It all started with Arch Enemy.
Yes, I’m talking about the Swedish melodic death metal band, and my most favorite band (Alesana currently being next. As if it’s important. Anyway…). I do not necessarily hold the same religious and sociopolitical views with them, but I learn a lot about sociopolitical issues from Arch Enemy’s lyrics. This inspired me to write a short story based on a few songs of theirs–“Revolution Begins (I named the short story after this song),” “Yesterday is Dead and Gone,” “Under Black Flags We March,” “Nemesis,” and “War Eternal.”
I thought of following the short story up with another, but I ran out of ideas for the sequel. I put it to rest for a few months. Afterward, out of boredom, I just sat in front of my laptop and wrote whatever came to mind. The first scene I wrote was of the short story’s lead character and a minor character who was a photographer. The country they lived in was under martial law. Both were working for a progressive publishing company shut down by the government for “seditious literature.” They were in a street corner, stuck in the middle of a massive demonstration–students against the pro-government military forces. The photographer, trying to capture some scenes of the demonstration, was shot by one of the soldiers. The lead character snatches the photographer’s DSLR camera and with it runs away from the soldiers who pursue him in turn.
When I returned to it after about a month, I had a change of mind regarding who the main character would be. It cannot be the short story’s lead character. It has to be the photographer.
So I decided to eliminate all characters from the short story. In their respective places, I created a whole new set of characters, not really related to those in the short story except for one thing: the whole new story will also be quite sociopolitical/dystopian, with some dabs of romance.
I temporarily named the story Of Love and War Eternal, after Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Of Love and Other Demons + Arch Enemy’s War Eternal album and song of the same title. But I also thought of an alternate title: Promised Ones, after blessthefall’s song of the same title. Just recently, I thought Promised Ones would be a better title for the story, so I’m sticking with it.
Add to that the craziness pre-, during, and post-presidential elections in the Philippines; as well as the fears of the country to be put under martial law again, thanks to Duterte’s spunk and the Marcoses’ legacy(?)–and voila, I have another work-in-progress that I strongly want to complete, and whose premise’s potential I feel would be very high (if not life-risking). Because I rarely finish writing a complete novel/novella/novelette/some such thing.
So far, my initial draft has almost three chapters, and I’m researching and outlining for the rest of the novel. I hope to be done with the whole draft this year, and do some editing (self-editing, asking beta readers for evaluation, and hiring a friend for more editing). And for accountability reasons–meaning, so I’ll have reasons heavy enough for finishing this project–will keep you posted.
P.S. Peace out to all Marcos loyalists/apologists. This is a work of fiction… (and so goes the fiction disclaimer…) Nevertheless, I stand my ground, because abuse of power and its effects are NOT a work of fiction. #NeverForget #NeverAgain