Category: Writing Tips

Worldbuilding 101

by Vicki Essex One of the most fun and challenging things about writing fiction is worldbuilding. Worldbuilding is the process of creating a fictional world or universe. Whether you’re writing a fantasy world  filled with magic and feudal lords, a paranormal romance with a secret society of werewolves and vampires, or a sweet romance set…

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10 Romance Clichés: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

by Patience Bloom, adapted from her blog Every genre has its clichés and I sort of love them because they can be like chicken soup or The Brady Bunch, i.e. comforting old friends. At the same time, when you’re a voracious reader, these clichés get tired and seem like a quick exit. Here are some offenses…

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Advice from the Archives: What Are the Best Ingredients for a Fresh Story?

Today’s post is a 2016 gem from our Archives! Special Edition Editor Susan Litman walks us through the key elements for keeping a story fresh. Everyone knows the basic must-haves for a good story. Character. Conflict. Dialogue. Pacing. Plot. An emotional romance. Put together the right way, these elements can engage the reader and give…

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Ready, Set, Write!—A SYTYCW Advice Round-Up

As our loyal readers know, we’ve been doing this for a very long time. This blog contains years of posts (and incredible comments), but with so much good stuff it can be tricky to search through our entire backlog. With our Romance Includes You mentorship submissions closing next week, we thought now would be the…

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Writing a Dare Alpha Hero

Today we present to you a post from our Archives. Read on as associate editor Dana Grimaldi breaks down the important traits of the alpha hero! by Dana Grimaldi If you’ve been following the Dare Blitz, you already know how to write a Dare heroine. But what about the hero? Harlequin Dare is all about alpha males!…

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From Alpha Hero to HEA: A Harlequin Romance Glossary

We all know the romance genre has conventions and guidelines that set it apart from other types of stories. And with those guidelines comes a vocabulary. Here at Romance HQ, we use that vocabulary every day, and sometimes we take it for granted. So we came up with a partial list of definitions so you,…

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Writing Challenge: The Black Moment

At So You Think You Can Write this week we talked about two elements of your novel, Character and Plot. But you can’t really separate these elements. Plot is driven by your characters’ actions and choices. And your characters’ motivations for their actions are what give the story its emotional heart. Everything comes together in…

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How to Write a Great First Chapter

Can you guess the opening line? “It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” “Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realized it when caught by her charm…” “New Year’s Resolutions           I Will Not…” There’s no better way to stand out from the crowd and catch an…

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10 Tips for Writing the Perfect Cinderella Story

We’ve all known and adored the classic Cinderella tale from the moment we started to read (or listen to bedtime stories!) It’s the ultimate escapist fantasy and one we challenge you not to get caught up in! If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at creating your own, read on for my top 10 tips to…

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