What we can learn from Korean Dramas (as a writer)

As a writer we look for inspiration and ideas everywhere, whether it be from conversations we pick up, movies we watch, books we adore, or dreams we have. But one of the greatest inspirations are k-dramas.



They are a great reference to character development, story climax, and various other means in reeling in the reader and ensuring their attention remains in the content presented to them.

Take these two dramas.


In I Hear Your Voice, a young man with the ability to hear people’s thoughts crosses paths with a woman who saved his life when he was a child. Now, he is put in the position he has trained himself for, protecting and saving her in return. This drama intensifies with each episode reaching more than one climatic peak.

It contains a simple cliché used far too many times and gives it a new twist. It gives it depth, it gives it character. It makes the readers forget about the cliché all together. How? By ensuring each scene is riveted with drama and uncertainty that the reader is entrapped by what is going to happen next. By fleshing out its characters to the point that the reader can’t help loving them.

What can we learn from this drama? End each scene with a punch and you will ensure your audience is still there when the next scene starts. And don’t forget to add substance to your characters. Not only do you want your audience to like your characters you want them to relate to them, to feel what they feel.


One of my favorites, My Girlfriend is a Gumiho, is laced with humor, romance, and well–drama. A spoiled young man ends up in a temple and accidently releases a gumiho, a nine tail fox. In the process of trying to escape from it he falls and hurts himself. To save him the nine tail fox gives him her pearl, her essence. And the tale begins.

Now with this drama you might think you know the whole story, but one thing leads to another. A mysterious young man appears with the ability to see mystical creatures. More is revealed about the pearl and the effect it has on the nine tail fox creating a story within a story. And in turn the level of drama is increased exponentially.

What can we learn from this drama? Turning a story on its tail (no pun intended, ok maybe a little one) can add more depth and intrigue. By doing so you can turn a great story into an extraordinary and unique one, one your reader will remember long after they have finished reading it.

The over all grasp one can learn is that with Kdramas there is rarely anything that is said or done that doesn’t have an overall purpose to the story. This is something many writers forget. Write each scene and word with purpose, write each scene as if it was your character’s last.

Drama is a writer’s friend. Drama intrigues, drama attracts, drama satisfies. Drama is:

a story involving conflict or contrast of character,

any situation or series of events having vivid, emotional, conflicting, or striking interest or results

Find the right mix and you will ensure your audience is kept at the edge of their seats throughout the entire book. And just maybe, they might stick around for the next one.


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