Top Drama Writer Kim Eun Sook Talks About Writing Scripts On The Fly, Cheesy Lines, And The Ending Of “Lovers In Paris”

Recently Kim Eun Sook, the writer of hit dramas such as “Descendants of the Sun” and “Goblin,” sat down for an interview with Ilgan Sports to talk over her career so far.

Kim Eun Sook won the Grand Award for her work on “Goblin” at the Baeksang Arts Award this year. However, the writer revealed that it had been in development even before another of her hit dramas, “Secret Garden.”

“I thought of the idea in 2010 before ‘Secret Garden’ was broadcast,” she said. “I wasn’t able to do it then, but it got produced eight years later. At that time there was a limit to what we could do. It was difficult to produce a fantasy romance of that scale, so it was rejected and I put out ‘Secret Garden’ instead.”

Kim Eun Sook is famous for not producing “quick scripts,” scripts that are produced by writers pressed for time and given to actors only a short time before shooting. “I try to write on my own time and hand it over to the actors,” she said. “I did write ‘quick scripts’ for ‘Secret Garden.’ In the middle, I became sick for two weeks and had to go to the hospital. So quick scripts just became the necessity. It was a serious situation. The actors were really geniuses. One time they only got the scripts on the day of filming but managed to film and broadcast it without any problems. I was proud of my ability to produce scripts ahead of time but I was really embarrassed that time. Around Episode 17, I was so tired that I requested that they delay a week of broadcast, but it wasn’t possible. To be honest, the ending was really rushed.”

When asked about her famous lines, often thought to be very cheesy (but frequently quoted) by viewers, she replied, “I’ve said this before but that’s my specialty. Kim Eun Sook is a writer who can write lines that seem childish and make you cringe. But nobody said that about ‘Goblin.’ I think my writing style has changed as I grow older. People complimented ‘Goblin’ a lot and I feel like I’ve lost my way. I need to write something cheesy again…”

Kim Eun Sook also talked about the famously shocking ending of “Lovers in Paris.” She said, “I am still reflecting [on the ending]. At the time, I thought that ending was a ‘bonus track,’ but it turned out it wasn’t. I realized that if the viewers can’t accept it, then it isn’t a good script. Dramas should be pleasing to their viewers. If I’m writing just to please myself, then it’s just a diary. If I can’t relate to the viewers and hear a lot of negative comments, then I did something wrong.”

She added, “One time I watched a movie on Christmas Eve. It was about a girl who sees a deer and thinks it’s Rudolph, but the ending was shocking. At the time I was disappointed and I realized the truth. This is how it feels when the viewer sees an ending they didn’t want. If I’ve pleased the viewer for 19 episodes, then the ending has to be pleasing too. Since I felt so bad that I wished I hadn’t seen the movie at all, I realized what ‘Lovers in Paris’ must have been like for viewers.”

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