Deep in the Act


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To save Gao Zhun from the shackles of his invisible illness, Fang Chi overcomes obstacle after obstacle, inching closer and closer to his heart. But…

Everything you have done so far amounts to nothing more than a technique? What about…

Your feelings?


Can the course of human feelings ever be truly understood?

In an attempt to diversify his career, Zhang Zhun agrees to co-star with award-winning actor, Chen Hsin.

Their first task, by the director’s orders:
15 days of cohabitation in a couple’s room.15 days of watching raunchy movies in the same bed, in preparation for the filming of their first scene together.

Yet, things begin to go wrong as they get into bed for the camera.
No one on the set is safe from the passion of their performance.
No one is exempt from the heat of their desire.

Even the director cannot help but fume: Have I ever asked them to take things this far?

But… isn’t it our job to go deeper into the act?


You are my secret sunshine.

Chen Hsin risks everything in his possession as Zhang Zhun walks down the path of no return.

How should they define the bond between them?

Perhaps it should not be known as love, for love is too heavy and terrifying a word for them.

And yet…

There will never be another film like this! Your performance and the feelings you conveyed will never be surpassed! This is a masterpiece that belongs only to the two of you!

When their eyes meet – before the camera, according to the script – Zhang Zhun feels the tips of his fingers go numb.

Who is he?
Has he become Gao Zhun? Or is he still Zhang Zhun?

Who is this before him?
Is it Fang Chi? Or is it Chen Hsin?


When the filming comes to an end, the characters will recover, the actors’ passion will fade, and they will forget each other eventually as they return to their individual paths.

In the end, how should they make sense of it all?

Have they truly been hopelessly and deliriously in love?
Or have they simply lost themselves too deeply in the act?

Associated Names
One entry per line
Nhập vai
Related Series
Screen Partner (6)
Kill the Lights (3)
True Star (3)
The Star Around The Sun (3)
Friends with Benefits (2)
Hako no Naka (2)
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38 Reviews

Oct 15, 2018
Status: c9.1
The description is a bit confusing to understand (at least for me) but basically MC and ML are the two main actors of a gay film.

MC: Zhang Zhun, playing film character Gao Zhun

ML: Chen Hsin, playing film character Fang Chi

... more>> The chapters alternate between real life and the film plot, and currently, it’s reaching a point where the two plots are converging, and MC and ML are completely blurring the lines between their real life professional relationship and the romantic relationship of their characters.

Unlike Screen Partner, DITA has a more serious tone (especially in the film plot), as their relationship feels like a messy whirlwind, but you can’t help but to continue reading to find out how it’s all going to play out.


Especially because they both have girlfriends...


It’s updated 6 days a week!! And the erot*c scenes are so descriptive *q* <<less
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Oct 23, 2018
Status: c12.2
I don't know what's up with the 1 star reviews but don't let them discourage you from reading this. The story is deeply emotional and sweet with a healthy dose of sexy nsfw scenes.

The main characters are actors of an upcoming movie about a therapist and his patient falling in love. ML is a star and the MC is still developing his career. Because the movie characters are gay, the production company made them stay in the same hotel room and insisted that they familiarize themselves with each other so... more>> the intimate scenes won't look awkward.

The chapters alternate between real life and the movie and both stories are really interesting. The actors struggle to separate themselves from their characters and attempt to resist their increasing attraction to each other.

The translation is pretty much perfect. ? <<less
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May 12, 2019
Status: c44.1
I’ve read some stories on NU that were so heavy-handed with exposition it made readers criticize the author for telling and not showing. This is, very fortunately, not one of those stories at all.

In fact I can’t fully express how enthralling and sophisticated Deep In The Act is.

