Once Upon a Project

When I released Waiting in the Wings in February, I had no idea I would be writing a spin-off novel so soon. Honestly, I already had plans for a second book in the same universe, but it wasn’t top priority on my writing calendar. (Yes, I have one. :P)

And then, #AprilFeelsDay2017 and a certain theatre actor came along to shake things up.

Needless to say, I succumbed to the kilig and gigil and began outlining #ProjectPio in May–and if there was a phrase I’d use to describe everything about this writing process, it would be whirlwind affair.

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Initial Progress

THE GOAL: Finish #ProjectPio in time for an October release.

THE STRATEGY: Just write the damn thing.

I’ve written a book in three months before (see Scandalized), so I decided to channel my #SparkNA-motivated self when I started outlining the book. I didn’t have a daily word count goal, but I did impose deadlines on myself. It looked like this:

ACT 1 DUE: Week of June 12
ACT 2 DUE: Week of July 10
ACT 3 DUE: Week of August 14
Cleanup/Edits: up to August 20
Send to editor: August 21

I had a pretty slow start, and I totally blame #AprilFeelsDay2017 for my residual feelings and overall lutangness. There was also that photo shoot mid-May, which kind of derailed and inspired me at the same time. In the middle of writing Act 2, I attended a character building class facilitated by fellow author Ines Bautista-Yao, and that provided me with some more things to work on in terms of my character’s personalities/quirks. It was pretty cool.

From then, I’ve had short bursts of inspiration, hampered only by my unpredictable workload (not complaining, boss!) and, toward “The End,” the demise of my old cherry red laptop.

If There’s a Will, There’s a Way

But thank goodness for Google Drive, seriously. If I hadn’t backed up my #ProjectPio files on GDrive a week before my laptop died, I wouldn’t have a manuscript to work on. (I wish I could say the same for my other files, but that’s a story for another day.) For a few days, I resorted to writing dialogue on Post-It notes and the pages of my planner, and then used my phone to access my backup files on GDrive so I could continue writing the book.

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I typed “The End” on August 14, on my phone, as I was getting ready for bed. The next day, I got myself a new laptop (with a little help from my friends) and wasted no time editing my manuscript. It took me two weeks and two self-editing passes before I had the courage to abandon Pio on Ninang Layla’s inbox. Now, I’m just hoping for the best! (Haha!)

P.S. Someone who loves Pio a lot beta read the thing and they love it. So I’m pretty relieved for now until the edits come in. Heh. <3 Thank you!

P.P.S. Miles is working on the cover for this project as well. I’ve seen the raw file, and it’s ahhhh!-mazing~ <3

Tara’s Takeaways
(the #ProjectPio edition)

  • I am a pushover. Tipong nabuyo lang, bumigay na agad. Because seriously, #ProjectPio wasn’t supposed to be written until next year, but here we are. Ang hirap, bes.
  • Outlines are still EVERYTHING. Granted, I didn’t follow my outline to the letter or edit it a billion times this time around, but it was huge help whenever I felt lost and didn’t know what to do with the story next.
  • I can write steam now! It was pretty…intense. I can’t tell how long it took for me to write the entire scene (it’s not even that long–the scene, I mean), but I can tell you I had a hard difficult time  putting everything to words. It helped that I was able to read steamy scenes from other #romanceclass books (and we also had that steamy reading event thingy I never wrote about in this blog, haha) and I hope my editor finds the thing satisfactory enough. *sweats bullets*
  • Backup your files regularly. I don’t think I should explain this further, but oh my god, seriously just BACK IT ALL UP. Huwag niyo akong tularan, please. I’m still dying a little inside trying to come to terms with the fact that I may not be able to retrieve all my raw files for my other books. Gah.
  • Don’t give up! This may be easier said than done, but please–if you ever find yourself stuck in whatever you’re doing, whether it’s writing a book or whatever you’re passionate about–don’t give up. There are so many other ways to achieve what you want, even if it’s tricky or more difficult than what you’re used to. If you have a goal, just keep your eye on it and work toward it no matter what. It’ll be worth it in the end, I promise you.
  • Friends are amazing. I may not be rich in material possessions, but my friends are. (CHOS!) What I really mean is, I’m rich because I have amazing friends who message you in the morning saying they can help you get a new laptop because they feel bad that you won’t be able to finish your manuscript/release your book. You don’t wake up to something like that every day. Thank you. You know who you are. <3

#ProjectPio is coming SOON! Follow me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates on its release date, title/cover reveal, and blog tour! <3

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