Well, it's the last day of NaNoWriMo. This year represents my fourth win!
Every word of the romnov I tried to write felt like squeezing blood from a stone. Certain cliches were sort of fun to play with, yes, but I discovered that it's even more difficult for me to write a romance novel, than it is to read one, and it's exponentially less enjoyable, too. Like whoa.
Basically what ended up happening was that I abandoned the enterprise. I went into "kamikaze mode" and filled in my outline in the most cursory and disinterested of ways, and then focussed on the frame that I'd set up at the beginning of the month for a little bit of relief. The month has been a lot more enjoyable since, and I'm glad that I did what I did.
Although I mentioned that I was considering taking this manuscript beyond November, and possibly trying to find a home for it with Harlequin, that's definitely not my plan anymore. For one thing, the publisher wants writers to be fans of the genre, and I'm just not dishonest enough to be able to pretend that I am. This would be kind of nasty, anyway, and I've been trying to prove that I'm not nasty for the past four months. In other words, in order to prove that I'm not all talk, I'll have to publish some other kind of novel. Wish me luck, hahaha. For another thing, my time is precious. While this was a learning experience, it was much too painful to continue or repeat. There are vast numbers of things that I'd rather be doing.
So, is it really as easy to write a category romance novel as I thought? Did I learn anything else?
Unfortunately, my response to the first question is "yes and no," which is always such a cop-out. Yes, it's easy to write a romnov, but only if you like them and want to write one of your own. Pairings are easy to come up with. Characters can be sketched broadly. The basic plot is built into the genre. The book can practically write itself, except that it can't: you have to sit down and write it, and, like I said, that's an epic struggle if it's not something that you want to do.
This ties in to something more general that I learned, or realized, or whatever you want to call it, which is that although these books may be trashy, they're lovingly produced. And that's something that I'll definitely be keeping in mind if/when I get back to the romnov side of the "Two Hectobooks Project."