by Hazel Ureta
I’ve always been more of a reader than a writer. However, last month, I was given the opportunity to learn more about writing—specifically, romance writing.
Last September, I got to join Ayala Museum’s “Romance Novel Writing Workshop for Adults!” Being it the first day, Mina V. Esguerra, who was the speaker a.k.a “romance writing master” (I made this up but it is a very apt title) started the workshop by showing us the ropes of romance writing. As expected, introductions led to the start of the workshop. (Read our feature on Mina V. Esguerra here!)
Mina greeted the small group of eager writers and talked about her own experiences (also credentials—the woman definitely has bragging rights to do so because she’s awesome! Would you believe the second book she wrote was published without revisions?) as a writer and how she’ll be able to guide the group on writing and finishing a romance novel.
She then asked the group to introduce themselves, share their favorite romance novels and their reasons for joining the workshop. This encouraged everyone to be vocal about the kinds of books they love (my favorite kind of discussion!) and also what they wanted to learn through the workshop. She then turned the discussion to how finishing a romance novel will be her main focus and said,
“You learn something just by the experience of finishing it (a book).”
She then proceeded to discuss how writing your own fantasy might be one way to finish and that you should write what you want to write regardless of what other people might like.
“Sayang if you let people hold you back.”
She elaborated on human differences and how we all have tropes that we personally like. Talks of love-hate, best-friend and forbidden romances ensued and I nodded my head along because everything Mina talked about was so accurate.
All throughout, Mina was a fun, engaging speaker. I couldn’t help but think how she was clearly an expert on all things romance—writing and books, a true reader and writer at heart.
As for the writers in the workshop, they were active and eager to learn more about romance writing. Since they had an awesome speaker, they were interacting and laughing and learning with and from each other.
Should the opportunity ever arise again, I’d love to join more of Ayala Museum’s workshops. Their romance writing class left a great impression and I believe they offer the most knowledgeable teachers/speakers and the best experience with their workshops. I highly encourage everyone who’s ever wanted to join a workshop or a writing class to check out the ones available at Ayala Museum!
Fun fact: One of the members of the group literally just got married on the day of the workshop. The workshop is that unmissable, if I must say. Really thankful to Ms. Marj and Mina for having me and Bookbed! ☁