Category: Writers Workshop

Born to be Bad: Horrible bosses, evil exes, and other romance villains

By Adrienne Macintosh, Editor, Harlequin Blaze and American Romance   What type of Harlequin villain are you? Take our quiz and see which beloved Harlequin villain you could be. We’ve played up some of our reader’s favorite villainous storylines, and while they’re favorites to us, too, now we’re looking for how they might be twisted…

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A Family Romance: Babies, children and other supporting players

By Julia Williams, Editor, Medical Romance Babies, children and family – what have they got to do with romance? Well, quite a lot actually! Although you should always, always keep in mind that the main focus of your story is the romance between your hero and heroine, having children and babies as part of the…

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Say it with Style: How to write great dialogue

By Rhonda Helms, Carina Editor We’re all aware that dialogue is a vital part of a story. We get to know characters, learn key information about the plot, snicker at jokes, cringe from awkward confessions, and even swoon with romantic lines. Nailing dialogue in your manuscript can help you hook an editor, fast. Here are…

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From Alpha Hero to HEA: A Harlequin Romance Glossary

  We all know the romance genre has conventions and guidelines that set it apart from other types of stories. And with those guidelines comes a vocabulary. Here at Romance HQ, we use that vocabulary every day, and sometimes we take it for granted. So we came up with a partial list of definitions so…

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The Black Moment: How to raise the romantic stakes before the HEA

By Patience Bloom, Senior Editor, Harlequin Romantic Suspense What is a black moment? In a romance novel, the black moment occurs when the hero and heroine lose all hope in love. Their lives might be in danger, too, or another crisis might wrench them apart. But the main issue is that their happily-ever-after may not…

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Plot Points: How to outline your novel with Tawny Weber and Jennifer Faye

Writing a novel is a big undertaking. Where do you even start? We asked two Harlequin authors to share their plotting process with you! My Color Coded Plotting Process by Tawny Weber, Harlequin Blaze and HQN author I’ll admit it… I’m hooked on my plotting process.   First of all, after 35 books, I know it…

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Sex on the Page: How to keep the romance in your sex scenes

By Laura Barth, Associate Editor, Harlequin Blaze and American Romance Do you like the steamy bits best? Sex is an important part of relationships and many romance novels. But writing compelling sex scenes that move the plot forward is not as easy as it seems. Sex scenes can include some of the most poignant, meaningful…

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Romantic Endings: Happy For Now or Happily Ever After?

By Karen Reid, Associate Editor, Harlequin Superromance We all want a happy ending in a romance story—or as I prefer to say, a happy beginning! But when do you end with a Happily Ever After (HEA) and when do you go with a Happily For Now (HFN)? My quick answer is that it all depends…

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Keeping Pace: Plot your romance with excitement and tension

By Rachel Burkot, Associate Editor, Harlequin Kimani Spanx—and pacing—can fix a saggy middle! If you were setting up a bookshelf using assembly instructions, but around the middle the directions lost focus and became unclear, perhaps even steered you away from your mission of getting the shelf slapped together, then that’s not very helpful, is it?…

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Editorial 101: A Romance Glossary

We’re putting together a romance glossary, so let us know what terms you want defined! Acting Assistant Editor Claire Caldwell gets us started. We all know the romance genre has conventions and guidelines that set it apart from other types of stories. And with those guidelines comes a vocabulary. Here at Romance HQ, we use…

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