All About Chemistry

Once you’ve had a taste of it, there’s no going back
– James Morrison, “Under the Influence”

So: Remember the book I told you about in the last blog entry?

Don’t worry, I’m still writing it, and I’m still determined to finish it before the month is over. In fact, I already know how it ends, so everything is just building up to the inevitable. (Also inevitable: the probability that it might go through developmental editing, which means poof–publication. But I’ll talk about that later.)

But that’s not the only reason why I’m talking about this. I’m here to talk about the one thing that I’d never thought I’d talk about until now: how my romantic history has influenced my writing.

I’m not saying that I’ve written the book of my heart–not yet, I’m afraid–but even at the halfway point of this manuscript I’ve felt a lot of feels while writing this. Yes, I’m writing this because of my intense feelings for an oppa (and it doesn’t help that said oppa executed one of the most memorable kissing scenes in cinema–gee, thanks YouTube for recommending that clip to me ten million times), but it also brought out some of the intense feelings that I’d once felt for different men in different parts of my life. Not so much with the puppy-love crushes, but the intense one-sided love affairs that took up so much space in my heart that I hadn’t been able to love anyone the same way with the same passion.

Like the teacher for whom I carried a torch for years, even as he told me that crushes were common.

Like the sweet senior from the high school literary magazine who was genuinely curious about little freshman me, never mind that it was six weeks until graduation and I was moving away before anything could happen.

Like the guy who I genuinely thought was going to be my boyfriend in college, only to be told by him one night that he was…well, dysfunctional. (That one had a happy ending, too. Just not that happy ending.)

Like so many guys that I loved, but could not bring to hate.

And so, the dialogue in the story became conversations that I wish I had with them in real life. Never mind that they were delivered in oppa’s voice, with oppa’s smile, and sometimes in oppa’s clothes (except for the moments when said love interest was dressed up like a K-drama lead)–the romance felt real to me, no longer as abstract as I was used to writing. There was chemistry. There was banter. There was heat.

And when the main character and the love interest finally consummated their relationship, the whole act of writing it was so hot that I thought that my laptop was going to explode. (Yes, I also kept asking myself if I was still sure that I’d based my love interest on oppa, but at that point I didn’t care anymore.)

So: Where is this going after this?

Like I said, I already have the endgame planned out, and it’s a matter of putting the puzzle pieces back together for the story. But things change, and the writing always flows to where it always needs to be. Personally, I love where it’s going because I’m enjoying the kilig that I’m getting from writing this book.

In summation: It’s going to be fine, don’t worry. And we’ll get there when we get there. 🙂

Love, Stella

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Stella Torres

is the author of the adult contemporary romances Save the Cake, Crushingly Close, and Nine Years Away, as well as the short story “Be Creative” in the anthology Kids These Days: Stories from Luna East Vol. 1.

In her previous life, she has worked in public relations, taught English as a second language, and even attended graduate school (twice!). She has lived in Indonesia, Honolulu, and Quezon City before moving back to her hometown of Los Banos, a few hours’ drive (with traffic) from the heart of Manila.

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