I’m a writer. Why have I not done this before? Anyway, today I’m looking at those writers on Webtoon who either have a great writing style, great plot ideas, well rounded characters, who are versatile, who stay away from clichés, and who have brilliant plot twists. Preferably a mix of all of those. So, be on the lookout for spoilers. I will also include quotes.
Let’s start with some honorable mentions. As of this time, there will be no more pictures for the honorable mentions, due to storage space. :
Walkingnorth, Always Human
Joho, Saphie the One Eyed Cat
Sungmin Kim, Knight Run
Now, onto the list!
10. Snailords, Snailogy:
Snailords is a good writer with Nightmare Factory, but I find his writing in Snailogy to be even more interesting. It can go from side splitting comedy to touching and relatable lessons to purely good advice. Sometimes, I find myself cracking up over something silly, but other times my heartstrings are being pulled. Snailords is one of the most versatile writers; not everyone can write both comedy and real life situations so well.
“Studies show overly conceited people are deeply insecure. The arrogance serves as a smoke screen to over compensate for the inadequate feelings inside. To play confident when you’re actually not, act assertively in your thoughts and body languages, but boldly throw in LIGHT self-deprecating jokes like, ‘MY imaginary friends would have laughed at that joke…’ To balance the scale between conceit and modesty.”
(Situation: Aidyn and Joho decided to enter the Flatliner Buffalo wings challenge) “I only ate almost one wing out of curiosity. It felt like charmander was breathing flame throwers internally. The fearless, brave Joho conquered 2.5 wings. Needless to say, they tasted like regrets. The things us artists will do for inspiration.”
“…However, I also like to believe I’m the sole proprietor of my mind. I am responsible for my words, my thoughts, my actions, no one else. Thus, I can be a better person if I choose to be. Every time I verbally abuse myself, I pretend I’m trash talking to my younger self. I didn’t deserve it then, I certainly do not deserve it now.”
9. Tri Vuong, The Strange Tales of Oscar Zahn:
Understated British humor is what makes this Webtoon stand out. In a ghost story, it’s what makes the story even better, as the comic relief is different than most. However, the author is also very good at tugging heartstrings by making the ghosts that Oscar helps so likeable, or at least sympathetic. Although, the pacing is a little off; in his second arc, I felt like it was too slow. I don’t mind because the characters were so well written, but it was still slow. Tri Vuong admitted it, and oddly enough, that made me like him more; an author who can admit his mistakes.
Oscar: “Hello?” (Door slams spookily). “Well, alright then.”
“Are you even listening to me? …Drat.”
Charlie: “Well, I have a friend who has something to say about that.” (Dramatic pause) Oscar: “‘Allo.”
8. Bonnie Pang, Roar Street Journal:
Link: Roar Street Journal
Roar Street Journal has shockingly realistic writing. Although each character is an animal, they feel incredibly human. Each of them have their own relatable struggles, and not one of them is put down to make another’s struggles more important. Pang treats them all equally, no matter how big or small they are. She can also write tear jerker stories, and then pure humor stories.
“Some years ago, I was a university student studying in another country… I learned to be independent. I learned the world is very big. And I also learned how good it is to be with my family.”
“Tiager, did you draw these? They are really good! I actually enjoy looking at your drawings more than reading other students’ writings.”
7.instantmiso, Siren’s Lament, Where Tangents Meet:
Instantmiso is one of the few writers to have created a love triangle where A. I can’t tell who the lead male is, and B. I can’t decide who to ship the main character with. That’s a big reason why she’s on here. But the other is that she talks about real issues, and while there are plenty of cheesy moments in her works, there’s not a lot of clichés, either. Also, she makes her characters intelligent; they feel like real people. She also finds tried and true romance tropes that many of us have grown to have a strong dislike for, and puts a fresh, personalized spin on them.
“You were never broken to begin with.” – Where Tangents Meet
“Sure, my life is far from perfect. I find myself wishing for a lot of things. For a complete family. For miracles. For love and happiness… But then I think about what I do have…And I realize I wouldn’t give any of it up for the world.” –Siren’s Lament
“Selflessness is when you put others before yourself on your own will. It’s when someone takes you in when you have absolutely no one else. When someone does everything in their power to make sure you don’t feel lonely. It’s when someone stays the night with you in a hospital waiting room because the only person you can call family is severely sick. I think, if anything, it’s the act of selflessness that remind me that this life is all the more worth living.” –Siren’s Lament
6. Miriam Bonestre Tur, Hooky:
Hooky has one of the best plot twist filled stories ever. Each character has layers and layers of depth to them, and the plot is deceptive. But Miriam’s way with words is beautiful. They make Hooky seem like a fairy tale. A dark fairy tale. One can’t tell who the good guys are, or who the bad guys are. There may not even be black and white; just gray. Everyone has a solid motivation for their actions. The best part of her writing is her unpredictability, and of course, her characters, each of whom feel like real people.
“People can be dangerous when they are scared.”
“I saw a world destroyed by a war. A devastated world. Full of fire and death and revenge. I saw a person that was leading all this chaos in a brutal and ruthless way. That person was the new king, the king of the witches. And I saw it’s face. There’s no doubt. Dorian or Dani. The king of the witches is one of them. ”
“I don’t know what to think anymore. Which side is the good one? Am I good? I’m such a mess. I don’t know if fear justifies it all, but it certainly influences it.”
5. Youngchan Hwang, Carnby Kim, Bastard:
I don’t know who is the writer and which one is the illustrator, but, oh well. Anyway, Bastard would have been even higher than this, but I feel like it’s slowly turning into a horror, rather than remaining a psychological thriller. But there is no doubt in my mind that the writer is a genius at suspense and cliffhangers, as well as three dimensional characters. This is one of the few comics where I’m scared to read the update, and it doesn’t have any special effects, unlike Chiller. To write something so suspenseful without any effects is amazing.
