One of the reason's why I joined Mina V. Esguerra's Contemporary Romance Class was because I wanted to see my own name on the cover of the book I have written. However, due to circumstances I was not able to finish my own book. But still, I was happy for my classmates who were able to do so. And to show my support, I decided to review Chris Mariano's Cover Story Girl. But before that, I decided to have a Guest Post first. I know I've learned a lot from Mina's class, and really enjoyed it, so I was curious if I have the same views/experience as Chris:
What did you learn from Miss Mina's #romanceclass that really helped you in writing Cover (Story) Girl?
It's hard to quantify what the class has meant and how it's helped me to write this book. In so many ways, Cover (Story) Girl would not have been written if it weren't for #romanceclass.
First, the class forced me to stick to a schedule. It wasn't a requirement, but it was the only I could meet the deadlines. I cut myself from the internet every 11PM so that I could have 1 hour and a half of uninterrupted writing. Another writer friend and I used a chart to track our progress and it was very helpful for me to note how many words I had been writing each day and how close I was to finishing the novella. I ended up finishing it in 27 days. But that's just the writing part -- no plotting and noediting involved in that process.
Second, the class gave us a month to work on the general plot and outline. I picked Gio and Min Hee's story because I knew I wouldn't be writing it any time soon. If this #romanceclass experiment worked, then I'd be happy to have a finished book before the year ended. tried to work out my plot and my character's motivations early on. That way, I had enough time to solve the loopholes and pacing dilemmas that I knew would plague me while writing.
More importantly, Mina encouraged us to just write it and get it done. No excuses. No putting off for tomorrow. No waiting around for a better first story idea to come along. And then once it's on paper, to just let go. I've always had so many doubts aboutwriting that I don't think I would have ended up publishing this if Mina hadn't pushed us. That story in your head is not going to write itself. That story is not going to wait for you to get your act together. Once someone else has that same story or title or character, there'll be no calling dibs. I think this was the most important thing that the class taught me.
But it didn't end there. Mina helped us with what came after -- how to publish it, how to price it, how to market it. There was such tremendous support from her and from the entire group. Now Gio and Min Hee are holding hands on their own floating muffin, and I'm off to my next writing project!