Category: Writing

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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#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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