Crafting an entertaining romance is a lot like carrying and birthing a child. You plot and plan and practice. Before you know it, a fledgling manuscript is incubating in your head and, hopefully, on your computer screen.
You outline and schedule and ingest facts and watch your book baby develop.
You feed it with words, phrases, full paragraphs, and brilliant dialogue.
Somewhere, along the way, it takes on a life of its own. Just when you think it’s perfect, it gives you a swift kick to remind you something’s been forgotten.
You review everything you’ve done, wondering where you went wrong. The voices inside your head make you second guess yourself. Do I really want to do this? Is it too late to change my mind and start over? Can’t I just have a chocolate popsicle and go to bed? (Okay, maybe that was my way of dealing with both pregnancy and book edits.)
You do your best to get a good night’s sleep but you end up tossing and turning, never quite getting comfortable because that nagging little love scene keeps poking you and begging for revision.
Still you plot along. You rethink, revise, and polish, all the while waiting for that little bundle of words to fully develop.
Your publisher showers you with a hard-earned contract. The cover artist creates a beautiful outfit for your book baby to wear in public. Your editor keeps reminding you … nobody gets it right the first time … let’s keep plugging away.
Before you know it, final galleys await your attention and you’re quickly closing in on the birth of your masterpiece. Just one more read-through!
Finally! Your book birthday has arrived and your baby is out in the world. The pains, and there have been many, were all worth it.
Friends and family rush to take a peek. Hopefully, a few strangers also want to enjoy the fruits of your labor and write complimentary missives about your brilliant nurturing skills.
You share your good fortune across social media, offering up excerpts, blurbs, and purchase links for everyone to see. The congratulations of your peers and kudos from your readers ring in your head like a pitch-perfect bell.
You can relax, kick back with a glass of wine, and say “I did it”! For a few days at least. Maybe, if you’re lucky, a week. Just enough time to rid your head of all those pesky research details you ingested during the gestation process.
Then, it’s back to the drawing board. Because readers can get impatient. And, as all authors know, your precious book baby will soon be clamoring for a sibling and you’ll be back at it again!
Until my next turn on the blog, keep the ideas flowing and the chocolate popsicles close at hand!