Category: romance writing

Harlequin REFRESH! Banish stylistic cliches!

Do your sentences lack zing? Is your narrative voice stale? Tired of the same old phrases? You need… Harlequin REFRESH! This week, we’ll look at freshening your voice by eliminating stylistic clichés. Clichés are  writing shortcuts. Words, phrases and actions that have been used in romance fiction many times come to mind easily while writing,…

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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: A Dreadful Scene

by Deirdre McCluskey Our list of 7 Spooky Romances to Watch This Halloween reminded me of a favourite fiction genre, the gothic romance. Gothic romances build suspense through setting, atmosphere and characterization, often employing first person point of view to heighten that chilling sense of isolation and confusion felt by an outsider introduced to a…

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Advice from the Archives: How to Network like a Rock Star

by Emily Rodmell Writing can often be a lonely profession, just you and your computer. That’s why a support system is vital. Sometimes knowing the right people and having them know you can be helpful in your writing journey. How do you build that system? By networking. Here are some tips on whom you should…

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Writing Challenge: The Inciting Moment

by Deirdre McCluskey On Wednesday we published a Harlequin Romance Glossary, with terms editors use when talking about romance novels. (If you haven’t read it yet, check it out.) One definition you might not have heard frequently is the inciting moment: “The scene or situation that throws your hero and heroine together and gets those…

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Advice from the Archives: How to Keep the Romance in Your Sex Scenes

Do you like the steamy bits best? Sex is an important part of relationships and many romance novels. But writing compelling sex scenes that move the plot forward is not as easy as it seems. Sex scenes can include some of the most poignant, meaningful moments in a story, or they can make us shudder…and…

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What We’re Watching: Mr. Sunshine

By Katie Gowrie If you love sweeping historical dramas as much as I do, you might want to check out Mr. Sunshine. This Korean period piece takes us back to the Joseon dynasty at the turn of the 20th century, as activists fight for Korean independence. It’s worth it for the stunning cinematography and gorgeous…

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Advice from the Archives: Secondary Characters, Get Outta Here!

Ever read a book that felt like it was fighting a battle called the Invasion of the Secondary Characters? Where the main characters couldn’t get a word in edgewise, let alone live their lives or fall in love or accomplish anything exciting due to being overshadowed by other, less-important characters who think they’re running the…

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What We’re Watching: The Bold Type

by Patience Bloom On a somewhat regular basis, we’d like to discuss what we’re reading, watching, and talking about. In addition to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Sierra Burgess Is a Loser, Crazy Rich Asians, and, okay, The West Wing (again), I am absorbed by The Bold Type and am trying to get friends in the office…

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5 Reasons to Join an Online Writing Community

By: Kayla King Brought to you from our Archives. In the spirit of buckling down to write as summer draws to a close, here are our top five reasons to join a writing community, here–or anywhere on the great wide web. Don’t forget to check out the Harlequin Writing Community on Facebook! 1. Online comment…

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