10 May 2009

Taym Pers: On writing

I’ve always entertained the idea of writing a novel, and when I first joined NanoWrimo in 2007, I thought it was the exact stimulus I needed to actually finish a story. Sadly, I didn’t even get to the halfway point of 25,000 words. Until 30 November 2007, I was still stuck at 17,508 words.

At first when I considered the goal, 50,000 words, I thought to myself, if I were able to write half of my 385-page dissertation (yes, it was supposed to take 6 months, but can you spell mega-procrastinator?) in a month, 50,000 words would be easy peasy. Ha! It wasn't as easy as that. About a third of a dissertation is usually composed of a review of literature, and this meant quoting a whole bunch of sources and using them to “frame” your story. Of the remaining two-thirds, a third is devoted to the background, (i.e., significance: anong kinalaman ng thesis mo sa love life ko?) and the remaining two-thirds is composed of the analysis and results (the data goes into the appendix, at least it did for me), which one usually had already done. So in effect, a dissertation is the result of years of careful study crammed into an ultra-lengthy report that your audience will be able to relate to. In short, you already have a story, and all you have to do is write about it.

Not so with a novel. Even if you approach it scientifically as I did, sketching out the identities of the main characters and plotting out scene sequences and all, there is always a chance that they will refuse to cooperate. Sometimes, especially when your characters seem to have taken on a life of their own, you find a scene not going the way you want it to, or find a scene erupting out of nowhere. Although most novels try to be as factual as possible, it deals mainly within the realm of our imagination. It allows us to weigh the possibilities and realities, and gives us a stage on which to test out ways to bend them to suit our story.

Having finished NaNoWrimo 2008 has given me an amazing feeling of satisfaction. I’m already dreaming up my plot for this year ;-)

18 comments:

Dee said...

Oh, I also used to want to write a novel but i found it really hard, so I really admire you for your passion and determination. It's really not easy to write, much more a novel at that. And, you're doing really well. Keep it up! :)

Karlota said...

hey, haven't read leave it up to fate yet.. there are 16 chapters in all. i'll try to read them whenever i have free time.. Ganbatte!!!

amiable amy said...

girl, just to let you know that I am here today....visiting

cpsanti said...

hi dee, thanks for the encouragement! ;-)

hi karlota! still halfway, the final novel will have 30-ish chapters ;-)

hey amy, thanks for the visit! ;-)

Anney said...

Just continue what you love doing! Ako di talaga ako marunong magsulat ng mga ganyan. hehehe! I'll leave it to you and the experts!

Manang Kim said...

Wow that is a lot of words congratulations. Thank you for dropping by at my kusina I do appreciate it.

anne said...

I can't keep up! You have so much! Hahaha. Have you thought about shopping around your novel? To get published for reals?

Joy said...

What an achievement! So will the next one be another romance plot?

Thank you for your patience and for bearing with the technical problems on the website. Thanks for visiting Norwich Daily Photo and leaving your comment. Come back tomorrow for more of the Keukenhof series!


joy
A Pinay In EnglandYour Love CoachI, Woman

Manang Kim said...

Hi cp, I've just finished reading the 16 chapters wow girl you amazes me you are very good!!I loved to read and when I read the overview and the first page of the first chapter I was glued!! I am looking forward to read more!! Hinde nakakasawa ang style mo, you didnt tend to go around the story there is no redundancies just perfect for me.
Love it and keep it coming.

cpsanti said...

Manang Kim, salamat sa comments! Wow! Sobrang nakakataba ng puso! ;-) Salamat!

Thanks Anney! ;-)

Anne, I have thought about it, pero I don't know who to approach ;-)

Joy, the next one is actually Kaye's story. The Japayuki Chronicles is supposed to be a series of three. The first one, "Leave it up to Fate," is Ana's story. The third should be Tessa's. Heehee.

Kikit said...

Another great writer visited my site and I feel so happy!

I find your site interesting but as you know, I'm a bit occupied with the outreach program we are conceptualizing. I'll visit you again this weekend.

laagan said...

well, congratulations. hehehe inform us right away when you get your novels in paperback. I could not write really...what a shame hehhe

Snow said...

I would love to write but I am not good in writing a long story. Pang-short stories lang siguro kasi I dont have much time. ^_^

eli said...

wow..good luck for your novel. for sure,maganda ito.

add po kita links ko. tnx

Clarissa said...

Congratulations and goodluck to your novel!!I'm sure marami pang kasunod to!!Ganbatte nee!!^_^

Francesca said...

pàg nà film nà, libre tickets kàming bloggers hà?

Thànks for your visit in my blog, i will àrrànge my links soon ànd will include yours.

cpsanti said...

kikit, laagan, snow, eli, thanks so much for dropping by ;-) i hope you enjoy yourselves ;-)

francesca, hahaha! sana nga ;-)

mabel said...

wow i am impressed with your writing. thank you so much for visiting my blog :-)