Category: Writing Tips

Romance Writing 101: Where do you start?

This post is republished from the So You Think You Can Write archives from 2016, written by former Presents Editorial Assistant, Grace Thiele. Hello! Before we embark on this adventure of romantic writing advice, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Grace Thiele (pronounced Tea-Luh, thank you kindly), and I am the new Editorial…

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Romance 101: Starting with a bang!

From our Advice from the Archives and in tune with crafting exciting beginnings to your romances, our former SYTYCW team-mate Grace Thiele shares her top tips for grabbing a reader with your first line! One of my absolute favourite books, the incredibly romantic I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith, begins with the immortal line:…

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Writing Romance and #MeToo: 5 tips for authors

by Deirdre McCluskey, Administrative Coordinator, Harlequin Series Romance readers, writers and editors have been talking a lot lately about power dynamics in romance fiction in the age of #MeToo. Authors want to create a world of fantasy and escape, while depicting romantic relationships that are healthy, equitable and aspirational. In a recent article in the…

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Spot the Conflict in Romance Movies

Last week on the blog we talked about conflict. 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…

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Harlequin Editors Know Conflicts!

Not the in-the-office stuff, of course, but how to spot a great one for a novel. Here are three tips… The Lowdown on Emotional Conflicts During our combined time at Harlequin, there’s one term we might have heard more than any other when we’ve assessed manuscripts, and that is “Emotional Conflict.” Besides searching for those fresh…

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The Harlequin Dare Blitz: A Round-Up

The Harlequin Dare Blitz wrapped on Friday, and we’re still fanning ourselves from your steamy submissions! We think it’s safe to say this writing blitz was a success. We received over 150 submissions from around the globe, including all over Europe, Australia and North America, as well as from the far reaches of Mauritius, South…

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Critique Partners: Working a Two-Way Street

From our Advice from the Archives: We editors often hear about writers getting feedback from their critique partners. Generally, we love that this relationship exists because writing needs critiquing. The “just finished” manuscript isn’t at the stage where we step in (unless it’s pure genius—and then, even we would be jealous). Sure, some people write…

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Harlequin Editors Give Some Plotting Advice!

Many years ago Harlequin’s UK office–aka Mills & Boon headquarters–ran the fabulous “New Voices” competition. The editors gave a lot of tips, and good advice never goes bad!  We’ve repurposed some of it for you… Don’t let the Plot Get In the Way of the Story…. Have you ever wondered why you can’t get your…

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5 Reasons to Love Meet Cutes

by Connolly Bottum Regardless of whether I am reading a book or watching a movie or a television show, I always find myself intrigued by meet cutes. For those of you who may not be familiar with this phrase, a meet cute is a scene in which a hero and a heroine meet in a…

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