If you’ve been following me on Instagram (personal & author accounts), Twitter, or Facebook, you’d know by now that I’ve finally finished my current work-in-progress. Last year, right on the heels of finishing The “Forget You” Brew, I came up with a story that merged my love for the undying friends-to-lovers trope and musical theatre. Labeled #teatrofic for a while, I filed the concept away for months until May of this year, when I began to really, seriously outline the story. A week later, I started writing.
The question that started the concept was this: What if your first kiss, and every single kiss you’ve received thereafter, is a stage kiss?
I wrote the first two acts to #teatrofic in white heat, thrilled, excited, and hopeful I’d be able to finish the book in time for #romanceclass’ big event in October (#FeelsFest in Glorietta 5). In fact, I was wordvomiting so fast it got pretty overwhelming really quick. Feeling ~All The Feelings~ got so intense during the first few weeks, I had to send snippets of the manuscript over to my good friend (and also one of my editors, Rica) so I could manage my emotions.
I disturbed hers in the process, I think. *peace sign*
My writing groove took a hit in the middle of June until October, however, because a lot of things were happening for #romanceclass and we were all kind of juggling a lot of things at one. (Please bear in mind that I’m not complaining about these happenings–not at all! Those months were completely insane but it was my pleasure to be there to witness it.) My energy was drained, my words sapped. I had a gut feeling by the time the Manila International Book Fair rolled around in September that I wasn’t going to be able to release the book in a month’s time.
And I didn’t. I decided to stop working on #teatrofic for a while and prepared to release Settle the Score/Hustle Play during the #FeelsFest event. That was a fun experience, too. ^_^
Research? Yeah, right.
My research never felt like research, to be honest, because 90% of it involved watching musicals. Teehee.
No, but really, watching musicals was educational, especially when you’re acquainted/friends with the cast and they can let you in on some behind-the-scenes stories that keep your brain going. Aside from that, I also follow a lot of local theatre people on social media and observing their work-related posts gave me a glimpse of how their world is like.
I did short chat interviews with some people I thought would be able to lend some insight to my characters too, like Pepe Herrera and Archie Alemania who surprised me with their candidness. They were so game–Pepe tried his best to answer my questions even though he was super busy with TV filming, and Archie was so honest about the thing I asked that he shocked me. I didn’t really expect him to answer in the first place! ^_^
One of the things I was really grateful to have found while doing research though, was this article about a Broadway actress I found maybe a month into writing the book. I won’t go into detail so as not to spoil the book, but that story was so inspiring I knew I had to write it in, somehow.
So much waiting
Maybe the theme and title of the book became some kind of omen, because I found myself waiting, waiting, waiting for everything. >_<;;
I waited for the opportunity to sit down and just write despite new work assignments that required a learning curve. When I found it, I waited for the feelings, the pictures in my head, the words I lost along the way. I waited to write The End so that I could polish the beginning. And most of all, I waited until my old friend Self-Doubt left. She visits me from time to time whenever I’m working on something. It’s not very pleasant. 🙁
(the Waiting in the Wings edition)
- Outlines are SO FRICKING USEFUL. I’ve said this before, though, haha. But really. If it had been a lot of help to me while I was writing Scandalized, it was so much more helpful to me now because I’ve had to pause a lot during the past seven months of working on Waiting in the Wings. If I didn’t have a proper outline (which, by the way, had been edited a bajillion times), I might still be writing the manuscript now.
- Having people you can actually see in person as character pegs messes up the mind. I mean this both ways, good and bad. One recent example: I saw my character peg for one of the LIs (love interest) in person TWICE in a week and writing his scenes after that became super challenging. It was kilig and gigil and everything else in between–insanity, I tell you. Doesn’t help that he updates his Instagram a lot and he’s just so UGH. Cute.
- Sometimes waiting is worth it. This book is special to me in more ways than one and I don’t think I would have been able to write it the way I did if I’d rushed it back in September. Taking breaks to chase other pursuits, watch shows, read books, and talk to people helped me convey the appropriate feelings and find the right words. I’m glad I waited. ^_^
There’s more waiting in store for me, by the way, because now the manuscript is with my editor (Hi Ninang Layla!) and I’m in talks with a book cover designer (Hello Miles!) and there’s still so much work to do before I could finally share with you this new novel. No matter, two months isn’t so bad, right? I’m really excited to introduce Erin, Ramon, and Pio to you guys! We’re coming for you in February, so see you then~ <3
If you’re interested in becoming a beta reader for Waiting in the Wings, please comment below with your email address. I will be contacting you soon. Thank you! *blows kisses*