A new (little) book from me in 2021, after all!
So the writing sprints with friends, and eventually with strangers via a Twitch stream…seem to have worked? I finished the first draft of my new novelette Your Place Next Year. Yay!
I wrote a lot of this via a weekly #KiligCafe writing sprint on the RomanceClass Twitch channel. See, I suspected it would work for me. I’ve always been able to meet my own writing appointments if they were a manageable number of days a week, and a manageable length of time. One hour, one day a week is really all I can promise myself and other people right now. But it did what a regular writing sked usually does for me, which is keep the writing part of my brain warmed up. I did write in bursts in between, but told myself I only really needed to keep the Wednesday schedule.
The other lovely thing that happened is seeing friends and fellow authors dropping by the stream, sometimes writing, or working, or making coffee, sometimes just waking up. Apparently that’s enough for me to make sure I get some words out. I also try to prepare beforehand what I’ll be writing, and I set little goals for myself during the sprints. It’s not like I finished the longest book ever but it works! I finished something.
A few things about the actual manuscript: It’s a novelette because after I plotted it out, I decided it wasn’t going to be longer than 15,000 words. It’s also a bit of an experiment, trying to write a story that is properly a romance but set in a time and space that acknowledges the pandemic in the Philippines, and the unique challenges the local lockdowns provided. Soon enough I also decided that I can’t spend too much time writing this, because we’re still in the middle of an ever-changing lockdown situation. It feels like writing a letter longhand, while in an airplane, during a bout of turbulence, to be honest. Something needed to be more stable so I can feel better about it.
And so, here’s what I did: I’ve written it as if it’s set in a near, safer, vaccinated future. Here’s what I will do: I will publish it as soon as I can, so it can be shared while the feelings and hopefulness are still somewhat current. I will publish it with an introduction and author’s note providing context, knowing that in the future I can update it if I have to. I’m not going to wait too long, or as long as I used to when I would publish something. It feels like the ground keeps shifting beneath our feet and maybe this is just a story for now, and that’s ok.
Continuing a thing I’ve been doing recently, I will serialize the story on Wattpad leading up to its release date. It’s not officially part of any of my series, although the main characters here do have a connection to my previous work. Alia Monterojo is the older sister of Julio from Pleasure to Meet You, and Leandro Alano is Pascal’s boss from Totally Engaged.
Working on this, and then moving on to the next thing! I do feel all warmed up for writing. If this seems like it can help you, join us! We’re starting a night writing sprint starting September 24, also on kilig.pub/twitch, hosted by author Tara Frejas.