Category: Writing Tips

Advice from the Archives: How to Network like a Rock Star

by Emily Rodmell Writing can often be a lonely profession, just you and your computer. That’s why a support system is vital. Sometimes knowing the right people and having them know you can be helpful in your writing journey. How do you build that system? By networking. Here are some tips on whom you should…

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Writing a Lovable Antihero

by Katie Gowrie Everyone loves a bad boy. Or maybe I should say—everyone loves a good bad boy. The guy that lives dangerously but knows how to reign it in at the right time. Avid Harlequin readers know we’ve never said no to antiheroes, but if you’ve read the guidelines for our steamiest new series,…

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Interview with…Cathy McDavid!

We’re pleased to have New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Cathy McDavid with us today. She’s here to tell us about her new Sweetheart Ranch mini-series and her transition from writing for Harlequin Western Romance to Harlequin Heartwarming. What is your writing process? Perfect timing for this question. I’m giving a workshop at…

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Advice from the Archives: How to Keep the Romance in Your Sex Scenes

Do you like the steamy bits best? Sex is an important part of relationships and many romance novels. But writing compelling sex scenes that move the plot forward is not as easy as it seems. Sex scenes can include some of the most poignant, meaningful moments in a story, or they can make us shudder…and…

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Writing Challenge: Best Buddies

By Deirdre McCluskey For our last writing challenge we talked about frenemies. Another favourite secondary character in romance is the hero’s best friend. And, no, we don’t mean this kind.   The best friend can be a foil for the hero, highlighting his “hero” qualities by showing his somewhat more “regular” friend. Or he can…

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Advice from the Archives: Secondary Characters, Get Outta Here!

Ever read a book that felt like it was fighting a battle called the Invasion of the Secondary Characters? Where the main characters couldn’t get a word in edgewise, let alone live their lives or fall in love or accomplish anything exciting due to being overshadowed by other, less-important characters who think they’re running the…

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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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Romance Writing 101: Hooks and Themes

Another in our crash course series of instructive posts, this one by former colleague Grace Thiele, who revs up our enthusiasm with some info on hooks and themes… Hello, dearest authors! This week in an extremely wind-swept London, I’ll be writing about how to blow editors away with thrilling new takes on … bestselling themes…

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The Black Moment: How to raise the romantic stakes before the HEA

By Patience Bloom, Senior Editor, Harlequin Romantic Suspense What is a black moment? In a romance novel, the black moment occurs when the hero and heroine lose all hope in love. Their lives might be in danger, too, or another crisis might wrench them apart. But the main issue is that their happily-ever-after may not…

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Make a Date with Desire: Partnering Up

Longtime critique partners USA TODAY bestselling author Cathy Mann and Joanne Rock met up at the RWA national conference in Denver to discuss how the arrangement has worked for them, particularly as their Desire stories have evolved with more complex subplots. Check out this adorable video!

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