It’s been said here in Hollywood that one should never meet their idols. Well, all I have to say to whoever coined that saying is: You had the wrong idols…
Ever since discovering the world of BL Dramas, I have been fascinated by the storytellers who have crafted some of the most interesting worlds I have got the chance to spend time in. One of the storytellers who I have returned to over and over again is JittiRain.
A former biology teacher born in Chiang Mai, Thailand she is the mastermind behind such series as 2gether, Fish Upon the Sky, Theory of Love, and Vice Versa – all of which have been turned into incredibly successful series from GMMTV and helped spawn the careers of several of Thailand’s biggest stars.
As busy as she is, JittiRain took time out of her schedule to speak with me about her creative processes, the worlds she has created, and if there are still stories to tell for some of them.
“I started writing novels with these two materials,” she starts. “One is to have a good premise or plot. I would develop a script from that point or two if there was a compelling character. I would then find a plot to supplement that character to create a story later.”
First Type: Premise / plot > create character > synopsis > treatment > script
Second Type: Create a character (character of interest) > premise / plot > synopsis > treatment > script
“Most of the characters I know come from people around me,” she continues. “They may be friends, people who have just met in different places, or even a celebrity, but these identities will not be directly used. I’ll blend each character into a familiar character, but not the same person.”
Her most difficult character. “It’s probably a character named Phawin,” she confesses. “One of my heavy drama novels. It was never mentioned because the plot was too heavy and has never been made into a series. Its difficulty was that this character had to lie to the people around him for some purpose,” she says, giving some insight into the character. “This led Phawin to grapple with his thoughts on whether to do the right thing or to continue lying to escape hardship.”
As far as easily written characters. “I don’t have any,” she states matter-of-factly. “Even the cute boy characters I’m good at, like Tine (2Gether) or Talay (Vice Versa), I believe they have a deep inside that is difficult to write. They have a similarly sensitive angle. When you think of a character as a human being, loving, greedy, or selfish, every feeling is always difficult to write about.”
When asked about her favorite of the tales she’s woven she revealsP “I like You’re my favorite/Forever you. It may not have heavy content or be bright and cute. This story in the middle made me see a yellow and pink color. It’s warm, and the music featured in novels like The Walters I Love You So helped slow down my hectic day. And whenever I want to escape the hustle and bustle, I always take Forever You out to read.” You’re My Favorite/Forever You is currently being turned into a series from GMMTV as Be My Favorite and will star Fluke Caskey in his first prime-couple series. “It is a plot that has been in my head for many years,” she continues. “I’ve been experimenting with writing about time travel, but it never ends. Until I was determined to write Forever You after finishing a project (Friend Zone – GDH) at the end of the movie, there was a wedding scene. So I wrote the first scene of Forever You with the wedding scene. It was all in full swing. It took me only 14 days to write the first draft, and it ended with a sense of attachment. It will be a novel and a series that will make everyone nostalgic. At the same time, you’ll want to make the present look the best you can… because, in the end, we all don’t have the opportunity to change the past like the characters in the story.”
“You probably didn’t ask But I’m reminded of another thing I love so much, 2Gether,” she continues. As one of my introductory series to the BL genre, it is hard for me not to be a fan-boy about this series. “It was written a long time ago. When I go back and read it now, it makes me see the mistakes and flaws. All of these are part of my growth. Like all characters, they learn and grow as well.” Though, for anyone hoping for more of Sarawat and Tine. “I can’t say if I will write again in the future or not. But now I think their story is over.”
Vice Versa (her most recent story to be turned into a series), recently aired its final episode. As one of my personal favorites of 2022. There was so much I wanted to know about the characters and that world. Including What happened to the character of Phuwadol who was brilliantly played by Jeab Lalana Kongtoranin – as GMMTV’s first FTM character. “Vice Versa is an end in its own right,” she advised. “Regarding Phuwadon, I want his life to end in an open ending. The way you can imagine his life in any shape you want it to be. But if you ask me, I want to write more about Vice Versa. I want to write about Tun and Tess.”
When it comes to casting, however. She relinquishes that control. “If it’s a GMMTV series, I won’t be the one to choose the actors. I will give it to the casting team, who can see people clearly and understand more than I do. But I will always advise or give opinions on what attributes the person who will take on the role must have. Then the team will search for actors according to those attributes.”
With the supernatural elements of Vice Versa and Be My Favorite, I was excited to see if she may be stepping into a new genre. “I really like this genre (supernatural) if I watch it. But when I try to write by myself, I will be more comfortable with other genres. I especially like heavy drama. Many people may not believe it because most of the series are romantic comedies, but the first generation of readers actually knew me from drama novels. I tried to write a comedy later, and readers liked it too. As a result, I currently write in both the rom-com and drama genres, so my readers have distinctly different reading tastes.”
As such a versatile writer, she is also currently working on a project with Nuchy Anucha who directed one of GMMTV’s biggest hits of 2021 Not Me. “The project has progressed quite a lot,” she confirms. “We are having so much fun working together. Nuchy has a realistic style, opposite to me, my style of work is romantic and rather surreal. When we work, it’s good and we get along very well.”
With such a vast and vivid imagination, I am anxious to see the next adventure JitiiRain is going to take us on. As a fan, I will continue to follow her career, and will be including reviews for Be My Favorite on the blog so…