Category: editorial advice

Romance Writing 101: Imagining your characters

To encourage your participation in our #RomanceIncludesYou blitz, we have a helpful, fun post by one of our former colleagues, Grace Thiele, who discusses the art of developing your characters! In her own words… Hello possums! There will be an eensy-weensy deviation from what I promised to write about a few weeks ago (I know, I should’ve…

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Romance Writing 101: Mastering the art of dialogue

Harlequin insider Grace helps you master the mysterious art of dialogue! Hello to you all, dear aspiring writers! Today I’ll be advising you on how to tackle that surprisingly difficult to master, but unavoidably vital, aspect of storytelling: dialogue! Now, you’d think this would be easy. After all, we all talk! But writing it is…

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Romance Writing 101: Describing your hero and heroine

This week, Grace Thiele gives you her top tips on how to describe your characters with maximum impact! Hello dearest writers! Today, after my previous post on building up characters in your imagination, I’ll be writing about methods to begin translating that onto the page, specifically in physical description. Building them up in your mind and getting…

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Dear Editor, how can I make a whirlwind romance believable?

Dear Editor, I would love to write a whirlwind love story, but I’m worried I won’t be able to make a 24-hour-romance believable. Advice please? Thanks, Amy Dear Amy, You are right to ask the question – how can you make a romance, told over a relatively short time period, believable and credible? The answer…

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Romance Writing 101: Starting with a bang!

This week, Harlequin insider 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: ‘I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.’ From the moment I first read it, I…

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Romance Writing 101: Creating backstory

This week, Harlequin insider Grace talks you through imagining (and weaving in!) your characters’ backstories… Good morning aspiring writers! I’m fresh from a recent session of slush training – learning from editors how to pick through our submissions looking for our next great author – so I am brim-full of advice from the Harlequin office on…

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What are the best ingredients for a fresh story?

This week, Susan Litman, Editor for Harlequin Special Edition, talks you through her recipe for a story’s success! 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 them a satisfying break from the everyday.…

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Romance Writing 101: Planning your story

This week, Harlequin insider Grace takes you through planning your romance… Well hello there! Today I’m writing to you all with rare London sunshine streaming through the windows, so I hope that wherever you’re reading this, you’re enjoying beautiful springtime weather! This time round I will be discussing planning. Now there are many different ways…

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Make them suffer: Why conflict is necessary

This week, Susan Litman, Editor for Harlequin Special Edition, shows us why we should make our characters suffer! “They met. They fell in love. They lived happily ever after. The end.” Sounds…pleasant, doesn’t it? Nice…but not very exciting. When I see a pitch like this, I always ask the same question: “Where’s the beef?” In other…

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What does an editor want in a writer?

This week, Susan Litman, Editor for Harlequin Special Edition, draws on her expertise to bring you insights into the ideal author-editor relationship… What does an editor want in a writer? Seems like a simple question, doesn’t it? Naturally, my first answer to this is always going to be, “I’m looking for a fresh, exciting voice and unique…

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