The novel alternates chapters between:

  1. Reality (the behind-the-scenes making of the titular film and the interactions between the lead actors and staff members), and
  2. Fiction (the story of the film and its lead characters, who are represented by the lead actors)
This might seem confusing... more>> at first, like reading 2 completely unrelated stories in the same sitting. But the more I kept reading, the more it felt like these 2 side-by-side narratives began to be superimposed. Especially when Chen Hsin and Zhang Zhun are poised to act in the very outfits and scenes illustrated by Fang Chi and Gao Zhun just pages prior. The author designs the story this way to purposefully blur the lines between what’s real and what’s fake, what’s pre-meditated and what’s instinctual. This applies not just to what’s happening between the lead actors, but what’s happening between the lead characters they’re portraying too, which makes the story feel rich and layered...

This probably sounds silly but in my head I kept comparing this Chinese BL novel with Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals in its manipulation of both fiction and reality and the way it does such a good job balancing beautiful imagery with a wide range of emotion - between strikingly violent, pure and unadulterated, hotly passionate, and heartwrenching, it’s all there. YES, the bed scenes in Deep In The Act are extremely well-written and satisfying. But in no way does that make the rest of the story inferior in its cinematic quality - seriously, the story unfurls like a movie, guiding your imagination almost effortlessly without having to hammer in your head what it wants to tell. <<less
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Sep 03, 2020
Status: c30
Imagine a valuable painting being pirced by a knife, that's the image I'm getting with this novel.

RATE: 2, 5/5. I'm half-through and have a number of things to say. Yes, raining on this positive parade, but some events/phrases etc. Rubbed me a really wrong way.

Let's start from things I consider good: 1) I find the whole idea of two separate storylines go hand in hand very interesting and the pacing of one chapter movie script, one chapter real life done with a well-paced manner; 2) the movie alternative was done... more>> with care, I'd say way better care than the real life counterpart, it'd be totally fine exisitng as a separate novel, but I see why author wanted to dellude it as a script; 3) pretty "westernized" in style work, or maybe it's thanks to TL, the whole written style plus knowledge etc. Feel like a hard mix, but the style is quite posh.

Now onto things that rubbed me the wrong way:

    1. Real life storyline comes across as vulgar. There's simply no place to rest with how almost every caracter is painted with a color of vulgarity: main actress sleeps with director then wants to jump all other pants, staff talking vulgarities, outside workers also talking the same way. No diversity whatsoever. Their movie-making sounds more like p*rn making. Just saying.
    2. Found it weird how MC is an action star, but judging by his movie "performance" he's some diamond actor.
    3. Strange fetish on straight men having GF, but turn gay within the movie filming process. As if it's some perverse satisfaction for them to do that.
    4. Speaking of GF, that's strange setting. Not to mention they have them, but also going this far without making it clean doesn't make both MC and ML look good, they're basically cheating on their partners.
    5. Several non-consensual scenes, bad idea to me (taking advantage of drunk MC etc.).
    6. I found how they treated a movie that at max can be considered erotica/author's movie to be more than that a bit silly. Especially the built parking lot set (that had dumbest scene of "saving" ever, because where that steel plate even came from I wanna know).
    7. There is gaslighting glamourizing r*pe victims. Quote: "It was a smile that dazzled with an unusual, alluring beauty born from his experience as a victim of s*xual assault". Bad description to me.
    8. Assuming sexuality gaslighting too. Quote: "Indeed, one could determine her s*xual orientation at a glance" (spoken about female photographer who has more masculine appearance and short hair)
    9. Characters in real life are rather bland, they're described alright, but rather bland. All that drives them together is sudden realization of compitability, so it's more like driven by passion than feelings. Which is also undermined by the sole fact of MC cumming with another actor (even though he thought of ML, still kind of meh).
So here is my judgement. Other praise it well, but I can't turn a blind eye to those things that don't sit right with me. And those things spoil the entire feeling of how good it'd be as a separate novel all together (I mean separating the movie scrip part and making it a doog blood drama). <<less
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Dec 31, 2018
Status: c30.2
This book is better written than the average web novel (it feels like it went through multiple drafts and editing!), and it is well-translated. I'm finding the translator notes unobtrusive and often quite informative.

