The #buqoYA Challenge

I think this is a good way to kick off this blog site that I just set up today, yay me! So… 

Anyways…about the topic…

When I learned that this workshop is for the YA genre, my eyes sparkled at the golden opportunity! I knew right away that it’s a genre that I could relate to and write more comfortably and smoothly.

The plot wasn’t a problem since for the longest time, a sequel to a short story I wrote a year ago was begging to be written. And so, I decided to write that.

But I forgot that we will be assigned into different tropes. I was actually hoping for #HYLY but got into the #OOML group instead. So I had to work around my plot to fit the trope and well… became a combination of both tropes in the end.

The writing process was unexpectedly smooth. Thoughts, dialogues, and scenes came to me freely. And the fact that a fellow participant, KZ Riman, agreed that we make it a collaboration made it even more exciting. The idea was pretty much like what the #romanceclass did for the Kids These Days anthology where the characters are all students of Luna Arts Academy. So KZ and I had to develop our own international school campus, complete with the map. It’s kind of ambitious, we know, ahahaha.
Berkeley-Reagan International School (BRIS) campus

However, my schedule didn’t agree with me and sadly, I was unable to finish on time.

BUT…I did learn…A LOT.

1. Don’t throw away plot ideas. Like I said, the sequel to a short story I self-published a year ago was constantly nagging me. I actually wrote it in TagLish and eventually dropped it because it lacked the feels. Or maybe the medium I chose did not fit the story at all. I guess the timing was right when the open invitation to the class was posted on Facebook, because it revived the story that I removed from my ‘other’ wattpad account. But this time, I decided to write it in English.

2. Get BETA readers early. Or at least, tell them that you need their proofreading/editing/critiquing services early on just so they could make time for you. It was one of my biggest realizations because I got one of the most helpful BETA readers towards the deadline and she pointed out major loopholes that needed to be fixed.

3. Get a book cover artist early! Also one of my biggest realizations and cause of my failing to beat the deadline, hahahaha. Like our BETA readers, artists also have activities of their own (mine was a comic artist and is working on his output for the Komiket). So it is important that they are informed ahead of time that you’re seeking their expertise for your work.

4. Download Google Docs or other similar applications. It’s a web application that can also be downloaded to your pad/tab/android/iPhone which allows you to work on your story on a handy gadget. Also, sharing the work-in-progress (as in one chapter at a time) through this app worked for me and my BETA readers because they were able to identify grammatical errors, inconsistencies, lack of feels, etc. immediately or even real-time. I didn’t have to send them the updated file every now and then. I just had to notify them that a chapter had been added/edited.

5. Be a part of a support group. The #buqoYA Twitter hashtags proved to be an avenue for the participants of this workshop to interact with each other, share feels, picspiration and most of all, encourage one another into finishing the story. It’s where I also found my trope-mates (holler Team #OOML !!!) It’s hard to work on something alone, so knowing that there are others who are going through the same challenge is a motivation.

To my #buqoYA classmates who were able to finish their stories on time, I am so proud of you! I’m looking forward to reading your masterpieces soon!


Originally posted on 01 April 2015


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