So I Finished A Manuscript (#romanceclass2017 Edition)

After several days of struggling with time management, snit fits, and numerous distractions, I finally finished my first manuscript for 2017. If you do the math, that means I’ve finished three manuscripts in the span of six months (with this on-and-off one being the first and NaNoWriMo for the second), so I must have had a lot of time and energy while I was going through all of that.

Well, not exactly. 
The way I see it, my NaNoWriMo manuscript took three weeks to finish because 1) it was a complete story when I started outlining it in August and 2) I had more control over my time and environment, since I wrote the majority of it while I was at my place in Quezon City. In contrast, the word count tracker for my #romanceclass2017 manuscript had the most zeroes during December and the first week of January, because I was staying with my parents and had more demands on my time. (It didn’t help that we went through three back-to-back funerals in December, which cast a gloomy cloud over our holidays.) When I moved back to town, my daytime hours were full of appointments and errands, but the word count picked up again and I was more driven to write. It wasn’t a matter of how much tea I drank that day, or how far along I was on the outline; once eight o’clock rolled around in Diliman, my fingers were on that keyboard, and I didn’t stop until it was bedtime. 
It also helped that I had someone to talk to during this process, who helped me untangle some of the kinks that I’d run into while I was writing the story. She was with me from the first time I tried (and failed) to get through the outline, and when things got rough I asked her for her input on story elements such as setting and characterization. What’s even more amazing about this was that I found myself making my own decisions about what to write after bouncing ideas back and forth with her–it was more a matter of guidance, which taught me how to put more trust in my own instincts. Seriously, folks, if you’re ever in a bind, it really helps to have a writing buddy in your corner. 
So what’s next for this manuscript? Editing, for one thing; unlike my past manuscripts, I don’t have the luxury of time (because I’m working with a tight submission deadline on this one) so I’m not sure if I’ll even have time to put this one through the beta read process. That means I’ll have to edit and rewrite this one every night until the deadline strikes–otherwise I wouldn’t get anything done. I’m still honoring the “office hours” policy that I’d set for myself during the daytime, so I’ll try to get as much of my school stuff out of the way. (This is where my planner comes in handy–I need to fill my days with as much activity as possible, so I wouldn’t have an excuse to do nothing at night!) Until then, wish me luck!

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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