Category: Writing

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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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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Romance 101: Secondary Characters

Harlequin insider Grace Thiele talks you through bringing those wonderful secondary characters to life! Bonjour, aspiring authors! It’s my pleasure to be returning to Romance 101 – and I’m so excited to be writing about the use of secondary characters! In short, this is any character aside from your hero and heroine. These feats of the imagination…

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Advice from the Archives–Make Them Suffer: Why Conflict Is Necessary

This week, Susan Litman, Editor for Harlequin Special Edition, shows us why we should make our characters suffer! “They met. They fell in love. They lived happily ever after. The end.” Sounds…pleasant, doesn’t it? Nice…but not very exciting. When I see a pitch like this, I always ask the same question: “Where’s the beef?” In other…

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Advice from the Archives: Mainstream vs. Series Romance

Series refers to a publishing approach that, these days, is pretty much unique to Harlequin. As you’re no doubt aware, our series books fall into the romance category or genre. Of course, the majority of books published as genre fiction are single or stand-alone titles (and “author-driven” series like those of Sue Grafton and Laura Lippman—to take…

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Editor Recommendations for Writing–Updated!

We editors have done much research on writing and have come up with this excellent longer list of craft related books for you to peruse. Don’t be intimidated! These books will inspire you to organize, plot, re-plot, dream, and get yourself in that chair to write. So without further ado… Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg…

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Dear Editor: Should I Attend a Romance Writers Conference?

Dear Editor, I am almost done writing my first romance. At this point, I don’t know what to do next. I go online to see how I should publish my book, but this doesn’t seem to be enough. Is it worth the time and money for me to attend a conference? –Solo Samantha Dear Samantha,…

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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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