WIP Week 2013, Dispatch #2: Cada Veces (NaNoWriMo Winner, 2012)

Welcome again to the second installment of WIP Week, where we discuss the projects (and would-be projects) that I have on my slate for 2013. Today we shall cover this year’s NaNoWriMo winner: a story that, in my words, had started with good intentions, only to become something else altogether. 


Title: Cada Veces 

Abstract (as of this writing): Sabrina Mojica wanted the intellectual challenge of studying at one of the toughest creative-writing programs in the country, but her social standing as a member of Manila’s upper class has put her in the sights of the notorious professor Celeste Ballesteros, whose dark disposition has brought fear to the hearts of many students. Professor Ballesteros has only one assignment for this semester – a challenge to rewrite a pivotal moment in one’s life – and the determined Sabrina is willing to do whatever it takes to earn more than just a passing grade. And yet, in her quest to be taken seriously, Sabrina finds herself rewriting her life… in more ways than one. 

Revision status: Talk about your intellectual challenges. I thought I was going to be able to work on this throughout the semester after finishing Right Here Right Now, but my current academic calendar now requires me to do field work, which means that my writing time will be cut back significantly. (Said challenges will also mean that I will be cranky for a good amount of time between now and March, which should serve as a warning in case anyone ends up on the other end of my temper for no reason.) 

The weird thing, though, is that this manuscript has generated some interest by the end of NaNoWriMo, and not just for the cool cover alone. There are people who actually want to read the finished draft, so it might come as a shock if it turns out that I won’t be able to finish this until the very end of the year, or at least before the next NaNo starts. That said, I’m glad to have writing buddies who are truly supportive of this journey, so I won’t be alone for this project.

What else is going on: My favorite part of the story – apart from Sabrina’s relationship with her classmates – is the bond she has with her late grandmother Mamita, a defiant old woman who encourages Sabrina to live a life with “no regrets,” so she won’t have to make the same mistakes again. Thus, “cada veces” (or “cada vez“), which translates to “every time” in Spanish. At first Mamita’s words sound like a welcome contrast to Celeste’s unfiltered insults, but over time they take on a darker sense of foreboding when the rest of Sabrina’s life gets put to the test as a result of her assignments. 

And: SPOILER ALERT! At the end of Cada Veces, Professor Celeste will be at the receiving end of some great news that may take her away from teaching for a while. And that, my friends, will be the premise for WIP #3. 

Do I want to see this published? Of course! I’m no longer ruling out self-publishing for this one. It’s my book, and my friends have Kindles now, so…

Does this need a critique? Wait until I sort through the first half of the story. 

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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