The plot structure is fantastic. I love the interweaving of the two storylines (the story of the movie that's being shot and the story of the actors who are shooting it). Movies are shot out of order, and so we get some glimpses into the future of the movie's main relationship that make it much more interesting... more>> than it would be if we were simply reading the movie plotline straight through.

The story is very explicit, and the explicit scenes are frequent.

I tend to tread cautiously with the r*pe tag, particularly in stories that are also explicit. If you do as well, I'll keep the spoilers light but give you enough info to decide:


The movie that the actors are shooting involves a r*pe, and a deeply dysfunctional therapist-patient relationship that happens after. If the story was simply the movie plot, presented as a story, I would not recommend it.

However, by framing that story as a movie, we are given a bit of distance from the storyline... for example, we see the r*pe not as it happens to the character but as the scene that the actors are filming. We get the actor's feelings, not the (movie) character's feelings, as well as stage directions and so on.

I doubt I would want to watch the film, because the scene is presented as fairly erotic. But because the film's story is interwoven with the story of how the film is made, the presentation of r*pe changes. To me, the novel allows for a criticism of the portrayal of r*pe that the movie would not. That said, it is still fairly implicit.

The novel is very much about how the actors start to loose control of their boundaries. At least twice, one of the actors crosses the line with the other while the other is drunk and passed out. There is no physical harm (and no penetration), but the passed out actor thinks it was a dream. This scene is not presented as okay or romantic, but it is given in explicit detail.

In this storyline, the actors are becoming confused by their feelings and the amount of s*xual interaction they've had as a result of the film is blurring boundaries for both of them. In a second non-con scene, the same actor that crossed the line before starts to kiss the actor who was passed out before, when he seems to be passed out again. This time, though, the second actor is secretly awake. The first actor is stopped by a third *because of* the consent issue.

Overall, I would say that the author of the novel is actually exploring a lot of consent issues in a surprisingly (because of the erot*c content) good way. Both the actors and the movie characters are, to various degrees, "letting go", letting things happen instead of making choices about their behaviour. This puts them in increasingly unethical situations.... but again, these aren't presented as romantic or good. If feelings happen, it's despite the shitty things they do, not because of them.


Personally, I'm okay with reading about flawed characters and bad choices when they are presented *as* flawed characters and bad choices. In this case, I think the author mostly hits the mark, and for me it's an interesting story about people grappling with their sexuality, not just in the "who am I attracted to" sense but in terms of boundaries, self-control, and making choices. <<less
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Feb 03, 2020
Status: Completed
This was an amazing read. Unforgettable even. And sometimes unbearably intoxicating. Cannot recommend this enough if you're willing to undergo some (sexy) torment, and it has an ending revelation that haunts me to this day. The translator is truly a master, by the way. I wait with bated breath for the day this is continued, just to be able to read the novel again through the translation.
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Oct 22, 2018
Status: c12.1
I really like the story so far! I love how the author slowly reveals the story of what happened to GZ in bits and pieces and I also love the chemistry between the MC and ML. The psychologist side of the novel is super interesting and seeing the effects of their acting in their actual lives is also pretty cool. Would definitely recommend!
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Feb 07, 2019
Status: --
Reading a back to back plots that are foreshadowing each other is really overwhelming.

But addicting. I really need to learn how to have a poker face, otherwise people would think that I'm crazy, with the way I talk, swear or being anxious all by myself while reading the novel.

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Oct 13, 2018
Status: --
Captivating, Interesting, Titillating 'Deep In the Act' is a must read is you are in search of a deeper less fluffy story line with spicy surprises sprinkled throughout.
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May 20, 2019
Status: c45.2
After all the yearning and the pain and the feelings between the two lead actors, it's now at the *climax* of their relationship.

And... what a way to climax! I've been waiting for this chapter for so long.

