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15.06.2014 20:54    Comments: 0    Categories: Writing Romance      Tags: harlequin  how to  write  romance  writing  

Before you put finger to keyboard, preparation is key:

Know and respect your readers—choose the most recent novels and read widely across the romance market. Then target the series/genre that excites you and suits your voice.

Innovate, don't imitate! There is no formula—only a format, as with all genre fiction, which allows room for creative expression, unique writing voices and memorable characters. So throw those clichés out the window!

Create dynamic characters: At the heart of all great romances are two strong, appealing, sympathetic and three-dimensional characters. Create vibrant conflict: Emotional, character-driven conflict is the foundation of a satisfying romance. Conflict brings forth tension and excitement.

Internal conflict should be the writer's main focus: defined by either character—the opposing forces within a personality, motivations and aspirations—or by an emotional situation within a relationship—for example, an unexpected pregnancy or an arranged marriage.

External conflict should only be brought in as additional support to the developing romance and plot. External conflict is defined by misunderstandings, circumstances or a secondary character's influence.

Check that your conflict is believable and that it can be sustained over the course of a whole book—ideally two or three conflicts that unfold and are resolved in the course of the story work best. Conflict doesn't mean endless arguments; layer it with emotional highs and lows. Don't think of conflict as a circle, repeating the same information. It's more of a spiral, lifting the characters up and making them see something new and different at each level.


By Harlequin Romance, Write for Harlequin.

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