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Butch Dalisay on Creative Writing

The video above was taken at the National Book Development Board's monthly book club meeting, held at Mag:net Cafe Katipunan yesterday. The featured author was Butch Dalisay, multi-awarded author of books, plays and screenplays, who spoke about writing short stories with no grand designs, but small challenges like starting with one sentence and seeing where the story goes. Dalisay blogs (!) at Pinoy Penman, and was the lone Filipino longlisted for the first-ever Man Asian Literary Prize. Only five of the 23 authors on the long list will make it to the short list to be announced on 25 October 2007. Here's hoping he wins the Prize when it's announced in Hong Kong next month.

Personal impressions: I am not very literary, so it was only when he enumerated some of the screenplays he wrote that I realized that I was "familiar" with his work (e.g., Maging Akin Ka Lamang!). And I was surprised when he shared that he wrote the dialogue for his screenplays in Tagalog, but everything else was in English. The fact that he finished his long-delayed novel in a week because of the Prize deadline gave me hope that I can meet my dissertation deadlines, too. His story about his greatest find—a 1926 fountain pen with gold nib—which was probably worth $500, but for which he was willing to pay P5,000 at a stall in Greenhills, and which the clueless seller sold for P500, reminded me of my recent "quest" to find a few not-so-old-but-hard-to-find-outside-a-library books. I haven't gotten quite as lucky, but... that's another post =)

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