Chapter 545

It came to him after he passed the novel to her, this felt incredibly embarrassing. That notebook contained his writing which was a little too honest. In fact, he thought that he would be better off if he was naked.

Daemyung calmed down his breathing before looking at Hanmi. She was making a bored expression, but it didn’t look like she was just skimming over his work. She even flipped pages backwards in order to check some things from time to time.

Haesoo’s snoring could be heard. Heavy breathing could be heard from the room Gwak Joon had entered as well. It seemed that everyone was tired.

“Bring me,” Hanmi said as she reached her hand out.

Daemyung looked at her because he didn’t know what she meant.

“Bring me water.”

“Ah, yes.”

He didn’t do anything wrong, but he still flinched. Daemyung brought some water and put it in front of Hanmi. Hanmi put down the notebook and drank the water.

“Have you finished it?”

“Yes.”

Daemyung nodded slightly before pressing his lips together. He had no specific purpose behind showing her the novel. He just wanted her to read it. He wanted to let her know that writing isn’t fun all the time and that facing oneself is very hard, but important.

After gulping the water down, Hanmi heaved a sigh before picking up the notebook again.

“I thought you finished….?” Daemyung quietly asked.

“I can’t understand it in one go because the writing is sloppy and unpolished. It’s grammatically incorrect starting from the first sentence. Also, although perspectives are quite liberal these days, you’re lacking basics as the perspective changes without any signs.

“S-sorry about that.”

“Also, why are the line breaks like this? If you chose to go with a novel format, you should draw the shape of the paragraph inside your head. Are novels a joke to you? You should give the reader a sense of speed by formulating paragraphs. Sticking everything together or splitting everything apart isn’t going to be the solution.”

“I-I will bear that in mind.”

“I can preach to you all day about just the first page, but I’ll hold back for now. Give me some more water. No, brew me some tea. Green tea, red tea, barley tea - I’m fine with whatever so just get me something hot.”

“Y-yes!”

He replied energetically before standing up. If Miso pressured people physically, Hanmi used her words to exhaust him mentally. Daemyung left behind Hanmi, who opened the notebook again and went to the kitchen.

* * *

Hanmi flipped the page while taking a sip of the steaming tea. She always drank something hot whenever she read some form of text. Without it, she couldn’t focus. The novel that Daemyung handed to her was sloppy to the point that it made her laugh. She could tell at a glance that Daemyung was full of the desire to write and did not consider the reader at all. There were unpolished words embedded inside the sentences. They were absent where they needed to be, and they were present where they shouldn’t be. It was a mess. If a student learning to write brought her this kind of writing, she would have asked that person to read it out loud on the spot. No, she might have ripped it apart.

“If you want to start a thought, mark it so that the readers can understand. Whether you change the paragraph or put some special character, it doesn’t matter. Just do something. If you don’t want to change the scene, then insert a sentence to transition between the two states. If you suddenly go to the past and then come back to the present, the perspectives are all screwed up, making it hard to read.”

“Y-yes. I will keep that in mind.”

“Hey, how many books have you read?”

“I’ve been reading ever since I entered 3rd year….”

“That’s not an answer. How many? How many books do you read per month?”

“I think about five.”

“That’s not too little. Though it’s not that much either. Keep that up. Someone who wants to write must keep reading. If they don’t read, they won’t be able to write.”

After saying that, Hanmi focused on reading the writing again. It was really sloppily written. There were no writing techniques used here, and the flow of emotions was all over the place as well. The distance between the narrator and the main character was random, so the reader had to be the one adjusting the distance between the two. Not only that, the vocabulary was so limited. It would be much better if he used some synonyms for repetitive words, yet he was using the same words repetitively to say the same thing. No, repetition would actually be better. There were some hanja words in some of the sentences which seemed to have been used to sound cool without actually considering the meaning. Those caught her eyes a lot.

“When you first write, pretend that your readers are elementary school students. If you do, you’ll be able to structure your sentences better. You won’t be using difficult words, so there should be fewer grammatical mistakes as well, and the sentences will become simple. Untwist your sentences and split apart the long ones.”

After saying that, she flipped the page over. The very first sentence made her feel dizzy again. It was blatantly obvious that it was written by a novice to the point that it made her lose her motivation to point things out. She should have closed this kind of writing a long time ago. It would’ve been more like her if she asked the boy what he was up to by showing her this kind of rotten writing.

