Category: Writing Tips

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: 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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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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#WritingChallenge: LISTEN to create stronger dialogue

By Deirdre Strong dialogue will draw readers into your book and catch an editor’s ear. There are a few things that make your dialogue stand out in the slush pile and feel fresh and contemporary: The dialogue sounds natural: The speech isn’t overly formal, and doesn’t read like a Wikipedia entry explaining the characters’ feelings.…

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#WritingChallenge: Pitch your big city romance!

Last Monday Editorial Assistant Megan Broderick wrote a great post on Top 10 Reasons to Write a (Non-Billionaire) City Romance. Small-town romances are something we see a lot, especially in our Home and Family categories such as Special Edition, Western Romance, and Heartwarming. But as much as editors love to see tried and true hooks,…

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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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Advice from the Archives: I Can Relate to That!

by Birgit Davis-Todd, Senior Executive Editor, Harlequin I can relate to that….  It’s a familiar phrase to many of us and something critical for authors to keep in mind when writing a book and hoping to land a contract.  Consider your audience—the reader.  Sure, you want her to read and enjoy your story but more importantly…

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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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