All else aside, DITA is a fantastic story exploring the psychology of the characters, and how things spiral to become the way they are.

Both the writing and the translation are fantastic, and people should really read this (not just for the smut) !
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Is it wrong to be corrupted
Is it wrong
Apr 23, 2020
Status: c49
It's ranked within my top list

Deep in the act has a deep story and profound basic

But I need to say that I liked the film story more than the original one

Maybe because I liked the fragility and the suffering of the MC in the film more than the smut

How the betrayal of the doctor has an effect on his character growth

From vulnerability inside and out to deep hidden scars masked by a facade of nonchalance and debauchery

I liked the movie very much

Hope more updates

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May 17, 2019
Status: c43 part2
Utterly captivating novel, perfect translation. Isn't it awesome when you have a great title in the hands of a translator that knows how to bring out the beauty of the novel in English?

The chemistry between the two leads is off the charts. I check back every week in hopes for a new chapter, and each release doesn't disappoint. Highly highly recommended!
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Nov 26, 2018
Status: c22.2
Alt summary:

Two actors become so committed to their roles that the lines between reality and acting blur. Feelings of arousal, possession, jealousy, and protectiveness grow between them. Are these feelings their own or are they just the characters they portray? Are they... in too deep?

Eventually the shoot finishes and the fantasy world they share ends. Without a shared film keeping them together, will their passion fade? Can they return to their lives? Or will they find their way back to each other?

... more>> Review:

It's delicious. Take a few bites, but save the rest so you can binge.

I don't know why anyone would rate this one star. At the least it deserves two. Here's why:

Enjoyable characters with beautiful language and imagery (or maybe that's just the translation?) that kept me enveloped in the story. The focus so far has been solid without needless fillers. As for the translation quality, the writing was smooth, with excellent proofreading, a 90 out of 100.

Now for the story. I wouldn't call it a riveting one, more like one adjective below that: engrossing maybe? The author stays on point and the info flow is constant. You know how when you reread a story you've already read, there are parts you just skip? Not in this; it's all good.

It has so many characteristics that I don't like: the required investment for two separate storylines, abrupt personality changes, and constant time jumps. Ironically, these were the reasons I like the story the most. The time jumps for the subplot was a teasing reveal and I liked taking a break and switching between the main plot and the subplot. I think it was because the subplot was as good as the main plot. I'm MTLing so am probably missing vital parts, but even then, it's still great. I'd recommend for those interested in a meatier version of Screen Partner. <<less
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May 14, 2022
Status: Completed
"Foot fetish, you mean? No... I have a fetish for you -your feet, your hands, nose, eyes, mouth..." He suckled on Zhang Zhun's chin until he turned that tiny spot of skin a delicious shade of red. "I want them all."


This novel is amazing!!

This is one of those novels that you really NEED to read all the way through to grasp the extent of how brilliant it is. Along the way you will feel a myriad of emotions because it explores the psychology of human beings, showing them... more>> in their most raw self and that sometimes -most of the times actually- is not pretty.

This novel alternate chapters between their "real life" and the "movie they are playing." The movie script is dark, characters are manipulative, there is abuse of power but none of the actions are ever excused. Some of the people in the production, (aka the director, I REALLY disliked him) are just awful people with no shame are barely any morals. The author shows you people in all their flawed and horrible extent, with no sugar coating on what drives a human being and what makes them lose control.

The way DITA explores the psychology of their characters, connecting both of the stories, overlapping sensations and feelings is absolutely brilliant!! The smut is also TOP TIER.

I adored Chen Hsin's resolution and non compromisable attitude when it comes down to what he wants, understood Zhang Zhun's hesitance and fears to lose himself and everything he's worked for, ached for Gao Zhun almost to the point of tears, and hated Fang Chi to the core. But above all, I loved each one of these flawed characters and the journey the went through.

