Category: Writers Workshop

Advice from the Archives: Get in the Door: How to Submit to Harlequin

By Stephanie Doig The annual So You Think You Can Write program is a great way to get your manuscript in front of a team of editors, but we also accept submissions all year long. Here at Harlequin and Carina, we’re always looking for new authors to sign, publish and build. But we recognize that putting…

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Dear Editor, Is it bad that my characters love to fight?

Dear Editor, My characters love to fight. From the first page, they just have this witty repartee that turns into romance. My critique partner thinks this bickering is a little unbelievable and I don’t agree. Some people just fight, right? –Vera Vera, I agree with both you and your critique partner. There’s nothing wrong with a little bickering in…

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#Writing Challenge! Create a Western anti-hero

by Deirdre and  Western Romance editor Megan Long We all have an image of the classic Western romance hero. That law-abiding, straight-shooting, white-hat-wearing rancher or sheriff who sweeps the heroine off her feet, saves the family ranch and rides with her into the sunset. But what would happen if he weren’t quite so admirable? What…

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#AdviceSwap: How do you handle a rejection letter?

 “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews Happy New Year! Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Opinions differ on whether making resolutions for the year really works, or what the best way is to  achieve your goals. But the truth is there’s no one best way for everyone. This week…

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Dear Editor, What is an editor’s normal response time to a submission?

Dear Editor, What is an editor’s normal response time to a submission? I sent in my manuscript ten months ago and haven’t heard back. My critique partner received a response within a month. Just curious how this all works. –Vicki Dear Vicki, First of all, I’m sorry that you’ve been waiting ten months for a…

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Advice from the Archives: Secondary Characters, Get Outta Here!

Ever read a book that felt like it was fighting a battle called the Invasion of the Secondary Characters? Where the main characters couldn’t get a word in edgewise, let alone live their lives or fall in love or accomplish anything exciting due to being overshadowed by other, less-important characters who think they’re running the…

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Advice from the Archives: How to Spot Problem Areas in Your Story

It happens to everyone. You have a polished piece of work in front of you, but you feel something isn’t quite right. Maybe you should go over it one more time. Maybe the editor will love it even though you kind of don’t. Does love matter if your book has great potential to sell? That’s…

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Dear Editor, I don’t know where to start my romance novel!

Dear Editor, I don’t know where to start my romance novel! Help! Leah Dear Leah, Never fear! You’re not alone in this quandary. Sometimes, a writer will pen several chapters before realizing that the story really begins on p. 23. This is what crafting and rewriting is all about! The more you write, the more…

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Dear Editor, The heroine of my story is annoying. Please help!

Dear Editor, The heroine of my story is annoying. She has a good job, she’s nice to others, but I don’t really like her. Please help! –Cynthia Dear Cynthia, The annoying heroine can be a difficult issue for the romance writer—and reader. Perhaps your heroine is too perfect or you don’t know her well enough.…

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