Category: romance writing

Dear Editor, I don’t know where to start my romance novel!

Every now and then, we like to revisit some of our classic blog posts, which are still helpful (we hope). From our Advice from the Archives… Dear Editor, I don’t know where to start my romance novel! Help! Leah Dear Leah, Never fear! You’re not alone in this quandary. Sometimes, a writer will pen several…

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Writing Challenge: A Dreadful Scene

by Deirdre McCluskey Our list of 7 Spooky Romances to Watch This Halloween reminded me of a favourite fiction genre, the gothic romance. Gothic romances build suspense through setting, atmosphere and characterization, often employing first person point of view to heighten that chilling sense of isolation and confusion felt by an outsider introduced to a…

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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. Here are some offenses…

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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 Challenge: The Inciting Moment

by Deirdre McCluskey On Wednesday we published a Harlequin Romance Glossary, with terms editors use when talking about romance novels. (If you haven’t read it yet, check it out.) One definition you might not have heard frequently is the inciting moment: “The scene or situation that throws your hero and heroine together and gets those…

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From Alpha Hero to HEA: A Harlequin Romance Glossary

We all know the romance genre has conventions and guidelines that set it apart from other types of stories. And with those guidelines comes a vocabulary. Here at Romance HQ, we use that vocabulary every day, and sometimes we take it for granted. So we came up with a partial list of definitions so you,…

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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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What We’re Watching: Mr. Sunshine

By Katie Gowrie If you love sweeping historical dramas as much as I do, you might want to check out Mr. Sunshine. This Korean period piece takes us back to the Joseon dynasty at the turn of the 20th century, as activists fight for Korean independence. It’s worth it for the stunning cinematography and gorgeous…

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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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What We’re Watching: The Bold Type

by Patience Bloom On a somewhat regular basis, we’d like to discuss what we’re reading, watching, and talking about. In addition to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Crazy Rich Asians, and, okay, The West Wing (again), I am absorbed by The Bold Type and am trying to get friends in the office…

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