A Novel I Might Actually Finish Writing

7 Jan


I’m writing again. Seriously, now. (Yey?)

It all started as part of the “do it all in 2012” thing we had with my friends. To write something, anything, and actually finish it. I’ve always had a lot of story ideas but I’ve never, ever gotten around to finishing a single thing. Well, except for fanfics (that I shall not name), roleplaying logs (that are somewhere around LiveJournal) and school projects.

So off I went, writing down my ideas, trying to figure out which one to write, brainstorming and making notes. Endgame came out in first place, and it’s still a piece I’d like to work on someday as I really like how I’d put it all together, but I just somehow could not get started in writing the actual story. It was unusually hard, just like all the other novels I’d tried starting.

Sometime in the third quarter of last year (August, I think?) while I was lurking in Goodreads, I decided to check out Rick Riordan’s blog entries (Percy Jackson, how I love thee). I eventually came across one that wasn’t about updates for the then-unreleased The Mark of Athena, an entry entitled Why Write Novels? (redux). And there, I unexpectedly found my inspiration.

We write, I hope, because we have a story to tell. How easy it is to lose sight of that, but the goal of writing is telling a good story. To be a writer, it’s not enough simply to love the idea of writing, or to dream of being published. You have to forget that. You have to find the story you must tell – the story so important to you personally that you have no choice but to write it.

The next lightning strike of inspiration came almost a second after that first one. It was like having an epiphany; I just knew what story I wanted to tell. It was then just a matter of presentation… but the idea for that came fairly quickly, too. An old plot (college-old, I think I was in my final year when I came up with it) but with the story I wanted to tell.

Eureka! I had something! (Insert celebratory dance here.)

Surprising even myself, the genre of what I was about to write was, dun dun dun… chick lit. Which is so not me! (Note the exclamation point.) I mean, as a reader/writer, I’ve always been into epic adventures and big stories with gazillion chapters on wars and prophecies and fight scenes and conspiracies and super powers and strong heroines in fantastic kingdoms and massive worlds not on the Earth as we know it. But what I had was essentially a romance novel. Uh-oh.

I truthfully feared (and still fear) that I might just end up failing in the genre because of my lack of writing experience. Even in fics and RP, I rarely wrote “normal” love stories; it was always about a princess and a knight, a leader of an intergalactic rebel group and a prince of a backwater planet… you get the drift. But the story was itching to be written, so I kept on. Outlined, brainstormed, started with the chapters. For some reason, I write drafts best by hand, with an actual pen and paper, and that’s how I’ve been doing it.

Anyway, the third strike came in November. I was at the airport when I ran into a college classmate who used to read my fanfics. Surprisingly, she brought it up – that she’d been waiting for me to update a certain fic, and that I should get on with it and get back to writing. I was a bit flabbergasted at the thought that someone (other than my best friend) was actually interested in my stuff, even though I think they suck.

So I’m now two-thirds through At Rainbow’s End, my baby.

And, well, since I’ve started talking about it anyway, here’s the synopsis. Cheesy, I know. But I have no choice but to write it. 😉

Odie has always known what to do with her life – until she gambled on love, and lost. Overwhelmed by her heartbreak, she decides to go on a trip, with the hope of leaving the past behind and finding herself again.

On her way to Hong Kong, she unexpectedly runs into Aaron, an old friend… and an old flame. A photographer and former partner to Odie (who is a writer), he’s off to Macau for a prenup shoot, and he ends up inviting her to come along.

Odie has never been much of a risk-taker, but now she’s got to decide. When fate comes knocking on your door and offers you a second chance, how do you answer?