WIP Week, Dispatch #1: World On A Plate (NaNoWriMo 2011)

Welcome to WIP Week, where we check in on what’s happening with my current works-in-progress. These works-in-progress are based on three of the novels I’ve written under the National Novel Writing Month umbrella, which includes NaNoWriMo (November) and Camp NaNoWriMo (July). 

Our first WIP for the week was written during NaNoWriMo 2010. Originally conceptualized as a satire about TV travel shows (i.e. No Reservations, Bizarre Foods, etc.) and their fans, World On A Plate was the first NaNo that I’ve ever written and finished at over 50k, and it stands as a complete story in itself. But can it stand the rigors of continuous editing and critiquing? Let’s find out… 


Title: World On A Plate 

Abstract (as of this writing): When Jack Stanton’s food-and-travel show gets cancelled by his network, the news sends shock waves to his fans all over the world. No one is more saddened and affected by this cancellation than the pseudonymous Filipino blogger Aunt Ellie – real name: Eloisa Carreon – who has all but proclaimed her undying love for Jack after following his career obsessively. While Eloisa lives a quiet life in Manila, Ellie’s blog entries catch the attention of the people who are closest to Jack… including his wife Cam and co-producer Gavin Romanowski, who each have their own theories about Ellie’s real identity. Soon the lines between Ellie and Eloisa become blurred, but the question remains: Who is Aunt Ellie, and how close is she to the real Jack Stanton?
Revision status: Crazy. The original manuscript consisted of emails and blog entries sent back and forth between Ellie, Jack, and Cam, with a few mentions of Gavin. After discussing the first few chapters with a critique partner, however, I’ve decided to “open up” the story by providing more narratives to flesh out the characters – especially Ellie, Cam and Gavin. Still, there’s a lot of work to be done; the gimmicky framing devices need to be reconfigured, Gavin needs to be less of a doormat, and Ellie desperately needs a non-blogging life that explains why she’s so hung up on Jack. 
Do I want to see this published? Yes! There’s a lot to be said about food and travel in the Philippines, especially since the narrative kicks in with Jack’s trip to the Philippines for his show. (I’m in the process of writing a scene where Ellie and her friends get their first glimpse of Jack in person at the Lobby Bar of the Manila Pen Circles buffet in Makati Shangri-La Hotel, while Gavin eyes them suspiciously. *ahem*) I can see an audience for this one; it’s just a matter of fixing the current draft. 
Does this need a critique? I might need a second (or third) pair of eyes for this one, once I pump out the first three chapters of the new draft. (Interested? Leave a post in the comments!) 

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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