“What is this, some kinda cheesy teen drama?”
“For the past 17 years, I’ve lived as an accomplice to my murderous dad. I thought that was the only way for me to survive. But, when I saw her smile and felt my heart race, I decided. I’ve already grown enough, and I don’t need my psychopathic father anymore. People often refer to kids who don’t listen to their parents and rebel against them…as bastards. If that’s what a bastard means, then I’ll gladly become one.”
4. Soonkki, Cheese in the Trap:
Link: Cheese in the Trap
I wasn’t blown away by soonkki’s writing at first, as I found Cheese in the Trap to be ridiculously confusing. I couldn’t tell what was going on in either the past or the present. But as time went on, the storytelling became clearer and more well-written. It became much easier to read and comprehend, but soonkki also began to slip in memorable lines and quotes. Also, her characters are really realistic; they don’t always believe the latest gossip, and they also stick up for their friends. Soonkki also remembers that everyone has their own POV, and I feel like certain incidents are shown to not be just one person’s fault. This rings true in ways most stories don’t.
“The more I spent time with her, I began to think that she’s an honest friend with many charms. And I began to like her more. But the reason I’m angry with her is…because of her attitude, the way she cut our ties as soon as this happened…because I didn’t want to feel uncomfortable, I feigned ignorance of the trouble she was going though. So I don’t think either of us has the right to blame another, nor can I force my thinking on her. In the end, that was as far as our friendship went.”
“I’m completely…bewitched. I must be bewitched by a ghost.”
“You talk too much. If you were trying to anger me, you succeeded.”
3. JongBeom Lee, Dr. Frost:
Link: Dr. Frost
JongBeom Lee gets major kudos from me for doing his research. Dr. Frost is probably the most researched Webtoon ever, as it uses real-life psychology. It’s educational without ever being boring. The language is never detached or clinical, and it keeps the reader engaged. In fact, it’s less educational, and reads more as a mystery, except the perpetrators are mental illnesses. Each of the characters are well-written, and nothing is as it seems. Everyone is three dimensional. Each client is memorable in some way, and the cliffhangers…oh gosh, they’re cliffhangers. The writing style itself is different, and each arc is plausible; I can see each mental illness happening. I also appreciate that while they do foray into criminal psychology, for the most part, each illness is something that anyone could develop.
“But covering up the mind’s tormented cry for help can sometimes be the most harmful thing of all.”
“I may not have given birth to you. I may not have given you a drop of blood. I lost half the world but it was ok…because I had you. Because I’m your mother, and you’re my daughter.”
“In order to satisfy the desires of others, you must first find out what your own desires are. We cannot allow the desires of others to control us forever if we want our weakened ego to survive and grow.”
2. Stephen McCranie, Space Boy:
Link: Space Boy
Stephen McCranie is one of the best when it comes to writing characters that are like people. Everyone has reasons for being the way they are, and it doesn’t seem contrived. Even when you think someone has revealed their true colors, it turns out there’s even more to them than you thought. That’s talent; being able to show someone who appears nice, then mean, and then something else entirely. It rings true in a way that many comics, heck, even novels, have not been able to accomplish. Some could say the pacing is too slow. While I can say it’s taking a while for the main plot points to develop, I think it’s worth it, if it means it will be as well developed as the rest of the story. Not to mention the writing style; my goodness, it’s beautiful. It’s symbolic and intellectual without ever being pretentious.
“I’m glad you exist.”
“I get where you’re coming from…I wanted to blame myself too…when you had to leave the space station…I wanted it to be [my fault]. Blaming myself for what happened to you made me feel like I had more control over my life. I kept trying to figure out what I had done to make you leave, because I wanted to find a way to make you come back. But in the end, I couldn’t. Because that’s not how life works. Sometimes things happen whether you want them to or not. I think learning to accept that is part of growing up. So don’t blame yourself for the way this boy is acting, Amy. You can’t control what he does. You can only control how to respond to what he does.”
“It-it’s the facts, but it’s not the truth. It means you messed up, but you’re not-it’s not the end. It’s not the end for you. You don’t have to destroy yourself over this. You don’t have to give into the Nothing! Cassie, when I look at you, I don’t see a failure, I see my friend. And I refuse to see you any other way. I won’t define you by your mistakes. I won’t hate you. So please, don’t hate yourself.”
1. Ilkwon Ha, Annarasumanara, Duty After Achool, God of Bath:
How could I not put this guy on the list? He has to be one of the most versatile writers ever, not just in Webtoons. Annarasumanara feels like a dream, but a good dream that is incredibly beautiful, almost life changing. Duty After School is like a nightmare, but a nightmare that feels too realistic and plausible. God of Bath is like that bizarre dream you wake up from, thinking, What was that? Ilkwon Ha can stretch from contemporary-fantasy to sci-fi thriller to bizarre dramedy, and yet still have the same vibe about them. He often speaks about dreams and the future, not going with the flow, and human nature in general. The art and writing are equally beautiful, and the characters memorable. Everything is much deeper than it looks. While meaning and symbolism are obvious with Annarasumanara and Duty After School, he even puts those elements in God of Bath. I mean, that’s impressive.
“Do you believe in magic?”- Annarasumanara
“I’m not saying that you should only do what you want to do. I’m just saying that you should do what you want to do as much as you do the things you don’t want to do.” – Annarasumanara
“Young man, you’ve got ‘hands of God.'”- God of Bath