hours. Sometimes I can do it in 3-4 hours but it depends on my energy level at that particular time.

    Reviewing is harder for me, most probably because I’m not that good when it comes to describing things with my own words. Hmmm..it would take several days or weeks, even months, but spazzing reviews (more like rambles) can take less than an hour 😉 As for news and magazine pictorials, writing a post about them can take less than 30 minutes as the information is readily available and attaching pictures can be done in a short time.

    The posts about Korean Culture that I did took several weeks to months since I had to read and find articles before writing. There are drafts sitting there for several months already since I couldn’t find reliable sources yet. Maybe I am a perfectionist at times..

    Drama blogging is time consuming but after years of being a silent reader and relying on other people’s reviews, I think it’s time for me to return the deeds done by the drama fans before to the drama community. It’s not easy but I’m enjoying it very much: sharing and spazzing with fellows drama addicts around the world!

    Oops, the comment ends up a little lengthy 😛

    • I think screencapping while watching does save some time, all you have to do is press the screencap button while watching it 😀 I guess your way of doing it is also good for recapping since instead you recap based on the images you need for the recap. HEH I bet that your Korean culture posts took months, they are in such detail and required so much research. O_O Really I think those posts are the ones that impress me the most from you!

      Yeah it is a nice feeling to get to be giving back through drama blogging 😀

  • Aw man, I’m guilty as charged about the drama versus Real Life bit you mentioned… But no offense or whatever taken haha. It’s always just been separate to me because dramas are wholly fictional to me, no matter how engrossed I can be in one. I really feel like I jumped into this whole drama-writing bit rather accidentally, as you know by now, and sometimes I hate myself for doing so (now I think we’re on the brink of a divorce…).

    I’ve never done a recap so I can’t comment (unless those MK episodic Timeouts counted haha) but with reviewing I agree with you 100% about being in the mood. The irony is that mostly it’s a self-discipline thing for me – if I made up my mind that I’ll review a drama, I make myself accountable to meet my promise, which means sometimes the mood isn’t always there… and this subsequently means the reviewing takes HOURS. I think in general though, reviewing takes me 4-5 hours because I churn them in one go (I feel like I lose the points I want to convey if I don’t) but there have been occasions where I’ll hold off on publishing. I’ll let it sit for a day and then return to it, clean it up etc and then publish. Then there are some dramas which I REALLY want to review (ahem, Sora Kara…) but the dramas are such heavyweights that I epically failed (as I did with Shut Up Flower Boy Band …and just published my draft for that ha).

    These days I’m just back to writing my personal musings and falling out of love with the drama-sphere – sad but true – but this entry of yours just reminded me to appreciate the process when it comes to drama-writing. It is time-consuming and emotionally taxing for me honestly, aha and so I’m glad you pointed out how arduous the whole process is to readers!

    (…and okay, I might just have been inspired to write my own account of this whole drama-writing ;))

    • I was curious about how long it takes you to write because your posts are SUPER SUPER LONG and of course they are very well-written. Do your personal posts take more or less time to write than the review posts?

      I think you shouldn’t worry about not having any dramas you’re interested in right now. Just wait for a good one to come along someday. Lately this season I’ve only been watching one current drama and that is enough for me. 😀

      • “…because your posts are SUPER SUPER LONG …”

        HAHA OMG YOU SAID IT. I got creamed just the other day by a friend for always being so lengthy and sometimes I hate myself for doing so (no matter good writing or not) but le sigh, guess that is a fact I need to come to terms myself :p

        Personal entries definitely take WAY less time. Most are less than an hour – the longer ones take a bit more, but hardly any (unless intended) takes me longer than couple hours tops. I think it’s because I just let it free-flow and go over em a few more times later to clean and edit, but don’t dwell on technicalities when I hit Publish. I do actually return to them several times much later and notice grammatical, tenses etc errors but I with the personal ones the idea’s definitely to capture the emotions first and foremost.

