Category: Writing Challenge

#WritingChallenge: Pitch your big city romance!

Last Monday Editorial Assistant Megan Broderick wrote a great post on Top 10 Reasons to Write a (Non-Billionaire) City Romance. Small-town romances are something we see a lot, especially in our Home and Family categories such as Special Edition, Western Romance, and Heartwarming. But as much as editors love to see tried and true hooks,…

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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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#WritingChallenge! Update the Marriage of Convenience

by Deirdre When I asked a group of Harlequin editors for romance tropes they’d love to see refreshed, one favourite was the marriage of convenience. Although the MoC is most often associated with historical romance, contemporary romance readers love it too. But making the marriage of convenience trope work in a modern romance – and…

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#WritingChallenge! Update the Meet-Cute

by Deirdre How do your hero and heroine meet? We see a lot of “literally bumped into each other” in Harlequin submissions. The hero rounds a corner and bumps into the heroine on the sidewalk. Or the heroine spins on her heel in the office and slams into her new boss – the hero. There’s…

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#WritingChallenge! The Alpha Hero

by Deirdre This week some of our editors got into the Halloween spirit and participated in the Toronto Harlequin office’s annual Halloween costume contest. Taking a cue from Harlequin’s “Romance When You Need It” ad campaign, several of the editors dressed as Harlequin Heartthrobs. You can spot some of our favourite heroes (and maybe your…

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#WritingChallenge! Secret Babies

by Deirdre Did everyone get a chance to read our interview with Harlequin Nocturne Senior Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle? If not, go ahead and read it now – I’ll wait. Ann Leslie has some great advice on romance writing, and the importance of marketable hooks: “First and foremost, I’m seeking a romance with an engaging…

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#WritingChallenge! Weave backstory into your scene

By Deirdre As Editorial Assistant Grace Thiele says in her blog post on creating backstory, “emotional conflict is the true beating heart of romance, and characters cannot be conflicted without having actually lived. Without a real emotional journey, and complex, rounded characters that we believe will be genuinely changed by love, the reader cannot be…

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#WritingChallenge! Bring your scene to life with the five senses

By Deirdre Whether your romance is set in a dangerous, dust-choked rodeo or the luxury of a boutique hotel, your ability to vividly evoke the characters’ experience is essential for the reader to believe your hero and heroine are real people – and to care about what happens to them. One of the best ways…

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It’s a Stop The Wedding #WritingChallenge!

Hi everyone, This weekend, we’d love you to stop our fictional wedding with your best one-liner ever! We’ve written you a short intro below, and would love to see where you take it next! Susanna’s nerves were thrumming, sending the blood pounding through her veins and keeping her acutely aware that on this, the biggest…

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A Historical #WritingChallenge!

Hi everyone, This week we are bringing you a Harlequin Historical Romance writing challenge! Sometimes characters’ actions in the present, just wouldn’t have been acceptable in the past! So your #writingchallenge this week is to: Motivate your rakish hero’s decision to take a virgin debutante to bed, whilst keeping him both alpha and sympathetic! We’re all…

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