Category: Writing Tips

Top Tips for Writing a Harlequin Historical Romance

Are you keen to pen a Harlequin Historical romance? Whether you’re writing dashing dukes, brooding Earls, or dark medieval warriors, here are some key tips from the editors… Ensure what you’re writing is historically accurate And grounded in research, so that readers can be swept along in the beautiful historical world you’ve created! We love…

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Advice from the Archives: 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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Writing Challenge: Create a Cliffhanger!

We posted some great advice on creating suspense from Harlequin authors this week, including this tip from New York Times Bestselling Harlequin Intrigue and Harlequin Romantic Suspense author Elle James:  “I like to keep my readers guessing at the end of a chapter. Will the hero save the day? Will the heroine fight her way…

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Harlequin Refresh: Romance plot cliches

Harlequin editors read a lot of romance books. Sometimes a scene idea or plot twist that seems fresh to a new author is actually one we’ve read many times. And that’s not surprising. When starting a new creative venture, it’s natural to emulate artists whom you admire, including aspects of their “voice” – word choice,…

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Harlequin REFRESH: Character cliches

Character clichés. Archetypes. Stock characters. We encounter them in every genre—the mad scientist, the femme fatale, the high school jock, that geek with acne. There are millions of stories out in the world today, so of course we’re going to encounter similar people from time to time. One thing is certain, though: a reader needs…

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Freshen your voice with Harlequin REFRESH!

Do you have New Year’s writing resolutions? Are you ready to freshen your voice? Want tips on writing with authenticity, originality and passion? Welcome to Harlequin REFRESH! on the So You Think You Can Write blog. Each week in January we’ll feature posts by editors and authors on the theme of voice in romance writing.…

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Writing Challenge: Best Buddies

By Deirdre McCluskey For our last writing challenge we talked about frenemies. Another favourite secondary character in romance is the hero’s best friend. And, no, we don’t mean this kind.   The best friend can be a foil for the hero, highlighting his “hero” qualities by showing his somewhat more “regular” friend. Or he can…

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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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Advice from the Archives: Creating Backstory

Today’s Advice from the Archives post, for Harlequin editor Grace Thiele, who offers tips on working backstory into your romance without the dreaded “Info-dump!” Harlequin editors are used to working out the use of backstory with authors. What they want is exciting on-page interaction between the hero and heroine and for that excitement to be focused…

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Romance Writing 101: Imagining your characters

To encourage your participation in our #RomanceIncludesYou blitz, we have a helpful, fun post by one of our former colleagues, Grace Thiele, who discusses the art of developing your characters! In her own words… Hello possums! There will be an eensy-weensy deviation from what I promised to write about a few weeks ago (I know, I should’ve…

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