        AS for the review posts, they’re the ones that take foreverrrrr, 4-5 hours is the average. And 90% of the time I chug them in one go so it’s kinda insane o.o

        Aw thanks for the understanding. The only thing that worries me though, honestly, is that I really do feel myself falling out of love (I am just sooo uninterested) but I’ve free time this winter break and have Saikou no Rikon, Woman and Tonbi 2013 tucked away just waiting to be watched then 🙂 I’ve heard (very) good feedback about them, so I am looking forward to delving into them when I finally can – right emotional state and all that too aha 🙂

  • Recapping…is done by the insane…well, you at least feel crazy about doing it. There comes a time when recapping is tedious and boring, especially when a drama starts lagging or sometimes you feel it kills the drama watching experience for you and other times when you are in such a gushy mode you can’t help but be all motivated.

    As I have said before, my blogging route ended up being the complete reverse of yours. I posted brief summaries and then just really gushed, reviewed, criticized and for some reason that devolved to recapping. I may have 33 dramas completed, but…the number of unfinished dramas is very embarrassing. I don’t like to use the “real life” excuse, but working 2 jobs for a couple years and maxing out on hours really left no time or energy to blog as well as I could have. I used to feel guilty about not posting daily, now it doesn’t bug me all that much.

    I’m horrible, I don’t do drafts, I don’t really review posts before I publish them, so as I’ve been trying to clean up my website, I’ve found all these horrible errors in posts. How embarrassing, especially because of my profession, but oh well. I have been fixing some of the worst errors I stumble across. I have two different recapping methods. One is a lot slower than the other. One is to recap as I watch, which involves pausing every few seconds, taking down some really good quotes and that makes a 45 minute to 1 hour drama…2-6 hours. The other method is watching, THEN recapping. I think the longest post took nearly all day to write, but that wasn’t necessarily working steadily on it. On average it’s probably a 2-4 hour job, but on worst days, 4-12+. There are times that the writing took forever, so I give up on screencaps entirely or just take whatever I can get even if it’s not the best quality just because screencaps can take 2-4 hours alone depending on the drama and the scenes you want to include.

    I start out at 6 thinking I’ll be done by 7. Then 8 rolls around, and 9, and 10, and then 11. What a way to spend a night 😀 It is a bit sad realizing how much time you spend on a project only to have no one say anything so you wonder if it’s really worth all the time and effort put into it.

    • I salute you for still being able to post so many recaps. I think you are actually a rather frequent poster! And I totally get what you mean about how sometimes recapping is very painstaking. T_T Also the time can really fly by and I tend to underestimate the amount of time that I will spend writing. >_<

      Aw I get that feeling too sometimes, like what was the point of all the time & effort I've put into a post if that post doesn't even get any responses. Even if the post has been getting a lot of views, it's not quite the same as actually hearing from the readers.

      • I think people who review dramas and episodes might get a bit more response than people who recap at times because they can easily agree/disagree with thoughts and opinions while with recaps…it’s just a play by play of what happened in a drama. But it is a bit discouraging to have silence even if you have the views.

        I can’t believe how long it takes to write and before you know it, the night is over and its bedtime or you’ve “wasted” 😉 the entire day working on it. But…there are times when everything clicks and flows well and it makes you happy at the same time. Now if only my creative writing would go in that direction. I’ve revised, rewritten, and reworked my book so much know that I really don’t know what to do with it and I’m just frustrated with it. Recaps…slightly less painful at times.

        • Yes it is also harder for me to comment on your recaps if I’m not watching the drama in the first place. >_< Well some people who recap also have a short review portion at the end so I think most people will comment about that…or maybe they will just comment about the things that happened in the episode.

          You're writing a book!?!?!? If so what genre and how long is it so far? O: I think I would have trouble just writing a short story..let alone a whole book..

