11 September 2015

My #Stangelit story

All the writing workshop that Mina V. Esguerra organized was a fun experience for me, especially #buqoYA where I managed to finish Someone to Care and got included in a book bundled series. In joining #Strangelit I hope to experience the same joy all over again, but sadly, this will go down as one of the saddest and tragic writing challenge for me.

#Strangelit was a Paranormal/Urban Fantasy writing workshop (administered by Bronze Age Media and sponsored by Buqo). When I first sign-up I wasn’t sure if I’ll be able to write anything. It’s not my first time writing in this genre. In fact, I’ve already written Fumes Variola, an Urban Fantasy story, which I wrote for NaNoWrimo two years ago.

There were three reasons why I thought that I will not be able to write anything.

One: I was trying to finish my newest New-Adult story, You Drive Me Crazy, written for #SparkNA.

Second: The writers were required to read some of the published stories recommended by the organizer. I didn’t think I had time for it (mostly because of work and partly because of reason one.)

Third: I might not have enough funds to pay an editor.

Moving on. I finished You Drive Me Crazy! And I even manage to read more than two of the required stories! Yay! As for the third problem, I pushed it aside and tried to concentrate on writing when the class started.

Fast forward. Despite having way too many bad days in August, I was overjoyed to finish my first 30k PNR (demon x angel romance) and two weeks before the deadline to boot! I edited the next few days and looked for editors. Of course, I went to those I trusted first. Yes, here comes the third problem. Editing fees. One of the editors refused politely due to the deadline; another give me a bit expensive quote (which is understandable because it was after kind of rush.)

Then I remember the editor from Upwork (formerly Odesk) who I used to edit a sample of my story. I contacted her and asked if she had time to edit my work. And man, I was happy that she had time and gave me a much lower price than my budget.

About three days before the deadline she contacted me asking for more fees not because my manuscript was hard to edit but “it's taking longer than I was expected,” she said. I should have realized by then that something was wrong. I had a feeling there was, but I stupidly ignored it because I was only looking forward to submitting the final file for a book bundle with other authors. And it seems this editor had timed it exactly so that I’ll have no chance to look for another editor.

I trust she will do a good job so stupidly agreed and a milestone with the additional more than a double than what she originally asked for, but still within my budget. A day later, she informed me that she was done but didn’t send my edited file until I release the fees from Upwork “escrow.”

I'm no expert on English, but when I finally had the file, I had a very bad feeling that I've rip-off (again, yes it has happened before.) And as I continue to review the file, I found out that she had totally destroyed my story. She even changed some of the "she" into "he" and vice-versa, and corrected parts which made the story to seem like an awkward LGBT scene at some paragraph!

I asked a couple of beta readers (one of them offer to edit the first two chapter) including Jho (Josephine Litonjua) who has been a great mental support for me. All of them confirmed it to me that the manuscript just isn’t publishable yet. I politely sent her send a message to the editor (despite my urge to shout) but she never replied at all. Unlike the time before she got the fee, where she surprised me at how quick she respond.
To make matter worse, I can’t even change my rating that I carelessly left when I impulsively close the contract. I contacted Upwork customer service, but even though the representative was friendly and understanding, but for now, the case is at a standstill.

The most tragic about the whole thing is, despite Josephine’s offer to edit it my story, it was the day of the deadline. That, and I don’t want to submit something that could give a bad impression to the readers. Therefore, against my greatest wish. I bitterly decided not to submit the story.

There’s one I learned. I will never, never again trust an editor who asked for more fee than they originally quoted, or better yet, I’ll stay loyal to the editors I already trust. 

And here, I end my #Strangelit experience. Hope some of you will one day read and review #Strangelit story when it's finally released it.


Twenty-one-year-old Triste wanted nothing more than to be the crown princess of the Netherworld. She accepted her father’s condition of going to the land of the humans to find a thousand souls to be her army or one pure soul as a sacrifice. In her first week, she found a man with a pure, untainted soul. The problem was that he had a guardian angel, Cadriel, who prevents her from getting close enough to this person. There’s only one solution: kill the angel and get the human.

Unlike most angels, instead of eliminating the demon who obviously plans to taint the soul of the person he was guarding, Archangel Cadriel amused himself by only hindering this cute, inexperienced demon. He doesn’t care if she’s after his life; after all, one look and he can tell that he’s more experienced and has more skills than her. He could kill her anytime he wants. But can he?



  1. friend, twice ka pala nagbayad. I'm so sorry to hear that. :(

    Anyway, I wanted to say I love the cover. ^____^ ikaw ulit ang gumawa?

    1. Wala yun friend, kasalanan ko naman eh kung bakit yun nangyari.

      Anyway, thanks! Yep. Ako yung nag-design. :D Higit limang designs ang nagawa ko bago ako nakontento. haha


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