Updates: Guest Blogs, Screenplay Shifts, and Novel Goodness

This post was brought to you by Daniel Matsunaga.

Part Brazilian, part Japanese, has appeared on numerous advertisements, and very much single.
Way too skinny in person, though; the camera does add 10 pounds after all. (Photo credit: me.)

Okay, now that I’ve gotten your attention, here are a few updates on what I’ve been doing, writing-wise (and not counting my academics, since there really isn’t a lot of exciting things to write about regarding statistical software):

Guest-blogging: That picture of Daniel Matsunaga was taken at the Clear Dream Match exhibition game, which I co-reported on for the JessicaRulesTheUniverse blog. It’s my third time working with Jessica Zafra (the first two being my stalking investigative reports on you-know-who), which is actually a great experience for me since they’re practically adventures in themselves. I don’t want to be bold right now, but there may be more guest-blogging gigs in the future, so keep your eyes peeled.

(And if you need me to guest-blog on your site, hit me up in the Comments section! I’ll be happy to take your blog off your hands as long as there’s something for me to write up. You can even pay me with coffee.)

Screenwriting: After the unfortunate laptop crash that cost me the first act of my screenplay (ugh!) I’m rebuilding the whole thing from scratch, using things I’ve learned from reading screenwriter blogs. (My current lifesaver: this guide to writing scenes, from Prince of Persia writer John August.) The software that I’m using to write this up is Celtx, which also offers cloud storage so I can write online and on the fly. Of course, that doesn’t prevent me from thinking like a novelist – my online Celtx account is littered with scenes written out of order, including the ending and [SPOILER] two versions of the sex scene between Pete and Iris [/SPOILER] – but there’s enough material for me to work with on my downtime.

There have been a lot of major changes on the characterization front, as well. Iris is now a more insecure character; her past in MIT as a prankster is no longer an issue (since the MIT hack site rarely calls out perps by name) but her murky history now includes a short encounter with Pete as a callow middle-schooler, which represents her view of relationships with men – including her past long-term relationship with Grant. Pete’s job also factors greatly in the story, as well, since his transformation into a “corporate cog” continues to fall into question. And Schmidt, the gay stoner dude in the group, is now Pete’s cousin, which  makes him “one of the boys” and a close confidante; in fact, he even delivers a bon mot about unavoidable circumstances: “It’s the inevitable. You can’t fight what you can’t stop.” Because of this, I’ve thought about changing the title – again – to The Inevitable, since most of the characters are dealing with things that were bound to happen to them, sooner or later. For the moment, though, I’m sticking with Right Here, Right Now, because that sounds more like a comedy than a science-fiction epic.

Novels. Originally I thought about getting a jump on my NaNo, but I’ve been reading a lot of books lately – including chick lit from local writer Mina V. Esguerra – which have basically brought my attention back to World on a Plate. Again, the proposed revisions I had for this have disappeared into the ether, but between the books and a few significant private encounters outside of my current sphere (which I won’t discuss here), I’ve decided to give the whole book to Ellie and her journey, since I feel that the parts of the story that were happening in Manila were much more interesting than the Stateside drama with Jack and Cam. Gavin still plays a major role, though, as do Ellie’s uber-wealthy Alabang friends. This could put me back on track with having this puppy published in the Philippines, when I get the chance.

Next entry: Possible casting notes for the screenplay. 

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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