Category: Writing Tips

Spot the Conflict in Romance Movies

We pulled a post from our archives to review the ins and outs of internal and external conflicts, along with the top three pitfalls we see in romance submissions. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to check out this post! But don’t stop there, why not study these concepts in action? We’ve taken a…

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Top 10 Reasons Why We Reject a Project

By Patience Bloom Do you live in fear of the rejection letter? Maybe you’ve received a few and spend days trying to decipher the strange editor language. Just between us, we don’t really like writing these letters. In fact, we’d rather be buying new authors and showing off your amazing stories! But to be helpful,…

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Advice from the Archives: Keep It Fresh!

by Johanna Raisanen, Editor (from a 2014 post on this blog) So you’ve written a secret-baby story and you’re debating submitting to us. Well, you should! But perhaps you’ve been told that secret-baby stories are so cliché! I recently read an article about “the worst romance-novel clichés,” where the author lists a lot of tropes…

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Harlequin Refresh: What makes a manuscript stand out from the crowd?

We hope you enjoyed our month-long focus on author voice in romantic fiction and found it helpful! To round off the month, we asked our editors to let us know what makes a manuscript stand out from the crowd. What makes a romance submission unique and fresh? (And we included key tips from our guest…

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Harlequin REFRESH! Talking “voice” with Maisey Yates

Today, we have an exciting post from New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Maisey Yates! Maisey has written an astounding 100 books, and writes a real range of books – and it all began with Harlequin Presents. In this post Maisey talks about how to keep your writing fresh, and how she flexes…

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Harlequin Refresh: Romance plot cliches

Harlequin editors read a lot of romance books. Sometimes a scene idea or plot twist that seems fresh to a new author is actually one we’ve read many times. And that’s not surprising. When starting a new creative venture, it’s natural to emulate artists whom you admire, including aspects of their “voice” – word choice,…

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Harlequin REFRESH: Character cliches

Character clichés. Archetypes. Stock characters. We encounter them in every genre—the mad scientist, the femme fatale, the high school jock, that geek with acne. There are millions of stories out in the world today, so of course we’re going to encounter similar people from time to time. One thing is certain, though: a reader needs…

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Harlequin REFRESH Writing Challenge: Replace the cliche

On Tuesday we wrote about freshening your narrative voice by eliminating clichés. Easier said than done! Sometimes a cliché seems to express what you want to say perfectly. So how do replace the perfect words with more perfect ones? Here are some questions to ask yourself: What’s my character’s motivation?          …

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Harlequin REFRESH! Talking “voice” with A.C. Arthur

  Award-winning author A.C. Arthur graciously agreed to answer our questions about voice in romance writing! How did you know when you’d found your voice? For years after I became published I heard about an author’s “voice”. I had no clue what that meant. All I knew was that I had a story idea, so…

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