Episode 3: Chick Lit in That Blood

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“After this, after tonight, everything between us will change… From here on, we will move forward from who we are now. Do you understand what that means?”

“Yes.”


Now Playing: ジョジョ ~その血の運命~ (JoJo~Sono Chi no Sadame~ / JoJo~ Destiny of That Blood~) – Hiroaki “Tommy” Tominaga, JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure OP1
Trigger Focus: Flash Fiction
Genre: Romance… so it seems
Output: 587 words (draft)


So how did I end up wanting to write romance in the first place?

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A long time ago, I would keep track of the conversations and scenes that linger in my mind the moment I wake up. Most of them are gibberish. There was one dream that stood out so much that I had to post it on Facebook, thinking I could gather insight. Once particular comment went: “I feel like writing chick lit is in your blood.”

Several months later, that news about the college friend who I loved getting married happened. Seven days further, “The Feast of the North Star”, my first Wattpad story, happened.

Apparently, I got triggered into writing romance.

(Incidentally, I’m currently writing another story titled “Odoriko” on Wattpad, which focuses on flamenco, and was born because of another trigger. It’s ongoing and quite longer, and I’m trying to make time to finish it, but I’ll leave my recollections on that story for another post.)

Fast forward to a few days before Valentine’s Day 2017. I was playing some music while my mind was wandering off, and I ended up spotting an image file in an old folder containing a meme I was supposed to make.

The thing about triggers is that when you see one, it causes an idea to spark in your head. You won’t necessarily get a story idea right away, but what comes into your mind after that paves the way to a story idea.

Cue scene trigger.

Cue conversation idea.

Cue “JoJo~Sono Chi no Sadame~” on my music player.

Next thing I knew, I had finished a flash fiction story worth 587 words.

Writing romance, I could at least say, needs a deep understanding of humanity. One who writes romance, or any work that has a hint of it, must be sensitive to a person’s emotion and behavior. There’s the formulation of the ideal love interest, who is strong and flawed yet remains lovable. And then there’s the proper expression of emotions. The list of pointers to review is long.

I tried self-studying how to write romance, and I ended up amassing so much material that I couldn’t digest everything. Not to mention that the romance genre has rather strict standards, which I’m still struggling to understand and follow.

(If you want to know how a real romance story goes, check out the #RomanceClass books. And please, support the Filipino indie authors behind them.)

As for that flash fic, if you want to take a look at it, just tell me and I can show you the draft. Which now begs the question: is writing romance the destiny of that blood, er, my blood? I posted those lines from the story along with my triggers (seriously, though, JoJo?) to console myself with the fact that if it’s any indication, I might – just might – be able to write romance, after all.

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