Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Perk of scribbling without patience

You know the feeling when you think of a great scene, and can't wait for the story you're writing to build up to it? Sometimes impatience works.

I'm glad I gave in that one time. I thought of a scene, and instead of pulling my hair out trying to give it full context, I did the quick and lazy thing and just wrote it as it was. No context, no character building, just the scene as it came to me. It was two people talking. Specifically, one girl confronting someone who knew absolutely nothing about what she was talking about, and was amused by it.

Several years later, with enough time and motivation, that scene became the foundation for my first published novel, My Imaginary Ex. Couldn't have done it otherwise. So glad I wrote it down when I did. It was like I was able to bottle that thought for future use.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Real stories and real people

Real life provides many wonderful prompts for stories. Except reality just happens to be oddly paced, anti-climactic, lacking in closure, and in some cases too crazy to be believed. So if you plan to base a story on real events and people, don't worry about sticking too close to the original (unless you're doing a non-fiction bio, I guess). At some point the story becomes yours. Let it go where you think it should go.

Besides, what's true anyway? One of my books was inspired by a real person's relationship, except I "changed her ending." Only to find out that someone else was in the same situation, and made the exact same choice. Did I know her daw, and did I base my story on her?

I don't know her, and I didn't base it on her, but I guess every story can be true for someone out there in the world. There are billions of people walking around with their own stories, after all.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Author at Once, a rerun

On Saturday, I will be at Cafeccino by Dome (Eastwood Mall, Quezon City) to be main speaker for a rerun of Author at Once. I blogged about the first one we did, in May, and we decided to have another one on June 16 for the people who couldn't make it then.

Who is this for? People who write and want to find out just how easy it is to publish their own work, have full control over every aspect of the process, and keep all the royalties. Because it can be that easy, once you have everything in place.

This is also for people who want to help writers publish, to find out where exactly in the process they can come in. Lots of opportunities for editors, cover designers, and other forms of writerly support.

We will also do a quick preview of Author at Once Chapter 2: Marketing, so participants on Saturday will also find out what they need to do to sell those books once they've been published.

See you there! Register here ( or email

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

You're a snob. I am too.

Source: via Lyn on Pinterest

The lovely Charlene Sawit recently interviewed me for her blog, Field Trips to the Real World, and this was one of her cool questions: Have you encountered some literary snobbery from other writers regarding the genre you write? What advice do you have for writers who might encounter this kind of snobbery?

I had an answer for it (see link) and I love how it made me come to terms with something: I, too, am a snob. So I cannot hate on anyone for being the same, just because I wound up on the other side of it.

What kind of a snob am I? I'm a Buffy snob.

I have to explain this because I realize that some of you were too young, but in 1997, a show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer premiered, and it became my favorite show. It aired its last episode in 2003, but to this day I'd see references to it here and there, friends of friends mentioning that they're fans too, stuff like that. And when I see this, a part of me can't help but think -

Really? You're a fan? Since when? Do you have all the DVDs? Can you name all the episodes in order? Do you know Spike's name pre-vampire? Do you know all the songs in OMWF? Do you know what OMWF means? Did you co-found an online community dedicated to the show and represent the fandom in conventions?

Yeah, what a snob, right? Why do I have to try and undermine your appreciation by asserting that you can't possibly love this more? We're on the same team already.

I'm willing to bet that everyone is a snob about something. So, to answer the last part of that question, advice to writers dealing with snobbery -- well, you'll encounter it from anywhere, at some point. From fellow writers, from readers, from anyone who invested a lot of time and study into something and considers you the wide-eyed newbie. I remind myself how much of a snob I can be, how fun it is to win at this game. And I let them have their moment.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

In a bulalo kind of mood

So many things about my books are fiction, but this (from Fairy Tale Fail) is true: When it's raining like this, bulalo just sounds like the right thing to do.

Cozy up and keep dry!