Rehashing Chemical Manila

Thursday, April 02, 2009

(not funny, somewhat serious)

Rewriting a story sucks. Even considering a rewrite sucks. For this case, however, I have to admit that I love the premise of Chemical Manila to warrant it a rewrite. To the readers of the series, I'm sorry if I couldn't follow through on the rest of the story, but I promise I'll deliver something better, and this time I'll finish it. To compensate at least, I'll let you in on the thought processes I put in for the story.

Here are the problems that are making me seriously consider rewriting Chemical Manila:

1. Toffee and the protagonist(he was meant to never have a name) are badly fleshed out. To be honest I didn't really put too much attention on their personalities. Eccentricities like hobbies and sterotypical traits may sound like cop-outs but they're nifty tools to make readers connect with the figures they're following. A few chapters in, I realized that we didn't really know the characters well enough to be able to rationalize how they behaved and that can't be a good thing.

2. The plot itself feels derailed. The title is Chemical friggin Manila and as far as I can imagine, we won't even be returning to Manila for another 10 chapters. Either I should have worked with Chemical Laguna or just ditched the whole LOL-Botanical-Garden aspect.

3. Added to that, why would kids who are already secure in a mountain surrounded by soldiers in one of the cleanest environments near Manila get the urge to go BACK to Manila? I do have some ideas, but if ever, why not other people? Why send highschool kids?

4. Much of the plot was not planned out, hence the inconsistencies. I thought of half of the plot of Chemical Manila during a single jeepney ride one late Saturday night last year. You can't really get much from that kind of thing. Why would the teacher be infected, for instance?

I believe these things can be fixed, but I think salvaging the story from the point where I stopped publishing (I still have 3 unpublished chapters) is not the best course of action. I want to do a rewrite, but not without making a few poitners for myself to avoid the same problems again:

1. Prepare the general plot that can be finished in less than 30 chapters (possibly 20)
2. Create a healty pool of characters instead on focusing too much on two people.
3. More zombie action
4. Situate things in Manila.

I'm also thinking long and hard about changing to the third person perspective, which is where I'm more comfy with when it comes to non-romance stories, but that'll have to wait.

For now, I have a story to plan out.

What do you guys think?

1 comment:

Menaya Garces said...

I sit here, biting my nails to the quick. When will you end the misery of waiting for the next part to come out?


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