Welcome to the second week of the #JustWritePH Blog Tour! Every week we will feature a different story from each of the #JustWritePH bundles available on Buqo.
“Mayroong isangdaan at dalawampu’t
isang dahilan kung bakit hindi para sa iyo
ang kuwentong ito ngunit…”
(NOTE: Edited for clarity.)
Occupation: Master of the spreadsheets by day, slave of the stories by night.
Writing experience: Wrote poetry and children stories during my college days. Finally had my first published story after the #JustWrite workshop.
Favorite time of day to write: As soon as I wake up. I learned that by doing this, I get to write anything on the first deluge of creativity brought about by a freshly rested mind. I also manage to get things done before the usual daily distractions start overwhelming me.
Favorite writing instrument: Good old pen and paper when planning and then I use a PC or typewriter when it’s time to squeeze out the story.
Favorite snack (and/or drink) while writing: Coffee is enough.
How my story began: My story was intended as an entry for an “Opening Line Contest” in Wattpad. The ambassadors assigned a phrase that we are supposed to use as the opening line. I noticed though that almost all of the posted works used the required opening line but “discarded” it afterwards to continue telling their story. I, however, wanted my entry to stand out so I decided to use the phrase as a plot element and not just simply use it as the opening line.
Upon brainstorming, the first image that came into my head was a concrete wall with the said phrase scrawled on it in blood. I then took the story from there. “Eleven” was an exhilarating revelation eventually.
I never knew that I was up to writing such a gritty crime thriller and it was my first attempt at such. Sadly, real life took over again and I was not able to finish the story on time for the Wattpad contest. The contest also required that the story must be within 2,500 words which was too just too cramped for the plot I intended. I was already in the middle of the #JustWrite workshop back then and after getting great feedback from my fellow writers when I pitched the idea, I decided to finish the story.
My greatest challenge: (Writing) was like landing in Normandy without checking if I had enough bullets :D. The story sounded great but underdeveloped. Thankfully, positive stress worked its magic. The action scene at the latter part of the story was born out of pure inspiration and imagination.
The beta-reading and editing process: I gave my manuscript to a co-worker and she acted as my beta-reader. Her feedback was vital in making sure that my story hooked anyone who reads through the first few paragraphs which what I really aimed for. Due to the time constraints though, I had to do all the line editing myself and I went through the story over and over again to make sure that I wrote the plot as logical as I can.
What I’ve learned from this class: Definitely some more research and planning. Particularly in the time management part. Liana (Smith-Bautista)mentioned that as writers, we should be adept at using our “busy idle time”. Writing doesn’t stop when you leave the PC or set down the pen. A writer takes the story everywhere he goes. He nurtures it, he plays with it, he coddles it, and whips it to shape. So that by the time he takes hold of the pen again or finds himself in front of the keyboard, the words won’t be as lost and confused.
What’s next for me: Although I intend to revisit “Eleven” to give it the “Justice” it deserves, I was unsure whether to dabble into writing a crime story again. I was already planning another story (a RomCom in fact :D) and setting my sights on NaNoWrimo.
I was scouring the internet for any other workshop I can join when I came across #HeistClub in Facebook. It’s a crime novel writing workshop sponsored by Bronze Age Media.
So, there I go again. I’ll be working on another crime novel but this time, I’ll be ready. The bumpy ride that I took in #JustWrite, I’ll be taking even further in #HeistClub, with seatbelts, aviator glasses, and a finger on the nitro button this time. I’m happy if I can just be in an opportunity where I can tell a story and people will listen.
Wish me luck.