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How to Write a Romance Novel, Romance Writing

If you’re trying your hand at romance writing, one of the most popular fiction genres, you’ve come to the right place. Here you’ll find information on developing a dynamic, engaging heroine, her perfect lover, and the conflict that separates them.

How to Write Intriguing Male and Female Characters

Understanding gender differences can improve your writing in any genre. Here’s how.

by Leigh Anne Jasheway

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Quick Tip: How to Develop Your Characters

Here are 4 quick exercises to make sure your characters speak to readers (and agents).
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The 4 Story Structures that Dominate Novels

All stories contain four elements that can determine structure: milieu, idea, character and event. Here’s a look at each one and how each will affect your novel.

by Orson Scott Card
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5 Steps to a Great Female Protagonist

According to bestselling authors JT Ellison, Alex Kava and Erica Spindler, there are 5 key ways to make your heroine shine. Here they are.

by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)
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Motivate Your Characters Like a Pro

In his session “The Psychology of Character Motivation,” Edgar-nominated author D.P. Lyle, MD, shared this invaluable exercise for developing your characters’ motivations as your story unfolds.

by Jessica Strawser, reporting from ThrillerFest 2010 (New York City)
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How to Give Your Character the Perfect Name

What you call your characters could influence your readers’ perceptions of them. Here are some factors to consider in finding the perfect match.

by Devyani Borade
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From Idea to Page in 4 Simple Steps

Nothing is more exciting than the promise of a story in your head, but in order to get it on the page you need to figure out exactly what you need to do to make it work. Here are 4 steps to help you build the framework of your story.

by N.M. Kelby
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Take Your Novel to the Finish Line

You need stamina to transform that out-of-shape first draft into a story with staying power. Use these 4 revision strategies to make your novel go the distance.

by Lin Enger
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Rescuing Your Story From Cliche

In this excerpt from 179 Ways to Save a Novel, author Peter Selgin discusses ways to defeat the writer’s sworn enemy: the cliche.  Read more

How to Make Your Novel a Page Turner

Never underestimate the power of suspense—in any genre. Use these surefire techniques to make your  book one readers won’t be able to put down.

by Elizabeth Sims

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Audrey Niffenegger Explains How To Create a Good Story

How do you follow up a smash hit like The Time Traveler’s Wife? For artist and author Audrey Niffenegger, it all comes down to embracing the freedom to create—on your own terms.

by Jessica Strawser

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Publishing 101: What You Need to Know

Here’s your step-by-step guide to the publishing process–how it works, why you need to know and how you can play an influential role in your book’s success.

by Jerry D. Simmons
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Anne Tyler’s Tips on Writing Strong (yet Flawed) Characters

With a body of work spanning five decades, a Pulitzer Prize and membership in the Academy of Arts and Letters, Anne Tyler is a testament to the best kind of longevity—and the purity of the written word.

by Jessica Strawser
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The 7 Biggest Myths of Publishing (Know the Truth)

A veteran author tells you, writer to writer, what getting published is really like—and confronts the seven biggest myths.

by Elizabeth Sims

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A Checklist for Developing Your Hero and Heroine

Answer the following questions for each of your main characters to help figure out how each one fits in your novel.

by Leigh Michaels
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How to Weave in Backstory to Reveal Character

Creating characters’ backstories before you start writing is crucial because you’ll want to determine each one’s past experiences and the repercussions these experiences will have on your story before you begin. Here’s a close look at the different ways you can introduce backstory.

by Rachel Ballon
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Creating Characters: 4 Simple Exercises

Here are 4 simple exercises to help you invent characters for your fiction.

by Nancy Kress
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How to Build a Marketing Platform

Here are 10 simple steps that will take your visibility from zero to standout in a short time, while also giving you ample opportunities to flex your expertise, carve out your niche topic and connect with your audience.

by Christina Katz

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A Writer’s Guide to Social Networking

Find out how hopping on the social networking bandwagon can actually help you stand out to agents, editors and potential readers.

by the Writer’s Digest staff
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11 Plot Pitfalls – And How to Rescue Your Story From Them

We’ve all been there: basking in the glow of a finished manuscript, only to read it over and realize something is wrong with the plot. Finding ourselves unable to identify the problem only makes matters worse. But take heart! Here are some common plot gaffes and sensible ways to revise without starting over.

by Laura Whitcomb

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5 Easy Tips to Strengthen Your Scenes

Here are some simple techniques for revising scenes so your edifice will stand the test of time.

by James Scott Bell

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Michael Crichton’s Top 5 Writing Lessons

Karen Dionne, author of Freezing Point, reveals what her late hero, Michael Crichton, taught her about crafting solid fiction.

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Romance Gets Real

Harlequin woos nonfiction authors with Deborah Brody’s new imprint.

by Kara Gebhart Uhl
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The Anatomy of a Writer’s Website

Whether you build it yourself or hire a designer, your website can do more than bring you into the 21st century—it can be an invaluable part of your marketing arsenal.

by Linda Formichelli Read more

Steve Berry’s 8 Rules of Writing

Bestselling thriller writer Steve Berry says there are eight key rules that all writers must know and follow. Read more

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