Marami ng nagtanong how I came up with the plot at hindi ko masagot yun sa maiiksing pangungausap kaya iba-blog ko nalang. :)
April 2014. I was not in search of a story to write kasi nung araw na naisip ko yung kwento ng Project Ex, tambak ang trabaho ko nun. I guess my mind just loves to wander kaya nung araw na yun, while taking a bath bigla ko lang naisip yung benefits ng Internet at social media. Pero kung may advantage siyempre meron ding disadvantage. What if a person uses it to hurt someone else? Or gamitin siya para gumanti sa isang tao na nanakit sakanya? Hence, Girl X was born.
Wala akong specific plot. Kung ano yung nakasulat sa Prologue ng Project Ex, yun lang ang unang nasa isip ko. The rest of the story just flowed while I was writing it. Girl X was supposed to be Jill. Siya talaga ang una kong naisip but while writing, naiba bigla yung plot. Si Jill dapat sana yun because she wanted to get back at Zander dahil isa yung pinsan niya sa mga ex ni Z. Another was that originally boyfriend ni Mitch si Paolo but I felt the need to change that because I want to give Jill and Paolo an angle. Truth is si Girl X talaga ang bida sa Project Ex. Sakanya nagsimula ang kwento, Project Ex revolved around the mission to find her and siya ang naging bridge kung papano nahanap ni Zander at Jill ang isa’t isa. If Girl X is Jill, in real life it would be hard for Zander to trust her again so I had to create another twist in the story at para hindi masyadong predictable, binago ko.
Project Ex was not supposed to be followed by a sequel. Dapat talaga natapos na yung story sa footbridge. I wanted the readers to create their own continuation nalang sana but the request for a sequel was nonstop so I made a deal with myself. Na kapag nakaisip ako ng magandang plot for part 2, sige gagawa ako. True enough, a week after I uploaded the last chapter of Project Ex, habang naliligo nanaman ako (hindi ko rin alam kung anong meron sa pagligo) I have thought about a promising story kaya nagkaron ng Project Why. Dalawang araw ang inabot ko sa pagiisip ng title because I couldn’t find any title that would match the story and yung medyo may impact ng konti just like Project Ex. I spoke to a friend and she made a joke na Project Y nalang daw but I rejected it at first dahil sabi ko, walang relevance sa kwento until nung nadraft ko yung story, that’s when it made sense… Project Why.
In Project Why, originally si Paolo dapat si Mysterious Letter Sender. But then I was thinking about the message that I will be sending kung yun ang magiging ending. Paolo is a loyal friend and if anything, men create an amazingly strong bond when it comes to friendship. “Bros before hoes” nga sabi nila. Kahit gaano kagago ang isang lalaki, when it comes to their friends, they’re different. Although it happens naman talaga in real life na two guys who are bestfriends would like the same girl, I didn’t want that in the story because not only do I want to share my perspective about true love, I also want to show the readers the value of loyalty and friendship. Same goes with Ira na girl bestfriend ni Zander. I want to show na hindi lahat ng magkaibigang babae at lalaki may “something”. That two people, regardless of their gender, could be friends, as in platonic. It could grow into something more, yes. But when at that moment they say na they are just friends, it’s possible that that’s how they really see each other. No self-denial or whatever.
Again, sabi ko last na ang Project Why. The two stories are already okay for me sa totoo lang. I was happy with the ending. Kung hindi ko na siya dugtungan, ok na ok na siya. But then nafeel ko at some point na parang kulang. Project Ex, Why… asan na yung Z? Feeling ko it was meant to be a trilogy kasi coincidentally, Z ang nickname ni Zander. So yung part 3, hindi na ko nahirapan isipin yung kwento only that I had to think of a type of narration na mapapalabas ko how the characters matured and how their story will be different from Project Ex. The progression of the story from the first book to the second book, I really tried my best na hindi magkaroon ng stagnancy sa mga characters because in real life, people do change. Yung pagpapalabas nun sa kwento yung isa sa pinakamahirap.
In Project Z, I wanted to make everything more intense. More intense yung kilig, more intense yung confrontation, more intense yung mga linyang bibitawan because in Project Z, I want to show the readers yung nature ng relationship ng main characters. Na it is “young love” but it is real, it is true and could possibly be their “great love”. I wanted to cater to all types of audience, yung mga hindi pa nainlove, yung mga nainlove na , nasaktan, naiwanan, mga nagsisimula palang maintindihan ang salitang “love”, those who doesn’t believe in it, those who have lost faith in it, lahat. So if you will really observe the development of the story, lahat yan lumabas sa mga characters hindi lang kay Jill at Zander. I also touched the role of family when you’re in a relationship at hindi ko ginawang kumplikado yung part na yun kasi sa totoo lang, ang pamilya pag nakikitang nakakabuti ang dalawang tao sa isa’t isa, bakit pipigilan? At sa totoong buhay, hindi lahat ng mayaman gusto sing yaman din nila ang makakatuluyan ng anak nila. OA lang ang mga soap opera ;)
Now yung part na marami ang nagreact, yung breakup scene. Ang tagal ko pinag-isipan yung part na yun because I want their breakup to be as passionate as the love that they have for each other. Same level of intensity. I don’t want a common reason na third party kasi sa totoong buhay, hindi lang naman third party ang pwedeng maging rason ng paghihiwalay. So I thought of a conflict na not too common on written stories but still relatable. I wasn’t happy that I broke many hearts on Chapter 7 but I don’t regret it because as much as it was intense and painful to read, I will stay true to my promise that I will give Zander and Jill the ending that they deserve.
As to how I have written it, yes may mga inspiration. I am all the characters in the story. Don’t freak out though. Haha! I’m not crazy. A part of me is Jill, Zander, Paolo, Mitch, Rocky, Caloy and even the minor characters sa kwento. Some of the scenes happened in real life sa akin at sa mga taong malalapit sakin. When I write, para akong nanonood ng pelikula sa isip ko at kung ano yung naiimagine ko, eksaktong yun din ang sinusulat ko kaya specific ako minsan sa date, sa mga suot nila, sa expression ng mukha at pati sa maliliit nilang galaw. The coffee shop is real. Dun ako nakatambay lagi. In fact, I brought a few friends of mine sa coffee shop na yun at tinuro ko yung mga area kung saan ko naimagine na ginaganap yung mga eksena sa libro lalong lalo na yung Spiderman scene sa Project Ex. Malapit sa coffee shop na yun may footbridge talaga at may fast food chain. Chinchin is real as well. The marshmallow and ice cream as comfort food, totoo din siya. I know two people in real life na marshmallow at ice cream ang comfort food nila.
Sana nasagot ko yung mga tanong ng mga nagmemessage sakin about Project Ex Series. Next blog, I’ll talk about what’s next and about the JaDine/ZanJill craze.