Yep! I’m writing again. I can’t hide my excitement as I started plotting the story that I have in mind for my second novel. But like a mountaineer who is about to climb the highest part of a mountain, I must equip myself with things that I needed, in order to make every step of the way bearable and fun. Writing a novel is an enormous challenge and it helped me become better. But the dedication vested upon on the desire to gain knowledge and to answer the call of becoming a good writer never ends. It is a constant journey to take and that ignited passion of ours will become our vehicle to take us to the finish line of the ultimate goal and objective that we desired—to produce a good book. After my debut novel ‘A Timeless Heartbeat‘ got published, I recalled the entire experience. I was astonished to realize how productive I was then, doing my day job at the same time devoting hours for my book. I have never imagined myself coming up with different ideas and how I have plotted meticulously the details to ensure that all of the characters were given the chance to convey their message to the readers. At the same time, to ensure that the setting made its relevance as the story moved forward. I am not claiming that what I did and created was perfect, but it was a product of love and hard work and I can stand with my chin up and say that I did my best.
Exploring the details on what my story has demanded me to achieve was my challenge every day. I need to feel what my character feels and echo their emotions in the story. The learning curves may be bumpy, but the reward is bliss—promising a stronger foundation of knowledge and experience. Now is my time to take another journey as I started flipping the first page of my blank notebook and say hello to my new characters. My first camping bag was secured, preserved and made it my source of references these days. So, I laid down an empty bag for this another journey and promised myself to fill it up with much dedication, care and hard work. It will always be like my first time when conceiving a new book.
- Review, read and read some more.
When I wrote ‘A Timeless Heartbeat‘, I consumed the entire pages of my two notebooks and one planner writing down all my research materials. I was proud of myself looking at my handwritten notes and my markings on those important lines that I may still need to refer in the future. I wrote everything that I find helpful and interesting. The good thing about being a wide reader is you don’t limit yourself on what to read. I love writing fiction novels, but it doesn’t mean that I only read novels as well. I always love reading news, current events, blogs, articles, books, even poems and a lot more. I always pay attention to what I read. Important insights will be identified easily and so, I write it in my notebook. It was like a diary of my everyday learning. And when it’s time to review on what I have written so far, I can’t help but to stare and be fascinated with what I have compiled. To write is to read and vice versa.
- Finding my pitch.
It’s true when they said, “A writer never has a vacation. For a writer’s life consists of either writing or thinking about writing.” After plotting my target goal for this year and made February as my starting month for my second novel writing, wherever I go and whatever I do, I can’t help but to think what story should I take. I was contemplating on what genre to write. I knew my biography says that I am a paranormal romance writer, but I also can’t turn my back on the possibilities of embracing other genre. While I was deliberating, I realized that it is not a matter of telling yourself what to write or not, but it is a matter of listening to your feeling and your passion. When I started writing my first 1000 words, I thought I’m on the right track, thinking that the pitch or the story line that I had in my mind was perfect for me. But when I read what I have written so far, I can’t find the heart. It was like I am just reading words, sentences and paragraphs. There was no life. I didn’t understand where the characters are taking my mind, and so, I gave up. The first pitch was a failure and I need to try again. Luckily, after my third attempt, I was able to draw in my mind what my second novel will be all about. I knew it was the one because my heart and mind are in harmony and both collaborated as the story progress.
In my experience, I learned that writing a novel should come from the heart and should be a product of a desire to convey a special message to the readers. Once the heart feels the story, you will be amazed how flawless your characters will be in writing their own journey. You just can’t stop.
- Searching for my characters.
It is always fun deciding what the names of your characters are. It was like; I imagined someone was in front of me holding flashcards having names written on it. And when I say I need a name for a female protagonist or a male antagonist, they would flash the cards and I’ve got to decide if I like the name they presented or not. And when a certain name rings a bell, I would say, “Hold”. I will close my eyes, feel the name, and judge if it’s perfect or not. If it fits, I’ll put a mark on the checklist and write the name in my notebook. And then go on with the next character.
For me, the beauty of knowing your characters by heart is indescribable. You will be amazed how you became flawless in identifying the others. You started with one character, but you actually added two more without realizing it. And when you reviewed what you have written so far, your eyes opened wider and asked yourself, how did it ended up to this character? The characters—they write their story.
- Where my characters lead me?
Travelling is what I always wanted to do. Lately, I have become too busy that I was really hooked up with my day job, my books and other things, keeping myself away from doing it. But who says travelling can only be done by riding a plane or a train? So what if, my mind will travel and allow my characters to take me wherever they want me to be? Would it feel the same? I guess our experience might vary, but I would say, mine was interesting and achievable. After I wrote ‘A Timeless Heartbeat‘, the memory dwells in my mind. I can still feel the wind while I was outside of that tower and the scent of the pine as I imagined myself looking from the window and feel the cold chill brought by the winter. Different season, different places, but in the mind of the writer, everything was feeling real.
- Finding my inspiration.
When writing a book, you search for inspiration to keep you going. What inspired you to write? Or has someone inspired you to write a story? As much as I love writing and to give way to a passion that I have kept for quite so long, I am always inspired by the thought of giving to my family and to the people who depend on me. In everything that I do, it is the drive that motivates me to move forward, to think carefully about what actions to take, to arrive with a fair judgment and decision and to strive harder towards success. And more importantly, I respect and love myself, that I am a unique individual, blessed with knowledge and confidence and I will use it to aim my goal in life. Like what they always say, “You are responsible for your own happiness. If you expect others to make you happy, you will always be disappointed.” So find yourself, find your inspiration. What is your mission? What is your goal? And never forget to embrace your individuality.
|Cherry Seniel is the author of ‘A Timeless Heartbeat‘, the story of defying fate—a love of a lifetime. During the day, she works with her team and applies her knowledge in the field of Information Technology. In her free time, she reads anything she can find on the internet. Currently, she is working on her second novel that will be out soon.|