Internet novelists begin to take control of their own drama

I'd watch this.

Chen Xiao in uniform? I’m sold.

Remember back in the days when novels were first being made into TV series? Now, these writers are skipping the novel part and going straight to TV.   With the famous Tonghua (Bu Bu Jing Xin, Cloud Song, Desert Melody) setting the way and now producing her third series  (Perfect Couple, Cage of Love, and an upcoming one), others are joining suit.  A number of upcoming series will be penned by their original authors, including Hai Yan for Nirvana in Fire and Gu Man for Wallace Chung and Tang Yan’s modern series 何以笙箫默.

Others have gone straight to script-writing, producing new works just for the screen.  Most noted for her books involving female secret agents time-travelling and pwning the ancient world,  Xiaoxiang Dong’er is writing a script for Yu Zheng featuring once again special force members, this time set in the Republican era. If anything, the thought of announced lead Chen Xiao in uniform is enough for us to be excited about.

Infamous novelist Vivibear is also working with Yu Zheng on a Palace spinoff.  Despite her notoriety for plagiarism, I’m kind of hoping that Yu Zheng will pick up her book on Lanling Wang because it explains the beauty of the Prince of Orchid Hills by saying she’s actually a girl crossdressing as a boy.

Finally, historical romance writer XiaoChun, who gets nightmares about scriptwriters ruining her books,  revealed she’s also working on a script. Although she’s only written two books, she’s known for her deep knowledge of her subjects and cramming a lot of history into her stories, which is why she’s one of my favorites.

While there’s been a good track record for novelists to advice rather than write their own scripts (the other Hai Yan, Yan Geling, Tonghua, etc.), it’s to be seen how these direct transition from internet novel to script will work. Will these new scriptwriters find success among their predecessors like Qiong Yao and Guo Jingming? What do you think?


21 thoughts on “Internet novelists begin to take control of their own drama

  1. just curious… is there any translated Chinese novels online in English? i can’t read Chinese at all, and google translate doesn’t help very much.;; lol and i only recognize a few good characters here and there, but only know it for that one meaning. xD but yeah, glad to know that the novelists will have their own hands at screen writing since they are the ones that written it and can have a clearer image and picture of how they want to portray it too. well anyways, thanks!

  2. You left out FreshGuoGuo on purpose, admit it! LOL
    I think it’s a good thing when a writer is being involved into the script since at least the core essence of the story’ll be intact.

    None of all those recent transpositions are from my favorite internet novels.
    I saw the characters poster for 何以笙箫默.and yes I confirm my disappointment for Wallace Chung as the main lead. Maybe I’m too influenced by ENO’s illutrations.
    I’m not a fan of Gu Man. Her stories are too fluffy and sweet. I read 何以笙箫默 because people are saying is really angsty… well to me’s not.
    I’m not fond to Vivibear either, I tried to read her 寻找前世之旅 and 兰陵缭乱 both dropped. The stories progress didn’t catch me. But if 兰陵缭乱 would be transposed on tv I would like to watch it.
    Among all these famous writers, the only one that didn’t seem to care about her works is 唐七公子. She just gives away the rights and then didn’t care how drama production will do it.
    I’m still waiting for ,三生三世十里桃花,听雪楼, 且试天下 to be transposed into drama. I know 十里桃花 movie’s rights is under Tangren (and it’s sequel 枕上书 under YuZheng) but many say is already expired and 听雪楼 is under HuanRui. And I’m so surprised nobody have brought 且试天下 yet since is a Wuxia/Epic really suitable to be a drama.

    • I feel like 十里桃花 must’ve expired since it’s been forever since they first announced it. Pity, because I feel like Liu Shishi would’ve been perfect for the lead female.

      Vivibear’s writing is all over the place (probably because they are from all over the place … ), but the premise for 兰陵缭乱 is really good for TV adaptation, so with a good scriptwriter, it can be really good.

      • But last year’s Shanghai’s drama exibition, the poster of the project was in the Tangren stand. Instead of just being Tangren I prefer a sort of collaboration, since Tangren is very bad to CGi.
        As for 兰陵缭乱 it depend’s if SARFT will give the ok. It’s just a matter of time that some companies would adap it.