However, her fingers flipped the pages by themselves. This was her second time reading it already. At first, she speed-read it, and this time, she was taking in everything including the spaces. It was sloppy and messy. The writing felt ‘noisy’ and it made her reluctant to keep reading it.

Yet her eyes were looking for the next sentence. Hanmi knew what this meant.

‘His writing was interesting.’

Before the widespread adoption of the internet; back in the days when they wrote on manuscript papers and ripped them apart to throw them away or ate them when they forgot the beginning indentation, writing was something sacred for Hanmi. She was enraptured by the glory of words that allowed her to construct an infinite world with limited resources. Her dream was to become a novelist, but she found out that she was more talented at turning her words into scripts, and ever since then, she started digging into scenario writing for dramas. Hanmi went through all that to reach her current status, and there was one writing that shocked her about a year ago.

Writing that was flooded with various emoticons. At first, she just laughed about it. She thought that it was just a child’s joke. However, the effect that writing had was beyond her understanding. A drama adaptation and a movie adaptation for that novel had been decided. She thought that the world was going crazy. That thing, which she wouldn’t call a novel, was being treated as one.

Hanmi thought that writing that a child could make, which inserted pictures to depict the emotions instead of the subtlety of words, could never be interesting. That was why she read it. She didn’t just skim through it, she read it over and over again so that she could research it.

The conclusion she came to back then was that the writing was interesting. It felt as though a pillar that supported her, one that was known as common sense, had collapsed. Around that time, novels based on emoticons started flooding the publishing industry. Some of the novelists she knew snapped their pens. They quit writing saying that the market had changed and that they were lagging behind. They shouldn’t have that many regrets though since they only wrote as a side job. Making a living as a novelist in this country was pretty much impossible after all.

As a drama writer, the effect didn’t reach Hanmi. However, ever since she read that writing, she had an identity crisis. Writing that had no form. Scenarios were considered liberal when compared to novels since it was a form of writing that would be used for shoots. It used mostly spoken writing without using narratives, so it was very different from normal writing. However, even those scenarios had rules they followed, but the emoticon-filled novel had no rules at all. She was honestly depressed when she saw some special characters replace the flow of emotions and the fact that such writing was loved by many of the young people.

Had that been all of it, she would have ignored it, but that novel was definitely interesting. The readers recognized it. The moment she saw a novel that completely ignored the grammatical structure being loved by many, she felt stifled and felt her vision go dark. Before that, she did not acknowledge the culture created by the internet generation. Looking at people who wrote internet novels, she thought that they were novices who didn’t know the weight of the pen. However, reality was completely different. While readers liked structure and rules, they valued fun even more.

Fun. Contemplating that word, Hanmi started reading other things written by the younger generation. She decided that she should read the trend and write something that would be popular with that generation. She thought that such a thing would be easy. She resolved to become a writer who could read the trend and write dramas that led the trend, being popular across both generations.

She spent a year like that, and she forgot how to write. She analyzed the emoticon-filled novels she had laughed at so many times and felt depressed because she couldn’t write like that. The dramas she wrote still did well, but it was about time she wrote something new, and because of what she said in an interview, she was tasked to write a youth drama. The interview that she did when she still had the confidence to accept the younger people’s senses and dissolve it into her own writing had dragged her down.

During the beginning stages of the planning, it was pretty okay. However, the more episodes she wrote, the less confidence she had. Writing something without confidence was like torture. In the end, Hanmi went around internet forums like she always did, and took inspiration from novels posted there. The novels posted on internet forums had a unique taste, and Hanmi did not have the confidence to do something like that. In her haste, she borrowed a plot from one of the novels and when she came to herself, she had already handed the script over. She rested a bit due to the relief that she was not late, but when she woke up, she realized what she had done.

She had told the producer not to fix the script or comment on it at the beginning of production. She had always said those words, but she regretted it dearly this time. However, she couldn’t give in and ask the producer for consultation first. After all, the writer known as Lee Hanmi had to be perfect.

“Phew.”

