Now that your trashy romance novel is complete, what are you going to do with it? From where I’m sitting, I think you have a couple of options:
- Trash it. It is “trashy,” after all. Every successful author seems to have at least one novel sitting in a drawer someplace that they never want to see the light of day. Maybe this one can be yours. If that’s the case, think of this as a rite of passage that even the greatest authors have endured. You are now officially one step closer to joining their ranks. So, toss that trashy novel aside and move on to your next great idea!
- Polish it up a bit and sell it. Trashy or not, your manuscript might have merit. Review a handful of published romance novels and determine whether yours might be publishable with a bit of editing. Then, go for it!
- Analyze the crap out of it. Pretend like someone else wrote this steaming heap and tear it apart. Use this manuscript to help you determine where your writing weaknesses lie. Then you can use the information to determine what strategies to keep using and which ones need work. Just remember to take some time to look for the good as well. The fun thing about fast writing is that, while a lot of what you write will turn out to be crap, once in a while you will stumble upon a gem of glittering prose that might be turned into a great literary novel with a bit of elbow grease. So, tear that sucker apart and see if there is anything worth keeping.
- Develop your characters and turn it into something better. Honestly, ask yourself if this shallow tripe has any potential. What would happen if you gave your characters some not-so-romantic names and threw in a few real-life problems? Could you possibly develop your story into something a step above the average Harlequin and turn it into the next Nicholas Sparks-ish novel?
No matter what you choose to do with that manuscript now, it is important to pat yourself on the back and reward yourself for reaching this major milestone. You finished something. And that’s a claim that many of the best would-be writers will never get to make.