There are writers who work best when they are alone, following their own schedules, while there are some who thrive in a support group with other writers with a specific deadline to meet.
Prior to joining #romanceclass (or any other writing class for that matter), I knew early on that I’m the kind of writer who falls in the latter bracket, and this is one of the things that worked well for me when I decided to join the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). In fact, I realize that being under pressure works well for me in terms of conquering procrastination and sticking to a schedule. I won NaNoWrimo three times in the five years that I’ve joined the writing event because of the local and international WriMo community that supports each other throughout the entire month of November.
When I signed up for Mina Esguerra’s #romanceclass, I intended to wing it not just by word count alone, but to actually do something about the story after writing it. My previous experience with NaNoWriMo told me that I can definitely finish a 30k-word novella (as what was required in the class), but the main challenge would be to see through the end of this exercise, i.e., to get the final output published.
Throughout the class, I really enjoyed interacting with my fellow classmates in our once-a-month meetings and online discussions. Mina’s lessons and assignments shed light on some of the areas I was usually stumped over (particularly in outlining). I breezed through the assignments, until I started writing the Act 2 part of my novella.
Needless to say, I was stuck. There was something about the plot and character development that I didn’t like, but since I needed to beat the deadline (and I had my NaNo instinct to just turn off my inner editor for the moment), I continued to write. When I managed to finish all 30k+ words, I knew I was going to have my hands full addressing plot holes.
Thankfully, I got in touch with an editor upon Mina’s recommendation. My editor helped me polish and refine the story as well as work on the plot holes I was so frustrated on. I can’t say enough how important it is to have an editor look into your manuscript and tell you what works and what doesn’t.
What I liked about the class can be summed up in the following:
• The class was well-paced with assignments, Q&As, face-to-face discussions with fellow writers, and the writing exercise itself. The discussions (both online and in person) helped me address plot questions and deal with writing slumps.
• Previously, I didn’t have a structured way to outline, and this class helped me work with a framework that was easy to do and worked well for my plot.
• Seeing my fellow writers finish their manuscripts also pushed me to work on mine (I’m a chronic procrastinator) and stick to my schedule so I could evenly balance work and writing.
• The best takeaway from the class was the publishing insights. We were given options, tips, and suggestions on how we can get our work out there. What’s even more fortuitous were the publishing opportunities that presented itself along the way.
Now that the class is over, the discussions and interactions still continue! As a matter of fact, we are in the process of putting together a young adult/coming-of-age anthology set in a fictional Philippine high school. Not only that, I’m also at work on writing my next novel to be published hopefully by next year. 🙂
Join the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of the book by simply clicking the link below:
One Swag Bag containing the following:
-In Over Her Head postcard and bookmark
-Floral memo pad
-A7 memo pad
-Idea Dream Think Memory Draw Japanese Wallpaper Planner
-Jouets Origami Pure Diamond necklace (note: it’s not a real diamond. Haha!)
Anne Plaza has a degree in Psychology, but has actively pursued a career in writing in her previous work as a reporter and online editor. She currently works in the field of marketing communications and spends most of her time writing fiction (while not on the lookout for the nearest cupcake and cronut store). Aside from writing, she loves to read contemporary romance, young adult, fantasy, and historical fiction. She also collects stamps and postcards, and loves everything about cats. Anne is based in Quezon City, Philippines.
In Over Her Head is her first published work in English.
Blog – thoughtsbrewed.blogspot.com
Twitter – twitter.com/anneplaza
Facebook – facebook.com/anneplaza2013
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org