Sunday, June 9, 2013

[Feature] Yes, I'm Writing a Contemporary Romance Novella

Earlier this year, I signed up for an online writing class organized by Filipino author Mina V. Esguerra (Fairy Tale Fail, Love Your Frenemies, Interim Goddess of Love). Aside from a few meet-ups in Manila, the class was mostly held online through a Facebook Group and through Emails, which was ideal for me because I live all the way in Iloilo City.

The objective of the class are as follows:
  1. The goal is to FINISH writing a contemporary romance novella of about 30,000 words.
  2. The course is free, with monthly assignments and meetups, but everything else will be online.
  3. Open to Philippine residents (those far from Manila can participate online and skip the meetups).
  4. Online component will be via a closed Facebook Group called "Yes I'm Writing a Contemporary Romance Novella".
There were about a hundred participants in total, but so far, only twelve has successfully submitted a finished manuscript before today. (Today, June 9, 2013, is the deadline for finished manuscripts, by the way.)

I was able to submit Assignment Number One without a hitch, since it mostly entailed roughly describing our ideas for our novellas. By Assignment Number Two, I was stumped because it required hours of thinking, planning and even fleshing out exact details to write about. 

I was able to complete about half of Assignment Number Two, but was soon kidnapped by my academic endeavors. I'm in law school, and I wasn't able to meet the deadline for Assignment Number Two because of my exams. Then came Assignment Number Three which coincided with my finals and deadlines for papers and school projects. It was at this point that I decided to write at my own pace. 

Did I give up in class? Yes, painfully so. Did I give up in writing? Hell, no. Let's just say that I took a much-needed pause from writing.

I was a constant lurker in the Facebook Group. =) The participants were all friendly and supportive of one another. I guess it's because we all share a love for writing and because we all want to be published someday.

Aside from the assignments, Miss Mina V. Esguerra was also gracious enough to share random tips for writing. She also shared her work process and was patient enough to handle all our submissions. I also really appreciate that she shared her own experiences when she ventured into online e-publishing and its costs, which was something most of us wanted to try out for ourselves.

Miss Mina also confronted us with questions that we didn't think we'd ask ourselves, such as: What are your goals in writing? Do you want to be picked up by a local publisher? Do you want to self-publish? Do you want to make writing as your main job?

Personally, I wish to be published locally someday, then I want to try out online self-publishing for the international market. I don't really aim for writing to be my number one source of income or be my number one job because writing has always been something I do for fun or to release stress. Let's just say that writing is a creative outlet for me. If I could earn from writing as a hobby, then that would be really awesome.

Today, June 9, 2013, is the deadline for the finished manuscripts and the day the class finally comes to an end. (The Facebook Group will live on, though. Hee.)

Do I have a finished manuscript? No. 

Did I learn a lot from the class? Definitely.

Despite failing spectacularly in class, I'm looking forward to reading the finished novellas by my classmates. It would be awesome to feature more local authors and their works in my book blog. *hint* *hint* *nudge* *nudge*

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