Category: Writing Tips

Advice from the Archives: Making the Most of Your Happy Ending

by Patience Bloom Shall we state the obvious first?  The ending of a romance novel must be happy. No surprise there. If we know the ending already, why do we keep reading the story? Because over the course of the book, the reader becomes invested in the characters and their unique journey. The road from…

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The Plot Thickens…or How I Came to Like Fish

by Patience Bloom Some of us lack the gift of plotting. I’m not naming names here, but it’s not everyone’s forte. Now, you may create glowing characters and write sparkling first drafts, and yet plots are not your thing. Even after you’ve read Robert McKee’s STORY and Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, highlighting important sections,…

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Advice from the Archives: Romance Tropes–Fab or Drab?

How can you employ the tried-and-true hooks without becoming cliché? Editorial Assistant Tahra Seplowin offers advice Ask a category romance lover what her favorite tropes and hooks are, and she might tell you she loves stories involving secret babies or enemies-to-lovers. Think reunion romances. Girl next door. Virginal heroine. Alpha hero. Marriage of convenience. But…

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Beta Heroes: Why You Should Write One (…and How)

by Katie Gowrie It would be an understatement to say alpha heroes are popular in romance novels. Something about a guy who’s tall, dark and in control is just so appealing. But the romance genre encompasses all kinds of heroes, like gamma heroes (a hybrid of beta and alpha), and theta heroes (the dark and…

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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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Pitching for Newbies

by JC Harroway So you’ve finished your manuscript, you’ve bought your ticket to conference and now…. the dreaded pitching looms. Of course, it sounds daunting. It involves selling yourself and your story—something that doesn’t come naturally to many of us introverted writers—and it often leads to a dead end. Rejection Alley. The above scenario certainly…

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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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Write a Book in 150 Days: Where to Start?

by Patience Bloom As you’ve read in Birgit Davis Todd’s motivating post, we want to encourage you to get going on that book you’ve always wanted to write. And if it’s for Harlequin, so much the better! We hope that you’ll check out this site for inspiration, guidance, and interaction with our editors. Where to…

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How to Spot Problem Areas in Your Story

By Patience Bloom (from her blog) It happens to every romance writer. You have a polished piece of work in front of you, but you feel something isn’t quite right. Maybe you should go over it one more time. Maybe the editor will love it even though you kind of don’t. Does love matter if…

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