Hanmi closed the notebook. When she looked next to her, she saw Daemyung who had fallen asleep. When she looked at the clock, she saw that it was 3 a.m. She felt like she had read that novel 7 times. It was really bad writing, but it was too fun. The story was bitter but the writing itself was interesting. It was writing that felt raw and one where she could gleam the face of the writer. The structure was unstable, but the contents were weighty. She hadn’t felt like she had read such powerful writing in a long time.

“Bullying.”

Hanmi went into the room where Pilhyun was lying down and took two of the blankets on top of Pilhyun before coming back to the living room. She put one over Daemyung and the other over Haesoo before sitting down in front of the sitting table in the living room. After that, she turned on the power of the laptop that she presumed to be Pilhyun’s.

‘That’s right. There was no need for me to chase others. It’s something that only I can write after all. Good, I’ll make it more perfect. Who am I? I am Lee Hanmi.’

Hanmi glanced at Daemyung’s notebook before turning to the laptop monitor.

* * *

Daemyung, who woke up early in the morning, could see Hanmi sitting in front of the laptop. She was tapping away at the keyboard with fierce eyes, and he kept watching her in a daze because she looked like a master delicately baking a piece of pottery.

“If you want to keep writing in the future, learn the basics at least, okay?”

Hanmi said that without even looking at him. Daemyung nodded subconsciously.

“Also, that novel. It was really interesting. I mean it.”

Daemyung smiled like a fool when he heard the compliment. He didn’t know what happened during the night, but it seemed that things went well.

* * *

“What? A re-shoot?”

Maru hung up after writing down the schedule. He looked at his phone in a daze. It wasn’t a supplementary shoot for an episode that was already shot, but a whole re-shoot of the majority of an episode? Moreover, he was even told that he would get the script on the day of the shoot. Even the assistant director, who was adjusting everyone’s schedule, sounded flabbergasted.

“What the heck is happening?”

Supplementary shoots occurred quite a lot, but this was the first time an entire episode was scrapped.

Maru scratched his head and got off the bus. He had to go to school for now.

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KTLChamber's Thoughts

Daemyung! You ended up giving Maru more work! Lol.

I actually found this chapter pretty weird. I mean, Daemyung had been studying under Gwak Joon and Pilhyun for months now, and he still makes novice mistakes like what Hanmi said? That can't be right...

I just take it as 'Hanmi's standards are high' and 'Daemyung's writing is only like that because the novel is about himself, and he hasn't had time to polish it up yet'.

Well, I guess Love Cupid Lee Chan is gone then.

Editor's Note:
I'm not going to lie, but I quite dislike Daemyung as a character. He's just so bland. Daemyung is the stereotypical bullied kid who gets help from the main character and grows to stand on his own. He has nothing fun or interesting about him. When compared to other characters like Maru, Bunbun, Jiseok, Suyeon, etc he has absolutely nothing that makes him stand out. No quirks that make him unique. He's just so boring.

**Rant ahead, feel free to ignore**
Oh boi, this chapter. Where do I start. First of all, I absolutely hate people like Hanmi with an intense passion. The prideful type who won't take a step back makes me absolutely sick. Let's break down all the consequences of her actions should she have not broken out of her slump, assuming the worst-case scenario. Because she refused to consult with the producer, Lee Chan's character completely changed. Assuming this continued the entire drama would have started to feel awkward and strange -> fall in reviews -> consequences. The consequences for the actors would be their reputation would go down because would probably blame them/the producer first. Similarly, the producer and the assistant producer would suffer because of the fall in ratings as well. This would lead to easy-to-see consequences like no future work, no trust etc. Because of her stupid unwillingness to take a step back, she could have potentially impacted a ton of people's lives.
Now, don't get me wrong pride is a good thing and it is well something to be proud of. Pride leads to self-confidence, happier lives, good auras, etc. Pride is only a problem when u let it get too big. Then it becomes an inflated ego and makes you super stubborn because you try to protect that pride. Of course, I assumed the absolute worst case scenario here, but with 7.6 billion people, there's guaranteed to be a ton of scenarios where worst case situations with prideful people have happened.
Why I hate people like this? No real reason really, I just tend to get annoyed easily and this type of personality completely clashes with my laid back, take a step back so it get solved faster personality.
TLDR; I hate people like Hanmi cuz her personality clashes with mine.