Fiction-Writing: The Making of the Plot

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They say the first step is always the hardest, and I think it applies to all aspects of life including writing a romance novella.

Readers often presume that writers of contemporary romance novellas compose stories based on themselves. Like our Romance Writing Class teacher Mina Esguerra, I don’t. I also do not base my stories on a particular person. The idea just pop into my mind, and the only way to feed my imagination is to write it.

The plot that I used for my writing class just came two days before the group’s first meet-up. I couldn’t remember how it came; I guess I just woke up one day and decided to write about blind dates, puppy loves and weddings. It was tough when I started developing the premise because I have absolutely no idea what to do with.. well, my idea. But later on I learned it would be exciting to write about our first crushes or first loves in elementary school. ¬†Everybody has one, right?

As for the blind date thing, I don’t know why I just wanted to write about it. But I felt it would be fun exploring it since I’ve never been on one. The wedding thing is obvious. I just got married late last year and I want to use the knowledge of preparing a wedding as an advantage to writing the novella since we only have three to four months to finish it.

So here it is! The book description of my novella. The title came just as I was having a hard time sleeping due to “evening sickness.” At least I’m thankful pregnancy symptoms help.

*****

Blast From Two Pasts

Fate’s been playing tricks on Cara Nicolas lately. She agrees to go on a blind date with her best friend’s fiance’s cousin, only to discover that the guy is her first love from elementary school, Lucas Lobregat. Now that would have been a charming story, except that the date turns out to be one of the worst ever. And they can’t even pretend it never happened, because they’re both suddenly part of the wedding preparations.

Just as she is starting to get to know more about the boy she used to love, Oliver Sta. Maria, an old flame who owes her some closure, surprisingly shows up. With two pasts resurfacing, which will Cara choose to rekindle? Or will she ever choose at all?

*****

Hope you like it! ūüôā

-Kristel

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Journey To My Past: Rekindling Old Flames With Fiction-Writing

I don’t usually finish what I start. I am the type of person who gets bored easily: be it reading a novel (unless it’s really good), starting a new hobby, or trying out a new sport. ¬†So imagine my surprise when I actually finished (technically at the moment) a 30,000-word contemporary romance novella.

I have set aside writing fiction for the past decade.  Rekindling old flames with fiction-writing is the best feeling ever, and I thank Ms. Mina Esguerra (author of My Imaginary Ex, Fairy Tale Fail and Interim Goddess of Love) for that.  She has organized a free contemporary romance writing class on Facebook to help aspiring writers (like me) learn the basics of writing a novella and finish a piece in three to four months.

I was apprehensive at first if I could accomplish such task under that limited time, and I nearly gave up when I didn’t meet the deadline for Act One (I haven’t written a single thing then) and Act Two (I’ve written about 6,000-8,000 words by that time).¬†But there was this nagging feeling of proving myself that I could, so I did. ¬†Unconsciously, I found myself writing every day.

It didn’t come easy as expected. I junked my original plot when Ms. Mina advised it was tough to pull off an arranged marriage theme in a Philippine setting. The plot that I pushed through in this class came a few days before the group’s first meet up, and I struggled on developing it. Eventually, I managed to incorporate my original plan of having a wedding in my story (since I enjoyed planning mine a few months back), but it remained as a sub-plot.

Writing Act One was hard. I procrastinated a lot since I had no idea how to start it. By the time I got my groove, I found out that I was pregnant. Pregnancy symptoms (horrible was an understatement) became my second enemy.

Work also came into the picture. I write for a living, so it wasn’t easy finding time and energy writing my novella. I was always drained, but Ms. Mina gave us tips and motivations on our Facebook page and it helped a lot. ¬†By the time Act Two was due, I was nearly finished with my Act One.

Suddenly, I found myself writing every day: 500 words, 1,000, 3,000… it didn’t matter. ¬†The ideas, although always changing, kept pouring. ¬†I had a love-hate relationship with my main character (she couldn’t make up her mind most of the time), my villain came to life and turned out to be a (very cute) person, and my love interest was as charming as I pictured him to be (he never gave me a problem at all).

As I write this, I only have one scene left to finish in my novella. I am just excited to share my thoughts on all this. It has been an amazing experience finishing something I thought I could never do at this time, and the journey was sweeter because I wasn’t alone. I’ve got new friends who share the same passion that I have and we guided each other every step of the way.

During our first meeting, I remembered Ms. Mina asking who among the group just wanted to finish a novella. ¬†I raised my hand without a doubt. I know it might sound crazy to give a lot of time and effort to write a book just for the fun of it, but for me it is already a dream come true. ¬†However, I learned that I must get out of my nutshell and allow others to read my work this time. ¬†I’m always shy to show my works to others (ironic, considering I work in print media), but I think it’s more fun having others read your story, right?

Like my main character Cara, I have been given the chance to reignite something I left in the past. ¬†I took that chance. ¬†I’m happy that I did.

I hope you could meet Cara, Lucas and Oliver someday. =)

Kristel