Category: Writing Challenge

#WritingChallenge: An Elevator Encounter

by Deirdre Happy Friday, Authors! It’s the end of the work week for many, including your hero and heroine in this week’s #WritingChallenge: These condo neighbours have always hated each other. She plays her music too loud and he lets his Chihuahua run up and down the halls. She’s on her way home with a…

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#WritingChallenge: Alpha Heroines!

by Deirdre A while back we asked you to show us your Alpha Hero. You gave us some fabulous scenes and character sketches that truly balanced the hero’s alpha traits with believable flaws. This week, following up on Monday’s post from Kayla King on the Top 5 Reasons to Write a Smart and Savvy Heroine,…

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#WritingChallenge: April’s Day Off

by Deirdre Spring has arrived here in Toronto, and we couldn’t be happier. While we don’t have daffodils yet (Hello, London office! *waves*), Torontonians do like to take advantage of the spring weather. I was looking at a list of movies to watch in springtime, and one of the suggestions was “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”.…

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#WritingChallenge: The Forced Proximity Romance

by Deirdre Earlier in the month we featured Top Tips for Writing a Forced Proximity Romance. As Harlequin Intrigue Editorial Assistant Kayla King said in her post, the forced proximity trope provides, “the perfect opportunity for lots of conflict and tension.”     One of the great things about the forced proximity trope is the…

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#WritingChallenge: LISTEN to create stronger dialogue

By Deirdre Strong dialogue will draw readers into your book and catch an editor’s ear. There are a few things that make your dialogue stand out in the slush pile and feel fresh and contemporary: The dialogue sounds natural: The speech isn’t overly formal, and doesn’t read like a Wikipedia entry explaining the characters’ feelings.…

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#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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