Category: romance novels

Advice from the Archives: Internal vs. External Conflict

This week on Advice From the Archives, we’re returning to the nuts and bolts of writing a successful romance: conflict! This post first featured in the UK’s New Voices competition in 2011, but the advice is just as relevant now as it was then! As you work through writing your novel in 150 days, consider conflict…

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10 Romance Clichés: Love ‘Em or Leave ‘Em?

by Patience Bloom, adapted from her blog Every genre has its clichés and I sort of love them because they can be like chicken soup or The Brady Bunch, i.e. comforting old friends. At the same time, when you’re a voracious reader, these clichés get tired and seem like a quick exit. As a professional reader,…

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Advice from the Archives: Making the Most of Your Happy Ending

by Patience Bloom Shall we state the obvious first?  The ending of a romance novel must be happy. No surprise there. If we know the ending already, why do we keep reading the story? Because over the course of the book, the reader becomes invested in the characters and their unique journey. The road from…

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The Plot Thickens…or How I Came to Like Fish

by Patience Bloom Some of us lack the gift of plotting. I’m not naming names here, but it’s not everyone’s forte. Now, you may create glowing characters and write sparkling first drafts, and yet plots are not your thing. Even after you’ve read Robert McKee’s STORY and Christopher Vogler’s The Writer’s Journey, highlighting important sections,…

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Advice from the Archives: Romance Tropes–Fab or Drab?

How can you employ the tried-and-true hooks without becoming cliché? Editorial Assistant Tahra Seplowin offers advice Ask a category romance lover what her favorite tropes and hooks are, and she might tell you she loves stories involving secret babies or enemies-to-lovers. Think reunion romances. Girl next door. Virginal heroine. Alpha hero. Marriage of convenience. But…

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Beta Heroes: Why You Should Write One (…and How)

by Katie Gowrie It would be an understatement to say alpha heroes are popular in romance novels. Something about a guy who’s tall, dark and in control is just so appealing. But the romance genre encompasses all kinds of heroes, like gamma heroes (a hybrid of beta and alpha), and theta heroes (the dark and…

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Editor Profile: Meet Laurie Johnson!

We have a visitor to the SYTYCW blog! Please give a warm welcome to Laurie Johnson, who is an associate editor for Harlequin Presents, as well as working with authors across all UK-acquired series: Presents, Romance, Medical, Historical and Dare. Here’s a little bit about Laurie… How did you get started at Harlequin? Did you…

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Advice from the Archives: 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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#MakeADateWithHarlequin at this year’s RWA Series Spotlight

Nic Caws, Associate Editor  Everyone remembers their first date with Harlequin. It might have been hiding under the covers reading your first Harlequin book by flashlight, being offered your first job by the amazing Harlequin family, or even getting ‘The Call’ to say Harlequin wants to buy your book! Whatever size, shape and significance of…

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Pitching for Newbies

by JC Harroway So you’ve finished your manuscript, you’ve bought your ticket to conference and now…. the dreaded pitching looms. Of course, it sounds daunting. It involves selling yourself and your story—something that doesn’t come naturally to many of us introverted writers—and it often leads to a dead end. Rejection Alley. The above scenario certainly…

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