Category: romance writing

Romance 101: Hooks and Themes

by Grace Thiele 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 and hooks! Now, I’ll let you in on a Harlequin secret, direct from Editorial. In an increasingly competitive romance fiction market, every single book has…

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Advice from the Archives: It’s Just A Big Misunderstanding…

We’re back with more brilliant advice to help you get the best out of your stories! This week we have a great post from SYTYCW 2014 on coincidences, contrivance & misunderstandings – enjoy! Avoiding the pitfalls of contrivance, coincidence and misunderstandings in a story usually comes down to the characters’ conflicts – how internal or external they…

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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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Getting the Call: Meet Andrea Bolter!

This week we welcome debut author Andrea Bolter, with her story on Getting the Call! If you’re like me, you might be worried that if you sent a manuscript to Harlequin through the Submittable system it would end up in some cyber-space slush pile never to be opened on an editor’s screen. Well, I’m living…

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#WritingChallenge: 3-Sentence Pitch

By now if you’re participating in the Write Your Romance in 150 Days challenge, you’re one month in – that’s one-fifth of the way to the finish line, authors! – and thinking deeply about the essentials of your romance novel. What are the essentials? According to Love Inspired Editor Emily Rodmell in this post from…

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