February 21, 2024
I'm having my first book! What are the things that I had to consider during writing? How about the challenges? Read more here!

I’m about to have my first full-fledged book. Yay!

8Letters has just announced that my novella, “Alteris Vita: A Competitive Gaming Novella,” is set to be published this 2024! It was announced on December 30, so the hype is still here! I’m really thankful to the publishing house, the curator, the editors, and whoever else is in the selection committee for considering my work!

Words couldn’t explain my euphoria and joy at being selected. After all, the publisher only selected roughly one out of three completed works (from the completers of the November 2023 NaNoWriMo challenge) across all genres!

I’m waiting for the email regarding the upcoming steps…so in the meantime, I’ll explain in this piece (and long-standing blog update), I will try to explain the thought process and the conceptualization behind the novella itself.

Background

I love video games, regardless of whether they are on mobile or PC. I also love competition, whether it’s your old-fashioned match with friends, neighbors, and schoolmates or the wider, more popular pursuit that is electronic sports. As a result, I wanted to make a story that reflects my love for these games…and exhibit the emotions, atmosphere, and complexities that happen when playing these games competitively.

Content

There were many considerations that I needed to make before even writing the story itself. In the end, here was what I settled for:

  1. Realism: It had to be international. It ought to have a personality. It had to be believable. Most importantly, it should reflect its time – and I am happy to say that I was able to put my best foot on this one…and was able to integrate the next two items into this one as well!
  2. Locality: BGC as a setting made it easier to include an international cast of characters. SM Aura’s Samsung Performing Arts Theater has also hosted actual gaming events…so there you have it!
  3. Trashtalk: While the words may seem to be out of the ordinary, the truth is that gamers have their own ways of taunting, especially in real tournaments. It wouldn’t have been a competitive gaming story without some spice. Still, I took care to use them only where it would propel the story forward.

Challenges

Here are some things that I needed to take care of:

  1. Initial quality: Let alone eagle-eyed editors and curators, writers and readers spot mechanical mistakes. I needed to double-check, even triple-check my drafts before publishing it for the day.
  2. Pacing: I was (and am still) really bad when it comes to consistently creating output. My workaround to this was I wrote as much as possible on Day 1 (November 1, that is), then I wrote less on the weekdays and set aside time on the weekend to push myself hard.
  3. Final quality: See below!

30 days have passed in the blink of an eye, and it was time for the final touches.

It was scary; indeed, editing and refining isn’t exactly my strong suit. I was constantly asking myself these two questions: Was I editing too much? Were there things that still needed to be refined?

In the end, I passed the manuscript and simply hoped for the best.

Takeaways

It wasn’t easy – straight-up fiction is basically one of my less preferred genres; I would gladly choose poetry and even micro fiction! However, I told myself that if I never tried, I would never develop, so I decided to go all-in, balls to the wall, and I guess my efforts paid off!


If you enjoyed reading this piece, please follow the Facebook and YouTube handles here – stay safe and healthy!

PS: Read this guide here to find a place to publish your work in the Philippines! It might prove useful for you!

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