This book -and particularly that amazing and unexpected ending- is one of those that will haunt me for as long I live, and I feel like I need at least 365 business days to digest it, with a desperate need to restart it to see if there were ever hints I missed, although I doubt it. The author is just that damn good!!

REALLY. JUST WOW!!!!!!!! <<less
4 Likes · Like Permalink | Report
Aug 12, 2019
Status: c48 part1
For those who are dubious about reading about it because of the tag r*pe, dark, ecc fortunately those are refereed to the story they are filming not the actual MC and ML (even thought the story is told to you from the character points of you, it helps that they tell use it's a role and not... well our story protagonist ahaha), if I actually had to evaluate the story they act in I would like to tell Fang Chi (as*hole ML of the story) to go... well you can... more>> guess.

The spoiler is just me letting out some frustration >.<"


damn the story's ML f**** up pretty badly!He made the MC relive his trauma!Broke MC trust, dependence and probably his sanity, broke his own work ethic, what the hell didn't he brake?!?Can I help braking it for him?:)

How can I ship them now?!Rather ship that too violent rottweiler of Justin, now he looks like an abandoned puppy like the MC...

and now the r*per appears too ackjzhadhigldeg...

Damn it!


I would give the inside story (let's call it so) a 4 star, coz I need a star to throw at that damn ML (just because they have sharp tips :)

Oh those who would like to read for the Adult, Smut, Mature great choice, you came the right place!Totally hot~ \ (*q*) / <<less
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Dec 19, 2021
Status: Completed
Completed with MTL. This story has a pretty good character sketch with 4 MCs, each unique and the writer does a very good job of fleshing out their characters. The supporting cast also feels more fleshed out and have their own personalities. I liked the story better when I read using bad quality MTL and could only understand the outline. I hated Fang Chi for being a coward from the get go and hurting Gao Zhi over and over again. But having read a better quality MTL, I don't really... more>> like the story as much anymore and so I docked 2 stars.

Here are my problems with this plot. It started off really well and was quite well done until about half way. At that point, the author started adding typical fan-service CN light novel plots and destroyed an otherwise good story. The whole "comments on social media" trope that seems to be a required ingredient in CN light novels felt very amateurish in an otherwise grounded and well written story. It only got worse from there. The whole overly melodramatic confession in the end was bad enough but then there was the terribly written epilogue of what happened to the characters after and the terrible plot with the documentary film producing kid.

It almost feels like the first half and the second half were written by 2 different people. The first half would be 5 stars and the second half would be 0. So I rounded it off to 3. <<less
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May 16, 2021
Status: --

A must read! I've read many Showbiz novels. But this hits different because of 2 different story lines going throu so much of angst & confusion.

It's like we are also deep in the act with them.
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Mar 11, 2019
Status: c38.1
This story is amazing. Full of smut and you can tell the struggle and anguish of each character as they immerse themselves in their role. The story switches between the movie storyline and the real world which add more depth to the story. The translation is very good and easy to read. High recommend!
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Mar 10, 2019
Status: c37.2
So damn beautiful! Ive read a lot of yaoi novels in this site but Ive never been as invested as I am to the characters in this novel. Im too deep in the novel. What makes it more interesting is that I have no idea what will happen. God, the angst, the characters, their love, the world they live in AHHHHHHHH I LOVE THIS SO MUCH P.S. I love this more than QWTFOD. I used to be obsessed with this too.
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Apr 14, 2023
Status: c5 part1
Alarming. The messages, just like hy-d-ra mentioned blare sirens.

The writing is unmistakably good. This novel has a penchant for cheating themes and NON CON. It flabbergasted me, the very chapter I stopped on was horrific with attempted r*pe and successful physical assault.

All of this is painted in a good light, and romanticized as the tribulations of any “gay” relationship. THIS IS NOT IT! From a queer person myself. It’s very disgusting when the characters have girlfriends but don’t make their associations clear either as of being gay is the worst... more>> thing on earth! <<less
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