          Oh and by the way, I think I also should go through my old posts to edit/reread them..except..I also cringe at my older posts and I feel like it will take such a long time to go through them one by one. T___T

          • With my recaps, it really depends on my mood and how I feel about the drama. Sometimes I start recaps with reviews, sometimes I end them, and sometimes I just have the entire recap riddled with commentary, particularly when I’m annoyed about a drama (like the shipwreck May Queen that even my love for the younger cast and the two male leads couldn’t get me to like in the end), and other times I don’t really include any at all. I’m nothing if not horribly inconsistent 😛

            Well…past tense. I *have* written a book, supposedly book one in a series. I wrote it my freshman year in college when my sister was away for the semester in Mexico and I didn’t socialize much with others, and I have been perpetually unhappy and revising it ever since. Perhaps someday I will be happy with it. Doubtful. I guess it doesn’t help when you want feedback and have no one to really offer it, too. I think if my creative writing adviser hadn’t told me that while the book was readable, that didn’t make it good, helped me any. When it comes to writing, I fail at short stories. A one-page short story becomes five pages, then ten pages, then…one ended up being like 30 handwritten pages (and I write small) and over 80 typed pages. As for genre…historical fantasy…with religion thrown in for good measure in the usual epic battle of good vs. evil. I don’t even know the page count right now, but it’s over 300 pages (8 1/2 x 11 with one inch margins).

            Well, I wouldn’t have gone back through and did any serious edits if I hadn’t been trying to fix some things that I broke when I changed hosts. And come April, I’m probably changing hosts again, so I really want everything to be as good as it can be, but there are times where I’m like, “meh” why spend the effort, especially when I have…nearly 1400 posts…by looking at the site.

  • I’ll confess, when I first started recapping (inspired by DB no less), I wrote 3,000 word recaps that had a bajillion screenshots to go with them. I would watch an episode once, then rewatch it slowly for screenshots and for the story. MAN THAT WAS AWFUL. I’ve figured out a much speedier way (for myself at least), which involves screenshotting while I watch the episode, and then writing the recap from the screenshots. That way I only touch upon the important parts, but till have a lot to work with.

    Watching the drama + screenshots = 1.25 hours
    Editing screenshots (because I always end up with 200-300) = 45 min
    Snack time = 20 min
    Uploading/formatting the screenshots in WP bc they don’t fit perfectly as is = 30 min
    Writing the recap = ….. anywhere from 5 hours (if it’s the first ep/I really like it) to 20 (off and on).

    I’m thankful for a fast WPM speed, but I’ve noticed a trend where I’ll recap a drama pretty rapidly for the first 7 or so eps, then slow down, then reeeeaaaaalllllyyyy procrastinate on the last one. EX. my last recap of Fabulous boys is in my drafts folder, I just need to find the time to write it.

    I don’t see dramas as being separate from “real life”, it’s just that “real life” consists of all of my priorities and must-dos that occasionally force dramas to the back burner. In my case, it’s school, projects, exams, FINALS (what I’m going through now), and work. That’s why during summer break it’s easier for me to post while juggling a summer job, than it is school and clubs and work. Technically I shouldn’t even be on WP, I should be studying for an orgo final… 😛

    While I do love posting reviews, I think they’re a double edged sword. With recaps people are reading for the story, and anyone can come pick it up. Reviews only really draw people who have seen the drama already and want to comment. Sigh… I’ve started to get sassier in my recaps though, just because writing down word for word what happened is boring. 😀

    • Ironically even your faster recap-process also takes a very long time O___O 20 hours? That’s a lot!!! At least it is faster than the method you started out with though. Yeah I guess I type at a decent speed but that doesn’t really help me write my posts any faster..because I delete stuff just as quickly as I write stuff LOLOLOL.

      The thing is that even when I have more pressing priorities I just can’t keep myself away from dramas/writing. It’s like now I feel this need to write a lot. T___T Anyways I never really thought about how maybe different people are attracted to the recaps vs. reviews. I feel like a lot of people who have already watched the episode still want to read recaps too though so..hmm..

      • haha 20 hours is if i spread it out. a little here, a little there. some more the next day..and the day after. Just really me being unproductive and not as efficient. Haha yeah I can see where that’s kind of ineffective…

        Fair enough. I like to write, it’s just not one of my big passions. I’d rather marathon an entire drama than write about it haha 😛

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