I've now reread all 25,000 words of the romance book I started writing this spring. The bad news is it needs a lot of work. The good news is that it's actually almost done--most of the work it needs is padding so that the first few chapters don't feel so rushed, and once I do that and write the last few chapters (where the poisoner is revealed and the main characters declare their love for one another, very physically), I should be right at the wordcount goal.
It's kind of amazing how many cliches I've stuffed into 25k words, though. I don't know how much of a drawback that is in category romance; presumably the plots don't need to be terribly fresh since it's the characters that are the real focus. Then again, there are so many cliches: the heroine's ex-boyfriend who wants to pick up their old relationship where it left off, the conniving other woman who's after the newly monied hero, the heroine's struggle to choose between the ex-boyfriend and the hero, the attempted rape of the heroine and her rescue by the hero (I'm particularly embarrassed about that one), the hero's dark secret that he dares not reveal to the heroine.
Still, I said I'd do this and I will. I'll do my damnedest to make it a good book--and I do really like the characters, and the writing is better than I remembered. If it sells to Harlequin, great. If it doesn't sell to Harlequin, there are a billion online romance publishers and I'm sure I can sell it to one of them.
(I vaguely remember writing a very similar post to this one months ago. What the hell, if I don't remember it no one else will either. Sort of like the age-old question, "Did I wear this shirt already this week?")