What do you think about my writing? I felt that I’ve improved—in terms of technicalities and societal content. Working as an editor where I am rigorously trained in using Chicago helped me improve my writing style. And when I say societal content–wise, I mean being more careful on using offensive terms for “realism,” putting my characters to decide on a situation and thus influencing readers on their understanding of societal matters.
There were numerous scenes in my previous stories that I wanted to scrape off, as my views about certain social issues are now different today (particularly scenes in the unedited 548 Heartbeats, Siya, and This Is Not a Love Story; and imagine that I only finished Siya last 2016. This means that change in views can happen in a span of two years). But maybe I’ll retain them for now. I just find it amazing how I was so narrow-minded before.
Crosswalk and Pares both have office settings, while I have freelancers for Tibok. It was a new experience writing stories with employed characters since I grew up writing about teenagers falling in love while at school. In these stories, I clarified my beliefs on introversion (Pares), same-sex relationship (Tibok), and traffic rules (Crosswalk). Truthfully, I am finding my calling for novellas more and novels less.
Readers know how I am very sentimental about my titles though. I plan them, along with the names of the characters, very carefully.
- I planned the plot first before the title, excluding the “pares” factor. What I had in mind was two characters meeting because of an awkward accident, but I could not connect events together until I had the perfect title. I was thinking of what to name my story when pares, as in the food, slipped my mind. I thought that may be interpreted in three ways: (1) pares as in the food, (2) pares as in pair, and (3) pare[s] as in a term of endearment for friends. This stitched things together.
- When I decided to name each chapter as a step in cooking pares, events made sense when I tried incorporating a name for its main ingredient beef, thus the name Taurus, a bull in the zodiacs (and we know that a bull is a male cow, though it is not used as meat for eating). Yvonne, on the other hand, if you’ll truly research, is the name of the famous dairy cow who escaped from her farmer and hid from the woods. Novi is how Yvonne is read backward. But since I already incorporated zodiacs in my story, I decided to make her a Capricorn, a zodiac compatible for a Taurus.
- I have always been a strict pedestrian, walking on pedestrian lanes only when the pedestrian green light is on. I imagined Crosswalk after meeting beautiful people who let me greet their dogs in Makati. Of course, I named each chapter after traffic signs because it was easier (and necessary) for the development of the story.
- Names were actually difficult to conceptualize, but I settled for names of my favorite celebrities, with lead characters names after Glaiza De Castro and Atom Araullo.
- I am bisexual, and my high school classmates would know. If it were a phase, I should have been done and over with it, but no. Until now, I am attracted to both sexes, thus Tibok. Events that transpired in Tibok are inspired (please, take note, inspired) by events happening to people I am connected with (their what ifs, their should haves). Chapters are named after the colors of the rainbow—my way of raising the flag of the LGBTQ+ community.
Lost and Found, on the other hand, is a novel that I started in 2016 but only finished this 2019. This was a failed experiment wherein I tried not to make an outline and just go with the flow of the story (ending still the same). Two points readers might have missed:
- The one-by-one picture is an essential element, which kept the “destiny” thing together. This is the first reason I titled this as Lost and Found.
- While their character development after their relationship was merely described in more or less ten paragraphs in one chapter (as I only focused on chapters where only the main characters are involved), I hope readers noticed what I was trying to imply. Tasha was not able to find a thing she constantly loved; she got lost a lot of times. But she was able to embrace this, using this fact as her potential strength (I say potential because she is still searching and chasing for whatever makes her content). I was thinking of a job that is constantly wandering, so I thought of making her a flight attendant. The pieces in the last three chapters fit anyway.
Besides these details, there are two things I want to point out in this blog:
One, I often cringe when I read my previous works, but then I think of how my writing improved in time. So when one tells you to stop writing because your views are not the same as theirs or because you have countless misspellings in your story, don’t. You will learn what best fits you; you will improve, both gracefully and harshly, in time.
Two, I write best with a theme. Expect that I will write more using this style in the next months. Moreover, my readers might not agree to this, but I end my stories (not the short ones) with a “happily ever after” or “going to be happy anyway.” If there is a continuation, it means I feel that my characters have not received this “happiness” yet.
Hence, the birth of book 3 of . . . I’m still conceptualizing it though. I don’t want to hype it. Baka bigla kasi akong tamarin.
Ending this by thanking my readers. Sa totoo lang, while I appreciate “Peachxvision, author of 548 Heartbeats,” I am more flattered when people mention my current works along with my pen name (e.g., Si Ate Peach yung author ng Tibok, nakakakilig yung Pares ni Ate Peach). As an author who keeps on writing, being acknowledged beyond my first work means a lot to me. Thank you, thank you, readers.
Please watch out for Gakuwesaribig, Gakuwesaribigin, and Siya at Kami this year.