Writer Ricky Lee shares storytelling secrets

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    No matter how many awards he has amassed in his life, the most important lesson for Ricky Lee is the importance of being a good person.

    Lee, who has been mentoring thousands of fledgling writers for years, said he always emphasizes this in his writing workshop: “Importanteng maging magaling na writer, pero mas importanteng maging mabuting tao.”

    A writer has to be big-hearted, he added, because empathy is essential to give voice to characters – whether he be a villain or a hero.

    This, and his other writing tips, will be shared in the iWant TFC original docu series “Trip to Quiapo,” based on Ricky Lee’s best-selling scriptwriting manual. It starts streaming on the iWant TFC app and website today, October 21.

    Ricky Lee

    Shot like a reality show, it is a five-episode master class where Ricky shares his knowledge about how to build stories, where to draw inspiration for them, and meaningful lessons from his life and over 40 years in the industry. “Trip to Quiapo” is directed by Treb Monteras, who co-wrote and directed the Cinemalaya 2017 Best Film “Respeto.”

    Enchong Dee is also featured in the series as Julio Manunulat, the representation of aspiring writers and storytellers who are struggling to put into words the ideas they have in mind, similar to how Ricky began his writing journey.

    “Nung baguhang writer ako, hindi ko alam kung paano magsisimula. Marami akong pinagdaanan at pagkakamali bago ako natuto. At hanggang sa ngayon, natututo pa rin. At ngayon para sa inyong mga gustong matutong magkwento, susubukin kong ibahagi sa inyo ang mga karanasan at kaalaman ko matapos ang ilang dekadang pagsusulat. Pero ang actual na pagsusulat, baka hindi lahat matutunan dito dahil buhay ang gagawa nun,” shared Ricky.

    The series is also accompanied by cinematic visual storytelling of his life, how his passion for writing began, and why he intends to share his knowledge of storytelling with others.

    As an adopted child who lost his parents at an early age, Ricky always felt like an outcast but was able to find refuge in a small library in Daet, Camarines Norte where he would spend countless hours reading books and eventually, where his passion for storytelling developed.

    “Kapag nagbabasa ka, ‘di ba nakakalayas ka? Parang nagiging iba-ibang tao ka. Nagiging pilot ka, teacher, madre, superhero, lahat na. Kung ako bata na lumalaki ng ganun who felt I didn’t belong, ay natulungan ng mga libro, gusto ko rin na makatulong sa iba. Power of storytelling ang naging sandalan ko. Stories connected me to the world,” he revealed.

    “So I want to do it to other people also. Gusto kong gumawa ng mga pelikula na ‘pag naupo sila sa front row, mababago ko ang buhay nila kahit for two hours lang,” he added.
    “Trip to Quiapo” is on iWant TFC app (iOs and Android) or on iwanttfc.com.