Category: Writing Tips

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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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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How to Write an 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! And I’ve got some advice for creating the perfect alpha hero—someone so confident, complex and sexy that our editors will be fighting for the…

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Adding Emotion to Daring, Sexy Scenes

by Patience Bloom You may not think that emotion is crucial to a sex scene. There is the cliché that sometimes, “It’s just sex.” But is this really true? Think about it: two complex individuals coming together for this intimate act, which will be different from any other coupling. How is that “just sex?” In…

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Interview with…Katee Robert!

We’re thrilled to have Harlequin Dare author Katee Robert joining us. Her Dare debut, Make Me Want, released last month. Read on as this New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author gives us the scoop on herself, her steamy editorial, and her take on Dare hooks and her latest books! Tell us about yourself!…

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Writing challenge: Let’s use the five senses!

By Deirdre McCluskey, Administrative Coordinator, Harlequin Series Many of you are preparing your submission for the Harlequin Dare Blitz which opens next Monday. Harlequin Dare is our sexiest series, featuring stories that focus on how the romance develops through the couple’s physical relationship. As we said in our post, “The Key to Writing Red-Hot Romance”,…

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