Category: writing advice

#WritingChallenge! Update the Marriage of Convenience

by Deirdre When I asked a group of Harlequin editors for romance tropes they’d love to see refreshed, one favourite was the marriage of convenience. Although the MoC is most often associated with historical romance, contemporary romance readers love it too. But making the marriage of convenience trope work in a modern romance – and…

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#AdviceSwap: How do you handle a rejection letter?

 “Perseverance is failing 19 times and succeeding the 20th.” – Julie Andrews Happy New Year! Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Opinions differ on whether making resolutions for the year really works, or what the best way is to  achieve your goals. But the truth is there’s no one best way for everyone. This week…

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Romance Writing 101: Location, location, location!

Harlequin insider Grace talks you through finding the perfect setting for your story – and bringing it to life! Hello, dear writers! On this very atmospheric London evening, with grey clouds hovering over a murky blue sky and buildings glittering out the window in the descending night sky, I’m going to write about… settings! Location,…

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#WritingChallenge! Update the Meet-Cute

by Deirdre How do your hero and heroine meet? We see a lot of “literally bumped into each other” in Harlequin submissions. The hero rounds a corner and bumps into the heroine on the sidewalk. Or the heroine spins on her heel in the office and slams into her new boss – the hero. There’s…

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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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#WritingChallenge! Secret Babies

by Deirdre Did everyone get a chance to read our interview with Harlequin Nocturne Senior Editor Ann Leslie Tuttle? If not, go ahead and read it now – I’ll wait. Ann Leslie has some great advice on romance writing, and the importance of marketable hooks: “First and foremost, I’m seeking a romance with an engaging…

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#WritingChallenge! Bring your scene to life with the five senses

By Deirdre Whether your romance is set in a dangerous, dust-choked rodeo or the luxury of a boutique hotel, your ability to vividly evoke the characters’ experience is essential for the reader to believe your hero and heroine are real people – and to care about what happens to them. One of the best ways…

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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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Advice from the Archives: How to Write an Effective Villain

This week’s Advice from the Archives is off the desk of Elizabeth Mazer, Associate Editor for the Love Inspired Program.   Romantic suspense writers are amazing. The way that my fantastic Love Inspired Suspense authors balance compelling characters, fast pacing, strong conflicts, terrifying danger, deep faith and sweet, satisfying romance into each story never fails…

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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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