        • Shanghai has a Drama exhibition? Why do they need one? Just curious. I bet it is very popular? Are there lots of production companies exhibiting? Who are their target market? I have never heard of such exhibition, there do have it in Europe. Thus I am very curious.

          • Unfortunately I don’t know, I just discovered it last year.
            And this year’s is concluded just recently.
            The two camrip trailers of Imperial doctress and Princess of LanLing posted by 0Ku0 are actually from there.
            I’m sure IDarklight can tell you more.
            PS: Since when Europe have a Tv series exihibition? And where?

            • Typo. I mean they dont have it in Europe! I am dyslexia. I made typo without realising it till someone points it out.
              It will be interesting to visit the Exhibition one day.

          • The exhibition is not open to the general public. It’s a central marketplace for companies to sell and buy dramas. That’s why there was a load of trailers and posters released in the past few weeks, and why a lot of dramas were holding press conferences. There’s also one in Beijing in March.

        • Tangren wasn’t there this year, so I don’t know. I would imagine most rights last no more than five years if you don’t film it. I think the rights were brought late 2010 at the latest, and it doesn’t sound like they have plans for filming it any time soon, so they would have to renew it or it’ll run out.

        • I don’t think there’s anything majorly wrong with Lanlingliaoluan . The Gao family was a mess anyways, so the facts are probably are as crazy as anything made up about them. Plus, companies first buy rights, then get stuff approved when they’re ready to film, not vice versa.

          • Err… I know companies first buy rights and then get approved and not vice versa.
            There’s two major obstacles, the change of LanLingWang’s gender and the prohibit love between her and her JiuShu.

            • The gender issue will probably prove a bit of an issue for history people though… that is a possibility.

              • I think people will only be offended with Lanling Wang if the actor is not pretty enough. He’s not really important at all in history except for his looks.

            • I don’t think there are major issues. First, they can always change her name as they’ve done in many dramas. Other than that, Sarft doesn’t actually care about history and has never given any idol drama any trouble. Desert melody was such an issue only because people’s been calling SARFT every day to complain about it.
              the relationship with his uncle can be easily cut. Even if it isn’t, it’s not that out of the blue for the Gao family, which is known for incest, amongst other strange sexual preferences…

              The only way I see the series having issues if Tangren plays dirty and continues to drag down every drama dealing with border issues, as they did to Kunlun…

    • I cannot read Chinese. I understand and speak the language well. But hopeless at recognizing the words. Thus I love Cdramas, good novel adaptation are my favourites. I grew up watch dramas adaption by novelistL Ji Yong. Gu Long and Qiong Yao. A good novelist can tell very memorable stories that one remembers for life.

      • You’re not the only one. Me too.
        To read internet novels I use some tools to help me. So I’m very selective to which chinese novels read because I’m slow and don’t want to waste my time on something that don’t catch me 100%.
        Since I have started to read chinese novels, I improve a lot to recognise chinese characters and writing with pinyin.
        I also grew up with adaption of Jin Yong, Gu Long and Qiong Yao. But at that time I didn’t know who they were XD. It was years later I discovered that all the dramas I liked actually were from Jin Yong.
        Ps: YuZheng brought the rights to adapt Heavenly Sword and Dragon Sabre, so I guess after SDXL, he will move on this one project… and Gu Long’s 绝代双骄 is being remade too.

        • I will try to do that. I will find a app that allows me to read Chinese novels online. Thanks for your suggestion.

  3. Can’t wait for “Slient Separation” by GU Man. What can i say i’m a sucker for devoted male lead and will have to judge later.

  4. Very interesting. Novelist to Scriptwriter. I guess have a story being chosen as a drama plot is the best marketing tool for a novelist. The novelist can convert the story into a novel after the drama has been filmed. Just like the American movies, we are noticing more films been converted into novels and not just the other way round. Just like the Twilight series.
    Isn’t it interesting to read the relationship between Yu Zheng and Vivibear? Both are infamous for plagiarism. Both of them must understand each other very well.

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