The Plot Thickens…or How I Came to Like Fish

by Patience Bloom Some of us lack the gift of plotting. I’m not naming names here, but it’s not everyone’s forte. Now, you may create glowing characters and write sparkling first drafts, and yet plots are not your thing. Even after you’ve read Robert McKee’s STORY and Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, highlighting important sections,…

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Advice from the Archives: Romance Tropes–Fab or Drab?

How can you employ the tried-and-true hooks without becoming cliché? Editorial Assistant Tahra Seplowin offers advice Ask a category romance lover what her favorite tropes and hooks are, and she might tell you she loves stories involving secret babies or enemies-to-lovers. Think reunion romances. Girl next door. Virginal heroine. Alpha hero. Marriage of convenience. But…

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Beta Heroes: Why You Should Write One (…and How)

by Katie Gowrie It would be an understatement to say alpha heroes are popular in romance novels. Something about a guy who’s tall, dark and in control is just so appealing. But the romance genre encompasses all kinds of heroes, like gamma heroes (a hybrid of beta and alpha), and theta heroes (the dark and…

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Advice from the Archives: Let’s Talk about Plot

During our Write a Romance in 150 Days challenge, we wanted to talk a little about plot and found this handy dandy blog post from one of our past contributors. Here are some basics… What is a plot? Plot in its most basic form is a series of linked events that take place. It is the stuff that…

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Getting the Call: Meet Andrea Bolter!

This week we welcome debut author Andrea Bolter, with her story on Getting the Call! If you’re like me, you might be worried that if you sent a manuscript to Harlequin through the Submittable system it would end up in some cyber-space slush pile never to be opened on an editor’s screen. Well, I’m living…

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#WritingChallenge: 3-Sentence Pitch

By now if you’re participating in the Write Your Romance in 150 Days challenge, you’re one month in – that’s one-fifth of the way to the finish line, authors! – and thinking deeply about the essentials of your romance novel. What are the essentials? According to Love Inspired Editor Emily Rodmell in this post from…

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Editor Profile: Meet Laurie Johnson!

We have a visitor to the SYTYCW blog! Please give a warm welcome to Laurie Johnson, who is an associate editor for Harlequin Presents, as well as working with authors across all UK-acquired series: Presents, Romance, Medical, Historical and Dare. Here’s a little bit about Laurie… How did you get started at Harlequin? Did you…

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Top Five Reasons We Love Star-Crossed Lovers

By Kayla King, Editorial Assistant to Harlequin Intrigue From Romeo and Juliet to Steve Rogers and Peggy Carter, there are a lot of reasons to love having our hearts torn apart by this timeless trope. 1. There are so many different scenarios in which this trope can occur. It’s been used across species in paranormal…

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Are You Making a Conference Checklist?

Good because neither am I. The truth is, I don’t make one list; I make at least three before going out my front door. Along with many, I’m attending a special conference this week in one of my favorite parts of the country. You can bet I’m making all kinds of preparations, the first of…

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Advice from the Archives: Good Pacing, Better than a Solid Pair of Spanx

Truth: Anything that is written has a pace. Just like anything in motion has a pace. And it is always being noticed and taken in—maybe not consciously, yet pacing is still ever-important in anything from an email to assembly instructions to a novel. With instructional types of writing, like how to assemble something, the steps…

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