Posted by: Caitlynn | July 1, 2010

Excuse #2 — Manga

Ah…one of my biggest weaknesses…

I spend entirely too much time reading manga, I think. This morning, for some odd reason, I suddenly recalled a scene from Fruits Basket that I wanted to take a look at again. So, after flipping through the volumes I had, I finally managed to track it down (it happened to be in Volume 6, by the way). I read through it, and was content. For about 5 minutes. And then I wanted more.

Trouble is, I can reread the volumes I have, but there are still about 10 more volumes that I don’t have and can’t really afford to run out and buy right now. And it’s hard to reread a series when you don’t have the ending accessible to you.

So, I visited my trusty online manga sites — and — to see what interesting manga I could read on there. (Fruits Basket, by the way, is not available on either. It was taken off once it was licensed, I believe.) And, as is the case on most days, I managed to find something to get completely caught up in. Hence, my morning (and early afternoon) were lost.

As addicted as I’ve become, though, I’ve also become more critical. The same shojo romance plots are starting to become tiresome, and I may just be developing an allergy to love triangles. Ugh. Even the phrase is starting to turn my stomach. 😛 And the worst ones are either those in which the heroine ends up with the complete jerk instead of the guy who treats her right, or those in which the reader has to go through chapter upon chapter upon chapter of an oh-noes-the-rival-is-using-trickery-to-sway-the-love-interest situation. Ones that don’t fall into either of those two categories are, at least, tolerable. But I’m still getting weary of them, too. 😛

Sigh…and as a side note, I also hate when stories that are all happy and fluffy and light suddenly decide to kill a main character. If the tone is dramatic from the start, then so be it. But to start something off as comical and take it there without warning…that’s just…mean… 😦

Ahem. Anyway. I’m addicted, see?

I probably read more manga than real writing, nowadays, which has both good and bad side effects. The good thing about it is that it’s a means of digesting a lot of stories in a short amount of time. The bad thing is that, as with anything else a person reads, it can have an impact on my writing. The simplest example is that, while I think I’m getting a little better with dialogue, I’m not improving any with description, as the vast majority of what I read has little need for descriptive prose. What’s worse than that, though, is how it’s affected my stories and characters themselves. I once had a friend who, at the time, knew very little about me, read over a portion of WoSWoL. From that alone, my friend was able to conclude that I watch anime / read manga. It was very shocking for me to discover how obvious it was. 😛

From that point on, I’ve caught traces of it in much of what I write. A good portion of my short stories are safe…but when it comes to longer works…well…not so much. The characters sometimes act like characters I’ve read in a manga, and the storylines sometimes play out in the same strain. Yes, oh yes, even those blasted love triangles are known to make an appearance in my writing. I hate it. I hate it, but I love it at the same time. Strange how that works, isn’t it?

Well, for the time being, I suppose it is what it is. I probably shouldn’t worry too much about how reading manga has affected my writing. After all, even with it being like it is, people have still told me they like it, so…it works out, I suppose. There’s one problem taken care of. Now if only I could figure out how to stop my addiction from taking up my writing time…



  1. Fruits Basket is an interesting title for a manga series… and I keep wanting to say Fruit Baskets. lol

    however, I don’t think I can help with your addiction any… o_O
    sorry lol

    • Hehe, that’s okay. 😉

  2. I totally agree with you about consistency within a story. (If the ending is dramatic, it shouldn’t be a funny story leading up to the ending.) Tacking on a dramatic ending feels fake when it doesn’t fit.

    That’s a hard lesson to learn, I think. It’s difficult, especially as a new writer, to see the piece as a whole.

    Well, it is for me at least. 🙂

    – Corra

    The Victorian Heroine

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