Remember the opening scene of Romancing the Stone? Remember Kathleen Turner as wildly successful romance novelist Joan Wilder, typing the final lines of her latest manuscript, and weeping at her own words?
Then she reels off that last page, bundles the pages together, and pops open a bottle of champagne (literally) before handing the book to her agent/editor.
Wow! She typed her last line, and she was done!!
Does that mean she didn’t write a draft? Does that mean she just wrote the whole novel from beginning to end, with no revisions??
Unfortunately, for most of us real-life writers, typing the last word of the story is far from the end.
Nope. For most of us, finishing a novel looks a lot different than it did for Joan.
It’s been about eight months since I wrote this article about my romance publishing intentions, so I think an update is due.
No, I’m not announcing a big contract or anything. Kind of the opposite.
When I tell people I write romance novels, as I occasionally do, they always ask, “Are you published?”
When I say, “No,” they seem to lose all interest.
I get it. If someone told me they’d written a novel, I’d definitely wonder if it was published. And if it wasn’t, I’d probably assume it wasn’t that great.
Not that being published means a book is good, necessarily. ‘Good’ is, of course, subjective. But, if a book has made it through a publishing process, that’s at least some arbiter of its quality. Even if a book is self-published, you have to go to some trouble to do that, so I’d assume its quality might likely be higher than a book sitting solely on the author’s computer.