Category: Writing

Dear Editor, how do I create a flawed character?

Dear Editor, How can I write a flawed character while keeping the readers’ sympathy? Thanks, Sandra   Dear Sandra, Ensuring your readers sympathise with your characters is an essential tool in getting them to invest their time and believe in the romance. However, that doesn’t mean your characters have to be perfect. In fact, those…

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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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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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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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Plot 101: Let’s Talk About Plot

Read on, and don’t forget to join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #sytycw. How do you give your romance novel intensity and keep the reader turning the pages? Editorial Assistant Farah Chowdhury breaks down the basics of plot. What is a plot? Plot in its most basic form is a series of…

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Critique Partners: Working a Two-Way Street

By Patience Bloom, Senior Editor We editors often hear about writers getting feedback from their critique partners. Generally, we love that this relationship exists because writing needs critiquing. The "just finished" manuscript isn't at the stage where we step in (unless it's pure genius—and then, even we would be jealous). Sure, some people write books,…

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