Writing for #romanceclassYA

43ced2ea8f39c20f32cf6bb825f6edf7--fantasy-princess-royal-princessI wrote a novella of 35,555 words in 90 days. Repeat 100 times. 

Until now I find it hard to believe it myself. But thanks to #romanceclass YA mentors Mina Esguerra, Agay Llanera and Ines B. Yao, I was able to write and finish a novella in just three months!

I’ve always been more of a pantser than a plotter.  True, every story I have in mind has a beginning and an end already. But it really makes a difference to have a working outline put down into writing. It’s like setting yourself a map towards your destination (a finished book), instead of groping in the dark, or losing sight of your goal. Even though you end up taking different roads in your journey than the ones you first envisioned (characters do go Rambo, insisting on their own version of the story), what’s important is you arrive at your destination.

But a map is useless if you just look at it. You have to take that first step on that rocky road and continue walking, despite difficulties and stumbling blocks. There were times I suffered from writer’s block, when a scene did not seem to advance in my mind. This is where having a deadline can be a motivator. One time I got up at 2:30 in the morning and finished Act 2 in three hours, because deadline for that was just six hours away! Reading other books also helped. Listening to music, in my case, classical music, boosts up my imagination and gives me a clear perspective to where my story was going. I binged on movies too. What’s important is to not wallow in the lull in your brain and  break away from it by finding creative ideas everywhere.

In the end, it was all worth it when you get to type THE END.

I am so grateful for the discipline and motivation which #romanceclassYA taught me. My #romanceclassYA classmates’ posts also boosted me up. Now I am more inspired than ever to write more books and be a better writer.

My novella is tentatively titled, “And The Crown Goes To…” It’s about a high school beauty queen and the most popular guy in her school. Those who love Miss Congeniality and Pretty Little Liars will surely love this too!

Here’s the blurb of my #romanceclassYA (now #romanceclassFlicker as per Mina’s latest good news) novella:

“Beauty pageants are overrated, frivolous, and a total waste of time and money.”

Sophia Montano’s careless, cynical remark earned her teacher/former beauty queen’s ire and became the catalyst which sparked a new, unique concept of beauty contest in their school. Of course, Sophia herself was a contestant. She had to, or she will not graduate in high school.

The school pageant required the anti-social, introvert senior to work side by side with Mike Roman, the most popular guy in school, along with several students, in a community service project involving cancer-stricken children. Slowly, unexpectedly, she rediscovered herself and learned some valuable lessons on people, friendship, life, and love.

But Sophia has a well-kept, terrible secret which was in danger of being exposed to the whole school by the one person that knew about it—unless she backs out of the pageant. Torn between the need to save herself and the welfare of the children she has grown fond of, she has to make a stand: Will she be brave enough to right the wrong she committed, at the risk of losing the crown, and worse, the man she loves?


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