Category: romance writing

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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Romance 101: Secondary Characters

Harlequin insider Grace Thiele talks you through bringing those wonderful secondary characters to life! Bonjour, aspiring authors! It’s my pleasure to be returning to Romance 101 – and I’m so excited to be writing about the use of secondary characters! In short, this is any character aside from your hero and heroine. These feats of the imagination…

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Write a Book in 150 Days: Where to Start?

by Patience Bloom As you’ve read in Birgit Davis Todd’s motivating post, we want to encourage you to get going on that book you’ve always wanted to write. And if it’s for Harlequin, so much the better! We hope that you’ll check out this site for inspiration, guidance, and interaction with our editors. Where to…

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How to Spot Problem Areas in Your Story

By Patience Bloom (from her blog) It happens to every romance writer. You have a polished piece of work in front of you, but you feel something isn’t quite right. Maybe you should go over it one more time. Maybe the editor will love it even though you kind of don’t. Does love matter if…

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Advice from the Archives–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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